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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2016, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Where to Start

Hello and thanks for the help in advance.. I'm starting my 1st project wich I'm told needs to be a frame off restore. My first of many questions I'm sure is where do I start I have a parts car that I was offered cash and the 4 spd trans that I need so I have been tring to strip what I need from it and catalog those parts. Do I store them or install them. I have stored the trim oviousley but I'm not sure on the Glass and the interior, there is still lots of body work to done. I have not flopped the front clip over yet either..
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2016, 02:07 PM
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Other members will be asking you for more information before they can provide information pertinent to to your project.

1 Are you doing a strictly stock restoration or more of a resto-mod with changes to update the mechanicals (engine, suspension, brakes, etc.)

2 What is your experience doing restoration? Novice, some amateur experience , tons of amateur experience (by amateur I mean unpaid experience vs a professional who does it for a living. Some amateurs are more talented/skilled than the pro's!), ETC.

3 What are your goals for your car? Show car, driver, racer, etc. This applies to engine, steering, suspension, brakes, body, paint, interior, etc.

4 Your garage, tools, budget (tight, moderate, wide open, etc.)

5 Current condition and completeness of your "68 GTO.

That info should get the advice rolling, Thanks.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2016, 04:00 PM
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Fully assembled (body) partscars, ESP ones out of the same asm plant, same time of year as what one is restoring, can be a very valuable resource of where certain bolts go, types of plating, how ducts and wires are routed, etc. If the partscar fits that criteria, and you're pursuing a very high level restoration, take tons of pics, bag and tag all the under hood bolts. If you have the room, you may want to save the partscar and use it as an example car til the restoration is complete.. Have two such example cars and know several other hardcore Pontiac restorers that also have example cars that closely date out of same asm plant as their long term project cars.

Moving a picked, what may be a moderately rough, '68-72 2 door Pontiac partscar as a roller, let's say on a trade, it's always wise to thoroughly carefully clean the door, quarter, and rear window glass and examine for scratches. Usually, the only original glass I'll pull out of such a Pontiac 2 door roller, is the rear glass. Rear glass that isn't scratched is tough to find, and the reproduction back glass avail has its share of distortion, is expensive, and really doesn't cut it in a high level restoration. Am also a stickler for condition of original interior plastic, hard to beat like new original interior plastic. Similar deal with firewall pads, the repro's, even the more correct one are not correct for a very high point restoration, have to source flawless used.

Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2016, 05:17 PM
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If you have the room, you may want to save the partscar and use it as an example car til the restoration is complete..


It is always a benefit to have another example to look at and the parts you will be needing off of it that you will forget/know you need.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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after today I completely see where you all are coming from when you say to have an example car for reference.

As for the first comment ill see how this helps everyone determine relevant advice..
1)When its all done id like to have a car that I can enjoy on the streets. now show car I want to be able to take my nephew out for burgers and not freak out about a fry between the seats or dirty shoes. Also id like to be able to get more money out of it later to use to buy my dream car.(66 hardtop)

2)I have no experience building goats, however I am an aerospace tech and I specialize in heavy structures which means I'm a sheet metal guy, I do have training and experience in interiors, paint, engines, electrics and fiberglass. I am hoping that will be an asset.

3)I plan on using as much of the original parts as I can. I would like to update to discs and after its on the road start to up grade the engine. When I got the engine 18 years ago I had no idea what to look for I'm afraid I have a run of the mill 400. possible radio upgrade also

4)My shop is fine for this. insolated 40x60 shared with two other cars. Tooling is fine also what I don't have Gramps does including a hoist and paint bay.

5)the completeness is a strait body no interior wireing is there I'm not sure if it is all there. no front clip but that is coming off the parts car. I have the majority of the interior and fire wall parts there. short on emblems. and ther are two somewhat serious body issues. a rusted trunk and a damaged rear corner panel and also a bad seam where a repair had been previously done.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for the good info, it will help with giving you advice relevant to your build.

Before I forget, do you have any books on this topic? For starters, I recommend you contact Ames Performance as they are the foremost supplier of restoration parts and their catalogs are great reference books. Contact them at Ames Performance Engineering, Classic GTO Parts, Firebird Parts, and Full Size Pontiac restoration parts. to order a free catalog.

First, you will need a factory shop manual for your car if you don't already. Reprints are most common as originals are rare. Someone on this forum may have one for you or you can get one from Ames.

Other books include Pontiac GTO Restoration Guide, 1964-1972 by Paul Zazarine, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Paul Zazarine has a real good reputation for his 500+ page GTO restoration books (with great exploded pictures). This is the newest edition.

Others include How to Rebuild Pontiac V-8s by Rocky Rotella, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Rocky Rotella has been restoring Pontiacs for some time and has great books for those who are unfamiliar with the Pontiac engine idiosyncrasies and how to properly rebuild them.

For your Rochester QuadraJet, Cliff Ruggles is the guru of the carbs. His book is the bible of rebuilding and modifying them for your particular car. How to Rebuild and Modify Rochester Quadrajet Carburetors by Cliff Ruggles, Paperback | Barnes & Noble

Hope this helps give you some reference materials for your project.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 01:17 PM
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This may sound like a silly question. I don't know what state you live in, but make sure you have the proper ownership documents before you dive into a rebuild. In some states, you need a title, others back in that era only required a bill of sale. If you know the history of either car, great, if not, you may even want to run the VIN numbers through your insurance company or police department to ensure the car has never been reported as stolen - it does happen and then when you go to register it, you learn it was stolen in 1972. Just sayin'.

You can get just about every part for the car, so it should be easy enough to rebuild/restore the car. Be careful as to how much you $sink into the car in an attempt to restore it. You can easily have way more into it than you will ever get out of it. Don't worry about the run of the mill 400, it can easily be worked to produce solid HP & torque numbers equal to and above the factory GTO engine. Do a modern day 5-speed conversion like the Tremec TKO ( more money/transmission tunnel, rear mount, driveshaft modifications) and you will have a real highway cruiser with the OD 5th gear, snappy acceleration on the lower gears, and something more saleable when the time comes to sell - if you don't fall in love with the car after all your hard work and take it for that first test drive.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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I have ordered the Ames catalog and I have downloaded on the catalog for the computer the content is absolutely staggering. The service manual is a great idea I think I will start looking for that as soon as possible.

I live in Washington state. I do have the title to the car and the numbers on the title match vin. Since I just bought it I have not actually done a transfer on it yet but that is planned for this coming week.

Since the engine has been sitting for so long after being rebuilt I need to remove the heads. When I put it into storage I never expected it to be this long so it was not filled with oil and I was under the assumption that the spark plugs were installed which to my dismay they were not. I am hoping that no rodents of gone down into the cylinders and made a mess of them. Intake was taped over as well as the thermostat housing and oil was shot down into the cylinders but that was 18 years ago. So if I am removing the heads anyways it would be worth picking up a different higher horsepower set of heads that of been rebuilt recently or should I just stick with the ones I have now. They are 46 heads
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