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1973 GTS - Street/Track

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    Posted: 19-February-2011 at 8:59AM
I purchased this Gran Torino Sport with 70K original miles on the odometer.  Its in stellar shape with no rust.   Everything works from the mechanical stuff to the obscure such as the fasten seat belt buzzer.   The car's story reminds me of Walt in the Clint Eastwood movie Gran Torino.   The original owner kept a log of repairs and every mile he drove the car.  He kept it pristine until he passed and left the car to the daughter.   She didn't really take care of it and eventually sold it to a gentlemen here in AZ whom I bought it from.  Its orginally a NV car.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm going to build a road race style street/track car.   I'm thinking of adding fuel injection to the 351C targeting 500+hp.   I also expect to replace the auto with a Tremec TKO or T-56.   I've already found/purchased the complete clutch pedal and linkage set.   The rear is currently the 2.73 open carrier...it will have to get upgraded very soon to a Yukon Trac-loc or a Tru-trac unit with 31 spline axles.  Can't decide to go with a 3.73 or a 4.10 gear.
 
Ive been busy trying to restore the interior and replace broken plastic, weather strip, gauges, etc.  Its been a real pain in the arse since repro parts appear to be non-existant as compared to the every popular Mustang, etc.   
I'm doing this a bit backwards starting with the interior then building the suspension, rear, and tranny before painting.   I dont have enough room or time to break the car down to paint it properly.   Paint will have to wait a couple years since the current paint is still tolerable.
 
Want to thank Eliteman76 and Ron Earp for the info and postings of their work.  It helped a lot.
 
 
 
 


Edited by BackInBlack - 19-February-2011 at 9:08AM
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Torinogts73c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-February-2011 at 1:15PM
Nice looking car. My interior used to be that color(Ginger) I see car has been painted white, well that's the least of worries!! What part of Phx you live in? My Torino is an original Az car . from Phx to Tucson. Thanks for the pictures!
Gary 73 Gran Torino Sport 351CJ,SVT LIGHTNING,07 CHARGER R/T HEMI,97 Mustang GT Vert

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-February-2011 at 2:44PM
The original owner didn't like the OEM gold color and painted it white.   Its a bad paint job.  They masked around the laser stripes instead of replacing them.  (Shaking my head right now in disbelief)  I wish he didn't paint it white and left it gold, but oh well.   I decided to keep the Ginger interior.   I kinda like it, not to common.  I plan to paint it a midnight blue in the distant future. 
 
Im in the Gilbert area.   The wife and kids can't wait till I finish the interior.  They are looking forward to a trip to the Pavillions car show in it.   I hope to have the interior like new soon.   Working on a replacement center console now.   Building a custom one to put a descent radio in.   Keeping the original radio installed.    Still works and use it when cruis'n ;-)
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Torinogts73c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-February-2011 at 6:34AM
Hard to believe someone would paint a car that way! But I've seen it before. I used to be a regular at the Pavillions before I moved to Tucson, it was always a favorite of mine. The Torino has been there a few times before I restored the body and changed color. Used to live up in N. Scottsdale then. Glad to be out of  there now. Big smile 
Gary 73 Gran Torino Sport 351CJ,SVT LIGHTNING,07 CHARGER R/T HEMI,97 Mustang GT Vert

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-July-2011 at 4:23AM
Here are some new pics.   I finished the interior.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  I'm sticking with the stock color and look of the interior.  Most upgrades/restorations I see convert to black interiors.    I wanted something a bit different and I like the color.

