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76ChevyTrucker

I found one!

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Hey guys, I know I should probably add this to my Long-term project thread, but this is rather profound to me. I believe I have found my project car. Now I must wait until I come up with the 1,000 required to procure such vehicle.

Turns out there's a little abandoned house down the road from my grandparents and parents houses. Sitting in the backyard happens to be 1 1963, possibly 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix. The car is red in color with a white interior (don't ask my how I found this out considering the "no trespassing" signs up). There is rust along the rear window sill, but it doesn't appear to be rust-through. I heard through a friend of a friend, whom is also interested in the same car that the owner of the property is willing to depart with said Grand Prix for $1k. I know that the cars came with either a 389 or a 421 under the hood, and probably came with either a 2sp Powerglide or a 3sp manual, possibly a 4sp. The biggest question would be, should I keep such engine and rebuild it with a modern intake and fuel injection system, or toss the engine and put in a more modern powerplant and FI combo?

As soon as I find the camera, I'll run by and take some pictures of it.

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Great find, tho 1st gen GPs are not rare. I own a '64 and tho it's in long-term storage, I love this model dearly.

Correct on the engine: either the Trophy 389 or 421, tho 98% were seemingly 389s. Great, great motor- you'll have no problems with it, there's loads of aftermarket support & parts (tho not on the order of -say- Chevy), and it's a strong mill. No way in hell would I go thru the bother of an R&R for an anonymous SB FI, for more reasons than merely that the 389 is a vey good motor.

No PowerGlide in f/S Pontiacs of this era- trans options were 3-spd manual, HD 3-spd manual, 4-spd manual or the 3-spd Roto-HydraMatic automatic. That trans has it's detractors, but I drove a RHM '64 Cat daily for 2+ years and adjusted correct (easily via linkage), it performs well (but differently). Don't hold you breath for a manula trans tho, you're only looking at a 5% installation rate.

Another issue in swapping for a non-Pontiac motor is that if you wish to go with an automatic, a THM-400 will not fit without 'persuasion' on the trans tunnel. How this would affect the console's fit, I don't know. I don't have the relative sizes of a -say- 700R4 handy- but bear in mind the performance level/driving style vs. trans capabilities. I wanted an OD trans for my '59 but the only one that'll handle the power/traction is $5K (4L80E). Manuals would be no problem, but it is not cheap to locate the complete circa-'64 clutch pedal assembly.

I have all the codes and factory info for big Pontiacs of the '60s- let me know whatever numbers you want decoded. I'm interested in this project- my files are at your disposal.

Describe the headlights/taillights and I can ID the year.... or of course you could google '63s and '64s- the differences are clear.

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the TH 200 4r can handle up to about 450 hp and is slightly smaller and has overdrive which will give you great gas mileage in a smaller package. TCI makes one for about 1300 there used a lot in amature circle track cars. tho you might need a computer for the TC lock up if you plan to have it. again better for cruising a gas mileage

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acutally, I was thinking of going with a 6spd manual transmission once I got the car. Thanks for letting me know about the 389 balth, that really helps and restores confidence in not having to buy an engine, maybe rebuild the existing one, but not buy a new one outright. I know if I go with a 6spd, I'll have to modify the transmission tunnel and probably a few other things, but I'm not really looking for a complete factory restore. I'm looking to resto-rod this one so that it will look relatively stock, but have a lot of modern enhancements, like one of the first things I'm going to do is do a complete brake swap and replumb if I can get this car. I know that there is a certain nostalgia about driving an all drum car, but at the same time, I like the stopping performance of all disc.

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Please do NOT mess up a great 389 by installing EFI on it.

If you had 5,000 to do it right I'd still say don't but if you

plan on driving it everyday and not as some show car &

you want to do it on a budget then do NOT mess w/ some

jimmy rigged fuel rail & computer.

Other than that just enjoy the hell out of the car, but try

to keep it original.

Balthazar:

If I ever win the Lottery or inherit a bunch of money I

want first dibs on your awsome G/P, between those

awsome 8-lug wheels and the great patina the car has I

can imagine it being a kickass 100% stock drag car &

weekend road warrior.

