Author Topic: 1979 Trans Am Restoration Help  (Read 1178 times)

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Offline Lamplightermk101

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1979 Trans Am Restoration Help
« on: July 03, 2018, 12:45:24 PM »
First off, this is my first post on a forum. Hopefully I'm posting this correctly.


So here's the story. I have a 1979 Trans Am that I bought when I was in 8th grade hoping to restore it by the time I turned 16 with my Dad. The car was literally in boxes from the firewall forward and neither my Dad nor I knew much about cars. Long story short, we were finally able to get it together ,with help from lots of random people, by the last few months of my senior year. Granted, it was FAR from being completed but at least I was able to drive it after sitting in the garage for so many years!
After that, I left the car at my parents house while I went to college. I finished college and decided to go on a road trip with another vehicle I own. That trip I ended up covering 17,000 miles over a 5 month period. During that time, my Dad thought he would surprise me and have it painted. (Which I knew nothing about until I got back)
So when I get back from my trip I find that the guy my Dad had painting the car ended up pulling the motor out and stripping a ton of parts, and not just off the motor. He stole my carburetor, the starter, the hood, the rear tail light piece, and a bunch of other little parts.
After that, I had the car towed to my garage and it's been sitting here ever since (About 4 years now).
Now, I'm ready to get it going again but am totally overwhelmed and not sure even where to begin. Currently I feel I only have basic knowledge of this kind of thing but am willing to learn!
My first thought was to pull the motor again (I have headers that BARELY fit in and was a TOTAL headache) but like I said, I'm not totally adept at this kind of thing and have no idea what that guy messed up..
Is there anything anyone could recommend? I'll figure out how to attach pictures (mine are too large?) and any help I could get would be GREATLY appreciated!

Offline Aus78Formula

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Re: 1979 Trans Am Restoration Help
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 08:29:03 PM »
Do you need to pull the motor? Then it becomes a motorless shell for years that can't be easily moved around for other work. Start on small areas at a time and complete them and work out what jobs can be done at same time so as not to have to keep undoing previous work. But since my own car has been off the road ten years maybe I shouldn't give advice. Unless it is don't involve professionals if you can do it yourself. That's where all my delays and problems occurred and still are.

Offline Lamplightermk101

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Re: 1979 Trans Am Restoration Help
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 09:09:42 AM »
Ok, that actually sounds like great advice. Thank you!

Offline sdtransam1979

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Re: 1979 Trans Am Restoration Help
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 10:46:39 AM »
Hello,  This is my 1st reply!  I like Aus78Formula have been restoring my 79 10th Anniversary for the past 19 years and it all started with yanking the engine!  It had cracked exhaust manifolds and one thing led to another and it snow balled into a frame off rotisserie restoration.  And yes it is overwhelming, but you need to 1st make a list of what it will take to make it road worthy and start on 1 small project at a time, say get a starter first than a carburetor and so on.  With that list you can go to swap meets and look for parts or even ebay.  Trans Am Nationals is where I have found a lot of parts over the years and Ames Performance plus ebay.  Don't forget about Youtube, there are a lot of video's for restoring parts for 2nd Gen TA's, even if your not a pro.  Good luck and stay on it!  Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Steve

Offline Nexus

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Re: 1979 Trans Am Restoration Help
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 05:14:21 PM »
Just to add to the mix, My car has been apart for 18 years and I have never driven it. Long story short, I should have got it running better, put it on the road and enjoyed the car while fixing this and that to make it better. I pulled it all apart to restore it and it has never seen the road since.

Just another opinion to think about (you know what they say...opinions are like ***holes, everyone has one)...I say get it running and on the road, then you can learn and fix different components like already mentioned...need to compartmentalize the process
Charlie
1979 Transpit...(T/A Clone) (19 years and counting)

Offline Lamplightermk101

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Re: 1979 Trans Am Restoration Help
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 05:25:07 PM »
Thanks for the responses! I'm working on getting a list together now. Hopefully I can get going on it in the next few months. I'll try to keep everyone posted!