Friday, December 20, 2013

KITT's Scanner Bar Update

The 55 Watt halogen bulbs arrived last week, but I have been fighting off a nasty cough/virus and have not been working on the project much. Today I decided to see if I could get the hardware I need to mount the bulbs in the scanner bar.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Celebrating 100 Followers On Google+

Project: K.I.T.T.'s Google+ page just hit 100 followers today! Thanks to everyone for your continued interest and support!

If you have not had a chance to check out the Project: K.I.T.T. page on Google+ you really should. It's a great way to stay updated, leave comments, or even ask questions about the project. It will even notify you of new blog posts and videos.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bodywork Update 2

Last Tuesday Dad and I stopped by Mario's shop to see how he was progressing with KITT. He had both rear quarter panels down to bare metal and had not found any unexpected surprises.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Small Box Of Parts For KITT

Back in August I received a package of parts I ordered from Shawn (OhioKARR on the Foundation board). One item in that package was the vent for the dash. Shawn had sent the center vents though and I needed the driver side vent. I was also missing the hardware for the fan shroud he sent me. I contacted him and he said he would make sure to find the correct vent and hardware and get them sent out to me. 

It took him a few months, but he came through and even contacted me to see if I needed anything else before he shipped them out. It just so happened that I did. I need the mounting brackets for the later pin style t-tops I had just acquired. I have yet to hear anything back from the guy who sold me the t-tops. :( Luckily, Shawn said he had some and would throw them in. :) The package arrived yesterday.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

KITT's Scanner Controller Build Update

As promised, Brenon Fulbright of Lectric Enterprises emailed me some behind-the-scenes pictures of my controller as he is building it. He will continue to update me on the progress, so watch for more pictures soon. I am really anxious to see the finished product.

Jonathan here is a shot of some boards being populated...


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bodywork Update

Friday night Mario sent me a message that he was going to be working on KITT, so I stopped over to take a few pictures. I took the cowl screen and plastic mounting gaskets for the side view mirrors with me so Mario can paint them.

Mario had removed the bolts securing the rear hatch glass and asked me if I would help him lift it off. We set it to the side so that he can remove the trim.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

KITT Goes In For Bodywork!

Last night Troy stopped by with the car carrier so we could take KITT over to Mario's shop. Mario plans to do all the bodywork on KITT now and then we will paint him this spring. 

I got all of the stuff emptied out of KITT and had him ready to go, along with the driver side fender and the rear spoiler, both of which still needed some work. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Insulating The Garage, Part 5

As we were coming in for the night, Sara commented that the people who read our blog are probably thinking "What is with all of these garage updates and what does it have to do with Project: K.I.T.T.?"

The truth is, it has everything to do with KITT! If it wasn't for Project: K.I.T.T. we would not have insulated the garage. Period. I did not want to spend another winter freezing in the garage just so I could get some time in with KITT. Besides, everyone knows KITT hates winter, cold temperature extremes and most of all, snow.

I vacuumed and taped the other half of the east wall and one fourth of the south wall, and vacuumed the shelves after work today. Once Sara got home we tackled the bench and tools.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Insulating The Garage, Part 4

I vacuumed and taped one half of the east wall, and vacuumed the shelves and KITT's driver and passenger seats after work today. Then when Sara got home we put everything back after thoroughly cleaning it all off. We now have the north stall of the garage about 80% cleaned and back to normal.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Insulating The Garage, Part 3

We finished insulating the garage earlier this week and everyday after work I have been spending a couple hours cleaning up the mess. Mess is an understatement! The sheetrock powder and the dust from the cellulose insulation is EVERYWHERE. It does not matter how well we covered stuff up, in the end it was futile.

We have been following the recommended method for sheetrock powder cleanup and have been working in sections vacuuming everything including the ceiling, walls and floor. This way there is no dust kicked back up in the air (thanks to the HEPA filter). We will have to do this for the entire garage.

Today we finished cleaning the north wall and we taped off the seams I had cut to drop in the insulation. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Insulating The Garage, Part 2

Although we have not been working on KITT, we have been making progress insulating the garage. It is very messy and time consuming, but it will be so worth it in the end. With the garage insulated we will be able to get a lot more time in with KITT this winter. :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

KITT's New T-Top Hardware... Or Not

The guy I bought the t-tops from said that he mailed the mounting hardware in a separate envelope so that it would not accidentally scratch the t-tops. The envelope arrived today.

Fuzzie was anxious to find out what was inside.

