Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Was in the works for awhile but I just acquired my GTO project car last week. I found it for sale in Phoenix, Arizona and trailered it home to San Angelo, TX.
Here's some photos of it I took upon arriving and unloaded:



As you can see, the engine and transmission are out of the car and dismantled. The interior is all out of the car as well.


Original matching numbers engine and transmission. The block has had most the machine work done. The heads are done and so is the tranny. I do have a couple of things planned for the drivetrain. I think I will save the transmission and install a beefed up 200-4R. I will use the engine but save the manifold and carb an purchase an Edelbrock ProFlo 4 MPFI system.

It looks excellent from underneath. Hardly any surface rust. Just dirty.
There is some rust in the bottoms of both fenders behind the wheels. I believe those will need patch panels.
One small spot above the p/s tail light and a small spot on d/s rear wheel well lip.
There is a hole in the floor from a leaking heater core. I can make a small patch for that.
I've found evidence of bondo in the middle of panels using a magnet but the rockers don't appear to have any.
It will need some work on panel alignment and gaps too. Hood to fenders, fenders to doors and at the Endura bumper to hood and fenders. I intend to make it all very close to perfect if I can. Doors to quarters and trunk lid look pretty good already. I've read that it is quite a challenge to get an Endura bumper to really fit well on any car. That will be interesting.

Stripping the paint will reveal some things as it always does but at this point I think it is a great car for a restoration. I did buy it sight-unseen but the seller was good abut providing me with a few iterations of sending photos of specific things I wanted to see.



 
  • Like
Reactions: integrity6987

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Yesterday, my wife made me a box to store the transmission in. Still need to make a lid but she ran out of scrap wood.

Also I thought I'd post a photo of my build sheet. It's a pretty well optioned car.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 67ventwindow

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Yours is in the same condition as when I brought mine home. Parts in boxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yup. And I might need some help with figuring out how to assemble the engine since I'm not familiar with Pontiac engines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Yep, Pontiac engines have their nuances. Not your typical Chevy.
When the time comes there will be plenty of help here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Looking good, it seems like you are excited about this build. Make sure to keep us posted with the progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! Yes I am very excited about it.

Yesterday was the first day I actually did a couple of things to the car. I had spent a few days organizing and taking photos of all the parts and then got them all stored away.

First I'll show what I uncovered that was super good. I took the windshield out and was surprised at how good the the underside looked. It's in superb condition.






Now a little of the not so good. There is some rust. And, I'm detecting a lot of bondo around both rear wheel openings.






I did a little sanding on that wheel well edge and it's full of bondo. I knew this already after I took a magnet to it the other days. I'll post photos of that later after I uncover some more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Been working on the GTO a bit every day and took just took some photos of where I'm at now.




I'll show a few issues to deal with but they are pretty minor.
I don't think I mentioned before that there was one minor hole in the floor in the front p/s corner where it meets the toe board. It was caused by a leaking heater core. I could tell in the seller's photos that it also damaged the body mount bracket attached to the firewall. As I suspected, I think it will be better to replace it than try to repair it. It isn't a big deal to do when the body is off the frame. The hole in the floor isn't a big issue either. I can make patches for that easy.






I didn't know this until now but will be a pretty easy repair. I will remove the brace to make the repairs then weld it back on.

Looks like someone cut an access hole in the p/s inner fender. I'm guessing it happened when the heater core was replaced. The seller told me it was a prior owner that had it done. Simple fix.

Looks like someone enlarged the slots in the bumper braces with a blow torch. I guess to help in trying adjust the endura bumper?

Anyway, all this work told me even more that I've got a very solid car. Absolutely no evidence of any collision damage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
When you take the body off can you take note of the body bushings in reference to;
Color/no color of upper/lowers This may be hard to determine
Length of bolt
Type of bushing

Bushings are numbered 1-7, each side, from the firewall to the rear bumper. See the service manual Chapter 0 page 06. Some restorers color the upper bushings but I'm finding out thats not always true especially for the 68-69s and maybe other years where only the lower bushings may have been colored. Inline tube has the correct bushings and they sell the colored ones too.

I'm sure you know to brace the door openings if you remove the doors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for tips Ed. I'll be checking out Inline Tube for the body mounts.
And yes, I will be bracing across the door jambs and side-to-side. I haven't acquired the steel yet though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Removed the evaporator box.

Removed the rest of the ragtop (and it was literally in rags) and then removed the frame.





The rust is only slight surface rust. No metal is even close to being compromised. All the tack strip tabs are fine. I believe the ragtop was factory original. I'll blast this and coat with black epoxy primer from Southern Polyurethanes (SPI).

