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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog > 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

 

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Crazyfast79TA

M –47
Bovey, Minnesota
United States

 
 

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Cranky Old Bastard Starts Every Day

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

Yup! I drive my Trans Am every day, even when there's five to nine inches of snow on the ground and it's 20 below zero. Oh yeah, it's a cold hearted beast for sure, but it fires up for me each day, even when my wife's Sport-Trac won't. Now remember, I don't have a block heater in it and the choke has been inoperative on the carb. I mean it when I say it's a cold hearted beast. It takes longer to warm up than to drive the 10 miles to work. It does great on the slick roads, too. I watched a Jeep Wrangler spin out in front of me and about a half mile on a Blazer spun across the median and ended up going the other way. My T/A was rock solid! I told my wife driving 40 MPH in this weather is like driving 100 in the summer rain. Things can happen real quick if you aren't paying attention. I just don't want to see what's happening under the ice build-up on the body. I'm sure it's not going to be pretty in the spring thaw. Oh well. it's a good thing I know how to fix it back up!

Searching for answers

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I was tinkering with my car today after work. The carb just wasn't acting right. I didn't have too much time, but I rigged it so the secondary vacuum pod wasn't restricting them from opening. I took it out for a test drive and tried a couple of burn-outs. It had to work hard for a little bit of squeal and smoke, but that's more than it would do Saturday on the Poker Run. It's still real "punky", but I'm getting the problem narrowed down. I'll try rebuilding the carb first. If that doesn't fix it, I might try a new one. If that doesn't fix it, I'll try a new cam. I don't know what I'd do after that. Hopefully I'll be working on my Nova and too distracted to worry about the Trans Am. Oh well....

Northern Cruisers Weekend Of Wheels Carshow and Poker Run

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I did it this year! I was in the show (not a judge this time) and went on the Poker Run. I went on the Poker Run last year and was very disappointed with the performance of my car. I thought it was in the torque converter so I changed it for the one that was in when the Oldsmobile engine was in the car. It livened it up a bit, but it was still a gutless pig off the line just like last year. I was so upset. If someone asked me if I had a boat anchor for sale, I bolt a chain on the 400 and sell it to them! I know this could be an awesome engine, but not sure what it's going to take to bring this torque monster to life. Could the carb just gone bad from sitting? It made the Olds 350 run great. This 400 doesn't respond very well with it. I don't want to take it off and have the car down while I rebuild it. I'll check through my other carbs and see if I have another Quadrajet that's rebuildable. Sometimes I wish I coulda/woulda been able to fix the crack in outside of the block in the Olds motor. Then I did have a novel idea today. I've got the Chevy 350 that I had in my '87 S-10 that ran great. It ran so good that I couldn't keep a transmission behind it. I broke the bell-housing on a TH350 and ripped the guts out of two 700R4 transmissions. I figured if the S-10 was good for 13's, what would it do in a vehicle that could hook-up? I've got the Corvette transmission I got in the furniture for Corvette wheels, engine block and transmission trade. Of course if I did put that 350 in the T/A, it wouldn't stay there. That's the engine I want in my Nova. It would only be in the Trans Am until I was ready to put it in the Nova. That would almost be sacrilege! Is it a Trans Am or a Z-28? But if you think about it, it never did really matter. For years GM was putting ANY GM engine in ANY GM car. The car isn't what it seems anyway. It's not a collectable SE, so why would it matter if it was a Pontiac engine or a Chevy engine? It may or may not happen. Depends on how things go with a carburetor swap or rebuild.

Road Ready!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

Already blogged on this, but "spammers" moved me down the column! But here's another one to try to displace them! I'm ready to get it out and drive it!

Almost Ready For The First Drive Of The Year!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I've been starting it up every week this winter. I even had it outside once! I gave it a sponge bath in the garage and gave it a misting of detail spray. I'll change the oil and check the rest of the fluids before it's ready. I went today after work and got the tabs renewed. A phone call to the insurance agent and it's legal! I hope spring comes soon!

