61-64 Cross Member and Exhaust news!

March 11th, 2018

For all you people who have modified 61-64 cars and either have or want to install Ram Air Restorations 65-66 421 376 horse exhaust manifolds on your car, I have some news!  These manifolds are the best thing you can do to make about 25 extra horse verses the “brick wall” exhaust manifolds Pontiac made per Jim Butler at Butler Performance.  DO NOT MAKE THESE TWO MISTAKES:

#1:  DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER TUBE STYLE HEADERS.  They suck.  They do not fit behind the steering box (must be beat with a hammer).  You cannot get over speed bumps and the usually leak and burn plug wire ends.  They come loose as well.

#2:  Ram Air Restorations (800-421-8455) makes the only CORRECT version of the 65-66 421 376 horse manifolds.  Others are made with the passenger side being cast backwards.  They are also made in China.  They are bad.  Unfortunately, Ames sells the bad versions.  Buy straight from Ram Air and purchase the entire kit.  The entire kit has both manifolds, the 3″ oil filter spacer (must have), a new bolt kit, new flanges and the best exhaust manifold gaskets in the business.  They fit all “D” head Pontiac engines and have 2.5″ exhaust right out of the box.  If you install on 61 to 64 applications with a back bolt starter, you MUST use a mini-torque starter from Ram Air (MS-2).  If you install on 65 on up big cars, you should use a mini-torque starter as well (MS-1).  Why?  In order to change out a 65 on-up starter, the drivers side manifold must be loosened to remove or replace the starter.  If you use a mini-torque starter, you do not have to loosen the manifold.  If you use the mini-torque starter on ANY applications, you must make a new battery cable and new start (purple) wire.  Your original wires were 18″ long.  You new wires will need to be 24″ long.

Why am I telling you all this exhaust manifold stuff?  Remember I said their manifolds get you to 2.5″ exhaust.  Your car came with 2″ exhaust and it ran OVER THE TOP of your cross member.  With 2.5″ exhaust, it will not clear the floor.  65 and newer cars were built differently and the pipes do not interfere.  I came across this as I installed the Ram Air manifolds on my own car.  I had considered all options.  Notching the cross member, welding 3″ dom pipe on both sides…wow!  Finally Paul at Ram Air offered a solution.  Use a 64-72 A body cross member (not Chevelle).  It has a raised area on both sides to allow pipes to go under the cross member.  I obtained one of these and welded 1.5″ of flat metal the same thickness on both ends (good, hot welds) to make it the same length as my old cross member and the same thickness.  I reused the 61-64 cross member rubber insulators and bolted in my car.  It worked out great with my original 4 speed transmission mount, so it should it should also work in an automatic application as well.  One thing…you have to drill the cross member to use your original parking brake cables, so pay close attention here.  I also recommend a cross-over pipe after the cross member (and before the mufflers) to relieve back pressure and exhaust popping.  I will post photos when I get my car up in the air again.  I hope this article helps a load of people.  Thanks to Paul at Ram Air Restorations.  Great guy!  LK  3/11/2018

Smoke Signal Article on 8 Lugs + More!

March 11th, 2018

First off, please see the January 2018 issue of POCI’s Smoke Signals for a 4 page article written by PontiacParadise Technical Adviser, POCI’s 8 Lug Adviser and Midwest Board of Director of POCI Les Kasten.  The article covers a number of 8 lug issues and updates.

Second off, I want to pass on some very valuable information.  A couple of years ago, Brad from Fabcraft told me of a way to make your drum brake Pontiac stop like NOW!  I was in the mist of another problem facing 61-64 Catalina/Grand Prix owners buying new brake shoes.  I have done countless shoes changes however I was doing the front shoes on my own 64 Catalina and I had gone to O’Rielly to get new shoes.  I already had a new small parts kit from Kanter.  When I went to install the shoes, I noticed that the new shoes had oval holes where the “nails” came thru.  The original shoes had round holes and used round springs and caps.  The new shoes could not be installed.  I tried shoes from Auto Zone, Car Quest and even looked on line.  They ALL had oval mounting holes.  I had to order a correct set of shoes from Minneapolis Truck and Car Brake.  I finally checked back with O’Rielly and looked at photos of Bonneville shoes.  They had the round holes.  I did order a set of these to confirm.  Ok, listen up…..all the parts stores and shoes online for 61-64 Catalina and Grand Prixs are WRONG.  THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE FOR BONNEVILLE VERSES CATALINA BRAKES.  ORDER BONNEVILLE BRAKE SHOES.  BTW….save your old shoes…here’s why:

