Author Topic: Project Angry Bird  (Read 1608 times)

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Offline Vega

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Project Angry Bird
« on: August 21, 2011, 07:34:13 AM »
Okay, first off I didnt intend on being away from the site for so long. The story on that is soon after joining I happened upon an Olds 455 that a guy was selling for $100 so i definatly jumped on that. Got it all disassembled and everything is cleeaaan, only problem is the crank needs turned due to a spun bearing. After some digging I found its from a 72' Cutlass, possibly even a 442 with auto tranny (came with flex plate) and for that year the 442s were just trim packages. Its a pretty exciting build that i've been working on but my search for Cutlasses has stalled out and this just dropped into my lap...introducing my return to my beloved Pontiac brand ^.^

SO. My favorite car manufacturer in non-existance is Pontiac, haha. And the 79' Trans Am has always been one of my, at least, top-3 favorite cars in existance (only surpassed by the 73' SD-455 Trans Am, and the 71' Hemi Cuda, which are tied for 1st and 2nd cause its like picking which of your children you love more LOL). Well a few years ago my father dragged home an 81' Turbo Trans Am that was in need of restoration. It sat, waiting, like most of his never-to-see-the-light-of-day projects until i coaxed him into messing with it with me and come to find out the interior is in near perfect shape (obviously it sat in someone's yard for many years, taking its toll on the body but practicly mummifying the interior). We also found out that all the electrical works, every bit right down to the clock in the dash (did i mention i LOVE Pontiacs? hahaha). Unfortunatly that was as far as we got, a few weeks later he parked it in my neighbor's garage and it sat for many more years.

NOW, just last night me and the neighbor dollied the T/A back to my house and its taunting me to dive into this and put the Cutlass idea on hold, so here's the specifics. Its an 81' Turbo Trans Am with every part that goes to it still attatched, motor, transmission, all panels, everything is there waiting to be restored. Its an automatic (obviously), factory T-tops, "formula" style hood with turbo lights (ive heard the lights were optional but im not sure), cruise control, the remains of faded gold decals (hood bird delete or just missing, not sure), and tan interior. Now from that description i know what you're thinking "is it a Special Edition?" That im not exactly sure of. I know that either way the car is definatly rare (ive checked the production numbers on this site and was pretty pleasantly surprised with the results for 81' T-top Turbo T/A cars, be it Special Edition or not). The car has gold grill inserts and a gold Pontiac nose badge but the dash and shifter bezels are not gold. I checked the cowl tag and saw no Y84 but have heard they were sometimes left off the cowl tag. So now im hunting down the build sheet (under the driver side rear seat, correct?). Either way I definatly want to rebuild this car, it looks killer and with everyone obsessing over shaker hooded 79s id love to be different and get an original Turbo T/A back on the road (i love driving a car that is easily recognizeable as "my car", something i know nobody else in my area has).

MY THOUGHTS ARE (and i would love feedback on this) to rip the car apart and begin a full resto. Keeping everything exterior and interior looking completely stock (maybe add a newer CD player but none of that obnoxious flip-out DVD player crap 0_o lol). But under the hood I would like to yank the turbo 301 and find a rebuildable LS1 or similar LS motor to drop into it and put a newer turbo kit on the LS motor (honestly more to make it an authentic TURBO Trans Am rather than for power, ive always loved N/A cars more than FI but in this case its a very rare and neat exception). Now dont worry guys, im not junking the 301 by any means. I plan to rebuild it as well and keep it stored away just in case me or anyone else ever felt like taking the car back to stock, especially with how rare the whole combo is (especially if its an SE car) and all original and numbers matching (not that "oh its the same TYPE of motor from the same YEAR so its 'numbers matching' crap, no no, serious "this is the motor my car was born with" type numbers matching). Ive also been toying with the idea of throwing in a manual center console and running a T56 6-speed. It would throw off the "all original looking" vibe i was going for since there were no manual 2nd gen Turbo T/As but i think itd be worth it, especially since, as previously stated, i plan on keeping all of the original parts. Or i could just run a 4L60 and be happy with an amazing cruiser with some hot pep to it (black and gold 2nd gen T/A styling, LS-motor mileage, factory cruise control, automatic, and T-tops, how is this NOT the most amazing road-trip vehicle ever made??). So input on the transmission decision would be appreciated. Also im contemplating re-doing the whole interior in black, i love how Pontiac went jet-black and damn near everything in their interiors on these cars, especially with how 90% of car makers try to pass off charcoal grey as "black", but its the same delimma as the transmission. Keep it stock? or update while i have the opportunity?

So there's the story. I'll try to post some pics of the car soon (its not a lot to look at unless you're looking at it in person but still, pics are always the best part so i'll work on it ;) haha). Any advice on the resto-mod would be strongly appreciated (especially anything on LS swaps or T56 swaps). Also i will most likely be needing many donor parts so i'll be burning up the classifieds for sure. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on where this project goes!


