Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would post this thread here as the forums often gets question from members and those looking to buy a GTO, Lemans, or Tempest. The question that comes up is "What should I look for."

Got some great pics of what to look for using my '68 Lemans as the example. It is a "southern" car, but don't be fooled into thinking it doesn't have rust or is better than a "northern" car as some of the typically sore areas that do rot don't care what part of the country you live in.

I knew I had rot at the windshield as it was self evident on my car because you could see it at the dash panel where it sets under the base of the glass. I also had water leaks at the top of the windshield that I simply cured by filling with silicone so I could drive it the years that I did. So no surprise and not anything for me that scares me.......just more sheet metal & fabrication work to do. Not doing a concourse restoration, so not looking for perfection, just a nice quality repair that will pass by most standards.

I had to remove the metal dash which was easy enough because it was all eaten away at the windshield. Not only am I going to have to fix the windshield channel, I will be adding metal to the dash panel to get it to lay back in the windshield channel as it should. Windshield posts are pretty bad as well.

What seems to be the main culprit? The old sticky seal that holds the windshield on and keeps water out was all dried up like a rock and had cracks, splits, and gaps all throughout. This allowed water to easily find its way to the underlying steel with the results being all the rot over the years. My windshield was not stuck into place as it should have been and I simply lifted it out without effort. Usually a windshield with a good seal needs to be "cut out" with the correct tools.

Dirt of course is known to collect under the windshield moldings and hold in moisture and rot away the windshield channels. So if the car is original, your windshield seal may also be gone and letting water get under it and rot away your windshield channels -while you don't even know it. Might be worth having yours replaced by a local windshield installer. If you find any rot, you can address it at that time and then re-install a new seal with your windshield.

Anyway, enjoy the pics. I will at some point post the repairs I will have done in the "Complete Exterior Body" thread once I have it all together and looking good again. This is goin' to take a few weekends of my time for sure. :thumbsup:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
Hello

very common

I have a nice dry windshield base metal already cut out of a Lemans and some pillar post metal
if you have a need

206 465 9165

Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
very common

I have a nice dry windshield base metal already cut out of a Lemans and some pillar post metal
if you have a need

206 465 9165

Scott
Scott, thanks for the offer. Won't need any parts as fabricating what I need is not going to be a problem. Already have the "chevelle" repro lower windshield channel cut & fitted. The rest is just fabricating & welding. Overall, the pillar posts are good/solid except where you see the bad pitted section. I will sandblast first and then evaluate what I'm going to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Yeah, I have that same issue I found on a car I just picked up, not sure how to go about fixing this on my own, I have lots of auto body repair experience in me , but this is a little beyond my skill kit, so, I’m currently searching for a metal fab shop that can help me out restoring this American Icon, as I’m not looking for perfection , just a nice family cruiser without being a embarrassment.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
680 Posts
Any recommendations on the best way to remove the windshield ? I am getting the car ready for paint and would like to remove the front glass, clean the frame, and paint. Thanks in advance!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Eventually I'll be dealing with the same issue (but quite a bit worse) on my 65 Wagon project. As well as with the side windows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Any recommendations on the best way to remove the windshield ? I am getting the car ready for paint and would like to remove the front glass, clean the frame, and paint. Thanks in advance!!
You will have to cut it out. There is a seal between the glass and the windshield frame. The way I have done this in the past is to "saw" through the seal using a wire. It takes 2 people to do this and you have to be careful not to snag the windshield edge and cut into it. Here is a kit to do this: https://www.harborfreight.com/professional-windshield-removal-kit-96339.html

There may be better ways, but this is how I have done a couple in the past. You might also consider an automotive windshield replacement company if you have one locally. They can remove it for you and are fairly inexpensive. Might save you some grief or damage to the windshield if you are using the old one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
As an update, I have yet to tackle the windshield rot. The summer was nothing but rain or temps in the upper 90's with jungle like humidity. I work on the Lemans where it is out in the open to the elements. Been putting time into my brother's 1948 International KB5 truck on any of the "good" weekend days - which were very few. Finally built a simple A-frame roof structure over my car in my frustration. So hopefully this coming spring/summer/fall I can get a little work done.

I removed the metal dash panel and the edge along the windshield channel is also badly rotted. I ordered a new reproduction cowl section from OPGI. Looks to be a quality piece and is stamped like the original - not flimsy either. https://www.opgi.com/gto/CH30741/

I will remove the cowl panel section on the '68 and replace it with the new one. The dash panel appears to lap into the windshield channel of the cowl panel. The repro Chevelle windshield channel I had bought will get fitted and welded to the metal dash panel edge where it is all rotted away. This will give me the needed material/contour that laps into the cowl panel and I'll weld it together. Then I will begin replacing the metal on the side posts and upper windshield channel at the roof.

