Project: K.I.T.T.


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

Late Night Test Drive

posted Aug 31, 2014, 11:48 AM by Jonathan Imberi

Not Just A Car...

posted Aug 19, 2014, 6:54 PM by Jonathan Imberi

I know that posts have been scarce as of late, but I promise there will be an update or at least an explanation very soon...

Keep Your Scanners Peeled!
 

Happy Birthday To Me! :)

posted Jul 25, 2014, 4:41 PM by Jonathan Imberi   [ updated Jul 25, 2014, 4:43 PM ]

Meet KITT's little brother! It's a 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-a6XrsbTuUps/U9Lo-_oYBaI/AAAAAAAAn-A/CA4g4LI8lkA/w1520-h855-no/IMG_20140725_182018363.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gJrd8fmqy18/U9Lo-w4yrdI/AAAAAAAAn-A/uACqvp8txUM/w1520-h855-no/IMG_20140725_182053851.jpg

KITT Lives!

posted Jul 14, 2014, 7:54 PM by Jonathan Imberi

Switching Gears: Replacement Strut Tower Caps & A Little Padding

posted Jun 26, 2014, 6:20 PM by Jonathan Imberi

I ordered some more replacement parts from Shawn (OhioKARR) and they arrived yesterday. Yeah...I know, what would I do without this guy?! 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aiB7_7qrNko/U6y6k61kSrI/AAAAAAAAmn4/2OfbxQhqHM8/w1506-h848-no/IMG_20140625_210830162.jpg

I had him on the hunt for an 83-84 specific shift plate in great condition, strut tower caps and a knee bolster. He sent me a message that he had found all three and now they are mine! :)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CwFXWj1o_gU/U6y6k46yoKI/AAAAAAAAmn4/i-3vn0_Q28k/w1506-h848-no/IMG_20140625_211228378.jpg

Here are the strut tower caps...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gnY1W4hBUyU/U6y6k1SerRI/AAAAAAAAmn4/GK0QM-3l5N0/w1506-h848-no/IMG_20140625_211349833.jpg

the knee bolster...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-D_c8LBWeXWk/U6y6kwR5uhI/AAAAAAAAmn4/XLmDHgYRYCM/w1506-h848-no/IMG_20140625_211458772.jpg

and the shift plate for the 83-84 Firebird.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nRlCXC7bnRE/U6y6kz7lKpI/AAAAAAAAmn4/fXuh_-GeUjI/w1506-h848-no/IMG_20140625_211530061.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZPlmqJswTho/U6y6kzda1YI/AAAAAAAAmn4/m17OlMsI6JQ/w1506-h848-no/IMG_20140625_211547107.jpg

Lower Control Arms Go From Red To Black

posted Jun 22, 2014, 7:27 PM by Jonathan Imberi

Today's focus: the lower control arms. I needed to remove both wheels to gain better access.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-BofoxyxXcfA/U6cjZa1FgKI/AAAAAAAAmR0/guT2dJGfFI0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_114812010.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-O8_Wra0yA7w/U6cjZQBDHrI/AAAAAAAAmR0/2Bw3wxJ0XB8/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_115215295.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kYvNBDNXAw4/U6cjZRKHe3I/AAAAAAAAmR0/5OkYcs7-clA/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_115440764.jpg


Upon closer inspection I saw some areas on the lower control arms that did not get roughed up enough. They were all in spots that were hard to get at, so I MacGyvered a new tool. I cut a piece of the 3M foam sanding pad and adhered it to a plastic scraper tool with some double sided tape. 


I was able to use this to get into some of the hard to reach areas.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AOZQrcsrjLs/U6cjZbkhCHI/AAAAAAAAmR0/9kuiEKAtHvo/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_120908298.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xBK0LAjmJok/U6cjZYAscsI/AAAAAAAAmR0/14L6T8GY6VE/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_120920714.jpg

When I had everything properly roughed up, I used some masking tape to mask off the areas I did not want to get POR-15 on. Specifically the grease Zerks and also the shocks because they are so close to the lower control arms.



I got the POR-15 ready to go. I noticed when stirring the POR-15 that it seemed thicker than usual and had the beginnings of a skin on the surface. 


I started with the ends, which were the hardest areas to paint, and then did the main area of the lower control arm.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CexPcV3LrxE/U6cjZbDh8_I/AAAAAAAAmR0/VJeLHR-197c/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_124825159.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xoFBUrmVQVU/U6cjZc9IZYI/AAAAAAAAmR0/BkFY9WurkD8/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_124838087.jpg

First coat is on!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8We7Qk7elRs/U6cjZXuVlII/AAAAAAAAmR0/6X90fXWntjQ/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_131913041.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-R8sHr-_GCsE/U6cjZW_m3cI/AAAAAAAAmR0/eiCxcRpC9cI/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_131936890.jpg

