New source of Pontiac GTO resto parts?

I found a new source for Pontiac GTO parts (and other brands, including Buick, Chevy, Ford, Mopar and Oldsmobile). It is Inline Tube, a company that specializes in "a variety of products for all classic cars and trucks... preformed brake lines, fuel & transmission lines, and straight length tubing sets, for custom applications and the street rod enthusiast... stainless and OEM parking brake cables, brake and fuel line clips, stainless and OEM brake flex hoses, proportioning valves, disc brake conversions, rear drum kits and many other under body products".

I've yet to buy anything from them but they came up in a Google search I was doing for a gas tank filler neck for my 1968 GTO (something that is impossible to find, unless it comes off a doner car, in which case it is mildly impossible to find - side note: looks like the Parts Place is the only one that offers this - a new tank for a 68 that comes with the filler neck). 

OPGI Redesigns Website

Original Parts Group launched a redesign of their Website today, offering better navigation, improved parts search and shopping cart functionality. It looks like an improvement to me so far.

New OPGI Website

Visit OPGI.com and check it out.

NPD Online and Print Catalog for 1964-1972 GTO Delivered



I finally got my National Parts Depot (NPD) 1964-1972 GTO, Tempest, Le Mans parts catalog in the mail yesterday! It is exciting to finally have a local (somewhat) alternative to my GTO parts shopping needs. The catalog features over 5000 parts specific to Pontiac GTO/Le Mans/Tempest muscle cars and includes 189 pages of glorious, full color, glossy photos.

According to NPD, their four warehouses are fully stocked and overflowing with GTO (and other) parts, enabling them to deliver your GTO parts faster than other competitors. You can expect delivery of your GTO parts within 1-3 days of placing your order. 98% of orders are in stock and shipped the same day.

At first browse, I was happy to see that they offer concours quality alternatives for the serious restorers, like the seat upholstery from Legendary Auto Interiors (page 6) that feature the "pinch" pleats like the original factory design. I've found that most other suppliers only offer the cheaper, non-original alternative. NPD offers both.

Check out the audio interview from themusclecarplace.com with Kirk Hansen from NPD's marketing department. He talks about putting the new catalog together and what NPD has to offer.



Of course, commerce is moving to the Internet now and so everything offered in the new NPD 1964-1972 GTO parts catalog is also available online, including the seat upholstery from Legendary Auto Interiors

I'll be shopping at NPD for sure so look for an update to my blog post on the best places to find OEM and Replacement GTO parts.

NPD Now Stocking GTO Parts

I wrote back in October how NPD was planning to offer parts for Pontiac GTOs. I have an update from Derek Putnam, Project Manager for GM Car Catalogs for National Parts Depot:

We’re still adding new products to our arsenal before we release the GTO/Lemans/Tempest catalog. At this point we’re looking at a June 2012 publish date. If you are looking for anything in particular at this point, we already have about 2000 part numbers in stock, so feel free to ask!

So it seems that you can order GTO parts from them. Just give them a call and tell them what you need. I'll provide a more comprehensive review of my customer experience and of their GTO parts catalog next month.

National Parts Depot

GTO Books

Here's a list of books about the Pontiac GTO. Some of these are essential reading for the collector, restorer or enthusiast. Click on the thumbnail images to see a preview of each book.
Thanks to books.google.com for the content!

GTO, 1964-1967

GTO, 1964-1967

Paul Zazarine - 1991 - Transportation - Limited preview
Design, production, and service histories of our most popular subjects combined with top-notch color photograph.
GTO: Pontiac's Great One

GTO: Pontiac's Great One

Darwin Holmstrom, David Newhardt - 2011 - Limited preview
In 1963 Pontiac's Chief Engineer John DeLorean and his two favorite staff engineers, Bill Collins and Russ Gee, came up with an inspired way to keep Pontiac cars in the performance limelight: bolt a big engine into Pontiac's upcoming Tempest ...
Original Pontiac GTO, 1964-1974: The Restorer's Guide 1964-1974

Original Pontiac GTO, 1964-1974: The Restorer's Guide 1964-1974

Thomas A. DeMauro - 2001 - Transportation - Limited preview
Written and designed for casual enthusiasts, as well as restorers who want to determine which parts, accessories and colors will restore their cars to factory-original condition, every title in the Bay View Original Series provides a huge ...
Collector's Originality Guide Pontiac GTO 1964-1974

