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Discussion Starter #1
Thought i would start a thread with some tips for restoring on a budget as we all know how quickly these cars of ours can drain a bank account. Truth of the matter is if you have a pile of cash and order everything you need so you have it when you need it you will have spent more than its worth in this economy (even doing it all yourself).

I am not leaning towards correctness as much as presentable "on a budget". The way i look at it the goal is to get the car on the road running good and looking clean, then while driving and enjoying it you can get all the new little goodies in time with less of a strain on your budget and marriage. And what can be More Correct than saving as many original "Born With" parts as you can. The Purist will probably scoff at this but not all of us have a spare 30K or more laying around to build a 100 point car. My goal all along with this build was not a clone a GTO but build a car that embodied the Pontiac Spirit and i do have every factory trim part that the car cam with restored and stored also.

First tip: I highlighted the Ames book and gave it to the wife and daughters so they can pick a piece i want in their budget and get me usable gifts for x-mas and b-day

Ok have been wanting a wood wheel since i started the resto, scoured e-bay and Craigslist, but i am sorry, i am not paying $400.00 for a wood look wheel and even shy away from the real wood Aftermarkets (on above list but the wife would not pay $200...lol) so here is what i did...

factory fresh...:D



First job is to clean it up, simple green works well, then attack the chrome with 0000 steel wool get all the loose paint from the textured recess of the horn bar...with the horn bar off i masked and sprayed the column as i was painting the wheel and metal dash to match the exterior of the car (i know, not always correct but it looks good).



also cleaned up the dash with the wheel off and painted the bezels with a brush, since i was doing the wood insert did not need to be perfect on the outer edges. the horn buttun was removed and mouted on a flat surfaces so i could wet sand the scratches out of the acrylic and polish it. I also masked and sprayed the horn bar 60% black in the reliefs, install the wood insert before you put the wheel back on...it's much easier to trim and fit



My wheel had cracks in the usual places and thought about refinishing but that was a lot of work to get a wheel that felt hard and awkward in my big hands so i decided it would get covered in leather...the vinyl was just while restoring as it made it easier to crank the wheel when pushing it around. I found a place on E-bay that had leather wraps with a thin foam backer in all diameters and ordered for 20.00 i think. you want it on the small side so you have to stretch it tight over. The first thing you do when you open the package is throw away the dull needle and thread as all you can do is hurt yourself with it. My solution, when the leather is on and trimmed nicely with an x-acto around yoru horn bar make sure the seam where ther is overlap is facing the front of the car (back of the wheel) take a hotglue gun with permanant glue an work a thin bead around the inner layer, then whipe the leather where it will overlap only with acetone to get the oils off and lap over tight and seal the edge of nice and clean....no stitching needed and it will not move a bit on the wheel even if you twist it.

so for a little bit of elbow grease a can or two of spray paint the Standard Wheel can look good and feel better in hand for 20 bucks...thats $380.00 more you can put in yoru engine....:party:



Feel free to add tips guys....i am just killing some down time and thought i would throw this out there....:seeya
 

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Great idea for a thread, I agree. I'm all for fixing what needs fixed and repairing as you go. Keeping the car operational the whole time, if you can. Now, if only I had some ideas! One thing I'll say is that I've always had better luck refurbishing original parts than I have had with repop parts. It's worth the time, it saves money, and the parts fit and work as they should. I think the only repop parts I have on my two goats is some trunk weatherstrip and a couple of fuel filter brackets. When doing the '67-up cars, I like to fit '66 style window cranks. My convertible has '66 cranks and a '66 rear view mirror inside....they're all metal and don't fall apart like the '67-up pieces. I also think they look better, even though they're not "correct". I'd also rather run a repaired original steering wheel than an aftermarket wheel....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, plan on keeping this going if there is interest....will have a breakdown on the dash E, i am currently working on a members and making molds so they will be available if others like the gauges, am taking pics and will add it as soon as i get done. GeeTee i like the crank swap...the all metal look so much better than the yellowed plastic.

Heres a little one i ran into....72' motor in a 66' car, the 72' is equipped with the 18" clutch fan (best for cooling the beast) well, the fan shrouds for the 66' are made for a smaller fan....so rather than trying to find a fan to match the shroud i trimmed a equal amount off the tip of each fan blade with a set of scissor shears it fits the shroud with less than 1/4" clearance and draws air like a vacuum.....:cheers
 

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My original steering wheel had big problems... the Texas Heat had caused it to start decomposing, giving off all manner of weird gasses/vapors that would coat the insides of the glass and everything else, in addition to making the surface of the wheel gummy and sticky. I surprised when I wasn't able to find a replacement, and I balked at paying the price for a 'correct' wood wheel, so I'm running an aftermarket wheel that looks "reasonable" and even has the Pontiac Arrowhead horn button, but it ain't "correct'.

