1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

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pietpetoors
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by pietpetoors » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 20:25

Eventually she is running beautifully.

Only outstanding matter now is a small oil leak between engine and gearbox and a squeek on the right rear leaf spring.

Since engine has been redone thrice I guess it can only be the torque converter seal.

This is what she looks like now.
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Only Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

bmwmaniac
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by bmwmaniac » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 20:44

absolutely beautiful :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
"If you park your car, walk away and don't look back, you're driving the wrong car"
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ZA Perana
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by ZA Perana » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 21:41

bmwmaniac wrote:
Tue 20 Mar 2018, 20:44
absolutely beautiful :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Agree 100%, fantastic restoration job!
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Picard
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by Picard » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 21:42

Stunning! Good job. I reckon this is one of the most original and neatest looking TA's in the country.

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Chev58
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by Chev58 » Wed 21 Mar 2018, 00:25

Well done, looks stunning, hope she gives you many happy smiles :D
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roelb
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by roelb » Wed 21 Mar 2018, 07:27

Stunning job, well done!!
You can be very proud of yourselves :D
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pietpetoors
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by pietpetoors » Wed 21 Mar 2018, 12:06

I would like to share my engine story, maybe it helps somebody else to avoid making the same mistakes:
The engine story:
I have rebuild a couple of VW, Toyota and Nissan engines before. When still at school I worked at an engineering shop during holidays, helping to assemble engines during rebuilds. So I thought I have enough experience to rebuild this engine. "It is just another engine after all"

So the Pontiac 301 Turbo was my first V8 I ever rebuilt.
I had it bored, fitted new pistons, new valves, new bearings, new oil pump and new waterpump.

My first mistake was that I did not fit a new camshaft and lifters. The cam and lifters looked perfectly fine and on German and Japanses vehicles you hardly ever replace these.

So I assembled the engine, fitted it in the vehicle and it started immediately. It was smoking terribly and it had one noisy lifter.

The noisy lifter did not worry me, normally it goes away after a while (mistake number 2)

I was trying to sort out the smoke and you can read all about it at http://transamcountry.com/community/ind ... #msg724790

After we finally got the Turbo (source of smoke) fixed the noisy tapped remained the only outstanding issue.

The guys on 301 Garage forum informed me if I did not fit a new cam and lifters I was supposed to keep the lifters in sequence aas I removed it because each lifter will fit a lobbe on the cam. They said the cam will be damaged.

What I also learned is the proper break in procedure for a new cam, when you start the engine for the first time you must run it at 2,000 rpm for at least 20 minutes so that cam can get max lubrication.

I did not know any of above and while I was looking for the source of the smoke the car mostly just idled, nether reached any high rpm. I've let it idle for like ten minutes at a time to see if the smoke wil disappear.

I drained the oil and yes, there were metal in the oil.

Pulled and stripped the motor and yes, the lifters and cam were gone.

Bought new cam, lifters, push rods, bearings, etc and did it all over again. Kept the pistons. But I did strip everything and cleaned everything to get rid of all the metal.
Had this bright idea to fit a CompCam while I have to replace the cam. So I ordered a high lift cam.

Assembled it, fitted and engine and......................................

This time it did not want to start, unlike the first rebuild.

After trying for a while, I opened the tappet covers to check valve timing and find that the push rods were bent.
Received all kind of advice about the length of the push rods, battled a couple of days, destroyed another two set of push rods and eventually we found that the guys who assembled the head installed the valve retainer caps incorrectly.  Because the caps were sitting on the bottom groove of the valve and not the top, it was too low and bottomed out on the head. With the normal cam there was enough clearance but with the high lift cam it could not push the valve down far enough.

Luckily I could correct it without removing the heads. Got new push rods again and now the pushrod bending problem was gone.

But now the engine still did not want to start.

Tried for days on end, checking valve timing and ignition over and over again.
Later realized the plugs were wet. Removed the carburetor and saw lots of fuel in the plenum. Ordered new carb kit and rebuilt the carb.

Got it started eventually and do not really know why it did not want to start because my timing was correct. My theory is that it flooded while it did not want to start due to the bent push rods. I fixed the push rods but it was still flooded. After trying to start after push rods were corrected it did not start and just increased the flooding problem.

Eventually started, runs beautifully. I was worried about the cam because it took so long to get it started.

Drained the oil and , yes, metal in the oil again.

Pulled the motor, found cam and cam bushes gone again.

Replaced all bearings, cam, cam bushes and lifters again. This time the CompCam would have taken to long so I bought a normal cam but the W-72 spec which was a performance option some 301 engines. Actually I regret it because it runs very quiet and very smooth, but on the other hand it is now 100% original.

After third rebuilt it started immediately, proper break in procedure for cam was followed and it is still running beautifully.

Correct oil is very important for these engines and if you look at the whole cam break in theory, idling for long times is not exactly good for the cam.
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biltongman
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by biltongman » Wed 21 Mar 2018, 12:50

Watter olie het jy toe gebruik. Mooi gedoen Piet.

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pietpetoors
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by pietpetoors » Wed 21 Mar 2018, 13:19

Delo 400
Only Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

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ZA Perana
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Re: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Post by ZA Perana » Wed 21 Mar 2018, 19:07

Wow that is quite a saga with the engine. Interesting that if you want to reuse the original cam you need to keep everything in sequence, which when you think about it makes sense but I wouldn't not have actually thought it would make such a dramatic difference.

I am glad its running really well now!

Thanks for sharing the engine build issues with us!
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