1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Monza Harry » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:03 am

Ken that would be a nightmare to remove in my opinion, I believe that is part of the roof skin. :sick: I added some links up above Kevin. 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 Mar 06, 2017 9:13 am

Monza Harry wrote:Ken that would be a nightmare to remove in my opinion, I believe that is part of the roof skin. :sick: I added some links up above Kevin. Harry

Kenova wrote:How much work is involved with pulling the top of the cowl off as Harry suggested?
If it wasn't in the way you would probably find it a lot easier to do the repair.

Ken


I actually considered that option for two reasons; cleaning/fixing the cowl floor and the underside of the panel. Harry is correct, however. It is part of the roof skin. I thought about cutting it open but I'm afraid I'd never get it welded back together and look good.

I am planning to call a dustless blasting guy again this week to get an idea on price. I'd prefer to have the car on the rotisserie first so I can have them blast it top and bottom. The place I was planning to get the rotisserie closed so I'm looking at other options. I can get the same one it just needs to be shipped to a freight terminal where I'd have to pick it up.

Thanks, guys!
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby monzaaddict » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:10 pm

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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Bullet » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:40 am

You can pull the cowl panel but you need a few really good spotweld cutters and you will have to slice through the outside of the A pillar and completely pull the dash out. It can be done but it is a bear to do. Something you may consider looking into is gas tank sealer. Do the acid wash required to prep the metal, use some liquid steel or JB to seal the holes, then use the sealer. It flows well and it will absolutely bond to the metal if it is prepped correctly and as long as you take some time to keep it clean, it will be forever protected. I've never done it but it just popped into my mind as an alternative.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:21 am

Another patch to the firewall is nearly done. This was a 4-speed car and the hole where the clutch cable passes through the firewall had cracked at some point. It was poorly fixed and needed to be corrected.

Firewall1.jpg
Buggery welds
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The donor Monza was an automatic but the clutch cable hole is on the same plate. Used the cutoff wheel and buzzed it out.

Firewall2.jpg
Donation from the Monza
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Trimmed it up and sand blasted it clean. The Formula's fire wall was trimmed of the broken/cracked clutch cable hole and one bracket. The holes for the steering column and gas peddle were enlarged so that the bolts would only pass through the donor plate.

Firewall3.jpg
Trimmed and blasted
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Welded it in and cleaned it up with the grinder. I had drilled a number of holes in the plate that I used to make some plug welds to secure the donor plate to the original firewall plate. I still need to do some trimming on the inside of the firewall and add some welds. Once the inside is trimmed and welded up I'll hit it with some primer and a skim of mud to blend it out. Pretty pleased with the progress. Engine compartment repairs are nearly complete.

Firewall4.jpg
Welded in place.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby cjbiagi » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:13 am

Nice work! If you are going to run the clutch cable you may want to look at a thread where I posted some pics of a firewall/clutch cable brace I made for my car. While I never had any serious firewall issues I did realize that there was a small amount of flex and wanted to do something to eliminate it. The brace transfers a lot of the stress from the cable away from the firewall and to a much stronger part of the chassis. It's a good tip for anyone with a manual trans/clutch cables setup.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=44898
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:28 pm

cjbiagi wrote:Nice work! If you are going to run the clutch cable you may want to look at a thread where I posted some pics of a firewall/clutch cable brace I made for my car. While I never had any serious firewall issues I did realize that there was a small amount of flex and wanted to do something to eliminate it. The brace transfers a lot of the stress from the cable away from the firewall and to a much stronger part of the chassis. It's a good tip for anyone with a manual trans/clutch cables setup.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=44898

That's a great idea, Clyde! I was thinking of doing some reinforcement under the dash too. I have the entire dash out so I have access to it.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby Monza Harry » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Kevin the under dash approach I feel will be an awesome fix. Two or three small rods to that bulk head will be in a nearly straight tension configuration and that will not need much there for a considerable increase in strength 3rd one opposite side of the brake pedal maybe. Harry
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:33 am

I really need a bigger garage!

garage.jpg
Need more room!
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I do plan on adding a shed/extension onto the side of the garage soon. All the other crap (lawn mower, bikes, interior parts, etc) will go into the shed and give me more room.

