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Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:32 pm
by JJohnson
If I were to start a KITT/KARR replica, which models specifically could I use? I know the 1982 Trans Am, but wouldn't a 1986 work also? Anything later?

And is there any advantage to going with a later model than an earlier one? As in, better engine, electronics, fuel economy, etc.?

Re: Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:11 am
by RafaelLOJ
The 82 to 84 Trans Am's have all the correct parts...
Hood, Fenders, Rear Bumper, rear spoiler, etc...

The next easiest car to convert is the 87 to 92 Formula's.
They would need 82 to 84 fenders to be correct, rear bumper & possibly rear spoiler...
All Formula's have the correct hood...

I went with a 91 Formula because of the TPI engine and 5 speed manual...

Re: Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:06 am
by Dave Knight
basically any 3rd gen (82 to 92) can be used just make sure it at least a T top. FYI try to keep away from the 90 to 92 cars as they have airbags that COULD make doing a conversion difficult, not impossible, just difficult. as the other poster said you would need the early 3rd gen parts to make it work:

front fenders with extractor vents
rear tailights, they do not have to be 82s up to the mid 80s to I THINK 86 they were still the old flat style which when covered up with the tinted cover is hard to tell from the earlier 82 style.
rear bumper
offset scoop hood, if you get any 3rd gen 'formula' firebird they all had them even up to 91/92
rear wing, good news is while trans am redesigned them to a wrap around and along side the rear hatch the firebirds had the T/A style wing as an option as well
The hard things to get will be: round shift knob (these were only on 82 and some 83 cars), but there is a vendor who makes one out of aluminum and looks like the real one and is far more durable than the plastic originals
PMD seats (just as rare as the round shifter) they were used in other Pontiac cars of the era, try looking in 82/83/84 Pontiac Grand Prix.
turbine style rims with bowling ball caps (to date nobody remakes them) those are possibly the rarest and most $$$ things you will spend back dating a firebird or a TA into a 82 car

Good luck!

Re: Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:29 am
by JJohnson
Very good info, thanks!

As far as engine, fuel economy, that kind of thing, is there any advantage to an 87 over an 84? Better engine or whatnot?

Re: Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:58 am
by Dave Knight
well the 87 up cars especially the trans am and formulas had the tuned port multiport fuel injection which was a lot better for mpg than the early carberatored cars and the ones that had throttle body fuel injection which was basically a fancy carb. I have owned 2 cars that had the throttle body fuel injection and a later multiport injection car and the multiport cars got a lot better fuel economy as well as a lot more power.

carb car: 140-150 hp got avg 20 to 25mpg
throttle body car: 170 hp got avg 25 mpg
multiport car: over 200 got in the high 20s almost 30 or so

Re: Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:50 am
by JJohnson
Fascinating. Can you stick the multiport injection motor in the 82-84 car?

Re: Base car to start a KITT/KARR replica

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:36 pm
by Dave Knight
yes you can put any GM motor in any car as long as it fits. I have seen people put the later LT1 engines (used in 93 to 97 firebird/TA) and LS1 engines (used in 98 to 02) and LS3 engines (used in 10 and up) in the early 80s and even 70s and 60s cars. you just need to make sure you have all that came with that motor to make it work like the computer and stuff.