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Old 10-08-2012, 11:37 PM
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1981 Turbo Trans Am

Hello!
I'm new to this forum but I have been paying for storage for my first car for 20 years now. I am reluctant to let it go,I always dreamed of one day when I could restore it and drive it again. Now I have two teenagers coming into driving age and I want to give it to one of them if they want it. Deep inside I want to drive it! Where do I start? She has all the original wheels t-tops and bird on hood. White with gold. She was a looker until the turbo gave out going up a grade. Or maybe it was the carburetor. I never got an answer. I was just given keys to something else without power so I would not get any more speeding tickets.But I worked to keep my baby in storage when one day I could bring her back to life.
Any suggestions?

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Old 10-09-2012, 07:57 AM
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Welcome!

To bring it back to life, you'll need a place to work on it. These cars are starting to be worth some money in restored or original condition. At some point, you'll have to evaluate the car in sections and decide what you want to do. Is the paint good enough to keep (they're only 'original' once), floorpans, body panels, date coded glass, interior, engine, cooling system, brakes, suspension. Most of these will take basic handtools and perhaps a little welding.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TA4LEGS View Post
Hello!
I'm new to this forum but I have been paying for storage for my first car for 20 years now. I am reluctant to let it go,I always dreamed of one day when I could restore it and drive it again. Now I have two teenagers coming into driving age and I want to give it to one of them if they want it. Deep inside I want to drive it! Where do I start? She has all the original wheels t-tops and bird on hood. White with gold. She was a looker until the turbo gave out going up a grade. Or maybe it was the carburetor. I never got an answer. I was just given keys to something else without power so I would not get any more speeding tickets.But I worked to keep my baby in storage when one day I could bring her back to life.
Any suggestions?
The '81 is a bit more complicated because it has a Computer Command Control (or "CCC") emissions computer, but overall it's a relatively easy car to diagnose and repair. The carb is an electronic Quadrajet, so there are plenty of parts and info available for it- and it'll need to be freshened up after sitting for so long. One good thing is, it sat w/gas in it that didn't have alcohol.

If originality is important, the 301 Pontiac engine can be rebuilt, no prob- there are still good parts availability for it. But there's relatively little performance parts for the 301 because it differs quite a bit from the traditional Pontiac V8s. The turbo version has more of a following so that will work in your favor if you keep the 301.

If the 301 turbo isn't a priority to you, any of the traditional Pontiac engines can replace it. But I'd do some careful research before yanking the 301 turbo- there may be more resale value by keeping the car original and intact.

As far as getting it running again, use fresh fuel after draining the tank, then see if it has spark. From there you can go about doing what it needs. Obviously you'll want to change the fuel filter and give it an oil change. Checking the vacuum hoses will be a necessity as well- they will almost surely be dried out and ready to break if they haven't already.
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