During the “dark time”, I had a great conversation with Brad at Fabcraft.  He passed on this information.  He takes his front shoes and has them relined with FORKLIFT MATERIAL!  Your local forklift repair dealer can take your old shoes and reline them.  There is bad news and good news.  Bad news is they will only last about 10,000 miles.  The good news is that your car will stop on a dime and give you 9 cents back!  It cost me $40 to get my fronts done.  Since most of your braking is up front, I’m not sure you need to do the rears.   Most of us will never get 10,000 miles on our cars.

Another thing….watch out for eBay 61-64 new rubber brake hoses from South America.  They come in sets of three, 2 fronts and one rear.  The fronts are fine but the rear hose is completely wrong and useless.  All the attaching fittings are wrong. What a waste of time.  May be the same problem for 65-68 hoses.   Hope this helps!  LK 3/11/2018

Les Kasten’s 8 Lug Article in Smoke Signals!

February 7th, 2018

Please see Les Kasten’s 4 page article in this month’s Smoke Signals regarding 8 lug wheels and current problems, how to paint your 8 lugs, disc brake conversion using 8 lugs up front and balancing plates.  The painting part of the article was the final part Ron Panzer planned to write with Les before he passed away.  Ron had written four previous articles in Smoke Signals.  PontiacParadise.com uses Z & L Machine for all NEW 8 lugs, 8 lug relines, the disc brake conversion, balancing plates and 8 lug repairs and parts including repro lug nuts (LH or RH threads).  Contact Larry Groskopf at 815-735-4002.  Email is lgto67@yahoo.com.  Address is 1501 Hermitage Drive, New Lenox, IL 60451.  PontiacParadise.com sells the new 15″ and 16″ 8 lug wheels in various widths and finishes.  Thanks!  LK 2/7/2018

Have a nasty gas tank or bad sender?

February 7th, 2018

We are receiving a large number of calls regarding the above problems.  Here is the information to solve your problems IF we do not have a reproduction tank or sender for you.

#1:  You have a nasty, rusty, leaking or stinky fuel tank.  DO NOT THROW OUT!  Go to https://www.gastankrenu.com/locate-a-dealer/ and send the tank to them.  They can repair almost any problem you have.  Your tank will come back sealed inside and out.  It will be a dull black when it returns.  It will not have that zinc finish however it comes with a lifetime warranty nation-wide.  They also will send your sender out and have it either repaired or find a NOS one.  If you can find a new tank, fine.  If not, here is your next best bet.  Call the nearest dealer and follow their shipping instructions.

#2:  You have a gas tank sender that does not work.  Once again, DO NOT THROW OUT!  We have discovered a company that will repair your old sender, change out the sock and return with a new gasket, all for $125!  So if you have a non-reproduced sender, you are saved!  This company can also install an additional line for those who are going with fuel injection.  Contact Dan at Tri-Starr, 315-712-0071, 1452 State Route 89, Seneca Falls, NY 13148.  Email is sendingunitguy@gmail.com.

This should solve a number of problems.  We hope this helps!  LK 2/7/2018

1965-66 Fuel Tanks & Senders HERE NOW!

