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Pontiac of the Month

Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
of the Month

Last Indian

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Everything posted by Last Indian

  1. At the bottom area of the front cover there is a lot of work to be done. Other than the 6 push pin fasteners on the top side of the lower air inlets, there are no other retaining fasteners except at the inner fenders. Since there is really no convenient way to use any other type of hardware in place of those 6 push pins, due to the hole size in both the cover and the lower air dam, I decided to go an other way. I also feel that this choice works better in helping to tie the entire front nose area together better, this includes, reinforcing the lower air dam, a bit of a modification to the Inner fenders and front cover! So what I did was this; first I cut an 1/8” piece of aluminum to fit the back part of the lower air dam to take the warpage out of it that occurs over time due to a poor design, heat and the thickness of the plastic. I contour the ends of the aluminum plate to match the air dam and attach it using 3/16 aluminum pop rivets. This is a picture from a new front cover I’m working on for an other project, but you can see how large the push pin holes are and the holes in the lower air dam that mates to it are just as large. Below is a picture of the lower air dam that has been reinforced with the aluminum plate. This stiffens and straightens the defector portion of the lower air dam making it more effective at its function. I will update with more info soon.
  2. So, is it fair to say you have a couple of hummers in your house and one person who whistles while he works? 😁 while you all have to traverse here and there to get to the right car? Cougrats buddy or I guess I should say to your wife, you’re just the guy who gets to take care of it.
  3. Really glad to see you win Stratman! Well deserved, beautiful car! Congratulations to all who won!
  4. Thanks buddy! One step closer to that 70 1/2 mark so Uncle Sam can start getting his tax money back 😬!
  5. Exterior panel stabilization, securing & attachment improvements that will help quiet them. If you own a Pontiac from the early 1990s through 2009, then you may have noticed that because of how a lot of the panels were made and attached, there can be that creak or crack when you push on a panel like a front bumper cover or rear cover, etc., but these improvements will also help to improve driving characteristics; yes really! The old cars were not and are not like that! Why? Because they bolted together solid, panel to panel, not with plastic push pins that go in a hole almost half again as big as the pin O.D… Well you can have that same solid non noisy panel setup as the old Skool classics have and had. Why would this improve driving characteristics? Well when panels aren’t stable they negatively impact air movement aka air foil characteristics. This may seem irrelevant at 35mph, but not at 50mph! There is a reason NASCAR as well as well as some of the car industry spends millions of dollars on aerodynamic research, wind tunnels and the like! Still for me, when you build a car, you build a car! You build as a a complete assembly, too be as perfect as you can make it, for every instance and every situation! I may be anal, ok I am, but if I was paying to have a car built, this is what I would want, so why should I not do it for myself?! Really! A very simple example is the vertical edge in the engine compartment where the outer and inner fender are spot welded together (see pic)! While there is no value other than aesthetics in this case this is just a case of a little effort to make an improvement and remove an edge that can get beat up easily and inflict some damage to knuckles or the like. So to the details, again I will use my 2000 Grand Prix for example purposes. First the front end. I’ll start with the bumper support, this piece attaches to the lower hood latch and supports the upper area of the bumper cover with two push pins and one small screw/washer, but also attaches to the steel brace/bracket that the headlights attach. This where I make an adjustment to effect the height of the bumper cover height gap to the hood. I do this by retapping the hole from 6mm x 1.25mm to ¼ x 20 thd… and then placing stainless steel washers between the bumper support and the steel headlight bracket with a SS ¼-20 buttonhead screw through the middle of the washers. This piece also has the ability to be adjusted to some degree at the bumper cover attachment area itself. This includes the fact that it interfaces with the two air ducts for radiator cooling that locate it vertically on molded post of those ducts. These could be shortened or raised by the addition of a spacer if need be. This will in turn changes the gap between the upper lip of the cover and the hood. Likewise the two headlight brackets need to be fixed, as they are not attach properly as a support structure. They allow for to much movement and vibration as they come from the OEM. There are two places I will show to attach these brackets to the core support to make them solid like they should be. This structure with its long span between the factory attachment points at each end of the bracket needs to be made ridged. The two outer holes of the bumper support that interface with the bumper cover will not use the push pin fasteners. Instead it will change to SS ¼-20 buttonhead screws with a SS washer and nut on the underside. This now holds the upper bumper cover tight to the support so there is no movement or flex. the two pictures above show the vertical edge fix. this top portion area fix is the easy part! The bottom side gets much more involved, that will be the next segment.