Collector's Originality Guide Pontiac GTO 1964-1974

Thomas DeMauro - 2008 - Transportation - Limited preview
Like no car before it, the Pontiac GTO's mix of style and performance captured the imagination of America's youth. The GTO offered a combination of 389-cubic-inch V-8 brawn stuffed into a mid-sized chassis, the package further propelled by ...
Pontiac GTO: The Great One

Pontiac GTO: The Great One

Steve Statham - 2000 - Transportation - Limited preview
The Great One. A lavish tribute to one of America's most-beloved muscle cars covers its entire ten-year production run.
Pontiac GTO Restoration Guide, 1964-1972

Pontiac GTO Restoration Guide, 1964-1972

Paul Zazarine - 1995 - Limited preview
These value-packed guides feature hundreds of photographs and a wealth of information necessary to restore interiors, exteriors, wiring, engines, transmissions, and accessories to factory-original condition.
Pontiac GTO: Four Decades of Muscle

Pontiac GTO: Four Decades of Muscle

Steve Statham - 2003 - Transportation - Limited preview
When it comes to musclecars, performance is spelled with just three letters: GTO. The history of this performance legend comes to life in the pages of this stunning photo history. From its introduction in 1964, to the end of the musclecar era ...

Finally - a disc brake conversion kit for 14 inch wheels

Have you wanted to convert your current drum brakes to disc but have had a hard time finding the right kit because you've got the dinky OEM 14 inch wheels? Finally, someone is offering a solution. OPGI just began selling a disc brake conversion kit for GM A body cars that works for wheels as small as 14 inches.

As someone who owns a GTO with the smaller 14 inch factory wheels, I can attest to how impossible it has been to find a disc brake kit that works with anything less than 15 inches. So this is a big win for A body owners. No longer do you have to sacrifice stopping distance (or, stopping altogether) for originality.

GTO Disc Brake Conversion Kit

Read more: Finally - a disc brake conversion kit for 14 inch wheels

National Parts Depot to Offer GTO Parts Soon

The National Parts Depot (NPD) will soon be offering parts for 1964-1972 Pontiac GTO, Tempest and LeMans cars, according to their Website. NPD has been in business since 1976 and currently offers parts for Chevy Camaro, Chevelle and Pontiac Firebird as well as Ford Mustangs, T-Birds, Trucks and Broncos. This is great news for residents of Southern California because now there will be another option to Original Parts Group in Seal Beach, as NPD has a wharehouse and showroom in Ventura, CA.

National Parts Depot

Read more: National Parts Depot to Offer GTO Parts Soon

OPGI Updates Their Website

OPGI, my personal favorite place to shop for GTO restoration parts, just recently updated their Website www.opgi.com (which was already pretty good). Here the details of what they did, according to an email they sent to their customers:

Live, Up-to-the Minute Product Availability Now Fully Integrated Into the OPG Website
At OPGI, we have always made it a high priority to have the product in stock when you need it. When shopping OPGI online, you'll now see that even when a product is out of stock, we have published arrival/ship dates at the product level! Why shop in the dark, when at OPG you can have all the product availability at your fingertips!
Enhanced Kit-Breakout at the Shopping Cart
When ordering a kit, our new automated cart software breaks it out so you can view all product details in that kit and insure it is precisely what you need, and it is in-stock when you place your order.
Kit-Swap-Savings® Now Available Online
OPG resto-shoppers can now get tremendous savings even when there isn't a sale going on.
Click for more >>

Complete Online Access to your
Order History Anytime 24/7

Whether you've ordered by phone, fax, mail or onthe web, you can now get total access to your entire order history. Click for details >>

My Account
Please Note that Due to Our Continued Security Measure Enhancements,
Your Password May Have Changed

We're here to help, and here's how you get back into your account:Our new enhanced-security shopping cart system accepts 5-10 characters only. If you're old password was larger than this, it may have been limited in the conversion. Click for more >>

New Robust Car & Year Selections
When you created an account for the first time, you were asked to tell us a little about your vehicle. Click for details >>

Now Accepting PayPal®
In addition to all the major credit cards, we are now accepting PayPal® for you convenience on our website.

Browse GTO cars and parts on 68goat.com

I've been hard at work trying to deliver more relevant content to this blog. I think I've found some really interesting content on eBay.com. Using their Finding API, I've integrated their search results for 1968 GTO cars for sale and 1968 GTO Parts for sale (this just it for now - more coming). The part results are from the Vintage Car Parts category, filtered by keyword 1968 GTO.

