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New Trans Am obsession

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    So I went and checked out another trans am tonight. I'm looking for a 305/350, 5-speed, late 80's early 90's, T/A or firebird with t-tops. I checked out this '89 tonight that has a real clean body, but a swapped out 305 that supposedly has 36k on it. Supposedly cause the starter and tming cover are painted in oil sludge.. No t-tops and automatic, though.

    It's got a tapping lifter I think (sounds like it, could it be a loose header?), headers, no cats, cam, TBI I think and little things here and there not right with it. I didn't pull off the air cleaner cause it had a puddle on top that I didn't want to send down the intake, so it may actually have a crappy carb on it.

    The car sounds like crap. I mean it has that meaty beefy shred the tires sound, but to me, it's sound untuned and loose.
    Paint seems real nice, it's got a couple bubbles where it's starting to rust at the bottoms of the doors, but otherwise fine. It has this big stupid spoiler that weighs a million pounds and barely has any paint left... The interior's real nice on it, though. It also has a couple connectors sticking out of the harness that need to find a home... A couple vaccuum lines need to be capped or connected... Basically, the motor was supposedly swapped, and had some issues here and there.
    I don't necessarily trust the guy that much, either, cause it looks like it has brand new brakes, with purty shiny rotors, and he said he hasn't driven it for a few weeks...

    The inspection was up in june, though, so he may not really be lying. He says it won't pass, but he knows a guy that'll pass it (no cats).

    I don't know if I want to get involved in this, but I think I can really steal it. He said I'm the first one that called, then realized his mistake and said a couple other people called too. I called him a week ago, and I'm the first one that's looked at it. He listed it for $1500 in the paper, and must have said 4 times while I was looking that it was negotiable. I told him I'd get back to him after I talk to my wife, and he called my cell an hour later asking if I talked to her, and said he was negotiable, and if it helps, he'll take $1000. I'm thinking I'll offer him $500 to take it away tomorrow, 'cause I have to put cat's back on it, mufflers my neighbors won't execute me for, and hope it still dyno's ok with a tapping lifter, and that it's not pouring oil from some hidden spot or the tranny doesn't shift bad when it warms up...

    Should I stay away from this thing, or maybe snag it for $500? If i pick it up and decide it's not worth it, there's almost no market for these cars up here anymore, and I"ll have a crappy time reselling it. On the other hand, the body is really nice, new tires all around, and the interior's clean.

    And there's a Camaro that looks terrible, but has a 350 I can swap into the K5, and a 5-speed maybe I could swap into this T/A if I picked them both up cheap. That kinda defeats my low time/money investment desire, though...

    Is this a childish immature pursuit for a guy with a wife, two kids, a 7 to 7 job, and upcoming major house renovations?
     
  2. Djroffroad

    Djroffroad 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like you have all the warning signs to stay away. Of course, any vehicle you can get for $500 will have some issues.
     
  3. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    If you can get it for $500.00, I say buy it. If you like it, buy it. I personally would buy, and swap in a 383 stroker motor. Might be fun to build a hot rod. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  4. Blaze

    Blaze 1/2 ton status

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    If you can get $500 for it, do it! I just sold my 84 TA that smoked, rattled, and the interior was trash for $650. These cars aren't that hard to work on, I've done a lot of stuff to mine and it didn't kill me or break the bank. That lifter thing might be nothing. My 92 makes that noise and has been making it for the last 6 months, nothing major. If you need any suggestions with it, just PM me, I'd be more than happy to help ya out.
     
  5. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    I take it the TPI motor is long gone? Not good............I'd be worried about it passing emissions with a carbed motor.
     
  6. Blaze

    Blaze 1/2 ton status

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    If it is a standard 'Bird, then it should have the 305 TBI. He said he thought it was a TBI, so that is probably what motor is has in it.
     
  7. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Yeah I think it was still TBI. I remember looking along the manifold under the air cleaner without actually pulling it off, and there was way too much room and too few vaccuum hoses to be a carb.

    It won't pass emissions as it is anyway, the kids said he has to pay a guy extra to help him pass, that's why he let it expire and didn't re-inspect it when he decided to sell. I want to get it to pass without any coaxing, and I have to get cats back on it. The last thing I need is to wreck and have the car impounded for inspection, then have all the fines and crap and possible fault not covered by insurance on me. Too much liability to take chances like that anymore!!

    I think I'm going to go ahead and buy it if it drives ok tonight. I ran out kinda unprepared last night, so tonight I'm going to head over with some tools and poke around and drive it. Blaze, it's an '89. Still has an electric fan, I'm wondering if maybe it's just a fuse or bad wire.

    I forgot, the car has an MSD setup bolted to the inner fender, but not wired up.
     
  8. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    I would walk away from it. If you find one that's a 305, only get it if it's the manual.

    The camaro with a 5-speed and 350 would be alot more funner /forums/images/icons/grin.gif

    with those, only get an automatic if it's got a 350.
    That's my opinion though /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  9. Blaze

    Blaze 1/2 ton status

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    Ah, it's an 89. Should be TBI if it is a Bird. I know what you mean about the emissions stuff. Mine has NO emissions stuff at all on it. The inspection sticker says Sept. 2001. If the fan doesn't work, it also might be the switch that is in the block. You can ground out that relay and the fan should go. If it doesn't, the fan is bad.
     
  10. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color="blue">Theres a couple early 90s GTA's for sale by my house that are probly in better shape then the one you described
     
  11. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Got any prices or phone numbers??

    I drove this car yesterday, and didn't feel good about the tranny, it seemed to jump around to much looking for 3rd, and had to figure out what I was asking when I punched it... I told the kid I had to think on it some more and he dropped the price to $600, I didnt even hve to negotiate yet... I called him today and said I'm gonna pass cause the tranny feels so rough and the motor needs so many little things...

    I'm still lookin, now. Biggray, where in Jersey are you seeing these cars? Anywhere near the NY waterways ferries or Northern NJ? I'm thinkin I can try to scoot over from the city on an extended lunch hour next week...
     

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