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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I'm nuts, but there's just no dissuading me: I want to restore my own '71 GTV -- by myself. I'm hoping this thread will provide the basics for how I can make that happen: the skills I'll need to acquire, and the tools I'll need to make it happen.

Let me be more specific. I have owned my GTV for over a decade. During that time, I've probably rebuilt everything on it, excluding the engine and transmission. I realize that's a big exception, but everything from the brakes to wiring harness, steering and suspension has been rebuilt in my backyard.

Maybe I've done it backwards though, so while the car runs and performs beautifully, it looks like hell.

Now, I want to: (a) strip it; (b) blast it; (c) repair all rust; (d) repaint it; and (e) re-do the interior. I realize that to get this done is an epic undertaking, but I don't care. I can't afford to farm it out (I know you'll tell me I probably can't afford the tools to make it happen either), and I'd like to get this thing back to its original glory.

Can someone provide me with: (a) reliable resources (books, internet sites, etc.) that teach DIYers how to do this? (b) a quick list of skills I'll need, including MIG welding, other metal work, paint, apholstery, etc.? and (c) list of tools to get it done? Are there shops out there where I can rent a space, a paint room, a lift?

If this has been posted elsewhere, I've missed it. If you could point me to any existing threads that go through this analysis, I'm more than happy to take this down.

Many, many thanks in advance.
 

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Jazz,

There is tons of reading to be done in this forum and the GTV forum. I have started to resore my own GTV, a '74 last fall and will keep plugging away until it's done!

Here are some of the tools you will need:

Basic MIG welder with gas. The flux core is just too crappy a weld for me. I have a Miller 110 Volt unit that works great for sheet metal. Check out CL for a used unit.

I found a sawzall and 2 , 4-1/2 inch grinders. One with a fine wheel for cut offs and a thick one for heavy grinding. I bought them real cheap at Harbor Fright. Changing discs is a PIA and I'm lazy.

I use my jig saw to cut out metal patches from a sheet of 18 guage that I got from my buddies at the weld shop. See below. Much more accurate and faster than shears.

A BUNCH of vice grips for holding metal parts close together to weld them. Maybe a minimum of 8. Cheap at HF.

If you know a local weld shop, drop in and ask them to teach you to weld sheet metal. That's what I did and they put me to work for a saturday welding up stuff about what I would see on a car. I also had them show me how to set up my welder too. I worked for free and they taught me. I bought beer at the end of the day. Win Win.
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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If you know a local weld shop, drop in and ask them to teach you to weld sheet metal. That's what I did and they put me to work for a saturday welding up stuff about what I would see on a car. I also had them show me how to set up my welder too. I worked for free and they taught me. I bought beer at the end of the day. Win Win.
Wow, that's creative!
 

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Another option is Community College. I took a couple of semesters of welding, cost about $50, you use their equipment and materials. I did Gas, MIG and TIG on steel and aluminum. At the end of the last semester I bought a tubing notcher and various sizes of cromalloy tubing and practiced TIG welding clusters. That was challenging.

As for the rest of it, it's learn as you go - and make mistakes along the way so be prepared to do things twice or three times if necessary.

Bodywork is very challenging. You may think you've got it good but when that finish coat of paint goes on every single little thing you missed is going to show up. You'll scratch your head and wonder how the heck you missed that!
 

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I can't afford to farm it out (I know you'll tell me I probably can't afford the tools to make it happen either).
No, I'd say that the tools to do metalwork and painting are quite a bit cheaper than the cost of professional bodywork. jcslocum's post details what's needed - I'd guess you're looking at $1,500 - $2000 to acquire hobbyist-quality welding, grinding, and painting equipment, as long as you shop at Harbor Freight or Craisglist - not Griots and Snap-On.

It's the hours that quickly escalate the cost of the pro's work - paying that guy who puts hundreds of hours into your car, including his payroll tax, FICA, medical, insurance, etc.

Are there shops out there where I can rent a space, a paint room, a lift?
Uh, that may be a challenge. You may have trouble finding someone willing to rent space to an amateur restorer because of insurance issues. And, since most restorations take a long time, the rental expense will add up. Consequently, most people work in their home garages, which assumes that you (and your neighbors) can live with the sound and smells of the air compressor, air chisel, welding, and painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all these comments; really encouraging. Please, keep them coming, as I'm still trying to figure out how best to proceed.
Joe
 

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find something to practice on. buy a cheap door and fender from your favorite bone yard, if it is not dented then give a few good ones and then fix them. cut out some pieces and weld them back in. make some holes and fit some patches. cut it in half and put it back together.
 

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I've read this thread a couple of times and figure it has the potential to be a long one...
As Jay said, you'll need a base of operations for this project that doesn't cost you anything. Renting a space somewhere is just not a viable option, for a million reasons. I've only seen about 76 of these arrangements go south, and it's never been good for the car owner. Most importantly, such situations put time constraints on you.
Once you have a suitable place for the project, your first step is disassembly. You'll need a thousand or so Ziploc bags so you can keep track of all the nuts, bolts, screws, clips, and thingies. Write on them with a Sharpie and don't skimp on the information. A bag labeled "headliner" won't get it.
Please let us know how this progresses.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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Just take your time and when you get frustrated just walk away and think about it, another good reason to do it at home. Lots or resto threads, and just keep plugin along. Plenty of support here. How about some photos, gotta document this project:)
 
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