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Possible nugget of gold or waste of time & $

This is a discussion on Possible nugget of gold or waste of time & $ within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I asked the question in AAG but have decided to move it here becasue I see this was going to ...

  1. #1
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    Possible nugget of gold or waste of time & $

    I asked the question in AAG but have decided to move it here becasue I see this was going to be a long thread and also to post some pics of TA.

    I'm having one of those moments of choosing between 2 of my life long dreams. I have one with is my 98 TA and the other has always been to get a 79 TA. I've came across a 79 T/A (hardtop) that is in surprisingly good shape as far as body goes compare to what I've been seeing. Comes with a 403 olds engine (broke down into individual parts, I must put together). The owner said he had to break it down because he broke a piston when the oil tube fell into the oil pan. Block isn't cracked and I didn't see any scaring of the cylinder walls.

    Now quagmire is to get this and make it a long term project (3-5 yrs) that eats into my 98 mod funds or kill my dream and just shelf it because second gens are becoming more problems to revive or restore then they are worth and focus solely on my 98'

    The asking price for the 79 $ 1500. He's selling it because he needs the $$$ and wants to finish his custom bike.(Bad ass looking)

    All flaming negatives aside looking for serious opinions, especially from those that have done these projects before.


    I know I'm asking for it but opinions?

    Posted below are some quick pics. It's been housed in a barn type garage for the last 5 yrs.






















  2. #2
    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    blacker than wesleysnipes
    98' trans am

    imho i would stick with the 98. it is a solid car and is already a money pit. restoring a car like that 79 will be a huge headache and they usually turn into 8+ year projects or as the guy selling it...turns into a big space waster and goes for sale.

  3. #3
    Member jagfan93's Avatar
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    Yellow
    02 CETA#732

    I've done projects of that size before (though not specifically on a 2nd gen t/a) and that is the type of project that will indeed suck your budget dry, as you finish a portion you'll discover that the items you thought you could keep now don't cut it, so before you know it you'll be replacing or refinishing virtually each & every piece on the car, let alone the inevitiable 'surprise needs' that will pop up.

    You'll have to be fully committed to the project and complete it in a reasonable amount of time, otherwise you'll just end up selling it in a basket again similar to the way you bought it.

    If it's really your dream car then go for it, but remember for the project to succeed you'll always have to choose the project over virtually all else whenever you've got spare cash (if your budget is as limited as mine).

  4. #4
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    99 WS.6 - Modified

    I'd say just mod the 98. The 79 could be an awesome car when finished. I guess you need to ask yourself whether you will have the resolve to finish it properly no matter what you encounter during the resto. You are the only one to know this. I have seen to many cars end up like this one, because it took to long or was more involved than originally thought, and the person grew tired of the project. I'm not saying you will. But I know what it's like to have more than one project going at a time. It becomes a fight as to which one to work on. But when it's finished, it is a thing to enjoy. Tough call, and as I said, I think I'd ask myself some serious questions before buying.

  5. #5
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    My plans for the 98' are: I want to put in a LS6 with heads and cam, finish upgrading the suspension and rear end, get a new hood (have a basic stock one) and paint. Maybe go on to a super charger setup, but this isn't going to be a track only car. I want to drive it and enjoy it but also get all the power I can out of it. My sig has all that I've done so far in the last 15 months.


    If I get the 79', my plan would be to take the LS1 out of the 98, freshen it up and install it. Upgrade the suspension and drivetrain. Basically do a poor man's version of the Bandit III from Yearone as my inspiration. Sell the 403 or store it and use for another day. I already know the rust will be a major issue. Over all I rate this a high difficulty project for me because I don't have a body shop and my skills are still building on. However I always love a challenge with cars and this will be one.
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f7/my-6-liter-build-174257/

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f8/my-8-8-rear-build-165553/

    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56 w/Viper shaft, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

    Horsepower never lies, but is often lied about!

  6. #6
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    I would say finish the 98 as well. Your hopes and dreams for the 98 will be achieved much sooner and much cheaper than the 79 build. Plus alot less headache.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
    80 TA BLK, 80 Formula NBM

    By the looks of the pictures, that car is not work $1500 imo. I bought my 80 formula for $100 in 2003. It was in a little worse shape, but these cars aren't that rare yet and fairly easy to find. And if your not going go back stock/original, it broadens you scope to all firebirds 79-81 (if that is the only particular second gen you want) to use as your base car. Unless the owner comes down under a grand, I wouldn't waste your time and look for a better deal. As for restoring these cars, it can get expensive as with any restoration. But most new parts for these cars aren't ridiculous priced and easy to find (NPD and the Paddock not Year One). If you were a little closer, I'd tell ya just to come pick up one of extra birds for few hundred As for using your money on your 98, all I'll say is its tough enough doing everything you want to one car . . . it just becomes harder with multiple. . trust me I know
    2000 TA, A4, LS6 intake, Magnaflow, WS9 hood, BMR STB, UMI boxed SFC, Spohn LCA, 9" Ford
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    1998 Bird, Black, V6, A4, 18" 077's, Wings West Body Kit
    1980 Formula, NBM, 402BB, cam, DR timing, LT headers, 3" TD w/ flowmasters, TH350
    1980 TA, Black, 301, bone stock

  8. #8
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    IN isn't that far for me. I have in laws in Indy that I go visit every few months.