I'm going to continue to add more stuff for sale, including new classic parts from top suppliers. Enjoy!

Tail pipe refresh

Dirty-looking tail pipes can take away from the appearance of a shiny new paint job and bright chrome bumper. A simple paint refresh on the tail pipes can make a huge difference.

Here are the steps I took to give my old, dirty, rusty tail pipes a "new exhaust" look.

  1. Raised the right side of the car and removed the wheel. This is essential to give yourself enough room to paint, clean and lower the pipe. Make sure to support the car on a jack stand. Safety first!
  2. Lowered the exhaust pipe. This is done by unbolting the bracket under the rear of the pipe and then the next nearest bracket on the opposite side of the gas tank, attached to the frame. Be prepared to support the tail pipe on something like a jack stand. You don't want too much sag in the exhaust and will need support while sanding and painting.
  3. Prep the pipe for paint. This is 3-step process, consisting of using steel wool for removal of rust and dirt build up, 200-grit sandpaper for paint prep (light sanding) and then a final degreasing and cleaning. Wear a respirator or other mask. This could be messy. Also, since I am not going for a 100-pt resto (my car is a driver), I only prepped and painted the area of the pipe that is visible while standing near the car.
  4. Mask the area around the car. You don't want to get overspray on your body, rear axel, shocks, gas tank or other unwanted areas of the car. I also used a de-constructed carboard box as a means to collect the overspray.  
  5. Paint. I decided not to prime the pipe. This is part laziness on my part. But I also think that a copy of heavy coats, baked on a clean, sanded pipe should be sufficient. I applied 2 coats of Rust-Oleum High Heat engine paint. The color I chose was an aluminum finish. It is supposed to work up to 2000 degrees F. Follow the instructions on the paint can. One can should do the trick. Remember, I only painted the areas that were visible when standing around the rear of the car.
  6. After drying on the right side, re-mount the exhaust, replace the wheel, lower the car and repeat steps 1-5 for the left side of the car. 
  7. Re-mount the exhaust, replace the wheel and lower the car.
  8. Bake the paint on the tail pipe. The instructions were on the can of spray paint. But basically, the process consists of running the car at idle for 10 min, letting it cool for 10 min, running it at idle for 20 min, letting it cool for 20 min and then finally running the car at normal driving temperature and conditions.

I'll post a final pick when I get the newly re-plated bumper mounted again.

Read more: Tail pipe refresh

Best resources for Pontiac GTO resto parts

Finding the right part for your classic muscle car can be difficult. Fortunately, aftermarket and OEM part resellers are starting to catch up with the times and are improving their online shopping channels. When rating a place to find parts for my goat, I used the following criteria: usefulness of their Website, prices, knowledge, staff, online content, quality of parts and reliability.

Here's my preferred list of sites to find replacement parts for my 1968 Pontiac GTO, with my favorites listed at the top.

Best resources for finding Pontiac GTO parts

  1. Original Parts Group, Inc.
    http://www.opgi.com | Free print catalogs? Yes | Website rating: A | Prices: $$$
    OPGI offers parts for multiple classic GM brands: Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Oldsmobile. Their mission is "To offer the finest reproduction and aftermarket parts and accessories for GM A-bodies at the very best prices anywhere, with outstanding service to boot!  Your Satisfaction Guaranteed!" Through my own experience, I can say that they can back up this statement. I can usually find the part that I'm looking for. The Website is especially useful and content is well organized, categorized and presented with pictures and descriptions. The site also contains an active restoration blog and other editorial content. They have regular promotions and discounts, including a points program that allows you to earn money back on future purchases. The quality on the parts they offer is generally good. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. OPGI is located in Seal Beach, CA and has been in business since 1982. Stop by the showroom to check out some of the cars they've restored too. 

  2. Ames Performance Engineering
    http://www.amesperf.com | Free print catalogs? Yes | Website rating: C | Prices: $$
    Ames claims to be the "nations largest supplier of classic Pontiac parts". They've been selling Pontiac parts (and only Pontiac) for 30 years and it shows in the care and expertise in describing the parts in their catalog. The quality of both the content on the site as well as the products and prices offered make up for the '90s throwback Website and black and white catalog. Case in point: they offer hard to find parts, like restoration parts for the hideaway head lamps (actuators, hose kits, springs, seals, etc) that are not found in the OPGI or Year One catalogs. They also sell stuff like the rattle can paint that can be used to restore a set of rally wheels. These guys are located in Spofford, NH.

