1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:38 pm

I am dying to find one!! :th:
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1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula


Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:45 pm

Vegavulture wrote:funny, I posted the pic without the full scoop, here it is on.

I am dying to find one!! :th:
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:28 pm

Ok, this is not my 76. It is my 80 TC. Virtually the exact same car.

I was bored on this rainy Sunday so I decided to refurbish my ac/heater controls. Used a little Testors model paint, a silver paint marker, and some really tiny paintbrushes to detail the letters. The factory white paint was all but gone on much of the lettering.

heater.jpg
AC/Heater controls
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Came out pretty good but I see I missed the dash in BI-LEVEL. The 76 TC will need the same treatment. I will do it once I start the rebuilding process.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby NVEGAR8D » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:21 pm

Hi, Nobody's perfect :lol: , looking good :th:
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby Monza Harry » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:41 pm

It's all in the details, and that detail is front and centre! Worthwhile investment of your time in my opinion! :th: Keep us posted on your other one, and maybe some in progress shots for pointers to us "Artistically Challenged" I have always used a toothpick for these kinds of things with ~70/30 results, if you hold your eyes just right! [Hand firmly covering both eyes] Harry
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby sportriderok » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:37 am

I use silver Sharpies on mine.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby Vegavulture » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:06 pm

I have the new (used) nose to replace the dented one on the formula sitting on a sawhorse but I want to go straight to coloring the heater controls, lol.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:17 pm

I got back into building model cars just before I did my controls. Need to freshen up my painting skills after 25 years. :lol: Probably took 15 minutes at the most to do.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:10 pm

Wow. Where did the Summer go?! Its already October and I am hoping to start my restomod project soon.

The 1976 Sunbird had some overheating issues this Summer so I parked it and drove my 1980 Sunbird for the second half of the Summer. Of course, it started to have some overheating issues too! I guess I'll be pulling the radiator and getting it boiled out before spring. I did a lot of driving in the 1980 Sunbird this Summer. Longest trip was 400+ miles (850 miles round trip) to Lake Pocono, PA for an H-Body cookout. That was a heck of a long drive but she ran great! Just a bit warm. Stopped by the Lordstown GM assembly plant on the way home too. The 1980 was born here in September 1979.
lordstown.jpg
1980 Sunbird at Lordstown
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The 1976 Sunbird was getting a bit dusty from sitting in the garage so I pulled it out. Surprisingly it started right up. I hadn't run it in at least two-months. Took it for a short drive and then home for a wash.
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Washed the TC
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wash 100416-2.jpg
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I'm planning to get my electric and gas run to the garage in October so I can start the tear down and rebuild. Looking forward to getting it started. Hoping I don't have too many body issues. It was repainted (very well too) at some point. I know there is mud in the doors but I don't think too bad. There is quite a bit of rust under the rear but I think it will be fixed fairly easy. It will get completely blown apart, fix all the rust issues underneath, rebuild the suspension and rear (UMI or Spohn), upgrading to tubular a-arms (AJE) and control arms (UMI or Spohn), F41 sway bars (Original F41's!), fabbing a tubular torque arm, brake upgrades (S-10 disks front and maybe rear), and hopefully paint by Spring. The motor is the open question. I really want to do an LS3 but the way I want to do it will be $12-14k so I'm thinking a simple SBC for the interim.

I'll be sure to update as I start pulling her apart.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:50 am

How come if I need two of a part I can only ever find one? :lol:

Picked up an NOS Right hand grille surround for my car. I'll probably never find the LH side one in NOS. :x But...I'm always on the hunt.

grill.jpg
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby Monza Harry » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:13 pm

RedFiveKBS wrote: The motor is the open question. I really want to do an LS3 but the way I want to do it will be $12-14k so I'm thinking a simple SBC for the interim. I'll be sure to update as I start pulling her apart.

Kevin have you considered doing the LS in stages? There are still some good choices in the used market for LS1,3, and 6's [I have seen engine only combo's for around $2G's not the way I would do that but still a good viable option depending on your finish line] and even the LS7 get 1of those then shoehorn that in for one year, then the next throw a few of your desired "Mods" at it. I think that your body work plan will take all winter unless you have the winter off paid, that would be nice. Just trying to give you idea's Harry
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:54 pm

It lives!

Survived hibernation just fine. It was slooooooow cranking but fired up and ran good. Needs a good cleaning.

Silver car fired up no problem. I let both run for 20+ minutes and took the red one for a short drive around the block.

hibernation.jpg
hibernation.jpg (64.38 KiB) Viewed 141 times

I also decided that the red car will become my high school tribute car. I'll some stuff but nothing too major. I still have the SBC 327 that was in my high school car so I'll rebuild that and drop it into the car. My main focus is still the Formula project so this is on the back burner for the moment.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:41 am

Getting the two coupes ready to roll to Carlisle for the Chevrolet Nationals on June 23rd-25th, 2017.

The silver 1980 Sunbird was in great running shape other than running really hot. It was determined that the radiator (which was original) was shot. I took it to the radiator shop to get boiled and pressure checked. They called me about an hour later saying the core was shot. They recored it and upgraded it from a 2-core to a three core for $275. Runs great and cool now.

1980.jpg
1980 Sunbird
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IMG_1279.JPG
New rad
IMG_1279.JPG (154.34 KiB) Viewed 71 times

The red 1976 Sunbird has been a bit more challenging. It was running hot and quitting without warning regularly. I assumed it was the radiator so I took it to the same radiator shop. The radiator was perfectly fine and needed nothing. They flushed it but hardly anything came out. Hmmm.... OK. Well the carb gaskets were all leaky so I thought maybe I had a lot of vacuum leaks. The carb was rebuilt and no longer leaks. The car definitely runs better but it still quits once it gets a little warm.

1976.jpg
1976 Sunbird
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I replaced the cap, rotor, coil, plugs, and wires when I got the car in January 2016. Thought maybe the ignition module was bad and replaced it. Nope. Same issue. Oh...the fan is on backward. That's gotta be it! Nope! Same issue. New fan clutch. Nope! Same issue.

More research and it is sounding like it is a bad pickup coil in the distributor. Good news: this is an $8 part. Bad news: you need to pull the distributor to change it. Normally, not an issue but the distributor is frozen in the engine. I've been spraying it with PB Blaster and carb cleaner to no avail. It is able to turn a bit now...with the use of a big wrench and breaker bar...but still will not come out. Any advice?

IMG_1308.JPG
Stuck distributor
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:26 pm

Kevin if you can get "Purple Power" try spraying it around the base of the distributor, but this is a job for a scalpel not a sledge and it will be hard to do this in the car in many an engine bay, Oh the H-Bodies are known for the cavernous engine bays so should be no problem!
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Hi Kill Me!
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EZ Off may work but the corrosion problem that we suspect is your problem is probably the whole length of the dizzy so any chemical answer will contaminate the engine and the oil, probably not optimal [not to mention take just as long as your current approach]. So in light of this, sounds like you are on the safest path, won't be fast, but an oil change afterwards and you should be golden [you are going to knock that "Crude" into the pan, so start, warm, drain and replace, common sense I know but better safe than sorry. I think you are already winning as it turned and didn't break! probably just some ordinary penetrating oil of your choice, as you go. Harry
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:25 pm

Harry, after much twisting and spraying and prying and beating and repeat... It came out in one piece. Not a reusable one piece but out.

busted.jpg
Distributor out! But busted. :-(
busted.jpg (138.38 KiB) Viewed 59 times

Actually used the air hammer on it after I broke it. Probably should have tried that BEFORE I broke it. Oh well...

New one on order from Summit. Should have it by Tuesday. :(
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