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Discussion Starter · #322 ·
Update:

Blasted and repainted the original '69 radiator fan I bought from GTO.PAUL on the other site and got it installed with a new Hayden HD clutch and new bolts. I did not get the correct fan with this car. It was a 5 blade and correct with A/C is a seven blade. It must have been changed out at some point in it's life. Paul happened to have the correct numbered part in perfect shape. It even was date coded correctly for my car.

Did a couple minor repairs on the lower dash duct assembly. It had a few holes underneath drilled underneath that I filled. Must have had something mounted to it at some point.
It also had a mount pad broken out where 1 of the 3 attaching screws goes. I cut and shaped a piece for it from 1/8" plastic sheeting that I had and grafted it to duct using JB Weld.


Got a bit more wiring done in the engine compartment. I mounted and wired the high speed blower relay. I mounted it behind the brake booster as I had done with both the Edelbrock EFI and fuel pump relays. Also wired in the original blower speed resistor along with mounting A/C accumulator and wiring in the compressor cycling switch.


Received the stereo amp I ordered and mounted it to the back of the glove box. I chose this Kenwood because it was the perfect size to be able to mount it there. It's a 4 channel amp with 45 watts per channel.


After mounting the glove box in the dash with the amp in place, I completed the wiring for both the radio and the amp and then installed the glove box lid, ash tray, lower dash column cover and the lower duct assembly and finished all that today.



I'm very impressed with the job Just Dashes did with the recovering job. Really impressed with the job they did on the glove box lid too. It fits super well. It was a bit warped when I sent it to them and they corrected that just as they said they would do.

Btw, if you look one either side of the e-brake release handle, you can see where I mounted the rocker switch and dimmer control for the Dakota gauges. It was the least conspicuous place I could find to mount them and still have them easily accessed. The dimmer knob was aluminum but I painted it black so it wouldn't be as noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #323 ·
Tanks Inc. Fuel Tank

Here's all the small parts. I opted for a Walbro 255 LPH fuel pump and a floatless fuel gauge sending unit.

Fuel pump assembly put together and ready for installing in the tank:

Fuel pump and sending unit installed in tank and wiring in place:

All hoses attached. Pretty crowded looking on top but pretty much how you have to do it. Tanks Inc. instructions have you tie the 2 vents together with a Y adapter that they include. My plan is to connect the vent line to the original vent tube that loops up into the trunk and back down.

Installed Weather Pack connectors for the fuel gauge and fuel pump hot wire.

I like that Tanks Inc. makes this tank with a removable filler neck. It sure makes it a lot easier to install the tank. I bolted a board to my floor jack to aid in the installation.

 

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Discussion Starter · #324 ·
Thanks for the likes guys.

Hooked up all the hoses at the tank today. Here's a photo of the vent connection. The hose is 5/16" and the trunk loop tube is 1/4" so I put a piece of heat shrink tubing on the tip of loop tube to make the hose fit tightly. Tanks Inc. supplied me with a rollover valve but I can't find a good location to mount it so I think I'll go without it. I'm going to be pretty careful with the car and don't plan on rolling it. Not a good idea with a convertible without a roll bar anyway.

Posting a photo of the original vent loop inside the trunk as I know some of my follower friends probably haven't seen one before.

It took me a couple of months to get but I received the A/C condenser I had on order from Original Air and got it installed. It is a parallel flow design instead of the original serpentine type. It's a spendy piece at $360. $454 with tax and shipping.

They do a pretty good job making it fit exactly like the original but I did have to bend the tubes some to be able to get it into place.

I dug out the Magnaflow exhaust system I bought a few months back and started looking at it. It appears like I'm going to have to modify it some to get it to fit with the G Force transmission crossmember I have. Anyway, installing the exhaust looks like is what I'm planning to do next.
 
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Discussion Starter · #326 ·
It's coming together little by little, got to be getting exciting 👍
Yes but it feels like I still have a long way to go. That's just fine though. Sometimes I think I should slow down so I don't get that 'I need another project' feeling. This project has worked out well for me to eliminate the feeling of boredom that Covid would have caused me otherwise.

I looked at my factory assembly manual again and I saw that I had installed the trunk vent tube loop incorrectly.
This is the way the manual shows:

 

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Ya half the fun of the hobby is working on them, I miss driving mine but also look forward to doing things on it all winter. It's nice that your bodywork is out of the way because that didn't look fun, assembling all the new parts sure is....no more messes.
 

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Hello, i just started reading this fantastic restoration and wish I had started last year. I have been in the process of restoring my 68 for several years off and on and could have learned a lot from these threads. my car is currently in the paint shop and undergoing quite a lot of work to the body. I was hoping by jumping in that someone could give me a suggestion on where to get front wheel well moldings. I just dropped off a complete set to Fed Ex to return to OPG. my body man said they were not usable. any ideas?? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #329 ·
Mocked up exhaust system from the mufflers forward

As I had mentioned, I was going to have to make modifications to the Magnaflow exhaust kit due to the G Force crossmember. I ended up having to cut about 4 1/2" out of the pipes behind the X in order to move the X further back. This allowed the angled front extensions to clear the crossmember.



