HQ GTS Coupe restoration

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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!!!

1972 HQ GTS Monaro Coupe

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.

Front end damage

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.

Nose cone removed

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.

front and rear screens removed

rust in lower rear qtr panel

Monaro 027.jpg

guard being repaired

Munro 2.jpg

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.....

Monaro 001.jpg

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!!!

Monaro 050.jpg

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.

Monaro 044.jpg

here is the shell in the booth at the sandblasters

Monaro 061.jpg

rear qtrs, sills, around the windscreens, floorpans, rear beaver were all blasted and etch primed.

Monaro 067.jpg

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.

Monaro 065.jpg

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.

Monaro 066.jpg

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

Monaro 074.jpg

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.

Monaro 073.jpg

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.

Floor 1.jpg

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.

Floor 2.jpg

this photo shows the rear passenger side floor-pan welded into place

Monaro 123.jpg

this photo shows the rusty piece which was removed

Floor 3.jpg

floor-pans all welded into place and primed

Monaro 148.jpg

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

Monaro 082.jpg

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....

Monaro 084.jpg

here is vic (my painter), sanding away all the existing bog, i had to get outside!!! was too bloody dusty!!!

Monaro 140.jpg

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

Monaro 143.jpg

doors have arrived back from the sandblaster and are not lookin too bad....

Monaro 150.jpg

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!!

Monaro 149.jpg

bonnet has come up good, no repairs needed, just some minor filling before it will be etch primed

Monaro 079.jpg

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!

Monaro 090.jpg

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...

Monaro 125.jpg

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.....

Monaro 279.jpg

the guards came up well too

Monaro 289.jpg

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...

Monaro 177.jpg

shell is 2pak primed and guide coat applied.....

Monaro 201.jpg

is starting to look like a car again....sorta...

Monaro 216.jpg

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

Monaro 220.jpg

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!!!

Monaro 230.jpg

shell is finally masked up and ready for paint.......

Monaro 252.jpg

here is the colour...the dublin green mettalic in C.O.B (clear over base)

Monaro 270.jpg

look at those rear qtrs........vic, my painter spent 2 days gettin these right

Monaro 271.jpg

look at those rear qtrs........vic, my painter spent 2 days gettin these right!!! yes 8hrs a side!

Monaro 272.jpg

woah!!! look at those lines!!!

Monaro 307.jpg

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

Monaro 310.jpg

front suspension completley dismantled and the chassis cleaned and painted

Monaro 318.jpg

here is all the new front end suspension components waiting to fitted

Monaro 324.jpg

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!!!!

Monaro 331.jpg

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!!

Monaro 329.jpg

the bonnet, this came up just as nice as the rest

Monaro 332.jpg

the nose-cone, depending on the light, the colour seems to change

Monaro 334.jpg

the boot.....yum yum yum!

Monaro 335.jpg

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!!!

Monaro 337.jpg

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

Monaro 350.jpg

here is one of the dodgy bolts that need to be returned....would you put this on your car??????? didn't think so!

Monaro 340.jpg

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......

Monaro 346.jpg

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!!!!

Monaro 347.jpg

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: [[1]]

This motor will also be given the once over before it is fitted in the coupe

Monaro 351.JPG


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)

Monaro 353.JPG

Monaro 355.JPG

The Control arms have been painted in 2k satin black, had new bushes pressed in and lower ball joints fitted

Monaro 359.JPG

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!!!

Monaro 365.JPG

lower control arms with the bolts fitted, looks better than brand new now

Monaro 367.JPG

control arms (again!), stub axles and steering arms with the bolts fitted.

Monaro 368.JPG

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