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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!
Just wanted to share my progress and continue to update as I move along. The car is a '65 GTO, 389, 4barrel, Auto, P/S, A/C, car (PHS verified). My father had this car since he was 18 - boy are there some stories that go along with this car.
This car has seen better days.. like most of this age. As much as I want to do a complete frame off resto, that's just not going to happen with all of the other projects I have going on (money pits). The plans for my goat are simple. Make it a driver's car.. keep the patina, keep the "outlaw" vibe I get from this vehicle from all of the stories my dad told me.
The motor was last built in the early 90's - with about 7,000miles on her since then. The transmission is a TH400 out of a 67 GTO - and getting the transmission rebuilt was the very first thing I had done to be able to get the car to my garage (didn't have a trailer at the time... and I just wanted to drive her!)

Here is when i first got her into my garage.
Pass Side by victor williams, on Flickr
Drive Side by victor williams, on Flickr
Hood off by victor williams, on Flickr
starting tear down by victor williams, on Flickr

Here is where I have her up in the air, starting to take the front end apart. Cleaning up the firewall and at this point starting on making a new wiring harness (used painless ATO fuse panel and wired her up). Yes, a dumb idea.. but I deleted the a/c (which was already disconnected and hadn't been installed in YEARS) & heater core. I'll likely run a small 12v system inside the car, plumb into the factory vents for a defroster.
Working on Firewall by victor williams, on Flickr

I really wanted to keep the factory gauges.. and I plan on restoring the original gauge cluster. But, in the mean time I figured why not throw this dash in there.
New Dash by victor williams, on Flickr

At this point I touched up around the block with period correct paint from Eastwood. I replaced the old worn out 750 Holley with a brand new. The wiring for the motor is ran, but need to be cleaned up when the front end gets put back together. At this point is where an HEI distributor was installed and my neighbor showed me how to tune with a vacuum gauge. The difference between first start up/drive when I first got her and now is night and day. She was running way to rich, timing seemed off, and it just overall ran like crap. She fires right up and boy does she rumble!
Starting Suspension Driver Side by victor williams, on Flickr

-More below (image restriction)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm running QA1 level 2 coilover kit front/rear. SSBC front disc brakes kit up front. I'm keeping the drums in the rear... for now.
After Suspension by victor williams, on Flickr
20180615_162820 by victor williams, on Flickr
20180616_082917 by victor williams, on Flickr
20180620_185454 by victor williams, on Flickr
20180620_212823 by victor williams, on Flickr

That is is about where she is sitting now. I'm waiting for all the brake lines to show up from Inline Tube any day now. Obviously replacing little items as I prepare to put the front end back on. Need to make a cover for the far side of the firewall and will have to adapter the factory front lighting harness to the new fuse panel/wiring.

Oh and of course when I removed the fenders BOTH lower fender bolts broke :cuss:

After the front is buttoned back up, I'll work on the rear suspension ... then take her for a drive!! Then back in to do the floor and trunk panel, then clean up the interior (which is pretty much not there)... It does have a nice set of '71 charger seats in her though, which i really dig. I have all the trim, carpet, headliner, door panels, etc. for her.

Only rot underneath the car is the driver side floor pan and the trunk pan. Floor pan is sitting on one of the shelves in my garage and the trunk pan deliver date is currently out til August!
I will continue to update as I progress further. My wife is actually due tomorrow with our first baby (boy!!) She swears I will still have my garage time, hopefully I can have him hanging out with me so i can continue to get work done!

She might not look the best, but she will have a sturdy foundation and run like a champ!
-DIRTGOAT
 

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Looks awesome - CONGRATS!

Which brake booster did you use (size 9" double ?) ?

Also, I was about to send the car off for paint and my plan was to do brakes and suspension afterwards. Would you recommend I do brake and suspension first ? Thanks

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks awesome - CONGRATS!

Which brake booster did you use (size 9" double ?) ?

Also, I was about to send the car off for paint and my plan was to do brakes and suspension afterwards. Would you recommend I do brake and suspension first ? Thanks

Chris
Thanks Chris!
You are correct, 9" booster. I'm running the SSBC front disc conversion kit part # A123-1

I don't necessarily know if there is a right/wrong order as to when to do the brakes and suspension in your particular case. My personal opinion would be to get that knocked out before you do the paint. And my reasoning for that would be in the event something happened during disassembly/assembly that could potential damage your fresh paint job.

I'm working on the chassis first before I move on to the body. I might not get to the body itself for a few years and I would like to enjoy the car until that does happen.

-Victor
 

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Haven't posted in a little bit.. or really worked on the car that much, or should say as much as I'd like. No pictures for this post, but an update for anyone reading or wondering.

But I have the rest of the frame prepped and painted. The rear end is out and getting some mount modifications to accept the lower coil-over mounts.

