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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
**EDIT ** Trying to fix pics... 02-28-2019

Hi all,

Earlier this summer, 4th of July to be exact (literally on the 4th she arrived from Florida) I became another one of those guys in a long long line of guys when I full-filled a life-long dream of owning a muscle car I grew up working on with my Dad. I learned most of what I know from Dad and those era cars – I’ve always coveted them as many others before me.

There she is Ms. Muscle car (la la la)

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No, she is not a real Judge and she won’t be branded as such when I’m done. I do have to admit is it fun watching people drool or flip out when they see her. One guy stopped at the house and started shaking because he was standing next to a judge… I did’t have the heart to tell him otherwise.

So enough about me – you are reading this because you like these cars. I plan to “restore” this ride to its former glory but I have a lot of decisions to make and some work to do so I can drive her with confidence – which I don’t have now. I will be doing all the work myself (mostly) – I’m partly a self taught car guy, outside if what Dad tough me of course. This won’t be my first restore but my largest and most detailed for sure!

On to the car… I found her in Florida. She was built and bought in Fremont California and moved to Florida later in life where I found her through a mutual acquaintance with the previous owner. I knew she had some issues when I bought her – it was not sight unseen but her body is near perfect with no “bondo” – meaning nothing more than a skim coat for straightness and no “repairs. I was disappointed to find out the truck lid had been replaced by a Lemans or Tempest lid – the filler spots have come loose in the old emblem holes. Since I have the touch of a bull in a china shop and not much welding experience I’ll have a professional do that bit of work.

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Sporting a numbers matching drive train (engine, trans and all) with only 66K miles and a color change 20 years ago from Gold-n-Gold to Black-n-white she is pretty clean and has all original parts including the seat covers which were dyed not replaced – save the non-factory radio. My first dilemma, do I restore her to factory colors and all, stick with the current color scheme or change it to my favorite color Verdoro green? I know she’ll be worth more casheesh in original colors but I’m not a fan of the gold-n-gold. That being said the color decision can wait as my first concern is to make her road worthy mechanically.

She has these options:
1. Working factory A/C
2. Auto trans
3. Remote trunk release
4. Glove box light
5. Courtesy lights.
6. Front disc brakes
7. Shoulder belts
8. windshield antenna


First question: what would you guys do color wise?

So... Saturday I started on the brakes.

I was told the brakes had just been done but I was puzzled why they were so hard to apply. I figured they had air in them and simple bloodletting was in order.

I opened them up to see new wheel cylinders in the rear... and lots of rust, actually a puzzling amount of rust for a California/Florida car. Ok, so the brakes were done (including a booster and master cylinder). Now I'm doubly puzzled...

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I begin to work on them and this is what I find when I pulled the brake ram... leaking wheel cylinders!!! Actually I was shocked to find then FULL of water!!!!

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So, off to the local parts mecca.... Then when I started to put them back together I had this start happening....

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Yes, ALL the springs were bent up and/or snapped as I pulled on them to rebuild the brakes... BACK to the parts store... obviously I had all original brake springs and all too.



Some parts were pretty rusty, I debated on soaking them in vinegar and hitting this with a wire wheel but I wanted to get it back on the road sooner than that would take so I used a wire wheel to clean them up... I’ll attack the wheel housings and such when I do the real restore as this is just the mechanical restore.

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Yea, my toes are pictures whores just like me. I hope you guys like pictures because they are my bag. :)

More to come because of limited photos per post...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Initial post part duex

I also found these parts looked like there were hammered on... I’m hopping the braking system isn’t doing that!!





… and the mystery of why there was so much rust is solved... there are TWO holes in the brake system, one on the backer plates and one on the drum(s). The plugs were missing allowing water to enter!!! I believe the passenger drum was replaced at some point as it is the only one with a hole in it and the passenger side was rusted much more than the driver side so double the water was getting in to muck things up.



Bleeding the brakes exposed another mystery... Almost no fluid comes out the back wheel cylinders and the fronts blow out huge "plugs" of air over and over... despite the pedal becoming easier to apply. Also, I could not believe the amount of water and gunk that came out of the lines. I'm wondering if I'll need hard lines...I’m hoping someone here can tell me if the OEM lines were stainless and I wonder if the master cylinder is bad or air is entering the system somewhere down stream - I don't have any visible leaks... or is it the proportioning valve or distribution block and which do I have.

This car has factory Delco-Remy front disc and drum rear brakes.

What to do what to do...

I look forward to this restore and any input/advice you guys can give me will be much appreciated.

