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Pontiac of the Month

Keane165's 1970 LeMans

2020 January
of the Month

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  • Posts

    • JUSTA6
      Dude had mad skills, but as Ringo said, I was never a fan.  Very sad for his family and fans.
    • Old guy44
      Last Indian, I like the way you think. I come from the era of mixing and matching what you could find in the junk yard. I can't state for sure but I could be the first person to ever have put disc brakes on the front of a try year chevy. Long story but one I would be willing to share if you are interested.  Yes the Catalina has air, no it is not factory but the composite total of the parts used in the install does not add up to more than 150 lbs.  With regards to weight I have no exact figures but logic states that the L83 being all aluminum weighs less than the original cast iron 389. The 6L80 however probably weighs over twice what the original Roto-Hydro does. The combination of the 389 and trans and the l83 and trans are probably comparable but the center of the weight  mass has probably moved rearward by a foot or more. All this needs to be factored in and hopefully Detroit spring can help.  As I stated I am aware that the spring rate(s) need to be increased, but who can I contact about air shocks? I did install a rear sway bar but only recently found a 1" front sway bar which will go on with everything else. I am not accustomed to finding aftermarket parts for the Catalina. They are not one of the more common 60's era cars and during the 60's it seems that Pontiac did almost everything different. Sometimes the simplest things like front suspension bushings. to rebuild the front suspension I had to remake available parts. I did this professionally when the car was new and in those days we referred to Pontiac as being the only foreign car made in America While I am very aware of parts interchangeability between Cad, Olds Buick and Pontiac I am also aware that in many instances Pontiac chose not to take part. As stated earlier the front control arm bushings. I am quite comfortable with scouring pic a part for necessary hardware If I have some idea of what might work, or can be made to work. The '63 does have power brakes but I probably will get a different booster and master cylinder, preferably a dual chamber which would be considerably smaller diameter than the single that is presently cluttering up the firewall. By the way it is actually possible to operate a disc/drum system on a single master cylinder, My 55 Chev had corvette discs front and the original drums rear working with the original 55 master cylinder. My experience trumps your theory, but I digress. I do have 15" chrome smoothies with Caddie whites on the car, I was looking for an appearance that would approximate a 60's Van Nuys Blvd cruiser. My basic motivation is that I would much rather scour the junk yards and put together parts than to drop a grand on a kit. There is a lot more self satisfaction in doing it yourself.  
    • Ringo64
      https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28569438/kobe-bryant-dead-helicopter-crash Being a basketball player myself, always respected his talents but never liked his personality. Tragic death and sad to see that happen to anyone. RIP and thoughts out to his family and friends. 
    • Last Indian
      Dwight, Ultimately the simplest and most direct way to improve the ride and handling of a car that doesn’t handle and has a floating ride is as follows. Increase spring rate, increase size or add a sway bar, change center of gravity, change roll center and or change weight distribution.  Changing shocks that function as a typical shock I.E. moving fluid or gas through an orifice will do very little to improve that symptom, but air shocks will! And quite dramatically if done right! Additionally if you do air shocks on all four corners; you can turn a boat into a sled or something in between.  If it where me, I would start with Eaton Detroit Spring inc. I’ve worked with these guys for years, they are good and can help answer your questions! As an example, if you were to use the stock springs for a 1963 Safari wagon your ride would change immediately to a stiffer ride, but it might not sit right. But again the stock rear springs from a Safari and the stock OEM heavy duty front springs for a convertible with an air shock might be just right, I think they can help answer those kinds of questions. An air shock will stiffen the ride anywhere from hardly detectable to holy crap are there springs in this thing. Rear air shocks for the Catalina are easy to get, front ones not so much so. With a little ingenuity and some searching you’ll find air shocks that will work up front! You may have to invert the shock upside down or use, say a 1969 Camaro rear shock on the front, actually that might fit looking at it at a glance, but none the less a little work on finding shock specs will get you there. There is actually a whole setup you can buy or make to adjust front and rear shocks up and down from inside the car, and don’t confuse that statement with the hydraulics setup some guys use to bounce there cars up and down!  Also look in to adding or changing the sway bar up front and definitely add one to the back! Now disc brakes! Depending on what you want and how much effort you want to put in, you can do basic and easy OEM style front disc with drums out back and run standard 15” wheel maybe 14”, depending on the rim. I’ll cover the OEM avenue! GM, better than any other manufacturer, built interchangeable components that spanned car models, divisions and years. Even when they were not intended for a particular model, often with minor modifications you could and still can get what you want. The attached photo shows a OEM front disc setup of parts. This setup bolts on/replaces a drum brake front end setup. You may need to add a spacer to one of the attaching bolt areas or machine down a boss to square the bracket. You might even have to take the brackets and modify them while maintaining the integrity of the area were the caliper goes, but in the end this setup takes one of the most reliable disc brake caliper ever used. It has a massive 2 15/16” piston, more than enough to stop any boat! You will need to change the master cylinder and if you add a power booster to the master cylinder, you will have a great braking system. If you have additional questions just ask there are a lot of competent folks here, like Frosty, JustA6 and Indymanjoe to name a few, who are always ready to help! Good Luck!  
    • FeedBot
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