Long story short.. The mounts on the rear are not factory - apparently the axle let out back in the 80's and the shock mounts busted coming into contact with the pavement. This resulted in creative mounts to be welded on, very poorly I might add. Today after work the rear end will be getting fixed and prepped to get thrown back up on the car with the new QA1 coil-overs installed. I put the lower and upper trailing arms on last week.

The master cylinder has been bench bled and installed, along with the front brake lines. When I have the rear back in I'll wrap up the brake system by throwing in the remaining lines I received from Inline Tube.

Lower fender bolts need to be replaced yet and then I can throw the front end back together.. Have to strap back in the fuel cell and Wednesday my supplies to relocate the battery to the trunk will arrive. Also ordered a full flow master exhaust system to install as well.

There is a car show this Saturday down at my local Eastwood. I set a goal to have her back on her feet and drivable by then.
Going to be some late nights in the garage, but I can't wait to drive her again!! Then put her back in the garage bay to patch up the floor pans, trunk pan, finish off interior. Then I feel I can at least enjoy her and tinker around as needed.

I'll take and load some images this week as I go along.

Oh I scored a 12 bolt out of a 68 Chevelle that I'm going to have built for the car. I've read mixed posted on here about the rear end directly bolting in and that the width might be an issue. But I might be able to overcome that with offsetting the wheels, if there really is an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got the rear end mount worked out and put the rear coilovers together. Haven't seen her off jack stands in so long :bannana:
Clearly I have some adjusting to do, just a tad to low :lol:
Plan for after work is to adjust suspension, install rear brake lines, install exhaust, & relocate battery to trunk.
Thursday will be fixing the lower fender bolts and completing what doesn't get accomplished after work... and hopefully bolting the front end back together..
Friday will probably be an all nighter to finish what I get behind in between today and tomorrow; of course working out any gremlins found along the way. I think my goal having her driveable by Saturday is feasible... just a lot to cram into a few hours of my free time after work.. :banghead:




 

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Man am I falling behind schedule. It's been difficult to find spare time to get out in the garage between work, my newborn, daily chores, and house work - oh and just life in general. Just not enough time in the day.. or well enough mental capacity before feeling overwhelmed and ready for a nice glass of whiskey.. then I most certainly get nothing done.
Anyway..
I was able to get the battery mounted in the truck and cables ran..which I could have sworn I ordered a new mini starter since I new I'd be removing the current, behemoth P.O.S. to rerun the wires :skep:. But it was nice to get that squared away and fire her up again:biggrin2:.

The lower fender bolts were cut out, new nuts welded inside, and sealed back up (no images of that process, sorry).

Almost have the driver side floor pan welded up. Going to stop by Eastwood after work to pick up more wire and consumables, since the welder ran out :banghead:


I started fitting up the Flowmaster 40series exhaust system, but I'm having some alignment issues with the tail section not lining up ... like at all :confused:. It looks like the over the axle section and the tail pipe should use the factory hanger location to support and connect the two, but that's not the case. I'm sure I'm just missing something and need to take a step back and reevaluate. But after the floor pan is finished and I have the undercoating on the body, I can focus my attention back to the exhaust system. Which is really least of my worries -obviously.

Agenda to get the "dirt-goat" on her test ride to find any gremlins:
-Finish Floor Plan
-Undercoat
-Fit and finish exhausts system
-Reinstall fuel cell/run fuel line
-Install jute/carpet/seats/door panels (Touch up around dash/steering wheel)
-Fabricate block off plate for A/C system and factory wiring harness location (have templates made, need to get more some sheet-metal)
-Reinstall Fenders, hood, etc.
-Readjust suspension, alignment

Then I feel as if I'll be at a point where I can continue to make improvements and not have long "down-time".

This is really my first "large scale" vehicle project. I've always worked on/modified my motorcycles and cars, but nothing of this nature really. I figured I'd be a lot further than I am, but similar to my house renovations I did last year - I should have made sure to triple my budget and at least double my projected time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Floor pans are welded in. Didn't get any pictures other then below, but put a bead of caulk around them and coated them with rust inhibitor. Have to pick up some undercoating yet to spray all underneath the vehicle.



Have to remove the shifter and clean up the interior floor and I'll through down the jute/carpet.

Got the fuel cell fitted, fuel line ran and fenders back on.
For the life of me I cannot get the driver side fender to line up. The door to quarter gap compared to the passenger looked a little bigger, tried moving the door back and couldn't get it go back any further. Looking at the fender itself and the molding along the rocker, I'd say it was hit at one point. Either way when a friend comes over I'm going to loosen up and try readjusting everything.. pretty dang hard to do that by yourself.

