1979 Trans Am Project Car- Frame Rot!...

1979 Trans Am Project Car- Frame Rot! What to do? =(

Posted in the Pontiac Trans Am Forum

John

AOL

#1 Sep 30, 2008
I recently bought a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am off of Craigs List for $1,000.

Car looked beutiful from the outside, but is a nightmare as far as appearance on the inside. No apolstry, wires for the windows exposed sicne a new center console was put in, and cracked dash.

Engine is a 350 full restored / new (unsure which) with lots of power. It drives great.

Will take a lot of work making it officially "road worthy" including wiring (all console stuff works but has been disconnected), rear tires, reverse lights and also needs brakes replaced and pipes for the exhaust.

Well, my cousin put it up on a lift and the nose sagged a good few inches. Says the front of the frame is rotted through and is very unsafe. Essentially a good pothole could possibly break the front end off, making it a very dangerouse item to have on the road.

So now I am faced with either selling the car, or trying to fix that. It was supposed to be a project, but I keep getting told that this flaw will make it impossible to afford.

So I just wanted to ask if anyone here knew if it would be worth it to keep it. What goes into repairing rot? I know it is expensive, but how expensive?

I am reluctant to just sell it because every time I see a Trans Am for under 2k it is usually missing both the engine and the tranny, while this one seems to have everything mechanically sound.

Oh and for realistic sake, college student on a college budget. Ive wanted a car of this year since I was about seven years old. I would like to keep it, but I also need to be realistic.

Can anyon eout there lend me some good honest advice?

Thanks,

John
mark

South Bend, IN

#2 Oct 7, 2008
camaro / fire bird sub frame thats it dont sweat it fix it under 800 bucks
mark

South Bend, IN

#3 Oct 7, 2008
by the way my email is [email protected] oh yea 70-81 maybe camaro and bird frames are the same
gary

Calhoun, TN

#4 Oct 15, 2008
well does the car have t-tops how good is the body and interior what color is it what color is the body why i ask is that alot of guys are looking for a black interior car now you said it had none so that is a easy fix if its got t-tops it would be a keeper just find a trans am sub frame a camaro would work but it has small block coil springs but you could use yours you can fix it or part it out have fun with it when the funs gone get rid of it
Bubba

Trenton, GA

#5 Nov 27, 2008
Go to transamcountry.com or hitman's pontiac transam forum (google it). Plenty of info about restorations on both sites.
rick Panama City Fla

United States

#6 Feb 12, 2009
I got a 1980 trans am with a solid body,motor and tranny you can have with a spare subframe you need to go in your car for the cost of just a subframe!!!!$1000.00 cash Beat that anywhere!!! And yes you need a subframe. Got a 1978 trans am i have just about restored now. Love the big block 400.I know what you mean about the old muscle cars.
78 trans am

Sherbrooke, Canada

#7 Apr 12, 2009
keep the car take it all apart learn about them keep all that is good scrap the rest and find a beter body.trust that you will learn alot doing this ,i have two of them and love it ,it will also help you when you look for a new one because you will then know whats good from bad on these cars .
luigi

Columbus, OH

#8 May 29, 2009
rick Panama City Fla wrote:
I got a 1980 trans am with a solid body,motor and tranny you can have with a spare subframe you need to go in your car for the cost of just a subframe!!!!$1000.00 cash Beat that anywhere!!! And yes you need a subframe. Got a 1978 trans am i have just about restored now. Love the big block 400.I know what you mean about the old muscle cars.
No such thing as a Pontiac "big block" anything. All the same block through 455
Jim

United States

#9 Aug 30, 2009
Sorry, but the 79 TA did not come with a 350. The automatic transmission version got a 403 built by Oldsmobile. The 4-speed got the Pontiac 400 - I bought mine new in 79 with the 403
jon

Summerside, Canada

#10 Feb 19, 2010
I need some advise any body seen a 68 firebird with a 79 front sub frame on it. I did not do this but that is what i have to work with. the frame is out an inch on the left side.
Jim

Buffalo, NY

#12 Jan 19, 2011
will a 77 front clip bolt onto a 79 with minimal issues
pete

Rockland, ME

#13 Apr 14, 2011
you can find subframes all day long for under 500 including shipping.
I am buying one that has been blasted with no rust at all for 400 delivered to Maine.
my old one is still in the car with no issues just wanted to start fresh.
if I get this done soon I could make you a good deal on my old one
Cody Hanley

Dieppe, Canada

#14 Sep 25, 2011
I got a chance to buy a 1979 Trans Am. Everything is in good shape, but frame is damaged minor underneath by wheel well, bad enough to put dust in the car. Any ideas on the price to fix it
Austin

United States

#15 Oct 6, 2011
luigi wrote:
<quoted text>
No such thing as a Pontiac "big block" anything. All the same block through 455
The Pontiac 400 and Pontiac 455 are both big inch blocks. The 403 was a small inch block but was an Oldsmobile.
ugo1st

Alpharetta, GA

#16 Nov 11, 2012
Hello,

I'm looking for a front subframe myself for my 1981 305 T/A. In my search for this piece I have found that in the year 1975 or 1976 the frame is two inche wider to accommodate the catalytic converter. This is true for the Camero as well. The tail of the subframe is longer too. I would like to find a frame of the same year (1981). If anyone knows of one please let me know.
hi there if its the front

Toronto, Canada

#17 Jun 28, 2013
then u can just change it out 4 bolts to pull off front frame but u got to undo rad surport then just go to junk yard and buy one thats not rotten and put new mounts on too thats the easy way to go
John wrote:
I recently bought a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am off of Craigs List for $1,000.
Car looked beutiful from the outside, but is a nightmare as far as appearance on the inside. No apolstry, wires for the windows exposed sicne a new center console was put in, and cracked dash.
Engine is a 350 full restored / new (unsure which) with lots of power. It drives great.
Will take a lot of work making it officially "road worthy" including wiring (all console stuff works but has been disconnected), rear tires, reverse lights and also needs brakes replaced and pipes for the exhaust.
Well, my cousin put it up on a lift and the nose sagged a good few inches. Says the front of the frame is rotted through and is very unsafe. Essentially a good pothole could possibly break the front end off, making it a very dangerouse item to have on the road.
So now I am faced with either selling the car, or trying to fix that. It was supposed to be a project, but I keep getting told that this flaw will make it impossible to afford.
So I just wanted to ask if anyone here knew if it would be worth it to keep it. What goes into repairing rot? I know it is expensive, but how expensive?
I am reluctant to just sell it because every time I see a Trans Am for under 2k it is usually missing both the engine and the tranny, while this one seems to have everything mechanically sound.
Oh and for realistic sake, college student on a college budget. Ive wanted a car of this year since I was about seven years old. I would like to keep it, but I also need to be realistic.
Can anyon eout there lend me some good honest advice?
Thanks,
John
Djv

Lithonia, GA

#18 Jan 1, 2014
I have a 79 transam good body no rot on it needs paint job and interior work done how much can i get for it as is no engine
Djv

Lithonia, GA

#19 Jan 1, 2014
Oh forgot to mention has hoodscoop on hood was mine till my husband took it away cuz i raced it won but the new camero that lost hit the light at the wrong time and he got hit and his car was in DOA
rochleau

Madison, WI

#20 Mar 20, 2014
Austin wrote:
<quoted text>
The Pontiac 400 and Pontiac 455 are both big inch blocks. The 403 was a small inch block but was an Oldsmobile.
Pontiac never had big/ small blocks. Chevy had small and big block 400 ' s , Don't confuse Chevy with pontiac . Big and small block does not refer to cubic inches.

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