I will most likely create a new post and show the work/repair as I do it. :thumbsup:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Pontiac Jim, I see you're way ahead of me, I found the "chevelle" dash repair panel when I was doing my 69, however turned out I didn't need it, i only had one bad spot the size of a quarter. Just for others who may not know what we're talking about Ill post this pic of the panel thats available from most, and even on ebay for under a hundred $.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
As an update, I have yet to tackle the windshield rot. The summer was nothing but rain or temps in the upper 90's with jungle like humidity. I work on the Lemans where it is out in the open to the elements. Been putting time into my brother's 1948 International KB5 truck on any of the "good" weekend days - which were very few. Finally built a simple A-frame roof structure over my car in my frustration. So hopefully this coming spring/summer/fall I can get a little work done.

I removed the metal dash panel and the edge along the windshield channel is also badly rotted. I ordered a new reproduction cowl section from OPGI. Looks to be a quality piece and is stamped like the original - not flimsy either. https://www.opgi.com/gto/CH30741/

I will remove the cowl panel section on the '68 and replace it with the new one. The dash panel appears to lap into the windshield channel of the cowl panel. The repro Chevelle windshield channel I had bought will get fitted and welded to the metal dash panel edge where it is all rotted away. This will give me the needed material/contour that laps into the cowl panel and I'll weld it together. Then I will begin replacing the metal on the side posts and upper windshield channel at the roof.

I will most likely create a new post and show the work/repair as I do it.
Jim could you upload s few picture of the rot and repair I would like to see if yours is like mine and if I can replace myself . Thanks Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Any recommendations on the best way to remove the windshield ? I am getting the car ready for paint and would like to remove the front glass, clean the frame, and paint. Thanks in advance!!
I have had a glass company come out and do mine. 50 dollars It worth it. They won't guarantee it won't crack but 99 % come out with no issues Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Jim could you upload s few picture of the rot and repair I would like to see if yours is like mine and if I can replace myself . Thanks Doug
I have not tackled the repair as of yet. The past summer was nothing but rain, so could not get any work on it squeezed in. I should be able to tackle it this summer.

It looks to be fairly straight forward. You will have to drill out all the spot welds that you can find. I purchased a spot weld drill at my local Harbor Freight store if you have one of these.

I saved/downloaded these pics from one of our members who did the dash repair, but he did not have to do the cowl like I do. I used these pics for reference myself to get an idea of what I was getting myself into as I have never done this extensive of a windshield/cowl repair.

The first pic shows the dash panel and all the spot welds that were drilled out. The metal dash panel was then removed from the car - which is what I also did. Not too hard to get it loose.

In the second pic I assume the dash panel was trimmed to get rid of all the rot. The Chevelle windshield channel is then fitted to the dash panel prior to welding. In the photo, the channel is laid over the dash and held in place by "Cleco's" instead of pop rivets. I might try to lay the Chevelle channel into the cowl channel, then lay the dash panel over. I would securely clamp the dash panel in place and use some pop rivets (or Cleco's which I do have) to hold things tight/together. I do not know if fitting the Chevelle channel on top or under the metal dash is better one way or the other seeing I have not done it yet.

I would then do a few tack welds - allowing things to thoroughly cool so warping/distortion does not take place. Be patient and take the time needed, so it may be a little slow going to do this correctly. Then remove the dash/channel as a unit and finish welding using short small welds distanced well apart from each other and allowed to cool. Repeat until everything is welded up. Then grind it smooth - again watch your heat when grinding and don't stay in any one spot too long.

In the 3rd pic, it appears the channel has been welded up to the dash panel, and the holes drilled for the spot welds. At this point I assume it is ready for final fitting. Secure the dash panel with the welded channel fitted into the cowl channel. You then tack weld through the spot weld holes to weld the new channel to the cowl channel. Weld the edges of the channel like the factory did. Then weld the metal dash back into place where it was separated from the body on the inside. Finish grinding, sand, prime. I would put some sealer on it as well.

To the best of my knowledge, and I may be forgetting something, this is about how I would do it - but not 100% until I actually get into it, which could change how I might do things a little differently, so don't quote me on this. Just use a little common sense and it should work out.

Always measure twice and cut once.

Wish my dash/cowl was this good, but that is why I had to purchase a cowl panel because mine is too rotted to fit the Chevelle windshield channel into it. Just a little more panel work (and cursing) and I will separate it by drilling out the spot welds and then welding in the new cowl panel.