But with all that said I was determined to at least take her down the street and back... and I did have a chance to throw the driver seat in and take her for a ride! ... although that lasted me backing out of the garage and the radiator sprang a leak right in the center. Not sure if something hit it when I had it out or what :banghead: But the new radiator I have in my shopping cart months ago that I starred at and thought, "there is nothing wrong with the original, save some coin and reuse it!" .. WRONG.





I'll have some more tinkering until the radiator shows up - so I'll update in the next week or two.
Dirt-Goat
 

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Looks great. Personally, I like the "rough" look versus a restored shiny exterior. Looks like it stepped out of the '70's. I would not do much with the body and the misalignment........ goes with the rest of the car and I would not work to hard to get it that perfect. You will turn a lot of heads just the way it is. :thumbsup:
 

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I'd recommend flushing your system many times with water before installing the new radiator :). While I know that sounds obvious, many don't and the vast majority don't flush enough....

My aluminum radiator, clutched fan and poorly designed / manufactured AMES shroud, and 180* thermostat keep the car right around 180 - 195.
 

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Looks great. Personally, I like the "rough" look versus a restored shiny exterior. Looks like it stepped out of the '70's. I would not do much with the body and the misalignment........ goes with the rest of the car and I would not work to hard to get it that perfect. You will turn a lot of heads just the way it is. :thumbsup:
Thanks Jim! Exactly the reaction I'm hoping for with this project.
Thank you for the reassurance with the body panels... a lot on this car is just killing my OCD, but I couldn't agree more with you.
 

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I'd recommend flushing your system many times with water before installing the new radiator :). While I know that sounds obvious, many don't and the vast majority don't flush enough....

My aluminum radiator, clutched fan and poorly designed / manufactured AMES shroud, and 180* thermostat keep the car right around 180 - 195.
Thanks for the reminder!
I spent a bit of yesterday researching cooling system options.. Figured maybe since I'll be starting "fresh" might want to do some upgrading (electric fans, water pump, evans coolant, etc.). However the bit I had her running (before the hole in the radiator) she was staying right at 190* during the engine timing/carb tuning phase and long idle times in the garage. Granted, I didn't get a chance to drive her around much to get "real world data" to witness any temperature fluctuation. But I think i'm just going to ensure a good flush, run 50/50, and just change the radiator. Which I ended up going with a cold case aluminum from Butler Performance.

Does anyone have any other coolant recommendations based on experiences?
 

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Thanks for the reminder!
I spent a bit of yesterday researching cooling system options.. Figured maybe since I'll be starting "fresh" might want to do some upgrading (electric fans, water pump, evans coolant, etc.). However the bit I had her running (before the hole in the radiator) she was staying right at 190* during the engine timing/carb tuning phase and long idle times in the garage. Granted, I didn't get a chance to drive her around much to get "real world data" to witness any temperature fluctuation. But I think i'm just going to ensure a good flush, run 50/50, and just change the radiator. Which I ended up going with a cold case aluminum from Butler Performance.

Does anyone have any other coolant recommendations based on experiences?
The radiator shroud, clutched fan, and 50/50 with a 180* and aluminum thermostat should work great (that is my setup). You can add water wetter if you want, but I suspect you'll be more than fine without it.
 
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Thanks!



Thing should handle like a dang Miata when I'm done! :smilielol:
Yeah like a Monster Miata :) ! (Fun car to drive by the way :).....)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hi everyone! I was lucky to have a chance over the weekend to flush the cooling system and install the new radiator. The Cold Case aluminum radiator is definitely a quality product, and would recommend. My only issue was that the fill was on the driver versus passenger side. Not that it's really an issue, but was just an unexpected head scratching moment. Luckily it appeared the radiator support is configured to accept the factory bracket on either side of the support .

With the new radiator installed and system filled, I was able to take her out for a nice stroll up the road and back. A few looks from the neighbors at 8:00am running open header and hood off :smilielol::reddevil:
This weeks project list is to undercoat the body and then get the exhaust fitted. Then I'll start on the interior.

As far as mechanical side of the dirt-goat, or "gremlins" found so far and will be address as time permits:
-Vacuum leak on the line from brake booster to intake manifold
-Passenger side caliper is making quite the screech. Just want to verify it is something with the pad/rotor and not the hub.

That's really about all I noticed ... which isn't bad at all. The temperature was staying right at 180* on my short drive after a 10 minute idle warm up. No fluids leaking or brake failures. The disc brakes up front feel amazing in this thing. An obvious night/day difference over front drums.. which everyone knows already. I can't wait to lay into the turns to test out the new suspension, along with the new rubbers 275/60R15 Nitto 555 in the back. Hopefully I'll be able to get one nice run around town before winter comes LOL


I'll update later this week or next week as I go along. I've got a few projects around the house and my spare vehicle needs some love so I can get her ready to sell :banghead: .. anyone want to buy a 2001 Jeep Cherokee :smilielol:
 
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