The right parts old or new - Pontiac GTO Forum
User Tag List

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The right parts old or new

I recently purchased a 1972 Lemans the car is an all original 350 auto with a four barrel. Here is the question I like traditional but I'm all for improvement. The car does not have to be original for me. How do you know what parts to up grade and what just to replace? Money of course is an issue. This car is an a/c car. Is it better for me to buy a newer meaning improved not original radiator, or stick with stock? I don't want to spend a couple hundred dollars and in a couple month be like man I should have changed that. I drive this car as much as possible. I have no desire to make it into a show car. It is for straight fun. I live in New Jersey so A/C is manditory for me. Any hints on places I can go to to speak with people about profomance and other up grades. You know what carb, What type of pipes. I only want to make these purchase's once and from the right place.

Last edited by treeska; 01-31-2006 at 05:20 PM.
treeska is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 02:52 AM
Verdoro 68's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The rule I followed when working on my '68 was that if there were better parts on the market that had a factory appearance I would use them. This was especially true for parts having to do with safety and reliability.

Since you drive your car regularly and will use the A/C, don't skimp on the cooling system. At minimum get your original radiator recored. It's bound to be on it's last legs if it's the original one. Next step up would be a Desert Cooler radiator from Ames. The top shelf would be an aluminum unit from Rodney Red if your budget allows. Find a water pump with a cast iron impeller - I believe Ames has these as well. Clearance the water pump dividing plate and the water pump impeller - see Jim Hand's book for more info on that.

Finally, if you are missing the factory 7 blade fan find one and buy a good quality thermostatic clutch for it. I have to be honest about this one. I changed back to a factory fan after running a flex fan for years and actually saw my temps increase. Most folks swear the factory 7 blade fans cool the best.

Other things you might consider upgrading along the way:

-Trade the points ignition for an HEI or electronic conversion kit from Pertronix or Mallory
-If you have 4 wheel drum brakes, consider buying a power disc conversion kit
-Upgrade your suspension bushings to polygraphite. This is more of a personal choice as some folks don't like the harsh ride polyurethane can give you.
-Upgrade to a larger front sway bar from a late '70's WS6 T/A
-Add or upgrade to a larger rear sway bar and boxed control arms
-If your A/C system is broken, convert it over to 134a when you get it working again. This is not as easy as it sounds and could be fairly expensive.

Other resources to check: the forums at the Performance Years website, back issues of High Performance Pontiac Magazine,, and Jim Hand's book "Building High Performance Pontiac V8s"

Last edited by Verdoro 68; 02-01-2006 at 02:57 AM.
Verdoro 68 is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-03-2006, 09:07 AM
lars's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Pontiac didn't make 350 4-barrel cars, so the car is already non-original... so don't worry about the radiator. The only 350 engine offered by Pontiac in '72 was a 160-horse 2-barrel. There are plenty of good and inexpensive radiators available for the car that are non-Harrison radiators, and they will perform just fine on the 350.
lars is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO General Discussion

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Pontiac GTO Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome