How to Restore Your Pontiac GTO: 1964-1974

How to Restore Your Pontiac GTO: 1964-1974

by Donald Keefe


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Starting life as a hopped-up Tempest, the 1964 Pontiac GTO featured a 389 V-8, heavy-duty suspension, quick steering ratio, dual exhaust, and a floor shifter. Equipped with this performance package, the GTO set itself apart from other pedestrian coupes of the same era, and it made history. Many regard it as the first muscle car. As muscle car wars reached fevered pitch, the GTO would establish itself as one of the most prominent performance cars of the era, and from 1964-1972, more than 500,000 GTOs were built.

You are shown different levels of restoration and afforded the information to select the right type of restoration for your particular car. This book covers how to verify the authenticity of your particular car, the most desirable models to restore, and option information. Like our other Restoration Series books, this new entry focuses on the actual hands-on, how-to procedures for restoring a GTO to its original condition. Each chapter illustrates the key procedures for completing a specific portion of the restoration project with detailed captions and color photographs.

How to Restore Your Pontiac GTO covers all aspects of restoration - engines and drivelines, bodywork, interior and trim, suspension, brakes, chassis, and steering. The book provides guidance to assess your facilities, ability to do the work, and then determine the best course for completing the work. Sourcing and selecting the best parts for your restoration is also covered. If you are restoring any GTO of this time period, this book will be a valuable resource for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613253083
Publisher: CarTech, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/06/2015
Pages: 178
Sales rank: 593,824
Product dimensions: 10.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Currently, Don Keefe is editor-in-chief of Smoke Signals magazine, the Pontiac-Oakland Club International's monthly publication. He is also a contributing editor for High Performance Pontiac and is a former editor-in-chief of the now defunct Pontiac Enthusiast magazine. Don is an authority in the Pontiac muscle car community and has restored Pontiacs himself.

Table of Contents

Table Of Contents:
About the Author 4
Acknowledgments 4
Introduction 5
Chapter 1: Selecting a Project 6
What Are Your Goals? 7
Level of Restoration 8
Rarity, Condition and Originality 9
NOS, Used or Reproduction Parts 9
Evaluating a Project Car 9
Club Benefits 12
Use the Internet to Your Advantage 13
Some Friendly Advice 13
Chapter 2: Disassembly 14
Planning, Tracking and Budgeting 14
Get Organized 15
Workspace and Tools 16
Getting Started 17
Body Off or On? 18
Repair or Replace? 20
How Deep Are You Going? 21
It’s Really a Parts Car—Now What? 21
Safety 21
Chapter 3: Bodywork 26
Typical Rust Areas 26
Paint Removal 27
Repair Patches 29
Floorpan and Trunk Floor Replacement 30
Quarter Panel Replacement 33
Quarter Patch Panel Preparation 40
Rust Preventers 55
Dent Removal 56
Filler 56
Body Tags 56
Collision Damage 56
Prepare Body for Painting 64
Chapter 4: Painting 57
Selecting Paint 59
DIY or Professional? 59
Safety 59
Choosing a Body Shop 60
What Can You Do Yourself? 60
Spray Gun and Compressor Setup 62
Masking the Car 62
Painting 63
Chapter 5: Engine 69
Time for a Rebuild? 70
Identifying an Engine 71
Choosing a Machine Shop 73
Repair or Replace? 74
Detailing the Engine 76
Engine Disassembly and Inspection 79
Engine Assembly 83
Chapter 6: Transmission 88
Rebuild or Replace? 90
Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 90
Automatic Transmission Upgrades 90
Super Turbine 300 to Turbo 350 92
Overdrives 92
Manual Transmissions 93
Muncie 4-Speed Disassembly 95
Muncie 4-Speed Assembly 100
Chapter 7: Suspension 108
Restore Safety, Functionality and Appearance 109
Inspection and Evaluation 110
Paint Finishes 112
Upgrades 112
Chapter 8: Brakes 121
Repair or Replace? 123
Check for Condition 124
Aftermarket Systems 126
Master Cylinders, Proportioning Valves and Lines 126
1964 Rear Drum Brakes 126
Chapter 9: Interior 133
Disassembly and Evaluation of Components 134
Authentic Reproductions 135
Mix and Match? 136
Vapor Barriers 136
Carpet and Sill Panels 136
Carpet Installation 137
Door Panel Installation 140
Deck Package Installation 143
Dash Pad Restoration 144
Pedal Assemblies 145
Steering Wheels 145
Seat Belts 146
Kick Panels 146
Console 146
Seat Installation 147
Chapter 10: Body Assembly and Alignment 155
The Process 156
Surprises 156
Door Alignment 157
Front Fender Fitting and Alignment 160
Hood Installation 162
Bumper Installation 164
Chapter 11: Electrical 166
Inspection of the Wiring 167
Harness Replacement 169
Trouble Spots 171
Upgrades 171
Source Guide 175

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