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Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
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Sammy.Bear

New and have a lot of questions.

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Hello my name is Sam and I am 14 yrs old. I loved Pontiac since the day my dad showed me his 65 GTO project when I was 4. Now I am 14 and we still have not made a dent on the GTO. That is not the purpose of this thread though. Since I will be turning 16 in 2 yrs I have been thinking of what I want to do with my life and decided I want to be a Performance Shop Mechanic. But that is also not the point. The point is the car I want. A 1971 Le Mans Sport. I want to know if any of you know about this certain automobile. Defects? Recalls? And maybe some modifications that could bring performance on a minimum wage budget. Thanks a lot if you read this thread.

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:welcomeFP:

@Frosty will be your best friend. He owns a 1972 LeMans Vert named Lucy: https://foreverpontiac.com/collections/item/51-pontiac-lemans-sport-convertible/

 

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welcome to FP!

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IndymanJoe will be happy to jump in the Lemans ring as well.

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Recalls from then might not be well documented.  As for defects  there are a few with the A bodied GMs that are fairly common.  Where do you live and where are you going to get the car?  Rust will be an issue with the frame and cracking around the torque boxes in the body and soft truck frame support will be an issue.   Simple things will be 4 barrell carb, performance intake and cam.  Trans that is in good shape.  If you are into the smaller cubic inch engines then avoid the th400 and stick with the th350.  The basic rear end for that car should be the corporate 10 bolt with an 8.5" rear end and those are good for probably about 450 hp so no need to go nuts with it.  I would just look for the ones with a 3.08 and avoid the 2.73 ratios as the 3.08 will give you a little more gitty up out of the whole.

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Sammy - Welcome to the Pontiac forum !! There are alot of guys with killer knowledge here. Whether you're taking one back to bone stock or with performance mods

the guys here are very knowledgeable and can help you out big time. Remember, it's better to ask a question before spending funds on a wrong part than spending it

on the correct part. And you can learn how to do things the right way which will save you some time and aggravation. Again Welcome to FPI

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Yep ... nobody's ever been chased outta here for asking questions. Laughed at? All the time ... but only in a friendly, "we've all been there" way. I'll throw in my two bits ... first jobs. Whenever you acquire a new vehicle ... classic or modern.

Take a pry bar and give a yank on all the suspension components. Ball joints, tie rod ends, shocks, springs, hubs ... If it's between the rubber and the body, try and pry it apart. Anything that gives at all ... even the slightest .. replace it. Don't worry about breaking anything .... you simply cannot exert anything like the forces those parts take going around a corner. If you actually break something doing this ... make it your first piece of 'Garage Art' .... and thank whatever you love that you found it this way and not while doing 65 on the interstate.

Then brakes. While you've got it up yanking on the suspension parts, give the brakes an eyeball. In fact, before you start the suspension check, fire the motor, and HAMMER the brake pedal down a few times. Try and put it through the floor. Pull the drums and check for moisture anywhere in there ....shouldn't be any. Don't breath that dust btw ... ain't good for growing boys. Check the brake lines from the master cylinder in the front all the way back. Pay particular attention to where it clamps to the frame. Those clamps collect road crap and dirt, and hold moisture against the metal line. If it's gonna fail, it'll fail there. Try your hardest to break something ... believe me ... you don't want it to fail as you're coming up behind a stopped school bus. Fail it now if you can. Brake lines don't cost much ... particularly when compared to hospital bills.

Then pull the fuel filter. They're really cheap ... but nobody changes the damn things. Pay attention to the little washer that goes on the housing tip. Make sure your replacement filter comes with a new washer. The last few I picked up didn't.

 

Do we need to tell you to NEVER get under a car unless it's securely supported on GOOD jackstands? No cinderblocks, no stack of old tires, and never, ever get under a car only held up by a jack. Ask for a set of your own for Christmas.


BTW, go get your Dad to join so we can bust his nuts and get him moving on his project. We've all been at that stage too. Life takes priority ... but a project that hasn't moved in 10 years is a bad sign. A person NEEDS to take some ME time or they go crazy. I know. That's why I drag my oversized rear end (the car's oversized rear end too) 10 hours down the road to spend the weekend sucking exhaust fumes with a bunch of the guys from here at least once every 2 years.

 

Regardless, Sam, Welcome to the brotherhood.

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