HQ GTS Coupe restoration
ok, here is the new project, a 1972 HQ GTS Monaro, has a 307 chev mated to a turbo 400/ 9" diff, the driveline will be removed at some stage and sold off to pay for some of the repairs, until then we have a LOT of work to do.....so here we go!!!
The first order of business to attend to is a thorough inspection of the vehicle (i only had a quick look Before i bought it, checked the numbers, realised i was looking at a genuine GTS coupe and promptly bought it)
very minor rust is present, along with a number of very negligent scrapes and bumps (previous owners were gifted people you could say) The clear coat on top of the paint has also de-laminated(peeled off) quite abit, which has me concerned because 9 times outta 10 poor preperation is to blame.The clear must be applied with 8hrs of the base-coat otherwise delamination will occur.
the worst visible damage on the vehicle is the passenger side front, previous owners must of hit a post/guard rail/shopping trolley. Not exactly sure what i am going to do with this yet.
nose cone has been removed and thrown in the bin, the cost of repairing the damage exceeded the cost of finding a suitable replacement panel, all bolts were placed into snap lock bags and marked with a texta, so nothing gets lost and will assist when trying to find bolts when i put this thing back together!!
note: you can see the delamination of the clear on top of the bonnet.
ok, so next we have removed the bonnet, guards and windscreens, at this stage i had sorta decided to rub the clear back and re-paint the car in the gun metal grey and do a full resto at a later date, read on and you will see that i got a little carried away.....
note: see boot lid has had minor repair.
rust in lower rear qtr panel
guard being repaired
engine and gearbox removed, along with brake booster, heater box etc etc etc, 99% of the body repairs have taken place by this stage, then after getting a quote for $5,500 for $2000 worth of work,i cracked the shits and decided to bare metal the car.....
I found a damn good painter and after a few discussions it was decided to chemically strip the car, There were a number of very dodgy repairs and my panel beaters recent work was also pretty ordinary, rust was forming under most of the old paintwork and the painter and i realised that the car had a bare metal respray in the last 10years or so, but was done very very poorly, acrylic paint and acrylic primers have a tendency of letting moisture through hence any plates, bog or otherwise is just a time bomb waiting to go off!!!
fortunatley the cowl was rust free as was the roof and rear pillar joins, but my painter and i were not real happy with shell, so it was decided to send the car to the sandblasters and blast out every single repair...including the repairs that had been recently carried out, that way we could be sure that we had a nice clean surface to start with and there would'nt be any problems with the new paint.
here is the shell in the booth at the sandblasters
rear qtrs, sills, around the windscreens, floorpans, rear beaver were all blasted and etch primed.
the back end, worst bit of rust is in the rear beaver panel, this would of gone un-noticed if we didn't completley strip the car.
the otherside, The shell is in very good order for a 34 year old car, The sandblasting didn't show up any major nasty surprises, however the floorpans are looking are not looking real flash so it was decided to replace 3 of them.
the car was delivered back to the panel beater, for ALL of the repairs to be redone, at this stage i am a little stressed because i have blown the budget and we havent even got to the doors, boot, guards or bonnet yet!!!!!!
these are also to be bare metaled!
note: rear qtr needs minor filling over new plate
Lugs for the prem trim were also ground off, i have always thought that they have been a real bad idea, as it is a breeding ground for rust, i have seen some HQ's with the lower sill non-existant, fortunatley this one is rust free and the marks from the grinding process required minimal filler.
The sandblasting process has left the floorpans looking very ordinary indeed, so 3 new floorpans were sourced through none other than rare spares.....haven't done any cutting yet, the purpose of putting it on top is to make sure we have the right part.
after we make sure that we have been sent the correct part, the cutting commences, once we have the template, it will be used to make an exact copy of the piece that was removed.
this photo shows the rear passenger side floor-pan welded into place
this photo shows the rusty piece which was removed
floor-pans all welded into place and primed
with most of the repairs made to the shell, it was time to tackle the panel, it was decided upon to chemically strip the doors and sandblast the inners, door jams and all the hard to get to places
oh dear, we have hit about 3 tins of bog on this door and you can clearly see all the rust forming underneath it all, again,if we had not stripped this off, it would of gone un-noticed.....un-noticed until it eventually lifted of the door anyway....
here is vic (my painter), sanding away all the existing bog, i had to get outside!!! was too bloody dusty!!!
and here we go this is what was under about 3 tins of bog, nice and mangled!!!!!!....ahh at least its not rusty
heat-shrinks and $$$$$ to be spent here....
I ain't feeling to well at this stage, already blown the budget......let's get ready to blow it some more
doors have arrived back from the sandblaster and are not lookin too bad....
guards have also arrived back from the blasters, i sourced a genuine GTS guard from a mate for the perfect price of $30.00,(replaced the dented one) just needed a new lower section welded on it!!
bonnet has come up good, no repairs needed, just some minor filling before it will be etch primed
boot half stripped, no apparent rust or repairs needed, so we just leave it sitting in the corner for now, we have other problems to deal with!
another nose cone was sourced(from the same mate i got the GTS guard off) this was also sent to the sandblasters and given the once over...