Monday, September 30, 2013

KITT's New T-Tops

After a fun-filled weekend trip to celebrate my brother-in-law's 30th birthday, I could not wait to open these up! They were packaged very well and arrived without incident. The t-tops themselves are in great shape with all of the inside plastic trim intact and uncracked. The insides are mirrored just like the originals I had, but there is not a scratch to be found. There are some scratches on the outside of the glass, but that is to be expected with anything 23-years-old. I think most of them can be polished out, and I plan to have a local glass shop go over them for me once I have them disassembled for reconditioning and painting.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Insulating The Garage, Part 1

Today Sara and I are insulating the ceiling of the garage. It will be so much nicer to work in a warm garage this winter. :) 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Installing The Steering Column

Today after work I finished painting the middle portion of the steering column. I realize that none of this was really functionally necessary, but it sure looks a lot better.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

KITT's Cousin

I had to take my '88 Oldsmobile daily driver to Troy's shop because the fuel lines had rotted away and pin holes had developed in the return line. Troy thought this would be a fairly straight forward replacement, but it turns out the fittings on the fuel lines for that car are not available from the local auto parts stores. Troy was going to have to rescue some from the salvage yard. 

Needless to say, I am without wheels for at least a couple days. Troy graciously lent me his '83 Camaro to drive in the meantime. It's not quite like the Olds, but I think I can manage. ;)

While I had it, I decided to take a couple pictures with KITT in the background. It is neat to see the two cars together. They are cousins, after all. :)

New T-Tops On Their Way

I have been searching for replacement plastics for KITT's t-tops. This is the plastic trim on the interior of the t-top that runs between the A and B pillars. Mine was cracked and there are no reproduction pieces to be found.

I came across a guy on parting out a '90 Trans Am and he had the t-tops listed for sale. The plastics looked great and so did the glass so I inquired about the condition of both just to be sure. It turns out they are in great condition and as an added bonus because they are from a '90, they are the locking pin style latches and not the '82-'83 hook style latches. GM revised the latches starting in '84 because they held and therefore sealed better. I asked if he had the mounting hardware (car side) for the pin style and he said he would sell them with the t-tops if I wanted them. With the hardware I will be able to easily convert KITT from the hook style to the newer pin style. 

I said I would take them, sent payment and he shipped them out this morning! Pictures to follow when they arrive. :)

As a side note: I found out through a lot of researching that most if not all the factory glass t-tops are mirrored on the inside. This was something I really was disappointed in when I first got the car. At night the mirroring makes it very hard to see out of the t-tops unless you are under a very bright light source. I was worried about the reflection of KITT's dash, but since it is highly unlikely that I will find a non-mirrored set I have decided to put up with them (the '90 set that is on its way is also mirrored).

Monday, September 16, 2013

300th Post!

Wow! Can you believe it is our 300th post? Project: K.I.T.T. has been going strong now for 2 years and 22 days. (Read my first post.) Now to be fair, we have only had the Trans Am for 1 year, 8 months and 2 days. We still have made a tremendous amount of progress in that time!

I have spent some time here and there over the last few days doing some cleaning and reorganizing in the garage. (Yes, I know we do that a lot. What can I say? We like things organized.) 

I went through the garage and got rid of a lot of the parts that we no longer need, either because we have already replaced them or they are not going back on the car. Here is what I got rid of (and what I kept):

I got rid of the power antenna assembly. It was non-functional and KITT will not have an external antenna.

Friday, September 13, 2013

KITT's Nose Video Overview

Here is a video overview of KITT's new season three front bumper. I also had a chance to talk with Billy from Knight Designs and I learned a couple of interesting things about the third season nose that I was not aware of. I highlight both of these in the video. The video gets a little shaky towards the end, but really gives you a good look at KITT's new nose.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On His Wheels!

Sunday morning we had one goal: Get KITT back on his wheels.

We started with the driver side.

Monday, September 9, 2013

KITT's Scanner Bar

KITT's scanner bar arrived today! I decided to wait until I got home to open it because I knew my rabbit Fuzzie would be angry if I opened it without her (you have no idea the wrath of an angry bunny).

As soon as I got home I opened the box. Joe Huth packs his scanner bars with enough packing peanuts and bubble wrap to ensure that it arrives safe and sound. 

KITT's Scanner Bar (Sneak Peek)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ruby's Cowl: The Conclusion

I know this blog is supposed to be about KITT, but since I posted about ordering my new cowl piece, I wanted to do one more post about installing it.

Saturday morning we washed the Freestyle and my mom's car. My mom thought my name decal on my Freestyle was really neat, so I put one on her car, too. Her car's name is Jade.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

KITT's Scanner

Yesterday I ordered a screen accurate scanner bar from Joe Huth. He had the bar duplicated from a bar that was actually used on-screen in the Knight Rider TV show. This scanner is as accurate as it gets! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

KITT's Nose And Stone Guards Are Here!

A large package from Knight Designs arrived today!

"Why Are You Standing On The Car Like That?"