Getting Close To My First Minnesota Car Show

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I got my boss to put his timing light to my Trans Am last Friday. It runs a lot better now. I worked on finding the squeal/screach from my engine which I thought was a new belt slipping on freshly painted pulleys. Brad thought it sounded more like an alternator bushing So I pulled the power steering belt first. Noise was still there. Bad alternator? Changed it out for a good one I had sitting there. Noise still there. It's not the power steering pump, but there was a small leak in the return line. The factory pinch clamp on that line had worked loose so I cut it off and put a regular hose clamp on. Leak fixed, but noise in pump now. It sounds like it just needs bled out. But back to the original screach. It took on a more metallic sound as I was trying to bleed out the power steering. Power steering pump? Doubt it. Pulled that belt again and noise was still there. Okay. What else has a bushing or bearing besides the alternator and power sreering pump? What about a bad water pump? It doesn't leak, but it's been bolted on the engine since 2008 without ever having water or antifreeze run though it. Could that make a bushing go bad when I started the engine with only water in the radiator? I had to stop on that path and move on to the transmission lake. I tried to get a gasket for the original dip stick tube but original style replacements don't seem to be available so I took an old chrome tube out of a trans I had behind the garage. It had an "O" ring on the tube. It was a little rough looking so I went and got another "O' ring. It broke me for $.36. That's 36 cents. Costed more for the gas to get there! lol! But it's going to save me a lot in trans fluid and oil dry and drive-way cleaner. But it doesn't leak now! No more lake! Most of this work was done on Sunday after church because Saturday was taken up for my step daughter's 16th birthday party. It was worth it! I really could've used that day to work on my car to get it ready for the shows next week-end, but her birthday party was definitely worth full attention. I tried to make up for it Sunday. Kind of did. Came home from work and went out to the "grudge". Got the roof liner (with a fresh coat of flat black spray paint) and new package tray in. Didn't get the T-Top trim in yet or the new door panels and arm rests. I'm going to have to do a good clean up on the visors or get new ones. The seats still aren't done. Work time after work is tight this week, well any week, but especially now that the shows are next week-end. Saturday I'm parking my car with the car club member cars which aren't judged but Sunday I'm going to be in the other car club's show at the fairgrounds. Going to be a fun week-end!

Hit the road today

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I went to the insurance agency after work today and got covered. I came home and put the plates on and checked the trans fluid. Wasn't on the stick. Added 2 quarts. Still not on the stick! Added another quart. Finally to the add mark. Added another quart and had to take off for a meeting at church. Boy was I unsure and excited! My first bad feeling was when we took off and the belts were squealing bad. Then the trans didn't want to shift. A little further down the road steam started rising from the floor board on the passenger side. Michelle didn't understand why I was laughing. I believe the heater core is leaking. I had to laugh. The ONE thing I didn't change! I think that's going to be a late fall or winter project, not a summer time thing! I put up with the exhaust leaks and things in the trunk rattling around and the back seat area too. I finally got it to shift with some coaxing. Going up th Coleraine hill, it didn't pull like I thought a 400 should. I'm driving it to work tomorrow so maybe I can get Brad to put the timing light on it. When we got home later, I let it run a bit before I shut it down. It was idling pretty high. Get it in time, idle it down a bit, add more tranmission fluid, and maybe I'll make it the the show at the end of the month! I'm going to try to get the inmterior installed before then.

More On My Power Steering Brackets

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

Well, after taking a while off from this project to look for a vehicle for my wife and also being sick, I got back to working this problem out. I asked for help from my Motortopia friends. Charlie and David helped me out the most. I went to Charlie's. He tried to set me up with brackets, but he didn't have Pontiac brackets. He tried. Thank you Charlie. David is too far away for me to visit him, but he sent me pictures of brackets on his cars. Thank you David. I found some good pictures of the brackets online, printed them out close to the right size and made patterns out of masonite. I bolted the masonite patterns to the pump and tried them on the engine. I had to modify the design slightly (after much frustration) now I believe I'm ready to put plasma cutter to steel! I hope to get this taken care of this week-end. I want to drive this car this summer.