For temporary connectors, I slotted 4" sections of left over pipe, slipped them on to join the pipes and used some of the supplied band clamps to hold them in place. I did this for rejoining the cut pipes as well as connecting to the down pipes. The down pipes are from Pypes which are the same 409 stainless steel as the Magnaflow pipes are.

My intention is to weld all the joints except at the rear of mufflers. I am going to buy 4 connectors to replace the temporary ones I have on there now to avoid having to do any butt welds.

Here's a photo of the side of the car I took kneeling on the floor. As you can see, the system tucks up nicely and isn't seen.

Next I will start with the mock-up of the tail pipes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #330 ·
Hello, i just started reading this fantastic restoration and wish I had started last year. I have been in the process of restoring my 68 for several years off and on and could have learned a lot from these threads. my car is currently in the paint shop and undergoing quite a lot of work to the body. I was hoping by jumping in that someone could give me a suggestion on where to get front wheel well moldings. I just dropped off a complete set to Fed Ex to return to OPG. my body man said they were not usable. any ideas?? Thanks
Thanks! I hope you will start a build thread and post some of your past photos along with future ones.

Boy I don't know why you had troubles with the repop mouldings. Why don't you start a separate thread on that. I think you might find someone who will chime in and have a good used original set for sale.
 

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Thanks! I hope you will start a build thread and post some of your past photos along with future ones.

Boy I don't know why you had troubles with the repop mouldings. Why don't you start a separate thread on that. I think you might find someone who will chime in and have a good used original set for sale.
Thanks roger, good idea.
 

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Thanks! I hope you will start a build thread and post some of your past photos along with future ones.

Boy I don't know why you had troubles with the repop mouldings. Why don't you start a separate thread on that. I think you might find someone who will chime in and have a good used original set for sale.
I just ordered moldings from Ames with some other parts. I'll start a thread on my car when I can get some pictures together. thanks O52 for the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #335 ·
Rear Bumper:

Before proceeding to install the tailpipes, I decided I needed to have the rear bumper installed first so I could know if the exhaust tips would be where I wanted them to be.
So, I installed my new Ames bumper. I was immediately not happy with this bumper. Fitment problems in 2 areas.

Looks OK in that photo but take a look at this corner on the top left:

That corner is just misshaped and I can stick my finger in that gap up to my knuckle. The opposite corner is shaped OK though.

The other problem is at the top center. Here is a photo of how close it is to the tail panel:

It's almost touching. In this photo, the rubber blocks that fit on the pinch weld are not installed. I can loosen the bolts and install the blocks but it puts the bumper in a bind when the bolts are re-tightened. However it does increase the gap a little.

Next thing I did was dig out my original bumper off my junk pile and wash it up. I counted over a dozen dings and it has two slightly bent areas but it looked like it had never taken a severe blow. So I decided to mount it and see how well it would fit. Here's a few photos.





As you can see, the original bumper fits very, very well. (need to adjust the right taillight a little though).
I made a decision right then and there to research and find a shop that can restore this bumper and try to return the one I bought from Ames.
It had been over 60 days since I had received it so I wasn't sure what they would do.

I called Ames and dealt with Donovan who was very good. He had me send photos of their bumper as well as ones for my original bumper. After reviewing them, they will allow me to return it for a refund but I will have to eat the shipping. There is also a 10% restocking fee for being over the 60 days but I am going to request a waiver on that after they receive the bumper.

After doing some research on bumper restoration shops and getting a great reference from Ron Johnson at Potomac Classic Pontiac, I decided to go with a company in Tennessee called Tri City Plating. They charge $800 plus shipping both ways but I will be worth it to insure a perfect fit. Ten week turnaround.

Exhaust system:

I tack welded all the joints from under the car and then removed for welding up all the way around. I then used ceramic exhaust paint to paint the welds so they don't rust.



After reinstalling, I then started on the tailpipes. I decided to use the kit's band clamps instead of welding any of the joints.


The tailpipe hangers are a combination of what I think were factory frame top brackets and hanger kits I bought from O'Reillys. The frame top brackets were on the car when I got it and I blasted and painted them.

I tack welded the polished tips in 3 places on each one but where they can't be seen unless you look under the car.




Eye level to the bottom of the quarter:

So the exhaust is finished. However, I am thinking about removing and polishing the last sections of tailpipe from the tip joint back to the clamp. Since that pipe can be seen from the side of the car just a little, I think it might look better.
 
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Rear Bumper:

Before proceeding to install the tailpipes, I decided I needed to have the rear bumper installed first so I could know if the exhaust tips would be where I wanted them to be.
So, I installed my new Ames bumper. I was immediately not happy with this bumper. Fitment problems in 2 areas.

