Hello From Southeastern NC - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hello From Southeastern NC

Hey guys, been lurking about a week going over old threads.....Great Forum!

Although I'm a "Blue Oval" guy, I recently purchased a 68 GTO convertible from a gentleman that has been covered in his garage (and not cranked) for the last 10 years. He had (in his words) a frame off reto done on the goat 12 years ago. The resto was alright at best, front bumper to hood and bottom valance are misaligned. Paint looks great but needs work on a couple of places. Seems to be an electrical problem that drains the battery....all in all I'd say the car is 65% of where it should be.....Parts Catalogs Ordered. I'm not a resto expert but know my way around a car, as long as it's not busting down a motor. As with many car projects, my Son & I are going to work on this together (Yea Right....LOL).

I know this is my first post, but could I be as bold as to ask.....Where would you start on a project like this? Should I drain & refill fluids and fire it off? Or should I go ahead and pull motor & trans for rebuild? Does anyone know of Pontiac resto shops in NC?

I don't plan on this car being a trailer or shop queen, but I want to build her right. I will be posting progress on our project.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 08:00 PM
 
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Welcome aboard. Where to start depends on your wallet. If you can do it, pulling the engine/trans would be the way to go to ensure a problem free ride. If the engine was rebuilt as part of the past resto, then having it disassembled for inspection is never a bad thing. It may not need anything other than a freshening up of gaskets. You will also know what is in the engine and may find you want to simply upgrade on some parts depending on what you expect out of the car. The trans, assuming factory TH-400, for the price of a rebuild, I might just have it done just to know it was fresh. TH-400's are rugged and pretty dependable, so it could also be just fine as is, but why pull it out and not service it only to have a problem down the road.

Now on the other hand, you could fire it up since it has been in a garage. You would want to drain the gas and refill with fresh, change ALL rubber gas lines with ethanol friendly hose, change oil/filter, pull the distributor and prime the engine just as if it were a new rebuilt engine because it has been sitting so long and you don't want a "dry" start. If it has points, you may want to change them along with the condensor and put a new cap on it, but they may be OK as is. The carb should also be rebuilt using a kit that has the ethanol friendly needle tip just to be on the safe side. I would also squirt a couple shots of Marvel Mystery Oil in each cylinder so the engine does not fire up on dry cylinders. Make sure the coil wire is pulled off so the car won't start, and turn the engine over by hand with the MMO in the cylinders to get the oil on the cyl walls. It will smoke when you first fire it up, but will clear up once burned off. Check the plugs while you are at it. Tranny fluid should be OK, but check the color/smell. It should be red and have no burned smell to it. If good, check level once the car is running.

Check ALL rubber brake hoses as they can crack/rot over time from sitting. Replace if needed. Better safe than sorry.

Just some suggestions to consider. Others should jump in and give you their view and then you can decide what your plan of attack will be.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hey Thanks Jim!

From what the last owner (2) told me the engine & trans were not rebuilt, not sure why he didn't but odometer showing 57,xxx miles. I do agree about rebuilding to be on the safe side Jim. Although I don't have deep pockets, I'm giving myself a 10k cap on this project. While we plan on doing some of the small work ourselves, I have no problem taking it to a resto shop for body work or anything that I might consider over my head.

I'm also told that it's a numbers matching car although the intake manifold is not......so is it now "not" a numbers matching car? Bringing it home Monday and will check motor & trans numbers to make sure. I have a whole notebook of receipts and pictures from the previous owner plus the PHS docs. The guy really cared for this car but life and age made him lose interest.

Here's a couple of pics
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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So just went through the receipt book that came with the car. Surprised to find the first owners receipts and documentation included......cool.

I also ran across a transmission receipt that may mean trans is no longer numbers matching, I will confirm with 2nd owner. This will put a kink in the build plan I had in mind. Looks like I may go resto mod instead. I still feel I got a great deal on this car.

Any input from others would be welcome. Just trying to get a good discussion for others that are in a similar situation......or may be.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 10:25 AM
 
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Nice pics. I'm jealous. Original numbers matching is always nice to have, but really only if you are a "purist" or "collector" and look to sell it at some point based on that. Many a GTO had their original engines/trans damaged or blown up at some point in their lives. You didn't buy it to use as a grocery getter and the used ones were snapped up by those young kids like me who flogged them even more who then blew them up or swapped parts about. You blew something up, and you could go to a junkyard and get your engine/trans/rear-end cheaper than rebuilding your destroyed item. So many muscle cars, GTO's included, got re-powered or re-transmissioned. So in my opinion, numbers matching is not really that important to someone who plans on driving/using the car. It gives you flexibility in the parts you choose. A "purist" or "collector" having a numbers matching GTO isn't going to be adding aftermarket non-factory replacement parts -no big cams, headers, aluminum heads, dual fours, wide tires, mags, etc.. They call it "resto-mod", but it still means "hotrodding" to me, and that's what it is all about.

