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Old 05-17-2016   #1
aseyc
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New Owner

Hi guys,

I have just got an 87 Red GTA last week. I live in Malta Europe and although we have quite some Firebirds, they are still considered as rare like most American Cars.

This car is quite solid with the only rusty place being the driver side door. This will have to be changed. The car is red however the previous owner did not do a good job and I need to respray the outside. I also need to clean up a bit the interior with blown bulbs, some panels need re-glueing etc... It has a digital dash so have to be careful.

I also have to adjust the doors as they rub with the rocker panel (the bushings are fine) and have to adjust also the fenders and front nose alignment.

I have 2 questions (for now) which I would like to clear.
1. Did all GTA come with the Aero Style Spoiler. I am asking as I do not fancy so much the Aero Spoiler and currently it has the standard one which I like most. Was thinking of leaving it like that but would like to know is GTAs ever came in with the normal spoiler.

2. This car had its catalytic converter taken off. It has a single exhaust pipe coming out of the rear. I need to take it to an exhaust shop as there is some exhaust leak which is allowing exhaust fumes to come inside and was wondering how did GTAs come as standard? Where they always single exhaust?

I hope I didn't annoy you. Thanks and lets keep the GTA alive !!
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Old 05-17-2016   #2
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by aseyc View Post
Hi guys,

I have just got an 87 Red GTA last week. I live in Malta Europe and although we have quite some Firebirds, they are still considered as rare like most American Cars.

This car is quite solid with the only rusty place being the driver side door. This will have to be changed. The car is red however the previous owner did not do a good job and I need to respray the outside. I also need to clean up a bit the interior with blown bulbs, some panels need re-glueing etc... It has a digital dash so have to be careful.

I also have to adjust the doors as they rub with the rocker panel (the bushings are fine) and have to adjust also the fenders and front nose alignment.

I have 2 questions (for now) which I would like to clear.
1. Did all GTA come with the Aero Style Spoiler. I am asking as I do not fancy so much the Aero Spoiler and currently it has the standard one which I like most. Was thinking of leaving it like that but would like to know is GTAs ever came in with the normal spoiler.

2. This car had its catalytic converter taken off. It has a single exhaust pipe coming out of the rear. I need to take it to an exhaust shop as there is some exhaust leak which is allowing exhaust fumes to come inside and was wondering how did GTAs come as standard? Where they always single exhaust?

I hope I didn't annoy you. Thanks and lets keep the GTA alive !!
Welcome to the site. I'm also fairly new to this site as well. I don't even have a third gen yet, but picking up some good tips and info from forum members and reading over the many pages of archives.

Seems from all pix I've seen of GTAs, they come from the factory with two exhaust pipes coming off the muffler to the rear tips. Basically one pipe runs from the cat. to the muffler. From the muffler to the rear tips there are two, one on each side of the rear of the car. The stock muffler setup for this car that I've seen is one pipe in and two pipes out. The only exception I've seen to this is I think the '89 GTA came with two cats but unsure if there were two separate mufflers too. Those may have come with two cats and one muffler. Again, can those with experience verify?

Now since you're outside the US, I can't say for sure if they would have had a different exhaust configuration to conform to the standards in your country. This would be an export type of deal I'd say. Anyone on here know for sure if exhaust systems were changed up for exported models?

In regards to the rear spoiler. I'm pretty sure the GTAs came only from the factory with the wrap around rear spoiler for 87'. I think the notchback in the later model came with the non-wrap around spoiler. Convertibles came with a different spoiler altogether but from my understanding, those were modified after they came from the factory.

Good luck.

Jon

Last edited by JonBlake; 05-17-2016 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 05-17-2016   #3
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

Thanks Jon

Actually mine came from the US this year on January so it's not an export model. They might have changed the rear muffler when they removed the catalyser and used a non GTA muffler.

Re the wrap around I guess some day I will have to get one. I don't seem to find the tabs that connect the wings to the glass but will research some more on it.
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Old 05-17-2016   #4
DynoDave
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Re: New Owner

There were only two configuration variables for V8 thirds gens of the GTA era.

Manifolds to a y-pipe which becomes a single pipe, to a single cat. converter, to a single mid-pipe, to a single muffler with twin tail pipes.

-or-

Manifolds to twin pipes which travel to twin cat. converters (this is system RPO N10, and if equipped, would be on the Service parts ID (SPID) label in the glove box/center console), out of the twin cats into a y or merge, then a single mid-pipe, single muffler, then twin tail pipes.

