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Old 12-09-2012   #1
89JerseyGTA
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Restoring Jersey89GTA

Hi all, I been around for almost a year now and I figured I'd share my journey of the resto of my 89 GTA. I've mentioned my interesting details of the the botched delivery nightmare I experianced, I will go thru that and then move on to all the replacements and repairs, post lots of pics and create a log of all I have done so far and future projects.

This site has been very informative and valuable, thanks Frankie for all your efforts to keep the GTA alive. Thanks to the other guys who participate and offer advice. I am on the 3rd gen site, but it seems a little out of control over there and prefer this site.

The car:
100% stock 89 GTA, 5.7L TPI, Ttops, speedo said 61K miles but was not working. I got it working now. Estimate 75Kish miles. I have the original receipts of the original purchase made from dealer in FL. Car was about $22,000 new. No window sticker, but has the SPI ? sticker showing the Y84 .... was loose in owners manual.

I live in Jersey, bought car off Auto Trader in FL, I wanted a white, 5.7with Ttops in fair condition .... the one I looked at in North Jersey was an 88 dig dash, but in Rat condition, I walked and decided to spend a bit more for one better.

Anyway - I see the car, have a friend go test drive and look at it that happened to be local, he was busy moving his house ... had another lady make the transaction, paid her for her troubles, deal was done.
I arranged a car carrier - call the broker service, the 20 brokers emailed me quotes from $450 to 600 to truck the car up to NJ.
Its a crap shoot, you have to lock in with one so they can get it picked up ...

Truck co was "Nicolas Auto Transport" out of FL(don't recommend), they picked up the car on a Tuesday. Owner video taped the car getting loaded onto trailer and posted it on youtube for me. Great guy.

Thursday I called trucker and was anxious to get my car Fri/Sat ....

There was an accident with your car - there is damage and we are getting it looked at ... blah blah .... now I am going out of my mind.

Long story short, they(truck co) said it was a "Hit and Run", that was a big lie.
Turns out Police report said.... "Car fell off trailer and slid across 2 lanes on I-95, 9:30pm in St John County FL, striking a no Uturn sign and guard rail in the median."

Long story short again, I bought insurance from Geico the day before the car was loaded ... their insurance gave me the run around .... Geico was great and got me repaired and whole car was repaired and repainted.

The way this turned out, yea I got paint and tires and few repairs done via the insurance, but I went thru hell.

Then they finally delivered the car TWO WEEKS LATER. I had pictures in the mean time, but it rained the week the drove it up, see the photos, 2"of water in the back trunk, along with all the glass, wet everywhere.

OMG, what am I getting myself into ????

Here is the car when I saw it on Autotrader, the damage, and then delivery.

Thanks for listening, stay tuned, feel free to comment and offer advice.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_6712A.jpg (185.2 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6713A.jpg (115.0 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6715A.jpg (180.9 KB, 32 views)
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Old 12-09-2012   #2
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

The Damage..... there is front damage which the car carrier didnt want to share with his photos ....
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File Type: jpg Damg1.jpg (93.8 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg Damg2.jpg (87.5 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Damg3.jpg (81.5 KB, 37 views)
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Old 12-09-2012   #3
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

This is how it was delivered. Notice water and glass in the truck, I immediately shop vac'd it ...
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File Type: jpg Feb 24 Car Delivery 002AA.jpg (111.4 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg Feb 24 Car Delivery 017AA.jpg (149.9 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg Feb 24 Car Delivery 007AA.jpg (160.3 KB, 34 views)
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Old 12-09-2012   #4
MunsonGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I would have sued the shit out of the carrier company. Either their insurance would have paid for it, or their company would have.
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Old 12-09-2012   #5
rhomanski
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I had my Corvette brought out from Georgia by some carriers. Most I called quoted from $800 to $1000. One quoted me $500. I went with them. Paid them the money up front and drove out and waited. When they arrived the driver told me I had to pay him $500 or he would keep it. I was angry, but paid, because the others quoted $1000 and I didn't really have much choice. Still, I didn't like being lied to. I should count myself lucky I suppose after hearing your story. Sorry that happened to you. I think, on your first drive, when you hear that highway sound, the anger will fade.

As far as the insurance goes, Geico will sue them and get their money back. Travelers did that for me a couple times. The only one that refused to help was Progressive. I'll never have insurance with them ever again.

These cars are simply beautiful. Corner like a dream, fast acceleration, and they look great. When your driving it you don't have a care in the world. Enjoy the ride.

Regards,

Ron.
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Old 12-09-2012   #6
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I bought the Geico policy on Feb 7, day before car was to be picked up. I activated the insurance to start coverage on Feb 8. Accident happened on Feb 8.
I gave the truckers insurance co every opportunity to rectify and send me a check for the repairs. Actually they estimated about $5200for the repairs. But they would not release the check. They kept saying the claim is still being investigated cause of the "hit and run" lie by trucker I mentioned in the first post.

