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1998 Trans Am Rebuild (Warning Pic Heavy)


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I started off with two cars. The first one was a running and driving 1998 trans am. It had several go fast goodies, such as, ls6 intake, huge cam (don't know the specs), built 4l60, 9 inch w/4.11s, and suspension goodies. The previous owner wrecked the car beyond repair. The floor is wrinkled and the left frame rail is kinked. The second car is a complete shell minus some misc interior pieces and suspension. The goal is to build the roller using everything from the wrecked car. In the process of this, we are reprinting every little piece or bolt to make it look brand new. 
The old car.
Exhaust Video
We started off by painting the engine bay of the roller. We decided on sonic blue as the color. 
Next we swapped everything on the core support over to the roller.
The nest weekend we swapped rear ends. This is usually an easy task, but like I said I wanted to clean everything up. 
Had to add a little flair... So we painted the springs and sway bar. Springs are already replaced with lowering springs.f5a1db731033d2b1b62a5cf7a4187da8.jpg
This was the reason of the death of the wrecked car. 
Apparently he went through a culvert, and I'm assuming the torque arm mount caught something and bent the floor and bracket. 
After we swapped rear ends, the motor had to come out of the wrecked car. This was the first time my father and I pulled a ls1. We had it out in about 3-4 hours.
Once the motor was out, we found out the "little" fire that had happened after the accident was much worse than what we had thought. 
Fast forward a couple weekends, we swapped the interiors over. Before we laid the carpet down I had to make a patch panel for the 6 speed hole. I also drilled the a4 shifter bracket out of the wrecked car and transferred it to the roller. I put seam sealer between the patch panel and the floor. I made it removable just in case I want to do a t56 swap later down the road.
Me laying down base
Then came the dash swap.... I don't think I will ever do a dash again!
A sign of relief was seeing the dash lit up.
95% complete. 
On the dashi wanted to something different, but not ricey lol. I decided to paint the ac vent surround body color. 
The interior isn't in perfect shape, but I rather spend money on the engine/suspension first.
My dad and I then painted the intake. When the car caught fire, the intake melted some. 
Since I'm trying to put the car back together as cheaply as possible (remember I'm on a college budget) my dad took a grinder to the melted part of the intake. 
After he did this, I Thoroughly inspected the last two runners for any cracks, holes, distortion, etc. The runners were perfectly smooth on the inside. Next my dad smoothed the whole intake out. 
Add some sealer, base, and clear, a voila a chiny intake.

Then I did something I never wanted to do, I sold my Tbss.
Fast forward a couple of weekends, I pulled the k-member and broke it down. Cleaned everything up and painted it with Por-15. Cleaned both sets of calipers up. One set I mounted on the car, the other set I broke down for powder coating. I also pulled the motor and trans off of the old k-member and started to clean all the gunk off of it and got it pretty much ready for paint. 
Threw the bumper on just to see what it's going to look like.
Up she goes.
Old nasty front suspension.
Cleaned and painted. Don't mind the sway bar, that will get painted.
Looking all purdy.
I don't have an engine hoist, so I had to improvise. 
I ordered all new gaskets, knock sensors, knock sensor harness, plugs, plug wires, balancer, balancer bolt, ARP intake bolts, cam position sensor, injectors, harness, and a few other misc items. I'm also getting the headers coated at polydyn located here in Houston. It's crazy how fast all the little stuff adds up.
Then last weekend. I painted the motor, and reassembled some of it. Put new knock sensors and harness, oil pressure sensor, cam position sensor, map sensor, plugs, wires, gaskets, and injectors. Pushing to have the motor installed by next weekend. 

That's were it sits today. Once the motor is installed, then comes the fun part, PAINT!
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Thanks for the compliments. My father and I are doing 100% of the work ourselves, except for painting it. He does the body work and I do all the mechanical.


Love those cars. Wish I knew all the ins and outs of a car like that too!!


I remember when I first looked at the project I didn't know how I was going to pull it off. There is how to's all over the internet. When I can't figure something out, Google is my friend.