Something like this. The main garage is 20' x 20' and the shed addition would be cut into the side. There is a small shed already attached that is only 6 ft deep. I'd use this as the starting point and extend it toward the front of the garage. Add a header and probably a post or two to hold up the removed wall. That should give me room for all the other crap.

garage.png
garage.png (51.91 KiB) Viewed 210 times

Or maybe more like this. No need to take out the entire wall, reinforce the header, or add posts. The storage area would be its own dedicated space and I have more wall space to hang crap.

garage2.png
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Oh...The Sunbird is depicted on the rotisserie so I can judge space.
:th:
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:38 pm

Did a bit of cleaning and stuff Friday night. Cleaned and painted under the dash with some rustoleum. No real rust issues but it did have some very light surface rust. I plan to prime under the dash and paint it back to factory color; cinnabar red with carmine dash.

I also worked in the hatch a bit. It had a couple holes in the floor of the hatch area. They were just over the boxed in rails under the deck and were full of mouse nest filler. I am guessing that contributed to the rust. I cut out the holes with the cutoff wheel and cleaned out the rails from all the nuts and mouse nest stuff. I'll cut a donor patch from the Monza but I need to clean out the rails a bit more first.

Aww nuts.JPG
Aww nuts...
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Hatch 1.JPG
Hatch 1.JPG (53.09 KiB) Viewed 192 times
hatch 2.JPG
hatch 2.JPG (59.43 KiB) Viewed 192 times

The Donor Monza will give up a bit of its hatch floor for the cause.

hatch donor.JPG
Patch will be cut from the Donor Monza
hatch donor.JPG (67.58 KiB) Viewed 192 times

Thinking I will make the hole a bit larger and have one bigger patch rather than two smaller ones.

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

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:30 pm

The idea of bracing the dash from the inside is good but the problem is that the firewall area is double walled with a slight gap between the panels if I remember correctly. So, bracing the interior panel does not help the outer piece of the firewall from flexing from the cable stress. Adding the brace in the engine compartment side directly transfers the energy from the cable to the much stronger part of the chassis on the wheelwell.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:54 pm

cjbiagi wrote:The idea of bracing the dash from the inside is good but the problem is that the firewall area is double walled with a slight gap between the panels if I remember correctly. So, bracing the interior panel does not help the outer piece of the firewall from flexing from the cable stress. Adding the brace in the engine compartment side directly transfers the energy from the cable to the much stronger part of the chassis on the wheelwell.


You are correct sir. I figured that out when I painted up under it. I like your fix and will probably do something very similar.

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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:47 pm

Traveled Sunday to Friday this past week but I did some shopping on eBay. Found some NOS items I'll need when it is time for reassembly.

This is the second NOS badge I've found so now I have a pair for the car.

NOS badge.jpg
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Picked up these NOS door hinge pins too. Didn't even realize they were from Clyde until it was time to pay. :lol:

NOS pins.jpg
NOS pins.jpg (52.79 KiB) Viewed 147 times

Finally, It was 75 degrees out when I got home Friday so I hit my storage garage. Both coupes made it through the winter just fine. The red one was slow cranking but it started. The silver car fired right up. I took the red one for a short spin around the block and let it run for 20+ minutes. The silver is tucked in too far and needs a rolling jack to pull the front over to get out. I still ran it for 20+ minute too. I am ready for the weather to finally be nice out!

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

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:45 pm

I was lazy this weekend and didn't get to anything until Sunday afternoon.

Picked up this tan tilt column (with keys!!) from another H-body guy. I stripped off everything that would unbolt. It was cleaned with degreaser and sanded.

column1.jpg
Tilt Column resto
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I primed it and then it started to rain so it got put to the side. I'll paint the lower part satin black and the upper part carmine red. The steering wheel will get replaced with a Formula wheel once reassembly starts. That won't be for quite a while so not sure why I tackled this little project. LOL

column2.jpg
Primed
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Once it started raining I figured I'd hack out the chunk I'd need from the donor Monza's hatch floor. Used a sawzall for most and the cutoff wheel for the rest. Drilled a lot of spot welds out too.

donor 1.jpg
Another donation
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Dropped in the patch panel and screwed it into place just to mark it from the underside. The patch will be a lot smaller than what is shown. I cut it larger just to ensure I had enough material to cover the spots that needed fixed.

donor 2.jpg
Needs trimmed.
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Hopefully once it is all welded in and the welds are ground off it will be seamless.
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Formula: Project Phoenix

Postby RedFiveKBS » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:45 pm

New louvers!! They say discontinued on their website but I got them in just a few days after ordering.

louvers.jpg
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Order from http://www.sfxperformance.com/parts/AST10000.htm. Part number is AST10000
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