Looks OK in that photo but take a look at this corner on the top left:

That corner is just misshaped and I can stick my finger in that gap up to my knuckle. The opposite corner is shaped OK though.

The other problem is at the top center. Here is a photo of how close it is to the tail panel:

It's almost touching. In this photo, the rubber blocks that fit on the pinch weld are not installed. I can loosen the bolts and install the blocks but it puts the bumper in a bind when the bolts are re-tightened. However it does increase the gap a little.

Next thing I did was dig out my original bumper off my junk pile and wash it up. I counted over a dozen dings and it has two slightly bent areas but it looked like it had never taken a severe blow. So I decided to mount it and see how well it would fit. Here's a few photos.





As you can see, the original bumper fits very, very well. (need to adjust the right taillight a little though).
I made a decision right then and there to research and find a shop that can restore this bumper and try to return the one I bought from Ames.
It had been over 60 days since I had received it so I wasn't sure what they would do.

I called Ames and dealt with Donovan who was very good. He had me send photos of their bumper as well as ones for my original bumper. After reviewing them, they will allow me to return it for a refund but I will have to eat the shipping. There is also a 10% restocking fee for being over the 60 days but I am going to request a waiver on that after they receive the bumper.

After doing some research on bumper restoration shops and getting a great reference from Ron Johnson at Potomac Classic Pontiac, I decided to go with a company in Tennessee called Tri City Plating. They charge $800 plus shipping both ways but I will be worth it to insure a perfect fit. Ten week turnaround.

Exhaust system:

I tack welded all the joints from under the car and then removed for welding up all the way around. I then used ceramic exhaust paint to paint the welds so they don't rust.



After reinstalling, I then started on the tailpipes. I decided to use the kit's band clamps instead of welding any of the joints.


The tailpipe hangers are a combination of what I think were factory frame top brackets and hanger kits I bought from O'Reillys. The frame top brackets were on the car when I got it and I blasted and painted them.

I tack welded the polished tips in 3 places on each one but where they can't be seen unless you look under the car.




Eye level to the bottom of the quarter:

So the exhaust is finished. However, I am thinking about removing and polishing the last sections of tailpipe from the tip joint back to the clamp. Since that pipe can be seen from the side of the car just a little, I think it might look better.
Boy that's a shame when you pay big bucks for a bumper, that's way off and don't they check those things before selling them? I hate when they give you a limited amount of time to return it, what's the difference, if it's wrong at 60 days it was going to be wrong at 30...and restocking fee ? I hope they don't try and sell that again! Exhaust looks good, I bet you're itching to hear what it sounds like ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #338 ·
Boy that's a shame when you pay big bucks for a bumper, that's way off and don't they check those things before selling them? I hate when they give you a limited amount of time to return it, what's the difference, if it's wrong at 60 days it was going to be wrong at 30...and restocking fee ? I hope they don't try and sell that again! Exhaust looks good, I bet you're itching to hear what it sounds like ;)
I still have a lot to do before I'm ready to hear it run but the day does keep getting closer. I need to get transmission cooling lines and battery cables ordered. I'm going to do some research on that and try to get orders in by this weekend.

Yeah it makes me wonder if they will restock this bumper and sell it to somebody else. I sure hope not. Seems like they should be sending it back to whoever manufactures that bumper for them. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll mention this when I talk to them again to request they waive that fee.
 
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Discussion Starter · #339 ·
Some updates to report.

I got both bumpers sent off and both Ames and Tri City Plating have received them. I contacted Ames today and asked that they waive that 10% restocking fee and stated some of the reasons discussed here why they shouldn't charge me that. They did honor my request with no argument so my refund is being processed and will show on my credit card. Btw, I do want to express how nice Donovan was during the whole return process and he actually calls back or emails back when he says he will. That seems hard to get in this day and age.

Installed the transmission cooler that I got with the transmission from Art Carr. He insisted I buy this from him and I'm glad he did. It's nice and small and there was a perfect place to mount it. I refuse to use the plastic ties that go thru the cores so I hunted for a good place and it was obvious that not only was the center bracket a perfect place but it was pretty much the only place for it to attach. I fabricated 3 small brackets and it's very solid and about 1/8" from the condenser core.



Here it is with the horns mounted. The assembly manual shows the horn on the left to use the upper bolt hole and the one on the right the lower. However, for the left horn to clear the cooler, I had to do it the opposite way.
I can't see it will make any difference at this point.

I bought new transmission cooler hard lines from Inline tube and got them installed yesterday and hooked up the hoses to the auxiliary cooler today. I had to modify the tubes bit to connect to the 2004-R transmission. The connection points aren't in exactly the same place or angle as a Turbo 400 and the pressure line on my transmission is the top connection where on a Turbo 400 it's bottom one.


Installed both doors and latches a couple of days ago and the d/s fender today:



 
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