Author Topic: 78 and 79 differences  (Read 2667 times)

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Offline Lobsterbak

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78 and 79 differences
« on: January 01, 2007, 09:05:48 PM »
Okay, Im totally confused....the vin on my '78 Trans Am' says its a 78, but it has the 79 nose and tail. It also has 4 wheel disc brakes, which I now know came out in 79...what are the other differences? It does not have the floor headlight dimmer switch, which...wasnt available in 79....how else could I tell if its a 78 or 79?

Seems like someone went through alot of trouble to convert this car to a 79...
1971 Camaro 355/4 Speed - Sold :(
1978 Trans Am 467/4 Speed - Under the knife :)
1981 Chevrolet C10 350/4 Speed - bleh
1987 Buick Grand National - Fast with Class

Offline kyledyr

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78 and 79 differences
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2007, 10:34:13 PM »
the vin (on the dash) should be right, so if it says it's a '78, then it's most likely a '78. you could always order the Pontiac Historical Services package and find out all the info
"If you want me to be eco-friendly, make eco-friendly not suck."
'81 305 Trans Am WS6

Offline Tin Indians Rule

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78 and 79 differences
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 11:29:45 PM »
Lobster, your ride may have been involved in an accident years ago and the owner may have liked the 79 styling better. I know I did. It took a long time for me to aquire a taste for the 77 & 78 F-body cars.

The 79 nose would have been an easy switch for sure and I think the 79 taillights will interchange. I think the rear bumper supports were different between 78 and 79 but as long as you used the 79 mounts they should interchange.

I bought a 78 TA last year simply because it had a set of 670 heads on the motor. After pulling it away from the fence where it had been backed in for years I started feeling dizzy.  :lol:  I walked from the front to the back, then back to the front. I did that a few times and realized that the rear was a 79-81 style. The title, vin, etc checked out to be a 78. Somewhere in this cars life the owner switched the rear tail lights to the later style.
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Offline Hitman

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78 and 79 differences
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 12:11:17 AM »
Yes, the rear tail lights can be switched, but not too easily.  The panel behind the tail lights have a different depth between the years.  So, if you were making a 79 into a 78, then you would have to use spacers behind the tail lights to make them flush like the 79 lights were.  Also, the 78 tail light bulbes you could change from inside the trunk, but the 79 bulbs you had to remove the tail light to change the bulbs because inside the trunk was metal with no openings.  Also, the rear end because of the sapcing difference the gas filler neck is also longer on a 79 than a 78.  So again, if you were making a 79 into a 78, you would have to cut down the gas filler neck to fit behind the license plate holder.  And yes, the bumper mounts were different.
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Offline Lobsterbak

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78 and 79 differences
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 05:54:28 PM »
grah, that sucks...looks like Ill be spending more money! thats okay tho, I love my car :)
1971 Camaro 355/4 Speed - Sold :(
1978 Trans Am 467/4 Speed - Under the knife :)
1981 Chevrolet C10 350/4 Speed - bleh
1987 Buick Grand National - Fast with Class