Author Topic: 1978 T/A Restoration finally starts  (Read 3471 times)

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Offline aleksanders

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Re: 1978 T/A Restoration finally starts
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 11:52:35 AM »
I really appreciate so much good comments and answers to my questions. That really helps the motivation on the restoration progress. Thanks to all of you guys  ;D

I
      Alexanders, Im sorry you were misled by that previous owner and that you could not really inspect the car before purchase.  All in all the car looks very complete and in great restorable condition.
      I just replaced the tail panel, inner tail valence, trunk estensions, 21 inches of each frame rail, and rear quater extensions on my car. (The rear quarter extensions were held on by red Duct tape when I bought the car!  LOL)  I did it in my garage with basic power, air tools, jck stands and ramps.  A good set of spot weld cutters is a great small investment.  They are small hole saws that fit onto a regular drill.  I could of patched the tail panel as mentioned above, but I wanted my car to look as original as possible and wanted every bit of rust off the car so I removed and replaced all the rotted panels using mostly donor pieces.  The inner panel, for instance is not repopped by anyone yet and must be gathered from a donor.  This is the inner section of the tail panel right behind the gas tank.  The only part I had to by new was the tail panel.  The floors are any easy fix.  Mine actually only needed 2 small patches and some plug welds.  How is the trunk pan? 
     Check out my Photo Bucket page-( http://s1184.photobucket.com/albums/z340/greenbird76/  ), it has hundreds of pictures and follows the build right up to this October.  My car is a 1976 Firebird Esprit.  1974-1978 tail sections are identical so if you need any help just ask. 


Hi Greenbird76. The pictures you've got really helps out a little bit so I appreciate that you gave me that link.
The trunk pan itself doesn't look to bad at all but have some small holes were it is deepest and closest to the rear tail panel. I haven't disassembled everything yet but after what I can see the trunk floor extensions are pretty rusty. I can see some small rusty holes on the tight areas on the sides of the trunk floor and I guess that is what's called trunk extensions??

I have a good garage with a lot of basic power tools and cutting and grinding tools. I am going to buy a welder also. I am actually a little embarrased that I haven't got one yet since I have been working as a welder before  :-[

Anyway, I will take more pictures to show you about the rear section of the car to show you more how it looks.

IF it were me, for the tail panel (where the tail lights and bumper bolts to) I'd simply cut out the rusted areas and weld in some replacement metal. It doesn't have to be perfect as it will be hidden by the bumper. Much simpler too especially if your other option is to have parts sent to you across the pond which I'd wager is rather expensive.

Same for the trunk floors as its mostly flat steel which appears to be in areas that are readily accessible.

Of course if you're trying to do a concourse restoration and metal working isn't your thing, then by all means order the replacement panels as its the way to go ;)

I think I would go for the cut-out method on some areas brian c. I am pretty familiar with welding since I have been working as a welder before. Not that much but I am familiar with all sorts of welding.
I also agree to what you say about the areas are going to be hidden but I also want the car to look nice and in good condition so if it is going to be too much metalshaping I might go for replacing the panels.

Aleksanders, Adding new floor pans is the way to go on this project, I don't have an answer for you on the trunk rust but my Uncle Tom always said, When in doubt just change it, In your case he would probably tell you to change the trunk pan if you are not happy with just a patch job, Myself I am a bit of a perfectionist and I can't stand the thought of my expensive paint being sprayed over a patch when I could have replaced the whole section...My project is in much worse shape than yours, I guess for you it wouldn't be so bad if you had been told the truth in the beginning, Either way it is what it is and you can make it even greater than it ever was, I am looking forward to your build so I can learn from it as I have learned from many builds before yours so be encouraged my friend and build your American dream from Norway!!! ;D

I really appreciate those warm words 79taman. It really helps on my motivation to the restoration progress.
I think I would try to first fix the trunk floor and tail panels areas with new sheet metal peaces and cut out around the rusty areas and then try to weld them in. I am a perfectionist myself so if I am not satisfied with that then I just might go for new panels even though they are expensive here in Norway. I talked to one shop today here in Norway and they import sheet metal from Sherman body parts.

They gave me a list like this:

Floor pans: $300 each

Trunk extensions: $300 each

Trunk floor center section: $450

Tail panel: $600

So as you can see it is kind of expensive here in Norway  ::)
Aleksander!

Offline green-hornet

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Re: 1978 T/A Restoration finally starts
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2011, 01:06:18 PM »
Nice project  8)

Offline ShakerBreaker

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Re: 1978 T/A Restoration finally starts
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2011, 07:16:38 PM »
Sir---- your T/A is gonna  be a sweety when you get it done.
Baby steps---- and it will all come together for you.
-check out DOWN-NOLA.com

Offline aleksanders

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Re: 1978 T/A Restoration finally starts
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2011, 01:56:37 PM »
Sir---- your T/A is gonna  be a sweety when you get it done.
Baby steps---- and it will all come together for you.

Thank you Shakerbreaker. I really look forward to that day when I turn the key and take a long cruise here in Norway :-)
Aleksander!