Proud new owner: Many questions ahead!

(Samuel Brooks) #1

She finally arrived! Approximately 355 days after purchase, and all that time adding to the 2-3 years she’s been sitting outside (as well as the additional 4 she’s been sitting inside), and what a mountain ahead of me.
Pics here:
Imgur album of pics

I’d love thoughts and opinions on whether or not this is really a project that is going to have a positive conclusion.

The good bits:
The engine runs sweetly, at least for the few seconds that I can run it for. Currently has no coolant as there’s a leak - this is job 1, or job 2, depending on how you look at it.
It was owned and run as part of a business, as you can tell by the livery, and therefore no expense was spared during the latter half of it’s lifetime. Has had new gearbox, uprated transfer case, has mk 2 brakes (new discs coming along with spare shell and engine). Engine reportedly running perfectly when it went in to storage, doesn’t seem to flip lights now (only coolant/temp, but that’ll be because there isn’t any I imagine!?)
Has LPG conversion, albeit not plumbed in to the tank, as per the pictures. This was effectively the deciding factor in me buying the car as a project. I know it’s lunacy because the car will cost so much to maintain, but I cannot drive around in a 15-20mpg car (when having fun) knowing how much every mile is costing me. I’d far rather that cost was hidden away in maintenance bills and time in the workshop!

The bad bits: As per pics, this thing has tried hard to rust everywhere it can. I cannot even remove the plug cover due to rusty bolts.
The clutch slave cylinder gave way as it was being moved on to the trailer, so I have that to look forward to doing ASAP, along with diagnosing the coolant leak and replacing the hoses.

Part of me wanted to dive straight in to paying £30 for second hand intercooler pipes, and £175 on ancillary hose kit etc. but for now I think it would be wise to do more troubleshooting and purchase parts as and when they come up. Worst thing to do is throw good money after bad. If the engine, gearbox and transfer case are sound, then I’m not too concerned about how much it will cost to resolve other issues (I’m sure some of you will put me right on that!), but I know these things are costly to maintain so I’ll reserve a little judgement.

Perhaps more photos of specific parts are needed before anyone can straight up say: “Don’t touch this thing other than to sell it for parts!” - but I’m hoping for a little advice on what we’ve got to go on so far. Also, it’s too late, I’m going to give this thing a go no matter what you say (but I’ll still appreciate the opinion). Crucial, to me, is the LPG conversion. I am not too bothered about my total spend being more than it would be for me to go and buy someone else’s fully functioning, well maintained car, because I wouldn’t do that without the LPG.

I’m also new to car maintenance in general, so if people want to recommend rust removal and rust prevention products that they’ve found helpful, that would be fantastic. I know about hammerite, but little else. Also - are there any parts I want to avoid hammerite’ing on the underneath?

I’m concerned about the brake lines, and the lines that look like brake lines, presumably for the AWS etc. Will I fail an MOT on those?

I made this attempt at an entertaining video to keep people up to date with my progress - or lack thereof - so please don’t judge me too harshly, but feel free to check out my video


Well you definitely have a project on your hands there , spotted the lpg conversion a mile off ,

Looking at the pictures from underneath before spending any money I would check the structural integrity out , there is a lot of surface rust and corrosion on subframes , mounts , brake lines etc etc .

If it checks out ok then factor in a full service for the engine , cam belts , ancillary belts pulleys etc , check the usual suspects like split crank pulley .

Everything is fixable and there is a lot of info within the site of how to literally take your car back to the bare shell .

Looks like a fun project :sunglasses:

(David Perkins) #3

You could have done an lpg conversion for about £600 yourself on a half tidy car tbh, lpg is ok but I can confirm from experience ( some 5 various lpg conversions) that you don’t get back what you spend, you certainly got your work cut out there, good luck and yes more details of what’s needed would help with guidance.

(Jensen Richardson) #4

And I thought I was mad with my car :joy:
Looking at your pics (from what I can see) you seem to have much the same as what I did from a car sat for a long time. The car body looks pretty sound, but all the other parts have sighns of rust/corrosion. It is hard to see properly from the pics though. These cars can suffer with rot in the boot area behind the plastics so have a good look around in there.
Looks like a great project.
Look foward to seeing how you get on.

