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Pontiac of the Month

Pedja's 1968 Firebird

2019 March
of the Month

Last Indian

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Last Indian last won the day on April 15

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About Last Indian

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    Experience comes with Posts
  • Birthday 11/08/1951

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  • Location
    Northeast Ohio
  • Interests
    Pretty much anything in motion, architectural design & work, sports, space & and why humans fail to learn from clear & obviously results of past generations!

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    Grand Prix
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    Dark Navy Blue

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  1. Ok, finished product. The first picture is that of the rear deck lid emblem! This second picture is of the flat non-3D Indian head. This is attached to the under hood fuse block panels cover.
  2. Two lane, finally got the specs! See attachments. if you need me to scan them and put them into a pdf let me know!
  3. This section will pertain to a functional assembly, the top bearing assembly for MacPherson struts. This assembly is actually one of the many weak links of this system. Why? Well first off the load pieces, (the races) are plastic! As are the lower spring perch part that carries the lower race & the upper locator part that carriers the upper race and locates the assembly on the rubber strut isolator bushing. Secondly for the multi faceted purpose they serve, the ball bearings are almost always to small! This type of bearing is a thrust bearing, but they actually carry as much lateral shear force as they do thrust! Which means they actually need to perform as both a thrust & an axial bearing So these to a lesser degree than the lower control arm of this system, but still enough, contribute to poor handling at best & at worst, torque steer, which can get you in serious trouble! So I set out to remedy that & make my own setup. To do so I started with the perimeters that I wanted the car to perform to. Car weight, down force in g’s, lateral force in g’s & weight transfer, moment of inertia, CG & RC, stack up height, O.D. size & durability. Plus the bearing also had to be capable of handling both thrust & axial loads. This led me to an industrial thrust bearing, an NSK 51118. The NSK 51118 off of Amazon cost $87 each, you can buy a complete Monroe quick strut for $84 & the quick strut is the strut, spring and all the bearing components, JustA put it in and done. This is the stock strut bearing, plastic races with uncaged 1/8 diameter ball bearings. This is the NSK 51118 bearing. High grade hardened steel races, caged 5/16 diameter ball bearings. Above is the machined aluminum housing to retain the lower bearing race, which also has the spring isolator on the bottom side. Below is the aluminum housing by itself. This is a lathe machined part. Below is the upper race shield that retains the upper race & shields the bearing from debris and water. Below is the assembly, as you can see the bearing is quite well protected. Where as the OEM is a much more open assembly which allows a greater amount of water & debris in. All of these parts can be made on a lathe or you can always take your specs to a shop and have them made!
  4. Well back to the head! First I’m going to cut in the 3D face detail that will give the high cheekbone look as well as the eye, nose, mouth & jaw detail. Then I’ll cut in the head side feathers to be inset in copper. machining in the face/jaw detail Adding head feathers Next up, finish and polish!
  5. Two Lane, I’m not sure you’re aware, but I’m retired. So I still go into work here and there. That said, I called my buddy there since when I was in last week the server was down as I had said. I asked him to lookup the specs, if the server was back up. He did, and says there’s no difference in any of the models from “95” up in that gen. He did print it out as well! I’m due to go in Wednesday so I’ll pick up the specs then, copy them and attach them here then.
  6. You guys are hilarious! Detailing the feathers is very painstaking & tedious! This takes a strong grip and durable fingers. If you haven’t done this kind of work before, be aware there will be some discomfort during, but mostly after! Here you will see the center quill line (hollow shaft (calamus), be carved in using the three corner file I showed earlier. This file, if you noticed is ground into a three corner point. The cutting tool acts as a shaping tool, cutting metal like an shaping machine, only by hand. Then you will see the individual (barb) of the feather be carved in, as well as the detail to the Mohawk style headdress on top. notice the now rounded neck. Notice the upper feathers have been detailed with the quill line as well as the barb. The lower feathers have only been detailed with the quill so far.
  7. Now I’ll start to turn this emblem into more of a 3 dimensional one by machining the body headdress & feathers into separate layers. Adding this dimension should give a greater differentiation of look to the body versus the head. Again this work requires a mill. It would be very difficult to accomplish this look any other way. Still the previous page of a non inset head use a flat body! Next up, detailing the feathers & the rest of the body!
