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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you that know me, know that I'm kind of out of control with my collection and restorations. welcome2.html

I've had this '64 Lemans numbers 326 for about 7 years now in one of my buildings. I picked it up in Indiana from the original owner back in '07 and have other resto projects ahead of it. I'm going to restore it this winter, as this winter's project.

There are SO MANY '64 Lemans cars that have been converted to GTO, that I wondering if I shouldn't just do a stock restore, rebuild the 326 and the powerglide and keep it at that. I know I can find a steel hood for 2k, and that's not the issue, it's the Lemans or GTO issue.

The car was either undercoated at the factory or by the dealer. There is little surface rust on frame, and a piece of undercoating came of the gas tank, and it shines like new under there.

Let me through this in the mix.....I have a YEAR matching '64 389 303HP with the TH400 attached to it still. I'm thinking that I could restore it as a Lemans, but as long as I have to rebuild either the 326 or the 389, rebuild the 389 with TH, and then just save the the 326/PG so if I ever sell it the buyer can have the original numbers engine and trans with it.

The car is all original and never been messed with. The only metal that I really need to replace is the full trunk and braces, which surprises me a little because the car was undercoated. I'm thinking because the gas tank was in when the undercoating was shot, that's why the trunk floor rusted out. The floors are all solid as a rock.

Here are some pix of her. Look forward to your comments and ideas. Most of the Pontiac people I poled said to keep it as a Lemans, but others liked the 389 idea.

Dave
 

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I would try and keep it as much original as possible. That said i would build the 389 and keep the 326 to go with it (what i have done with my Tempest). Replace the trunk pan and any worn suspension and brake parts. Clean and detail the interior and new carpet. Touch-up and rub out the paint and drive it like i stole it. That is a very nice car as it sits and a true Pontiac lover (buyer) will appreciate it's originality and a paint job would probably lower the value over an original paint car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm tempted to do just that, rebuild the 389/TH and put it in. I'm going to have to put 3k in the engine anyway, so it's going to have to be one or the other.

As far as the paint goes, it's got a bad repaint original color on her, so that's going to be redone. I'm basically going to do a ground up on it, starting with springs, front end rebuild, trunk and undercoating.

Then all new Legendary interior, pull the convert top mech and restore, new top, well, pads any mech bushings.

Restore everything else with the exception of wheel well moldings and rocker trim which I just got from Classic Industries.

It needs quarter patch panels (lower) so I'm going to just take the car down to bare metal and go from there.

Here's one I did a couple years ago, but it's a 242.

Dave
 

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keep yours as a Lemans...it has some unique to Lemans parts, right???...I would put the built 389 in it for driving but keep the 326 as well...

Bill
 

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side view.JPG

My vote also is to keep it as a LeMans, but drop the 389 in it. Put the painted valve covers from the 326 and know one will know the different. Doing the same thing to a 64 Tempest wagon now. Love those 64's!!!!!!!!!
 

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A LeMans is the way to go. Put in a bigger engine, etc. if you want. But leave the car pure. Clones are a lie, IMO.....meant to decieve. No longer a LeMans, and not a GTO. LeMans's are excellent cars, and getting to be as rare as hens teeth, due to cloning loss. Nice project, BTW!
 

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Nice convertible with factory Red on Red, P/S and brakes? No brainer, keep it a Lemans and upgrade to the 389 (or stroke it to 400+ cubes :D) with lower compression and keep it stock looking. Maybe some M/T valve covers and RA exhaust manifolds and one of those cool looking louvered 14" air cleaners.....

Have fun with her OP, you've got a great project there.
 

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Nice car, Dave, I agree, keep it true to the LeMans nameplate and keep the stock parts. And if you change your mind and decide to sell it, lemme know!
 

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I'm on board with everyone else -LeMans for sure. So tired of GTO Clones and my most hated phrase "Tribute Car."

The 389 would be nice and a no brainer per say and it would be what MOST Pontiac guys would do, BUT..... did you know in '64 Pontiac offered the 326HO? Keep it LeMans and follow through by keeping it 326.

"In 1964, Pontiac’s top-of-the-line mid-size performance car was supposed to be the Tempest LeMans H.O. Packing a 280hp 326ci engine with a Carter AFB four-barrel carb, dual exhaust, and demanding premium fuel, it was going to be a runner. Then Pontiac snuck the GTO through the back door, and the LeMans H.O. became Pontiac’s forgotten musclecar. While the value guides have also forgotten the LeMans H.O., this is a very rare car. Pontiac built 32,450 GTOs in 1964. In contrast, it built 4,819 code-945 326 H.O. engines for use with standard-shift transmission."

