4th Generation (1993 - Present)
4.6 Exterior Related
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Q:Where can I find 24 inch replacement wiper blades?
A:You can get them from GM, but be prepared to sign loan papers. Otherwise, check at your local Wal-Mart. It's unlikely you'll be able to find just blades which work with the existing frame, but Lexor makes a blade and frame which can replace the stock ones perfectly.
Q:How can I take my wiper arms off?
A:Stop the wipers in the "up" position by turning off the ignition with the wipers on. Mark their positions on the windshield. (Don't turn on the ignition until reinstalling the wiper arms.) Open the hood. For each wiper arm, first pull up the plastic piece covering the base of the arm. It can be raised by pulling out the two tabs that clip it down to the base of the arm. If you want to totally remove it, pull on the cover to disconnect the hinged end. Remove the nut that holds the wiper arm on and pull the wiper arm to its fully raised position (as if you were cleaning the windshield). Wiggle the arm around while applying a little pulling motion and it should come right off.
Q:Can I replace my fixed mast antenna with a retractable one?
A:Yes. The Pontiac part number for the 95's is 100098596 and the Chevy part is 10269281. The list price is $87.33 and the kit includes everything except the harness from the radio to the antenna. You probably should get that harness (part number 12117322) as it will make wiring the antenna easier. You might also try RK Sport (619-433-1663) for their whole kit.
All radios have a provision for switching the relay on the power antenna. You have to run two wires to the antenna from the front of the interior. This will require removing the radio, passenger seat, passenger side kick panel, rear seat cushion, spare tire, and the spare tire cover. The up-down relay power (orange wire) will come from Pin 8 on the back of the radio. You will find Pin 8 in the upper connector of the two piggy-backed connectors at the back of the radio. (The other connector port on the back of the 1995 and on radios is for the remote CD player.) You can purchase a connector lead from any auto store. Get the ones for the micro-pack connectors. Just crimp these connectors to the proper gauge wire and insert them into the connector body. Then plug the connector into the radio. The other wire (red) that you need to run is for the power. You can run this to the unused radio accessory port on the IP fuse panel. Finally, just ground the third antenna lead (black wire) to the antenna bracket.
Installing the power antenna assembly itself is simple, but it does require drilling a hole for the antenna drain. Below the antenna mounting bracket is a flat area that is used for this. Run your hand across this area and you'll find it. Drill a 1/2 to 3/4 inch hole here. Be careful because the rear bumper fascia is on the other side. Once the hole is drilled, trim the drain tube, and install it. The factory antenna comes with this attached. You should also purchase the tool for removing the antenna nut located on the outside of the fender. Call Kent-Moore (800-345-2233) for this tool.
Q:Why is does my rear bumper appear to be very dull and pitted even though I keep waxing my car?
A:When the F-bodies are moving, either on a road, or in a windtunnel, there is a backpressure of swirling air that concentrates right about where the rear bumper is. Since it is plastic, it takes a lot of wind damage. Even though you may keep it waxed and clean, a couple days of driving can wear it off. There's not a whole lot you can do about it because it is the nature of the shape of the car.
Q:What is causing the scratches on my door window?
A:The window alignment needs to be adjusted from inside the door (taking the inside door panel off). There is a Technical Service Bulletin (#651023) which addresses this problem on 1993 - 1995 cars.
Q:Why are my power windows so slow?
A:The power window motors in the F-bodies are pretty underpowered. Through the 1999 modem year GM hasn't redesigned them, so the only thing you can try is to get some silicone grease and try to lubricate the railings that the window runs on. Do NOT use a penetrant like WD-40, this will actually remove the lubricate that's already there.
Q:What are the plastic blocks under the car that say "Don't Jack Here"?
A:Those blocks are actually spots for jacking up the car, but the label says 'Do not jack here' really means 'Do not jack in front of the plastic block or at the ridge'. If you refer to the Helm manual, one of the drawings indicated that it is one of the proper front jack points.
Q:How can I change my fog light bulb on my 1993-1997 F-bodies?
A:You should be able to get at them from under the car (on jack stands). First remove the air dam and then pull 3 of the "pop clips" that connect the black plastic piece to the part of the lower front fascia that curves up under the car. This will expose the washer reservoir (opposite the radiator). There are also a couple of screws on each side that need to be removed. Then pull the whole piece out. You can see the wire loom that goes into the back off the fog lights (one per side). Turn these a 1/4 turn (just like pulling a taillight or turn signal light) and they come out. Unclip the old light (be careful not to break any clips) and install the new one. These light bulbs are halogen and will explode if scratched or dropped and they're expensive (about $9.99). Also, do not touch the glass portion of the bulb. This can cause pre-mature failure. Finally, reinstall the bulb, make sure it works, and then put everything back together.
If your fingers are nimble enough, you can replace them from the front. You just need to pry the two pull-retainers on both sides of the fog light out with a small flathead screwdriver. The one closest to the middle of the car will be the hardest to remove and put back in. You will also need to remove the aiming screw and spring. Then the fog light can be removed. A pair of small needle-nose pliers makes re-installation easier.
Q:Why do my headlights flicker when I drop down to 1500 or 1750 RPM?
