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Old 06-22-2018, 09:26 PM
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Today's progress on the rear panel. Should be in primer tomorrow and hopefully painted blue on Monday. And after all that work, it's all gonna be hidden behind the tail lights and the body colored rear bumper assembly. But at least I'll know it's all fixed now. :-)
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Last edited by njsteve; 06-22-2018 at 11:18 PM.
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  #532  
Old 07-06-2018, 12:31 AM
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Spent the weekend reassembling the back end of the car. I had pulled the new leaf springs I installed last spring in order to get them de-arched one inch to drop the back end down a little bit. The week before, I had swapped the original set of rusty leaf springs back in for the week it spent at the body shop getting the rear panels installed. That gave me time to bring the springs back to Stengel Brothers Springs in PA to get them worked on. They have a special press that can squash the leaf pack down to a specific measurement. Worked like a charm.

I then spent yesterday swapping in a new set of front coils since the one inch drop that I ordered for the custom springs was not enough. They built me a new set at half price that were 1-7/8" drop.

New fender lip height is 27-1/2" front and 28-1/2" rear. Before these new modifications, it was an inch higher on both front and rear.

Here is how she sits now. I think the stance is just right for this set of wheels now. They fill the wheelwells nicely. Though if I had it to do over again (again) I would get a slightly smaller set of front tires instead of running the 255/50x17s all around. Maybe a 235/55x17 front.
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Last edited by njsteve; 07-06-2018 at 12:35 AM.
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  #533  
Old 07-06-2018, 12:39 AM
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That sits real nice!
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  #534  
Old 07-06-2018, 01:08 AM
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This was what it looked like before this weeks "adjustments". An inch makes quite a difference...
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Old 07-07-2018, 03:15 AM
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Absolutely perfect stance. That car looks like a dream, Steve.
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  #536  
Old 07-07-2018, 10:49 AM
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Thanks!

I spent last night at my buddy's garage replacing the front to back, underbody fuel line. When putting the tank back in I noticed the last few inches at the tank end were seeping due to old salt corrosion. The hard part is finding the correct line. 1975 was a really weird year for Firebirds and Camaros. It was the first year of catalytic converters so the fuel, vent and return lines kept getting changed in production to route around that super hot contraption on the passenger side underbody. This car has the 3/8" fuel line running down the driver's side of the car and the 1/4" vent and return lines running down the passenger side. You'd think that would be simple to describe in the catalogs but everyone has them backwards. They also describe my setup as having the fuel line on the "B side" of the car. What the heck is the B-side? Wasn't that the other song on a 45 record?

And why the heck do the manufacturers spend all that time making a correct replica of the original line to then go ahead and bend it into a pretzel to fit in a big box? They could at least mark the line to tell you the location and direction to bend it back into the correct position. But nooooo!

Anyway we put the car on the lift and manhandled the new line into place while removing the old line. The fuel line runs alongside the brake line and uses the same retaining clamps. I noticed the wire protective coils on that line were a bit crusty as well.

And in true "Give a mouse a cookie and he'll want a glass of milk..." fashion, I decided to order the underbody brake line section and the vent and return lines. Of course they only sell them in the big kits that have all the other sections that you don't need. (the vent and return lines have a second section that goes from the subframe to the front of the car.) These never rust and rarely need replacing but you can't just order the back halves of the set. Oh well, that will be next week's fun.

Anyway, She sure rides nice now and sits right. I also ordered some carpet samples to replace the JC Whitney sewn-style carpet I installed back in the 1980's before anyone made molded carpet sets. The only problem is that Auto Custom Carpet lists a dozen possible colors for my interior: Beige, Doeskin, Buckskin, and Saddle with a light, medium, and dark version of each one! So for $1 apiece they will send you a sample swatch of each. At least I have the 1973 SD455 sitting next to Gramma's car so I can try to match the sample to an original carpet. The only difference is that the 73 has loop style and the 75 uses cut pile material. Oh well, we will see how that goes next.

Stay tuned!

Last edited by njsteve; 07-07-2018 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:07 PM
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I finally found a shaker decal I liked...and it is actually for a 1975! These came on the 455 powered Trans Ams that were available in 1975 with a low compression 7.6 to 1, 200-horsepower 455: the same one in the big family sedans. It was a 455-HO in name only.

But the decal looks cool in the three-dimensional, blue color that accents the car's color.

And since the 1970 455 block in the car has parts from a real 1972 455HO inside it, I guess no one will really complain that it has twice the horsepower as an actual 1975 455-HO. :-)

Now I'm wondering how the 1973-75 tri-color blue, fender accent stripe would look on the car. They were available on the base Firebird, Esprit, and Formula. Anyone have any photos of the blue version of the stripe? Here's a couple photos of a '74 maroon car with the orange tri-color version of the stripes.
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Last edited by njsteve; 07-13-2018 at 12:22 AM.
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  #538  
Old 07-13-2018, 12:41 AM
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Those decals look right at home!!!

I vote for the side stripes too!!

Ryan W31
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  #539  
Old 07-13-2018, 01:01 AM
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I believe the blue version of the side stripes are in the exact same color scheme as the shaker decals.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njsteve View Post
I believe the blue version of the side stripes are in the exact same color scheme as the shaker decals.
Go for it!!

Ryan W31
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