A short list of upgrades/repairs:
-New upholstery, carpet, headliner, dash pad, 
-Dyed the interior panels everywhere to stock colors to remove fade and color match
-New radio, amp, speakers, rewired the entire audio system following stock wiring harness
-Stripped and treated surface rust in all interior cavities, encapsulated, replaced all seam sealer, etc.
-Installed Fatman sound deadener (like Dynamat but less $$$), really helped cut down the noise.
-Restored the gauges, but plan to replace with Autometer set or maybe have the speedo and tach redone like Ron's or the Pure Vision car.
-New front seats, Procar Elite 1200, and had them reupholstered to match stock interior


Here are a couple progress pics:














Here are some final pics:

















Edited by BackInBlack - 03-July-2011 at 4:38AM
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-July-2011 at 7:56PM
Thats massive man, nice skills.
She is one very tidy car you have
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Classicfitness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-July-2011 at 11:39PM
Pristine interior!!!  Nice job on the cracked dash and on the cup holder.  I also love the seats.
'72 GTS 351-4b Gold Glow

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My car blog: www.fordtorino72.blogspot.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mcford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-July-2011 at 4:13AM
REALLY like the recovered front seats and nice touch with that cupholder. very slick.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-July-2011 at 5:26AM
Thanks for the feedback...I've received a lot of good advice from people on this website.   

I'm currently rebuilding the rear differential.   I'm putting in a True-trac differential, 3.73 ring/pinion, 31 spline Dutchman Axles.   I acquired an original type N, 31 spline, big bearing, daytona bearing, trac-loc differential that normally comes in a big-block Super Cobra Jet or similar.  I bought it vs a complete strange 3rd member because I wanted it to look period correct.   (I picked the rear gear ratio to go with a Tremec 600 tranny in the future.   It seems like the best compromise between street and track driving.) My next step after the rear diff is the suspension.   (Can't stand spinning 1 tire at the red light...duh   ;-D   )   I'm currently calculating spring rates, etc.

My current estimates are:
Front spring:  750-850 lbs will definitely use the Crown Vic or higher rate springs
Rear Spring: 200 lbs (stock is a 192 lbs rate and is variable)
Front sway bar:  1 1/2- 1 3/4" ish...looks like to reduce body roll by 4-5 degrees this is the size/rate of front bar
Rear sway bar:  Stock looking after market 7/8" to 1" bar.
Shocks front/rear:  Looks like with good shocks you can expect a additional tension on compression of around 75-150 lbs.   Probably use something similar to Ron Earp's selection, Bilstein or equivalent.
Wheels/tires:   17" wheels to clear larger brakes, and 275/45 in front and rear....

This is all in flux...I don't have accurate information regarding the vehicle weight and un-sprung weight, so I'm guessing at much of it.   I've blown my budget and the wife is giving me the "evil eye"   lol....so its going to slow down after the rear diff.

I can't decide the path to take with the engine...late model BB 460 with EFI (1998 vintage) vs stroking the 4-bolt main 351 Cleveland that is in the car now.    It appears that the 460 with EFI is hard to get now.    I'm finding out the Clevelands are costly to build as much or more than a big block.
-John


Edited by BackInBlack - 04-July-2011 at 7:00AM
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-July-2011 at 7:34AM
Originally posted by BackInBlack BackInBlack wrote:

  I'm finding out the Clevelands are costly to build as much or more than a big block
 
shouldn't be, what are you running into $$$ with?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-July-2011 at 9:19AM
Interior looks gret I like those bucket seats.
How much did it cost to get them recovered to match the back seat?
I have to get my buckets recovered some day as well as the back seat now that I lost my spare Black one
keep up the good work
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-July-2011 at 10:42AM
Seats I bought from Jegs + brackets.   That was 2x$300 ea + $100 brackets
I had it recovered with the similar pattern + materials.   The vinyl was approx $400.
I found a good local shop that does the local hot rods in the area and came highly recommend by a few hot rodders that I talked to at a car show.   The interior guy made everything including the piping.  He was about 2x$350 ea + $150 to refurbish and install the back seat cover.  

I've installed the pre-made kits before, but a man has to know his limitations.   One of my limitations is sewing up seat covers while making it look good and installing headliners.    The interior wasn't cheap.  I had to replace most plastic inside, except for door panels and quarter panels.   The strong sun here in the desert is murder on interior plastic.  It was extremely hard to find replacement A-pillar interior window pieces (bought 3 sets) and kick panels that were in excellent condition.   I also had custom dye mixed to refresh the plastic interior pieces, x2 batches.  I replaced the console (from a Cougar), the glove box door, and other pieces because of the sun damage.   

