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I just picked up a '65 GTO and will be starting work on a restomod shortly. Currently it is not running and has some kind of '70s 400 in it. I believe at one point the previous owner(s) had dragged the car a bit. My plans are to do a new engine/tranny combination and redo the interior (fixing whatever else pops up along the way). I could use some help with your basic getting started questions.

Is there a FAQ or sticky somewhere with answers to common questions?
Has anyone put an LS3 in an older GTO and if so, what tranny?
I've not checked the rear yet, but read a great thread on gearing. What rear end came with the '65? (i think it's possible it was swapped out)
How about disc brake conversions? Good/Bad?

I'm happy to do the research on these and would appreciate any pointers on where to start. I'd like to end up with a nice performing GTO that is a pleasure to drive and still gets down the road pretty quick.

Thanks for any pointers/advice. Just starting what should be an interesting journey.
 

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The best advise I can share is;

Buy a box of zip lock sandwich bags and a sharpie, document the exact location of every nut and bolt you remove. I had 3 boxes of hardware in bags when my car reached the mid-way point.

Are you planning to do a frame off, click on the My photos: 451 under my avatar, I posted most of the progress on my 66.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Current plan is not to do a frame off restore, unless I get pointed that way by the condition of the car. Have not done a full inventory yet, mostly focused on mechanicals as they are the most obvious. Like the suggestions of the ziplocks, used a fair when doing my Jeep and that worked out pretty well. Especially, when the time between taking it apart and putting back together gets long. (and I get older...)
 

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Here's my advice:

The digital camera is your friend! Just when you think you've taken enough pictures, take a dozen more at 3 or 4 different angles. Take pictures of every part you remove before you remove it and after.

Don't throw anything away (ANYTHING!) until you replace it on the car. Even stuff you tear up and know you're going to have no use for can be used for templates for the replacement. This is common sense, but you may be tempted to throw something away because you know it's junk and of no use. This is when to remind yourself not to throw anything away until you've replaced it on the car.

And bag and tag stuff as SOON as you take it off the car! Don't wait until you have half a dozen things to label.

And TAKE PICTURES! No reason not to with digital cameras and cheap storage. Wish I had a digital camera when I took mine apart.
 

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:agree
I went out and bought a box of baggies. The young guy who took apart the beginnings of my car didn't mark the nuts and bolts and even though I've sorted them and bought some new ones, I'm having a hard time finding where they go. Now, after taking apart the rest of the car, I have about 40 baggies all marked and just a couple unknowns. I've also taken about 200 pics. It'll be nice to have a cool photo album when I'm done....
Although I'm not putting flames on the car, I just wanted you all to know that I couldn't make it without doing something crafty, so the steering wheel that I have that 05GTO helped me with will have tiny little purple flames on the inside of the spokes. Had to put them somewhere:cool
Linda
 

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RESTORATION RELATED:

If you can, before you do anything, use a high pressure washer with a degreaser and wash off the exterior, engine compartment and underside. If you dont have a pressure washer, drag the car down to the local coin operated car wash and take a roll of quarters. It makes it alot nicer to work on if you can get as much grease and dirt off of it as possible before your start tearing it down! Put a penatrating lebrucant on the bolts you want to get off a couple a days before you plan on tearing it down...it makes it easier!

I agree with taking lots of photos with a digital camera and bagging everything. What I found works better than bags is the containers that Gerber baby food comes in now. It comes in little plastic containers with plastic snap on lids. They work great and I put a piece of masking tape on the end with the description of whatever is inside (i.e. Wheel opening moulding screws). I like the baby food containers better than baggies because they can be stacked. I place them in a boxes that are designated for different parts of the car (Interior, exterior, engine compartment, etc).

Also, get a factory assembly manual and service manual. They will help you figure out how things come apart and go together.

I like to restore some components as they come off the car and place them on a shelf. I don't get as discouraged this way because when the car is all apart, you see a shelf full of parts ready to go back on the car, rather than a heap of parts that need to be restored sitting next to a car and body that need to be restored.

DISK BRAKE RELATED:

Regarding your disk brake conversion: The disk brake conversion is an easy swap from a '67 to '72 a-body. I would recommend the '68-72 since they used the single piston floating caliper instead of the 4-piston calipers used in '67. The '67 verson is more expensive (purists want it ) and they are more troublesome. Make sure you use the master cylinder and perportioning valve from the disk brake car.

I would add disk brakes if you intend on driving the car a fair amount and you intend on adding aftermarket wheels. I believe you will have clearance issues with the stock 14" steel wheels with disk brakes. I done several disk brake converstions and been happy with them all (always used aftermarket wheels in the past). I will probably keep the drums on the front of my '65 because I want to run the original steel wheels. Also, If it rains I won't be driving the car!

Enjoy the restoration and keep us up to date!:cheers
 

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Another hint

When you put the front end back together, don't forget to install the upper control arm's rubber bumper onto the frame before you install the coil spring and tighten the spindle nuts onto the ball joint studs.

Just thought I'd throw that out there from out of the blue......no special reason really......

What I found works better than bags is the containers that Gerber baby food comes in now. It comes in little plastic containers with plastic snap on lids. They work great and I put a piece of masking tape on the end with the description of whatever is inside (i.e. Wheel opening moulding screws). I like the baby food containers better than baggies because they can be stacked. I place them in a boxes that are designated for different parts of the car (Interior, exterior, engine compartment, etc).
Good idea. I just don't want to think about what it would take to get enough of those baby food containers. I just recently got rid of the last Teletubbie DVD and have some time to get into the garage!
 

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do you need 65 parts like "64" 326 rebuilt to 389 motor with exact intake for it, rebuilt 4-speed munsi tranny, shifter w/ linkage, bell housing. Also have late 50's tri-power intake
I got em looking to get rid of them all
 

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Discussion Starter #11
do you need 65 parts like "64" 326 rebuilt to 389 motor with exact intake for it, rebuilt 4-speed munsi tranny, shifter w/ linkage, bell housing. Also have late 50's tri-power intake
I got em looking to get rid of them all
Thanks, but I am going with a new engine/tranny/suspension.
 
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