Sounds like your car has been modified. And while that opens up all kinds of possibilities, one possibility is the Street Legal Performance (SLP) "two on the left" (TOTL) system. SLP was a GM partner that produced some specialty top-performance models. One of the components they added was the TOTL. Two on the left meant twin mufflers to twin tail pipes, which both exited on the left rear of the vehicle. THAT system, to some, would be worth saving. To me, any other form of single exhaust would not be interesting (personal choice).
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Old 05-17-2016   #5
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

From what I think my car had been installed with a standard muffler.

I will however look into changing the muffler and exit with two separate pipes from the muffler to have the right looks.

Thanks guys.
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Old 05-18-2016   #6
merc3065
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Re: New Owner

As described aboved:
1987-1988 Single catalytic converter dual tail pipes.
1989-1992 Optional N10 dual catalytic converter, single intermediary pipe, dual tail pipes.

All 1987-1990 GTAs had wrap around rear spoiler except for the Notchback (1988).
1991-1992 had a plastic type of rear wrap around spoiler different from the previous style.
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Old 05-18-2016   #7
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

Thanks so my next aim is hunt for a wrap around spoiler and installing dual tail pipes.
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Old 05-19-2016   #8
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by aseyc View Post
Thanks so my next aim is hunt for a wrap around spoiler and installing dual tail pipes.
I've read on this forum and others plenty of times that this factory rear spoiler is really difficult to find in decent shape these days because it's design was a bit flawed and they don't really last too long because of rust, cracking, etc. I've also read that they make an aftermarket fiberglass version of it. Pretty pricy and even more I would think after adding in the cost of shipping and handling. But from what I've read in regards to these aftermarket lookalike rear fins, you do have to spend some time "massaging" them into place, as they don't come from the manufacturer fitting like a glove.

Good question though is how much would someone expect to pay for a totally mint condition factory rear spoiler for a third gen Pontiac, the kind that comes on the GTA? (in case I come across one for sale during my own third gen Pontiac project hunt?

Last edited by JonBlake; 05-19-2016 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 05-19-2016   #9
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

There is a guy in the UK who I am trying to get hold of. He built a fiberglass wing himself using the original GTA wing to create a negative.

Cannot manage to reach him though. I would assume fit would be decent as it was built on an OEM part
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Old 05-19-2016   #10
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by aseyc View Post
There is a guy in the UK who I am trying to get hold of. He built a fiberglass wing himself using the original GTA wing to create a negative.

Cannot manage to reach him though. I would assume fit would be decent as it was built on an OEM part
On the hatchback glass on your car, is there a bracket on the glass on each side? You mentioned that your Pontiac as the standard rear fin. The hatchbacks that were designed for the special wrap around spoiler had these special brackets to keep in place the arms of the fin that run up along each side of the hatchback glass. If the car was assembled with the special wrap around spoiler option but now has the standard flat rear fin, you will notice the brackets on each side of the hatchback glass. If yours doesn't have the brackets, the hatchback was setup for the standard flat fin and not the wrap around spoiler. That would indicate that you wouldn't be able to install a wrap around spoiler unless you fabricate something to hold the arms in place that run up each side of the glass.
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Old 05-19-2016   #11
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

I found a picture on ebay of this bracket type of frame on the rear glass. In the second pic, you can see a part of the special bracket to the right of the pic an inch or so from where the crack/split in the spoiler starts. This bracket is part of the glass frame and there are a few of these on each side of the glass. From what I know, these brackets hold the spoiler arms in place. If one of these wrap around spoilers are installed on a car without these brackets built into the glass frame, something would need to be fabricated in order to serve that purpose. If your car doesn't have those brackets in the rear glass frame, you'll have a time mounting the wrap around spoiler.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Used-3rd...lULfG-&vxp=mtr
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Old 05-19-2016   #12
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Here is where I originally found the information that we are discussing about the rear spoiler:

http://www.thirdgen.org/forums/after...aero-wing.html

Go down to the 14th post and click on the pix attached. In one of the pix (3rd one attached) you can see the bracket exposed in the pix. If you don't have those brackets on the hatchback glass frame on your Pontiac, you'll need do fabricate something to hold the wing arms to the glass.

Last edited by JonBlake; 05-19-2016 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 05-19-2016   #13
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

Wow thanks for the extensive info. Unfortunately I couldn't see the brackets in the thread as the picture quality is awful.

