Project Trans Am for May, 2014 – Engine is in!

I did not do much in April with the Trans Am. I did however send out my front and rear bumpers to a buddy to get painted, which leads us into May…

Motor Is In!

I picked up the Motor from DCI Motorsports at the beginning of the month. Don had it on the engine stand so I could see it run when I came to pick it up. They dialed in the distributor and also tweaked a few other things with the motor before sending me off. It really sounds good, I’ll be posting video of the engine running on the stand very soon on www.dcimotorsports.com.

That memorial day weekend my buddy Joel helped me get the engine and transmission installed for one final time. This time around installation went smooth, so smooth Joel was talking on the phone while we lined up the engine on the mounts! All seriousness, it went really smoothly. On Friday we spent about 4 hours putting together the engine brackets, mounts, starter, then bolting the engine and transmission together and lowering it into the car. Then we spent another 2 hours on Friday, plus another 30 minutes the following day to finish up with hoses, wires, belts, and such. By 10:30 AM Saturday morning we fired up the motor, filled up the transmission with fluid, and monitored the engine oil pressure and temperature. Everything was running as planned, and there wasn’t a drop of oil on the ground!

The best part was when we were done, I put the car in drive and drove the car back into the garage. It’s been years since she moved on her own power!

DCI Motor in car DCI Motor in car DCI Motor in car

Bumpers back from Paint

The following week I went to pickup the bumpers. Man they look great! Too good actually, they stand out compared to the rest of the car. But that is ok, I would rather have shiny black bumpers and a dull black car then a dull black car with a maroon front bumper and a gold rear bumper. 🙂 THANK YOU PETE!

Bumpers Painted Bumpers Painted

Bumpers, Fenders and Hood Are Back!

The last weekend of May  I got the bumpers, fenders and hood installed. My dad helped me get the hood on, thanks dad!!! Gaps are not all that great, but for a first time assembly I’m pretty pleased. From what I understand, I may not get them much better than this.

Fenders and Hood on Fenders and Hood on Fenders and Hood on

For now I am running the 81 Turbo blister hood, but later in the summer I will be ordering a new “shaker” hood, like the one you see in the background of the last 2 pictures. The one pictured has 2 holes drilled near the shaker opening and will cost as much to repair as it will be to replace it with a reproduction hood. From what I’ve been told, the reproduction hoods fit well and have a special coating on them which will make it easier when it comes time to paint.

Still Some Wiring Issues

I still have some wiring issues. The turn signals are not working when the lights are on, and the tachometer stopped working during the last engine run. I have my work cut out for me with the electrical for sure!

What’s Next

Drive the car! (Spoiler alert, I’ve already drove the car around the neighborhood to test the transmission and brakes, we’re good to go).  Next is to take the car in to get the front wheels aligned, then get tires for my new Year One snowflake wheels, resolve some wiring issues, then start on my secondary features list (cruise control, power door locks, power trunk release, etc…)

YearOne Cast Snowflake 17×9 Wheels

I got my YearOne Cast Snowflake 17″ wheels this week! They look great!

They package the wheels very well. They ship 2 wheels per box, with packing paper in the top and bottom of each box. Each wheel is packaged in a retail box with special elastic padded rings around each wheel. The front has a combination of Styrofoam and netting to keep debris from getting in. Each wheel is then wrapped by very thin plastic to keep them clean during shipping.

The wheels themselves are light, less than 15 lbs each. Lug nut holes are deep with 60 degree conical seats to accept any kind of lug nut and can fit most GM (and other) vehicles. Factory snowflake lug nuts are a tight fit within the lug nut holes. The depth is so deep the factory snowflake and factory acorn lug nuts look kind of funny recessed (see picture). I’m going to try a 1.45″ deep lug nut next week to see if they look better with these wheels. Other than the lug nut depth being a bit odd, these wheels are awesome!

YearOne Cast Snowflake 17" Wheels YearOne Cast Snowflake 17" Wheels YearOne Cast Snowflake 17" Wheels

 

These are a second generation version of the YearOne Cast Snowflake Wheels. To see the first generation wheel, visit the 78ta.com forums thread post contributed by Aus78Formula: http://www.78ta.com/HTAF/index.php?topic=41799.msg427726#msg427726

The wheel has a 5.125″ (5 1/18″ back spacing (previous generation had 4.875″ backspacing). If you want the original backspacing, all you have to do is buy a 1/4″ wheel spacer. You may find that a 1/8″ or 3/16″ wheel spacer is all you really need.

The hub hat diameter of these wheels 72.6mm (or 72.56mm). Factory hub is 70.3mm, so if you want to be 100% sure your wheels are centered you can get hub centric rings for that.