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Old 03-13-2012, 06:39 PM
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1978 Pontiac Trans Am, non-mechanical restoration help

Hi I am restoring a 1978 Pontiac Trans am, it is NOT a special edition. I would like, and would very much appreciate, detailed help on restoring this classic to its former beauty . For starters, pretty much much all of the floor pans are rusted through, holes around edges and weak everywhere else, where would I find replacements? How hard are they to fix? Trunk pan is the same way.

The upholstery needs to be completely redone just started tearing carpet out tonight (and tore the headliner out, which rewarded me with a very large amount of dead bees dumped on top of me), in this I have zero experience, should I leave it to a professional or is it something I could attempt my self?

I need some small things, such as the power window switches for the center counsel, a new dash, or tips on reupholstering it, door panels, new seat belts (the whole assembly), and a new radio that preferably looks original but has a tape player at least.

The exterior, minimal rocker rust, BUT the wheel wells are pretty bad, how would I go about fixing this? I will need the wheel flares, where might I find them cheap? Do they still make the Solar Gold paint?

There are others but i feel I am throwing to much at once, so whoever has the patience to help, would be greatly appreciated.

I will try to get some pictures of the interior and post them if needed.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:25 AM
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Your best friend at this time will be our knowledge base. At the top of the forum page is a wiki link, at the bottom where it says "More" is the crankshaft Coalition, a wiki type base also. Lots and lots of knowledge, tips, how to's, etc. http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...egory:Interior
Some fatherly advice:
Decide which projects you can do and which projects you can't do. We have great members that can help but these guys are busy and will expect you to do some digging on your own in the knowledge base. Ask questions after some searching.
Do you need this car as a daily driver? Projects usually take a whole lot longer than one would expect, especially for a rookie. Plan accordingly.
Money, time, experience, research costs, plan ahead. There is nothing more discouraging to a builder than being stuck for the lack of money, time, or experience, the job may be a lot tougher, costlier or time consuming than you expect. Many projects never get finished for this reason.
Read the E-Book Cboy wrote, it's at the end of the links at the top of the forum page. He shows how to do most everything you need to know.
There's a buttload of suppliers for your car. I would pick the closest one to you (for shipping costs) and go for it. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=...w=1280&bih=626
Order up some floor pans, read on the best way to install them, if you can't weld, find a buddy that can. Do the dirty work and let him use his expertise to do the technical work. Buy him a six pack or a gift cert. This way maybe he will weld the patches in the wheel wells hen you need them.
Keep us posted with your progress. Responding to what has helped, progress reports, etc., is what keeps these guys helping out when the questions are asked. We like seeing how progress goes with the projects. I am moving this to basics, you'll get more responses there. Dan
"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:35 AM
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First thing I woudl recommend is that you get your hands on a factory assembly manual. You can order one or download one online.

As for floorpans, flares, interior parts, repro parts, etc...you can order almost everything that '79 would need from different companies like Classic Industries, Year One, Performance Years, etc. Ebay and Craigslist are good resources to find parts as well.

Here is a link to a website forum dedicated to 2nd generation Trans Ams....TONS of good restoration info and helpful folks online there...


Good luck and and have fun!

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