326CI/280HP, Head Cast 394 -1.92" intake &1.66 exhaust, Cam 441 -same as the 254 cam used on the low HP 389 & 400 engines & 350CI 1965-1970, 4Bbl, 10.25 Compression.

Your 389CI heads are the same as the 326HO heads -valves & chamber size. Keep in mind that the 389CI will need premium gas or more with 10.25 compression. Your intake and carb would also fit this application -or go aftermarket, or '64 tri-power. I would do a gasket match & little port/polish on the heads. 3-angle valve job. 1964 Heads are pressed in studs and oil flows through the head and rocker arm studs. My book says as long as you do not use springs over 280 lbs open pressure, the studs will hold up -so you probably can get a good modern cam grind to work on this engine. Dual exhaust. If using headers, the smaller 1 5/8" is suggested, but you might even use the Ram Air cast manifolds for better breathing.

Get a TH-350 as they require less HP to turn than the TH-400, but the TH-400 will certainly work seeing you have it.

Use the 1964-67 326-V style fender emblems -they look sportier.

I think you could probably squeeze 300 HP making it close to the 389CI you have. It would make a great cruising engine. I would definitely use forged rods, which ever engine you choose, as they are cheap and far better insurance than the factory cast rods. I think it should rev to 5,800-6,000 with cast pistons, but you will most likely have to go custom forged pistons like Ross - then you may be able to use a dished piston to lower your compression a bit.

Just my opinion.:thumbsup:
 

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Some great tips from all, yes I agree that keeping it a Lemans is cool. But putting in the 389 and Th400 and keeping the 326 and 2 speed trans is a great idea as well. The 326 with the Th400 will work as well. I have a 66 Lemans 326. I put a Th350 in it yesterday I got from Coan Racing. There street trans but they build em sting.

Got a tour of the Coan racing factory, wow. They actually machine some of the trans gears from giant billet rods of steel and aluminum. They build the converters as well.

The 326 I have runs smooth and the TH350 will help as well. it has dual exhaust and the HO exhaust manifolds but is not an HO. I like the 9.2 compression on the 326, not sure I want 10.5 though. With the distributor curved on the 326 it is a nice cruiser.

You 64 is an awesome vehicle.....those cars were cool as they came!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the comprehensive info on the 326 HO. I did know about some of this, but your information is appreciated.

All that said and done, now you've really put me on the fence on whether I should do this or not.

Let me explain, the car is not a 4bbl car, it's a 2bbl. So yes, big deal, I need a cast HO intake and 4bbl and cleaner, which I would have to find.

What happened yesterday is, I found a 242 '64 GTO with no drive train and made the decision to use the '64 489 and trans in it, IF I buy it. Then, keep the 326 a stock rebuild as it is with 2bbl and single exhaust.

The 326 single exhaust manifolds probably won't work if I do an HO rebuild or will they? If I did do the HO as you suggest to the engine when I rebuild it I could probably get away with using the stock exhaust since I'll fab my own dual exhaust anyway if I went that route.

So bottom line would be to end up with 10.5? The 326 has 95k miles on it and while it does run good (I'm tearing the car down now) it has some smoke I cold start, so on the rebuild I was going to do a minimal bore if I need to which probably means pistons, ARP's etc etc. Which now has me thinking too, if I do bore it out even for a stock build and put a very mild cam in it, that's probably THAT for the 2bbl and single exhaust anyway????

BODY
The only REALLY bad parts of metal are the trunk pan and braces, trunk extensions, both lower rear quarters and rear body bushings. The front RH lower quarter (ordered patch panel yesterday). Made some patches yesterday for the front and rear wheel houses that someone glassed up.

It's always the same thing. You start tearing into the obvious rust and open a Can 'O Worms finding more to do, or most of the time re-doing someone else's cobbled up job. Must have been restored once about 30 years ago because I'm finding braising on some patch welds. The pic with all the rust is the RH side, which believe it or not is much better than the LH side was.:smile2: I'll make the trunk extension and wheel house patches for it today and finish up the rear and start pulling clip etc.

Here's some pix of the trunk and a pic of the '64 GTO HT I found. Was a factory 4 spd car.
 

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Everyone and their brother turns cars into GTOs... Keep her a Lemans and be different! There are several reasons I can think of to keep her original... historical, correct, don't follow the crowd.... I'm a big if it were meant to be a XXX it would have been built an XXX.

Nice work on that other car, I'd look forward to see what you do with this one.
 

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My take would be to keep the original 326 and trans in it. They are only worth something in this car. No one else would want much for them. There is always a demand for the 389/TH400 combo. Put me in the column of those who do not like clones/tributes. They shed doubt on the real thing.
 

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Grumpy, no expert on all this, just my opinion and a few things you might consider in making your decision. A little leg work/emails will probably nail done better specifics on putting together a 326CI combo that could be fun and different.

