Begin Restoration, or wait - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Begin Restoration, or wait

I'm sure many of you have had this issue, so I'd appreciate any input you all can give.
I just got a 67 GTO home to my own garage. Dad and I got it as a project car a good ten years ago and we had a little work done here and there over the years, but the only major work was an engine rebuild 6 or so years ago. She did have to sit outside for 6 or so of those years (not any more thankfully).

She's got a Maaco paint job and no trim. But starts easy and is drivable (if you don't mind overheating at stop lights). Rust in the floor pans and trunk, probably rust in the windshield base, as she never was exactly water tight.

I know the car needs a frame-off, but I don't have fifty grand laying around. Do I begin a real restoration now, without significant cash, knowing it may take a decade, or do I hold off and try to keep her rolling on life support for another few years while I save up some dough?

How did you all make the call on when to get started? I can do the basics, replace spark plugs, change the oil, and I did take apart and re-install the interior, but I've never welded or really taken apart an engine before.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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Heh, Fifty grand? I doubt it will cost that much if you do the work yourself. So far I am nowhere near that much on a frame off, and I am certain yours has less rust.. I will probably get the entire car done for less than $12k, not including my labor, just parts and supplies.

Depending on your skill level you could start in a number of areas, do the floors, fix the window leaks, rebuild the suspension, replace the body mounts, all sorts of stuff. Start collecting parts, get the floor pans and whatever else it needs as you can afford them, keep them in a nice dry place so they dont rust. When you have a bunch of stuff for it, and a wad of cash saved up for things you cant stockpile then you can begin on it. It only took me from November to April to get the body back on the rebuilt frame with new suspension. After almost a month off due to all sorts of not so nice things happening, I can get back to work on it, but without those marathon days. I still want it done by July/August, and if I can do it with a minimum of cash, then almost anyone can if they learn to do the work themselves.

It doesnt take ten years to finish something, well that is unless you are goofing around on it and going golfing instead of welding in new floors and sanding primer.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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I would do it one project at a time, but DON"T TAKE THE CAR APART! It's too easy to get bored with a non-running/ dissassembled car if you don't have the funds or experience to get it back together. Fix what you have to fix, motor, and brakes. Keep the maintenance up, and do repairs for safety first. Then, try to preserve the car, grind out and coat rusty areas, hopefully stopping the rust. Maybe weld some new metal in with patches, can always do it over when funds permit.

Burning rubber since 1982!!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 09:15 PM
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If you take it apart without the funding to repair and rebuild it, it will just sit in the way, you'll get tired of it and sell it for a major loss as a basket case. Like the others said, tackle small projects as you have time and money and complete that step before tearing into more. Drive it in between to keep the enjoyment of ownership alive.

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1967 GTO; Gulf Turquoise on Black, 4 speed, buckets SOLD
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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This is a great question-do you keep driving it and fixing little things here and there and stuff that breaks along the way or do you dive in and go for it. If I had tried to wait and save up money to do it I would NEVER have gotten started. It has been much easier to spend 15-20 grand in 3 years than save it- yes there have been times when I couldn't buy a part because I had to pay some stupid bill like the mortgage or buy a part for my daily driver but even if you have all the money you need to buy everything you still need TIME and lots of it.Almost everything I've done on my car has taken 3-4 times as many hours as I thought it would. Building a car is A LOT of work especially for someone like myself that is NOT an auto tech. I am glad I made the decision to start the project because now I am close to finishing it. You can put if off for another 10 years easy but just think how much work it will be then
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the input, some good food for thought. One good thing is I do have a lot of interior parts stockpiled (New seat covers, etc) and most of the trim. Good to know the cost may not be as high as I thought.

Thumpin 455, are you planning to do the paint yourself as well?

I've got the Restoration Guide and and Chiltons, any other manuals/books I should get?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 09:17 AM
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The floor pans are a great place to learn how to weld!!
No one will see it after it's covered up with the carpet, so if it starts out ugly, as long as the seams are sealed afterwords with seam sealer, you're good to go!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AMT1379 View Post
I appreciate the input, some good food for thought. One good thing is I do have a lot of interior parts stockpiled (New seat covers, etc) and most of the trim. Good to know the cost may not be as high as I thought.