Meanwhile, the shop already started the repairs, dents were fixed and car was in primer when I cut Geico adjuster loose after giving up on the other ins co. They didn't even raise a question, estimated the repairs at $6200 and I had a check in 2 days. I was very impressed with Geico. They said they would subrogate the money from the other ins co. - not to worry. About three days later the other ins co said they would send me a check ... I laughed at the guy and said "TOO LATE A-HOLE" you had your chance.

There was underlying damage from sliding across the hwy (in park) and most liikely the emergency brake engaged.
Tires had bad flat spots. So new pups were part of the deal. Transmission had to be dropped and resealed.

A pal has a body shop in another state, but he said I had to round up the parts. I found a back window on craigs for $50 close to home. It was perfect, no rust on trim and all the spoiler clips were in tact. The guy was building a "Night Rider" for someone that defaulted and he was parting it out ... got rear bumper cover $150 from an 88 parts car about an hour from home and a gauge cluster so I could fix the odometer. That was a fun project to do on the kitchen table.
Bought tail lights from 88RedGTA guy on this site - whole set like $200ish. New badges $200 ... I was up to about $900 in parts, along with alot of legwork.


So all in all, by the time I got body work, paint, transportation to/from, tires, trans work, and about $900 in parts. The insurance money was right about enough.

Then the 89 wasn't a classic car yet so I had to get a state inspection.
Took to local mechanic that inspects/repairs.

No Catylitic converters, need those, needed brake pads (glazed over) and one caliper, car smoked - recommended new valve seals, they went to look and ALL of the valve springs were broke.
everyone immediately thinks it was over-reved, Googled it and it says usually from cheapo stock springs crappy metal, fatigue ... anyway that was fixed. Power steering pump needed repair ...

Cats, brakes, transmission repair, PS pump repair, 32 valve springs, new seats, rear axel seal ......$2K later. Got it back in shape, running better. Then new tires $500 ish.

Here it is at body shop, all plastics off, dents pulled (no fill), notice that door panels and most of the interior plastic has to be removed to get to alot of the bolts .... More to follow.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo.JPG (108.3 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-03-14_09-02-52_336.jpg (622.2 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-03-14_09-02-37_233.jpg (566.5 KB, 25 views)
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Last edited by 89JerseyGTA; 12-09-2012 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 12-09-2012   #7
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Painter did a fair job, I am happy with it. All the plastics and the new FG spoiler were painted with a "Flex agent" and they did several coats of clear.

I chose the black badges, I like them over the white on white, I still have the old whites, but the look aged.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo222A.jpg (95.2 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg photoccddss.jpg (101.5 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg photoasdfg.jpg (86.6 KB, 28 views)
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Old 12-09-2012   #8
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

HOLY CRAP!!! If your car wasn't in mint condition before the transporters wrecked it, then I'd say their blunder worked out in your favor.
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Old 12-10-2012   #9
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Someone would've died over this....and it wouldn't have been me.
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Old 12-10-2012   #10
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I had that thought a few times, wasn't easy to control.
First off, my now "banged up GTA" is sitting in the truckers yard ... somewhere in North FL with a tarp over it.
They were going to attempt to get it fixed !!! I said no-no, you aint putting 2" of mud in my fenders, then they said they had to hold vehicle until their insurance co came to look at it, I said they can look at it up here at my shop !! Then they had to wait for the Police report from the FL State Police. Its rather interesting. Forgot to mention that the truckers didn't know it fell off ..... read below

"V01 a car hauler was traveling northbound on 195 In the outaide travel lane. A car being hau ed by V01 came de ached from V01 's trailer and entered the
outside travel lana. The detached vehicle veered across the northbound 195 travel lanes tra eling in a westerly c irectlon. The detached vehicle entered the
inside emergency lane and the rear of the vehicle struck the no u-turn sign located 297 mile marker emergency ehlcle turn around. Driver #1 of V01 was
unaware one of the vehicles become detached from the trailer and left the scene. SI. Johns county Sheriffs Offi(ia was able to Intercept V01 and return in
to the scene.
The vehicle that became detached was a 1999 Pontiac 2D, vin ######, no ta~ asaiqned."
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Old 12-10-2012   #11
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Keep up the good work!!! I miss my GTA!
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Old 12-10-2012   #12
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Wow. I hope the car is right in the end. Unfortunately now it will have a stain on it's carfax. I would still sue the trucking company. You can't lose and they NEED punitive damages levied against them. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2012   #13
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Well - what are you gonna do ? The nasty is done, I'm over it, its got a new paint job, tires, brakes etc, didnt cost me a dime
At least it wasn't a salvage title, whats worse ? Yea its a scar on the carfax, but there aren't many beaters out there that haven't been tapped. As long as it wasn't totalled/salvage, then it may have gone to the crusher.

It runs like a raped ape now, just need a few more tweeks until its really a sweet ride. Runs straight- Engine is tight, trans is tight, no leaks.

Things I've done so far:
Valve springs
Brakes
Cat Converts
Rear seal
PS fix
New Tires - Kuhmos
Paint/Body work
Dash Pad
Removed plenum/cleaned up
Cleaned up runners
EGR Sol
EGR Valve
ESC
MAF
TPS
Rear view mirror
Shifter knob
Arm rests
Rear seats
Pow mirror control
Orange side maker lenses


Plans for future:
Tune up- plugs/wires/injectors
Exhaust system
Interior redo, carpet,
leather seats,
sunvisors,
steer wheel recover.
Turn signal arm control
Improve PWindow speed
Dynamat or other acoustic prior to carpet
Get AC working.