(Mark Peasnall) #5

a nice weekend project you got yourself there :joy::joy:

from the look of some of the front sub frame parts in the pictures replacements from grahams will be the way forward they look a bit to far gone

as for the lpg tank would it not be better to have a custom one built to fit in the boot theres plenty of dead space there and would be easier to mount

look forward to your progress


(Spiros Kapadohas) #6

Easy Peasy , enjoy :grin:

(James Rowley) #7

I looked at this car for sale, but didn’t go for it due to lack of info on the eBay add (plus I think I remember it being a bit angrily written)

That looks very similar to mine actually, just an unloved gto. I’ll be starting mine in the next month or so, it’s getting welding, rust treatment and undercoating. I’m also not sure which products to use, POR 15 has been good in the past, so might go that route.

(Max Bradley) #8

Check out @markie1978 build thread. He has taken about as extreme as possible with a complete bare shell restoration. @jensenrichardson isn’t far behind with his reconditioning of the lower end. Everything is fixable as long as you have the time and money to put into it. Do it right and you can have a better than new car.

Good luck. I look forward to following your progress. You will need to get friendly with Grahams auto world on ebay for second hand spares and Rob from Evil Empire Performance (@GSXRKID) for new parts. As Craig said before you drive anywhere do a proper 60K service. Rob can help you with what’s needed for that.

(Steve Parkin) #9

Welcome aboard.
Hope you keep with this project would be good to see the progress. Some serious work to do there.

Good luck mate, have patience.


(David Perkins) #10

How do you know hes going for a black colour scheme :rofl:

(David Perkins) #11

Just watched your video, for the cost involved I would buy a used donut tank of say 90 ltrs and mount it underneath instead if the fuel tank, that’s possibly going to have to come off anyway if it’s as rusty as the rest of the car, you can then get a small fuel tank and have that mounted under also, o/s say 10 ltrs for starting… least that’s what I did with a grand Cherokee jeep, I also had a tank I the boot so it held 168 ltrs of lpg. This way you can put your interior back together… just an idea :+1:

(Max Bradley) #12

Black goes with everything! haha

(Anh Hoang) #13

Looks like you need to spend atleast £4k-£6k in parts, labour and paint work to bring that car into a presentable and drivable form.

I think 15 MPG is the least of your worries.

IMHO of course.


(Jerry Castle) #14

Good luck with your project as has been said structural integrity is key so check out the rear end either side of the boot floor rear of the sills floorpan/bulkhead joints front and rear.
All suspension can be redone but that tank on the rear seat ? Under the car or in the boot. l get fuel tanks reconned so maybe could come up with something for you.
Got to be full service belts etc and there is going to be potentialy a lot of sheared of bolts so lots of rust penetrate.
Lots of stuff on here, there is been some great restos on the go, look at Markies and Jensens for example.
So good luck and hope you get there, he very interesting to follow and Gtouk are at the NEC Classic Motor Show this weekend if you are passing.

(Samuel Brooks) #15

I really appreciate the input from everyone and apologies for the delay in replying - not a huge amount of progress yet as I was away last week. The week before we put some coolant in and warmed it up, unfortunately despite getting warm air to the cabin it wasn’t circulating through the radiator. We didn’t follow a proper procedure in filling it up and quite possibly created an air lock by filling it from the overflow at first, but given how long it has been sitting without coolant fluid I also have to consider the possibility of a rusted stuck water pump and/or thermostat. Any suggestions?
Tomorrow or Sunday I will drop the coolant and start from scratch, following the correct procedure and see what happens. Apologies to all that I didn’t do my research on this site before starting out, but I’ll get it together.

Should I head over to to get all of the guides for the various service jobs? Want to make sure I catch all the little details that are specific to this car.

To answer a few of your comments:

CDMH: “I would check the structural integrity out” - “usual suspects like split crank pulley.”

Thanks very much CDMH. It is definitely a project alright, hopefully one that will bear fruit in the future. I’ve got the time and the money, I just need the motivation to see it through.

