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Old 08-16-2007   #1
Josh
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My GTA is in the Shop...

Hey everyone just thought I would post an update on my GTA...Having just bought it a month ago I haven't had any work done on it except for a fresh oil change (which started my oil leak )...Anyway I was hoping I could find a good place to start taking my GTA rather than lets say Goodyear Tire or any other places that will cost me a fortune to get anything done...luckly a week ago I talked to my 25 year old brother (owns a 1979 Black Corvette Stingray , got me into cars) and he told me of a friend of his who he went to school with who owns a Shop called "Adrenaline" where I should take my car...so I did a week ago and told him who I was and got it checked out for a full out inspection because I told him it was running rough and they checked everything free of charge and even showed me some stuff Anyway...luckily I got it checked because they discovered a bad anti-freeze leak near the intake manifold that is currently getting repaired right now as I speak...its going to cost me about $500 canadian (half for labor and half for parts) and its going to take about 5-6 hrs they said because its a big job and if I were to get this done anywhere else pricing starts at about a $1000 canadian and up...anyway after that I am taking it in soon again for a full Tune-up because they said it also needs one badly and are going to replace the old wires, plugs, air filter, etc, etc...they are also going to fix my oil leak easily for cheap too and the thermastat is leaking too...wow good thing I got it checked out but don't worry other than that they were quite impressed with my GTA because they love working on sports cars (what they mostly fix)... I am just so happy that I found a reliable place with nice guys my brothers age that I get along with and can talk to and want to help in getting my GTA to run "like new" again and even are willing to help me on anything else I need... and there was another guy there who is willing to do body work or paint job for me whenever in the future too...So all in all to get the maintenance my GTA needs in will cost about $800 (500 for the anti-freeze leak) or so canadian which I am fine with because it would cost alot more anywhere else.... just really glad I know some good friends of my brothers where I can get my GTA fixed for more than reasonable prices I'd say and are willing to help me on anything too... after I dropped it off today they asked if I was ready for "Firebird Action lol" (meaning fixing my GTA) and said I should come out to their car show this weekend and was like sure if I can make it seeing how I've never been to one ... so you can already see they bond growing which is awesome and I saw my brothers friend who got his 1979 Corvette Singray (same as my brothers except yellow) fixed too...ANYWAY ....I think I am done rambling on and on and this is probably my longest post ever so thanks for reading but I think you'll appreciate my interest in GTA's lol... Thanks, and have a good day, Josh

P.S. - I already miss my GTA lol but I know its in good hands...
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Old 08-16-2007   #2
gtayumiko
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Back in 1992 when my GTA started to need the original parts replaced, I would bring it to GoodYear. GoodYear charges too much for stuff. For the last fifteen years now, I only bring my GTA to GoodYear for tires and alignments only. And yes, I remember the times when my GTA had that anti-freeze and sometimes the oil leaking around the heads and intake manifold areas. I think that is a typical issue with these GTA engines. Yumiko
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Old 08-16-2007   #3
87bucketgta
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Thats not to bad, these cars are not young anymore there gonna need some things from time to time, Seems like for every 1 thing I fix on mine I find 3 things to fix. So we all feel the pain here man. A good mechanic is very hard to find. Dont worry about price as much as if hes honest. I would rather pay a few extra bucks for someone to fix somehing knowing he is gonna stand behind it and he's not just trying to sling parts. Trust me been there done that
!!!!!
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Old 08-16-2007   #4
strc09
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: Custom
Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Mine is about to be back on the road...after more than six months of being down. YEAH!!! I loaded it up on the truck yesterday and tomorrow a friend and I are delivering it to Charlotte. It sucks that I'm taking it two hours away, but where I'd normally take it irritated me with what their machinist had to say and plus they won't do the "extra" stuff I'm looking at having done. So much for a speed shop...

Anyway...I'm hoping that it'll be up and running by the time I get back from my Little Rock trip that I leave on this weekend. I'm so ready to have my car back...running. I should even have a dyno sheet with it when I pick it up, I hope.
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GTA: Grand Turismo Americano (Grand Touring America)
1 of 930 1988 Gunmetal Metallic GTAs produced (RPO 87U)
Built by Zeus Performance and tuned by Alvin from PCM4Less
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Old 08-16-2007   #5
FearThisGTA
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GTA Year: 1991
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

That is cheap for that job considerin the Mitchell Labor Guide calls for 8 hrs of labor and yes, I have done that job and its not fun at all. Glad you are gettin her fixed.