Jonathan and Troy decided the car did not have enough weight without the engine, so they had me stand on the K-Member while they installed the front springs and struts. The K-Member is about the same width as a balance beam, if you think about it. :)

The worst part about standing on the K-Member was the fly strip that Jonathan had hung in the garage. Its position kept me from standing up straight. 

Installing KITT's Front Springs And Struts

Yesterday after work I stopped into Troy's shop to ask him what I was doing wrong with the front springs. He said, "Why don't I just stop over there after work, and we can take a look?" I said that would be great!

After Sara got home we started working on tightening the fuel line clamps we had installed on Monday, but did not get very far before Troy showed up.

Troy started installing the spring in the same manner I had and quickly found out that it just wasn't going to work. I wasn't happy, but I sure was relieved to find out it wasn't just me. Without the engine and transmission in the car there is no way to compress the spring far enough to allow it to swing into place with the A-arm. 

We ended up having to remove the A-arm and then with the spring in place, jack the A-arm to the point that it would just start to lift the car. Sara was chosen to stand on the K-member to help add a little weight to the car. Then we used the spring compressor and impact driver to compress the spring enough that we could reattach the A-arm. With the A-arm attached, we moved the jack to the outer edge by the ball joint and jacked it up enough to install the front strut. 

We had to repeat this procedure for the passenger side. It took about two hours to install both springs and struts. There is absolutely NO WAY I could have done this without Troy and Sara's help. It was definitely a three person job. Sara was quite the trooper standing on the K-member for over an hour! Thanks Troy and Sara!

Sara (and later her Dad) took so many pictures during the install that I decided it would be better to just put them all together. Here is a video illustrating the process we went through to install KITT's front springs and struts.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"I Am Not A Mechanic!"

It's Labor Day weekend and we planned to work hard on KITT all weekend long. The plan: Have KITT on his wheels by Labor Day.

Jonathan said to throw these out. I took a picture, just in case we need to know what happened to them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

End Links, Fuel Lines And Steering Gear Box

Today when I got off work I installed the newly painted end links. 

Here is the driver side end link assembled

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Painting The Front End Links

It has been so hot and humid so far this week that I have not been able to paint the front end link hardware I prepped on Sunday. Today the conditions fell into place at just barely under 50% humidity in the garage. I was able to get the hardware painted with two coats of POR-15. Because POR-15 is the opposite of paint (as far as most of its characteristics), it dries very quickly in high humidity. I did not need to wait long at all between coats. 

KITT's Nose And Stone Guards Shipped Today

Billy from Knight Designs called me this morning and said he was shipping out the third season front nose and rear stone guards today. I cannot wait! I will do a video overview when they arrive.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Installing KITT's Front Sway Bar And Steering Brace

We had a heat advisory all weekend, but I decided to attempt to work in the garage yesterday anyway. It was not quite as hot as Saturday, but still one of the hottest days we have had all year. It was 84 degrees and very humid in the garage (about 12 degrees cooler than outside). I decided to leave the overhead door closed to keep the heat out. I started by re-installing the K-member support bracket.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Installing KITT's Fuel And Brake Lines

When I got off of work yesterday afternoon I started by applying the third coat of POR-15 to the bottom of the frame where the steering gear box mounts. The repair welds look much better with two coats of POR-15. I decided not to use the UV resistant BlackCote that we used in the rest of the engine bay because I did not want to reopen the can for one coat in such a small area. You can really see the difference in the finish between the two. The self leveling feature of POR-15 is just nothing short of awesome.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

KITT's Correct Fuel Line Arrived Today

Today after work I started grinding down the welds we made on the frame yesterday. I really was not sure how far I needed to grind them down, so I tried to flatten them out so that the mounting surface would be flat. I may need to get a second opinion on these.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Repairing The Stress Cracks In KITT's Frame

Troy came over tonight to weld the stress cracks in the frame where the steering gear box mounts. He was surprised we had missed these cracks before, too. There were a few more than he was expecting, but nothing as bad as what I have seen online. 

We started by drilling a stop hole at the end of each crack to create a stress relief point and prevent if from spreading any further. Then we used the rotary tool to grind grooves/channels over each crack. This will allow the weld to spread out and cover the area.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Package Of Parts For KITT

The parts I ordered from Shawn (OhioKARR on the Foundation board) arrived today and I unboxed everything tonight. There is something exciting about opening packages, just like Christmas. :)

The stainless steel "L" trim which was only featured on the 1982 models is a must for an accurate KITT conversion. The stainless part of the trim is in great shape and needs just a little polishing to make is shine. The black inner area will need to be touched up as the paint is worn off in spots. I plan to use thin black pinstriping to redo this area. 

Package Of Parts For KITT (Sneak Peek)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stress Cracks Or Just Stressing About Cracks?