I would have done the body/paint first, but I don't have a roomy garage and I may have to move anytime so I can't tear a car down to do it properly.   So I work on it in stages while driving it.   

-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 4:31PM
Originally posted by Torinogts73c Torinogts73c wrote:

Hard to believe someone would paint a car that way! But I've seen it before. I used to be a regular at the Pavillions before I moved to Tucson, it was always a favorite of mine. The Torino has been there a few times before I restored the body and changed color. Used to live up in N. Scottsdale then. Glad to be out of  there now. Big smile 

You won't believe it.  I found a receipt in the paperwork that came with the car.   The previous owner paid $200 for a paint job.   OMG...i cant stop laughing.    No wonder why the paint is flaking off...no prep.

-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 5:01PM
Ah I see the previous owner took it to Flako for a paintjob.Are you planning on retoring it back to original color?        well atleast it is decent enough to drive and enjoy and the interior is beautiful so that makes it nice to drive with new comfortable seats
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 5:11PM
Thanks....

I'm glad I did the seats.   They are comfortable, good side bolsters, recline, have more range of adjustment, and map pockets lol

I dont regret it.   I tried to make it look like they came from the factory.   I'm going for the sleeper look.

Paint...orginal color was that yellow gold...70's disco style.   I wouldn't mind using the original color...but I always loved a black torino.   They just look badazz IMO.   Thinking of an american version of the Madmax interceptor.   Edit: Without the zoomies and blower 


Edited by BackInBlack - 09-July-2011 at 5:15PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 5:37PM
Well I would keep the Cleveland cause it actually will be cheaper to build then the big block.Headers are about $200 cheaper there are more perfomance parts and dress up accessories availble for Clevelands and the 429-460 motor mounts are expensive and hard to get cause the originals are obsolete.I got lucky and found a good set off a 75 Lincoln Mark IV with 460.Who ever swapped the 69 429 2v into my car welded the incorrect mounts to the crossmember.Luckily I got those mounts from the junkyard but these days they are rare to find.You can still buy the Cleveland mounts but your car already has them.You can get 500hp easy out of a stroker351C and you can wind up the rpms more then that of a bigblock which have big torque but not known to like high rpms. With the right build you can spank a big block
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 6:14PM
I think that I'm sticking with the cleveland.   I was thinking that I might save some money using a late model 460 with EFI and the serpentine belt system form a motor home or F-250.   However, it seems that I'm late to the punch and most have already had the same idea.   Not many out there anymore. 

I like the idea if the cleveland, not everyone has one.   There just aren't many Torinos much less Torinos + a cleveland.   I really want to put EFI in my car.   Trickflow has all the manifolds needed.   Maybe adapt a OBD II system.    We'll see...I need to win the lottery to speed up the fun.   

I have the new rear N case diff is disassembled, cleaned, painted and half assembled.   It wont be long before I can leave 2 tire marks ;-)    Its the simple things that make me happy, like 2 tire marks and a little tire smoke.   That Prius better not pull up to me again at the red light lol  

On another thread I raced a Toyota Prius at a light, he beat me off the line.   I did not like that which spurred me to get my rear diff fixed up.   True-trac, 3.70, big carrier N case, daytona bearing, 31 spline dutchman axles)   

I'm hunting that Prius after the rear is done...hehe

PS...Electric cars have a bunch of torque of the line.  They are surprisingly responsive from a stop.


Edited by BackInBlack - 09-July-2011 at 6:19PM
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 6:22PM
Holey do an injected carb setup, I am not at my other computer to do a serch for ya but if you Google it up I think there is a few options. Bolt on and go sort of stuff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2011 at 6:23PM
without inlet changes etc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-July-2011 at 5:08AM
The Hollety injection systems are not cheap. The throttle Body injection is$1700 the Multi-Point injection which is fuel rails on either side of aluminum intake with injecters and a throttle body is $2500. Just go with a Zperformane Holley Carb with what ever cfm your build requires
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