1979 Trans Am Restoration

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1979 Pontiac Trans Am restoration.

History:
The vehicle was sourced in Cork.  It was in poor shape and did not run.  It was left outside for a year with poor T-Top seals and the interior was like a swimming pool.  If it was left outside much longer it would not have been worth restoring.  Extensive investigation of the cars history indicated that is one of 29 Pontiac Trans Ams that were made in 1979 in silver with gold wheels and a gold hood decal.   It was not an approved Pontiac combination but could be ordered by the dealer using the D60 dealer override option.  Unfortunately most Trans ams get painted black so they look like a Bandit Trans Am.  The owner choose to have this one restored to its factory color Platinum Sliver.
 
 
 
 
Body Work
The body shell and chassis rails were in good shape but  nearly every panel had rust to some extent.  On the Trans Am, the bottom seal goes at the rear window and water enters the boot (or trunk if you prefer.).  The rear panel was sectioned and a piece welded in from a donor car.
The t-top seals were new, but were glued over rust, so these were remove and the repairs completed around the T-Tops.  In addition the A pillars were rusted and the lower cills were repaired.
The interior was removed, along with the carpet.  Rust repairs and treatment were applied to the floor pan.  The car was stripped to a bare shell and primed with 4 coats of primer. The interior was repainted.
A new front window was fitted.  Assistance with the restoration was provided by Kieran Mullen
 
Painting 
The entire car was rubbed down.  Treated for rust where necessary, welded and filled where appropiate.  Exterior painting and refinishing work and some body repairs were done by Jarlath Ennis.  www.jarlathennis.com  Jarlath does excellent work and has painted numerous show winning cars.   
 
Mechanical:
The car showed a long history of neglect under the bonnet.  Both exhaust manifolds leaked.  The down pipe donought joint leaked.  All the vacuum hosed leaked.  The carburetor was flooding the engine and the car misfired badly when it finally ran.  There was very little power from the engine.
The EGR valve was "worked" on previously to the point that the studs holding in on were broken in the manifold.  The EGR valve was shot and was leaking exhaust gasses into the inlet manifold and into the engine bay.
 
Plugs, leads, rotor and cap were fitted.  Timing was checked.  Carburetor was removed to be rebuilt, but on disassemble, it was found to have damaged needle valves and seals (someone was at it before and made a balls of it). The carburetor was for a 78 engine not a 79.  So a correct 1979 remanufactured carburetor was sourced from the USA and installed. 
 
The car ran but still has a missfire at times.  This was traced to shortened pushrods and a ground down rocker arm on one cylinder.  Two new pushrods and two new rocker arms and rocker arm bridge were sourced and installed.  The car ran perfectely with out any missfires once the items were fitted.
 
One rear disc was replaced as the it was only the claiper pistor was stopping the rear of the car, the brake pad was missing.  New claipers and pads were fitted all round.
 
Fuel lines and brake lines were replaced.  The fuel tank was replaced as it was leaking.  The fuel guage sending unit was repaired. 
 
Interior.
New sound deading was fitted as well as new carpets and headlining.  All interior plastics were repainted as they were faded.  New screws were used where possible.    New wire covers and door trims were fitted.
 
Wheels.
The original snowflake wheels were vapour blasted, powder coated and lacquered.