Winter Storm Jonas


Jan. 23rd, 2016: At last, the winter storm Jonas has arrived… and just in time for my brothers birthday. Roxanne managed to get in on the fun as well. When it was all said and done Jonas dumped 2 feet of snow and gave pretty much everyone the week off.

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Trans. Paint Stripping Pt. 3

someyellow cover

Jan. 22nd, 2016: I’ve been finding myself frequently wandering into the basement to chip away at the housing for 10-15 minutes at a time. Just brushing on a small dab of paint thinner, then some elbow grease with a 3M pad or a steel brush. It’s coming out quite well. Now as soon as it stops snowing I’ll be able to dig the transmission out the snow on the porch and get going with the main body.


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Trans. Paint Stripping Pt. 2


Jan. 21st, 2016: Snapped a quick shot of the housing before calling it a night and starting clean up. Didn’t use anything but a steel brush, green pad, and a small screwdriver to poke at the corners.

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Trans. Paint Stripping Pt. 1


Jan. 21st, 2016: Ahead of winter blizzard Jonas, I managed to get everything I needed to at least start the transmission restoration. FINALLY after years of that terrible puke yellow paint staring me in the face I’ll be able to strip it away once and for all.

Once upon a time I managed to get my hands on a 1972 Pontiac Luxury Lemans project and used air plane paint remover extensively, luckily I learned a lot since then – what I mean by that is… NO aerosol applicators.


“Bodywork” on 1972 Pontiac Lemans – circa 2001

Furthermore there was a nice quite before the storm, no wind, no rain, nothing, in fact the weather was quite pleasant save for the temperature. Nothing a few layers wouldn’t take care of.


The blistering of the paint was not happening as thoroughly and quickly as I had hope, without a doubt the chill in the air was the culprit and so before I knew it I was starting to lose light. I managed three layers in between scrapings. The garden hose had frozen from the previous weeks of cold weather so I used a solvent and wiped down the transmission before letting her air out on the porch. By the end of the night I had the housing in the basement and the transmission nicely wrapped up in a tarp on the porch.

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Shifter: Check


Jan. 20th, 2016: Success. After being taken away from this project by, well life, I managed to sneak away and give it another try for an hour. After some close inspection of before photos and some tinkering, I realized I made a bone head move and assembled a few of the innards in the opposite direction. Once the correction was made the shifter came together with ease. I also wanted to note that I used Lucas’ Red ‘n’ Tacky Grease when rebuilding. A baggie was marked for the installation hardware and the shifter placed along with it… onward to the transmission it self now.

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Hurst Shifter Officially Starts the Project


Jan. 15th, 2016: This marks the first day in actual work towards the restoration being done. Removed the shifter, dissembled, cleaned and greased. All in all everything looked in pretty good shape save for some marks left by a locking washing under one of the mounting bolts. I suspect it might not be part of the original hardware kit. Don’t ask me how but I sliced my thumb pretty bad while I was trying to put the shifter back together and decided that was a good save point. Sorry I couldn’t work the camera with one hand – no blood pictures.

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Transmission Research


Jan. 13th 2016: To be completely honest I never even figured out what kind of transmission my GTO had when I first started driving it. I don’t think there was any major issue with the transmission before it was removed sometime in 2009, however I remember struggling with some adjustment for the clutch. Whatever this will afford me the excuse to tear this thing apart and make it my own. There is something about knowing exactly what is in your car and that you’ve accounted for every bolt and nut.

To prepare for this project YouTube was called into service. While spending an idle weekday evening browsing rebuild videos a came across one account run by Paul Cangialosi. I’m not an expert on transmissions by any means but he sure as hell seems like one. It’s not only the relatable and friendly way Paul makes his videos that draw me to them but even more so is the unmistakable experience and passion this guy has for his craft.

After spending enough time watching/reading from all sorts of sources online I decided to purchase Paul Cangialosi’s book on rebuilding Muncie transmissions. 1st thing I noticed when the book arrived was the material quality, seriously. I’m back in college and buying all sorts of books these days and let me tell you, nothing is more frustrating than coughing up the hundreds of dollars for a single text book only to realize they couldn’t bother to wrap it in a decent binding or upgrade the paper beyond the practically see through trace. That was NOT the case with Paul’s book, for a paper back it has a respectable tough cover, decent binding, large and bright pictures, and the pages are made of a strong/glossy paper – I expect to improve the resistance against grease stains. The book is organized well enough but the layout in each chapter seems a little odd. Until I get the transmission project finished I won’t really know how much I like the book but so far I feel it will be well worth the price.

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A Tight Squeeze


Jan. 7th, 2016: With the harsher elements of winter fast approaching and the lack of space for the time being, much of the project will be tucked away, in this very, very, very small closet.

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Evicted Squirrels Left Surprises

Jan. 2, 2016: At last arriving back home in Virginia, the process of unloading, organizing and cleaning had to begin. This day mostly comprised of unloading the truck, the car, and cleaning the inside of the GTO.

Loaded with half eaten acorns, blankets of grey and red matted hair, and lots rodent poop. It really sounds worse then it really was. *Thinks about what he just said, and knocks on some wood* For now the damage appears to be limited to an old orange blanket that was covering the back seat, and idea from dearest mom in fact before the car went into storage years ago.


The seats, floor mats, and center console were removed to facilitate cleaning.


The trunk carpet has a lovely imprint of an old clutch disc that was stored in the rear for all these years.

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Home Sweet Home


Jan 2, 2016: At last arriving back home in Virginia, the process of unloading, organizing and cleaning had to begin.

More or less this was the route taken.


I’ve made this cross country trip several times now and feel it might be worth mentioning a few things.

  1. Avoiding junk food/sodas helps… a LOT more than you would imagine
  2. Water > 5 Hour energy > Energy Drink > Soda
  3. Stopping to fill up at just before 1/4 tank seemed to give the right space in between breaks.

BEST GAS STATION(S) – LOVE’s travel stops, hands down – they are by far the friendliest, cleanest, and most reasonably priced locations. It was weird ordering a shower at a gas station, but the ones they have offered a pleasant surprise: Big, Comfortable and Clean. In short time it was the only place I was stopping for fuel and whatever else was needed.

WORST GAS STATION(S) – Every single Shell station I stopped at was a disaster, some so much so I just hopped back in the truck and did the x amount of miles to the next station.

MOST INTENSE WEATHER – Oklahoma: Fog with 10′ visibility, Light snow.

I will edit this post once I find the time to go through the paperwork and find out how much fuel I purchased and who was the cheapest, most expensive and so forth.

#pontiac #pontiacgto #1971pontiacgto #thereturnofroxanne #roxannereturns #lovestravelstops

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