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'64 test I have of a Cat with period skinny-assed bias plys did 60-0 in 145'- didn't 4W disc vettes in the '90s do it in 138' ?? I think 140' is camry-range; not that that's your benchmark :rolleyes: but that's a modern car's stooping range right there.

Put 8-lugs and Kevlar shoes on it- 8-lugs look better than any wheel going and are being re-popped. I've heard that you can get '90s Caprice spindles/discs to fit, not sure, but you're talking a major job and expense (not that the repop 8-lugs would be cheap) when you could already be driving with comparable results. Besides, modern tires will make a world of stopping distance by themselves.

Best general advice I can give you RE a vintage cruiser is: never assume a more modern system is better just because it's newer- these old cars will surprise you once you check up on their numbers. The big cars were not de-engineered like the intermediates: big Pontiac's brakes are NOT deficient or undersized.

6-speed might well require more tunnel surgery than a THM-400, but that would be cool. Mating it to the 389 will be a bitch, tho. You lucked out with a GP- in '64 the starters are block-mounted. Other '64s (but not the GTO) and pre-'64s have trans-mounted starters. If this GP is a '63, you're probably looking at a custom mounting plate.

What are you waiting for- get on Google and figure out the model year!

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When I said that I would building on a budget, what I meant was looking at the car, then pricing how much all the parts would be to put the car the way I want it, and then going about actually building it. I guess maybe using the word budget was the wrong choice. Perhaps I should have said that it was a financial plan for the car. Really and truly if I dropped EFI on the car, it would be from a reputable company that builds EFI units for that particular engine, there would be no "making it work" or anything like that. Then again, dependent upon which engine is actually in the car, I might just drop a modern TBI-type unit on top of it and call it a day. It all depends on what kind of shape the car is. Basically what I want is a car that if I want to, I can light the tires up and leave nice, long, rubbery black lines behind me, but at the same time, in daily use, it can get a respectable 20-25mpg (hence why I want to go EFI and a 6spd manual).

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Balth, I'm not saying that drum brakes are ancient technology, if they were cars wouldn't carry them still to this day. I know that the big cars were built just that, big, everything was designed for something even bigger than they were for reliability and efficiency. Anyway I did it as far as stopping is concerned, I'd be completely replumbing the brake system anyway (we did on the '66 International just for the sake of it), so I figured what the hay, might as well do it to the next project I get. As far as the year, its a '63, the headlights cut into the fenders and it has the same side-body profile as a '63, not a '64 which has more frenched-in headlights that do not cut into the fender. Again, thanks for the information about the starter, I didn't know that they were transmission mounted prior to '64. I've heard some rumblings from the friend of mine that the original engine was swapped out of it, but I haven't had the chance to confirm this. He says the original engine locked up and whomever drove the car until its parking dropped a Poncho 400 in there (all in all, not a bad motor, at least its still Pontiac-powered). If it is, I might go with the engine transplant, or I may leave her be.

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A 400 is just a bored 389- same motor for all intents & purposes. If you get the engine code, I will ID it.

If it is a 400, I am sitting here wondering what trans it's hooked to. May already have a THM-400 then- giving room for most any option.

I would not be comfortable with a 200R4- it's not the HP as much as the TRQ that's the issue. A few 'rubber-burning' tweaks and you're right at 400 HP anyway, but a stock 303 HP 389 is 430 TRQ (gross) as is. I prefer to over-engineer.

25 MPG is going to be impossible here- 6-spd would add what- 15% to MPG? My Cat was a 2bbl (hi-CR) 389 with the RHM and 2.67 gears. I tracked every tankful- over 2 years it averaged right about 15 (I have a half-ton right foot, tho). GPs ran 3.08 gears standard with automatics (BTW- this is one of the coveted racing rears, the '57-64 Olds/Pontiac units) and average weight is going to be around 4000 for a lightly-optioned car. MPG of that degree is going to only be the result of major powertrain re-engineering. I say F'it and enjoy the car.

I do not know of any purpose-built FI units for real Pontiac engines, but new stuff is coming out all the time.

A red '63 GP with a white interior is a fantastic color combo on a kick-ass car! Pics as soon as possible, please!

