Non Pontiac Motors in Pontiacs includes factory 403,305,350 Chevy, Buick V6,
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  #1  
Old 01-10-2021, 07:53 PM
Way2qwk4u Way2qwk4u is online now
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Default 1970 LeMans Repower

Working on making a build thread on this project. Been a many year deal. Was my dads high school car. And when I inherited it from it was still riding on tires that were installed before I was born. Started out life like this.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2021, 12:22 PM
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Good luck on your project. Having been your Dad's car makes this extra special.

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Old 01-11-2021, 09:55 PM
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Dad had the car sent back to his friend in Alabama who restores Pontiacs for a hobby. Paid the guy piecemeal to get it back in shape. Looks pretty good. Dad and I went down and brought the car back home. After that it sat at his house for about 8 years and he did not do much of anything with it. This is how it looked when we got it back home.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2021, 10:18 PM
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In 2012 my Dad called and asked a really goofy question. He asked me if I would trade my rarely used Polaris 500 sportsman for his LeMans. Well of course I'll take that trade. So I took it home and got to work getting it back in shape. Installed 4 wheel disks. Changed the iron intake to a performer RPM. Added a new carb. Changed the distributor over to HEI. Added an MSD Digital 6AL. New wires etc. Also car was still running the factory shocks. So changed those as well. After that added the hood tach and new head lights. Makes a big difference in driving at night. The car still had 2 of 4 OEM T3 headlights. Swapped over to HID lights and and Halogen low beams. Was a big difference. When swapping the brakes over found out that the rear calipers would not clear the factory 14" rally wheels. Had to get some steel 15" wheels for the time being. Started driving the car and enjoying it.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2021, 10:21 PM
Way2qwk4u Way2qwk4u is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammertime Mike View Post
Good luck on your project. Having been your Dad's car makes this extra special.
Yup it has been fun. Getting to the end though. Well they are never really done but 2020 was the year I wanted to really get after it. So now that I got pretty far and am just working on finishing some small things figured I'd post about it. Not the kind of guy that tells a story much. But have been reading and learning from the great guys here.

  #6  
Old 01-12-2021, 09:09 AM
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Silver w black top looks fantastic! Very nice ride. Was the brighter light as simple as swapping headlights or was there a wiring change?

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  #7  
Old 01-12-2021, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCMDGTO View Post
Silver w black top looks fantastic! Very nice ride. Was the brighter light as simple as swapping headlights or was there a wiring change?
Swapping the lights was just changing over to non sealed beam glass and then adding the HID kit. The glass I got has the reflector to cut down on the glare to other drivers. The HID kit was pug and play. And I have them wired as the highs and it does not bother traffic coming at me. (well I never get high beamed)

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Old 01-12-2021, 10:08 PM
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Drove the car off and on during the summer on the weekends. Started to plan other upgrades to the car. First on the list was the suspension. Seeing that the stock shocks were on the car and that the other bushings were cracked and worn. I placed an order with UMI Performance and installed their full stage 3 kit and installed it on the car. Unfortunately I cant find the pictures of that or of the new Dakota Digital dash install. Car handles so much nicer with the new suspension on. Made a world of difference. I recommend UMI and their products.

The Dakota dash really made the car nice to drive and gauges easier to read and kind of solidified the Pro Touring or RetoMod theme. I like the old car look but wanted some of the modern touches. This car was never numbers matching and it sure is not a GTO or collectible in that sense. I do find it cool that of the car shows I have been to, I never see another Lemans though.

Also while under the car doing the new suspension I took out the stock carrier and gears and installed a set of 3.73 gears and a posi-traction unit. Installed new bearings and seals and installed a rear cover and bearing cap braces. I am pretty sure based on tooth count that the stock ratio was close to 2.73. I know that it would hardly get moving but once it was going it cruised really well.

All of this work was completed in 2014-2015. I also installed a new Kenwood head unit and new pioneer rear deck and kick panel speakers. My uncle had already butchered the dash metal to install a Sparkomatic some "wally world" brand I guess radio. It was around this time I began contemplating the next steps for this car. The original 350 still ran excellent but time had taken its toll on all the gaskets. They were all starting to leak and the motor was due for a refresh. Story from my father was that it was rebuilt in 1980 and was from one of his earlier cars. I cant remember if it was a GT-37 or another car he had. The trans was a TH400 with a TransGo shift kit in it as well. So by this time the motor and trans had about 35 years on them.

So it was a difficult choice for me on what to install in the car. I really wanted to stay with pure Pontiac power. But after doing the research and making various budget sheets and pro/con lists, I settled on going LS. I just at this point in my life could not justify the dollar per HP ratio. Where I work almost 98% of our fleet is LS powered and I get first dibs on any retired vehicles. Also I already had a fully rebuilt 5.3 that was siting on a stand in the garage.

So in 2016 I started gathering parts together for the swap. I wanted to have it all ready so that I could enjoy the car while I was working on getting things together. I finally had every thing together this year. And I really got started in November and took the car off the road. Before that I had the car ran on the dyno to see where it was before I got started.

