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    Thread: 78 TA LS1 build

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Location
      Painted post NY
      Posts
      113
      Country Flag: United States

      78 TA LS1 build

      Thought I’d post a “how my car came to be”post..

      I bought my car mostly done..from a guy in NJ (BanditDave)…he built the car and wanted to go in another direction…so he listed it and I looked at it and bought it. The beginning is from the previous owner..

      April 2010

      The car is a ’78 Trans Am I got from Arizona by way of Illinois. It is loaded with pretty much all of Pro-Touring F-body’s catalog – 4th Gen rate springs, Huge Sway bars front and rear, lowered approximately 3 inches in the front, 2.5 rear. GM 600 box to improve steering. DSE upper and lower control arms. 10 bolt disc brake rear beefed up with welded tubes, 30 splines, 3.73 precision gears with Eaton posi. 1LE upgrade to the front with Impala SS spindles as well as Impala SS calipers, 12 inch rotors. DSE booster/Master cylinder (3rd Gen S-10 Master Cylinder subbed in to work with brake combo. DSE Master (which is actually a 5th gen S-10 Master) is also included.

      Power Train is a ’99 LS1 with a reman 4L60e from a Camaro…long tube headers and 2.5” Magnaflow exhaust. Reprogrammed computer by Speartech. I rewired the stock hardness to work with the original engine harness. Wired dual fans to work as factory fans would…these do work as well. Driveshaft properly shortened to work with engine relocation – set back 1.25 inches to fit the headers. Aluminum radiator.
      Fuel pump is a Bosch 044 hooked to the stock tank through an Aeromotive pre-filter and regulates through Corvette regulator. A single line runs to the fuel rail.
      Torque Thrust II wheels 17x8 fronts and 17x9.5 rears with Kumho Ecstas 255/45-17 fronts and 285/40-17 rears…sized properly to fit with no rubbing.

      Paint is recently completed Jetstream Blue Metallic (Z06 color) basecoat/clear coat stripped all the way down to metal and painted properly. Burt Reynolds Edition Trans Am spoilers fitted to the car all the way around. The interior still needs to be finished and gauges need to be fitted – FULL assortment of Autometer Cobalt Gauges. B&M Megashifter.
      Ok what I consider the bad. Car is not done yet…it does and can drive. Still needs some wiring work to be completed. The damn steering column needs the three screws tightened…it is wobbly. It is an easy fix…haven’t gotten around to it. The exhaust could possibly be tucked up higher than it is…it is ok to drive as is, while there hasn’t been an issue yet with driving it, I feel like I could get it even tighter to the body if I had a freakin’ lift.. The oil pan, while hasn’t hit anything yet, should eventually be changed back to the Fbody pan or the LSX conversion pan Retro LSX is selling. It hangs a little below the crossmember and it really bothers me that a company, which will go nameless, would recommend this part without checking this…and it upsets me even more that I wouldn’t notice this until I took it to get painted. Interior needs to be finished. I have a lot of the parts, but not all.

      Here’s a pic fresh out of the paint booth…


      May 30, 2010- I bought the car and began finishing up the interior. I modded the 4th gen seats to fit, new carpet, modded the YearOne dash bezel to fit OEM wiper and headlight switch, new headliner, seat belts (4th gen fbody), and misc wiring. I was able to get the car ready to drive by July 2010. Car was a blast! It was tough to put it up for the winter…
      Year One dash bezel-wiper, headlight, and turn signals cut. I also used an extra dash to mark and drill holes so I could mount the dash bezel to factory dash.