Replace the 2Bbl intake with another early 389 4Bbl intake off any Pontiac -doesn't have to be "HO", should be easy enough to find. Go with a late model AFB to complete it. Might use a factory air cleaner, but drill the big holes into the sides to let more air in. It isn't Pontiac "correct", but it will get people's attention and stir conversation! Get/make up a 326HO decal to put on top of the air cleaner lid.

Stock exhaust manifolds would work also, just as you said. Don't know what size the manifold outlets are, but if they are 2" or smaller, then I would get the flare end made up that fits the manifold at a muffler shop, cut it off a few inches, then use an exhaust pipe reducer that will go from manifold pipe size to 2 1/4" or maybe even 2 1/2" and weld it on. Then fit/attach your front pipes(if you make your "adapter", you could probably then have your local muffler shop bend/fit/weld you a set of front pipes to work) I did this with my '68 Lemans with single exhaust when I dropped in a 400CI, but went up to 3" pipe and fabbed my own exhaust using elbow's and straight pipe -it worked. I figured the stock exhaust manifolds provided enough back pressure so I wanted as little restriction after the manifolds. Had no problem and it sounded good.

The 10.25 compression is my mistake going by the same head numbers & combustion chamber size for both the 389 & 326. The 326 appears to have a 8.6 compression, so there may be a piston difference, ie dished? The 326 head also uses a smaller 1.88" intake and 1.60" exhaust valve. However, the same ID numbered head on a 389CI is listed as having the 1.92" & 1.66" exhaust valves. So I am assuming that you could use your 326 head and have your machine shop fit the 1.92" & 1.66" to your heads per the 389CI heads.

Now I found this info related to a 1967 326CI:

CAMSHAFT

You can only use the first comp or lunati cam with your stock 8.6 compression.

comp xe256h rpm 1000-5200 no smaller ac power brake friendly
comp xe262h rpm 1300-5500
Comp xe268h rpm 1600-5800 no larger

Lunati voodoo 256 p/n 10510701 or 60901 rpm 1000-5300,ac power brakes friendly
Lunati voodoo 262 p/n 10510702 or 60902 rpm 1300-5500
Lunati voodoo 268 p/n 10510703 or 60903 rpm 1600-5800 may need stall conv,


DYNO RESULTS

The following results represent different build combinations for your motor (using the comp xe256 or Lunati voodoo 256 cam).

I also ran the larger xe262h cam and there were only very small gains. You need headers to get over 300hp plus if you use a medium rise dual plane intake like a performer rpm you will gain big hp but also massive torque at much lower rpm’s. torque is king! Medium rise intake is more important than headers if you don’t want headers

carb 600 for small cam 650 for larger cam
compression 8.6 vs 9.2
exhaust high perf cast iron stock [more flow than yours]
intake low rise dual plane aluminum
cam xe256h
valves stock 188/166

hp 246 hp at 4500 331 at 3500 torque w 8.6 compression
hp 262 hp at 5000 348 at 3500 torque w 9.5 compression
hp 281 hp at 5000 360 at 3500 torque w 8.5 compression and small headers
hp 296 hp at 5000 377 at 3500 torque w 9.5 compression and smallheaders
hp 320 hp at 5000 387 at 2500 torque w 9.5 compression and small headers and dual plane performer rpm type intake.

From: High Performance Pontiac Forums at High Performance Pontiac Magazine

Pistons can be supplied by Egge and may give you a little more compression. You really don't want any more than 9.0 and a Competiton Cams XE series cam on a 110 LSA works really well on a low compression engine such as the factory 8.6. Found this link on the 326CI pistons. Just click on it.

326 Pistons Front View Photo 1
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yep, I know, Mike. I've done so many clones of GM and Mopar cars, it's nice to have a REAL one that's not changed in any visible way, with original drive train. I think I salivate now when I get a car that has the stock exhaust manifolds and air cleaner. :)
 

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Jim, thanks for that knock my socks off info. Good stuff. I like the idea about the holes in the air cleaner.

I guess what's getting me now is just changing anything from what it was from the factory, including the 2 bbl, single exhaust and slush box. Not that I'm a 100% purist, but maybe 90%. I know the cost is going to be about the same on the resto, perhaps a little higher if I do the 326 HO option, but that's not my concern. I think I want to go 100% or just clone it and be done with it.

In saying all this, I am going to upgrade the front brakes to disc with new booster and double res. I think a mod like this, while not original would be okay?

BTW, I HAVE printed out your last 2 messages and their in my '64 folder so I can show the builder. I job the engines out.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quick question on the '64 trunk. Was it spatter coated or just painted same as body color?
Thanks,
Dave
 
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