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mrmike

1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA Rebuild

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I found this long forgotten Firebird GTA that is in dire need of a rebuild...or I just needed another distraction.  LOL  This I believe was the High Performance Series kit since the Buick V-6 engine is wired and plumbed and I didn't do that unless the necessary parts were in the kit.   Anyway, this Firebird GTA will be blown apart, rechromed, repainted, and rebuilt.  This is probably another one of those models that I originally built in a weekend.  Once I take the model apart, everything will be washed, inventoried, and refinished.  The wheel rims will need to be rechromed.  I never painted the model, but I did clearcoat it with enamel clearcoat which has yellowed over time.  I always thought the Firebird GTA looked great in white, but I may paint it another color. 

More to come...

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Edited by mrmike

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Hi Mike, I'll be following your progress on this. I have the Monogram 1/24 scale "20th Anniversary TransAm" kit which looks pretty much the same. I bought it used, stripped of paint, but other than that, with a lot less work to do on it than you'll have with yours... 

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Hi Thomas!  I believe both kits are basically the same, except mine came with ignition wires to be installed.  I'll just wash the body and interior, then paint the body white and clean and re-paint everything else.  Thanks!

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I washed the parts of my '89 Firebird GTA this morning.  As you can see, the enamel clearcoat has yellowed over time.  Don Yost says that enamel clearcoat won't yellow so what is his method of adding enamel clearcoat?  When this is dry, I'll paint the body parts with primer and then with white paint.  I'll have to dig through my paints and pick out a white paint for the GTA.

More to come...

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I've got the body in a stripper solution of Easy Off.  Once I get the old clear off, I can prime and paint.

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I was finally able to get some Easy-Off Oven Cleaner since the can I had was still half full, but didn't want to spray anymore.  This is a second coat of the Oven Cleaner and then I'll wash it all in a few days.

More to come...

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One of my all time favorite cars!  Will follow with interest.

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Thanks Ismael!  I decided to leave the parts and body swimming in Easy-Off for another day.  I'll try to wash the Firebird tomorrow.

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Very interesting build for me, as I owned a similar 92 Formula drag car. 

I will be following. 

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Thanks Tom!

I got the Firebird out of the Easy-Off Oven Cleaner the other day and washed it off with Dawn dish detergent and a scrub brush.  I set them aside to dry and forgot about them until a short while ago.  I grabbed a can of Model Master Classic White Lacquer and sprayed the body and hood.  They appear to have turned out very nicely.  I always start by painting the bottom of the hood first.  When that is dry, I'll flip it over and spray the top.  As usual, I forgot to put something in the Oven Cleaner.  Something being the front nose and the side mirrors.  

More to come...

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I have this kit unbuilt need to get on it soon after I clear up some builds. 

Nice save. 

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Thank you Vince!  I have left this in the paintbooth to really dry good, then I'll start detailing and rebuilding it.

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Posted (edited)

Had a real GTA was a real fun car till someone else needed it worse than me. 

Wonder where that car ever ended up police never did find it. 

Mine was Black with black &gold interior and gold trim/badging/rims.

Bought it with money from an auto accident settlement miss that car. 

 

Edited by NothingAsFineAsaW9

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Yes I also have one in my rebuild pile. built years ago. love this kit

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Looking good!   That car looks really good in white.

Many years ago I was told to add a small drop of blue into white enamel to prevent yellowing.  Maybe it works on clear as well.  Of course that means airbrushing since you can't do that with a spray can.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Vince, Andre and Ismael!

What you see here is a hole cut into the console for an automatic shifter.  The kit is set up for a manual shifter and the engine has a automatic transmission attached to it.  I cut out a rectangle piece of styrene for the shifter plate.  The shifter plate is nearly complete and it just needs to painted, decaled and installed.  Here's the completed shifter plate installed in the center console.

More to come...

 

 

 

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Edited by mrmike

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Nice catch,  and scratched part for the console. 

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Thanks Vince!

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I just got the last of the parts out of the Easy-Off Oven Cleaner and gave them a good washing with a scrub brush and Dawn Dish Detergent.  The nose.  The rear view mirrors.  The transmission pan which was chrome plated.  When this is dry, I'll give a squirt of primer and then a good dosing of Model Master Classic White Lacquer and the transmission pan a good coating of Model Master Aluminium Metalizer.

More to come...

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Back in the early 2000's when I was still in the Air Force, I had an Airman working for me that had a Trans Am GTA or W30(I think). It looked just like this, I think it was an 89. We spent a whole weekend installing a bunk of performance parts including new headers and a cat back, pulleys and all kinds of stuff. When we got done it was pretty quick for what it was.  It was in near perfect condition, white,leather, etc. Beautiful car.

The following Tuesday (2 days later) he was late to work. Some moron in a pickup ran a red light and ripped the front end right off the car. Totaled it.  I ended up selling him a 4 door Dodge Aspen that looked like it was a former Government car so he would have some wheels. I felt bad for him, the TA was a really nice car and it would be worth a little bit today as it was a low production optioned car.

This one that you are doing is the twin to that car, brings back memories. I look forward to seeing it done.  It looked like this:

 

 

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Thanks Scott!  It's always nice to find something that reminds us of our past.

Yesyerday, I spent some time on the Firebird GTA by reassembling the chassis.  The interior is done with the revised center console. and repainted interior.  The body has been repainted and reassembled.

More to come...

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Coming along nicely!,great work on redoing the console:).

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Thanks Curtis!

I started reassembling the Firebird today.

More to come...

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Oh yes that's coming together nicely MrMike 

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Thanks Vince!

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