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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently debating pulling the trigger on a 66 GTO. Body is straight no rust on the bottom and it is running. It seems to be the original motor just with an aftermarket 4 barrel on there now.

I would like to do a motor swap and put in an LS1 motor, but I don't want to destroy the value. Am I better off find a GTO without a motor already, or would you guys take this motor out and put in an LS1?
 

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It would be your car, do what makes you happy. Just don't pay top dollar for a pristine car. You could always save the motor to sell with the car if it is numbers matching, but even those cars usually bring south of $40k.
 

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I'll say up front that I detest Pontiacs with LS's, so keep that in mind.

If you care about preserving value, the best option is to keep it Pontiac powered. What's got you thinking about a swap?

Bear
 

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They used a Tempest and welded on gto panels for the movie XXX cars. There are really nice tempest out there for a lot less than an original gto.
 

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An LS swap, unless it's done correctly (about 20k) will destroy the value. You are better off buying a roller car with no drivetrain and building it. Even then, I personally wouldn't touch a GTO that had been converted to LS power. It's against my values. I have to ask: how much wheel time do you have in an early GTO? I've been driving them for over 35 years, and am very pleased with the way the 389's and 400's run. Most guys I talk to who want to do an LS swap have never driven an early GTO that was in good condition and well sorted out. Therefore, they are unaware of the capabilities of a genuine Strato Streak engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I bought the car this evening. My original plan was to do an LS swap on the car. However, I am rethinking the position. I have never owned or driven a restored GTO. Honestly, I just have always loved the body and styling of the 66 and had the opportunity and pulled the trigger.

Here is the link to the car I just bought this evening. I go to pick it up on Sat. Below is the link. As the experts I would really like your opinions and thoughts on the car. Thanks guys I appreciate it.

1966 GTO Barn Find 2 Dr H T 242 Code Restoration Started Than Abandoned | eBay
 

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Looks like a good car for the $ and if there really is no rust in the quarters or rockers than you can make it into whatever you want and probably still get your money back. There can be so many gremlins that its hard to know what you are getting yourself into. Did you get a chance to inspect it in person?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I have the VIN number but not the number on the block. I spoke with the owner and we are still unsure if that motor is the one that came with the car.

The VIN is 242176g124709 That would be a 66 GTO 2 door hard top VIn manufactured in Framingham, MA. However, how do I figure out if the BB that is in there now was the original?
 

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"I'll say up front that I detest Pontiacs with LS's, so keep that in mind."
So keep that in mind Bear will not buy your car. Nor any other Pontiac purist for that matter. I will play devils advocate here LS swap done correctly makes a great combination of reliability and ability to easily upgrade the performance of the motor. Yes I will agreed that if you have a high valued numbers matching GTO dont do it, also dont upgrade brakes, suspension,transmission,cooling system, paint or anything if you want a historically correct vehicle. But if you are building the car for yourself do what YOU want, the reason the resto mod movement is so popular is because people want modern drive ability. If I had the $$$ I would get a schwartz performance Schwartz Performance | The leader in bolt-in muscle car chassis chassis with a twin turbo ls-7, independant rear end, huge disc brakes and just drop my body on it. Total modern performance with the old school classic lines is a formula that can not be beat.
The car you bought looks like a good deal for the $$- seems like almost everything is there and if its really rust free then you scored. Welcome to the forum and good luck with the build no matter what you decide to do.
 

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I think you did well on the car. One of my favorite color combos. Very sharp on a '66. Hopefully you won't paint it resale red. Solid, heavy lifting already done. Has a 3.55 performance gear and a TH400: quick combo, not great for highway. If it were mine, I would: have Jim Lehert or Butler Performance set me up with a stroker kit for the 389, install Ram Air exhaust manifolds, install an overdrive automatic trans (220r4/700r/4, etc), install Legendary seat covers (if needed) and drive it. I would leave the paint alone for now, and not blow the car apart . Get it running and driving. You can upgrade the brakes and suspension as you go. If you ultimately do decide to go LS, look at Crusty's build carefully. He did it very well. I have found that the old Pontiac V8's are as reliable as the LS motor. No less. And for me, putting an LS in an early GTO is like putting a Hyabusa engine in a '47 Indian Chief: more modern, but the soul of the machine is lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the comments and advice. I think this forum is going to become my wealth of knowledge for sure. I want to get the car in my possession, that will hopefully be Thurs. and then take it from there.

If I were to decide to do the LS conversion I would keep the original motor and go through it as well. No way would I ever get rid of that motor it stays with the car.

Those bolt on chassis are very slick. Thanks for letting me know about those. There are a bit out of my league right now, but really glad I know about them for sure.
 

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I am in the middle of putting an LS3 crate engine with a manual trans into my 1967 GTO Convertible. Mine was a barn find and I am the second owner since new. Car had no engine or trans. I am going for the new technology and reliability. Contacted Jim Butler first, but got scared away by the cost. By the time i get the new fuel system and things that are must haves for the LS, I will have about the same amount of cash in the deal. I am too far into the swap to change gears now. Got the body off the frame and going through paint now. Looking into motor mount and oils pan issues now. will keep you posted and would like to hear how you are doing with your project. Dublingto
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dublin your well ahead of me on the swap. My car purchase fell through unfortunately. The seller wanted a wire transfer for the car, and then promised to deliver the car/title 3-4 days later. I walked on the deal.

Right now I am looking at a 1970 Lemans that seems has been restored, minus the engine and trans. Hopefully this one goes through. If not the search continues. Keep us updated on the swap.
 

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With all due respect to those who believe the only acceptable classic is an original as built by the factory classic, it is my opinion that if you buy a classic, any classic and you either have no desire to maintain it as a true by the book and numbers matching (where applicable) or for whatever reason cannot feasibly return it to such then have at it and build it your way.
IMO, the '66 is one of the best looking bodies of the period and if I were fortunate to find one in decent shape either with or without the original drivetrain I would update it and preserve the original parts. I would build it in such a manner that any modifications could be reversed if desired.
My reason is simple, I seriously detest collectors who buy a classic and stash it away from the public for the sole purpose to possess it as an investment. I also detest those who buy them, build them as absolutely top shelf restorations then trailer them to shows and never drive them. Trailers are for boats and construction equipment!
Buy it, build it, and drive the snot out of it!
Build it to be driven and build it the way that will encourage you to drive and enjoy it. The LS engine and complimentary drive train are amongst the best available.
Next, if the intention is to build a Resto-Rod and you are starting from ground up then by all means do the LS conversion. That motor will flat out embarrass most any Big Block or Gen 1 small block. If however the car has a running drivetrain then stick with what you have, update the rotating assembly, top end, fuel delivery (including induction), tranny, and rear end.
These statements are strictly my opinion based on over 45 years of building cars and motorcycles and are in no way intended to put down another's opinion or to tell you how to build your car.
Bob
 
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