Today I really did not plan on doing anything other than getting the parking brake assemblies for the rear calipers, the steering gear box bracket, and the fuel and brake line bracket painted with three coats of POR-15. It is a funny thing how seemingly simple things rarely go as planned. Here are the parts before the first coat was applied.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Adding KITT's Steering Linkage

My goal for today was to clean up the garage and go through the rest of the hardware looking for other brackets that may need to be painted with POR-15. I did not end up finding anything that I thought needed to be painted aside from the parking brake assemblies for the rear calipers, the steering gear box bracket from yesterday, and a fuel and brake line bracket that I missed in the last round of painting. I am sure there will be more, but for now I think these should take care of any more unexpected surprises.

I spent quite a bit of time putting tools away and doing some general clean up in the garage. I am looking forward to being able to put the Freestyle back in the garage, but the replacement hatch glass is still preventing that and I am not yet ready to move that back under KITT.

I decided to work on the steering linkage, once I got tired of picking up. ;)

I started by bolting the idler arm back into place.

Friday, August 16, 2013

KITT's First Introduction

Cary brought over his voice box project this afternoon. He has been building a working voice box from the Knight Technologies wiring plans. It is only partially complete at present, however it was complete enough to allow KITT to make his very first introduction.

All I can say is I am glad his scanner (vision) is not operational because I can only imagine the witty retort he would have for my explanation of the current state of his body and the mess in the garage. Here is a video of his very first words.

Unavailable, Replacement, Missing And Dirty Parts

I spent a lot of time this week prepping the hardware I need for the front end install and trying to find replacement parts for items I had not planned on. 

Here is the bag of front end hardware. It contains the castle nuts, the old tie rod boots, the washer-style seal for the center link, and the dust boot for the idler arm. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

POR-15 Touch Up

Today after work I wanted to paint the damaged areas on the rear end. This is by far one of the worst spots. This is where the rear end slipped off of the jack when we were attempting to mount it in place. This actually gouged the metal.

Installing The A-arms, Part 2

Sunday afternoon Sara and I installed the passenger side A-arm. This was a little easier than the driver side only because we had discovered a few tricks during the first installation. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Installing The A-arms, Part 1

Dad stuck around to help us some more after Troy left on Saturday evening. Thanks Dad! Here's a picture of my main support team.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Installing KITT's Rear End!

Troy came over yesterday afternoon and brought over the rear end and the fuel sending unit with a new fuel pump and fuel strainer. We started by installing the fuel sending unit.

Preparing To Install KITT's Rear End

Saturday morning my dad and brother Josh stopped by to see KITT!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Odds And Ends, Part 4

Friday after work I applied a second coat of POR-15 on the flip side of the washers for the rear sway bar end links. Then I used a q-tip dipped in POR-15 to coat the inside of the sleeves for the end links. I thought it would be a good idea to at least have a single coat on the insides.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Painting The Subframe Connectors, Part 2

Yesterday I started by prepping the rear subframe connector mounts for paint. I masked off the area I did not want to paint with painters tape and then covered that with a layer of duct tape for durability.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Have Talent - Will Weld

My friend Jake said he would be willing to finish the welding for me, so today after work I stopped at Troy's to get his permission to use the welder he left at my place. I did not feel comfortable just using it without asking. Troy said he did not mind and then mentioned that he had spent the morning finishing work on the rear end. I am planning to install the rear end this weekend.

When I got home I sent Jake a message letting him know that we had the okay to weld. I put away the brackets and gear selector that I painted yesterday and started hanging the three brackets I planned to paint today. Dad had mentioned that he would stop by after a bit and help with the painting. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Odds And Ends, Part 3

I got some good news today! Bob from Fine Lines called me back to tell me he found the correct fuel line for KITT. It turns out that they had that particular line marked as being only for the V6 Firebirds. The assembly manual parts diagram I sent in confirmed that not only was that style used on the V6s but also on the Cross-Fire V8s. He said it was their mistake for not having it labeled properly and that there was no way for me to know it would be the wrong line. Tomorrow they are shipping out the correct line at no cost to me and I do not need to return the incorrect line. I have to say I am pretty impressed with Fine Lines right now and would recommend them to anyone looking for new hard lines for their classic cars. 

I am determined to speed up the process of getting the rear end installed as well as the remaining welding finished. I decided to see if there was anything I could use to grind down the rear subframe connector mounts. I only need to have the outsides welded, the interior sides were done when Troy was here the first time. 

Here is the driver side rear subframe connector mount.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Odds And Ends, Part 2

I wanted to make sure that I finished the brackets I started prepping yesterday so I can paint tomorrow, provided the POR-15 arrives. I started by using the wire wheel on the last of the three brackets.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Odds And Ends

Today I decided to get some minor stuff done that I had either been putting off, or that was just not critical at the moment. I started by hanging the rear quarter plastics on the ceiling to get them out of the way. I secured each one with a bungee cord.