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Pontiac, Coupe, Convertible
#77 of 86 Goat-seeking
Mar 30, 2002 (9:04 pm)
Well, the search for GTO nirvana has begun in earnest. I have narrowed it to '66 or '67 and have had the good fortune to hook up with my local GTOAA chapter. The local authorities in the club on these years have national judging experience to back up their sound advice. Doing my own homework (along a healthly dose of skepticism )has also helped me to avoid costly mistakes on some cars that were misrepresented or overrated by the sellers.
There seem to be a lot more '66's out there but that seems to make sense because there were more produced. The '67 seems to have several design improvements including available factory disc brakes and an improved engine and TH400 automatic trans. Despite that, I kind of like the idea of having a TriPower and there seems to be plenty out there - a lot more than the '67 HO or RA and for less money. I know that some people add TriPower setups to non-factory equipped cars but the authenticity is easy enough to verify if you're careful. The potential downside is that 3 carbs means 3 times the chance of problems with fuel delivery. I would like to be driving it more than fixing it. Does anybody have much experience with TriPower equipped cars? Are they more trouble than the're worth? I enjoy turning wrenches when necessary but nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a clear day to go cruising and having the car cough, spit and blow smoke like a 90 year old with emphysema!
Any advice, opinions?
Mar 30, 2002 (9:31 pm)
Never had trips but I knew people who did and these are really simple, dead reliable Rochester carbs. I think the center carb is a 2GC (C stands for choke) and the outboard two are 2Gs (no choke). The outboard ones also don't have an idle circuit. These are the same carbs that appeared on a gazallion of the General's economy V8s since 1955, so temperamental they're not.
Put in a good quality rebuild kit (be sure to dunk the parts in parts cleaner) or have a mechanic do it. Carbs rebuilt in volume tend to vary in quality. I bought a rebuilt Autolite once that had so many vacuum leaks it sounded like a giant vacuum cleaner.
In my experience the only thing that wears out is the throttle shaft and I think that can be bushed. I guess you could tweak a casting by overtightening it. If the car isn't driven much a float needle might stick occasionally but that can usually be fixed with a rap on the carb.
Mar 31, 2002 (5:47 am)
Thanks for the experienced advice. I'm not intimidated by the idea of rebuilding the carbs. I rebuilt the carb on my 429 Torino Cobra and the thing ran like a sewing machine when I bolted it on. Maybe it was beginners luck!
I've got my eye on a couple of cars now & have my technical advisors helping out. Probably will wait till April 15 to see how big a bite Uncle Sam will take out of my car budget first.
Mar 31, 2002 (9:39 am)
'67 tri-powers are very rare. You may not find one very easily, and if you do, it's probably a fake. But you could get lucky of course. Also, the disc brakes were an option and a '67 may not have them. Even if your '67 didn't have power discs, I'd put them on if possible, since the car is way overpowered for drum brakes.
Mar 31, 2002 (11:38 am)
'66 is the last year for factory-installed Tri-Power, although I suppose you could have had it dealer-installed on a '67. I'd just assume that every trips on a '67 was bolted on by an owner over the last 35 years unless there's some sort of dealer documentation proving otherwise.
'67 was the year they went to Quadra-Jet on the base engine, replacing the Carter AFB that had been around since the mid '50s. The Q-Jet was also used on the optional engines, the 360-hp HO and the Ram Air (now known as the Ram Air I, an ultra-rare option). The Q-Jet is good for over 700 cfm while the old AFB was about 600 or so, so I guess they thought they didn't need Tri-Power anymore. Trips may not flow any more than the Q-Jet but the feeling is that it offers better fuel distribution. Also it looks hairier, which is even more important.
BTW, as far as I know Edelbrock still makes the AFB (under a different name) as part of their Performer package.
As for brakes, yes, the standard 9" drums are a little short of optimal--about from here to Chicago short. Instant and complete fade is available whenever you need it.
Apr 01, 2002 (7:23 pm)
Quick fix for brakes would be the aluminum drums off a '64-? Buick Skylark. They'll bolt on. This might be worth it if 1) you have manual brakes and 2) you're well insured. A conversion to discs requires going to power brakes if you don't have them, not an insurmountable problem but aluminum drums are a lot easier assuming you can still find them.
#83 of 86 1964 GTO FAN
Apr 17, 2002 (10:54 am)
I need to buy a fan for my 1964 GTO, it has the original 389, 4 bbl. It currently has a throw back from the 60s flex fan on it. On the highway it starts to run hot. Can anyone tell me what fan will fit from other GMs of that era? You may respond directly to:
Apr 17, 2002 (12:46 pm)
I'm no expert but I don't think the fan is your problem. The fan pulls air through the radiator to cool the coolant going though it and at freeway speeds there's already plenty of air going through the radiator.
I think I'd have the radiator inspected. It may need to be flushed or rodded or recored. See if it still has a fan shroud. You might also check the belt that drives the water pump and see if it's tight enough--I think you want about 1/2 inch deflection.
One other thing--unless you're using octance booster it's a fair certainty the engine timing is retarded. That can cause overheating too. Another timing problem would be a bad vacuum advance can.
If you want to replace the fan, the '69 Pontiac manual lists seven different fans with four, five or seven blades, fixed, flex or clutched, five diameters and two pitches. Obviously they fine tuned the fan to the application. Ordinarily I'd say just go to a wrecking yard and look for a GM fan that looks like what you've got, one that's not bent or chipped. My guess is that the mounting pattern is universal for GM cars, at least through the '60s.
What axle ratio do you have? How fast is the engine turning on the freeway? Did you just change something on the engine that would create more heat like, for example, bolt on a 6-71 blower?
Apr 17, 2002 (12:52 pm)
I agree with that. I don't think the fan is your problem either, especially since it is running hot on the highway, when airflow is greatest. I'd look elsewhere for your problem.
#86 of 86 Re: GTO fan question
Apr 22, 2002 (7:02 pm)
For plenty of suggestions on your overheating problem, try www.classicalpontiac.com. Go to the Q&A archives, or post your question. Not to take away from this forum, but there is a lot of GTO/Pontiac knowledge there. BTW, I have a '67 GTO myself, and once owned a '65 convertible, so (in my opinion) I have had two of the best.