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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
My name's Martin and I am from europe, and I would just like to share my story and felt to write it down. English is not my mother tongue, hope it's not to hard to read.

I own a '94 LT1 Trans am since 2012, and this year I just wanted to replace my Opti Spark since I had some misfiring earlier.

I decided to change the plugs, wires, distributor and coil and if I allready have drained the coolant, might as well change all the hoses and the water pump. And also change the Timing Chain cover, which I already ordered some months before, because it was leaking some oil. That was my plan.

So I took everything apart on Saturday 25th April and thought I would be done by the following week.

Had troubles to get the crankshaft hub out, because I didn't happen to have a proper puller-tool to get it off. That's why I ordered a tool, but had to wait for another few days. So when the tool finally arrived, I tried to pull the hub off, but It wouldn't come off at all. Was trying for like 3 hours, when I finally flexed it off.
Since I don't have a GM part guy around here, I order evertyhing from rockauto and summit straight from the us.
So I had to order a new hub, since I've had destroyed mine and while I was on it, decided to change the balancer too.

So I had to wait for the parts now and took the timing chain cover off. Taking the cover off, I somehow managed to harm the oil pan gasket.
"Might change the pan gasket too" is what I thought.

I undid the both motor mounts to lift the motor, and while I was working under there, I remember ordering some Poly mounts last year, so I decided to change them too. Took me some time though.

So finally on a weekday evening after work I managed to get the oilpan down. Ordered the gasket from a buddy around the block, that's why It arrived in my shop pretty fast.
But once the oilpan was off, I didn't want to risk having troubles with my 21 year old oilpump, and decided to order again from the US a new pump and because I had the timing chain cover already off, and harmed the crank sprocket a little with the flex, might aswell ordered a timing chain set.

When the oilpump finally arrived I was trying to get the old drive shaft out of the old pump, since the driveshaft is not coming with the new pump. That's when the retainer of the driveshaft on the old pump brake apart. They also won't send you a new retainer with the pump, although the retainer costs like 0.98$.
So I just had to reorder, and chose a driveshaft with a metal retainer, but now had to wait until the part arrived, so I could finally put in the oil pan.

Today my driveshaft arrived. Put the new pump and the driveshaft in, when I recognized it would be better If I first put in the timing chain cover, then the oilpan.
So took out my timing chain set to find out, the Cam sprocket won't fit, which means again, reorder a new set.:craz28: Luckily I was able to find one.

So after 3 weeks, my little maintenance service turned into a little project. Car still in my shop, waiting for parts now to hopefully finish the project by next weekend.

So stay tuned...

Greetings martin
 

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Welcome to the forum Martin. I was beginning to think you were going to rebuild the entire engine while your on the job.

One suggestion, when you install the new water pump, or put old one back on, drive a plastic fitting into weep hole of water pump. then attach a piece of tubing. When water pump back on car, you route the tubing so if water pump ever leaks from weep hole, optispark distributor won't get a bath. Very bad for opti to get wet.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Sounds like a bit of a project there, hope you can get her buttoned up by next weekend. I bet you get a lot of looks driving an Fbody in Europe I imagine thats a pretty rare car over there. Don't you have to have lights on your rear bumper?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you.
Thought about rebuilding the Engine at some point, but since it has only 60k miles on it, it would be a bit early. Maybe in a few years:D
The thing with the water pump is actually a pretty good idea, thanks for that. I putting in a MSD Opti, with vacuum line for venting.

Yeah this car is kinda rare around here, most people drive european cars, but I'm all into US V8 Power.
My grandfather used to drive an LT1 aswell, he was the first owner in '95, bought it brand new at a Chevy dealership and drove it until 2006. He passed away in 2011, that's why I wanted to have an LT1 too.

Mine has reflectors on the rear bumper, and a bigger space for the license plate. Guess that's the european version.
But in Switzerland we don't need those stuff, that's why I bought a second LT1 with a broken engine, which has the US bumpers with sidemarkers and the high rised wing, which I'm installing on my bird.
I can put up some pictures of it soon.

Alot of LT1 Trans ams that came over to europe just had the small wing.

regards
martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·


There I found a picture from last year. You can see here the reflectors (don't think the US version had that) and the bigger space for the license plate, although I have a Colorado license plate in there for the picture. :D
 

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I bet your car gets a lot of attention there. Very nice ride! Welcome to the forum.
 