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http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.a...mp;autoview=sku

Well Theres a conversion kit with computer and stuff, Fuel rails. You just need a new intake manifold. 1000 cfm also available in 2000 cfm for about 300 more. I would do more research on it though.

Edited by capriceman
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I understand your concern but the 200 4r's have held there own on heavily modified Buick GNX's I have seen them with a stock trans race in the high 12's.

20-25 is not going to happen. I struggle to get 18 mpg in the caprice with a small 305. while high way i can get well into the mid 20's

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It sounds sweet! Get it !

*grins*

My thoughts, EXACTLY!

76CT, I know I haven't posted in it, but I have been following your other thread about a potential project car for you. Sounds like this one would be a great start for you :). GOOD LUCK!

Cort:33swm."Mr Monte Carlo.Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

PICS:lego.HO.model.MCinfo.RT.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Got my pedal to the metal" ... Sheryl Crow ... 'Real Gone'

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>>"I understand your concern but the 200 4r's have held there own on heavily modified Buick GNX's I have seen them with a stock trans race in the high 12's."<<

Oh; I am well aware of GNs, but those are blown cars: they tend to launch easier than a circa 450 TRQ @ 2500 car. My stock '64 GP with the 303/389, auto & 3.08s would overpower the open rear and do side-to-side alternating wheel burnouts. 200R-4 should be fine for a stock cruiser... I just have trouble leaving vintage iron alone underhood and always plan for more powertrain-stressing HP/TRQ.

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First things first, I need to get contact information for the guy who owns the property so that I can legally go out there and examine the car. I really don't want to get out there during the day, or night and have the county mounties come and remind me that there ARE "No Trespassing" signs up. I know that 25mpg will be damn near impossible with a 300+ horse engine, but I figure if I can get ahold of some lower gear ratios for the rear and couple that to a 6spd, then possibly I could see 20, maybe a little higher if I don't go and have my normal lead foot. I've done some digging around and I haven't found a true fuel injection set-up for a real Poncho engine, but I can probably come up with one myself and slightly modify the existing intake to accept it. I didn't know that the Pontiac 400 and Pontiac 389 were family (well, of course they're family, but you know what I mean).

Now once I get official permission to get out there, I'm going to take a buttload of pictures, along with look the car over with a VERY fine tooth comb. This will include getting into the doors, hood and trunk to examine everythign in there. After that I'll get every GM number I can find so that you can help me on this one Balth. I will really really appreciate everything I can get as far as information on this car.

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More info: Factory '63 rear ratios: 2.56, 2.69, 2.87, 3.08, 3.23, 3.42, 3.64, 3.90.

Unfortunately, it takes 3 different carriers to make all these ratios work. I want to say the range for Carrier 1 is 2.56, Carrier 2 is 2.69 - 3.23 (I KNOW for a fact that 3.23s are the top cogs for Carrier 2) and 3.42 and above is Carrier 3.

This means the ratio this GP would have with it's most-likely powertrain of a RHM 389 4bbl is 3.23s and the lowest gears you could put in that same rear would be either the 2.87s (special order gearset- not likely to be repopped today) or the 2.69s- can't recall for positive where the break is, but it's one of the 2. I don't know how much of a savings you'd see...

If the calculations showed a decent MPG rise, low gear rears will be relatively inexpensive to find: everyone wants the 3.42 & up pumpkins.

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I can not stress enough how carefull you should be to not

screw up or rip out good, solid stock components to just

get on the EFI/disk brakes/20" rim bandwagon. Balthazar

knows what he's talking about. I'd measure THREE times

and cut once. Stock/rebuilt is where it's at if you ask me!

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To each his own: I cannot vehemently campaign for factory stock RE a model PMD built 72K of, even tho I LOVE first gen GPs. And mild mods are fine IMHO if they are upgrading deficient components... but I have discussions all the time online with people wanting to swap out X-component because the perception is 'newer is better' and as a result 'older must suck and is now actually dangerous'.

A very few things should be unilaterally upgraded: tires (there are those who will disagree strongly) and batteries. Everything after that is a judgement call from personal opinion.