  6. Looking really sharpe Mike! Really starting to take shape.
  7. I believe by 86 accessory was not backwards, but forward, but before start/run.
  8. Good catch Frosty! I forgot about that setup! That was a somewhat short lived technology I never really got into. Kind of like fiber optics, which i did do a lot of work on, is a great idea, but the level of precision and maintenance is too encompassing!
  9. Welcome to FP! How many miles? No codes I presume? Not knowing the miles or if there are any codes, it is possible that there’s an injector issue or an IAC valve issue.
  10. For me! 1. 1969 Firebird Trans Am convertible ( only 8 made ) 2. 1964 GTO 3. 1966 Grand Prix
  11. Thanks Ringo, gotta be a pain, especially this year with so many entries! But that’s a good thing for FP though 👍!
  12. Yup! No Indian, but Ringo will figure it out! Besides new blood in the calendar is a good thing!
  13. Lucky? Perhaps! I like to think it’s resilience sprinkled with as my daughter has always said Iron Man mentality! Or we could call it what it is; dumb luck!!
  14. Mine never swears, but she never is calm about it either, but she certainly always says “don’t do that again” like I will listen ! Not to take anything away from Notallthere! But, the grinder story I completely get, and I’ve never heard it! In 1988 when I built the full frame for my wife’s Z/28, I’ve posted pictures before, I had the subframe out in my backyard grinding it with a 9” 16 grit disc to get the whole thing down to bare steel to start welding in the back part of the frame I had built. Well while grinding around the shock/Aarm area I caught the edge of the upper weldment that the upper Aarm bolts to. This tore a PAC-man type chunk out of the disc and sense I had just replaced the disc and was 140 or so feet from the shop I thought what the heck, I’ll keep going! 5 seconds later I’m standing holding a grinder in one hand spinning at 3500 rpm out of balance, while looking at 4” long by 1” deep, laid wide open gash in my forearm. They told me I missed my tendons and the muscle by 1 millimeter. That said, no, I did not cleanup before I went to the ER. To top it off this is one of the safer mishaps I’ve had !
  15. Beautiful job! It’s gonna be killer! An LS is good, but say a ZL aluminum block would get some attention! Just make sure you buy stock in tires & gas!!
  16. Thanks my friend! Like pretty much everything else, it’s what’s underneath that counts! Or at least counts as much. Or the devil’s in the detail!
  17. For those folks who care, this is about how you might chose to quiet certain interior parts that tend to make noise because of improper material match as well as the way in which the OEMs started to build components. This is of a particular problem for the later generations of Pontiacs & cars in general, from about 1990 to 2009 for Pontiac. As these cars age and their materials age, they take compression set, dry out and become contaminated with all sorts of products and this problem only exacerbates with age! The fact is if you have a quiet riding car and your door panels, console, dash etc. make noise it’s annoying. There are also ways in which to make an already quiet vehicle even quieter! I will attempt to detail both. One problem with newer style components introduced by the OEMs from the late 80s to about 09 - 12, was basically the ability to make adjustments to components coupled with the fact that they didn’t isolate panels as they once did or there is no buffing of components, and if they have adjustments more often than not it requires bending something. Not unclamping moving and re-clamping to adjust a part. This along with the plastic fastener and no real outer perimeter clamping gives you panel movement, albeit minuscule, any can and does create that subtle noise that just irritates! I would explain how this was all handled so eloquently back in the day, but this isn’t the point of this subject. So I will start with the door panels and if this seems of interest to folks, I will move to other components that suffer from similar issues. Old skool OEM door panels were done in such a way that the interior panel was both isolated and locked into position. The isolation was done by using a waterproof treated paper that actually had a slippery surface on the panel side that interfaced the interior door panel. Plus the attaching inserts bayoneted into a plastic plug that actually stood the panel out slightly. The paper allowed minuscule movement while keeping things quiet as did the plastic inserts that were housed in the door frame. Additionally the top of the door panels actually clipped into brackets that served to secure the top of the panel as well as limit the movement of the glass when down. While at the arm rest and the bottom of the door were screws that clamped the door panel tight. The new style panels, late “80s” to about “12” have none of these. They take a formed plastic panel and at best wrap it in a fabric of some kind and fit it to painted