Removed all the guts out of the driver door. Dirty inside but no rust at all. Undercoating in good shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Done today:
I got all the glass and hardware out of the doors and quarters. Removed old exhaust system. Removed doors.
Pretty much down to removing everything at the dash now before acquiring some steel to brace the body with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PontiacJim

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Worked on the car some this afternoon.
Got the dash and wiring harness out but have a little more to remove there.
The wiring is pretty brittle and I'm inclined to replace it all with new. The upper ducting to the defrost vents was so brittle that it would just crumple in your hand. Notice all the pieces on the floor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PontiacJim

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I got the bracing done and mocked up the equalizer for lifting. Haven't drilled the holes for the chain attachments yet.
The red bar is pretty much where I figure the front to back balance point of the body is. The hoist and equalizer are rated at 1,500 lbs. The 12" long eye-bolt goes up into the attic and through a long piece of 2"X6" where it has a big washer and nut on top. The 2"X6" is sitting flat on top of 2"X8" joists on 16" centers.
I also plan on using a come-a-long to connect between the eyebolt and which ever end of the car is a bit heavier. This will help keep it level from front-to-back and keep the body from spinning. A friend of mine gave me that idea.







I did remove all the body mount bolts. The 4 front ones were stubborn. The nuts spun but I was able to go through the holes in the front and secure them with vise grips. The other 8 all came out OK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Really interesting thread. I will be following closely as I plan to go through a similar process in the next few years.

I read somewhere that you can buy ready made non weld braces for a convertible before lifting off the body. Would really be interesting to see if they are similar to the approach that you took.

And updates or is the project on hold?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Really interesting thread. I will be following closely as I plan to go through a similar process in the next few years.

I read somewhere that you can buy ready made non weld braces for a convertible before lifting off the body. Would really be interesting to see if they are similar to the approach that you took.

And updates or is the project on hold?
I built mine with $70 worth of 14ga square tubing. Took a couple of days for me to build it though. Had to figure it out as I went but I had a general idea in my head prior.

Since it's turned cold and wet outside, I wasn't ready to lift the body and roll the frame outside.
So, I spent some time using a paint stripping disc. Just took these photos a little while ago. First the good:







Generally looks good. About 80% had been stripped before. All the upper parts but not towards the bottom. They used a very aggressive grit by the looks of the scratches.

Now some not so good. Both quarters are going to need the set of 2 patch panels around and behind the wheel openings. The previous repairs were done very, very poorly and will make it a bit harder to fix correctly. There were some patches laid on top of rust holes and welded on. Then bondo was laid on thick to feather it out. The bondo went half way up the quarters and all the way around the wheel openings. Some holes are not patched and were just had bondo stuffed into the holes.
Driver side:









Passenger side:









No patch. Just bondo over and in the hole. I've seen a lot of GTOs that rust here. Does anyone know the root cause of rust in this location?



No rust on this side but some kind of damage was repaired there and not done very well. It was built up with bondo. Hopefully I can correct with a little hammer and dolly work but the poor job done on this will make it more difficult.



The rockers appear good:





Cracks in the factory lead on both sides here. I will have to take the lead out and weld the seams to correct this.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Well its a 52 year old car. I guess the things you are finding are very common.
I restored two cars taking them to bare metal as you are doing. One of them is an 87 TransAm GTA which had the rear fenders behind the wheel all rotten. Thank god that was the only major thing it had but the age is far less that a GTO. I had a very good body shop fabricate them from plain sheet metal. Its not possible to find patch panels easily where I live and he preferred doing them himself from scratch rather than waiting for shipping them from the US.

The other one was a Ford Anglia 105E which my grandfather bought new back in 1963. It was always garage kept and VERY low mileage so it was an exception to the norm. No rust on this. To be honest I was really sorry that I stripped it to bare metal as all it needed was a quick respray.

Make sure you do not leave that metal exposed for a long time or else it will soon start rusting especially in high humidity. I bought a special spirit which seals the metal inhibiting rust for such jobs. Will try to find the bottle and tell you what it was called.

Anyway keep up the good work and keep updating us with your progress!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks. I will update as I make progress.

It will be much easier for me to use the available patch panels. I probably just cut out the portion I need and not use the entire pieces. It might have made sense for me to make patches if it hadn't been worked on already. That work really kind of ruined the factory crease lines around the wheel openings.

Not too much problem with leaving bare metal exposed for long periods where I live in west Texas. I've done it before with no problem. Plus, before primer I will go over everything with a D/A using 80 grit for the proper preparation for epoxy primer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
In regards to your question about the lower rear quarters. No rust on mine thank God, but as I'm currently painting the trunk, this area received a lot of my attention.
First of all there's two rubber plugs, a solid one behind the bumper and the front one which has a flapper valve that will let water drain from inside. I can see if they harden (like mine) they wouldn't be doing a good job of keeping water or dirt out.
Secondly there wasn't much paint in the area. It looked like there was a heavy application of black paint from the factory that was allowed to run down into the bottom.

72C407AB-7FB3-4336-94C9-9351F30825F1_1_201_a.jpeg


Hard to sand down since its all by hand and you can't see what your doing. But this is after my first application of paint. Gotta go back and hit it again.

A40F33A4-E4FA-47AF-920C-965632851339_1_201_a.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Those cracks near the top edge of the trunk are on almost every 68-72 A body convertible.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top