A:This seems to be from the electric AIR pump turning on and off while the engine is cold. The pump cycles when the engine is cold (hence set very rich by the computer) to add additional air into the exhaust stream for a more complete burn by the catalytic converter(s). The only reason you notice it more at low RPMs is that the alternator works a little harder to adjust to the change in load. It is not a problem. It is the same effect as your house lights getting dim momentarily when you turn on the vacuum cleaner. You will probably see a momentary dimming of the interior lights as well when this happens. You should also see the flicker when you flip the fan switch at idle.
Q:Why does my headlight motor keep running after I turn the lights off?
A:There is a little plastic gear that has probably stripped out inside the headlight mechanism. This is only a fix if the motor is still working, but makes a very loud buzzing sound.
Q:Is there a way I can disable the Daytime Running Lights in my 1997+ F-body?
A:Yes. There have been a number of solutions come up, but Robert Clear, firstname.lastname@example.org, has discovered the easiest and least destructive method.
First you must locate the DRL control module. It is a black box about the size of a pack of cigarettes behind the radio. It is clipped to the HVAC duct and has two connectors going into it, one blue and the other black.
The blue connector on the DRL module has eight cavities, but only seven of them are used. Cavity B is empty. I discovered that if that terminal is grounded, your DRLs are disabled. The black wire in cavity A is a ground, so I took the DRL module apart (easy to do, the cover just slips off) and solder-jumpered the A and B terminals on the PCB. This leaves you with no DRLs, you power hatch and handbrake light still works, and it all looks factory. Easy to undo if you want.
Some people have expressed a desire for a switch to select whether you want the DRLs or not. This is very easy to do. All you need to do is put a switch inline with the wire that's jumping cavity A and cavity B, and that's it. You will not need to be concerned with fuses in this situation because you're jumping a ground, not a hot wire.
Q:What are those dimples/dents on the top of my rear quarter panels?
A:These seem to be due to the shock absorber mounts. The rear quarter panels are sheet metal (as opposed to the rest of the body which is fiberglass except for the hood). They do not seem to form or worsen over time so it's most likely they came from the factory this way as "birthing marks". They're not very noticeable unless you look at an angle. It's right by the antenna on the right panel and in the same location across on the left panel.
Q:Where can I get a Ram Air, Firehawk, or SS hood?
A:Currently, the Firehawk and SS hoods cannot be ordered without a valid VIN of an existing car with documentation of an accident requiring replacement of the hood. But since the WS6 Formulas and Trans Ams aren't considered special production vehicles, it's likely you'll be able to get the Ram Air hood from Pontiac. Your best bet is to go through Craig Clower at Buz Post Motors, Inc. in Arlington, Texas (800-375-7678) who can order the following:
Part No. Description Wholsale / List Price --------------------------------------------------------- 12529226 Ram Air hood $1131.00 $1508.00 12529242 Duct-A/CL $67.50 $90.00 12529240 Hose-Pump $25.69 $34.25 12529235 CVR-A/CL $125.25 $167.00 25096933 Air filter $19.11 $27.98 12529823 Cover $162.75 $217.00 14104835 Bolts and screws (4) $10.20 $13.60 12529227 Left screen $54.00 $72.00 12529228 Right screen $54.00 $72.00
Total works out to $1649.50 wholesale and $2201.83 list. If Buz Post ships direct to you, you pay list. If it's shipped to a body shop, then the shop is charged wholesale. This is because selling to the general public at body shop prices (wholesale) is forbidden by the powers above. So you might want to work out a deal with a body shop so that they make the $320 markup on the parts and in exchange, paint the hood at a discount (approx $200). However you work it out, look for a total parts, labor, and materials cost of $1500 to $1700. To save some cash, don't pay to have the induction parts installed as it only requires a screw driver and about 20 minutes of your time. If you are mechanically inclined enough open the hood, you can install these parts.
If you have a Camaro or you're looking for a cheaper set up, there are a number of companies which make aftermarket hoods. American Sports Car Design (800-579-0777) makes a "big-block" hood (very similar SLP hood on the SS) which is available for the Firebird or Camaro. Suncoast PGI (888-255-8900) makes a very close WS6/Firehawk-looking hood also available for the Firebird or Camaro.
Q:What aero (dress-up) kits are available for the Camaro?
A:The following companies offer a variety of kits including ground effects (side skirts), hoods, scoops, and spoilers:
Q:Why is my rear hatch so hard to close in my F-body?
A:Chances are you have both doors shut and the windows up. Our rear hatches are so big that it presses down on the air inside the car and creates a backpressure on the hatch, which makes it hard to close. Just try it with one of the doors open, or a window down to release the air pressure when you close the hatch.
Q:The blue tint appears to be chipping away on the rims of my 1999 30th Anniversary Trans Am, can I get this fixed?
A:Although this is a common problem more and more 30th Anniv. TA owners are complaining about, GM hasn't released any official TSBs about it yet. Some have tried getting it fixed with aftermarket paint with minimal success. Some dealers will order a new wheel for you if you complain loud enough.
Q:The Trans Am logo and bird sticker on the back of my 30th Anniversary TA looks different than another one Ive seen, is this normal?
A:The first few 30th Anniversary Trans Ams that were made had the wrong stickers put on them. GM issued a TSB to have owners bring in their cars and have the stickers replaced with the correct ones, but they both look good, so its up to the owner as to whether or not they want to have their sticker replaced. To see the difference between the two different stickers, go to http://ohio.f-body.org/30th/comparison.jpg.