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Old 11-18-2017, 02:34 PM   #1
davepl
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Frame-off Restoration approach question

Looking for some feedback from folks who have restored a basket case.

This isn't for a truck, it's actually for a car (you can read about it on http://1969Pontiac.blogspot.com ) but I'm looking for input on the restoration process, not anything specific to trucks.

Basically, I've got a 1-of-1 rare car that's a basket case. Motor, trans, cowl and vin tags, and a rusty body. The car was completely disassembled years ago without rhyme or reason and they just threw bolts in coffee cans and left the pieces inside the trunk or car.

I'm thinking I'll need a second car, a rust-free plain two car car to harvest all the little wiring harnesses and fasteners and pieces that I'm no doubt missing.

But here's my question: in a case like this, where you're dealing with an unknown number of missing parts, I wonder if it's not worth the additional step of building the complete unrestored car out of the two donors first. Then you blow the assembled car apart and restore it as a whole.

The other option is to restore the body of the "important" car and then build it back up with parts, as needed, from the "donor" car. But on a fabrication build you always build the car once pre-paint to see if things fit. I know things will "fit", but I don't know I have all the needed parts.

Any input? I've done a full frame off before, but never a "basket case", so it's new territory for me.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:10 PM   #2
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

Rebuilding the car first then redoing it again is a long process. Starting with say the frame, then the motor etc is the way most do it. Those Pontiacs are still accessible in Canada (kijiji etc) but a lot were crushed due to their worth. Not many 2+2 convertibles around, especially with those powertrain options. Good luck
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

Dave, i'm read many of your comments and you are more than capable to do this. Probably the complete scope of the project is a little overwhelming but i would start with what you have in front of you and take it as far as you can. Between forums, ebay, etc, nothing is a mystery anymore. Bolts, clips, harness, etc is avaliable, and if it's a special rare item you probably wouldn't get it with a spare car. A lot of time and expense would be used looking and dragging home a spare. Vendors now sell complete bolt packages for cars, trucks, as an example. I say dive in and don't look back! Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:45 PM   #4
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

Start with what you have frame suspension drive train body etc then tackle unknown as you go a parts car is never a bad as long as you can get a descent deal but only part it out as you go
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

The end result you are looking for would be a good place to start. If it's to be a 100% correct restoration, a donor may have some merit. If you are modding some, such as better brakes, factory options etc. a lot will be aftermarket or off brand rebuilt so a donor would be less help.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

IMO a complete parts car would sure be a bonus, finding the right donor? But stranger things have happened, keep looking, asking, searching.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

I think when the car arrives I'll go through the parts and see how bad it is... somehow I've got to make an "inventory" of what I'm missing, and I do have an assembled coupe to check against, which is good, but NOWHERE to get any parts.

So it depends on how much is missing and what I need, I guess. If there are tons of little things missing (glove box locks, radio knobs, ashtray lids, rear defroster, I dunno) then maybe a parts car makes sense, since there are no wreckers to visit.

If it's just a few parts, then I'd scrounge for those separately. Part of the problem is to know what I'm missing in the first place.

I definitely need rear sheet metal, I think, so if I can find a non-rusty 2-door it's a nobrainer. But that might not be easy, and a non-rusty 2-door is going to run 5K I think.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

So Dave....are you looking for another '69 Canadian Pontiac for parts, miscellaneous, etc?

If so, I can keep an eye out on this side of the pond for anything in my vicinity or on the island...
I have good connections on the island from here up to the Comox Valley.
In terms of Alberta....I have good connections in Calgary too.....nothing in Edmonton tho'.

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Old 11-22-2017, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

I am indeed... unfortunately these cars were quite prone to rust, and while Regina (Saskatchewan) didn't use salt, many cities did. There's not much left... but I bet there could be a few beaters kicking around small towns still!
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:40 PM   #10
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Smile Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

Quote:
Originally Posted by davepl View Post
I am indeed... unfortunately these cars were quite prone to rust, and while Regina (Saskatchewan) didn't use salt, many cities did. There's not much left... but I bet there could be a few beaters kicking around small towns still!
Definitely....particularly on a lot of the prairies.
My in-laws live in Saskatchewan (just outside of Regina) and we are back there every couple of years.
There are some amazingly solid older cars and trucks still sitting around in yards, farms, etc.
I found a boatload in a wrecking yard near the Alberta border (sask side) 3 years ago....just of the no.1 hwy.
I had no time, no tools and no resources to take advantage of the dozens of older trucks and older cars there when I was in the yard.
2 years later I went to visit it again...and the entire yard was gone....emptied, crushed.....gone, nothing but a dirt patch.....damn near cried, lol.
Regardless....I always keep my brother in law in mind if I find something nice and interesting in that area. He has a 20 acre farm and a very nice, empty storage building....lol....plus he is a car guy.

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Old 11-22-2017, 03:10 PM   #11
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

I would use the parts car as a working guide and not blow it apart as well. Only as needed to figure something out or use a part.

Your biggest hurdle will be the top.

I have my dad's 67 firebird which is basically a bare shell. No interior, not much under the hood... I'm going to have A LOT of time and money in researching and buying what's missing... it's not like I can buy a cheap 4 door version, or even a beat up one for any kind of affordable price, so I'll be catalog and pictures building it.

You're truck is amazing. You know what to do
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:58 PM   #12
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

I think a donor is a great idea, even if it takes awhile to find. If the disassembly of the donor is well documented, (photos,video,notes) the "important" car will go together much easier. Your truck is nice and this 2+2 will be too
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:35 AM   #13
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Re: Frame-off Restoration approach question

Wow, great story. Is this of any help?

http://www.pontiacparadise.com/galle...e-canadian.php
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