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Looks good man! The reflector things are a lot more noticeable on the camaro's cuz there right in the middle of the bumper. I actually kinda like the low wing sometimes I used to think that all TA's had the high wing but then saw one for sale with a low one. And all those European cars over there don't got nothing on your TA :LS1LT1flag: lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Looks good man!
Thank you :)
But I think US bumpers look better. And I like the high rised wing better too, just looks more mean than the low one :D
The low one looks good also from some angles but just has nothing on the high one.

And all those European cars over there don't got nothing on your TA :LS1LT1flag: lol
They sure don't, they're boring:lol:

Here's a picture from the front. Noticeable compared to the US version are the small lights above the indicator. I hate them, they really need to get away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Today I just wanted to fill in the oil and go for the start. But when I tried to measure the oil level, a piece of the dip stick broke and got stuck somewhere in my oilpan. After about an hour, trying to get that piece out of there with a magnet, it luckily came out so I could finally start the motor.
Ran really good and smoothly, way better than before, thanks to MSD Ignition.
But It allready started to leak a little bit on the oilpan and timing chain cover.
So probably need to take down the oilpan again.:craz28::devil:
Stay tuned.
 

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I was working on my brother in law's honda once. Dropped a short extension. It fell right in a 1' square hole in top of transaxle. Then down between flex plate and torque converter.

Needless to say, trans had to be pulled to get that extension out of there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hehe luckily I was able to get it out with the help of two strong magnets. And yeah the feeling is pretty amazing once you get it out lol
Nevertheless I had to take down the oil pan once again, because the seal was leaking..
I just made a short building video what I did in the last couple of months.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2Gi9PDPTsE

Yesterday I installed the borla catback and started it for the first time since the leak, and it runs great.
No leaks so far, need to go for a test drive next week and check again.
Then I just need to change the brake fluid and check the passenger caliper, seems to be stucked a little bit.

And after that I'm going to put on the US bumpers and high rised wing and get a new paintjob, but thats probably taking alot of time, so I'm just gonna enjoy the summer and drive it, and during wintertime it gets the bumpers and wing.:LS1LT1flag:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe someone can give me some information.
Since I installed a TA Performance differential girdle I kept asking myself what excactly the Load bolts are for, and how they're installed right?

http://www.taperformance.com/PDF/Rear_End_Girdle_Instructions.pdf

Here is a picture how the girdle looks like with all the bolts.
I just made sure, the load bolts on both sides are equal but couldn't find out, what they're made for and how they're installed right.

Maybe some one can help me out here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I'm back for good, and wanted to put a little update on here.

The TA runs great, no leaks, everything is dry after 1200 Miles last season.

My TransAM is at a carbody shop right now, to get a complete repaint and a little bit of body cleaning will be done aswell and finally the rear window is gonna get tinted.
I already installed the US high rised wing, and the US bumpers front and back.

I am now thinking about upgrading my rear end with different gears.
Since my TA is an automatic, I'm not sure which one is gonna be the best. Right now I am running 2.72 which is way to long for me.
I could get a cheap complete 4.10 rear end, but I don't know if that is just to much.
I am not using the TA as a daily driver, I only drive it in the summer months on weekends, and the maximum speed we are allowed to drive here is 75 mph.

I don't need top speed, I just want the power at low rpms, for that I think the 4.10 would be a great choice, and I don't have to align the gears, because It's a complete rear end, ready to be installed.

So stay tuned :D
 

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Welcome back Martin. Glad to have you back.The only reason I would not use 4.10 gear ratio, if I lived where you do, is the price of gas(petrol) in Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you, I am glad to be back :cool:

Well, gas price isn't that much of an issue, since I only put about 2000 miles on the trans am yearly. It's a fun car, so I wouldn't mind, if he gets worse gas mileage.
Right now I have about 19mpg so If that would drop to about 15 I wouldnt mind.
 

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If gas mileage is not a concern, go with the 4.10 gear ratio. However, if your car is an automatic, have you considered a higher stall speed torque converter. Then the use of 3.73 gears. That would wake up acceleration nicely.
 
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