1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:01 pm

Finished up the hatch floor today. Came out pretty good.

It looked decent when I got it home but there were a few rust holes. Those holes got a little bigger as I started trimming them out.

floor1.jpg
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The donor Monza's hatch floor was pretty solid so I hacked a chunk out of it.

floor 1b.jpg
Patched
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Used the angle grinder and some 2" roll lock 36 grit disks to grind off the welds. The DA took off the rest of the paint. I also used the sand blaster to clean out the inside of the tail panel. It had just a small bit of rust in a couple of spots. All of the seam sealer was dried out and flaked off really easily.

floor2.jpg
Welds ground, paint stripped.
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I used a bit of filler just to smooth out the floor a touch where I welded in the patch. The floor isn't perfectly flat but they weren't from the factory either. I'll paint it body color and then lay down a bit of insulating mat and carpet so it will be covered completely.

floor3.jpg
Smoothed and primed.
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I'll put down another coat of primer (I ran out) and then replace the seam sealer with a high quality product.

I'm still hoping to paint the inside of my cowl next. The fiberglass cured really slow due to the cooler temperatures but its nearly ready. BTW, the POR-15 patch material works incredibly well. I used it in one spot inside the cowl. It cured rock hard.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby 283vega » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:48 am

I know this may sound silly but what to think about top coating the area inside the cowl with flex seal.You can buy it in spray on and brush on/roll on.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Monza Harry » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:50 pm

Are you doing a restore or your interpretation of the original? I was talking about just the lever by the ignition switch. I think the colour will work with your car either way. Harry
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:30 am

Monza Harry wrote:Are you doing a restore or your interpretation of the original? I was talking about just the lever by the ignition switch. I think the colour will work with your car either way. Harry


The ultimate plan, Harry, is to have it look more-or-less original on the exterior/interior but with updated instrumentation and power train. The wheels will be 15" snowflakes in gold. I decided I will be repainting the firethorn part of the column to black. All the other Formulas I've seen have all black columns. Makes sense with the Formula wheel hub being black.

I finally got the inside of the cowl painted with the POR-15. It goes on really thin for the first coat. A buddy said it is like painting with ink which is a perfect analogy.

Cowl1.jpg
First coat
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Cowl2.jpg
First coat
Cowl2.jpg (118.39 KiB) Viewed 281 times
Cowl3.jpg
Second coat
Cowl3.jpg (117.1 KiB) Viewed 281 times

I painted the POR-15 down inside and outside the cowl drop offs as well. I'll grind a bit off when its time to close up the holes.

cowl4.jpg
Cowl sides
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Checked on it this morning and it is rock hard and smooth. The POR-15 needs a top coat because UV light will degrade it over time. I plan to prime and paint the inside of the cowl body color.

BTW, the stories are true. If you get POR-15 on you it is NOT coming off. :bang:
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:18 pm

Not that I'll need these anytime soon but I picked up some reproduction decals. These go inside the rear plastic panel in the hatch.

Even though the car is not going to be stock I want to keep a stock-like appearance.

decal 1.jpg
Wheels
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The original jack instruction decal was just a bit faded.

decal 2.jpg
Jack
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby SOLSAKS » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:40 pm

your project is great.
intense re-build
human determination defined.
when we are all gone
100 years from now
there will be a sunbird
that has been preserved with POR-15

that thing will never rot !

keep up the good work.

dave in NC :D
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:02 pm

SOLSAKS wrote:when we are all gone
100 years from now
there will be a sunbird
that has been preserved with POR-15

that thing will never rot !

dave in NC :D


Thanks, Dave! That POR-15 seems to work great. BTW...I still have some on my skin. Ugh....

I really need to get my rotisserie to keep making good progress.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:36 pm

Started another "out of sequence" project with the dash. Out of sequence because I won't need this part for quite a while but I felt like doing something. :D

Looked over the original dash out of the Formula and found it to be in pretty good shape. There are no major cracks or damage. I stripped the dash down the the base shell for a full cleaning and scrubbing. The worst issue on the dash was that the "wood grain" part was peeling off pretty badly. I peeled the "wood grain" off and will think of something to replace it with.

dash1.jpg
Raw dash
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Washed and Scrubbed dash. Looked pretty good when wet. It is quite dull when dried, however.