I Need Your Opinions

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I have this Pontiac 400 to put in my Trans Am. I went thru this engine in '08 and cleaned it all up and painted it this Cobalt Blue Metallic. I've already caught some flack for this choice. I want you to tell me what color I should make it. Cobalt Blue Metallic or GM Corporate Blue?

Work-time coming soon! UPDATED!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I didn't really know when I'd have a chance to work on my Bandit, but I've been given the chance. My boss is going to Indy to visit his brother between Christmas and New Years. He's closing the shop for that week. I'm going to have that week to work on my car, maybe even both of them as long as I can do it without a whole lot of cash. I'm going to try to have a work area cleared out in the garage so I can move around in there and get something done. I'm starting to get a little worked up about it now. I've got the firewood cut for the stove so it can be warm in there. I've got my shop-lights hung, so it's lit up now. I can pull the engine back out and getn the mounts where they belong and get the fuel line bent and installed. I will then be able to hook up the new gauges. After the engine is sitting where it's supposed to sit, I can work on getting the aircleaner to fit so I can hook the shaker back up. I did open it up to be functional afterall! I'll post more as things come together!

UPDATE: Ends up we (at least the 2 of us on the paint and body crew) might be working at least a partial work schedule, but that hasn't been confirmed yet. We'll see before this week is over.

UPDATE to the UPDATE: Still no confirmation on working or not, but I'll be able to get out there in the evenings (maybe). I'm not going to let it frustrate me too much. It has sat since '06! I'll get it ready before the weather is good enough to take back out.

Plans have changed and so has many things in my life

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I didn't know it would take this long to get anything done on my Bandit. I'm just going to say that I'll work on it when I feel like it and have the time and money to do it. Since I posted that last blog, I met Michelle, fell in love with her, moved to Minnesota, got married, got my dream job, started attending church and actually being involved in church, got remodeling and renovation jobs done on our house, got a full-size van, a 4x4 truck, and several vehicles for my step boys. No wonder I haven't got anything done on my own cars. It all works out in the long run. I feel more blessed now in my life than any other time.

Here I Go Again!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

I'm tearing into my Trans Am again. This time I don't have a wife complaining about how much time or money I put into it! Instead of fixing what needs fixed and letting a few things slide, I'm fixing everything this time. Instead of a plain-Jane firebird interior, I'm doing it like it's supposed to be. I've got NEW SE door panels, NEW Deluxe Upholstery from PUI for the original seats (not using left-over Moza buckets this time) New package tray, and GM Reproduction Decals (instead of painting the bird and stripes on). I got the rebuild kit for my Pontiac 400 so I won't be powered by a non-original Olds 350 next year! I got the hook-up with a guy that needs some of my extra parts and he has some I need. I'm sure I'll make out on this one because he needs more than I do. He's got an extra hood scoop that I plan on using. Here's my plan; I'm going to be running a Pontiac 400 (the scoop should read "T/A 6.6") but I want the "Bandit" look (the scoop should read "6.6 Litre"). I got both sets of decals with my decal kit. I'll have interchangable scoops to fit the reason! I'll also have interchangable exhaust tips. The Formula I stripped out had the splitter exhaust tips that I can use for everyday cruising, but I've got brand new restoration splitters that I can put on for shows and cruise-in's. I'll use the wrap around clamps instead of welding or standard clamps, that way loosen a couple bolts, change the tips and tighten the bolts back up! That's something that could be done during the pre-show shine job and easily changed back after I get back from the show. This is going to be such a sweet fake job! I'll never pass it off as an original '77 SE, but it will definately have the look! There's going to be plenty of pictures while I do it this time! I have a digital camera now, something I didn't have the first time. There were a lot of the "traditional" photos that didn't turn out and I didn't know it until I got the roll of film developed! Now I can see the pic right after I take it so if the lighting is wrong or something is blocking what I want to show, I can re-take it and make sure the pic comes out! I'll keep this project documented and up-dated as it progresses!
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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog > 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (Blackbird)

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