Some fasteners are torqued...
Some fasteners are torqued with more than 100 ft-lb and are difficult to remove. A compressor is essential equipment for many of the procedures performed during a restoration. A single-stage air compressor is adequate for many smaller jobs. If, however, you’re going to paint, you need a two-stage compressor with a large tank to maintain consistent air pressure for extended periods. It powers air wrenches, grinders, paint sprayers, and countless other items. Take special care when using an air wrench to loosen rusty bolts, as it can easily break off the heads, which is a frustrating and time-consuming operation to correct.
I’m a very organized person and I know some great techniques for managing a restoration. I learned them all the hard way, by not following common-sense procedures and doing all of the stupid things that people often do. My biggest lesson learned? Never rely solely on your memory! Here are four tips that will keep you out of trouble:
1. Photograph every part as you remove it.
2. Tag or catalog each part.
3. Do not mix components from one system with another.
4. Organize and bag smaller system components and fasteners.
This is a common sight during...
This is a common sight during body disassembly and inspection. Water pooled up around the windshield and backlight, and over time it rusted through. GTOs are like most other cars of the ’60s in this regard. If you can see rust damage beyond the molding, there absolutely will be more hiding under it. To fix this problem, remove the windshield trim, windshield adhesive, and windshield. Once removed, you can see rust damage from years of invasive moisture. At this stage, you need to thoroughly clean out the area and remove the water, leaves, and whatever else is in there. Then media-blast the area to remove all the rust and and get down to the bare metal. In some cases, an entirely new windshield mounting channel needs to be fabricated.
From this list, you probably have a pretty good idea of the focus of this chapter. The last thing you need is a bunch of mystery bolts or small pieces rolling around on the garage floor to be lost or damaged. The old joke about fixing a car and having extra pieces left over is no joke when it happens to you and you have no idea where those things should go. The goal of this chapter is to help you prevent these kinds of problems.
The location for your restoration project should be a clean, secure area that does not get high foot traffic or unwanted attention. Ideally, it should be no smaller than a two-car garage. You need one bay for the car itself and the other for space to organize the removed parts and to do the actual work. The work area should have a bench and/or a sturdy work table that safely holds heavy parts.
As part of making a specific...
As part of making a specific task list for the restoration process, carefully inspect and evaluate the body. From this list, you can compile a parts list and then develop a cost estimate for completing the restoration project. In the case of this ’64 GTO, body filler was used to repair this rust hole, but it was done incorrectly. This time around it will be done the right way, with the addition of a sheetmetal patch. In this particular restoration, it was important to retain as much of the originality of the car as possible, so the original fender was retained and repaired.
While it is true that people have successfully restored vehicles in smaller spaces, and even outdoors, the chances of pieces being lost, damaged, or stolen go up dramatically. It is also beneficial to have a storage area for pieces not being worked on. A remote rented storage area can be helpful for storing larger components, though transportation and cost can become a factor.
The depth and detail of your project dictate tool purchases. Will you be doing your own bodywork and paint? If not, you can skip the body hammers and spray gun, and put those resources toward items you will be using. You do need a quality socket set; screwdrivers; a torque wrench; various hammers and mallets for “massaging” jammed or sticking parts; metal or approved plastic containers for gasoline, oil, anti-freeze and other liquids; and draining pans.
For power tools, a compressor is a wonderful and invaluable tool that saves an immense amount of time with most operations. Pneumatic lines, an air-impact wrench, sockets, and grinding wheels ease the burden of disassembly and help speed up assembly procedures. Your shop needs 220-volt electrical service, which may involve some upgrades to your wiring.
Successfully finishing a complete...
Successfully finishing a complete GTO restoration is no small task, and when taking on that task, you need to organize and document the entire process. Simply going off memory when disassembling the vehicle and its many components is a recipe for disaster. This book provides detailed instruction, and the factory manuals have detailed parts schematics, but you need to document how complex components are disassembled. I strongly recommend that you take extensive notes in a notebook or an Excel file, so that when disassembly commences, the process progresses steadily and smoothly with a minimal amount of hassle. In addition, I also recommend using a digital camera. For a resto job, a small point-and-shoot camera with both still-photo and video capabilities is an invaluable aid in the documentation of your restoration. You can even record short movies showing how some of the more complex assemblies go together. These feature-packed little workhorses are in the $150 to $200 range, and the quality just keeps gettin
Other tools that make life easier include transmission jacks, an engine hoist, an arc welder, and hub pullers of various sizes. These are items that you can purchase, rent, or even borrow from friends, relatives, or co-workers) as you need them.
Some specialized tools are fairly inexpensive, but can greatly assist in your restoration project. A small assortment of trim-removal tools goes a long way to helping preserve the delicate stainless moldings, as they are often quite fragile and easily break if the clips aren’t properly releasing the parts. The fact that they are expensive and usually hard to find makes purchasing the right tool for the job a high priority.
If your project becomes a body-off affair, a rotisserie is a good investment. Having the ability to take a bare body and flip it upside-down for repair and body-panel replacement is a benefit that is well worth the added expense. If you are especially handy and know how to weld, you can build one yourself. There are plans and kits available on the Internet, and if you don’t want to spend $1,500-$2,000 for one, this is a very viable alternative. Just put the phrase “auto rotisserie kits and plans” in your favorite search engine and find what is best for your project and budget.