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Discussion Starter #1
History: My Uncle died a few years ago & his wifw gave me his 1966 GTO. He bought the car at a local Pontiac dealer,(dealership sticker still on bumper), & used it as his daily driver for many, many years. I never really kept up with him on what was ever done to the car, re: engine rebuild, body rust repair that sort of stuff. I know the 389-4 bbl. has been rebuilt at least 1 time. He picked up a tri-power for it 2 years before he passed away, but was never happy with it for some reason or another. As far as the body go's, I call it a "20 footer"....Looks great from 20 feet away. The prep work was done correctly, as no rust has popped thru, but the block sanding was not done correctly & is a bit on the wave'y :seeya: side. The deal when I was given the GTO by his wife was, The car is not in the will, but I know he wanted you to have it. I'll sign the title over to you under one condition, You can NEVER SELL this car, It must stay in the family, (14 year old son crawling up my a*s to get it ready for him). I know why she said this, I had 4 Plymouth 'Cuda's in my life. The last was a '74 in near perfect condition. I got married, had a kid, bought a house, you know the drill.... Had no cash so had to sell. got it for $2 grand, sold it for $9 grand. Now this was pre Barrett-Jackson times & if I knew then what we all know now, I would never had sold it. Anyway, The GTO has been sitting for 2 years now in my garage with the engine out. I'm not even sure the engine can be bored out any more & don't want to sleeve the cylinders, so I'm thinking on the lines of a 350 crate motor or something to that order. I'll be keeping the 389 & rebuilding it at some point in the future, but for now I want to just get it out for cruising & have a reliable running car for the boy when he's ready for it. Here's the really big reason I came back to this forum (joined quite awhile ago), I was thinking on the engine replacement yesterday & I know what I want to try... I want to drop in a late model 6.0L GTO engine w/6 speed manual trans. My question to you guy's is: Is this possible? Has anyone here done this? The guy that I'm going to talk into attempting this is quite qualified when it comes to engine's, he worked with Tim Richards & Joe Amato during the glory years of Amato Drag racing. He even ownes a late model GTO himself. Anyway, I didn't know how to search for this information on the forum, but I'll try snooping around to see what I can find. Well, that where I'm at, What do you think? BTW: one thing, I did mention that the car can never be sold so please spare me the " your killing the value of an original classic car" song. It really doesn't matter to me what it's worth if I can't sell it & I don't even think the '66 GTO commands all that much at auction anyway. I'm just looking for a nice running, reliable cruiser with a little balls. Comments? Criticism? I would really like to hear from both sides.
 

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I would recommend rebuilding the 389, or getting a 400 Ponitac, and putting it back in the car. I've been driving these cars in "stock" form for over 30 years, and have found them to be reliable, fun, "have balls", and consistantly blow the doors off of bowtie products. You could fabricate anyting. Put a new engine in, fab new mounts, cut the floorpans, put in a six speed, etc. Depends opn how much money you want to burn thru. I know a guy who spent over 60,000 on a 66 GTO, and it has a high end crate Chevy in it. Has less power than the stock, 44 year old 389!!!! But, to each his own. If I inherited a GTO and was unfamiliar with them, I'd be doing what you are doing: asking questions and digging into research. Ask some more, read up on these cars, check out Butler Performance, etc., and you'll be able to make the right choice for you. You and your son are luckier than most of us. I hope you make the most of it!! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ya, nothin's set in stone right now. At the very minimum it's going the "Resto-Mod" direction. I want the "Old Car" without having to drive the "Old Car", kno what I mean. I'm sure a ton of guy's on here will blast me for that, but it's my car. I get a lot of crap from some guy's on my FJ Cruiser forum for some stuff I do on my truck & that's what I tell them too. Anyway, I emailed the guy that will be stuck doing most of the work & we'll see what he has to say. I'm hitting him on the blind side with this project. I have no idea how much fabrication or modification would be required for this engine swap, but that's why I'm fishin' here, looking for someone that may have tried this already. Stay tuned, same Bat time, same bat channel........................
BTW:GeeTeeohguy, mine is the same color as the car in your avatar.
 

