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Repairs & Modifications

Converting Firebird taillights to Trans Am

When it comes to converting the rearend of your Firebird to KITT, one of the crucial elements are the taillights. KITT being an 1982 Firebird Trans Am had very specific taillights (covered with a black plexiglas) that from the factory only came on 1982 – 1984 Trans Ams. The subsequent ’85 to ’90 Trans Am had different taillights, but kept the same light chamber partition, thus the wiring for KITT also fits the latter taillight clusters.

Long story short, over the ten years of production, there were several types of taillights and in this following video I’m showing you the different options you have when converting the wiring harness from the standard Firebird taillights from 1985 – 1990 to the Trans Am style from 1982 – 1990. Check it out! 🙂

KITT’s Scanner

The undoubtedly most iconic piece of Knight Rider and maybe even of the 80s is KITT’s wooshing scanner. If there is one thing that cannot miss and must be done right in any KITT replica, it is the scanner. It would definitely be cool if the so called scanner could actually scan its environment, just like KITT did on the show, but unfortunately it’s just a light bar with a trailing effect.

In the following video I’m showing you what type of scanner I’ve chosen for my KITT and how I installed it. Furthermore, I’m giving you an overview of what the current option are and what you should consider before you pick one. Enjoy the video!

KITT Trans Am – New brakes

We’re moving forward with the restoration of my KITT Trans Am, or should I say with the video documentation. This time I’m tackling the braking system; rear drum brakes, front disc brakes – all stock, all new. This might be of interest for you, even if you don’t have a thirdgen Firebird or Camaro, as the principles are pretty much the same for all drum and disc brakes.

It’s all the more relevant for you if you are building a full Knight Rider KITT replica with the respective dashboard and lower console. Why? Find out in the video. 🙂

KITT Trans Am – Steering upgrades

What might look like some tiny improvements, actually make a huge difference. The roughly 200 km I got to drive my Firebird before I took it apart were a bit scary, meaning that the steering felt like it wasn’t really connected to the wheels. And the wheels didn’t feel like they were properly touching the road…

Anyhow, it wasn’t until April 2019 that I actually got to take my Firebird on the road again, that had now been transformed into KITT. The difference was like day and night. Sure, I had installed brand new tires (Dunlop Bluresponse Sport), but I had also improved the steering, most importantly I installed a Wonderbar and changed the rag joint steering coupler. No I did not install an Astra van steering shaft. Here’s how and why not:

2020 content outlook

Hey guys, wishing everyone a happy 2020! I sincerely hope that it’s gonna be a great year for everyone reading this post….and beyond, of course. 🙂

Over the Christmas holidays I’ve been thinking a bit how I want to continue with my MotorScotti YouTube and social media presence. The video says it all. I’m looking forward to making lots more useful and entertaining content with regards to cars, motorcycles and anything connected to wheels and engines. Stay tuned, Carl

 

Suspension restoration on my KITT Trans Am

On the timeline, the suspension restoration was something that came pretty much just after the basic maintenance of my KITT Trans Am. I have to say, it was also the part that I struggled the most with, at least when it comes to the front suspension. Oh wait..! Did I mention that changing the oil pan gasket on a small block Chevy without pulling the engine was possible and even more challenging than taking out and reinstalling the front suspension unit? Yes, it was, but that’s for a later post.

Anyhow, I went through this and documented it in the following video so that you can learn from it and hopefully get it done quicker and cheaper than I did, as well as stay safe and not get stressed. 🙂

Getting parts for KITT – Part 2 – Knight Rider parts

Getting parts for the restoration of your Firebird is one thing, eventually you want to get some of the Knight Rider specific parts. Look no further, as I’ve put together a list of vendors that you can check out and get different variations of the same type of products.

Getting parts for KITT – Part 1 – Firebird parts

If you’re gonna build your KITT replica, you’re gonna need parts. Some more, some less, depending on the general condition of your Firebird and depending on how far your want to go with the project. This usually correlates with the time and budget you have to get it done. Long story short, I would advise you to start with the mechanical part, the actual restoration of the car before diving into the specific Knight Rider related parts.

Here’s my take on where to find parts to restore your Firebid…and also several other american icons.

3rd Gen Firebird – Removing the body panels

Whether you want to turn your third gen Firebird into a full KITT replica or just take some body panels off to repair or replace them, it’s always good to know how to proceed and go about that.
Well, since I am pretty particular about the appearance of my KITT and the level of quality that had to go into ‘him’ in the process of restoration, I took off the hood (bonnet in Queen’s english), the fenders, the front and rear bumper, as well as the mirror. None of these parts are particularely difficult to remove, at least not if you do it in the order I did and already removed the inside plastics. I’m saying that because the removal of the rear bumper just takes a bit of time. Why? Well I’m not gonna tell you just like that, I want you to watch the video, of course. 🙂

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