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Discussion Starter #1
I spoke with a local CT restoration shop that said for $100/ hour they would go through my car, help me figure out what it needs, give me some rough cost estimates, and help me write out a project plan so I can figure what I can do myself, and what I need others to do.

He thought it'd be a little over a half day or ~$500. Does that seem like a reasonable cost?

I've done piece meal work over the last 10 years or so, but I think the car is actually deteriorating rather than making progress. :confused
 

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$500 for a cost estimate. MAN you are not going to even look at a final bill with out a DR present!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is that a service resto shop typically provide, and if so what would a reasonable cost be? I figure if someone is taking lift time and going through the car, there's going to be some cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think I'm looking for more than just a cost estimate on the project. More of step by step plan of what needs to be done now, what can wait, what staging is going to work.

I don't have the cash for a shop frame off, or the home garage setup to tackle a full one (yet), but in the mean time I'm trying to avoid some of the pitfalls I've been through in the past.

A good example. My dad got me a set of new front upholstery covers for the seats and nice replacement radio like seven years ago. A very nice gift. But the car was outside and had a water leak around the front windshield. If I put it in then, it'd be shot now, no it's still in boxes today. It'll go in the car someday, but I could have used that money to do the rear end swap and get it more driveable.

And obivously I'm a Type A that has to plan the crap out of everything before I get started.
 

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You don't need to pay him....
If your driving the car and can't do a complete resto all at once, then I would...


1) address drive train issues first. Make it run, stop and drive like it should.
2) address floors and trunk if rotted out. Can't drive around if it's a Flintstones mobile.
3) Next do the electrical, make all the lights, gauges, brake lights etc work.
4) cosmetics, outside rust repair and paint work.

PM me I'll give you my paypal info so you can pay me instead, it's less then half of what they want. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We'll I can certainly afford to re-pay you for your 2 cents.:rofl:

I do appreciate the input. I'll save my $500 and keep moving through your list.
 

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$500 can buy a lot on nice parts for your project- save your money and just do some research- You would have gotten a list identical to what Rukee just gave you. This is NOT rocket surgery, just take a logical approach. Make it run right,make it stop right,fix structural rust issues,fix electrical problems, make it look nice. Also stop any problems that are not helping you move fwd- the leaky windshield should be addressed sooner than later since this is stopping the project from going fwd. Is it bad windshield seating or is it a rust issue? go thru the car yourself and make a list of what you think needs to be done- post pics and you will get some help here
 

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And obivously I'm a Type A that has to plan the crap out of everything before I get started.
Don't be your own worst enemy, time spent planning is time stollen from doing. Cant' see the forest for the trees. Forget the list, just knock some of the little things out quickly, then you can see some progress and that may motivate you to get at it.

What year is it?

My 70 was leaking in through the kick panel vents because inside the "rocker box" was 1' deep in pine needles and mud. My 66 had holes in the cowl under the windshield mount trim. Stop the leak first, or keep it inside and address it later, sucks to work on a musty wet car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's a '67, and I finally have a house with a one car garage in which it safely resides (which is much better than my parent's driveway). It's dry now, but the mildew did get to it pretty well. The seats are starting to peel vinyl and some of the interior is showing bits of rust. I had most of the interior out when I first got it (~10 years ago). POR-15'd the floors, installed sound deadener and new carpets, then found the leak (doh!). But college and cash drought brought the project to a halt. It's home now and I'm digging back in again.
 

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Good to hear you are back on it. Take the front cowl panel off, then feel under the lower windshield mount for holes, thats where mine was leaking. You can also take the blower motor out and feel inside that box for any rust holes. Some are fixing small holes with fiberglass mat and using POR-15 as the resin to make the repair. Love me a 67!!
My 66 had a leak, now it's in pieces and full of rust holes that I ground out.
 