So, my first batch of questions.

1. Restore to original colors, keep what I have or go Verdoro green?
2. Are the hard line stainless from the factory?
3. Do I have a proportioning valve or distribution block with my factory front disc/ rear drum set up?
 

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Nice looking car Dan! To answer your questions....

1. IMO I love the black and white and your car has all the desirable options and (again) IMO it would be worth more as is than you would put into it with a color change either to Verdoro Green or Gold.

2. Hardlines were mild steel from the factory but (IMO again :lol:) You'd be well ahead to replace the 40+ year old lines with the SS.

3. You have a distribution block and a proportioning valve from the factory, the proportioning valve is mounted to the MC and the dist. block is mounted to the frame.

:cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks ALKYGTO. I appreciate your opinions/feedback (I've been lurking here for a while and see you are a very helpful member).

I crawled under the car tonight and realized the distribution block isn't bolted to the frame (probably the reason for it failing).

Is this the proportioning valve of which you speak? The same as what I've found is called the hold off valve?



I decided tonight during my research into the brake parts to replace all the lines and distribution block. I'm leaning heavily toward the SS lines - I only want to do this once. :)

As for the color, you're right but I don't have to make that determination for some time. That being said, to make this car what I want it to be it will have to be painted some day.

Thanks again, Dan


Nice looking car Dan! To answer your questions....

1. IMO I love the black and white and your car has all the desirable options and (again) IMO it would be worth more as is than you would put into it with a color change either to Verdoro Green or Gold.

2. Hardlines were mild steel from the factory but (IMO again :lol:) You'd be well ahead to replace the 40+ year old lines with the SS.

3. You have a distribution block and a proportioning valve from the factory, the proportioning valve is mounted to the MC and the dist. block is mounted to the frame.

:cheers
 

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If you plan on keeping the car then paint it any color you want. If you plan on selling it, then I would pick a factory color and leave the interior alone, the amount you would spend to go gold/gold would far outway the difference in price for the incorrect colors.
That car looks like it's in great shape allready, are you sure you want the cost involved (and time) for a frame off? Unless you want a concourse car or a trailer queen, I would just freshen up the underside and call it a day.
The brakes are not water tight and it does rain in Florida, rust is normal. If you have never driven a muscle car before, the brakes are no where near the feel of todays cars. At least yours has disc brakes and power, mine is 4 drum and manual. Goes like hell, doesn't stop worth a sh*^$**.
Congrates on a great car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your insight 68GTO4004Spd.

No, I don't want a trailer queen or a concourse restore just a really nice or high quality driver. At present her paint is a 10 footer so to make it better (what I like to do) it will need a repaint or touch up if I keep the black. The previous paint job (20 years ago I'm told) is lacking with craters in the clear (probably water in the air compressor lines when sprayed), raised spots where they didn't do a good job blocking or wiping her down before paint and a spot or two where they wet sanded through the paint and didn't do a good touch up (they didn't weld the truck holes for the lemans lid emblem either). Yea, sure they are cosmetic issues but I'd like to have a 100% mechanically sound car with very good skin and interior (which only needs some minor cosmetic fixes and cushions).

You're right, I don't intend to sell it so it will most likely stay black or go green and keep the white interior no matter the exterior color.

I agree rust is normal, I just didn't expect that much knowing how the PO cared for the car - there was a big difference with the passenger side having more and both plugs missing.

:lol: Yea, I jumped out of my skin the first time someone cut me off in this car. I figured the front disks would help but it's a heavy beast so it took some getting used to. :lol: It reminded me of trying to stop my '76 Caprice Classic loaded with fuel and all my college gear (and the future Mrs. Dan's gear too).

If you plan on keeping the car then paint it any color you want. If you plan on selling it, then I would pick a factory color and leave the interior alone, the amount you would spend to go gold/gold would far outway the difference in price for the incorrect colors.
That car looks like it's in great shape allready, are you sure you want the cost involved (and time) for a frame off? Unless you want a concourse car or a trailer queen, I would just freshen up the underside and call it a day.
The brakes are not water tight and it does rain in Florida, rust is normal. If you have never driven a muscle car before, the brakes are no where near the feel of todays cars. At least yours has disc brakes and power, mine is 4 drum and manual. Goes like hell, doesn't stop worth a sh*^$**.
Congrates on a great car.
 

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Very Nice! I too, like the Black and white combo. ...and that IS a hold off valve, not a proportioning valve.

Congrats!

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you kind sir, I appreciate the help/kind words.

