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My 1987 Trans Am Delima

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posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:12 AM
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My first car was a 1987 Trans Am. The previous owners hacked it up pretty good (or bad, as the case may be).

It didn't last me long before I had to stop driving it but I loved that car. Several years ago I tried getting it going again, registered on some Thirdgen F-body forums for help and advice, found a lot of good knowledge there back then that got me started in the right direction. But even so, I ran into too many problems and had to stop due to lack of money, time, and patience.

I went through a really rough period and nearly ended up homeless. I took the '87 Trans Am back to my parents' house, pushed it back near the woods, and left it.

It's been there for 7 years now, sad and neglected. I still miss the car but at this point I'm wondering if it's even worth it. The previous owners had abused the car so much, cut up the wiring harness, removed and blocked off vacuum tubes, and some things that seem like they have been spared just... don't work for whatever reason, or they do something completely unexpected (for example, attaching the wire to the choke on the carburetor turns the security light on the dashboard on).

In the past 7 years nature has decided to try to eat it. Since it was next to the woods, trees, bushes, and vines are starting to grow all around it, in it, over it, through it... I don't have the money to put into it right now but I did clear out the trees enough to hopefully pull it away from the woods yesterday. I'll get it ready to move tomorrow, but the question is still... is it worth it? I see people selling Trans Am's in much better condition than mine for relatively cheap. Some even cheaper than mine cost me in the first place more than 10 years ago when I first bought it. There's a decent amount of bodywork that needs to be done. That's not much of a problem for me, since that's what I do for a living, I can handle that fine. The mechanical aspect of it isn't too bad either, and I'd love to start spending money on parts to bolt on and modify it, but even if I did all that I'm still left with screwy wiring and electrical gremlins that I don't have the patience to figure out.

So my question is... should I start over? Should I say forget my first car and just find one in decent shape that I can deal with? I still love these cars but this one has had a rough life... it might just be time for it to retire.

I know what the answer is going to be, really. I just have to type out what I'm feeling right now. I miss the old car but I can't say it's very sentimental. Yes, it was my very first car but that's about it. It gave me much more frustration than it did fun. I'm more nostalgiac for an old 80's wedge-shaped sports car than I am for THAT car in particular, though I'd prefer one that was, more or less, identical to the one I had, except in better shape without the wiring harness all cut to bits that I've tried to patch up with no luck.
edit on 10-3-2017 by Aldakoopa because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

Have to reply fast cause on lunch. For me I would leave it and start over. U have to drag it out of the woods and do bodywork and electrical. Everything will have to be gone through. I say not worth it. U can pick up an 85-87 Monte ss for example for a couple grand. Running but rough around the edges. Mid 80s muscle cars are not hard to come by.just my opinion



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:21 AM
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originally posted by: TinySickTears
a reply to: Aldakoopa

Have to reply fast cause on lunch. For me I would leave it and start over. U have to drag it out of the woods and do bodywork and electrical. Everything will have to be gone through. I say not worth it. U can pick up an 85-87 Monte ss for example for a couple grand. Running but rough around the edges. Mid 80s muscle cars are not hard to come by.just my opinion


Yeah, I tacked on a sort of afterthought after I posted the original message. I already know what people's answer is going to be. 80's sports/muscle cars are pretty cheap and they'll pretty much all need work. I just need to talk it out and get it off my chest so to speak.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

Do you love the car enough to deal with all the hassle???
It might be a romantic thought but....are you willing to take it on??

If you love it...do it.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:23 AM
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I feel your pain. I have a 91 GTA that has been sitting for a couple of years because ... life. All it needs is some new tires, a new battery, re-assemble the dash, and a good cleaning. I will get it back on the road this summer.

I'd say start looking for another one. Hang on to the one you have for parts. First and foremost, get a factory service manual. Those things are worth their weight in gold.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:26 AM
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I'm in kind of a similar situation. My advice would be to concentrate on doing the body work, and slowly remove the chopped up garbage.
Good body work is an art that most people can't pull off without butchering it. So if you can do a solid quality job on it but then decide not to finish it, you'll be able to sell it off at a better price than if you spend the majority of your time trying to sort out the innards.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:29 AM
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I always loved this one, and I hope it plays. Maybe it will help you with its message. (Not about the donating but about how we see things).
Its only 30 seconds.

youtu.be...

Cheers!
edit on 10/3/17 by gardCanada because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:37 AM
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originally posted by: ThickAsABrick
I'm in kind of a similar situation. My advice would be to concentrate on doing the body work, and slowly remove the chopped up garbage.
Good body work is an art that most people can't pull off without butchering it. So if you can do a solid quality job on it but then decide not to finish it, you'll be able to sell it off at a better price than if you spend the majority of your time trying to sort out the innards.


The trouble is there's cars out there that are fairly cheap and have less overall work needed to be done to them. I can never figure out how to post images on this site so here's some uploaded to imgur:


Before clearing away the bushes and trees: imgur.com...