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The best advise I can give you is to "read". There are plenty of restoration books out there, this has been done many times. And they don't have to be about your specific car, Chevelles are basically the same and they share a chassis so all the mechanicals short of the engine are very similar and they typically rust in the same locations. Paul Zazarines "GTO" restoration guide is a good book for all the Pontiac particulars and I'm sure there are others.

Don't get in over your head, try to concentrate on one area at a time. You can spend a little (reletively) or a lot (actually :lol:) on fixing up an old car. Join a club in your area where you can talk with enthusiasts about how they restored thier cars, a lot of guys trade labor back and forth, very few can "do it all". If you are not taking the body off the frame and you have a garage I would just break your project up as follows -

1. Suspension

a. Front
1. shocks
2. bushings
3. tie rods
4. brakes
b. Rear
1. shocks
2. bushings
3. rear axle
4. brakes

2. Electrical

a. Engine wiring
b. Front wiring harness
c. Interior wiring/gauges
d. Tail lights

This is just a sample outline of course, but my best advise is to read up on other peoples restorations, stay organized (take plenty of pictures before dissassembly and keep all your parts separated and labled), and break your work up into smaller restoration projects. The easiest way to get discouraged is too try to do everything at once and end up with a huge disassembled pile in your garage.

Good luck! I think your off to a good start by joining here. :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks ALKYGTO.

I've got the GTO restoration guide, and a copy of motorbooks How to restore your muscle car. And I joined POCI and the local GTO club. I still need to get out to some events and meet some folks, but luckily it seems like there are a lot of shows and swap meets in the CT area over the next few months. CSRA Fall swap meet in Bristol is usually pretty good and I'm going to hit the Stafford Springs Swap meet for the first time this year.

I'd like to get my goat out to a couple of shows, but hate taking out on the highway with the 4.10s. (Hence all the posts to forum on that topic).

Again, big thanks to everyone for the advice and words of encouragement! :cheers:cheers
 

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AMT, I second the good advice given here. Especially the "fix it as you drive it" approach. Too many well-intentioned folks have "torn a car down to restore it" only to end up with loss of interest, money, space, and time, and end up with a pile of parts that eventually evaporates. Check out the classifieds: I've seen 3 really nice Pontiacs in the past week for sale, only to read in the fine print that the original, driving car in the posted photo is now "disassembled for restoration". But the prices are still just as high as a driving car!! Good luck on that one. Nice original cars, now worthless and un marketable. I would read all you can, consult some GTO or car guys, and go a piece at a time. Paying someone too much money to screw up your car is not an option!!! Perhaps a GTO person near you can look over your ride and tell you where to begin, and at what priority. If you were near me, I'd do it for free. I LOVE this kind of stuff. But, for openers, do like Rukee said: safe driver and go from there. Good luck.
 

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A huge disassembled pile in the garage? Yeah got that here already, three of em. Do a little at a time unless you have the time, space, and money to do it right. Not being able to drive it really stinks, believe me I know. I have cars that havent been driven in 25 years that I started to repaint way back then and life got in the way.

I like to start at the bottom, do the brakes and suspension first, and swap those 4.11 gears for some 3.08 cogs. It wont hurt the performance that much and it will be much more fun to drive. If the engine needs it, go through it, if it isnt smoking, knocking, or using oil leave it alone for now.

Once you start pulling it apart to fix rust, you will keep finding more and more rust until the car is torn down to the bare shell. If you havent had them torn down that far before, you wont remember how they go back together, and it will also seem like a HUGE insurmountable task. That is why so many people get discouraged and try to sell a car they took apart. They see it as one huge project rather than a handful of smaller projects.

One thing at a time works much better than doing something like I am with the 65 up in the stickies. The 70 runs and drives, its getting a face lift, but I am not ripping it apart, you could do something more like that. I have already been through the brakes, suspension, engine and trans on the 70. It needs interior and body work now so that is what I am working on. Eventually it will get a frame off rebuild, but not quite yet because I have two others to finish before I do that.
 
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