After two hours' dry time, I applied the second coat of POR-15. The POR-15 was the same consistency as the first coat, with a slight skin on the surface before I stirred the can.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nXwfqV0Avvo/U6dHPQ0Pz8I/AAAAAAAAmWc/xcuMoWoKnfQ/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_160249529.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-E9qVJqsL9lM/U6dHPeqibhI/AAAAAAAAmWc/Jqyb9LlXqHk/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140622_160320669.jpg

When I started the third coat, the POR-15 in the can was the consistency of watered-down pudding. I am thinking that the day I painted with the high humidity ruined this can. I decided to go ahead and stir it up really well and paint with it, even though I might end up with brush strokes. I hate the idea of throwing it out.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-kDfgGcHMYcc/U6d5-7G2gqI/AAAAAAAAmbc/BFLU1q-KCwE/w1422-h800-no/IMG_20140622_181450441.jpg

Third and final coat!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-9YlbfAv39uc/U6d5-5D_IDI/AAAAAAAAmbc/YNh2cjqYuFA/w1422-h800-no/IMG_20140622_181831449.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-OESVEgOM-Is/U6d5-793tvI/AAAAAAAAmbc/ie8RA0LznN0/w1422-h800-no/IMG_20140622_181847841.jpg

No Rain...All Gain! It's POR-15 Time!

posted Jun 20, 2014, 6:57 PM by Jonathan Imberi

I got off work early this afternoon and could not wait to get started on the Panhard/track bar and the subframe connectors. There was no rain in the forecast and the humidity was more normal for this time of year. I started by sanding the parts with 320 grit sand paper as recommended by the tech support at POR-15. This stuff is tough though and it takes a lot to scuff it. 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-pLbAJwjvOiI/U6Tbb6RbQWI/AAAAAAAAmCc/FUdz2Vx_oI8/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_141846892.jpg

The 3M sanding pad did not remove the bubbles, but leveled them out enough that the remaining two coats should smooth it out and cover them up.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EBCROXUIvBM/U6Tbb1oSMvI/AAAAAAAAmCc/cHU6anPEATU/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_142647063.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-V64MijiWSFc/U6Tbb-Px1QI/AAAAAAAAmCc/df0nMCP2NhU/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_142654255.jpg

I called the POR-15 support line to double check on proper prep after sanding and was told to first use a tack cloth and then compressed air to clean the sanding dust of the parts. No other prep is needed.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tkXrOBt_9t0/U6Tbb8YQT_I/AAAAAAAAmCc/DY_YJBj314k/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_144423938.jpg

Ready to paint!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-S3STG12YyPA/U6Tbb6INoPI/AAAAAAAAmCc/OGGTlALyKK0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_150045521.jpg

My friend Jessica surprised me by stopping over to say hi and she got a chance to see what I was working on. Jessica asked about the results of the poll to decide what to do with the wonder bar and the differential cap. I told her right now leaving them red is winning, but I am keeping the poll open and am continuing to get votes. If you have not voted, please cast your vote now.

Here is the Panhard/track bar with the second coat of POR-15.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-B5kRTk0F-Kg/U6Tbb6GuTjI/AAAAAAAAmCc/9JH-0x92zEE/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_154251736.jpg

Here are the subframe connectors after the second coat of POR-15.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-U9keQhgeMP0/U6Tbb83ZKGI/AAAAAAAAmCc/igHWkY6mgv0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_154359545.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tw7Ighruyqk/U6Tbb7sdaGI/AAAAAAAAmCc/rsOi7znO6nM/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_154412127.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-2gXVv3H9Obw/U6Tbb3ncHkI/AAAAAAAAmCc/Ykfbjjo72n8/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_154428540.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-TdibzKisDZM/U6Tbb6avTsI/AAAAAAAAmCc/1CgzVtLbkn4/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_154445553.jpg

Third and final coat of POR-15!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4CRfv0w1m5Q/U6Tbbx73vGI/AAAAAAAAmCc/J7GNtjgBF94/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_195532391.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cPmyp8clWbc/U6Tbb59kWdI/AAAAAAAAmCc/3NuJT_yiMNQ/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_195616042.jpg

Project for tomorrow: Tackling the lower control arms.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_JFVXshWIy0/U6Tbb-VHFEI/AAAAAAAAmCc/fkyCYEbKpEA/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140620_195807125.jpg

POR-15 When It Is Pouring Out...Not A Good Idea

posted Jun 18, 2014, 8:26 AM by Jonathan Imberi

I started Monday with the intention of getting the subframe connectors and the Panhard/track bar coated with POR-15. It was raining when I got out to the garage, but since the car was inside and I could still crack the door open without getting water in the garage, I figured I would be fine. We have applied POR-15 a few times already when it was raining outside and never had a problem, so I proceeded as planned.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-sYE7Eqvmzq4/U5-phA7pIBI/AAAAAAAAl10/Zkww4iTwNP0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_113200939.jpg

