My 69 GTO trials and tribulations - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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My 69 GTO trials and tribulations

Hello all I have never posted but I followed this site on a regular watching and looking at all of the info that you vets have posted for me. Well I will like to show you and talk to you about my gto. I purchased it a year and change ago. I love that car. A little about the car I purchased it off of ebay the car has not been register since 1988. I was told and thinking that the car was all original. When I first got the car the mechanic started some work on it. I recore the radiator and started tune the car up replaced all fluids lines and belts plugs and got the car running great. The car still had the by ply tires shocks and springs. I would hit a bump and it would jump. So I had a vision of what I wanted to do with the car. I wanted to keep the car all original. It had the original 8 track player and radio. They didn't work but I decided to get them fixed. I then decided I wanted the hide away head lights. I order the car paper work from PMD. It was a original a black top convertible. I ordered the electrical Hideaway head light and got them installed. I got the radio and 8 track repaired. The 8 track player and the radio took 8 month to get back from the place. and like 600 out. Long story short I had a bad mechanic and he did haft way jobs had to get the work re done. The engine went at the end of last summer. So when the mechanic pulled the engine I saw that the transmission was from 1973 it was a turbo 400 but just from 73 tagged. So now since the car does not have matching number engine and transmission. I decided to go and do the car my way and not listen to people and tell me leave it stock. Now This is what I did with the car. Baer brakes 13" Front Track4 Brake System 12 Rear SS4 Brake System. Detroit speed control arms Hotchkis TVS System, Extreme Hotchkis Tuned Shocks, 1.5 S.P.S Aluminum Bodied,Delphi 600 Series Power Steering Gear 12-1. 200r4 transmission and rebuild the engine bored over 30 and a edlebrock performer rpm cam kit from ames. MagnaFlow Exhaust. Year One rims 17x8 front and 17x9 rear 2 NEW 255/50-17 NITTO INVO rear and 2 NEW 235/45-17 NITTO INVO. I had a few thing that I wanted to ask you veterans. The car handles and brakes like a new car I just don't think I have enough power. I know that the transmission need to get some work done the Valve body I think. It shifts sloppy. Next I was thinking about stroking the motor to get the max horse power out of it. I was thinking of going to a real transmission shop and getting one of those 200r4 race transmission. The transmission shop has a 200r4 that can handle up to 600 HP and they can install it and it come with a warranty. It cost like 3k but I am tired of these boot leg mechanic. My questions is this and I would love any help. One my speedo is still not accurate it like 15 mph off. The mechanic told me it not worth risking stroking the motor because it original with the car. Do you think I should stroke the motor and get the transmission done by that shop. Ohh and I think I am going to go with EFI and lose the carb. What do you think should I do the above listed work and is there any thing else I can do to max out the horse power. I still have all of the original parts that I took off the car tires shock springs and transmission. Ohh the body has no Rust or rot. There is minor surface rust nothing straight through. Frame was rust coated and now if I do the above work I am thinking of the body work next. The car has a few minor gaps bumper door hood and they are not even. Any input would be great. Sorry for errors and typo. Chris NYC GTO guy.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 09:17 AM
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Very beautiful car! The main thing to remember here though is that it is YOUR car... so whoever is telling you to keep it stock or do this or do that, their opinion doesn't matter. Make the car look, drive, and handle how you want it to regardless of what any of the purists would say.

As far as your upgrades, maybe your transmission just needs a better torque converter. That can make a big difference in how the car drives. Also what gear ratio is in your 12 bolt rear end? Stroker kits are a great way to get more power out of a motor and still retain streetability with high horsepower. If you stroke the motor you might consider a set of aluminum heads. I would talk with some professional engine builders who specialize in Pontiac motors (they're a lot different than Chevy!!!) and find a combination that suits your goals for what you want out of the car. If I was going to drop $3000+ on a new transmission I would do a 5 speed swap, because they are way more fun to drive! EFI will be more complicated but will make fine tuning much easier, will increase mpg to an extent, will make the car more reliable especially on cold starts, and can add horsepower. Hopefully this helps but just remember to do what YOU want to do because it is YOUR car. Have fun!

"You Gotta Have Fun When You're Little!!"
-Dick Schindler

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 11:04 AM
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A stroked motor will not ruin your block, the bore is still well within wall thickness specs for a re-build the cranks just have the stroke of the 455 with the smaller main journal of the 389/400. This will give the motor better oiling and more revs than the factory big cube motors. Pontiac rods are the weak point, they should be replaced with forged H beams. If you plan on iron heads you will probably need a dished piston too.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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I need to find some one who does Pontiac motors any one have any suggestions by NYC. Let me know if any one has info and How much does it cost.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by brooknice View Post
Any input would be great. Sorry for errors and typo. Chris NYC GTO guy.
Input? How about using paragraphs to make reading easier.

Now, as far as the car.....Cool, a white GTO....almost seems like a rare breed....I never see white GTO's; much less a convertible. Neat car man! I love the wheels and brakes you've done and think you are headed in the right direction. Seems like it needs minimal bodywork but to me; if the car is garaged and kept dry I would wait on the body work until you have the funds and parts together to minimize your downtime, I would want as much seat time as possible in that drop top beauty!

As far as stroking the motor, find another shop or mechanic because a stroked Pontiac under the hood can be a beautiful thing in its own right. Couple it with your planned overdrive auto it would be an awesome driving experience!

Again, I would try to have EVERYTHING together and ready to drop in before you start tearing the car apart. If you are worried about hurting the original motor buy another 400 block (they are better to use for a stroker because of the smaller main bearing size and thus stronger main webbing and decreased bearing speeds) and use that. Be sure to use a pre 1975 block because they are stronger.

For cylinder heads I would honestly just go with the Edelbrock aluminum heads. They solve all the flow/cooling/compression problems out of the box. Depending on your HP desires they can be ported to make 500+ Hp no problem with the extra cubes of a stroker. BearGFR on here touts Jim Lehart of Central Virginia Machine for engine work and his car is proof in the great times it runs at the track and it's reliability on the Hot Rod Power Tour.

And hey.....Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 07:06 AM
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Very nice GTO! Why would you ever want to keep it stock when you will enjoy it more with what you have done to it? It's your car, you don't have to explain to anyone why you chose to change it. As far as brakes go, that is a very common upgrade that makes the driving experience much more enjoyable and safer. I still have the front drums on mine and a disk conversion is on the short list.

Was the speedometer correct (or at least close) before you put the bigger tires on? You can probably correct it through the transmission shop. As long as you're having a trans built anyway, they should be able to install the correct size speedometer gear to correct for the bigger tires.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 08:19 AM
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I stroked MY original, numbers-matching block into a 461 and I'm very happy with the result.

As far as a Pontiac engine guy, you're not too far away from the best there is (in my opinion), and that's Jim Lehart at Central Virginia Machine in Burkeville, VA. I recommend you call him up and just talk things over.

Central Virginia Machine Service - Home of the Injun Engine!

Or, if you'd prefer, there's another Pontiac legend located right there in NYC.


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