  3. Performance Years
    http://www.performanceyears.com | Free print catalogs? Yes | Website rating: B- | Prices: $$
    I really like the team at Performance Years. They know their stuff, have a huge inventory of parts and are quick to ship. They're great communicators as well, even following up with me by cell to make sure I was taken care of. PY specializes in parts for classic Pontiac cars - GTO, Firebird, Grand Prix, Le Mans, Tempest, Full Size and Grand Am. They also pass the litmus test, carrying hard to find parts, like glovebox nuts, casings and hideaway headlamp restoration parts. The Website isn't visually stunning but it is fairly easy to use and very well organized. They also have an active technical forum, which will help you find answers to questions like what kind of paint to use on your dash, how to fix an endura bumper. Performance Years is located in Hatfield, PA.

  4. The Parts Place Inc.
    http://www.thepartsplaceinc.com | Free print catalogs? No | Website rating: B | Prices: $$$
    The Parts Place has been selling GM (Pontiac, Buick, Chevy and Olds) reproduction and restoration parts for 20 years. Their Website is very easy to use. One of the things I like best about this company is some of the hard-to-find parts they offer, like a dash panel for a 1968 Pontiac GTO. This was the only supplier of this reproduction part. The panel was very good quality, not concours perfect. But considering that the only other alternative is to pay hundreds restoring an original, it was money well spent. They're located in Chicago, IL. 

  5. Year One, Inc.
    http://www.yearone.com | Free print catalogs? No (still waiting) | Website rating: B | Prices: $$$$
    Year One used to be the place I relied on for my Pontiac resto needs but not any longer. When I started back into restoring my 68 goat a year ago, I hit up all the sites mentioned here in this post and Year One was the only one that didn't send me a free copy of their catalog. I've also been turned off by their sometimes ridiculously high prices on the same or similar items that other suppliers offer. I can see getting away with charging a premium for an item that was very rare or where you were the only one to offer it for sale. But charging $30 for door u jamb seals for a 1968 GTO when every other supplier charges $16-18 is strange. At least be in the ball park! It got so bad when I price-compared that I simply stopped searching their site. All that said, Year One is mentioned in the top 5 because they do have a large inventory and a lot of expertise and history. The shopping cart section of the Website is  pretty much unchanged for the last 10 years but they do have a lot of other good technical information and other interesting blogs. Year One also offers parts for Chryslers and Fords as well as other GM A-body cars.

There are other alternatives to shopping online with a retailer or from a retailer catalog, like the Pomona swap meet and eBay. Watch for a future post for tips on how to take advantage of these two great resources.

Bleeding the brakes on a 1968 Pontiac GTO

Stopping your car is critical, especially when you just had a bunch of work done and you don't want to rear-end someone. Or, maybe because you don't want to die. Simple things. Well, the GTO had a hard time stopping. I've known this for a while (years) and have really done nothing about it. But, now that I want to actually drive the car, the brakes needed some paying attention to. So how did I know there was an issue? What are the symptoms in an older, hydraulic-based, drum brake system that indicated your brakes may need bleeding?

Signs your brakes might need bleeding

Depressing the pedal with a low fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir or disconnecting any part of the hydraulic system permits air to enter the system. Air may also enter the system when brake shoes are replaced. Signs you might want to bleed the brakes...
  1. An idiot (warning) light comes on but only when the brake pedal is depressed nearly all the way down. In the case of a 1968 GTO (and maybe older A body, muscle cars and other GM makes from the 1960s), the warning is when the red "brake" light beneath the speedometer gauge turns on. This typically happens when you're low on brake fluid. Or, in my case, when you've got something going on with your brake system (like air in the lines).
  2. You have to depress the brake pedal all the way down to the floor before the car begins to slow.
  3. You have to pump the brake pedal repeatedly before the braking seems to respond normally.
  4. The brake pedal feels mushy.

I experienced all of the above issues with my 68 GTO. These are the tell tale signs that there is air trapped in the brake lines. It's bad if air gets trapped in your brake lines because it results in there being a lack of pressure in the braking system. Pressure is necessary in order to open and close the brake calipers. That's great, so now what do you do?

Read more: Bleeding the brakes on a 1968 Pontiac GTO