297 Tq
228 WHP

Goal would be 600- 700 WHP
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2021, 10:47 AM
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I do like the Dakota gauges . The headlights too, help add the updated look to a classic car. You've made yourself a classy ride!

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  #10  
Old 01-13-2021, 11:53 AM
Way2qwk4u Way2qwk4u is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammertime Mike View Post
I do like the Dakota gauges . The headlights too, help add the updated look to a classic car. You've made yourself a classy ride!
Thanks working on it. Hope that it all comes together. I have a lot more updates left to post.

  #11  
Old 01-13-2021, 09:12 PM
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So earlier this year I started with installing new Year One rally wheels and firehawk rubber. 275/40/17 on all 4 corners. Really changed the look of the car. Also I added a new steering wheel as the current column is not tilt and the original steering wheel was turning to Goop. Started gathering parts for the swap and planning what I thought I could have done before spring 2021.
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2021, 09:21 PM
Way2qwk4u Way2qwk4u is online now
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Got the new steering wheel installed. Also took this time to invest in something I've never owned and got myself a lift for the garage. Always done my work on ramps or stands. Not anymore. Sure it's not a 2 post but I don't have room for that in my current garage. 15x32x8'. So got a Quick Jack 7000# lift. It works real nice and fits all of my vehicles and its fairly portable. My son finds it awesome that you can lift a car with a push of a button. Also do not have any pictures of the install but I had replaced the stock tank years ago. The sender unit was bad and once you hit 1/4 tank it quit moving. Left me stranded once. So new tanks tank and straps. Made sure I got the version with the EFI sump even back then.
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  #13  
Old 01-13-2021, 09:31 PM
Way2qwk4u Way2qwk4u is online now
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Got more parts showing up. Got the oil pan in and installed. Got the LS swap kit from BRP hotrods. Found a 4L80E from our fleet. Unboxed the wiring harness that I had from the original donor vehicle for the 5.3 and got started on stripping down the harness and making it stand alone ready for the trans and for the motor. Using a cable throttle body. And started cleaning out spaces in the garage and worked on insulating the walls and recovering in plywood. Have had Heating and Cooling in the garage but was not cost effective to leave on.
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2021, 09:39 PM
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Started in on the wiring harness. Fun for exercising my brain but a lot of tedious work. But got it all lined out and labeled. Dropped the rear o2 sensors. Kept the knock sensors and transmission control wires. Dumped any other non needed circuits. Laid it out on the motor and made sure everything was where I wanted it.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:25 PM
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Was able to get a 4L80E from one of the fleet vehicles. Would not move in any gear. Started tearing it down. Got it pulled apart and found the forward clutches toasted. Cleaned the case and set it aside for the time being.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:32 PM
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Got the new motor painted and sealed up. Painted the valve covers and the coil brackets. Painted the water pump. Ordered new alternator, power steering pump and tensioner. Installed new plugs and sensors. Also swap headers showed up. Speed Engineering stainless headers. Looks like they will fit. Took the car to a Drive In we have in town and watched a double feature. Was a classic car cruise in as well.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:43 PM
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Took a break from the engine and transmission work. Started on the audio upgrades on the car. So built an amp rack and trunk panel. Installed sub enclosure behind the panel and then installed the panel. Installed 2 Alpine amps and power cap. One amp is for the four speakers and the other is feeding the subs. First try at building any thing like this. Have had audio systems before but they were always thrown together and not near as neat. I'm sure someone will find issues with what I did. But hey got to learn somehow. Also received oil cooler and fuel system parts in the mail as well. Going to run an in tank pump and firewall mounted regulator with return line. Also started to figure up the cost to tune and reuse the factory ECM. Holley's new Terminator X Max looks like it my be the ticket.
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:41 PM
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One of the installers at work crashed one of the vans last year and I was able to pay the buy back from the insurance to keep the van. Was really just after the engine and trans. Maybe the harness and computer as well as the hydraboost unit. Van was towed to local shop that does the work I don't want to do. The owner there called me when he ran the vin# and found that we had just replaced the transmission 15k miles ago with a brand new gm unit. Still had warranty left. So I decided to not worry about the trans I was rebuilding. Also got a Holley Terminator X Max. Found it was cheaper without the handheld and got it that way. I was always planning on using a laptop anyway for tuning.
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  #19  
Old 01-18-2021, 09:51 PM
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Also picked and installed a keyless entry and start system. So no more keeping up with keys. Walk up door unlocks, sit down push brake and push button car starts. Just like a new car . Got a new camshaft for the engine and a matching converter for the trans. So getting some parts together to really start moving now.

Sorry if I did not make it clear. I have completed the swap at this point in time. Just playing catch up on the build thread. I wish I was fast enough to get it all done this quick. I started most of the actual swap in November 2020.
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2021, 06:51 PM
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cool...

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