After clearing them out: imgur.com...

Here's a nice long branch that decided to grow up behind my master cylinder through a bunch of wiring harnesses and make its way out around the headlight: imgur.com...

For reference, here's a couple of similar cars that don't cost a terrible amount of money and are in relatively great shape:

1987 Trans Am GTA, $3,950

1987 Trans Am, Excellent condition, $6,999 (Probably overpriced, but still not too bad for the condition it's in)
edit on 10-3-2017 by Aldakoopa because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 12:28 PM
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First of all , I totally understand, as my favorite car is sitting 20 miles away in a similar situation. However, reality is that our beloved hot rods sit low to ground which promotes rot. Also you will most likely have mold in every nook and cranny, all the dash and interior are also probably no good. That 80's Era foam is a moisture trap, not good.

I feel your pain, but I would have say get one that hasn't sat. Sitting destroys everything.

If you have a garage or man cave, take the hood and mount in on the wall. Go ahead cut the bits and pieces that you want and hang em up, that way you still have some of your baby around.
It's what I'm probably going to do myself, as mine was a convertible cobra, and hasn't survived sitting very well..

Sorry for your loss, but don't keep kicking your own ass and wallet to save a memory.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 12:44 PM
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From a financial standpoint, it's a money pit, but as a labor of love it might be worthwhile if it satisfies some inner need of yours.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 01:57 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

yeah i wouldnt mess with that.
scope craigslist for a private seller. could prob get one for 3k or less running in 'good' shape...work it slowly while you drive it. couple thou into it and you have a nice ride



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

Yeah it's a tough call. My only argument is that a solid rebuilt body is worth more than scrap. If you can fix the body you may find it's worthwhile going all the way, or sell off at a better price than you would get for it now.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 05:24 PM
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Not to mention that you are going to most likely replace all of the brake lines, and any other steel lines under the car, those lines go pretty quickly in a situation like that.



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 06:45 PM
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1987?



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: FlyingFox

Yes, why?



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 08:57 PM
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pull it out the woods, put a car cover on it and just let it sit, maybe when you`re 50 or 60 years old you might have the money, time and patience to do something with it.

my first car was a 10 year old 68 firebird, I fell on hard times and couldn`t afford to keep it on the road so I parked it behind my brothers barn, after about 5 years he sold the place and left the car there when he moved.I didn`t find out that he moved until about 6 months after he moved,i went by the house but didn`t see the car there I don`t know what ever happened to it, but now that I have the time, money and patience to do something with it I wish I still had it.



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 12:42 AM
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originally posted by: Aldakoopa
a reply to: FlyingFox

Yes, why?


Curious.



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

I think it depends entirely on whether you care about THAT car.

If it is the case that you miss driving THAT car, that you want THAT car to live again, then you will find the reserves of patience you need, to get the thing running again, get its bodywork ship shape and Bristol fashion, put it on the road and have a blast.

If, however, you do not care about that particular car, but would absolutely love to get something a little like it, or from a similar era, then you will do that instead. Only you can choose.

What I would say, is that if I were you, I would be thinking about getting that wiring sorted, rejuvenating all parts that could see use again, and seeing what you are left with at the end of it, because doing that will give you a better idea of the real work and cost load you would be dealing with. It would require patience, but that is a small price to pay!



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 07:41 AM
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If it were me I would be concerned about the underbody from it sitting.

Get it up on the hoist; see how much rot there is, and go from there.

If the undercarriage checks out, I would do a little bit every year to it. The electrical gremlins can be sorted out buy purchasing new wiring harness's for the car. I just went through all this on a 88 Mustang Ive had for five years.

Vacuum lines aren't a big deal, just time consuming. Became an expert with them after playing with Jeep YJ's that had an average of three miles of vaccum lines under the hood.

If that frame is punky though.....toss it and start over!



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: deuceawesome
If it were me I would be concerned about the underbody from it sitting.

Get it up on the hoist; see how much rot there is, and go from there.

If the undercarriage checks out, I would do a little bit every year to it. The electrical gremlins can be sorted out buy purchasing new wiring harness's for the car. I just went through all this on a 88 Mustang Ive had for five years.

Vacuum lines aren't a big deal, just time consuming. Became an expert with them after playing with Jeep YJ's that had an average of three miles of vaccum lines under the hood.

If that frame is punky though.....toss it and start over!


Some of the trouble is finding aftermarket support for these cars. Some parts that used to be avaliable are not any longer, or if they are they cost a tremendous amount. Some of the parts I need (front bumper and extensions to match an '87, currently has '84 nose on it) cost about as much as a whole running car in good shape does. Other parts I need, such as a replacement hood that matches the factory one, are not avaliable whatsoever. You also can't buy a new wiring harness, only a used one. I wish I still had my parts car buy I scrapped it a really really long time ago after I thought I didn't need it anymore.




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