Posts Tagged ‘National Parts Depot’

Stainless Brake Lines

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

All of the stainless steel fuel and brake lines from Classic Tube (distributed by National Parts Depot) worked well except the two short lines from the master cylinder to the proportioning valve.  One is 1/4″ diameter and the other is 3/16″.   Both lines came up short.  The old stock brake lines measure 11.25″ (0.25″ dia) and 14″ (.188″ dia).  The new stainless lines measure 9.25″ (0.25″ dia) and 11.5″ (0.188″ dia).  Each measurement was taken by tracing a string from tip to tip and then measuring the length of string.


**Update, 5/04/10**  I called Classic Tube about the issue last week.  The representative was surprised that the lines didn’t fit since he said they’ve sold many with no issue.  He suggested that I send my old and new lines in for evaluation.  Their team was a delight to work with, and the response was quick too.  The new lines came a few days later.  They were able to make exact copies of my existing lines which look great.  I inquired about the problem and was told that their techs were still investigating the issue.  Differences in factory master cylinders or changes during the ’81 model were all possible culprits at the moment.  The rep said they had saved my bend dimensions.  Interestingly, there’s a good chance that if you order a set of stainless master cylinder brake lines for an ’81 Trans Am, you could very well be receiving an exact copy of my lines.  What a neat thought.

Wiring Harness

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Today the Trans Am’s wiring harness was removed and cleaned. The old tape was removed and scrubbed down with soapy water. After the harness was dry, the harness was re-wrapped trying to follow the same routing as stock. The tape was purchased from National Parts Depot and is a non sticky vinyl tape that’s easy to work with.

Installing the Subframe

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

The subframe was resinstalled today using the solid aluminum bushings that came with the Global West tubular subframe connector kit. The center bolts that attach the subframe were torqued to 100ft-lbs and then the rear bolts fastened snugly as they will be loosened again to install the subframe connectors. Global West requires the two sets of body bushings be aluminum and recommend that the radiator support bushing also be aluminum although they claim polyurethane will be fine for this point only.

Next all the steering linkage nuts were torqued to factory recommended torque specs. Wheel alignment shims were placed back in the order they were removed. Control arm fasteners will be torqued when the car is at normal ride height. The last project of the day was to install the remaining stainless fuel and brake lines from National Parts Depot. The lines were pre-bent which made for a fairly easy install. Next week the wire harness will be re-wrapped with tape and the car will be ready for the motor.

Radiator Support Repair – Part IV

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Today the inner structure of the radiator support was repaired. The worst sections were removed and replaced with new sheet metal. Some of the new section was overlapped for added strength. After trimming and test fitting time and time again, the inner structure was finally ready to be welded in. Spot weld holes were drilled and weld through primer applied anywhere the inner structure overlapped with the outer sheet metal. The day ended with a practically complete radiator support. Some finish grinding is needed and the two lower braces need to be blasted and fastened. Next week the part should be painted and the holes are to be drilled for the new battery tray from National Parts Depot.

Better Ball Joints and Stainless Fuel Lines

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

After the top ball joints were bolted in and there was so much trouble pressing the lower ball joint in I got a tip that the ball joints that I got from NAPA were actually their budget models which sometimes don’t take grease that well. The top two ball joints were removed along with the lower ball joint that wasn’t fully pressed anyway. The cheap ones were exchanged for the better kind. Unfortunately they were almost double the price but the quality difference could be spotted from a mile away. So be sure to insist on NAPA’s premium ball joints when replacing if you don’t mind paying a little more. After the ball joints were finally pressed in, the control arms were scuffed with a scotch-brite then the bushings taped and a second coat of a paint applied.

Since I’m upgrading to a Tremec 5 speed, the Classic Chevy 5-speed kit comes with all of the necessary parts to do the changeover. The first of these parts to go one was the clutch bar frame bracket. Even the cars equipped with automatic transmissions like mine came with the holes pre-drilled for this bracket. To fasten the bracket to the frame I tapped these holes with a 5/16-24 tap. The holes were the correct size for this tap and did not have to be drilled first. Three 5/16-24 x 1″ stainless steel screws with a small bead of Loc-Tite fastened the two together. The last project of the day was to begin installing the stainless brake/fuel lines to the subframe that were purchased from National Parts Depot.