The doors have arrived back from the beaters, i have no idea what has happened with the doors after delivery from the sandblasters as i wasn't feeling real good, i was pretty stressed and just gave strict instructions to get them straight and give me the bill.....$650 later, i had a pair of straight doors.....
the guards came up well too
with the panel finally sorted, the repairs to the shell were finally finished and the car delivered back to the painter, shell was thoroughly sanded, de-oxidine solution applied and finally etch primed...
shell is 2pak primed and guide coat applied.....
is starting to look like a car again....sorta...
i was just browsing back at what i have posted here and it seems as all this work was done in a coupla weeks (i wish), so far the build has taken a good 4.5 months and there has been a shitload of work carried out which has been not documented here, along with copious amounts of non-sequential $100 bills and enough headaches to last a lifetime, these sorts of builds are not for the faint of heart, repainting a car is one thing, stripping to bare metal opens a whole new set of problems but is the only way to be sure...........massive blowouts of budget occured and no animals have been harmed in the making of this documentry..........yet.
this side has come up just as nice as the other
shell is aiming for the booth, i took a whole day off work to watch this process happen...the magical moment of masking...then the paint!!!
shell is finally masked up and ready for paint.......
here is the colour...the dublin green mettalic in C.O.B (clear over base)
look at those rear qtrs........vic, my painter spent 2 days gettin these right
look at those rear qtrs........vic, my painter spent 2 days gettin these right!!! yes 8hrs a side!
woah!!! look at those lines!!!
shell is finally home, after being thoroughly rustproofed including sills, rear qtrs, roof etc etc etc
The next order of business is to pull the front end suspension apart and rebuild it
front suspension completley dismantled and the chassis cleaned and painted
here is all the new front end suspension components waiting to fitted
i am still waiting on the control arms to be sandblasted, painted in 2k satin black and the new bushes to be fitted, so i have picked up the guards......they have come up smicko!! look at those lines!!!!
we also have picked up the doors,we have made a lot of progress....but there is ALOT of work still to do!!
These are Nice!!
the bonnet, this came up just as nice as the rest
the nose-cone, depending on the light, the colour seems to change
the boot.....yum yum yum!
finally we have ALL the panel home, i bought the car on 17th november 2005 and todays date is 24th april 2006, not a day has passed since it's inception where something, somewhere has been done to this car, whether it be shopping for new bits, cleaning parts, photos documenting the build, organising bits and pieces, obsessing over how is this thing gonna get built and How the F#$%@ am i gonna pay for it....
we have overcome a major milestone, as this is where most project cars get dumped, the cost of panel and paint is probably the hardest acheivement to overcome, massive blowouts of budget, highs and lows, desperation and despair, frustration and delight...sees many cars left in peoples front yards, wreckers and car crushers.....but i have never ever lost sight of what i have wanted to build and how i wanted it done.....this is one HQ GTS Monaro Coupe that is going to be finished.....one way or another.
here is some of the panel bolts, there is no way in the world i am going to clean these and paint them, so they are off to get cad plated......gold!!!
we have received the panel bolts back from the cad plater, unfortunatley only these ones are up to scratch, the rest will be HAVE to be redone
here is one of the dodgy bolts that need to be returned....would you put this on your car??????? didn't think so!
i have decided to hang the boot, as this will not be in the way when i am in and out of the car.....the hoodlining,dashpad, wiring, rear 1/4 window regulators and glass need to be fitted BEFORE i hang the front doors, i have a feeling they will only be in the way if i hang them now......
view from the front, i take random photos so i don't lose focus of what i am trying to build, i need to see my progress in front of me...... at least a dozen times in the last 4-5 months i have wanted to sell the car, due to fund shortages, frustration, things going wrong...but i have just walked away when things get abit too much..
do i want to sell it??? NO WAY!!!!
Engine and Gearbox
Engine and Gearbox will be a 308 and 4spd M21, I built this motor in september 2004 for my current ride at the time which was a nice HZ wagon, The motor has barely been run in and has done approx 9000kms so it will do just fine for the Gts Coupe, Information and pics can be found here: []
This motor will also be given the once over before it is fitted in the coupe
The Control arms, stub axles and steering arms have arrived back from the sandblasters, they have been etch-primed and are ready for vic (my painter)
The Control arms have been painted in 2k satin black, had new bushes pressed in and lower ball joints fitted
The suspension bolts couldnt be fitted all dirty and greasy, so i opted to get these cad plated as well.
this is a major problem when doing a resto, once you have painted something, a dirty bolt/nut/washer just looks so out of place!!!
lower control arms with the bolts fitted, looks better than brand new now
control arms (again!), stub axles and steering arms with the bolts fitted.
we have assembled the front suspension a little too hastily and have a made a boo-boo, this pic shows the spring not seated correctly, after a little mucking around it was also discovered that we don't have enough weight in the front of the vehicle to help compress the springs, i decided to fit the motor as to provide a little more weight to allow this to happen
Motor has been re-painted and fitted to the car so as to allow more weight in the front of the vehicle to help compress the springs (yes, MrsHQGts and i masked up every cad plated bolt before painting!) after a bit more thought i pulled the motor BACK out because the gearbox