Great project and glad to see you're doing everything the right way the first around. Did I spy an extreme green snapon box in there?


Do you mean the extreme green snap on work bench? Just kidding, it's actually one of my dad's employee's tool box.



nice job, cant wait to see the finished product. nice work area too!!


Thanks! I'm very fortunate that I have access to the shop. Without it, I don't think I would have take on the project.



nice. i love the the blue.  i spy some gto wheels on the wrecked car

Yes, the wheels came on the roller. They were in really rough shape, so I ended up selling them. The guy I bought the car from bought the replica c6z wheels that are 17,18s. I'm going to upgrade to a set that are 18,19x12, and run a 305 or 315 in the rear.
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Man, what I would do if I had access to a shop like that...


Very cool project you have going on there. I look forward to seeing it progress. :2thumbs:

Beautiful work so far. Wish I had a shop like that to work in.

You are doing it right


Pontiac excitement! Looking forward to the next posts

Thanks! The shop is great, but being as big as it is can be a pain sometimes. When you forget something on the other side of the shop, it' gets tiring walking back and forth 100 times a day. Plus it is a body shop so everything gets dusty and overspray is bad. Unfortunately the whole engine bay has a bad case of overspray.



Very cool... sub'd for updates.



Thanks Dylan!

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Little update.


Pulled k-member out of the car and set the motor on it. Bolted some ofthe assesories back on the motor. Now I just have to retourque the intake, intstall headers for good, attach tranny to motor, install wiring harness, and button up a few other ods and ends. Then stab it into the car.





Edited by southtexasplayn
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Another update. Got the motor in this weekend. Went to start it and had fuel pump was junk. Spent several hours trying to swap it out. I promised myself I will never do that again. I think it was easier to stab the motor than swap fuel pumps. After I got the new pump in, went to start it. It started for about 10 seconds then spewed gas all over the floor. At this point I just gave up, and pushed the car back into the corner.


Going in.




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After fighting with a broken fuel line, it finally decided to start up. I still have a lot of buttoning up to do before paint, bt this gave me a lot of motivation to speed up the project. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Little update. Started the bodywork, which I absolutely hate (reason why progress has been slow.) Drove it for the first time across the shop. Had no brakes, so that was interesting. I have been fighting several small issues, ABS module, harmonic balancer, and some other stuff. Progress should pick up substantially because the fall semester is over. I will actually have time to work on it.  On to the pictures.








Balancer issue.



Had to mock up the rear HRE



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  • 1 month later...

Haven't posted in awhile, progress has been super slow. However, many of things have happened since my last post. At this point the main body parts are painted. 


The car had many spots where body work was needed. The passenger quarter panel needed a large amount due to a previous wreck. 




Then came time for primer. He shot 6 heavy coats on, which was mostly all sanded down. After it was primed we let it sit for 10 days to let it cure. 






In the meantime I found a problem with the rear end. When the old car was wrecked, it took a nasty blow to to right rear wheel. Upon inspection, I saw gear oil leaking out of the backing plate. I figured the axle seal was toast. I pulled the axle out, and ball bearings fell out of the axle housing. Took the axle to the differential shop, and its bent. Went ahead and ordered a new one. I still need to take the axle housing to have it checked and reassembled. 


This was the bearing. Its not supposed to look like this.



In this picture you can see the dimples the bearings made in the axle housing. Also not the gaping hole in the backing plate.




Then came time to block sand the whole car again. The black streaks are guide coat. Its sprayed on in order to see high/low spots and sand scratches. 









While this was happening, I was getting impatient, so I painted the bottom of the hood myself. It didnt come out perfect, but at least I can say I painted it myself.





After we blocked the whole car, I wet sanded the entire thing with 800 grit and disassembled it completely. 


In this picture, it was ready for paint.




All masked off.






I didn't get very many pictures of the painting process, but here are the few I got.






Final product





The paint came out excellent. Unfortunately I havent been able to take many pictures, or even roll it outside to see what it looks like in the sun (due to no rear end). throughout the week it will get a good cut and buff to really slick it out. I'm planning on reassembling some of it this weekend.  

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