Now, I have performed/scheduled extensive mods for my B-59 because I want it to be ripping quick, and the factory powertrain /aftermarket would not allow it. When I started, the car hadn't appreciated in the 6 prior years since buying it. Since I started, it's more than tripled in #1 restored condition. Too late to turn back and I don't want to.

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Yeah.... if I cross a "NO TRESSPASSING" sign to look at a car

PHOTOS are involved. Get your digital camera & let's see it.

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And mild mods are fine IMHO if they are upgrading deficient components... but I have discussions all the time online with people wanting to swap out X-component because the perception is 'newer is better' and as a result 'older must suck and is now actually dangerous'.

A very few things should be unilaterally upgraded: tires (there are those who will disagree strongly) and batteries. Everything after that is a judgment call from personal opinion.

AGREED!!!

Every time some one asks me about a classic build up i tell them a few things spend the money and get Retro looking modern tires. A new battery and place it and a "Classic battery case" (seen it a couple of times it looks good). Also If the proper gauges aren't on the dash put them in the glove box or have them slide out of the bottom of the dash if they want to hide them. Water temp, oil pressure, voltage, and (if you have a auto trans) trans temp. Are very important if you have a expensive hopped up engine under the hood.

Although, The front drums to disk brakes is a very good mod how ever the rears would be a lot harder of a mod.

Im very partial to fuel injection, I think its one of the better improvements on cars besides crumple zones and collapsible steering columns. However A properly tuned carb on this car will fit the bill alot better. And you don't need to hack anything.

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>>"Although, The front drums to disk brakes is a very good mod..."<<

On some vehicles; sure, but in my experience: it's very unnecessary on this car.

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Hey guys, I know I should probably add this to my Long-term project thread, but this is rather profound to me. I believe I have found my project car. Now I must wait until I come up with the 1,000 required to procure such vehicle.

Turns out there's a little abandoned house down the road from my grandparents and parents houses. Sitting in the backyard happens to be 1 1963, possibly 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix. The car is red in color with a white interior (don't ask my how I found this out considering the "no trespassing" signs up). There is rust along the rear window sill, but it doesn't appear to be rust-through. I heard through a friend of a friend, whom is also interested in the same car that the owner of the property is willing to depart with said Grand Prix for $1k. I know that the cars came with either a 389 or a 421 under the hood, and probably came with either a 2sp Powerglide or a 3sp manual, possibly a 4sp. The biggest question would be, should I keep such engine and rebuild it with a modern intake and fuel injection system, or toss the engine and put in a more modern powerplant and FI combo?

As soon as I find the camera, I'll run by and take some pictures of it.

Good for you 76CT, I'm on the real hunt for a 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix to restore. It has to be a 68, nothing else will satisfy me!

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Well boys and girls, still haven't gotten the contact information. This weekend will hopefully make that happen. Actually, if I can, I may run down to my parent's tomorrow morning and see if I can sneak in really quickly snap some initial pictures, then get the hell away from there as fast as I can. I know that one of the best ideas for this car would be modern tires, bias-ply tires are fine for something that is going to be trailered to a location, then trailiered back, but if its going to be an everyday driver (such as this one would), I want modern tires. Drum brakes wouldn't be all that bad of a thing on the car, and if I did any conversion, I would first look at doing just the fronts. I take you word to heart saying that the original drums on the car are plenty sufficient to stop the car, and if I can still find all the parts that I need (which if I can't, I'll be very scared since I work for an auto parts store), then I'll probably just restore the original system. If I can't, then I'll do a front conversion and call it a day. As far as the battery is concerned, I can find the "antique" battery case anywhere, that's no big deal, or I can just relocate the battery to the trunk if I so desire.

Also, thanks for the information on the rear axle ratios, that'll help me out a whole lot. I really want a car that is going to make one fine street cruiser. I know that the car has plenty of bone-jarring power all on its own, so doing power modifications would probably be mostly unnecessary. I however, do have one question for you Balth, on the issue of the starter being transmission mounted on the '63s, IF I could get ahold of a 389 from say, a 64, or slightly newer engine, would it have a mounting pad for the starter? If so, then I could probably find one, then do the transmission swap without worrying about where I'm going to strap a starter on at.

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Well y'all, the plan is underway, tomorrow morning will involve going and trespassing a little to get some pictures of this car.

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