Thumpin 455, are you planning to do the paint yourself as well?

I've got the Restoration Guide and and Chiltons, any other manuals/books I should get?
I do everything except the machine work on blocks and cranks. I have plenty of time and a place to do the work. No job to keep me from a project and I dont get bored with it because I need to keep busy. This isnt what most people have or can do, not everyone can do everything, and most dont have the time. Like the other guys said, dont take it apart unless you plan to bust your hump on it, work on it as often as you can, and keep plugging away.

My first car, a 67 Cougar, sat for 20 years after I started repainting it. Other projects, 9 years in the military, a family/mortgage, and life in general got in the way of finishing that car. I havent driven it since 1986, but it now is painted and just needs mechanical work and an interior. It still isnt a priority so it sits. When you dont drive a car for 24 years it doesnt really provide that burning desire to go cruising in it. The moral of that is dont start something unless you have the time and resources to finish it.

I want to drive my 70 GTO but it needs a frame off and lots of electrical work. I could still drive it like it is, but I want to have it nice and stop the rust first. Its the same situation as your GTO, but it was my daily driver for 12 years and has only been parked since 06. I wont start on it until I have more parts here for it, and I need to have the 65 done first. Dont start it until you can finish it, but you can keep it running and drive it even if it isnt pretty. The 70 has a rebuilt suspension, a healthy 455, and a new 12 bolt with 3.42 gears and a posi. It just needs cosmetics and rust repair, but it still might get driven this year because I love driving that car. I could fix all the rust and paint it without taking it off the frame too, but I have the resources and skills to rebuild it in a few months rather than years without a bunch of cash. If you dont have a big shop and all the stuff needed for what I do, then take it slow bit by bit.

If you have the place and the tools, then get started and dont let it take ten years, do it in one. Doing a complete rebuild in one year takes dedication and determination. You cant slack off, and you have to be motivated to work on it even when you dont want to. It is way to easy to let a car sit for 20 years.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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Okay, I've got to chime in here too! I bought my car in February 08 with the motor redone and drove it around for a while. I fixed the exhaust, brakes and made it safe to drive. I was going to wait to restore it but decided that even though the interior was in good shape, the exterior needed a paint job. Upon removing the vinyl top, the roof was gone due to fiberglass under it. At that point, I had to tear it all apart but I'm glad I did. I was lucky to have a friend that is an auto body guy and he let me keep it at his shop while I came out at night to work on it.
My advice is to keep the rust under control and maintain the safety issues. Like the others have said, stockpile things when you can afford it. I spent close to 12 k also including the brakes, exhaust and professional upholstery work on the headliner. If you have the interior parts stocked up, great! Then add some more because you'll find out you're missing something. Start getting the floor pans, trunk pans, bushings, even supplies of sand paper, POR15 (works wonders) and primer. Look on Craigslist for other parts. Go to jaxed.com and press the "mash" link and do a search for parts all over the US on craigslist. This has come in handy on numerous occasions for me. I found a whole 67 car's worth of trim from a person in texas for $300.00. I wasn't fast enough!. Anyways, I wouldn't put if off at all. Like the others said, it will be 20 years before you look at it again or end up selling it because the bills have to be paid.
Just my advice....
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 12:32 PM
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I would not take it all apart unless you have the room, equipment, and money on hand to burn thru the complete resoration in the next 12 months. You are better off accumulating parts, and fixing the car a bit at a time as you drive it. Driving the car from time to time will keep you entusiastic about the car. Once the enthusiasm is gone, forget about ever restoring it. You won't. I can not count the number of well-intended "restorations" that ended up as scrap due to loss of interest, loss of storage, etc. Running, driving cars were taken apart to rebuild, and ended up scattered to the four winds. Junk. Right now, I've been pushing a good friend to finish his '67: He parked it to "restore it" in 1991. (It was a clean driver car) He's 50 years old now, and the car is still in pieces. Perhaps this summer.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Projects, Barn Finds & Restoration Discussions

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