Keep in mind that if you are MIG welding, the steel has to be free of paint to get a good weld.

Hope this might help for now? :thumbsup:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
For rusty cowl/metal dash tops repair, beyond the level of pinholes & small rusted out gaps in the windshield channel, it's time to propperly replace the entire top of the cowl back to the padded dash. thats where nice used cowl top dash panels come into use. Have cutout, installed, & sold litterally dozens of '69-72 dash top panels as those are years Ive parted the most. When I haven't had such a certain year panel, just had to pickup the phone.

Ask a quality restoration metal man what he'd rather work with, clean used never rusted cowl/dazh top panel, or being forced to perform a scab repair to the thin metal. One thing I've seen over and over in parting A-body's, & Ive cut well over 200, if the ol car had one of those crappy 70's-80's-90's budget rust repair/cheap bodywork/cheap paint deals, the rust repairs to the lower front window channel, were seldom if ever done right. Result, 10-15 years later, even down here in a relatively dry climate, the previously corner cutting repaired areas are an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
PH: "if the ol car had one of those crappy 70's-80's-90's budget rust repair/cheap bodywork/cheap paint deals, the rust repairs to the lower front window channel, were seldom if ever done right. Result, 10-15 years later, even down here in a relatively dry climate, the previously corner cutting repaired areas are an issue."

PJ: Key words are "done right." If done right, the repair will last a lifetime. Any repair, patches, complete new/rust free panels, & new/rust free clips if not done correctly will deteriorate over time if the person/shop cut corners or did not perform a quality job. I have seen thousands of wannabe high dollar cars for sale that have some of the worst body work/repairs only to be hidden under a shiny new paint job - so not many qualified repairmen who take the time to do the job right, especially when it comes to seeing resale $$$$, because to do it right costs time & money and most do not want to or just don't care to do it right.

Rust free panels can be easier to work with, especially when you have a marginal shop who is not the best at metal fabrications, but a qualified body repair man who knows how to work metal won't have a problem doing a quality repair that will last as good as new or longer. These types of guys are harder to find and cost more money than the less than stellar average "crash job" shop types who tell you they can restore/repair your car - and we have had several of the horror stories posted here by members with just such experiences.

One reason I would never buy a high dollar car unless I knew the shop that did it. My brother recently told me of a car he looked at - 1955 Pontiac 2-Dr. Said it was redone, looked real good, nice paint, and I think he said 15K. He passed on it and another guy bought it. The guy drives the car and it gets to car shows. My brother said about 1 year later, the paint was bubbling and the patch repairs were starting to show through on the car. He was real glad he didn't waste his money on it. Another nice shiny car on the outside, but underneath the paint was work that was not done right and it surfaced as such. IF the repairs had been done right by someone who knew metal work and rust repair, the car would have still looked just as good as when the guy had bought it 1 year earlier. :thumbsup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
680 Posts
Jim - Any advice on the best way to remove the windshield so as to avoid breaking the glass ? I am getting the car ready for paint and removing the windshield is one of my remaining items. Thanks

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Jim - Any advice on the best way to remove the windshield so as to avoid breaking the glass ? I am getting the car ready for paint and removing the windshield is one of my remaining items. Thanks

Chris
Yep, re-read post #7 and post #11 . Other option is break it out or kick it out and install a new windshield. :thumbsup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
680 Posts
You will have to cut it out. There is a seal between the glass and the windshield frame. The way I have done this in the past is to "saw" through the seal using a wire. It takes 2 people to do this and you have to be careful not to snag the windshield edge and cut into it. Here is a kit to do this: https://www.harborfreight.com/professional-windshield-removal-kit-96339.html

There may be better ways, but this is how I have done a couple in the past. You might also consider an automotive windshield replacement company if you have one locally. They can remove it for you and are fairly inexpensive. Might save you some grief or damage to the windshield if you are using the old one.
THANKS !! I think I will go with option #2 :)...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
I only wish someone offered a replacement channel for a 73 body style, I’m going to have to fabricate my own replacement or locate a shop that can fabricate it up for me which at this point will probably cost big $$$, the windshield rot on this car isn’t bad but will need to fixed of course, oops, sorry not trying to take over this guys post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
It appears that the photo shows the cowl & the firewall section. If yours is real bad, then that would be it. However, most of the underneath of the cowl/firewall is typically OK, at least mine was, so all I needed to replace is just the cowl panel which will have the windshield channel. The OPGI pieces seems to be quality and good heavy gauge steel. Got it waiting to be installed. https://www.opgi.com/gto/CH30741/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxtnhptTJ2AIVDBCBCh3TqgBWEAQYASABEgLGo_D_BwE
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top