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Hello, I am 16 and I am considering restoring a 70' Lemans.. I found one nearby for $2000 needing some quarters, door skins, and fenders. My mom hates it when I talk to her about cars, so I think this will just be my little secret :cool.
I work at a body shop, so I have the "hook up" on body repairs.. But I want to do the 70 GTO front end conversion, it looks alot nicer than the chrome bumper.. From what I have seen, I would need fenders(and nose) to do this right?

I want to do this car right, so how hard is it to take the body off the frame? I want to take the frame off, sand it, and roll it through the paint booth.. And how do paint the car the right way? I was thinking about taking the front clip off, and painting the car like that, and putting it back on, is this the right way? I want all the cracks and stuff painted, but they half ass everything they do.. If anyone has done this before, please help...

And how do you get the car "arrow straight"? We did a 71 Chevelle today, and it looked kickass, but when you looked down the side, you could still see that it wasn't perfect, and was kinda wavy..

I am not worried about the interior until the time comes.. It looks nice in the pics he sent me, so I am not worried.

 

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i was 13 when i started mine, but i had some serious help from my dad. I would say go for it if you can afford it. I don't know crap about '70s though. I went into my car knowing i had time on my side, so we took everything off, and did it right. It really isn't that bad to take most body panels off. You should have a good head start working at a body shop.
 

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Nice project! The 70 is the only Lemans with the Chrome to the top of the grill, so it is an oddball and worth keeping! You can put a GTO hood on it with the current front end, straight up bolt on. Don't worry, 99% of the world will think it is a Chevelle anyways, so don't worry about the GTO clone thing. Also, the endura nose is very expensive, and you will need different fenders. Lemans show nice if done right.
Bad body work is caused by DA ing the car, you need to prime/block/repeat until there is no deviation in the body to get it laser straight. Don't worry about perfect, just get it the best you can unless money/time is no object.
Good luck with your build and do the best you can. Nice car and Pontiacs make great power with simple bolt ons.
 

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if u what to puta gto front clip on ull need the front fenders,hood,core support the endura bumper and all the little hard ware to put it together.i would just leave it the way it is,just my 2 cents,casue theres alot of clones running round,
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I was thinking about having the Lemans parts painted as well, so then if I wanted to, I would always be ready to convert it back... Idk though, I am going to see the car soon, and then I can tell how bad it is.

Here is a pic of the inside.. What do you guys think for $2000?' Is that too much for a 100% original #'s matching car?

 

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Car looks good for $2K, try to talk him down to $1k if you can, because that is what we do, gives you and extra grand for work. A bunch of cleaning and the interior will be alright, install a new carpet. How is the engine, tranny, and brakes? The car will need a bunch of money, but looks solid.
 

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Someone offered him $1800 arleady so I can't go lower... He said he bought the car in 86 then parked it under a carport.. He said he drove it around every now and then but hasn't drove it in 2 year or something... So I am sure a little gas down the carb and an oil change, and it should start up... Guessing the breaks work if he drove it..
 

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Yea, you can think that, but it isnt always the case. Ive seen an engine that sat for a year without being properly set up for storage and it needed to be rebuilt. As for the brakes, that all depends, they can be in good shape or bad. People will drive cars that the brakes are bad without even realizing it untill its too late.
 

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Hello,
Sounds like a great project. I started a similar project about 4 years ago, i am putting it back together. If you start taking the body off, you are guaranteed to find somethings that you didn't account for rust is everywhere. I had to re weld the frame mounts, etc but i am doing a proper job. As for sanding the frame the best way it to strip it down is get it sandblasted then you have a great finish, you will find years of oil and grease on that frame which will take hours to get off and it cost me about $100 to blast the whole frame. I sent the body in for bead blasting and that worked well. I paid the cash, but i found things that would definitely come back to bite me if i had not, if you get the project going, I have lots of experience. Don't underestimate the time it will take you, and money. Tell your mom this car will keep you out of trouble because you will have no time to get into trouble and no money :>), but you will have a great reward when you are done. If you do the endura bumper then i can send you a step by step how to, you need to add a special flex agent to the paint so it doesn't crack.
Talk to you soon and good luck.
 

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Hello,
Sounds like a great project. I started a similar project about 4 years ago, i am putting it back together. If you start taking the body off, you are guaranteed to find somethings that you didn't account for rust is everywhere. I had to re weld the frame mounts, etc but i am doing a proper job. As for sanding the frame the best way it to strip it down is get it sandblasted then you have a great finish, you will find years of oil and grease on that frame which will take hours to get off and it cost me about $100 to blast the whole frame. I sent the body in for bead blasting and that worked well. I paid the cash, but i found things that would definitely come back to bite me if i had not, if you get the project going, I have lots of experience. Don't underestimate the time it will take you, and money. Tell your mom this car will keep you out of trouble because you will have no time to get into trouble and no money :>), but you will have a great reward when you are done. If you do the endura bumper then i can send you a step by step how to, you need to add a special flex agent to the paint so it doesn't crack.
Talk to you soon and good luck.
Excellent advise, post up that 'how to' bit for the rest of us!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, I just went to look at the car. The interior is NICE!!.. The back seats look BRAND NEW. The dash is cracked though, he said he put armor all on it, and 2 days later it cracked.. But the stereo looks nice, gauges look nice, seats are really good.. Headliner looks nearly new also.. Can get pics if someone wants.. I am waiting for him to tow it over here tomorrow, but I pretty much got it on 1/1/09... New years resolution anyone? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Looks like a good find! We're both learning here. These guys seem to know their stuff. Just don't throw a 350 in it!
Lol I don't think I will.. If anything, I will put an ls1/ls2 in it, and 04-06 GTO Seats in it.. Doing the seats for sure, but everything I do to the car will NOT be permanent.. What I mean by that is that I am NOT cutting up the car in ANY way. I will always have the ability to convert it back to the way it was... I don't want to tear up a classic car like alot of people have done..

I will always keep every part I took off of it.. What I want to do is buy a second frame, so I can drive the car while building it up.. Then I can also drop the car back onto the original frame with the original engine of someone wants.
 

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Congrats on your purchase. If you put an LS-1 in it I believe you have to cut the front cross member for pan clearance. If you do the LS swap I am sure you will never go back to the Pontiac motor, so don't worry about originallity. You can do a ton of work on the car without doing a frame off restoration. You are 16, I have seen tons of people take a car apart and NEVER put it back together, so I would suggest to do a frame on restoration unless there is really bad rust. Do 1 project on it at a time but keep it running and moving. Enjoy your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got it running! Dropped a battery in, sprayed some starter fluid in, and she cranked right up!!! Tomorrow we are dropping the gas tank and cleaning it out..

I recorded it too, upload it later
 

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Nice that it started up so easily. As for an LS swap, that will cost almost as much as restoring the body..:eek: As others suggested, keep the current drivetrain intact and work on the body/paint first. You can always do the LS swap latter, but it will be complicated enough to probably eliminate a conversion back to stock again.
If the idea of a painted front bumper is the main reason for the endura bumper, you could get a rusty LeMans bumper, have it stripped and paint to match for less than the conversion to the endura would cost.
Just throwing out ideas for you to consider.........;)
 
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