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.