Again, your call on how you do it up -its now your ride.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 11:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Guy B View Post
While we plan on doing some of the small work ourselves, I have no problem taking it to a resto shop for body work or anything that I might consider over my head.
Nice car and welcome to the forums.

Not sure where on the SE side of the state you're located, but I recommend Steve Barr in Greenville for any body work/resto. He'll work within your budget and I think you'd be pleased. If you source out machine work on the engine, make sure you find someone that knows their way around Pontiacs. The 400 is a good strong block, but cylinder boring, balancing, set-up etc. requires different know how than some of the more common GM makes.

Barr's Classic Auto Restoration


Sounds like a good base for a project like you're describing. I agree with Jim in that most surviving GTOs today have lost all or parts of their original drivetrain. Not uncommon to bolt in replacement blocks, transmissions, rear ends, etc. I'm a big fan of keeping it "Pontiac Powered" and it sounds like the engine is original, but it's your car so build it the way you want it.

Andy
'67 GTO/Signet Gold over Parchment/Pontiac Built
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yep, we're a little South of Fayetteville NC. I did a search last week and found Barr's website, they are on my list to call....Thanks! Too bad the shops close to me seem to have really bad reputations.

Totally agree on keeping her Pontiac powered, seems the 400 is a rock solid engine with stellar reputation. No plans for extra engine modifications....350+ HP is more than enough for me. Just a refresh.

Can I get a some input on the wheel-tire combination? Fronts are 14's rear 15's. I know stock were 14's all the way around but wouldn't 15's make her handle a bit better? Maybe 15x7 up front 15x8 in back? Not opposed to rally II's but some old school Cragar"s would look pretty cool....Thoughts?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 12:50 PM
 
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Hi Guy

I am about an hour north of you near Lillington. I bought my 68 about 8 years ago. Also non-numbers matching. Went resto-mod all the way. Spent 7 years doing all the work myself except engine and spray base coat/clear coat. Just finished her about a month ago. Attached are pictures from yesterdays car show.

Let me know if you ever get up my way on a weekend. Love to talk GTO restoration.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 68Resto-mod View Post
Hi Guy

I am about an hour north of you near Lillington. I bought my 68 about 8 years ago. Also non-numbers matching. Went resto-mod all the way. Spent 7 years doing all the work myself except engine and spray base coat/clear coat. Just finished her about a month ago. Attached are pictures from yesterdays car show.

Let me know if you ever get up my way on a weekend. Love to talk GTO restoration.
Oh Man......Beautiful GTO!!!! Definitely! Our main service area is Fayetteville so I'm there & Spring Lake all the time.

I give it to you Bro, you did the bulk of the work yourself.....And did an Awesome job!!!

You talk GTO....I'll listen & take notes.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 04:15 PM
 
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Yep, we're a little South of Fayetteville NC. I did a search last week and found Barr's website, they are on my list to call....Thanks! Too bad the shops close to me seem to have really bad reputations.

Totally agree on keeping her Pontiac powered, seems the 400 is a rock solid engine with stellar reputation. No plans for extra engine modifications....350+ HP is more than enough for me. Just a refresh.

Can I get a some input on the wheel-tire combination? Fronts are 14's rear 15's. I know stock were 14's all the way around but wouldn't 15's make her handle a bit better? Maybe 15x7 up front 15x8 in back? Not opposed to rally II's but some old school Cragar"s would look pretty cool....Thoughts?
Agree I always prefer to stay local for repairs/resto work, but getting a good pontiac guy often requires willingness to travel or ship parts.

My car was converted to front discs, so I no longer use the stock 14"s. I think you would be happy with a staggered 15 set up as long as you get the right offsets to clear suspension and fenders. I currently have staggered SS Cragars with spinner caps on mine. You can see them in my photos link. I like the look but also like the rally's. I've seen some very nice cars like Resto68 so don't be afraid to change things up if looking for some modern enhancements.

Andy
'67 GTO/Signet Gold over Parchment/Pontiac Built
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