Oh and Patrick I cant wait to hear the results on your engine.
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1991 GTA Trans Am
w/305,231 miles
on the original motor!!!!
Time of Death on motor, 4:07pm on 05/29/2010.
Hp:211.2@4200rpms/Tq.328.5@2700rpms
Best et: 13.959@97.05mph
Best mph: 98.3
Best 60' : 1.875 on BFG Comp TA's w/ 32 lbs of air in them
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Old 08-16-2007   #6
subliminal
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Save yourself alot of money and do the tune up yourself. If you can change your own oil you should be able to do a full tune up yourself.
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Old 08-17-2007   #7
Josh
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

haha thanks subliminal but I won't be able to do a tune-up myself because I have very little mechanical experience/knowledge...I am continually learning but have alot to learn yet...Thanks for the suggestion though...
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Old 08-17-2007   #8
Louvers
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Josh ... sounds like you were very fortunate to find a reliable person right out of the gate. I went to three different places (two of which were major dealerships) before I could find a quality mechanic that actually knows our cars. I figure that I wasted about $2500 in repairs that had to later be redone by someone else later. Of course I finally replaced just about everything that I could replace on my car including from a complete exhaust overhaul, new water pump, pulleys, timing chain, smog pump, complete ac system, power steering pump, maf, all relays, sensors, belts, hoses, alternator, battery, cables, swithes, radiator .... and the list goes on and on. Anyway, after all that I have done to my car over the past year or so I went to replace a less than one year old battery to drive it the other day and low and behold there's a puddle of antifreeze underneath of the car that you could swin in. Our cars are a blast but they are tempermental and can be high maintenance. It's a very good thing that our cars our so much fun to drive or I don't think that I could put up with all of the work that I have had to do to it.

Darrell
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Old 08-17-2007   #9
87bucketgta
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Darrell u hit that right on the head!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-17-2007   #10
strc09
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GTA Year: 1988
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Oh yeah...I'm hoping mine will be much more reliable when I get it back.
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GTA: Grand Turismo Americano (Grand Touring America)
1 of 930 1988 Gunmetal Metallic GTAs produced (RPO 87U)
Built by Zeus Performance and tuned by Alvin from PCM4Less
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Old 08-17-2007   #11
GTA50
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

I came across an interesting quote from a PBS documentary about US tanks in WW II. They said the Sherman tank "was built so it could be repaired by farm boys and driven by urban dwellers." I don't take that as an insult. I look at our GTA's in much the same fashion. My wife and I had considered Ferraris, Porches and Jags as fun cars to have, but we have owned Third Gens for the past 20 years and I can seriously tell you that for fun, they lose nothing to the imports. The past cars have all been V-6, 5-speed cars and I have consistently put 375,000+ km on each!!! I've only had my GTA since the beginning of June, but I have read alot about heat soaks, etc. from ThirdGen.Org and I have a 1989 Firebird (2.8L V-6, 5-speed - with 375,000 km and no engine rebuild yet). The GTAs are relatively easy to repair and actually fun to do so with. Without having your mechanic spending more time with your car than you do.

Best regards,

Gary.
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Old 08-17-2007   #12
GTA50
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

So to continue my long-winded commentary:

So, what I am getting at in a rather long-winded fashion is that what I see as the root of a lot of the problems with the GTA seem to relate to the aero-package. My '84 Camaro and my '83 Firebird SE never had any problems!!! My '89 Firebird consistently has a heat soak problem and wants to burn through the back two plug wires on the passenger side. This means that to keep the car happy, the engine must stay cool. Heat kills.

Other than that, if you want to keep the car, then consider the adult education shop classes to boost your knowledge or take out the top AAA membership and get a sense of humor. No dis-respect intended, but this is what I found I had to do.

