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Old 08-16-2019, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Simple GTM build?

I was wondering if anyone might have insight on how simple a build could be done, thought I'd ask here before buying a manual to read through. Not cheap, but simple. If you weren't as concerned with show car quality fit/finish but as good as you can DIY at home, didn't worry about the side windows, and ran an LSx with Fitech... how much more to this build is there really? Contemplating something along these lines, as I can't see it being a car I would really be able to sell off at a later date, and would only be fair weather/cruising. In a flat or semi flat color, I'm guessing body quality might be a lot harder to spot. Any input is welcome!
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think if you stick with the "kit" as it comes from FFR, have some mechanical ability, you can swing it. Difficulty seems to arise when you start getting into major fiberglass changes design wise, esoteric electronics, and oem looking interiors etc. In other words-show car! If you can do basic fiberglass-sanding , bondo, more sanding Etc., you can always throw on a DIP-It finish, or do a vinyl wrap. Everybody has different ideas and expectations and abilities. It's a process and requires enthusiasm and patience, but well worth the experience.
Just some thoughts IMHO.
Go for it!
Cheers, Jeffl
GTM 422, LS6, cam, heads, Mendeola trans
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've been turning wrenches professionally for about 11 years or so now, ASE master with L1/L3 advanced certs as well. Still just kind of intimidating, as I don't really have body work experience and it seems that's a big issue with the GTM. Just trying to be as honest with myself as possible, as this is a big project to get into and then fizzle out on. Trying to think of ways to make it easier on myself if it came down to it...
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My first caveat is that I don't have a GTM and I'm not building one. I did look at a few in progress or mostly completed ones before I decided to try something a little simpler for my first build and picked up an 818 (still an FFR).

Second caveat is that I have built a car (heavily modified 65 mustang) that is no where near show quality, has lots of little things wrong that jump out to me, but still snaps necks going down the road and can't get through a fuel stop without two conversations with strangers, so I think I have an idea of what it takes to build something along the lines of what you are thinking about.

If it was going to be a track only car, it would probably work. However I can't see it being something that you would be happy to drive on the street unless you live somewhere with perfect weather year round. Without putting significant work on the body, you will not be able to get it weather tight, which means not only issues with rain (getting caught in a pop-up storm even when it was supposed to be nice weather), but Heat/AC will be overpowered by the air coming in from the engine compartment, frunk compartment, and the doors/windows.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You could consider buying a used one that is already built. Most the time, you will get a better bargain that way and the hard part (body work) is already done. Then you can tweak little things to your heart's desire while enjoying it almost instantly. Just a thought.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think you really hit the "highlights" with your comment on not needing perfect fit and finish....especially if you're not installing the windows in the doors. If you're not going to be that concerned with body gaps or perfect alignment of body panels, that is where a great deal of the time and frustration comes in on these builds. If you're happy with "track car" fit and finish, I would not let a GTM build intimidate you. Sounds like you have more than plenty mechanical experience.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am a physician and just finished building my GTM about a year ago. I had minimal mechanical experience but I do have an ability to read and learn and have always been an avid DIY'er. You are WAY more ahead of the game than I was and my car turned out awesome. I asked a ton of bone head questions on this forum and the kind participants answered every one of them. The GTM does not go together easily. Almost nothing fits together the way it should and it requires a lot of patience and ingenuity and customizing. The manual, as others have said, is merely a "suggestion" book and is sometimes flat out inaccurate. The body and doors are a real pain as I'm sure you have read. I don't think you would be happy with spending $50-60K on the car, ignoring the body work, and not getting the justified Ooohs and Awwws that the rest of the GTM build achievers get when we take our cars out. If you have mechanical experience I have no doubt you could build one. I do think you will want to have it look great when its all done, or it just won't be a satisfying achievement for you, in my humble opinion. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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IMHO the key is having expectations set before your start, and it sounds like you are already there. For my build, I wanted a top notch performer and as best to show quality as I can get. This will put me in the realm of doing all the mechanical work myself and getting the body about 70-80% there and then handing off to a pro to finish and lay down the paint. Although I do need to find a painter who is willing to take it on as they can be picky if they don't do 100% of the work. Interior will be similar, if I'm changing overall setup, but will likely pay someone to cover panels and create an interior to match my paint.

Sounds like you are there on the mechanical side and have your expectations set, I'd say go for it.

While you are here maybe you can answer a question for me. I've got an LS3 that I'll be going with an AEM Infinity Series 7 and taking some tuning classes to tune it myself. Do you have any insight on dwell time for coils?

I've got some of the basics down (too slow and will misfire, too high and you will fry the coil, and its a function of system voltage), but looking for a more solid point to start from.
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