November 21st, 2017

Using our patterns, our supplier has finally delivered the new reproduction 65 and 66 fuel tanks!  It’s taken 3 years to get these here.  They are galvanized with a 3 year warranty on the finish.  They are complete with the filler neck and the vent tube.  They are exact!  The senders are too.  The sender package comes with the new single line sender, the new lock down ring and correct rubber o ring.  Strap kits are coming soon, but the tanks and senders are here.  The sender can be modified for conversion to a dual line sender by us.  That cost will be determined soon.  For now, the fuel tanks are $299 each and the senders are $50 each.  Shipping will be at cost via Fed Ex Ground.  Straps will be here shortly and this post will be modified. Have photos we can email of the tank and sender.  LK 11/21/2017

1964 Catalina Quarter Panel Clips And More Coming soon!

August 20th, 2017

Next repro project will be 1964 Catalina Nylon Quarter Panel Clips.  Once again, a part that the industry really needs.  Door clip are available and have been for a long time.  As with all repro parts, its the tooling that kills you.  We expect these in late September.   Cost should be around $3.95 each.  We may sell in car sets as well.  Keep watching!  Other future projects include the following:

-Re-run of 1965 Battery Trays

-First run of 66 Battery Trays

-1964 Grand Prix Parking Light Lens

-63-64 Clock Lens

-61-62 Clutch Rod Boot and Wiper

-61-62 Clutch Rod Boot Retainer

-Re-run of correct 63-64 Bellhousing Boot

We need to borrow a correct 63-64 bellhousing boot from somebody PLEASE!  Our first run of these was incorrect as we were sold a 65-72 boot in a 63-64 box.  We are eating these.  PLEASE HELP!

Still have just a few 64 tachometer mounting brackets left. We have heard that former Ames owner Steve is reproducing 66 GP Parking Light Lens. We also plan on making the correct pretzel 62-64 console shifter to bolt to your new under car Hurst Comp. Plus shifter to maintain that original look. Prototypes are done.  Last but not least is for us to make both bench and console rubber boots that fit a Hurst stick, not the round piece of crap that currently available.  Material will be 10 times better than current crap. Boots will include 60-64 bench seat boot, 62-64 console boot and 65-68 shifter boot.  Again, tooling is a lot of cash. Cash takes time.  Thanks!  LK 8/20/2017

No More Credit Cards at PontiacParadise……..

June 23rd, 2017

Because of problems associated with taking credit cards, fees and practices beyond our control, we are no longer accepting credit cards.  We gladly accept personal checks, money orders and PayPal with a 3% up-charge. We are sorry however these changes were forced upon us.  Thanks for understanding!  LK 6/23/2017

Finally! 1965 & 1966 Fuel Tanks, Senders and Strap Kits!

June 23rd, 2017

After providing the fuel tank, straps and sender to get repro’d 3 years ago, they are finally here!  Available to order: Correct Fuel Tanks with galvanized finish with 3 year warranty…$299.00.  Strap kits: $59.00 and Senders (single line only) are $100.00.  We have the capacity to convert single line senders into dual line senders and do it correctly.  The senders come with the new lock down ring and he correct “flag” o ring.  No more used crap tanks filled with garbage!  LK 6/23.2017

Update on 1965 and 1966 Battery Trays……

June 20th, 2017

After a long time waiting, we are about to make another run (more this time) of our 65 battery trays.  We sold out of 111 trays in a very short time.  Same company that did them last time using our tooling.  Also, we are going to make a run of the 66 battery tray.  We have a NOS 66 tray to use as our pattern.  We hope to do this by early fall.  Please keep watching this blog for future updates.  Thanks for your patience. LK 6/20/2017

1961 to 1964 Rear End “Beehive” Bumper Here!

June 20th, 2017

Ever seen the frame mounted “beehive” bumper mounted in the center of the frame directly above your 61 to 64 3rd member?  Don’t feel bad as most haven’t.  They are usually long gone.  If they are still in place, they are cracked, dry rotted and harder than Japanese arithmetic!  Once your car bottomed out once or twice, they were gone.  After searching for many years, we finally found a good one.  This is our next repro part.  Cost is $13.95 plus $7.20 current USPS Priority Mail in the US only.  World wide at cost.  196