steel that gives a coefficient of friction around .60 which is high enough to be sticky, but not sticky enough to stop movement, which can create a squeak type noise! They use nylon fasteners that don’t necessarily hold the panel tight enough to stop all movement and usually one or two screws at the pull handle only to secure the pull handle to the door for closing purposes. So the following is what I’ve done to place an Old Skool environment back into the new style design without changing the original look that the designer wanted. Isolation as well as a lock type environment needed to be returned as well as some needed sound deadening! The first thing like most projects is to gather materials! I wanted the thickest visqueen I could find! For me that was at a local fabric store, 32 mils, the heaviest felt, 100 mils, that I could find to use as a sound barrier. A lighter weight felt, 40 mils, for uses as a movement buffer and better fitting plastic panel push fasteners. Contact cement, Great Stuff expandable urethane foam, liquid nails Fuze*It and last, but not least, 3Ms multi use duct tape (black). My suggestion, to avoid breaking any of the push fastener stanchions, not the fastener itself, that are an integral part of the door panel itself, is to use a 1” putty knife that’s sharpened to shear the fasteners as opposed to just pulling on the panel. As most folks don’t have the proper tool to get under the panel and fastener itself, if you do, than use that. Remove any screws, than all wiring that is attach to the panel and than remove the panel carefully! Now you are ready to start cleanup. Cleanup what you determine is needed, that’s up to you, but remember dirt and grime are sheet metals enemy. My detailing will be of “97” – “03” Grand Prix so you will need to interpolate this to your vehicle. Now you can start to work on the door panels and making the pieces for the door interface to the door panel, visqueen and heavy felt, that will attach to the door. The door front panels have a heavy cotton pad/sheet adhered to it, remove this and set aside, you will reuse it. In the front panel at the bottom back part of the panel, where the red reflector/ light is, there is a very large hollow area. Your may choose to do what I did and fill this area with Great Stuff, see associated picture. You’ll need to build a wall around the reflector/ light to keep it isolated from the foam. Once you have applied the Great Stuff and it has cured, take a razor knife and cut away what is unneeded. This addition makes a marked difference in noise once all panels are finished with the additional work that needs done and reinstalled. If you have a 4 door, similar work is done to the rear panel with great stuff, but this is done more to adhere the existing styrofoam insert to the door panel itself. The purpose of this is that the styrofoam insert again moves within the door panel creating its own noise when it’s supposed to quiet things. Using great stuff adheres the styrofoam without attacking it and also fills gaps and adds additional noise reduction. Also in the back panel there is a second styrofoam insert above the lower one, this one is retained by a plastic plate that is held by 4 retaining nuts. In the same manner in which the lower one can make noise so does this one. This foam piece though I use a different adhesive. I use liquid nails Fuze*It, this makes a strong bond without attacking the styrofoam and with this insert we don’t need too fill gaps and we don’t want to cause the insert to be push outward, as great stuff tends to do. You should now have laid out and cut your visqueen and felt coverings for the doors from the OEM pieces. So since the doors are cleaned how you want them and the coverings are finished, it’s time to install them! This is where you’ll use the 3M multi use duct tape. Why this tape? Well when you use it you’ll understand, but the adhesion is next to none, which for this application is what you want. One reminder, don’t forget to make holes in both coverings for the screw holes for attaching the center of the panel. My advice is start at the top of the door with a few short pieces of tape, 3-4 inches long, on each end and in the middle. Making sure to align all the clearance holes for the plastic fasteners and screws properly. As you work through each covering, visqueen than felt do the entire perimeter in the 3M tape. Now with both coverings installed make sure all needed holes for screws and panel insert fasteners are clear as well as electrical pigtails have been brought through. Now we turn to the door panel and adding the thinner felt to the door panels. Newer panels fit directly against the painted door frame, unlike old style panel as explained previously, and they are held taunt via the plastic fasteners. The long term problem with this is as the panels lose elasticity, take a compression set and get a bit more tacky, due to overall contamination and age, they start to squeak as they oscillate on the painted