Help with restoration decisions - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Help with restoration decisions

It has been about a year and a half since I bought my 1969 GTO convertible. I spent a lot of time out of town working in that time. Since January I am no longer traveling for work and will have a lot more time to work on my restoration project.

In summary, my GTO is a rust bucket but a great project. I decided to do a frame off restoration. I have a local guy who will do the body work, paint ect. I have the ability and resources to do the assembly.

I spent the last 3 months getting the car stripped down to the frame. The frame, all suspension parts, ect are at the shop getting cleaned, blasted, repaired, and powdercoated/painted. I expect to get them back within the next two weeks. Very excited to get the car reassembled and restored over the next two years or so.

My first step is to get to a rolling frame. I have looked at my priorities for this and the type of restoration I will do. This car will not be a daily driver but I will be driving it a lot. My priorities in order follow.

1. Enjoy the driving experience. Create a smooth ride that my wife and I can enjoy as we go across the country
2. Have a low maintenance ride. I don't mind working on the car occasionally but I want to spend my time driving the car not working on it once it is done.
3. Performance. Nothing over the top but a great running car.
4. Original factory appearance to the untrained eye. I will do modern part upgrades to get better performance and lower maintenance when it makes sense and helps me achieve 1,2, and 3 above.
5. Return on investment. I think I will probably have more in the car when I'm done than it is worth but I am restoring this for me not as an investment.

I would appreciate your input on three of things that I am trying to decide right now. I plan to order the parts this Friday or over the weekend.

1. I know I can buy original rubber suspension bushings and steering parts or I can go with Polygraphite or Polyurathane bushings/ball joints/steering parts ect. I am replacing all of the bushings, using the original A-arms, control ARMS. I plan to replace all the steering linkage, tie rod ends, ect. I have been told that the Poly parts will give me a lot less future maintenance but will give me a very noticeable rougher ride. I would appreciate your feedback about your experience with Poly vs the original rubber parts and which direction you think I should go.

2. I am doing a complete front and rear disk brake conversion. I have looked at a couple of kits on-line. If you have a recommendation about the brand/type/vendor for a a kit that you like or works well, I would appreciate your suggestions.

3. I am replacing the gas lines, brake lines, and all frame clamps. I can buy original or stainless steel. The cost difference is not much. Do you think the minimal cost difference for stainless steel will payoff.

I only have one picture of the car on this forum. It was taken after I pulled it off the trailer. The picture is a lot better than the actual condition of the car. I will take some pictures this weekend of all the parts scattered in organized chaos in my garage and post them on my profile page so you can see where I am today. I will also be posting pictures as I move forward. If you are interested, follow my progress there as we move forward. Your input is appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:25 AM
 
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My opinion... 1. the original rubber bushings lasted what... 45 years? Use original type replacements. 2. Right Stuff Detailing has good kits and excellent tech support. 3. Stainless. Good luck. Matt

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:25 AM
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I'm a fan of rubber bushings. The original bushings DID last 45 years. Problem is, the new ones tend to rot and crack in 6 months due to poor quality. Unless you are installing NOS or USA made parts, I'd go to the synthetic bushings. Never thought I'd say that, but lately, reproduction rubber parts suck.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 12:57 PM
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I agree with everyone above, if the bushings/ball joints are made in the USA, use them, if they are made in China, pass on them. I would keep it totally stock with the exception of either swapping the points to electronic or using the points to run an MSD unit.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 06:36 PM
 
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Nice to see you getting time for your project.

I'd go with stainless lines, I did and I'm very happy with them. One thing to remember, per Right Stuff where I purchased my brake lines. Since they are stainless they are harder than standard lines and require you to tighten, back off, then retighten a couple times to seat the lines. I could not get mine to seat properly at first, Right Stuff said to do that and they will seal. If not, they have a lifetime warranty and they would replace them.

Right stuff also has brake system conversion kits with 'everything' you'll need. They treated me very well.

Good luck and be sure to post plenty of photos!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeteeohguy View Post
I'm a fan of rubber bushings. The original bushings DID last 45 years. Problem is, the new ones tend to rot and crack in 6 months due to poor quality. Unless you are installing NOS or USA made parts, I'd go to the synthetic bushings. Never thought I'd say that, but lately, reproduction rubber parts suck.
What he said... I just did the body bushings on my car and went poly specifically because of this. The rest of the car will stay rubber though, I've been in cars with lots of poly and the ride sucked. Granted those cars were usually on high performance coil overs which didn't help matters.

1966 GTO 428ci/4spd - spun bearing
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 04:51 PM
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Sounds like your priorities are very similar to what mine were when I built my '69. I wanted it to be fun, fast, reliable enough to drive anywhere, and enjoyable --- last on my list was anything having to do with "investment". My '69 I can pass off as stock to a casual observer (at least until they hear it run ). Has 4-wheel disc brakes, functioning a/c and power steering, reliable enough to make the full Hot Rod Power Tour in 2013, doesn't overheat, is happy on 93 octane, and it has run in the 11.80's at the track.

If something like that is what you're wanting, I don't mind sharing details.

Bear

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your input. You guys are great. Sounds like American made rubber or poly is the way to go for the bushings, ect. I'll be ordering the parts this week. Still waiting to get the frame, A-arms, Control Arms, rear end, ect back from the shop.

Bear, I would like to hear more about the details of your car when you get the time since your project is very similar to mine.
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