Dave Perkins: “You could have done an lpg conversion for about £600 yourself on a half tidy car tbh, lpg is ok but I can confirm from experience ( some 5 various lpg conversions) that you don’t get back what you spend”

I appreciate your input on the LPG issue Dave. I have had a couple before myself, and cannot say I have had similar experiences to you. In fairness they were factory conversions, but I’ve already had a full set of new LPG injectors and another regulator provided by the seller, which is practically everything required for the setup, so I’m fairly confident that it isn’t going to be a waste of money in that regard, even if it’s time consuming.

Whilst I take the point that I could have gone out and bought a tidy car and done an LPG conversion myself, that would never have happened. I didn’t pick this car because I’ve always loved GTO’s, I picked this car because I have been lucky enough to get use of the workshop as seen in the video, so I was specifically looking for a project car that I could potentially add value to with a little (okay - a lot) of labour, learning and ‘fun’. The fact this beautiful, powerful car was LPG converted and the fact the seller owned the conversion kit company and will provide after sales LPG support sealed the deal for me.

Very good suggestions with the LPG tank and fuel tank. I would love to get a small fabricated fuel tank rather than lug the fairly rusty (although given the circumstances, surprisingly reasonable condition) big thing around. Given how much other work there is on this project, for now I’m going to focus on getting it moving, then passing an MOT, then giving it an opportunity to prove its reliability, and then I’ll probably take it off the road again and do all the things I want to do to it.

Jensenrichardson: “These cars can suffer with rot in the boot area behind the plastics so have a good look around in there.”

Thanks Jensen, I’ve had a good look and it’s really done well for rust. The pictures look bad but it’s almost all superficial by the looks of it. I got a couple of opinions after reading the replies in the thread and got the go-ahead. To be honest I’d really, really like to mount the tank in the boot for better weight distribution and because it’d be nice to be able to take out more than 1 passenger on very short journey’s, however that will be a job for another time. I think I’d need to remove the fuel tank and then take an angle grinder to the hump that the spare sits on. It’s just not worth it when there’s so much else to do.

Markie1978 “LPG custom tank”
Maxx Bradley “Grahams auto world”

I cannot disagree with you Mark, depending on how I get on, I’ll certainly look for a better solution one day. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cheers Maxx. I live fairly close to Graham’s so will no doubt be purchasing quite a bit from there in future!

Anh: * tries hardest to make OP cry *

Thanks Anh! I seriously hope you’re wrong with your cost estimate. I’m keeping a spreadsheet - I’ll let you know. (I have a strong feeling you’re going to be more right than I want you to be, I’m under few illusions.) I’ll keep you posted.

Jerry_SC: * Helpful stuff *

Cheers Jerry! As above I’ll hopefully be interested in resolving the fuel tank issues with you in future. For now I’m going to mount that tank in the back and make sure the car is vaguely sound before committing to thinks that aren’t absolutely necessary. I’ve learned lessons in the past about spending on the wrong things, and I don’t want to make that mistake again.

(Jensen Richardson) #16

We have a workshop manual on USB in the club shop. This was one of my first purchases after joining the club. Extremely useful.
You will also find most things by doing a search on here. As you are a full member you will find lots of how to posts, it’s an active club and we all like to add walk through/how to guides when we can.
Most of the time you will find a member will answer any questions you have fairly quickly as well.
Glad to see your determined to see this project through. As I said I look foward to seeing how it goes.
Get a build thread up on here. It will be great for people to follow, and for you to look back on.
Take a look around the site and check other people’s out.


Stat is easy enough to take out , seized waterpump would have taken your cambelt out so wouldn’t worry about that , plus both those items should be changed with the cambelt .

Wouldn’t hurt to pull the rad and flush it through , when removing the brackets on top shove a rag between the slam panel and top of the rad on the passenger/right hand side There is a bolt hiding down there on the air con that has taken many rads , always make sure the rad is held away from that area .

Craig :grinning:

(Jensen Richardson) #18

How is the project going?

(Samuel Brooks) #19

Replaced slave cylinder but hasn’t resolved the problem, so need to investigate master and rust etc. Will be looking further at the weekend. Will look to post an update then.

(David Perkins) #20

A post was split to a new topic: Removing master cylinder