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nodnarb481 04-27-2013 02:04 PM

Finally can "rehab" my TA. Looking for some advice
So a short background. I got my trans am when I was 17. It was beautiful. I was always broke through college but kept telling myself that if I can get some income going, I will buy a daily driver and make this my weekend/summer car. Well I finally landed a good job and got a subaru legacy and now its rehab time. The car has seen better days. Someone hit me and ran and then two weeks later a deer hit me and didn't run. Basically here is my shopping list and a few questions I have because I've been out of the game for a while now..

I replaced the fenders and I'm aligning the headlights. I'm gonna use bondo to smooth over some cracks and chips and then have it all painted. That should be fine, unless someone thinks it bondo is a bad idea?

Have to replace both fog lights (one is dead, one must have been hit by a rock) and the passenger side tail light.

Replacing the headliner. Think it would be cheaper to re-upholster or just buy a new one from someone on here?

Little bit of exhaust work needs to be done.

Looking for an Ls1 driveshaft if anyone has one.

General tidying up of the engine bay and everything.

Finally my real question, I would like to just replace all the fluids in the car. Its at about 92k and as far as I'm concerned, the Trans fluid is the only one that can reach a point where you don't want to replace it but its all fine and dandy in there. Are there shops that will just flush and refill everything for some fee? I can do it myself but I'm just wondering what the heck I'm gonna do with all those fluids. Not trying to poison the eco-system of my backyard or anything.

Anyone else have any ideas of things that might be good to look into doing for a car thats been sitting for about a month?

RedAcesMotorspo 04-27-2013 06:09 PM

Re: Finally can "rehab" my TA. Looking for some advice
wait, you're adding bondo to cracks where? in the plastic nose? or on metal?

you don't want to use -bondo- on plastic pieces, if you look at it wrong, it will crack under your new fresh paint. no good. they make some stuff that is like a poly filler type goopy sticky stuff, that you usually use for that sort of thing, but i can't for the life of me remember what it's called.

also, no offence meant by this at all, but if you want a good quality paint job, unless you're a bodyman, don't bother bondoing anything yourself, it won't help the professionals, or make it any easier for them re-moving all of the stuff you put on it, or adding more bondo to the low spots, cutting away high spots etc.

unless you have quite a bit of bondo experience (i don't know.. maybe you do???) imagine putting a pancake on your hood, and painting over it... it'll be nice and glossy everywhere, then a huge ugly spot where you attempted to fix it. haha.. ok, not my best analogy....

i'm just saying, you will save the body man a lot of headache by not touching it and letting them do it from the start (time = labor hours = money you pay). and probably save money in the long run too. there are different types of bondo, different thicknesses, and specific ways to apply it, and there's a serious art to doing it correctly.

------- i'm not saying you are incapable though!!!! you may be a badass, i don't know :)


headliner... that's a hard one. i usually just go to the fabric store, buy some spray glue, and go to town, but the fabric doesn't always match. I have seem plastic replacements for 3rd gens, not sure about 4th gens, mine doesn't need one. up to you on that one.


why an LS1 driveshaft? (strictly curious... i legitimately don't know the difference between the LT-1 and LS-1 driveshafts.)


um......... i'm sure just about any shop will flush and replace fluids?????

In fact, at least here in the Austin, Texas, there is a lube shop on just about every corner and they all replace and flush fluids, and as you request, they definitely charge for it..... (or am i missing something in your question?)


it's only been sitting a month? probably due for an engine rebuild for sure... j/k j/k

nah, aside from what you mentioned, just.... drive it, burn off all of the month old gas, put fresh stuff in it.

you may or may not need to think about a complete tuneup though, if you've never had one done on that car.. not like.. RIGHT now, but, soon, just for the sake of doing it.

valve job, injector flush, plugs, wires, coils, belt, flush power steering, radiator, trans, oil, rear end fluid (seriously... who EVER checks their rear end to make sure it's got the fluid it needs? It's a good thing to do) and stuff like that... you're looking at HUNDREDS of dollars in fluids though.

but, i think you're off to a good start man!

nodnarb481 04-28-2013 08:52 AM

Re: Finally can "rehab" my TA. Looking for some advice
thanks for the response bro. I guess your right about the bondo. mine as well just do it right the first time and let the shop take care of it.

