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Ok, I'm newb to this site.

I've quite possibly been "bitten by the goat". Not sure how or when, but the last week or so have really gotten into the idea of doing a GTO project. I've had the "bug" for a muscle car of some sort for a long time now, and have spent most of my attention on either a '70 or '71 Corvette 454, or on building a Shelby Cobra replica. I have a wife and 4 kids at home ranging from 14 to 6, so having something most of us could ride in has its appeal (but then again, solo cruises have their merit as well!).

My thought is that I really like the vintage look of the GTO, in particular the '66/'67. But I may like to use modern suspension components and drivetrain (i.e. GM crate motor). Don't think this would be a "restomod", as it would still look vintage on the outside and in the interior. But the engine compartment and underneath would definitely not be standard/original.

To do this I've been thinking the best route to take would be to find an actual GTO, but one that either has no engine/trans or has something non-original (i..e why pay for numbers-matching if you're just going to go a different route). But perhaps I could get a Lemans and do a clone, as that path appears to have been blazed any number of times.

I have limited mechanical skills (used to have a '66 Mustang 2+2 that I did some mild resto work on and rebuilt the starter numerous times, but that's about it) so at best I'd be an Assembler, certainly not much of a Fabricator.

Not sure of the budget yet, but know that I do not intend for this to be a relatively high dollar project. I'm thinking 20K? Again, I don't know what I don't know with these cars, so that number is probably meaningless.

Just wondering what folks on here might have as far as tips/commentary. I've enjoyed poking around on here already, by the way.

One last thing: my only Pontiac "street cred" is that my family used to have a '71 Firebird back in the day. My Dad traded it in on an AMC Pacer about a year before I got my license. The horror....
 

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Ok, I'm newb to this site.

I've quite possibly been "bitten by the goat". Not sure how or when, but the last week or so have really gotten into the idea of doing a GTO project. I've had the "bug" for a muscle car of some sort for a long time now, and have spent most of my attention on either a '70 or '71 Corvette 454, or on building a Shelby Cobra replica. I have a wife and 4 kids at home ranging from 14 to 6, so having something most of us could ride in has its appeal (but then again, solo cruises have their merit as well!).

My thought is that I really like the vintage look of the GTO, in particular the '66/'67. But I may like to use modern suspension components and drivetrain (i.e. GM crate motor). Don't think this would be a "restomod", as it would still look vintage on the outside and in the interior. But the engine compartment and underneath would definitely not be standard/original.

To do this I've been thinking the best route to take would be to find an actual GTO, but one that either has no engine/trans or has something non-original (i..e why pay for numbers-matching if you're just going to go a different route). But perhaps I could get a Lemans and do a clone, as that path appears to have been blazed any number of times.

I have limited mechanical skills (used to have a '66 Mustang 2+2 that I did some mild resto work on and rebuilt the starter numerous times, but that's about it) so at best I'd be an Assembler, certainly not much of a Fabricator.

Not sure of the budget yet, but know that I do not intend for this to be a relatively high dollar project. I'm thinking 20K? Again, I don't know what I don't know with these cars, so that number is probably meaningless.

Just wondering what folks on here might have as far as tips/commentary. I've enjoyed poking around on here already, by the way.

One last thing: my only Pontiac "street cred" is that my family used to have a '71 Firebird back in the day. My Dad traded it in on an AMC Pacer about a year before I got my license. The horror....
instead of a gm crate motor why not pick up a used 04-06 gto drivetrain and seats and use that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
instead of a gm crate motor why not pick up a used 04-06 gto drivetrain and seats and use that.
I like your thinking on the drivetrain part! Old and new meet, that kind of thing.

Want to keep feel of original interior, just the whole experience from there, so wouldn't use the new seats.

Thanks!
 

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Firebird for a PACER!!!!, i hope they gave him cash back....:rofl:. when me and my wife were dating as teens her mom had a Pacer Wagon...the only thing uglier than a regular pacer ("fishbowl on wheels" i called it). Welcome to the forum, many people are using the 04-06 drivetrains from wrecked GTO's (plenty around) and if you look in that section here you will see they can make tons of power. A-body suspension can be modified from many vendors as it is the same as the chevelle, skies the limit depending on your wallet. See "Erictheanimal"'s frame and suspension setup. Initial cost of a Tempest or Lemans would be less than a true GTO and leave more for mods. I would suggest finding the best original bodied car you can afford with either a blown or missing drivetrain as you won't need it, Good Body & Paint is extremely expensive to pay someone to do, and your paint will only ever be as good as the body is.
 

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I think if you buy a 66/67 GTO complete and start driving it around and while performing minor upgrades. Brakes, suspension, tires, wheels, etc. you will be happy with the car. You would be able to do most of this work yourself. You would have a torque monster that handles with the best of them.
 

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Welcome aks, we're neighbore - sort of. I live in Garland TX (near Dallas).

I'm a big fan of the statement, "It's your car, your cash, do with both as you will." But, having said that, I hope you don't mind if I make a polite appeal to you to please put a real Pontiac motor in any Pontiac that you might build.

