Building a KITT Replica

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coondawg45
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Building a KITT Replica

Post by coondawg45 » Thu May 29, 2014 11:08 am

Hey, I run an organization/charity where we dress as superheroes and visit kids to encourage them to be heroes themselves. I am Batman in the organization and every kid wants to see the Batmobile... unfortunately, I don't have $100k to throw down on a car like that. My choice is to go with the coolest hero car ever, KITT. I need some feedback from those of you who have built a replica before. I am thinking of going with a 91 Firebird 3.1L V6. The reason for this car is 1) it has a hard top and I won't have to worry about it leaking, 2) we will be doing a lot of traveling and the gas mileage will be a little better. Note: I do not want to make this 100% accurate. I will essentially want it to be "recognizable" as KITT but not perfect. I will convert the outside with the wheels, nose and scanner. The interior I will replace the dash with a season1/2 most likely. What are your thoughts on using this car as the base for KITT?

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by Knight Racer » Thu May 29, 2014 1:12 pm

You may have a problem with removing the driver side airbag and replacing it with a gullwing steering wheel since tampering with the airbag is illegal.

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by coondawg45 » Thu May 29, 2014 8:04 pm

That is a good thought! Thank you for the reply. My other choice would be an 87 Trans Am with a 350 V8. Are those "easier" to modify? I am not very experienced in body work so I am relying on opinions here.

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by Knight Racer » Thu May 29, 2014 9:56 pm

I read online today that after 88 that's when Pontiac started equipping cars with airbags because of the speed of the V8 engines.

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by Dave Knight » Fri May 30, 2014 2:04 am

not true 90 was the first year of the airbag in the steering wheel so you will be fine if you get a 82 up to a 89. and it had nothing to do with the speed GM wanted to make sure ALL of their cars had them by that year or newer as it was mandated by the government that you had to at least have a driver's side bag by that year (just as the center high mounted brake light in trunk lids or inside rear windows were mandated by the mid/late 80s). and FYI we had a 90 Chevy Beretta coupe that did not have one but the next model year did have one.
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coondawg45
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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by coondawg45 » Fri May 30, 2014 8:58 am

That answers my question. I will look for a pre-90s model and use that as my base. Thank you for your input.

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by sheltonw3 » Fri May 30, 2014 11:48 am

You can use a 91' if it is all you got, the airbag will NOT stop you from using a gullwing, you would need to get grant steering wheel adapter and make some minor modifications to make everything work!

but if you want an easier car to work with try finding a 87'-88' 2.8 liter engine car, but you would still need to find the 82'-84'parts to make an exterior, but if you check craigslist, you might get lucky*
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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by Knight Racer » Fri May 30, 2014 6:33 pm


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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by OKC KNIGHT » Sat May 31, 2014 12:03 am

Knight Racer wrote:Some people say '88 some say it was the 90's.Best to ask the seller.
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde ... 317AAAEMJ6

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde ... 409AAG4wAd




Been messing with 3rd gens for over a decade.1990 was the first year for a airbag on F-body's.

And just by coincidence I once owned a 1990 Black firebird aswell with driver side airbag :wink:

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Specializing in 1982-1992 Firebird/Trans Am Parts since 2002 and the ONLY seller of High Quality KITT Taillight blackouts

My contact Dmcman108@yahoo.com

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by OKC KNIGHT » Sat May 31, 2014 12:14 am

coondawg45 wrote:Hey, I run an organization/charity where we dress as superheroes and visit kids to encourage them to be heroes themselves. I am Batman in the organization and every kid wants to see the Batmobile... unfortunately, I don't have $100k to throw down on a car like that. My choice is to go with the coolest hero car ever, KITT. I need some feedback from those of you who have built a replica before. I am thinking of going with a 91 Firebird 3.1L V6. The reason for this car is 1) it has a hard top and I won't have to worry about it leaking, 2) we will be doing a lot of traveling and the gas mileage will be a little better. Note: I do not want to make this 100% accurate. I will essentially want it to be "recognizable" as KITT but not perfect. I will convert the outside with the wheels, nose and scanner. The interior I will replace the dash with a season1/2 most likely. What are your thoughts on using this car as the base for KITT?



Been parting out these cars to supply the hobby for over a decade,So here's my "2 pennies" :P :wink:

Going by current online collector market value, NOT craigslist/junk yard DREAM prices.

Paint depends on your area and market $2000-3000 for a basic black paint job nothing fancy and no to minimal body work needed.
PMD seats $400-500 depending on color and condition.
Turbo cast+caps Getting VERY rare even the 14's are going up in value/demand $700-2000
KITT front nose $500-1200 (Not getting into a "War" on who's nose is the best) :roll:
Blackout $100-150
Scanner: SID's in TX LED is around $300 shipped but he's taking a break last i spoke with him ?? :?

and there's the question if you want the T/A fenders with the vents and the bulge scoop hood ??


Dave
Specializing in 1982-1992 Firebird/Trans Am Parts since 2002 and the ONLY seller of High Quality KITT Taillight blackouts

My contact Dmcman108@yahoo.com

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coondawg45
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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by coondawg45 » Sat May 31, 2014 12:19 am

If I use the 87 I was thinking of finding a formula hood to replace the vented hood.

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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by Dave Knight » Sat May 31, 2014 3:48 am

the problem with the later formula hoods was they were molded as one part they did not have that part of the scoop that was separate like the ones on the early TA cars (KITT had that hood with the separate part on the edge of the scoop). as many or many did not know the TA cars that had that scoop they were functional. the hood actually connected to the top of the engine and wind would deflect off the front glass and into the scoop and into the engine itself. My dad had a 83 one of the last years you could get a TA with that scoop (I THINK 84 was the last year but do not quote me) and he had the functional 'ram air' hood with the KITT style scoop.
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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by sheltonw3 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:35 pm

coondawg45 wrote:If I use the 87 I was thinking of finding a formula hood to replace the vented hood.

You can do it!...it will work, I used a 85' hood and it did not have the induction part, but I got it later off of a 92' Formula hood that was trashed!...I got the metal block and vent at the same time and used them both, I slightly bent the block to allow air flow to get in the air bay to allow the engine to cool faster and the vent for looks!...along with RTV applied, it keeps the water out and don't forget to pick the water run off too, it helps keep water off the distributor*
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Re: Building a KITT Replica

Post by jup » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:01 am

I do seem to remember this conversation bit about how the people that build those incredible dashes have mentioned how the parts fit perfectly into select models of Trans-Am's of the era and how even newer Trans-Am models have just enough changes done to make things a total headache. But, I'm not sure how 'flashy' you are aiming for. After all, I've seen 'Kitt's' that have gotten away with all kinds of round-a-bout notions that look nothing like the show and even base lines that were horribly cut rectangles into the hood to press a J.C. Whitney light through.

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