Bear
 

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Bear, you're dealing with different materials than I am with the older cars. You pretty much have no choice. You have to run with what works....and leaves your hands non-sticky. Inst, GTO's came with an 18 inch fan stock, and AC cars had a 19.5 inch fan. I have shrouds on both of mine....an 18" fan on the '67, and a 19.5" fan on the '65...I had to get an AC shroud and adapt it to fit my non-AC car. No biggie. Perhaps Tempest/Lemans fans were smaller in diameter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
just measured GeeTee, your right of course...19" shroud, so my fan must have been off a 72' AC car and been 19.5 or 20, i guess this is the whole point of the Thread, making what you have work for you. I had to take around a quarter inch off each blade, i guess thats why they call it building a car and not just putting one together...:D
 

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Can you post some better pics of your steering wheel Instigator? Nice looking job on the dash and I like the way the black and blue contrast together with the carpet and dash.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
here you go Alky, looks grey because of the flash and compared to the vinyl i used for the dash. I had some left over material from the dash pad so i also padded and vinyl'd the sides of my console because once everything else was done and the walnut added, the stamped plastic sides of the console, even refinished looked cheap compared to the rest of the interior. Just a little detail but it ties everything together and i think classes it up a bit. The dash was never dis-assembled or removed, simply cleaned, polished and freshened up (pic one of the thread is how i got it).

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, sticking with the Interior....the Tempest as with most started life as a bench seat 2spd. column auto, although the 4spd. vs. his/hers auto choice took a bit longer to hash out, i always knew it would be a bucket/console car. I went round and round about budgeting the money for a new flaming river tilt column if i was going to have to replace it. Ended up putting it on the "to do at a later date list", as i thought the 600.00 would be better spent getting the car running than me sitting in a car with no motor and a pretty chrome steering column. so first off comes the shift lever, thought about grinding down the hub as it was the only part that detracted from it since i could live with the gear indicator as i have a friend who is making me a plex insert to replace the original the says "Tempest Custom" and will be backlit by the indicator light. While monkeying with a retro sun tach i picked up and was planning on mounting on the console like the factory ones i realized that with a little bit of grinding the hub for the tach fit neatly in the shift lever notch and even lined up for the pin. I now it is 70's chic, but hey what would a sleeper be without a tach strapped to the column and no ring clamps needed. It's also in a much better position for seeing it without diverting your eyes from the road than the console mount and only obscures my empty hole in the non rally dash. It also fits in nicely with the gauge cluster as the chrome bezels match. Again just my 2 cents to save $600.00



 

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I'll make you feel better: The tach was ALWAYS mounted where you put yours. NEVER on the console (too hard to see) The useless vacuum gauge went on the console (who needs the added weight??? Nix on that!) Also, your dash wood looks waaaay better than stock....classy. I like it. And, finally, I just got your pm from the 12th....don't know what happened, but I got back to ya. And as a PPS, unless you are over 6'2" or under 5'5", (and not too big in the middle) the stock, non tilt column is PERFECT. No need for the flaming river bling. Spend the $$$ on speed.
 

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Inst, please disregard the PM thing...that was facn8me, not you....(I get you guys mixed up for some reason.....just like I mix up Too Many Projects and Bear......) Sorry.......
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am 6'2" GeeTee and the column and seating is just about perfect especially with the 65' Love seats....but thats a tip for another evening....;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok thought this would fit right in here, in the final stages of the build i went round and round about what to do with the rear end (2:56 peg leg), looking at what was out there and my options i figured it was 1500-2500 hit for one of the units i wanted (chevy 12 bolt or ford 9" with 3:08 - 3:55 gear, with moser 30 spline axles). With funds dwindling it went on my "to do" list and i ran with the 2:56. Well with all the torque the 463 puts down i was pleasantly surprised by the salt flats gear and loved the fact that it does not even top 2000 rpm at 65 on the freeway, would still smoke the tires off from a 25 roll and the gas mileage was even in the double digits, so i had put it on the back burner.....low and behold a buddy calls me yesterday and says to check out the local dragways classifieds, Chevy 12 bolt with all the goodies, brakes, new A-body springs, new lines and block, anti hop bars, with a 3:55 posi....for $500.00:eek: out comes the piggy bank and a few calls later i have a lunch meeting to take a look at it....get there and he is just removing the cover, was used only at the track and said it has around 100 passes on the internals, everything clean and tight, no sign of wear, fluid looks like honey, brakes have 3/4 pad and smooth drums, offer him 400 and he balks a bit, then we agree on 450.00 and he throws in a set of Mickey Thompson ET street slicks with a few passes left in them. moral of the story.....use what you have until you find a great deal on what you want, way i look at it i did not spend 450 i saved 1550 by not pulling the trigger on a new set-up last year. Now to find someone with the Spohn or similar adjustable control arms and sway bar at a fire sale price....:D



 
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