Probably 10 more things.

Its alot of fun to drive with the tops out !
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Old 12-13-2012   #14
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Recently redid the marker lights, had to fix a fog light after the accident, body shop didnt align too well so took off the under shrouding which turns out to be part of the front air shirt package ...
many bolts and screws later it was easy to get to orange front side marker. Picked up new ones on flea bay like $10/ea =new, what a difference in colors. The white bleeched out faded comes thru pretty clear in these pics, you can tell which is new ... little bit at a time.
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File Type: jpg 2012-12-02_14-51-02_793.jpg (810.6 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-12-08_09-57-53_474.jpg (678.5 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-12-08_09-58-12_0.jpg (858.5 KB, 14 views)
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Last edited by 89JerseyGTA; 12-13-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012   #15
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I'm not a violent person...but sometimes there is no replacement for a good old a$$ whooping. As a matter of fact, some more of this would put a stop to some of the "political correctness" going on in our country...

I would have been in court with the carrier, their insurance should have covered the damage since it was in their care the vehicle was damaged...unless you signed a waiver which I am sure you didn't.

The worse is behind you, you have your car and new paint is how to look at it!
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Old 12-16-2012   #16
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

You should have gotten the insurance to cover the cost of the carpet since you say the interior got soaked from rain.
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Old 12-19-2012   #17
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

Yea, I went thru all those emotions. I was in NJ they were in FL, I wanted to be done with them and move on. Getting the 1K from my insurer iced them pretty good. Besides I would have probably had to get a lawyer, then paying the lawyer ... long distance, big money/time to pay for a $400 carpet, so I moved on.

On to more resto !

Question - I want to paint the engine bay -should it be high temp paint ? or will regular spray paint work ok ? Firewall and radiator top both get very hot.
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Old 12-22-2012   #18
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I am sure that I have said this before but I really think this is the worst thing I have ever read about what has happen to someones GTA. I look at all of the photographs that you posted, and I think it is very lucky to only get those damages from that type of accident. Or the truck must have been moving very slowly at the time that this happened.

If this happened to me and I was buying some used old GTA, I would have just got the insurance money from the totalled GTA. If they gave you over six thousand dollars for the damage, you are very lucky because that is so much more than they would have paid if it were totalled. Because if you look on the blue book value of a 1992 GTA that is in very good condtion, it only lists the values at about two thousand five hundred dollars. I am using the 1992 GTA as my example because that is the only one that they list on the blue book values since it is so old. I guess that blue book values are only for cars no older than twenty years old because I can not find a listing for any other GTAs like 1987, 1988, 1989, etc.

I would not have kept this GTA because of all the damages and the record that it has from the accident. The only reason I would keep it is if it was a car that I had from when it was new, as with my own GTA, that would be the only reason I would keep it after such an accident. But since you purchased this one used, I would have just taken the money and bought another one that did not have the damages to it. The insurance company that paid you must be stupid because they would have totalled it instead of paying that much for it. And if they totalled it, how can you get it from them and the money that they pay you? Is it possible?

Good luck,

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Last edited by YumikoGTA; 12-22-2012 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012   #19
89JerseyGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

I actually had 3 adjusters look at the car and they all valued "Replacement Values" in like condition upwards around $8500 to $9500 -great condition high end.

NADA - Car Values
Pricing Original$20,339
MSRP Low$3,275
Retail Average$6,950
Retail High$9,400

Retail
Options: (add options)
ADD-AIR CONDITIONING 10% 10% 10%
ADD-SUNROOF 5% 5% 5%
See all options chosen
TOTAL PRICE $20,339 $3,765 $7,992 $10,810*


The car had 61K miles so it was considered higher. The damage was nothing detrimental to the frame and I had to fix it inorder to resell. Yea I could have taken the $6K and went shopping again, but now my car is fixed, new paint, new tires, new tuneup/engine work, valve job, valve seals, brakes, calipers, rotors, trans tuneup= dropped pan, new fluids clean screen, new filter, resealed.

Body/Paint $3K
Mechanical $2K
Body parts $ 600
Tires $500

Total ......... $6100

Cost to Me $ 0.00

No frame damage. If it were totalled then there would be a salvage title, which really devalues a car and the scrapers and parts choppers valued it around $900ish for parts.

Right now I am at where I wanted to be, a decent car that needs minor interior work, runs good, low mileage, and looks great.

GTA are fun cars to fool around in So why not keep it !

At the end of the day its still a firebird with a 350 in it, and some nicer wheels.
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78 Trans Am(84 to 86)
84 Trans Am (86 to 88)

Last edited by 89JerseyGTA; 12-23-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 12-23-2012   #20
1badGTA
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Re: Restoring Jersey89GTA

you are making me rethink A COLLECTORS policy and just use Geico. I have Geico for my other cars and mine is worth a bit to Geico due to low miles apparently
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