Restoring a 1965 GTO convertible tri power - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Restoring a 1965 GTO convertible tri power

I thought I would document the restoration of my 65 GTO convertible. The car came as a three speed manual with tripower. Currently the car has a 400 motor with 14 heads (should be low compression) and the original tri power setup. The brakes are manual drums all around. Originally the car was mission beige / gold interior. The car appears very nice from 10 feet away, but as I inspected closely I found lots of issues with the body.

My plan is to get the car running well mechanically, then do the bodywork and paint, and finally the interior.

The car was damaged in transit (long story). The trucking company was awful and their insurance company is doing everything they can to not pay for the damage. Regardless, it will get fixed . Here is how the car started :
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1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Here was the interior. Apparently some animals (mice / rats) had been nesting in the car, so it was clear that everything would be removed. I was not a fan of the gold either, so I decided to change the interior color to black (I am saving all the original panels so it can always be put back).
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1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Mechanically the first thing I needed to do was work on the transmission / Hurst shifter. The shifter is the original from 65, but the base plate and linkages were incorrect for the 4 speed Muncie (it appears they tried to make the 3 speed linkage work ??). Why the previous owner drove the car this way is a mystery. Anyone that has driven a properly aligned Hurst shifter will tell you that they are AMAZING. The way this thing shifted was far from amazing.

First thing I did was call the legend Paul C. @ 5Speeds Transmission Home Page. Paul has been building amazing transmissions for ~37 years and is a super nice and honest. I sent Paul pictures of the linkage and transmission and he immediately identified the problem. Unfortunately he did not have the parts as they were on back order, but referred me to Scott @ https://www.hurstshiftersonline.com/...categories.asp as they are the distributor for Hurst parts. Scott was able to send me an entire linkage kit and so the fun began.

Let me start by saying that working on a car in a driveway or garage without a proper lift is a real pain in the butt (back and neck too). What should be an hour job at most took me ~3+ hours. Removing the old base plate was a pain and required me to access the top bolt from inside the cabin and others while under the car. The shift linkage has to be precise and my STRONG recommendation is to lay everything out on a table near your car, label the parts, and make sure you know the proper orientation before going under the car. Furthermore, HURST shifters are EXTREMELY finicky and you MUST use the alignment tool or a nail if you want the shifter to work properly. I started with the 3-4 rod, then the 1-2 rod, and then reverse.

Once done and aligned properly, the car was almost fun to drive. Shifting is just a joy....1-2-3-4-3-2 heel and toe bliss....Now for the engine....

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie

Last edited by cij911; 12-17-2017 at 09:51 PM.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 05:27 PM
 
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If you need help with the 65 gto just let me know I have been doing this since 1983. I have a parts book from 1965 that has the right part numbers for your car. I too have a 65 gto that I have owned since 1983 . I am looking for the 2 letter code for the frame of the car and was wondering if you have any info on it like maybe a build sheet for your car?
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1421royalgto View Post
If you need help with the 65 gto just let me know I have been doing this since 1983. I have a parts book from 1965 that has the right part numbers for your car. I too have a 65 gto that I have owned since 1983 . I am looking for the 2 letter code for the frame of the car and was wondering if you have any info on it like maybe a build sheet for your car?
Thank you & Merry Christmas !

I have the PHS documentation for my car, but I'd have to look to see if I have the 2 letter code for the frame. Where is the frame usually stamped ?

On a side note, my car currently does not have a driver side mirror. Would that show on the build sheet or did all 65's have drivers side mirrors ? (I wish it had passenger as well.)

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
cij911 is offline  
post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 12:25 PM
 
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Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by cij911 View Post
Originally the car was mission beige / gold interior.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cij911 View Post
I was not a fan of the gold either, so I decided to change the interior color to black (I am saving all the original panels so it can always be put back).

I'm a fan of the Beige exterior with the Gold interior (obviously, check my Garage).

It seems that 9 out of 10 of first-generation GTOs that I see have black interior.

Good luck with your project and keep posting photos!
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have a question regarding the restoration process and order in which to do certain items and am hoping I can get some perspective from the group.

My car is getting closer to being ready for paint. My plan was to paint the car and then install new suspension and brakes, but I am wondering if should install the suspension and brakes before paint ? If so, then I will need to install nice, new wheels and tires while the car is being painted.

Also, any thoughts on how many coats of paint I should do - X base and Y clear ? Or do you think I should use a single stage ?


Thanks

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 11:44 AM
 
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In my opinion, base clear is the way to go. I usually do three coats of each.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well I have not updated this thread in a while, but have been busy on the GTO. So far I have done everything on the restoration except where identified.

I installed the correct hurst shift linkage has been installed (mentioned previously) - really a huge improvement.

The exterior has had some of the "blemishes" addressed. It appears the car was hit on the drivers side, right behind the door, and was repaired poorly.It has been fixed by a friend that used to run Carol Shelby's race team and is pretty much bare and ready for paint.

I cut the hood insert and hood out and have the RA plate.

The interior has been stripped, cleaned, and POR15 applied.

The center console was removed and painted with SEM satin black. All chrome / metal piece were polished by hand (time intensive). New wires were installed.

The dash was removed and also painted with SEM satin black. I have to say the SEM products are great and the finished products look OEM quality in my humble opinion. (I used the prep, sand free, and then color.)

All locks have been re-keyed (not by me) for a single key.

A new hydraulic motor was installed and bled (for the convertible top).

Doug headers were installed (not by me) and new engine mounts were installed.

MAD electronics "start em' up" kit was installed to eliminate the chance of a fire with the starter wire going down through the headers. The factory design was truly awful. I also installed a new power block and alternator wiring. I am still not sure if I am going to hide all the wires behind the fender or run along the inner fender (more like stock).

I have cleaned up the engine wiring, done some soldering, improved grounds, added a new distributor, wires, and plugs.

Next up:
1. remove intake with carbs - rebuild carbs and paint intake
2. paint engine
3. paint car
4. install new interior
5. install new radiator, fan, and shroud
6. install new gas tank and fuel lines
7. install suspension - still working on what I want to do here....I don't want to go nuts
8. install new brakes - LS1
9. install new wheels and tires - 18x8" and 18x10"

Then enjoy a beautiful classic driving along the Pacific Ocean....
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1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie

Last edited by cij911; 03-04-2018 at 09:22 AM.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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A few more weekends on the car :

(1) Dash completed - painted the dash, painted the bezel rings with chrome paint, added brushed aluminum face
(2) Removed heater box and core (to replace core) - now want to restore the heater box (ugh)
(3) Painted passenger side of the motor / heads - 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of Pontiac blue
(4) Painted the heater hose bracket and alternator brackets

I did not worry about overspray on the hoses as I am replacing them. I am very happy with the painted motor and hope it lasts. I will paint the intake after I rebuild the carbs. The freshly painted motor really makes the car look great IMHO.
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1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
cij911 is offline  
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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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