In general, street performance is all about low rpm torque, and there's not much that will touch a well built Pontiac in that department.

Welcome...

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Welcome aks, we're neighbore - sort of. I live in Garland TX (near Dallas).

I'm a big fan of the statement, "It's your car, your cash, do with both as you will." But, having said that, I hope you don't mind if I make a polite appeal to you to please put a real Pontiac motor in any Pontiac that you might build.

In general, street performance is all about low rpm torque, and there's not much that will touch a well built Pontiac in that department.

Welcome...

Bear
Thanks for the welcome. I'm starting to get into the idea of putting in an '04-'06 GTO engine, plus I'll research other ideas for Pontiac mills.

Good stuff.
 

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The gto 04-06 with the aftermarket suport of the ls engine's great some day i want to do the same to my gto some day.
 

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In order to do a motor or tranny in a Pacer SW without removing both was to drill a hole in the firewall from inside the car to get to the bell housing bolts then replace with a plastic plug!! :eek:
Swore at a Manny of those back in the day!! :mad:
I'm shocked anyone actually wanted the motor replaced in the pacer. I would think it a relief that the car is actually dead and you didn't have to drive it anymore. I have seen some cool Pacer drag cars and I would rock one of those, or a Gremlin.
 

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guy next door to the wife had a 390 Gremlin that would stand on the back bumper, he also had a fully restored 69' ss/rs convertible camaro indy pace car, which he let me and the wife take to prom since his body/paint guy had my firebird tied up late in the paint shop, was either that or the Pacer wagon:D
 

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When I was a kid, (around our Nation's Bi-centennial) I worked for a guy who used to race dirt-modified in Nazareth PA and Orange County NY......we used to go and get Gremlin bodies from the junk yards, and make the modified bodies of them......Carl, I know you're out there ...somewhere! Eric:cheers
 

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asks, a GTO is too smalol for a family of 6. I recommend a '65 2+2 or a station wagon.....saw a mint '64 Bonneville 9 passenger wagon at Turlock a couple of years ago....was a factory 421 tri-power 4 speed, AC, tinted glass, posi, the works. It was a low mile, documented original car needing nothing ...and only about 38k!! Seriously, the reason I always liked GTO's was that I could fill the car with friends and gear and go on long, fast road trips.....still doing it 30 years later. They're excellent cars as-is, and with the stock 389 or 400, have more torque than the new LS1 corporate engine......check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, the GTO couldn't hold the whole group but most of us anyway!

I come from a station wagon family background, but my better half is not. So that idea is out, no matter how totally cool it is!!!
 

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I have 65 Tempest clone LS1 drive line project about 90% finished right now. I went frame off full resto mod- LS1 motor ,6 speed tranny, stainless exhaust,Global West tubular control arms( frnt+bck)QA1 coil over shocks,Eaton posi rear end, Disc brakes up front, all new wiring, 06 GTO seats,etc etc etc- MY advice for this project BUY THE MOST SOLID CAR YOU CAN GET as a base- this sounds simple but the extra you spend on a solid car will be saved 10 fold on body work. You can also get a VERY nice driver for the 20 k and have it all done and be able to use it. You will go thru 20k - nice donor car 6-8k, 04-06 drive line 3-6k,suspension (upgraded)2-4k and then all the extra bits you'll need- new driveshaft, reprogrammed ecu, exhaust, radiator,fan setup,fuel system,electrical upgrades and the hundreds of hours to install it all.and then there is the dreaded body work- a proper paint job can run anywhere from 5k to 20k depending on how much needs to be done to the car and how nice you want it. I am VERY happy with the car I have ended up with, and the satisfaction of building it . Figure out what you REALLY want -a nice driver ready to go that you can work on along the way or a full blown build that requires A Lot of blood sweat and tears (all yours)
 

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Heed Crusty's words, the best laid plans wind up sold as a bunch of disassembled parts for half what you paid for the assembled car, when people realize the time, money and experience that goes into doing a full off resto a bit too late.
 

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Crusty, without a doubt, is THE qualified guy to make that statement. He ended up with one hell of a nice ride, though. Man, that's a clean looking '65!!!!
 

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Not to thread jack, but, Crusty, what is up with the adjustable sway bar end links? Can you adjust front end ride heigth with those, figuring if you stiffen the bar, you can pick up an inch or so to fix a crooked car? Or is it for when you go circle track racing? What are the end links?

The real perk of the LS engines to me is the gas mileage. But, my buddy has a nasty 355 in a 63 Chevy II that idles radical but doesn't smell gassy, so a FI injection system may make a Pontiac fuel efficient.
 

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front end ride height is fully adjustable with the coil overs (to a degree- I have dropped the front 2"with the drop spindles) the adjustable swaybar link may be overkill for my application but it allows you to neutalize the swaybar from the suspension. It will allow you to balance the car out for a specific weight set up- heres a technical article Adjustable Sway-Bar Link Technical Evaluation - Powergrid, Inc.
I will probably not be racing this car around a track so after my initial adjustments it will probably stay that way
 
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