Project: K.I.T.T. is the restoration & conversion of a 1983 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am into Knight Rider's KITT

A Disappointing Unboxing

posted Jan 18, 2015, 3:18 PM by Jonathan Imberi

The 93-97 Camaro headlight mounting panel I ordered on ebay from FPARTS Salvage arrived and as Sara promised here is an unboxing video. The box was sent from Contemporary Corvette. I am not sure how the two stores are related.

As I mentioned in the video, one of the headlights was loose in the box. I thought it was simply the headlight adjustment screw that had broken, but actually the side tab that the headlight pivots upon is also broke off. Incidentally, this particular headlight does not match the other three in the headlight panel, which gives me cause to pause. (Remember you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Upon closer inspection, the pod itself is actually cracked.

You can see in this picture the corner that it cracked, as well as how the crack extends all the way to the back of the pod. You can also see where the side tab is missing/broken off.

We did manage to find all the broken pieces among the wrapping in the box.

I am going to contact the seller and see what he is willing to do. This headlight mounting panel was described as being used, excellent condition, with no damage. It certainly is not usable to me in this condition. Very disappointing, to say the least.

Organized And Ready To Roll!

posted Jan 17, 2015, 5:03 PM by Sara Imberi

40 degrees in January! We decided to take advantage of the super nice weather and get rolling on KITT this afternoon. 

Jonathan' sister Amanda found this Pac-Man sleeping bag for him on an online garage sale. Jonathan hung it up in the garage last night. It looks cool, but I pointed out it is going to get super dirty once we start tearing into KITT again. So we snapped a picture and took it down. We are going to hang it with KITT's parts in the storage closet until we can put it back up in the garage. Thanks for the cool find Amanda!

In order for KITT to really be ready to roll, he needs his auto dollies. Jonathan finally assembled them this afternoon!

While Jonathan was assembling the auto dollies, I went to work picking up and organizing the garage. I love to organize! I also made quit a few trash runs. KITT is finally empty again! I told him I would make sure Jonathan does not continue to store stuff inside his cabin.

I cleaned all Jonathan's tools while I was putting them away, and I also ordered him the pliers set he wants to complete his collection. (Happy New Year Jonathan!) Jonathan's dad gave him a pair of coveralls and a nice heavy work jacket to wear while working on KITT. Jonathan also bought a new 6 inch bench grinder. Here is a picture. :)

Here is a shot of KITT from the back. Jonathan had placed some stuff in his trunk, but I got everything out and found better places for everything. He is empty and ready for work!

I also cleared everything out from under KITT. The only thing remaining are KARR's summer tires. I ordered Jonathan a tire storage bag for them though, so they will not be under KITT for much longer!

After organizing everything, we labeled all the drawers and shelves. A place for everything and everything in its place! I told you I love organizing!

Jonathan and KITT are officially ready to roll! Watch for Jonathan's unboxing video tomorrow!

Three Year Anniversary

posted Jan 15, 2015, 6:34 PM by Jonathan Imberi

We got so busy yesterday that we forgot all about posting this, but as they say better late than never...

We got KITT's 1983 Pontiac Trans Am body three years ago today. Here is what he looked like on January 14, 2012...

Here is what he looked like two years ago on January 14, 2013...

Here is what he looked like one year ago on January 14, 2014...

and here is what he looks like today, January 14, 2015.

An update from KITT:

Engine Rebuild Update

posted Jan 13, 2015, 6:12 PM by Jonathan Imberi

I stopped down at Troy's shop to visit and he was excited to show me how the engine was progressing. They continue to do work on it here and there as time allows and they have more parts cleaned and painted. It really is looking good. 

We finalized the decision to paint the engine block red to match the transmission. The red block will look sharp with the black and silver accents.

Troy has finished assembling the crossfire injectors. He was able to build a nice solid set using parts from the two crossfire sets I had. I am really getting excited to get back to work!

Frozen Package From POR-15

posted Jan 12, 2015, 5:12 PM by Jonathan Imberi

The POR-15 Rubberized Under Coating and Metal Prep I ordered arrived today. I quickly opened the package and the first thing I said to Sara was "I wonder if this stuff is okay if it is frozen?" The Metal Prep was completely frozen solid. It is currently -10 degrees out though so it is not surprising. I will have to see what happens once it thaws out. I may end up checking with POR-15 just to be safe.

The Rubberized Under Coating was not frozen solid but was very, very cold. I am really excited to get started on the wheel wells. It has been so cold out lately though that there is just no way I can work in the garage with any kind of paint. It is supposed to warm up this weekend though so who knows.

A Bright Idea

posted Jan 11, 2015, 3:53 PM by Jonathan Imberi

I just ordered a 1993-97 Chevy Camaro headlight mounting panel from a seller on eBay. The 93-97 Camaro headlights are the perfect size to use as fog lights for KITT. They also mounted in a stair-stepped fashion which will naturally follow the angle of KITT's nose. Here are some pictures taken from the auction listing.

I plan to cut off the light pods on either side and mount them to KITT's aluminum bumper.

Just so you can get a feel for what these look like mounted, here are some pictures taken of them mounted on a Camaro. This Camaro belongs to a friend of mine who graciously allowed me to take some close up pictures of the lights. It is very easy to see the stair-step mounting style. I will be cutting off everything to the right of the notice sticker.