Dash 2.jpg
Washed
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During the cleaning I noted that two of the three bosses for the windshield wiper switched were broke off. Seems like it shouldn't be too hard to fix. I also saw later that the plastic tabs for the ashtray bracket were also broken. Again, shouldn't be too hard to fix that either.

dash 3.jpg
Busted bosses.
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I also removed the metal support from the dash by grinding off the rivets that held it to the dash. It was really rusted so it was sandblasted, primered, and painted satin black.

dash 4.jpg
Support
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The plan from here will be to hack out the middle part of the instrument cluster so that updated instrumentation can be added. The dash will also get repainted in Firethorn and flat black using the SEM products. The silver edging will be fixed with a paint marker. I'll look for some material to replace the wood grain trim part too. Not sure what is out there. I hoping to get it off in one piece and try to reattach it but it broke in a couple places.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Bullet » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:38 pm

Lots of products available now to restore woodgrain. Keep up the hard work, outstanding job http://www.ebay.com/bhp/wood-grain-vinyl
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Tue May 02, 2017 1:46 pm

Bullet wrote:Lots of products available now to restore woodgrain. Keep up the hard work, outstanding job http://www.ebay.com/bhp/wood-grain-vinyl

Yep! I was looking at that stuff too! I think I need something a bit heavier that just a vinyl product. Thinking maybe a thin carbon fiber sheet or maybe a thin polystyrene with the vinyl on it. I'd need to cover the gauge cluster part too just so it matches.

In other news... I got tired of hunting a good, used rotisserie near me. A couple popped up on Craigslist but sold inside a day. There are a couple others but they are home made and look sketchy. I ordered a Tuxedo CR-3000 from Mile X Equiment on Monday, (http://www.mile-x.com/tuxedo-cr-3000-car-rotisserie/). It was a little more than I wanted to pay but its not much more. It is a factory produced unit with hydraulics. I'll probably modify it a but with some larger wheels so I can move it in and out of the garage a bit easier. We'll see how it rolls with the car mounted to it.

cr-3000.jpg
Rotisserie
cr-3000.jpg (27.48 KiB) Viewed 211 times

Looking forward to getting it by the end of the week!
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Fri May 05, 2017 1:05 pm

Mail call!

rotisserie.jpg
rotisserie.jpg (80.42 KiB) Viewed 188 times

Now to assemble it and figure out how to mount the car.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Chris402 » Fri May 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Looking forward to seeing how the rotiserrie works out. I drove down to there warehouse and picked up the $795. one up last Friday But I won't get to use mine for a couple more months till fully healed from spinal surgery. Keep up the good work . Looks great.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Fri May 05, 2017 7:05 pm

Chris402 wrote:Looking forward to seeing how the rotiserrie works out. I drove down to there warehouse and picked up the $795. one up last Friday But I won't get to use mine for a couple more months till fully healed from spinal surgery. Keep up the good work . Looks great.


Awesome! I'll keep you posted, Chris. Hope you heal up quick.

I got mine from Mile-X Equipment in Ohio but they never touched it. It was drop shipped from Texas. Cost cost me a little more but I got tired of looking for a good used one. I'm going put it together over the weekend. I need to make some brackets to mount the car on it too. I'm going to mount to the front bumper mount locations on the "frame". The rear I plan to use a beam from each side of the bumper mount location.

mount1.jpg
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Bullet » Fri May 05, 2017 7:11 pm

RedFiveKBS wrote:
Bullet wrote:Lots of products available now to restore woodgrain. Keep up the hard work, outstanding job http://www.ebay.com/bhp/wood-grain-vinyl

Yep! I was looking at that stuff too! I think I need something a bit heavier that just a vinyl product. Thinking maybe a thin carbon fiber sheet or maybe a thin polystyrene with the vinyl on it. I'd need to cover the gauge cluster part too just so it matches.

I'm sure there is thicker stuff out there, in the late 80's we had an auto upholstery shop and vinyl woodgrain was available the same thickness as typical auto upholstery. I'm sure the products have improved greatly since then.

Just a thought, and because I am thinking of something similar on my Astre, I always thought the Sunbirds should have had the same Formula hood scoops as the Firebird, with a flat hood it would be pretty easy if you use the '77-'80 model scoops and you can use all the welding skills you've picked up. When you put the stripes back on, just add the matching Firebird stripes around the hood scoop inserts.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun May 07, 2017 8:31 am

Prepping for getting the Formula mounted to the rotisserie. Put it up on jack stands and dropped the rear. It came out fairly easily. The LCA bolt on the right needed some PB Blaster and some hits with the hammer but it gave up without too much work.

staged.jpg
Up in the air
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Rear.jpg
Rear.jpg (139.37 KiB) Viewed 149 times

I'll be travelling for work ALL week this week. I need to find some steel to fab some brackets, unfortunately, the place I get steel is only open M-F.

I found it somewhat peaceful to lay under the car and stare at the bottom after I pulled the rear. I think I laid there for half an hour just looking at the bottom. LOL It's scaly but nothing horrible. Once it is on the rotisserie it will get blasted followed by floor repairs. Pretty sure I want to coat the whole underside with bedliner product for added protection.

Oh...The rotisserie went together very easily.

rotisserie.jpg
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