KITT's Rear End: A Documentary #3

posted Oct 4, 2012, 6:53 PM by Jonathan Imberi
Troy is back with his Sawzall! 


He is working at cutting off the bolt head. It is very hard steel so it is slow going.


And the blade breaks. It is very hard steel.


Troy switched blades and made another attempt at sawing off the bolt head.


The bolt quickly flattened the teeth on this blade. Troy was out of blades, so he left to get some more.


Here is the offending bolt.


Although it looks like the metal bracket is quite gouged by the saw blade, it is really not. It is more the contrast between the dirt and the clean metal.


While Troy was gone, I used a small pry bar to free the rubber cushion for the rear spring.


This is from the passenger side. I believe it is actually called a coil spring insulator.


Now both springs and their insulators are completely out.


Next I removed the fuel door and insert. The fuel door is actually made of plastic, not metal.


Fuel door and insert have been removed.


Here's another shot of the Sawzall and the broken blade.


When Troy got back we installed the new blades in his Sawzall.


The new blades were an improvement and Troy was able to cut off the bolt head.


Once the bolt head was cut off we were able to pry the bar out of the bracket. I will have to pound the rest of the bolt out of this bar, but the bar itself is okay.


With the bar out of the way I removed the jack while Troy raised and balanced the gas tank.


Now that the gas tank was free to move, we maneuvered the gas tank and fuel filler neck through the frame and out from underneath the car.


Here is the gas tank.


I examined the mounting straps, and aside from a little surface rust and an obvious poor taste in carpet, the straps are fine and will be able to be cleaned, painted and reused.


Another shot of the gas tank with the straps (and the carpet covering).


Here is a picture of the rear underbody and the back of the drive tunnel.


Here is another picture of the underbody where the gas tank was.


Another shot picture of the underbody showing where the fuel filler neck passes through the frame to the fuel door.


The pain in the rear bolt head. 


I grabbed two cinder blocks to get the rear end up and off the ground. 


I wanted to find out if this was really a posi rear end (positive traction) as it is supposed to be on this car.


Troy removed the bolts from the differential cover. This is a ten bolt differential.


While Troy was removing the bolts from the differential cover, it came to our attention that we had not put the gas cap back on the fuel filler neck. Needless to say it was getting rather gassy in the garage. Sara turned the cap back on and took this picture.


As Sara was turning the gas cap back on, Troy noticed that the tank appeared to be leaking as the fuel filler neck looked wet. Sara quickly figured out the glossy black spot Troy noticed was not gasoline but POR-15 that had dripped when we painted the interior.


Troy removed the cover from the differential.


This is a standard differential and not posi as it should be, so at some point the previous owner removed the posi carrier and replaced it with a standard. Probably at the same time he carpeted the gas tank.


Troy and I discussed finding a posi carrier to replace this. He said I need to find one that matches the splines on the axles. If this car is still stock, it should have a 26 spline axle. I am currently researching whether or not I can replace the 26 spline axles with stronger 28 spline axles (used in the later third gen trans ams). It is much easier to find carriers for the 28 spline axles than the 26. 


We set a bowl underneath the differential and used the jack to lift it up at the U-joint so that it tipped forward and allowed the fluid to drain out.


Here is the differential cap. The previous owner did something to screw up the original drain plug which was located on the passenger side of the housing. This brilliant person's solution was to drill a hole through the differential cover and install a drain plug there rather than repair/replace the original.


About 75 percent of the fluid has drained out of the differential and it continues to drain.