      4th gen seats modded to fit


      April 2011- Had the 4th gen seats recovered with white vinyl/leatherette, swapped out the cracked dash with a near mint black dash. Interior is a mix of black and white. I considered all white…but I thought the all white door panels was a bit much..Began the task of adding vintage air. I added the control switch, vents, hoses, evaporator and bulkhead. I still need to add condenser, dryer and high pressure hoses.
      Test fit old dash over evaporator


      Vintage air control switch and vents

      Vintage air bulkhead

      Front seats covered- I went with a 2 tone black and white. Carpet, dash, console (minus lid), and top of the doors down is black….above top of door line is all white

      April 2012-Big task here…oil pan swap. I swapped out the LH8 pan with a modded F-body pan. It had to be modded to clear the crossmember. I also had the interior doors re-done, rear seats recovered, added PONTIAC valve covers, LED tails, Amber DRLs (turn signals), 2006 GTO third brake light and relocated the coilpacks. Sadly, GM performance parts doesn’t sell the LS Pontiac valve covers.
      Not my pan..but this is just like it. Street and Performance did it.



      Door skins redone- not crazy about them… I may do the year one doors in the future. Added polk 6.5 separates in the door.

      Rear seats covered in matching vinyl, GTO third brake light, 2 kicker 8” free airs

      Coil packs relocated to firewall, Pontiac valve covers (which they don’t sell anymore?)

      LED tails and better view of GTO 3rd brake light




      April 2013- I have a modded recess fuel tank…ready to accept a 4th gen fuel bucket. The tank in there works well…but it is noisy. I am adding some tunes this year, and I don’t want that annoying sound droning out my tunes! I have 2 kicker 8” free airs in the rear, polk 6.5” separates in the front. I have it set up for amps and crossovers…all run by a kenwood media player head unit. No CD’s..just ipod, iphone, or thumb drive. I plan on tucking up the exhaust too.





      New tank ready to go in, fabbed up with vetteworks 4th gen fuel bucket setup.













      Credit is due to Dave T-banditdave- great guy…glad I came across the opportunity to purchase his project…
      More to come…
      Leon Reed
      Last edited by reedld; 04-24-2013 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Updated pics/text
      Leon Reed
      1978 Trans Am
      LS1/4L60E



      my build..updated 11-21-13 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...8-TA-LS1-build


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Jul 2011
      Location
      Istanbul / Turkey
      Posts
      76
      Country Flag: Turkey
      Hi Leon;

      You're doing exactly what i am doing to my 74 firebird.
      If it won't be a bother, I may ask for some advice in the future.

      Subscribed
      Being handsome is only skin deep. But Badass goes to the bone.
      Mert Celet

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Apr 2010
      Location
      San Antonio, TEXAS
      Posts
      202
      You got yourself a nice car, i believe he had a build thread on ls1 tech, sweet looking car and he did some great work on it.
      2000 Pontiac Trans Am, Ls1/t56, SLP lid, LT's, cut-out, Borla cat-back.

      1980 Pontiac Trans Am, soon to get Ls1/t56 transplant.

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Jul 2011
      Location
      Istanbul / Turkey
      Posts
      76
      Country Flag: Turkey
      I'll make sure to check it.
      Do you have the link already?
      Being handsome is only skin deep. But Badass goes to the bone.
      Mert Celet

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jun 2007
      Location
      St. Pete FL
      Posts
      914
      Country Flag: United States
      Cool car
      HELP!!!
      1973 TA 4 spd #'s match red/white = STOLEN
      https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...55#post1106255

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Location
      Painted post NY
      Posts
      113
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks guys, I can't find the build post...it's too long ago ..at least the way I searched.
      Dave is a great guy...I'm sure he would help with advice anytime.

      Mert, PM me any time, I'll help in any way I can....but you do need to post pics of that 74 Bird!

      Leon
      Leon Reed
      1978 Trans Am
      LS1/4L60E



      my build..updated 11-21-13 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...8-TA-LS1-build

    7. #7
      Join Date
      May 2008
      Location
      Burleson
      Posts
      130
      I'm currently building a 78 TA with an ls1 as well. Neat ride

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jan 2014
      Posts
      193
      Country Flag: United States
      Very nice. I've been considering the LS1 swap as well.