door frame. I take a lightweight black felt about a yard and a half long and cut strips about 3/4- to 1” wide. This is so I can run a felt edge around the perimeter of the door panel. Once I have cut my strips, I take the contact cement and an acid brush and paint a bead of cement on the back border edge of the panel about as wide as the strips. After 10 minutes I paint a second coat and than I paint a single coat of cement on one side of the felt. After about 5 minutes I start to lay the felt in place, making sure the the felt sits just slightly outside the edge of the panel, once installed you will not see the edge of felt if done right, but you’re trying the ensure that the felt is the buffer between the panel and the door frame! Now to install the fasteners. In the case of the 2000 GP I used Balkamp fasteners, part# 665-1632 & 665-3465. These fit just a little tighter than the OEM part, which makes for a tighter hold to the door frame. The 665-1632 I use for the interior mounting stanchions that can’t be reached with a tool so they have to be pulled, aka the panel has to be pulled on, but for the perimeter I use the 665-3465 as they hold tighter. Well it’s time to install the panels! So make sure everything is as it needs to be because the last thing you want is to have to take the panel right back off. Check that all electrical is pulled through both coverings and where you want it. That all holes that needed cut have been done, that everything is taped. Make sure if you removed the inside window glass weather molding that bayonets to the steel edge is in place. below is a front panel showing the ear that houses the tweeter. This is a separate added piece that is just affixed by melting two plastic pins. In turn this piece move and can make noise. By glueing it with th fuze it product it becomes much more rigid. This is the door frame with the heavy visqueen installed Again this is a front panel. This is the heavy OEM cotton pad that you will remove and place aside when you apply the great stuff foam to fill the large void area, as you can see that’s been already done here. This is is a back panel. Notice the added great stuff to the styrofoam piece. Above that is the other pad you would use fuze it to glue to the panel to keep in quieter. This is the 100 mils felt Rear door covered with both the visqueen & felt. Lightweight black with a single coat of contact cement. Door panel with two coats of contact cement Lightweight black installed on door panel.
  18. I use Shell they use an LZ additive package, I attached a link, it will explain their fuel additive package, but it’s second to none. It has one detergent and a whole lot more. The detergent is just part of the package. Detergents in general do very little for valve deposits, coking in the plenum or manifold or soot that gets pushed into the oil. https://www.shell.us/motorist/shell-fuels/shell-nitrogen-enriched-gasolines.html I add the PEA in the summer every third tank full and the winter, obviously for my other cars not the Indian, ever other tank full. As I said before I use Regane by Gumout and if you watch the Zone puts it on sale, 2 for 1 every so often. P.S. I also use from time to time Sunoco 93 octane. They use Infineum’s fuel additive package which is also good.
  19. If you can buy repops as JustA says that’s the best. There is a chrome power coat, but it’s not nearly as good a PVD! If you have to redo what you have I would recommend the PVD, most chrome wheels today are the PVD process.
  20. 20 ga. for 86 would be right! Some of the old cars, 30s, 40s were 14 & 16ga & most of the newer ones are 22 & even 24ga, because the have more tin in the alloy. That said the issue is really more about what is the alloy of the aftermarket fender? Which you can’t know! That’s what makes the fender good or bad more so than the gage of steel.
  21. Well I thought I would share this, some may think otherwise, but this is fact as I have said in the past, this was one of my development projects for about 10 years. The Indian has 39,000 miles on it. Saturday I decided to change my cabin air filter in the Indian as well as the engine air filter among other things it’s been probably about 5 years since the last change, but I only average about 1000 miles a year on it since I retired, which will soon be 4 years. You’re going to see a picture of the throttle body. The TB has not been touched, cleaned or anything else since at least 2008 when I did the upper cylinder head work & plenum work! This thing is as clean & dry as can be, as if it were brand new & just installed! This is because I use only a high end premium gas, a PEA fuel cleaner and change my oil & filter at least every 3000 miles, but it’s actually more like every 2000 - 2500 miles.
  22. Well, now have both the new front cover and the Kaminari front lower air dam. I’ll be starting the mock-up of the new design soon, as the end of the season is upon us on the North coast!
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