  9. #9
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    98 Formula
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    that car looks pretty rough IMO and I'd look for one that was more complete.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
    80 TA BLK, 80 Formula NBM

    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    IN isn't that far for me. I have in laws in Indy that I go visit every few months.
    well i have an 79 bird with a ta doghouse and no motor; an 80 bird with no motor, and a 77 with a 400 in it and a funky title. . . all restorable, none i would want over $500

  11. #11
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    I'll send a PM

  12. #12
    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    I have a small body shop and as much as I like project cars that is a little further gone than even I would prefer. It yoiu really want a classic keep looking and try to find one that hasn't been in a barn for 20 plus years. That car and be rebuilt and look increadiblebut it's going to take alot of money. I helped my friend do a frame off resto on a 68 Impalla and it was 5 years and it was just getting ready for the motor install. He put a lot of time and money into that car. Was it worth it, for him yes since he always wanted one since he was young and was going to keep it. As far as resale he could probably brake even since he did all the paint and body resto himself but I know with all the new interior, driveline, and trim it was a expensive built. A built like that is great if you have the time, skill, and extra money or just a boat load of cash and a few good shops near you. I vote 98 on this or try to find one in a little better shape.
    1998 Trans Am 85k miles.
    Bolt ons, MS3 113LSA cam, Circle D Stall, Tune, Modified WS6 style hood, Full Suspension, 6000k HID's, Clear Side Markers w/ Leds, Led 3rd Brake Light and 18" AR Staggered Killer Wheels w/ BFG KDW NT's.- Weekend Toy/DD
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  13. #13
    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    That car looks pretty rough for the price. Especially since it is all apart.

  14. #14
    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Waste of time and money. Probably increase your stress level by double.

  15. #15
    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    I love those years but i would look for one a little better shape with less resto work. Just keep checking auto traded I have seen some great deals on older Z28's and TA's from those years go cheap in mostly restored state for cheap prices soon as someone hits hard times. Just gotta be patient if you want a steal.

  16. #16
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    [quote=SMWS6TA;2365503]I asked the question in AAG but have decided to move it here becasue I see this was going to be a long thread and also to post some pics of TA.

    I'm having one of those moments of choosing between 2 of my life long dreams. I have one with is my 98 TA and the other has always been to get a 79 TA. I've came across a 79 T/A (hardtop) that is in surprisingly good shape as far as body goes compare to what I've been seeing. Comes with a 403 olds engine (broke down into individual parts, I must put together). The owner said he had to break it down because he broke a piston when the oil tube fell into the oil pan. Block isn't cracked and I didn't see any scaring of the cylinder walls.

    Now quagmire is to get this and make it a long term project (3-5 yrs) that eats into my 98 mod funds or kill my dream and just shelf it because second gens are becoming more problems to revive or restore then they are worth and focus solely on my 98'

    The asking price for the 79 $ 1500. He's selling it because he needs the $$$ and wants to finish his custom bike.(Bad ass looking)

    All flaming negatives aside looking for serious opinions, especially from those that have done these projects before.


    I know I'm asking for it but opinions?

    Posted below are some quick pics. It's been housed in a barn type garage for the last 5 yrs.

    Click for full size



    I thought the Titanic sunk?? Step away from the roach coach.. Mod the '98..
    :\Users\Steven\Pictures\d6ftg5nh.gif


    Suggestion: If you are particularly irritated by another member's posting habits and are constantly fighting the urge to flame them, you can click on that person's profile, and select "Add to ignore list." This will make that person's posts invisible to you.

  17. #17
    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    1998 Trans Am

    I found a running 79 TA 6.6 and it was $2000 had rust and needed a new interior and motor work but it ran and drove and was in alot better shape.I liked it because of the blk with tan bandit colors. I'd keep looking.

  18. #18
    Member goof4080's Avatar
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    I did the 79 first, now I'm doing the 98. Do the 79 It's definitely worth it, you've already got the 4th gen, just make sure you add some gears and some power to that drivetrain if you want the ride to be more than just nostalgic, poly bushings everywhere will stiffen the car up considerably.

  19. #19
    Member RJWZ28's Avatar
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    Keep looking for a better one at a better price. Or go with one of Gullett's, as long as they're in better shape. Love the idea to swap your LS1 into a retro TA, but that one looks like a cluster.

  20. #20
    Pony_eater Pony_Eater's Avatar
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    I personally have restored A 79 ta and my opinion would be if youre gonna do it...dont take it back to original...parts are hard to find if you go specific with it..if you have fun with it there is a lot that can be done and you will have a nice car afterwards... I went the original route because it was a tenth anniversary edition with 46000 miles but its been almost 5 years and we are just now in the final stages....it is a beautiful showcar now but the price and time was hefty

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