Gary.
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Old 08-18-2007   #13
subliminal
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Josh its really not hard at all to do a tune up. Get yourself a repair manual and it will tell you step by step how to do it.
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Old 08-19-2007   #14
Josh
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by subliminal
Josh its really not hard at all to do a tune up. Get yourself a repair manual and it will tell you step by step how to do it.
Don't worry subliminal...my brothers friends are/have already taken care of it and are close to finishing a full Tune up, fixed the long anti-freeze leak job, plus my oil leak, and what not...plus they are doing a little extra to get it to run really good...and like I said i'm still an 18-year old learning about cars in general so I rather have professional people do it that I actually know what they are doing and people I can trust...thanks anyway though...I'm pretty excited to get it back Monday and see how good she'll be running...they would of had her done today but have a car show to do this weekend which they tryed to get my car done for because I've never been to a car show..but oh well...anyway ttyl, Josh
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Old 08-19-2007   #15
subliminal
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Youll never learn if you always have people do it for you.
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Old 08-20-2007   #16
Josh
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by subliminal
Youll never learn if you always have people do it for you.
yeah I see what you are saying...im trying to learn but this is something that needed to be done right away...not something I could slowly learn to do and put off for awhile...but yeah I am trying to learn stuff when I can...plus the guys down at the shop show and teach me some new stuff so its helpful...anyway have a good day....looking forward to having my car back tomorrow..Josh
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Old 08-20-2007   #17
FearThisGTA
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GTA Year: 1991
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Josh you have your whole life ahead of you. Take your time and you will learn as time goes. It just takes time. And just remember 2 thing: 1.) There is no such thing as a stupid question, except for the one you dont ask. 2.) Be sure and listen and pay close attn. and then use rule #1 when you dont undestand.
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Cliff Jones
1991 GTA Trans Am
w/305,231 miles
on the original motor!!!!
Time of Death on motor, 4:07pm on 05/29/2010.
Hp:211.2@4200rpms/Tq.328.5@2700rpms
Best et: 13.959@97.05mph
Best mph: 98.3
Best 60' : 1.875 on BFG Comp TA's w/ 32 lbs of air in them
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Old 08-20-2007   #18
sd89GTA
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Couldn't agree more about doing things yourself.........there is a downside though. One of the first things i did to my car was to give it a full tuneup after it just quit on me one day. Well, when i took of the first plug off the distributer, the little piece it attaches to came with it, as most of the rest, that's how corroded the plugs and wires were. ( and i bought it from a mechanic claiming it was in pefect mechanical condition). Anyways, it still didn't start, and it kept doing checking and rechecking for like three weekends. Eventually, i took it in and discovered the vats went bad, so i had it replaced at nearly 500+ bucks, only to realize i could of did it myself for like $30, but that was before I knew off this website. Anyways, next time somethings needs to be done, determine if you can do it yourself or will it require too much expertise, but just take your time and make a good choice.
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Old 08-20-2007   #19
GTA50
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Hey Josh:

There are many sources to help you learn and between this website and Thirdgen.org you are pretty much covered on f-bodies (that and a good basic manual). I do the majority of the work myself and find a mechanic to do the real agravating stuff (like adjusting the clutch on my GMC pickup with the 454 v-8 and headers - the clearance is only a few mm and I don't like third degree burns - lol). The only other pieces of advice I can offer - 1) don't do short-cuts - i.e. if a flywheel should be turned during a clutch job then have it turned; same for brakes; 2) from the hot rod shows on TV - don't waste hours trying to save an insignificant screw or bolt. I have found if you have the basic proper tools, common sense and a knowledge of your car, then you are already ahead of many of the shops.

Best regards,

Gary.
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Old 08-21-2007   #20
Josh
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Re: My GTA is in the Shop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearthisgta
Josh you have your whole life ahead of you. Take your time and you will learn as time goes. It just takes time. And just remember 2 thing: 1.) There is no such thing as a stupid question, except for the one you dont ask. 2.) Be sure and listen and pay close attn. and then use rule #1 when you dont undestand.
Haha thanks Fear...I am getting my car back tomorrow as the radiator went as they were getting ready to give it back to me but other than that it seems like it will be running pretty good ...anyway thanks I am learning when I can but mostly asking alot of questions too, it'll just take time....ttyl, Josh
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