Glas 1700 GT: planning ahead

How do you plan for a classic car restoration project?  Do you do research, make lists -parts to buy, tasks to accomplish, money to spend, craftsmen to talk to?  Or do you dive in and start taking things apart because your money supply and knowledge are vast?  When I was working on the Giulietta SS I sold last winter, I had short term lists, but no long term list.  I didn’t have a budget to meter out money, and I didn’t have a clear path to success.  With my Glas GT project I am trying to do as much up front planning as possible.

Can’t have a post without an image right?  This is the pilot bearing assembly in the end of the crank shaft.  It is indeed a little needle bearing.  Anyone have one of these special tools I can borrow?

The first question I asked myself about the car was what I wanted out of it:  I want it to be a reliable driver and I want it to be presentable (I’ll define presentable later). I want this with the minimal expense possible.  I took stock of what the car needed to get it to this state and began to make lists of work to do and parts to buy to achieve it.  These lists gave me a sense of how long it would take and how much it would cost.

To simplify planning I broke the Glas GT project down into three phases covering the two aspects of a car -function and form.  Each phase has time and expense components:

  1. Research, parts clean-up and parts gathering
  2. Putting it together and making it function
  3. Making it ‘presentable’

At this point I am pretty far along phase 1.  I’ve done a bunch of research and now know how it all goes together.  I know who has parts, have bought a bunch, and have a pretty good sense of how much it will cost to get to the end of phase 2.  Here’s the list of parts I have bought or am buying and approximate cost:

  • Brake master cylinder (same as Porsche 356) $90*
  • Rear brake cylinders (same as BMW 2002) $20 each*
  • Rear brake flexible line (TBD) $20
  • Front flexible lines $15 each**
  • Front brake pads (Porsche 912) $40
  • Clutch slave cylinder $90*
  • Clutch flexible line (TBD) $20
  • Piston Rings $80**
  • Timing belt $80*
  • Cap and rotor $20*
  • Crank and cam oil seals $80*
  • Water pump repair kit $80*
  • Center bearing for prop shaft $20*
  • Tires 175/65/14 ~$300 set.
  • 6 volt battery

At this point it totals about $1000 and there are no parts I am unable to locate.  I have already ordered the parts with one asterisks, and received those with 2.

Since I don’t have access to the car yet, while parts sourcing and ordering has been going on, I’ve been cleaning parts and making them ready for assembly to the car.  Below is the list of work that has been done/parts that have been cleaned.  If there is a time beside a task, that’s how much more time I need to spend on it.  You can see from this I am behind in writing about this project.

  • Starter cleaned, painted and tested (30 min)
  • Generator cleaned, painted and tested
  • fuel pumps cleaned
  • clutch master cylinder cleaned and tested
  • rear brake shoes inspected, drums cleaned, ready for paint (30 min)
  • Front calipers inspected (it came with a set of rebuilt 912 calipers)
  • Flywheel cleaned and surfaced
  • Wheels dropped off for powder coating, pick-up 1/11
  • bottom end of engine inspected, cleaned and reassembled with new rings
  • Head dropped off at machine shop for valve job and skim
  • Lots of bolts and brackets cleaned and painted/plated

Here’s the stuff that’s on my list, but hasn’t been started -times are how long it should take to do the item.

  • Brake rotors turned. 1 hour
  • Clutch pressure plate cleaned up.  1 hour
  • Timing belt and engine covers painted or powder coated.  1 hour
  • Distributor cleaned, lubed and tested.  1 hour
  • Water pump rebuilt.  2 hours
  • Intake system cleaned and rebuilt as necessary. 4 hours
  • Head assembled to engine, valves adjusted. 2 hours

After about 10 hours more work I will be ready to start assembling rebuilt parts/assemblies to the car.  I hope to be at this point by the end of next week, around 1/14.

Next week I will also finish removing the parts I want from the parts car and sell it to a guy in Southern California who has 5 GT’s in project form.  When my parking spot is clear (hopefully also by the end of this coming week) I will bring my car down and start on phase 2.  Here’s my list for getting the car assembled:

  • Brake system assembled and bled. 4 hours
  • Engine dropped into car. 3 hours
  • Electrical systems hooked up and checked. 3 hours
  • Clutch hydraulics hooked up and bled. 1 hour
  • Cooling system hooked up. 2 hours
  • Final checks, fluids added, belts tensioned etc 2 hours
  • Start engine, fine tune carbs, set timing.  2 hours
  • Take to muffler shop to have exhaust system checked. 2 hours

I figure I can get through all these tasks by the end of January if the weather doesn’t turn too rainy.  There will be some teething at this point, something will go wrong, something will have to come apart and be re-rebuilt, something I missed will need attention, but overall, it should be roadworthy.  Once it’s on the road, I will get it registered and insured an start using it for short trips, thus entering phase 3.  More on phase 3 later.

Does this all sound reasonable?  How would you approach this project? Please comment!





3 thoughts on “Glas 1700 GT: planning ahead

  1. Matt, thanks for sharing this. Question: Are the front flexible brake lines the same as supplied on a more common car? If so which one please – might save me some time. Thanks again, Brian

    • I bought some from the eBay seller out of Argentina. Quality looks good. Price is great. The fronts are very long so I couldn’t find any cross over.


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