The only thing I will have to decide is whether I want to use the high beams or low beams. The outside light is the low beam with the inside being the high beams. Whichever I decide to use I will end up replacing the alternate pair with a matching pair. I think I will end up waiting until these are on the car to be certain which I want to use. Luckily the mounting panel I ordered includes the lights. I will take more pictures of it once it arrives.

A Year Later...

posted Jan 5, 2015, 6:54 PM by Jonathan Imberi

KITT: But, I wanted high gloss wheel wells! You said!
Me: KITT are you whining?
KITT: No that would be undignified, but you did say that I would have high gloss wheel wells.
Me: Well, KITT, we cannot always have what we want in life. In case we forget that, there are always A-holes with paint skills out there to remind us.
KITT: I still get to be black, right?
Me: Yes, KITT.

After the paint fiasco that started off last year on a sour note, I had set out to determine the best course of action to remove the primer. I wanted to find a way to restore the wheel wells and underbody to the show ready finish they had before going in for paint. I was able to scuff off most of the primer from the underbody and then apply yet another coat of POR-15. I still have some touch up work to do in this area. The subframe connectors were not so easy and in fact trying to remove the primer destroyed the red powder coat finish. But that is all last's years news. 

We tried to strip off the primer in the wheel wells and it was next to impossible to get off. What we were able to remove took enough paint stripper that it also damaged the POR-15 that was underneath. In thinking about all the time and money that we have put into just the wheel well areas in order to treat them with high gloss black POR-15, we just could not see starting over. We would literally be throwing away money. 

We decided to use another POR-15 product called POR-15 Rubberized Under Coating. This is a spray on undercoating similar in texture to the normal undercoating applied by many auto manufacturers, but with the added benefits of POR-15 protection. It remains flexible, has superior resistance to road salt, and will resist chipping and abrasions.

There are two benefits going this route. One is that we will save all of the hard work and money already put into the treatment of the wheel wells and two, it will add sound deadening and help reduce road noise.

Here is the drivers side rear wheel well. I intend to cover all of this with the under coating.

You can see where we attempted to remove the primer from the drivers side rear wheel well.

Drivers side front wheel well.

Drivers side front wheel well.

The front wheel wells are partially formed by these plastic inserts. The wheel well ends up being half metal and half plastic. We had originally coated these with POR-15 too so that it would have the same high gloss as the rest of the wheel well. These will also need to have the under coating applied in order to have a uniform look. The small piece at the bottom is the fuel filler neck shroud. This forms the rear part of the drivers side wheel well and covers the gas tank neck. This is the only plastic piece in either of the rear wheel wells.

Tonight we ordered two cans of POR-15 Rubberized Under Coating and one quart of POR-15 Metal Prep from They have recently changed the names of two of the products we have used and mentioned quite frequently on Project: K.I.T.T. For future reference, Marine Clean has become POR-15 Cleaner Degreaser and Prep & Ready has become POR-15 Metal Prep. 

New Year, New Toys, New Plan

posted Jan 2, 2015, 6:20 PM by Jonathan Imberi

I received two Project: K.I.T.T. related gifts for Christmas, and both will come in incredibly handy.

First up is a Black & Decker 6V and 12V Battery Charger / Maintainer.

I had this on my wish list because I need it to keep KITT's Reserve Power Packs charged. Right now he is running solely off his reserve batteries and I am having to charge them with a car battery charger every month or so. This charger is designed to be put in line and left on the batteries to keep them maintained. KITT will not have to worry about power issues now. :)

The second present I received was not on my wish list, and is something I never realized I needed, but now wonder how I lived without one! It is a Whistler Diagnostic Inspection Camera.

Let me tell you this thing is awesome! Here are the specs:
  • Waterproof (IP67) mini camera with LED lighting
  • 9mm camera with 48-degree wide angle viewing lens that can fit into tight areas
  • 2.4" color LCD monitor for detailed images
  • Image rotation: Can rotate the image in 4 orientations
  • 3.3' flexible camera tube provides easy reach beyond arm's length
  • 2 adjustable bright LEDs
  • LED brightness control: 6 levels of LED brightness
  • LCD contrast control: 8 levels of contrast
  • Included Accessories: a hook and a magnet for retrieving loose parts and a mirror for looking underneath components. 
I cannot wait to be able to use this. I think it will come in handy not only in the engine bay, but also when wiring the dash and other electronics.

We plan to get back to working steadily on KITT this month. Stay tuned for updates soon!

Merry Christmas 2014

posted Dec 23, 2014, 10:46 AM by Jonathan Imberi

Gasp...An Update!

posted Dec 12, 2014, 8:09 PM by Jonathan Imberi

This year has been different... I am not sure really how else to describe it. Project: K.I.T.T. has really taken a back seat to everything this year has thrown at us and as a result we really have not done much on the project.

Troy has been working on the engine rebuild as he has time in between jobs in his shop. I stopped down recently to see how things were progressing. 

He has the injectors cleaned up and ready for install. He said he still wants to swap some parts and use the better parts between the original and the replacement crossfire set I bought.

The intake manifold has been thoroughly cleaned and painted silver.

The rest of the brackets and pulleys were painted semi-gloss black.

The exhaust shield and EGR valve have both been painted silver. They should look pretty sharp against the red engine block. 

I know this is not much of an update, but I do promise that we will be getting back to work on KITT very soon. I am not going to promise an update before the new year, but soon. 2014 is closing rapidly. Stay tuned...

1-10 of 373