13th Mar 2007, 02:55
To the guys claiming these cars are junk.. maybe you got a lemon? Or maybe you don't know how to work on a car. I have a 76 and 79 and do not have any problems finding parts for either of them. If you think those vaccuum lines are bad, try working on a new car.
26th Mar 2007, 22:28
My brother and I both own '79 Trans Ams. His is red, mine is a black Special Edition "Bandit". Both have 403 Oldsmobile engines and Turbo 350 Automatics. These are both works-in-progress currently.
We just got done changing engine blocks in mine. Whoever drove it last really abused the last 403 block, as the timing gear had broken teeth, and mysteriously, I found gear teeth in the oil pump screen. The body needs professional help, but is holding together for now. Interior wiring will need to be redone, as well as a myriad of other details. But, hey! It's my little project.
My brother's red Trans Am was previously owned by an accountant who thought he could restore it, but found it to be too daunting of a task for his taste. Therefore he sold it to my brother for a whole $600. It was now my brother's very first car. Not bad. He also yanked out the original 403 which had a cracked piston skirt, and bought a freshly rebuilt 403. He and I commuted with this thing to and from work very often, and found it to be quite reliable and fun. Ultimately though, the transmission slowly gave out, and he let it sit for several years due to financial issues. For his help in changing out my engine, I recently bought two rebuilt Turbo 350's, one for me and one for him, in the hope that he'd revive his old bird and we could have them both on the road. That day will come.
1st Apr 2007, 11:33
I've owned a 1980 Turbo SE bandit for 7 years. I bought it as a project car, mainly for the body. It was rust free. I assumed the turbo engine was dead. One spark plug and wire set change later and it was running smoothly. As a matter of fact, it still runs today. The car has since been restored and the only thing left to do is the turbo engine. If you enjoy good handling cars with plenty of charisma, it's hard to go wrong with a TA.
As with any car, you have to know what to look for when buying one. It's easy to make a mistake without knowledge. First timers must check the bandittransamclub.com website for good information on what to look for with these cars. Check under Speed Demon Resto Tips by Patrick Smith.
28th Jun 2007, 23:36
Hi, I have a 1981 Trans Am Bandit. I love it, and it has a 301 turbo. It runs great; the best car.
4th Dec 2007, 15:02
You guys who say these 2nd generation Trans Ams are slow; it's because of the year and engine you bought. Now if you think the turbo Trans Am was bad, the Mustang Cobra did the 17s in the quarter with a V8 in those days. Nothing had power because of emissions. In the earlier 70s, the sd455 Trans Am was the fastest production car made in America until the 1994 Corvette Z06.
22nd May 2008, 22:12
Hey, I bought my very first car, and a car I always dreamed about getting, which is a 1979 Trans Am with a 403 engine that has a blown head gasket. I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips to fix it?
28th Jul 2008, 19:15
I am twenty years old and recently just purchased a 79 TA with a 403 when I was 19. (about 10 months ago) It was my first car. Since then I have put new HOOKER HEADERS, EDELBROCK 750 CFM CARB, MATCHING PERFORMER INTAKE, NEW TRUE DUALS, CAM, SPARK PLUGS, STARTER, BATTERY, CD PLAYER, and all I have left is a new transmission with a HURST shifter and I'll be straight!!!
She's grey with red interior and has t-tops. I haven't dynoed it yet but I'm thinking it has around 300-320 (maybe more) HP.
She's very fast and LOUD (overheating occasionally because of cooling). I have really GROWN with this car and have broke-down on several occurrences, nonetheless my pursuit to transform it into a RACE CAR is almost complete (lambo doors and functional hood scoop soon to come). Maybe I am CRAZY and FOOLISH like my family and friends say, or maybe, just maybe in another world... I seek perfection in speed! Is not that what we ALL try to do???!!!
4th Feb 2009, 12:00
After watching the movie Smokey and the Bandit I bought a 1979 Trans Am 403 engine in 1981. I have maintained this for 28 years. I only used valoline motor oil. The car does not use any oil with 178,511 miles. She looks and runs great. I would buy another one down the road. KEEP CRUISING!!!
18th Apr 2009, 17:00
I bought a 79 10th anniversary WS6 for $1000 and have had nothing but trouble for the past month.
I have had to replace the rear sway bar to a 1", because the stock one broke and the exhaust was totally rotted from the mufflers back, so I replaced it with flow-master 40 series and mandral bent pipes out the rear.
The gas tank had a hole in it from the sway bar when it broke, so I patched it.
The trans pan was sealed with RTV and leaked like a cow urinating on a flat rock when you fill it up.
The front and rear main seals leak a small bit.
I am currently replacing the donut on the passenger exhaust manifold. I have to drill and tap the two of three bolts that broke first.
All the interior needs to be replaced to stock one day.
All the lights work and the car starts like a champ every time.
I am currently trying to get the money up to afford the factory turbo wheels.
As of now the car is just about done, even though I know I will find something else once I finish the current issue. I don't see a real issue with the car though.
8th Jun 2009, 00:28
Have 79 trans am turned a 301 into 400. With a 72 Catalina 400. The hood will not close. 1-2 inch space. Either I need a new Hood shaker for the 400s compared to the 301. Or I need a low rise intake manifold so the shaker won't hit the hood.
21st Jun 2009, 15:41
I don't know how you people managed to score a Trans Am for the ballpark of $100 and it actually runs..
I would not be upset about some of the money that you have to put into it from that point.
I spent $4500 on mine and I had to dump at least another $1500 into it before it would be road worthy.
It is not a show car, and still needs a lot of work.
But it is definitely a fun ride.
If you want a problem-free 30 year old car, it will have to be restored and you should expect to pay over $10k for it.