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Thread: A Great Looking Muscle Car is in the Details: Restoring an Inflator Canister

  1. #1
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    A Great Looking Muscle Car is in the Details: Restoring an Inflator Canister

    In order to gain the points at car shows and/or have one sharp looking old muscle car, it's all in the details. No matter how well a car is preserved those little parts need restoring and refinishing. As an example here's a spare tire inflator canister that I have restored for my '79 Trans Am. When I purchased my '79 Trans Am several years ago, it was missing the canister, so last year I finally decided to purchase a good core and restore it back to original condition. Unfortunately all the good cores I saw at the time were $100 or more on Ebay. So after some careful research I realized that other GM cars of that era used the same size spare inflator canister, and could be had for a lot less money.

    So I found a good core from a late 1970s Chevy Monza which was the perfect size, only the label and the plastic cap (cap was white instead of blue) where different than the 1979 Firebird/Camaro canister which would have originally come with my car. So I bought the canister for $24.00 (shipping included), then paid $10 for a reproduction 1979 Camaro/Firebird inflator canister paper decal, around $14.00 for 2 cans of spray paint (Ford blue for the canister and GM corp blue for the plastic cap), and $2.00 for 3 unit packet of glue stick (to stick the decal to the cardboard wrapped around the canister). So for $50.00 invested, I now have a canister that looks brand new and was at least half the price of the cores that were correct for my car. Even though this canister originally came out of a Chevy Monza no one will know the difference (not even the eagle eye judges at a car show) since visually it is the same as the '79 Camaro/Firebird unit. Since I only need a visual prop and not a working canister, I don't want to use the canister to pump up a perfect condition spare (which would ruin its value) if I get a flat. I drive my car about 500 miles a year so the likelyhood of a flat tire is pretty slim (also I have a can of flat fix which I hide in the trunk in case I should ever get a flat tire).

    Here's a picture of the canister after I completed the restoration:





  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: A Great Looking Muscle Car is in the Details: Restoring an Inflator Canister

    Hi Pete,

    Beautifully done!

    Has your car's space saver tire ever been on the ground?




  3. #3
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    Re: A Great Looking Muscle Car is in the Details: Restoring an Inflator Canister

    Eric,

    Thanks. Fortunately the spare tire never hit the ground, it still have the factory white lettering on the tread. I don't know if you remember but when I purchased the car, it was missing the jack and jack stand, butterfly washer, the jack holder plate and butterfly nut for holder, and the inflator canister. I have aquired a jack and jack stand, the washer, and now the inflator canister. I still need the butterfly nut for the jack holder plate should have one within a few weeks.

    Here's how my tire setup looks now, I have not put the inflator canister in yet. I am planning on refinishing and repainting in semi-gloss black the tire and the piece under the big butterfly nut. The jack stand has been restored already. I will also armorall the entire tire to make it shine.





  4. #4
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    Re: A Great Looking Muscle Car is in the Details: Restoring an Inflator Canister

    Here's the side of the tire, you can still see the factory white markings on the tire, sorry the picture quality is not good:





  5. #5
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    Re: A Great Looking Muscle Car is in the Details: Restoring an Inflator Canister

    And last but not least here's my new jack which has been refinished. I got a jack holder plate (black) which I need to refinish in semi-gloss black since its dulled with age. The nut is not correct I need to get a black butterfly nut which I am working on getting:


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