PS: Im also motivated to get started because i want to show up this cheese dick who lives near me. He has 7 or so 2nd gen T/As plus a couple 3rd gens and an early 70-73 Formula sitting and rotting outside of his place and he refuses to let them go. He just sits on them either thinking he'll restore them or waiting for the market to go up so he can make bank off them, idk which, but in my oppinion it is insulting. If you are not going to enjoy something (especially if its a rusted out old car in desperate need of restoration) let someone else enjoy it and dont try to rape them for a profit. But i'll cut this rant short because it doesnt have much to do with my project :D haha



THANKS ALL!  ;D

Offline Rarebird

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 08:02:05 AM »
my take is this... take it back to its glory days.. when i bought mine back in 2001 I thought it was a non original car until I began running the numbers as well.. then I find out its a #s matching 4speed car... that changed everything for my plans... its was take to much as original as possible (back then).. having one thats original has its ranking.. maybe someday I will find another project thats not so close to original that i can build the way i want...
Virgil...
1978 W72 w/M21 T/A   

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 08:11:22 AM »
Good insight ;)
Yeah my idea was to do some simple modding but nothing that couldnt be undone (like cutting or welding) stuff that wouldnt be hard to re-assemble to stock. However there is one major benefit to restoring everything to factory specs on a car like this, and that is that everything is right there already just needing rebuilt, making it way cheaper and saving the headache of troubleshooting new components and such. I'll keep all this in mind while contemplating my decision :)

I did just go out and get some pics of the car (its the dusty cobweb capital of the world haha, but it'll wash off). Now ive just got to get them all uploaded some time when im not limited to dial up

Offline Rarebird

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2011, 08:21:25 AM »
dont get me wrong... a tricked up ride is awesome and every gearheads fantacy... but an all original ride that is rare... just breath taking.. so what if its not the fastest, meanest ride on the block... I love to see tricked out 57 chevys... but seeing a Bel Air fuelie convertible with continental kit... serious wood my friend
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 08:25:20 AM by Rarebird »
Virgil...
1978 W72 w/M21 T/A   

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 10:32:27 PM »
Okay, a little update. The hood on the car is stuck, im not sure whats going on with it. Its unlatched but wont go any further than an inch or two, maybe someone knows whats going on here cause im at a loss at this point :/

Second, i finally got to crawl under the car and yes, it is a 4-wheel disc car (does my 4-wheel disc happy dance). Also i got the trunk open and it seems like this is the first time it was opened since 1983, that thing is SPOTLESS inside and all the stickers look brand new, i was pretty amazed at the condition of it all. Will try to post pics soon!

Offline bobspacin80ta

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 11:43:22 PM »
Push down on the hood just a little and pull the release again and pull up. That should do it.
'80 T/A Indy pace car
'78 Grand Prix
'78 Grand Prix

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 06:21:03 PM »
Hm, still didnt work, i have no idea. Although i did notice this is a hood bird delete car, i wonder if that could make it rarer? Honestly im not really into that "my car is rare because of these options" stuff unless its big time drivetrain options (like a factory 4-speed 455 Super Duty car) but saying "my car is rare cause its a hood bird delete car with cruise control and the antenna is in the windsheild" is pretty dumb. In that case you can make any car sound rare just by narrowing down its options haha. Idk just something interesting. I'll update this more as real progess is made

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 08:01:27 PM »
Oh yeah, another question, there's two toggle switches below the steering wheel, anyone ever heard of this? or is it something the previous owner might have installed? It looks like it could belong (so if he did install it he didnt do a bad job) but still, ive never seen it before...anyone know what this might be? Again, i'll try to get pics up soon, and will post a pic of what i mean

Offline eroc022

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2011, 08:56:13 PM »
previous owner install...... no toggle switches aside from audio boost, and rear defog ever were on the car.....
Eroc
Fixing the car that Restore A Muscle Car jacked up....

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2011, 07:30:43 AM »
*UPDATE*
Just got the hood open! Wooo! *confetti* haha, that was waayy more trouble than it should have been but in the end you guys were right, i just wasnt doing it right somehow the first 58234638 times i tried it. I ended up pulling the latch itself with my fingers while pushing up on the hood with my other hand from under the car. Everything under the hood is there (as it was last time i saw the hood open) plus a few random nests and cobwebs that just add character. Got the cowl tag and, as expected, it is an original 81' Trans Am, here's the rundown:

81   - 1981
W    - Trans Am
09D - Fourth week of September
64B - Medium Doeskin Cloth
19L - Starlight black
A51 - ???bucket seats maybe, not quite sure???
CC1 - Fisher T-tops

Its pretty exciting for me, im hoping the coding "CC1" doesnt mean its not a Y84 but i wont know for sure until i get the build sheet. Now I kind of want to save my money and start the rebuild on the last week of September, EXACTLY THIRTY YEARS AFTER IT WAS BORN! :D haha, how cool right?

PS: Thanks eroc022, i figured it was installed by the owner but wanted solid confirmation before going around making accusations haha. This car is loaded though, i cant think of an option it doesnt have other than non-leather seats. Even has the security system lock on the fender, shnazzyyy ;)
And thanks also to bobspacin80ta, that trick didnt work at first for some reason but it finally came through. My hoods just extra stubborn haha
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 07:39:44 AM by Vega »

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 07:35:53 AM »
Sorry about the pics, theres no way photobucket will work on my horrible dial-up. However, pics can be seen here:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10150268308501867.331036.564786866&type=1

Offline eroc022

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2011, 10:05:07 AM »
CC1 is just the code all Ttop cars got.... check your buildsheet for the Y84, or PHS.... but sounds like it could be, a good precheck would be to look where the bezels come off the dash, if its gold then chances are high, also factory pinstriping, and gold emblems...
Eroc
Fixing the car that Restore A Muscle Car jacked up....

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 08:30:05 PM »
Buildsheet in hand! The seats came out a lot easier than i figured they would and i got the build sheet (along with a pamhlet for 1984 lazer tag hahaha, straight Tron lookin thing). After a quick review of the sheet this is indeed a Y84 Special Edition car, and it is a WS6 car as well. Has G80 posi rear with 3.08 gears. Everything turned out to be exactly what i was dreaming it might be haha ^_^

Offline Vega

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 08:56:13 PM »












Offline Rarebird

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Re: Project Angry Bird
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 12:42:16 AM »
SE Turbo...definately a candidate for original restoration... breath taking car when its all spit and polished up....
Virgil...
1978 W72 w/M21 T/A