Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

  • The NP5 steering wheel is mine!  Yes!  No more feminine / dainty steering wheel for this car!  No!  Now I have the big, beefy optional steering wheel with thumb grips, a wheel that SHOULD have come standard with the WS6 but no...  When time permits, I'll yank the old steering wheel and install the larger one.  I've seen these wheels go for upwards of $200 on Ebay but I was patient and one of these finally popped up on Ebay for less than $50 (including shipping and fondling) which is a bargain.  Yes, it came with the horn hookup and the Jesus nut.  The NP5 steering wheel that I picked up is in almost new condition (which is surprising).    Now, if there's one thing I can't stand on a sports car, it's a dainty little steering wheel in a car that can burn rubber at the drop of the accelerator, or a steering wheel that hurts your hand when you drive (ala my '86 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z's steering wheel).  I swear, the way I've been yanking and jerking on the stock wheel in some late afternoon spirited driving, I was honestly scared it was going to pop off the column or that I was going to bend / break it.  Oh, well, at least once I get the chip (above) installed and this new wheel, any time I go into Lamar county, I'll be better prepared for the idiot drivers.  That or I may just start to grow hair on the palms of my hands...
The optional NP5 steering wheel that I've been chasing for five months now
(one of the few options my TA didn't come with)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tuesday, November 27, 2006

I picked up an ADS SuperChip on Ebay, $36.00.  I don't even know if it works or not but the price was right and I was willing to take the chance with some pocket change (whereas a new chip went for about 5 times that much).  I still haven't had a chance to work on the TA any due to work schedules and days free.  I'll slide the new PROM in when I get a chance.  If nothing else, it gives me something to document in TSOH.  When I get it popped in, I'll let you know if it adds any "seat of the pants" excitement or if it's performance that you had better measure with a good set of instruments and a dyno.  If I install the chip, that will bring the total aftermarket mods of this car to four; K&N filter, unknown brand shift kit in the tranny, Flowmaster cat-back and ADS chip.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Friday, November 23, 2006

  • My luck held strong when I scored a complete set of new 1986 Trans Am owner's materials.  These are the usual books and pamphlets that are included with most new cars when they leave the dealership and which usually become lost in the first few years of ownership.  I already had a owner's manual for this car but a spare never hurts.  Interesting stuff but I wonder ... the packet came with information on Firestone tires but my car rolled on Goodyear Eagle GTs when it left the factory.  If anyone out there has any factory / dealer documentation on the Goodyear tires, original issue, would you scan it at full size and send it to me via email?  Hell, if you want to sell it to me, I'll cough up a 5 or 10 spot for it just to be complete.  Pictured below, from left to right, top to bottom are; Pontiac wearables / collectibles catalog, Uniroyal new tire information, Firestone new tire information, 1986 GM Maintenance schedule, Delco 2000 series ETR radio instructions, 1986 Pontiac Firebird owner's manual, and a copy of the one year MIC General $10,000 occupant life (death) insurance policy issued by GM that year on all of its new cars.  The Pontiac / Firebird collectibles brochure is hilarious and I'll try to scan it in shortly to share the mirth.  Think open shirt and gold chain with a Firebird medallion on a guy trying to look tough for the camera.  Shudder.
Original new Firebird owner's packet

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thursday, November 22, 2006

  •  I forgot when I picked this model up but I had remembered it from my youth.  By the time that the Transformers and Go-Bots were popular, I was already swinging wrenches and chasing women so I'm afraid that I can't tell you very much about this model other than it was one of two models from Monogram in the 1980's that featured a third-gen Trans Am in the same color scheme that my car originally came with.  I picked it up cheap to display along with the car at local shows.  Of humorous interest is the fact that this is a 1985 / 1986 Trans Am but that it features the 1983 style 25th Anniversary Daytona 500 Trans Am Pace Car "aero" wheels (although gold in color).  You can't see it at this detail level, but at 1:1 scale (model box in hand), that's either a guy wearing a black open face crash helmet behind the wheel or David Hasselhoff with a really, and I mean really bad perm / afro.  This model also comes with a decal for the new style hood bird and if you look closely, a power bulge hood (though it is greatly reduced in size from the normal PBH).

"A fearless fighter of the future, this GoBots(tm) warrior can change from a mighty robot
into a sleek Trans Am." -
Golly jeepers!  Says so right there on the side of the model box.


I better go check to see if my TA came with this rare high performance transforming option...  Now that you mention it, I think it would be pretty cool to be sitting in traffic, in Lamar county, next to a pickup truck full of hayseed chewing, Earnhardt worshipping, donkey-bangers when I flip a switch and my TA transforms into a giant robot right next to them.  Why, I'd bet they'd either piss their overalls or swallow their chewing tobacco trying to get out of the truck.  Of course, it's not like my Go-Bot Trans Am could do a lot ... it doesn't even have hands, just two big rectangles for arms and tail-lights for kneecaps.  What a gyp.
In other humorous news, the old girl barked rubber again, hard, on the highway.  JC and I were going to lunch one day, exiting the on-ramp from highway 49 to highway 59 when we had to come to an almost complete stop.  Traffic on the highway was preventing us from merging so I rolled along in the TA at about 5mph, idling.  I saw a break in the traffic and put the long, tall pedal to the carpet.  The LB9 roared under the hood and the front end of the TA lifted noticeably as she shot ahead.  The clocks were spinning as I gently moved over into a four car-length slot in the traffic and when the TA shifted from first to second, she shifted so hard that the rear end broke loose, tires barked and the car slewed to the side noticeably.  A big look of sudden surprise appeared on JC's face then the biggest smile replaced it.
"Hell YEAH!" he said, laughing.  "I don't know what got into you but I wish you'd take it more often!"

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tuesday, November 20, 2006

Well, I just completed my third gen Pontiac advertisement collection, with full dealer binders for each year (1982 to 1992), dealer pricing guides for each year, each advertisement that ran in major magazines and some other small stuff.  All of this will be part of and contribute to The Speed of Heat book that I am writing.  This stuff is rich, I was lucky to be able to get a full set of the dealer materials, especially almost 20 years later when most of this stuff was simply thrown away.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wednesday, November 14, 2006

 Well, it's been a long while since I updated mainly because not much has changed and nothing has gone wrong with the TA.  I fixed all of the coolant / leak problems but I honestly can't remember the steps I took.  Suffice to say, it didn't take much or cost much and it's fixed.  Most of the "new owner" deferred maintenance seems to be behind me.  I think I will replace the entire T-top gasket set (on roof and tops) and the weather seal on the rear hatch come Spring (the car leaks in heavy rain).   Shocks, struts, and new lowering coil springs should be dropped in within the next two to three months.  I just scored a factory dual electric fan setup off of a 1989 350cid TPI Trans Am on Ebay.  It's some simple insurance against things to come and should be plug and play with the existing hardware.