I got POR-15 and supplies out and was ready to get started.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-bZxoqZxF02g/U5-phM2T6gI/AAAAAAAAl10/qP0eGkXl5tA/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_105725912.jpg

Here is the driver side subframe connector.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C3iFbZDOA6Y/U5-phHbs13I/AAAAAAAAl10/ZUg4YdvfDeg/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_105744147.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-m5b02ht_cnI/U5-phBPee9I/AAAAAAAAl10/z-iTqObbwQE/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_105755899.jpg

Here is the passenger side subframe connector.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kgYFH_HNGvw/U5-phCGjHoI/AAAAAAAAl10/ymbxkdnWrjE/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_105818099.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-M1YDbbtJHbI/U5-phKmSBtI/AAAAAAAAl10/BDwwZzcDXyc/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_105806481.jpg

The first coat went on extremely easy and in relatively no time I had the first coat on both subframe connectors.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-LtmTBJGeP7I/U5-phHWLuKI/AAAAAAAAl10/7XGUZfzuvIA/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_112820063.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3Og3R70WKZY/U5-phKNdXlI/AAAAAAAAl10/yH51L8LSbgo/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_112830594.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qkSRASIBPj8/U5-phF-uk1I/AAAAAAAAl10/vzoGExYXMTk/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_113233749.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-KgYGSq12NSc/U5-phHkxVCI/AAAAAAAAl10/U6b5lRIyOFM/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_113246184.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZqAokbB8NTQ/U5-phPLgckI/AAAAAAAAl10/jelYRlCDlrs/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_113258163.jpg

Now that the first coat was on the subframe connectors, I started on the Panhard/track bar. The first thing I did was hang it from the painting hooks in the ceiling. I used 30 pound Spiderwire fishing line to hold it up.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/--YM0nxKxYvU/U5-phG0f5EI/AAAAAAAAl10/GTPIEttJGyU/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_125343887.jpg

I masked off each of the grease Zerks with painter's tape.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RHB3UBOewwQ/U5-phMmGkkI/AAAAAAAAl10/SoVzdnVa6p0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_125648176.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2ho93UQrPVc/U5-phO-viRI/AAAAAAAAl10/7MQPwoT6lC0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_125731838.jpg

The first coat went on the Panhard/track bar just as nicely as it did on the subframe connectors.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3yQFJkQwTFE/U5-phOeRRMI/AAAAAAAAl10/K8pv6MNPLqk/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_131548942.jpg

I had to let the first coat dry until just a slight finger drag was present before the second coat could be applied. Sara had just got home, so we went in to have lunch.

After lunch I went out to check on them. I did not expect them to be ready yet, but with the higher humidity I just wanted to see how they were doing. What I found really surprised me. The POR-15 had hundreds of little bubbles in the finish. In all of our experience with applying POR-15 we have never seen it do this.

I called POR-15 to see what they could tell me. The POR-15 rep said that high humidity is usually not a problem, however, if it is above 71% it can sometimes bubble because the POR-15 dries too fast and forms a skin before the gas caused by the molecular bonding can escape. It is the trapped gas that causes the bubbles. 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-acVyFLgSDqQ/U5-phJAAbmI/AAAAAAAAl10/58vF4zxFLR0/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_132753711.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--1UJGswOQRA/U5-phI2--2I/AAAAAAAAl10/eV_IcXN2UCc/w1504-h846-no/IMG_20140616_132805321.jpg

The POR-15 rep told me this will not affect the POR-15's protection of the metal surface. It just does not look good. He recommended sanding with 320 grit sandpaper to remove the bubbles and then reapplying. 

I am going to have to wait for a day when there is less humidity though and rain is not in the forecast. I was hoping that would be today, however it is 97% humidity outside right now with a 80% chance of thunderstorms. I am hoping to finish Friday afternoon instead.

And We're Back With More Coverage Of POR-15

posted Jun 14, 2014, 7:10 PM by Jonathan Imberi

It stopped raining after dinner, so I went back out to the garage to tackle the rest of the rear trunk underbody.


Before:


After:


Before:


After:


Before:


After:

(I just noticed I missed a spot on the upper part of this shield. I will make sure to touch it up tomorrow.)

Next on the agenda will be the subframe connectors. They will require at least three coats.


POR-15 Canceled On Account Of Rain

posted Jun 14, 2014, 3:41 PM by Jonathan Imberi   [ updated Jun 14, 2014, 3:51 PM ]

I wanted to finish the trunk area of the underbody today. It was a partly cloudy day and perfect for painting. I got everything together and got started.


I decided to take before and after pictures like I did yesterday. Here is the before:


After:


Before:


After:


It started raining so I closed the garage door all but three inches from the bottom and turned on my exhaust fans. It was raining and blowing so hard it was still splattering me under the back of the car. Since a drop of water or sweat into a can of POR-15 will ruin the entire can, I decided to call it quits, on account of the rain. I got a little more than half of the trunk area done this afternoon.


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