Back to my situation I think someone either replaced the hatch door (infact it is not perfectly aligned side to side) or more so whoever took out the old wrap around removed also these brackets. The glass trim does look a bit scuffed in certain places but cannot be 100% about this.

Anyway of I manage to reach this guy in the UK I will ask him if he can supply me with alternate hardware. If not I assume sealant can also be an option.
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Old 05-19-2016   #14
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by aseyc View Post
Wow thanks for the extensive info. Unfortunately I couldn't see the brackets in the thread as the picture quality is awful.

Back to my situation I think someone either replaced the hatch door (infact it is not perfectly aligned side to side) or more so whoever took out the old wrap around removed also these brackets. The glass trim does look a bit scuffed in certain places but cannot be 100% about this.

Anyway of I manage to reach this guy in the UK I will ask him if he can supply me with alternate hardware. If not I assume sealant can also be an option.
If the car you have has a hatchback that was designed for the wrap around spoiler, those brackets are built into the glass frame and can't be removed. Now the hardware that connects the spoiler arms to the brackets can be removed along with the spoiler itself. But those brackets are built into the frame. On the link I gave you, click on the third pic and you can see the bracket on the glass frame where the arm has been pulled away from it's mounting. The second one can also be seen in that same pic as well. I'm assuming there must be between 2 and 4 of these brackets per side.
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Old 05-19-2016   #15
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

Understood and saw it now. I would presume these brackets are glued not bolted to the glass. As I said I would perfect using sealant between the wings and the glass. First I have to find the wings though
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Old 05-19-2016   #16
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by aseyc View Post
Understood and saw it now. I would presume these brackets are glued not bolted to the glass. As I said I would perfect using sealant between the wings and the glass. First I have to find the wings though
I would think these brackets are welded to the frame. Does your car already have those brackets? If it does, all you need then is the spoiler. But the clips for that factory bracket are also available. I think I saw them on a site referenced on one of these forums called Top Down Solutions. Maybe I'm wrong but that seems like the site I saw them as someone had suggested in some other thread I had run across during my research into my own project.

Last edited by JonBlake; 05-19-2016 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 05-19-2016   #17
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

No I don't have those brackets but I doubt they are welded. The frame looks more of a plastic frame rather than a metal frame and anyway the pictures you showed me look like they are further in from the glass frame. I am very positive they are glued to the glass.
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Old 05-19-2016   #18
JonBlake
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Re: New Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by aseyc View Post
No I don't have those brackets but I doubt they are welded. The frame looks more of a plastic frame rather than a metal frame and anyway the pictures you showed me look like they are further in from the glass frame. I am very positive they are glued to the glass.
I've seen lots of pix on the net and it looks to be some type of metal material and would need to be quite strong for the size and weight of that rear glass plus reading that link from Thirdgen, it sounds to me like the factory wrap around spoiler is plenty heavy. Some of those guys are saying when they switched from the original spoiler to the aftermarket unit, they also wanted to replace the rear shocks cause the ones designed to lift the factory load were really overpowering. But plastic for that application just won't cut it I'm pretty sure.

I'm sure there are owners on here who can chime in about this, as I don't own one of these cars myself (yet) but going off of research on the net through forums and whatnot. Come on guys, I know there are some out there who've gone through this and have experience with it....."car 52 where are you........"

Last edited by JonBlake; 05-19-2016 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 05-20-2016   #19
Roadrunner
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Re: New Owner

Hatch misalignment thread:
http://www.gtasourcepage.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=53646

I did this fix back in the 80s on my camaro that rolled off the line with the problem and also a few years ago on my GTA. Not quite the procedure I used though.


This is the fiberglass spoiler that most people use.
http://www.hawksmotorsports.com/fire...w-aftermarket/
http://www.gtasourcepage.com/forum/showthread.php?

The clips are metal and welded to the black metal frame that surrounds hatch glass.
Although probably not real easy, the metal trim can be swapped (factory service manual gives a replacement procedure).
Also, I vaguely remember a thread somewhere of tabs being welded onto the frame (it might have been a case of one that fell off).
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Old 05-21-2016   #20
aseyc
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Re: New Owner

Hi
Thanks for confirming. My hatch is not aligned side to side. It rubs a bit with the left fender. It could be because the motor is pressing the door too much. I read about the article you sent me but luckily enough I do not have that issue.
Re the spoiler bracket, I hope I manage to find a fiberglass wing and install the narrow wing part using sealant and use screws only at the decklid.
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