  8. Thanks Joe! Great job you’re doing with the install of the rear axle! Should make a nice improvement for you!
  9. Once the body is machined for the inset of the head I need to finish it by refining the fit by picking & smoothing the inner lip of the body & refining the profile of the head. This is to make as homogeneous, seemingly one piece emblem as I can. These two three sided files do a large amount of my detail work. These are what I used to pick and smooth the inner lip of the body. I also use them to carve, cut & a multitude of other detail, like cutting in the feathers on the body, which you will see a little later.
  10. Hey buddy, you are to kind, no secret, JustA old school! Here is an example of the emblem without insetting the head. You’ll need to drill clearance holes in the body while drill & tapping the head. Countersink the clearance holes & use countersink screws. This will attach the head to the body, securing it in place. This same method is use for the inset head as well.
  11. Now I need to cut out these pieces. For that you’ll need preferably a band saw, but you could use a hacksaw. If you like you can even build your own bandsaw as I did. It’s relatively cheap and quite easy. In either case you will need to cut larger than the line so they can be shaped and sized. This will be done with good old fashion files. A good assortment of files from large bastard files to tiny jewel maker files should always be part of your tool catalog. This is just a sample of my files, I have over 200 files for every size shape and configuration. You will also need a card file for cleaning your files. Once your parts are cut out it’s time to start shaping and detailing them. Once I have the basic shape filed into the body I need to machine the area where the head will be inserted. The purpose of this work is to start giving this emblem more of a 3D look when finished as well as more of an old style emblem. This work needs a mill and there’s really no other way to do it, but You don’t have to inset the head you can simply set it on top of the body and attach it, as I will show in the next segment.
  12. Recently I made some car pieces for a friend, which in turn got me thinking about how I might kill two birds with one stone. That being a new emblem design to replace one of the emblems on the deck lid of “The Indian” and a way in which Ringo’s how to forum might peak the interest for some FP folks on how to do this type of work, as they might otherwise never look any further! Some of this takes equipment, but sometimes there’s more than one way to skin a cat as they say. So where alternatives can be used I will explain and suggest what alternatives could be used. So here we go! As I have stated before, having owned a “69” Z for 35 years, I wanted to create that muscle mentality in a modern day FWD. So “The Last Indian” was a concept of mine to be a modern day throwback to the Muscle Car days. It’s coke bottle shape and other attributes lent some credence to this effort, at least to me. So the car not only needed to act the part, but look the part inside and out. So in a effort to tweak things, including aesthetics, I continue to refine things. You can see some of these changes on the progression page, but in these pages modifications or creations, and how that might be done across any style is the goal! The original deck lid Indian head emblem I made was a little more old style, but the more I looked at it the less I cared for it, as I felt it didn’t really go with the other trunk emblems or have the punch I was looking for. So I made a new one and I liked it, but again as time has gone on I’ve come to feel it has too much of a modern flare. So again I searched for that right look! I feel I may have found it, but time will tell. So to this effort I will use this as the how to subject. Also I will include a build of a functional part I did for the suspension to relay what might be needed for that type of work as well. 1. Is to conceive your concept whatever it is, emblem, aesthetic, functional etc… If need be make a sketch to give you a visual of your project. Or get a picture that you’ve seen that has inspired your idea. 2. Measure out the area where the part is to go to again determine if there’s room and that it will make since for what you want to accomplish. Or in the case of replacing a functional part make sure you have the correct material & very accurate measurements, even if you’re changing the design there will most likely be dimensions and constraints from the existing part to consider. 3. When you have determined 1&2 are good you now need to gather your materials & tools! Then start to lay a plan as to how to proceed. So here I’m starting the new design of my Indian Head emblem! The material is 6160 aluminum. The head is 1/2“ thick, but the body, see below in the third picture, is 1/2” thick, then machined down to 7/16 thick. new design head 1/2 “ 6160 aluminum Below is the original Indian head. New design body 7/16” aluminum 6160 Below is what was the current Indian head.
  13. Well I thought I would be able to get into All Data at work today, but there’s a problem with the server. So as soon as I can I’ll get the specs and relay them to you. When you are done downloading this I will delete it. 1997_pontiac_firebird_owners.pdf
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