Dan

Very Nice! I too, like the Black and white combo. ...and that IS a hold off valve, not a proportioning valve.

Congrats!

Chuck
Stainless Steel brake lines should arrive today, distribution block should be here by Friday or Saturday and the rest of the brake hoses, steering gear, PS hoses and such should be here Saturday or Monday... Looks like I'm going to be a busy boy.:D
 

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Dan, did you get a chance to check the other wheel cylinder? Did it have water in it as well? It sounds to me like your rear end was submerged in water. You might want to check the differential as well. Matt
 

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Dan, sorry, I forgot to say... you have a great looking car. I recommend getting the baseline maintenance stuff done and go drive it. Matt
 

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Thanks Mathew, I appreciate your input.

While it's on jack stands I will be taking the diff cover off as well to replace the seal. It has a leak anyway.

I thought about it being submerged but the driver side is no where near as rusty as the passenger side. I'm hoping it was just those open adjuster plug holes.

I will be replacing the passenger side rear brake cylinder too, when I'm done the entire brake system will be new and yes I plan to drive it as you suggested after I get all the mechanicals done.

Regarding the rear diff, I've read I should use a GM gear oil and a GM additive - about 27 ounces worth. Is this true or is "standard" hypoid gear oil like Lucas Oil a proper product to use? (assuming I have a limited Slip Diff which I have not verified yet).

Dan, did you get a chance to check the other wheel cylinder? Did it have water in it as well? It sounds to me like your rear end was submerged in water. You might want to check the differential as well. Matt
Dan, sorry, I forgot to say... you have a great looking car. I recommend getting the baseline maintenance stuff done and go drive it. Matt
 

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Welcome to the forum Dan, very nice car I vote keep it black/white, stunning combo. With the front disc's and drums operating and adjusted properly she will stop better than you might expect as long as your pulling enough vacuum (not too big of cam). Second time out after my resto wife was driving and some idiot decided to cut out in front of her to test mine, the car stopped dead straight Barely breaking grip on the tires. drive it and enjoy before you have to put her on blocks for re-hab...:cheers
 

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Hi Instg8ter, Thanks for the post... most my brake parts arrived today, the rest should be here Saturday... I hope to be back on the road early next week. Being in Ohio she's going into storage in late October so I want to get it going again before then and have some fun on the road.

The cam/vacuum shouldn't be a problem because the drive train and engine are all original.

Thanks again, Dan

Welcome to the forum Dan, very nice car I vote keep it black/white, stunning combo. With the front disc's and drums operating and adjusted properly she will stop better than you might expect as long as your pulling enough vacuum (not too big of cam). Second time out after my resto wife was driving and some idiot decided to cut out in front of her to test mine, the car stopped dead straight Barely breaking grip on the tires. drive it and enjoy before you have to put her on blocks for re-hab...:cheers
 

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well hopefully we will get an Indian summer, i am just north of Toledo in MI...hope to see you at the Dreamcruise next year.
 

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I also vote keep it black on white and cruise it till it needs paint then decide. Post some pics of your brake work this weekend! :beer:
 

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Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it.

FlambeauHO, I didn't work on the car this weekend, all my parts didn't arrive yet - should be here tomorrow. As a result I went to the MOPAR "run what ya brung" races at a local drag track Saturday. One guy in a 10 second Dodge Dart tried using two fully open bottles of Nitrous and literally put her on the rear bumper before it came crashing back to earth!!! I'm betting he has to change his nickers after that!

I can't wait two weeks until the "It's still a win if you finish on your roof" races.

This week will be tear down and rebuild of the GTO brake system!!

Dan

I also vote keep it black on white and cruise it till it needs paint then decide. Post some pics of your brake work this weekend! :beer:
Agreed! Black and white look "right" on that particular model. VERY NICE!!! :cool
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, my first quandary... I can't find what axel this is... it certainly is not a GTO rear end. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys. Dan






I also started to docuent the brake system overhaul - disassembly - but the camera died... ugly can't hide from teh light of a camera flash.



The distribution block was not bolted to the frame... probably why it doesn't work any longer.

 

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OK, my first quandary... I can't find what axel this is... it certainly is not a GTO rear end. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys. Dan






I also started to docuent the brake system overhaul - disassembly - but the camera died... ugly can't hide from teh light of a camera flash.



The distribution block was not bolted to the frame... probably why it doesn't work any longer.

Show us a shot of the rear cover on that axle assembly Dan. Cover will identify it.

Distribution block doesn't "need" to be bolted to the frame to work although it's best that is should be secured.
 
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