Author Topic: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now  (Read 4212 times)

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Offline JupiterBandit

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I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« on: July 08, 2014, 05:58:07 PM »
I needed a parts car to fix a rusted out 77 SE. So I went and found some guy's project car he'd been dreaming about for years. It was a 1978 Trans AM 403 auto hardtop.

It was a complete and running drivable car with no real issues. I then proceeded to murder it.

I cut out the rear frame rails, Tail light panel, Rocker panels, floor pans, sold off the motor and trans, junked the interior. All that was left was the front fire wall when I was done.

I feel bad now. I've been seeing more and more Firebirds being turned into clone TA's. If I had let this one live, it would of made some family very happy.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 06:58:59 PM by JupiterBandit »

Offline Driver79

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 06:28:24 PM »
 :'(

Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 06:58:28 PM »
From this




To this in a matter of a few hours



Offline eroc022

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 07:00:30 PM »
Sure was fun though wasn't it
Eroc
Fixing the car that Restore A Muscle Car jacked up....

Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2014, 07:03:55 PM »
It was pretty easy, it's the 4th TA I've stripped. I'd say after the second one, I've been able to get faster and faster at taken them down.

If only I could get them back together as quickly. lol

Offline rpguitarrepair

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 08:46:55 PM »
How cheap do you have to get into a non-rusted car to make it worth chopping up? Even in the south, good solid cars are hard to come by, let alone part-out. Just curious.

I wish someone had chopped my car up, and I had bought that '78 instead...

Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 09:40:12 PM »
I think I paid $2500 for it

Offline 73Formula

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2014, 06:01:18 PM »
You are just making the ones we have more rare and valuable. 8) You bought it, do what you want with it.

Offline Macdave

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 10:13:14 AM »
They need to be pretty bad before I "kill" a second gen T/A any more. I did several in the 80s and 90s and wish I had not now. The problem is it is getting very hard to find regular firebirds for parts cars. They seem to be more rare than the T/As any more because nobody saved them. I have only killed one T/A in the last 20 years. It was a 77 yellow T/A, 403 car that was already cut up pretty bad and rusted to having no floor at all. It also had no title with it or data tag on the cowl. The price of getting all that replaced just made it seem crazy to even try. It still made me feel bad.

Current Birds-
1971 Formula - Laurentian Green
1975 T/A 400/4spd 29U/29L
1976 T/A 400/Auto 36U/36L
1976 T/A 400/Auto 78U/78L
1978 Y88/L78/WS6
1978 T/A W72/Auto 50U/50L Hurst tops
1978 T/A 403/Auto 50U/50L Fisher tops
1981 Turbo T/A Maroon w/Fisher Top

Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 12:02:32 PM »
I was thinking of saving the title, firewall and original drivetrain. maybe in 15yrs it'll be worth something.

Offline Frode_skj

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 02:40:26 PM »
You should feel bad about it :P Poor Trans Am
"79 Trans Am tenth Anniversary Edition"
"81 Turbo Trans Am"
Sad to see that people part out T\A's :( especially saveable ones

Offline TAKID455

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 09:47:43 AM »
would have been easier for you to swap firewalls being your 77 is that bad. Save yourself a lot of work and have not have a pieced together car. Doesn't make sense to cut apart to car to that extent and then put back together.
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Specializing in Suspension and Driveline Performance Engineering
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Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 12:17:28 PM »
would have been easier for you to swap firewalls being your 77 is that bad. Save yourself a lot of work and have not have a pieced together car. Doesn't make sense to cut apart to car to that extent and then put back together.

It's not pieced together. I separated it at the sail panel, rockers, and back seat floor seam. It's all aligned and spot welded back in per factory locations. Matter of fact I used more spot welds so it's even stronger than factory not that it matters.

You see the rear frame rails go from under the rear seat all the way to the tail panel. They only Repro the back section to the tail panel. I didn't want to cut frame rails and piece them in. I wanted one whole section like factory and for piece of mind. I know professionals would say that their welds are just as good. I'm no professional so this was my solution and it looks awesome. Awesome because you can not see where I repaired the car. It blends in perfectly.

I have all factory 1977 metal in the car and not the Chinese aftermarket which was important to me.

I also utilized the door glass, some interior trim, screws and bolts to replace rusted ones, and so forth.

You can't beat having a straight car for a donor.

Hindsight, I wish I would of thought about finding a firebird, not that one was available at the time.


Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2014, 12:19:52 PM »
Oh here's some info on the repro'd frame rails. They are not exact size of the originals. They are an 1/8 inch smaller if memory serves me right. So if you take them and try to weld them together the new repro'd ones step down and you can see it. I stayed away from the repro'd ones.

Offline Falcon4

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Re: I killed a Trans Am and I feel bad now
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 01:52:43 AM »
Don't dispair, at least you can use the parts on your car.

I'm killing this one.  There is just too much rust. 



Not a panel is savagable, even the fenders were supported and backed with chicken wire.  The floors were solid in areas and have been put to good use on my black Firebird. 
'72 Lemans Wagon T-41 and 455 HO
'79 T/A w/403
'76 T/A w/455
'79 Z28 w/350 4 bolt mains
'78 F-100 351 Cleveland 4x4
'66 Valiant
'04 Ford Falcon 5.4 Ltr