LS1 driveshafts are balanced so they dont vibrate as much as the heavier steel lt1 driveshafts. when I drive down the highway, it sounds like the thing is going to explode through the floorboard at around 65 mph. So I just want to get rid of that and make it a smoother ride. I'm not putting down any kind of power thats gonna twist an aluminum one.

I figure any shop will do the fluids. I did some pricing and its expensive so my buddy is going to help me out. he has a lot of land and a garage I can use so fluids won't be an issue. we can store them in a barrel or something.

as for the tune up - just about everything has been replaced on this car in the last few years. the wires, the plugs, radiator (but the coolant in there doesn't look to pretty hence I want to replace it), the rear end, the valvetrain, tons of it. But I will probably freshen some stuff up because.. why not?

I guess none of my questions were really burning, I'm just excited to be back in the game and so I wanted to post about it haha. Driving my subaru legacy around every day has my balls tingling for some serious torque so I've got a serious fever to work on this car.

Something I can't seem to locate though, reasonably priced fog lights. know a good place to look? **** they're even ~$70 on ebay??

RedAcesMotorspo 04-28-2013 04:42 PM

Re: Finally can "rehab" my TA. Looking for some advice
you're welcome, and, man, if your driveshaft is rattling like that, i wonder if you didn't hit something along the way and bend it. they don't come wobbly from the factory really, or, maybe it would be cheaper to have yours balanced at a driveshaft shop?? purely speculation. there may or may not be a driveshaft shop anywhere within 100 miles of you, i really don't know.

or, maybe your seals, or U-joints are going bad (possibly caused by prolongued unbalanced drive shaft). i have a 91 rs i put an LT1 in, and used the stock 91 steel drive shaft in it, and have no problem, it's smooth, despite it's over 20 years old, and i also have a 99 SS LS1, which rattles like crazy but the tranny is currently screwed, the U-joints are bad, and i think the rear end may be too so, i dont know. (i bought it as a fix n flip)

but, i mean, it couldn't hurt to replace it, you'd reduce some weight, and that's never a bad thing.

as for fog lights.


i was fortunate on the 3rd gen, someone makes an aftermarket fog light that looks almost exactly like the Z28 / Iroc fog lights of the time, so i took the grill off of my RS, and installed those to give it the Z28 look. I think i paid like $30 for those, but they are rectangular so wouldn't help you, but, the point i'm trying to make is, I have also seen aftermarket round lights at various stores and on ebay that will fit in the bird's grille. they are much cheaper than any sort of OEM replacement, and generally h2 or h4 bulbs. (i think the stock ones are too) ... i had an 02 fb formula, i don't remember what the measurement was on those lights, and i'm not sure what yours are either, but.......... just for shins n giggles,

2pc 4" Round Fog Driving Lights Comes with Bulb Wiring Universal Fitment | eBay

3.5" Round Driving Fog lights 55w h3 3 1/2 inch light universal 4" Style Light

7 Changeable Halo Color 4" Round Projector Fog Lights Lamps w Switch Bulbs | eBay


just remember, you don't have to go STOCK, you can make anything fit anywhere with a little bit of ingenuity. these install with a screw driver, and some wiring. these links are all different sizes, so measure yours and find something like that, if not one of those...

i may actually get the halo lights for the SS i'm fixing up. they are cool.

Injuneer 04-28-2013 05:56 PM

Re: Finally can "rehab" my TA. Looking for some advice
The LT1 steel driveshaft vibration is a very common problem. It has to do with the critical frequency of the shaft, not imbalance or being bent. It was such a common problem that GM issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that allowed many people to get a free aluminum replacement driveshaft from the 1LE models. Subsequently, people have opted for the LS1 aluminum driveshaft to solve the critical frequency problem. It usually only shows up with the higher RPM associated with 3.73 or 4.11 gears.

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