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I'd keep it correct. Pull the heads off the 389 and see what size the pistons are, they should be marked with the overbore size on the tops. You can safely go to .060" over with no fears. Fix that Tri-Power set up and you'll be soooo happy with the performance!!
If you're going to rebuild, go forged internals and be sure to balance the rotating assembly. :cheers
 

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With the work & money you would have in dropping a 6.0 in you will being wishing at some point you had just rebuild the original engine. The engine change as been done many times all ready. Think there was at least two or three of them at Nationals this year. Probably even a kit out there some where.. But you are looking for input and my vote would be NO all so.... Where you out of???????? LES
 

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I drive new cars all the time, and trust me, they're not all that great. They are superior in braking, handling, fuel economy, and wind noise at speed. They are inferior in ride quality, overall quality, and comfort (for the most part). The big diiff between older cars and new is the overdrive transmissions the new cars have, fuel injection, great brakes, and great handling. Flush glass also, for low wind noise. To Resto-Mod your '66, you can add disc brakes, suspension mods, sound deadener, fuel injection, and an overdrive trans. What you will have is a comfortable, dependable car that has a little more wind noise than the new rides, but has a much nicer ride, due to its body-on-frame rear wheel drive platform. I still say to stick with a real Pontiac engine, and modify the rest to suit. A torquey Pontiac engine hooked to an overdrive trans with good brakes and suspension will surprise you with its performanc, reliability, ease of maintainence, and economy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya, I'm starting to add things up in my head. I'm going to pull the heads offas soon as the broken leg heals up a bit & see what the story is in there. If my father has his facts straight (knows less than nothing about cars), he tells me my uncle had the engine rebuilt several times, like 3 times. So I'm guessing it's at 60 over now & that would mean sleeves if there not already in there.
 

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A lot of times "back in the day" folks did a "ring and bearing" overhaul to save money. No overbore, just a hone job. You may very well be fine. Check out all the neat and pricey stuff Butler Performance has for your engine.....that'll get you going!!
 

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my vote is to stick w/pontiac powerplant and go for disks all around, can lower a little if you like, good rubber and wheels, anything from air suspension/coil-overs/High performance shocks readily available and reasonably priced if you search. heavy duty sway bars and suspension components as money allows....with a car that can be made to handle like this (
) out of the box parts and a stock 400+ hp under the hood how can you go wrong....once your son drives a poncho he will be hooked forever as we all are
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have decided to keep the 389 in the car. I'm waiting for a reply from a guy on ebay right now, he has a 389 that is under construction & will build to buyer spect.'s. I'd be looking for stock/factory #'s as I just want a cruiser, as stated. The 389 comes complete pan to Tri-Power, basically, drop in & bolt it up. He's a bit on the pricey side at $7500, & I think that's a little over the top for me right now but thinking about it because it's drop in & run. It would save me the time & labor of doing my motor over & I can always do the original engine in the future. I'm still lining up the whole rebuild the original engine deal, but this is a tempting option.
 

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glad your staying with pontiac power, whatever mods you make save every piece you take off to stay with the car, you will not regret it
 

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I have decided to keep the 389 in the car. I'm waiting for a reply from a guy on ebay right now, he has a 389 that is under construction & will build to buyer spect.'s. I'd be looking for stock/factory #'s as I just want a cruiser, as stated. The 389 comes complete pan to Tri-Power, basically, drop in & bolt it up. He's a bit on the pricey side at $7500, & I think that's a little over the top for me right now but thinking about it because it's drop in & run. It would save me the time & labor of doing my motor over & I can always do the original engine in the future. I'm still lining up the whole rebuild the original engine deal, but this is a tempting option.
If the engine and tri-power are a quality rebuild and truely a drop in and run deal, that isn't a bad price. I have a date correct block and heads that I got ripped on last winter that I was quoted $6,500 to bring back to life with 3 sleeves, a forged stroker crank, balanced rotating assembly, all new valve seats, stainless valves, etc, etc. That is just a long block assembly....no tin or intake system.
 

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Check out Rukee's burn out links, for the longest time I thought he had a 455 in that car, but it's a 389 and plenty fast! Is the motor that rusty that you need to overbore it?
Good luck on the build, nice project! Let the kid wait for the car til your gone then will it to him...
The protouring thing is pretty hard to look past. I want an OD tranny in my car, they sell adapters for under $100 to put a OD trans in your car, everyone on here says to use the a modified 200R4.
 

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A well built 389 is a great engine....I've had several! You will be happy with one $7500 is fair depending on whats inside.....a properly restored set of Trips gotta be $1500........E:cheers
 

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I' m doing two 66' gto some day. One is mostly stock with the 400 pontiac and th350 or a 200r4 not sure yet. the other is going to be a ls1 six speed. i have them just need time and money.
 
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