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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I finally decided to speak up and start talking on the forums! I decided that I will be building a GTM here within the next year, or as soon as I get can a place with a garage, or rent a hangar to double as my workshop.

In order to reduce build time, I've been looking into new part kits from various vendors. For some reason, I just can't get myself to build a new car with used parts. So far, I've made a pro/con for buying parts new rather than getting a donor car. Does anyone have anything to add?

Pros:
New Parts
Less time: No donor car teardown or cleaning parts
Less room required to build: Space will be an issue for me. This way, I won't have to house a donor car.

Cons-
More expensive: I haven't figured out how much more expensive yet.
???

Does anyone have experience with buying new part kits from vendors?
 

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Be very careful of buying a parts pallet. there are a bunch of Vette parts that may no come with the pallet. For instance,
inside door handles
outside door handles
window tracks
power window wiring
wiper motor
Mirrors etc.
You might want to start with a complete list.

Having a donor car allows you to use some Corvette stuff thats is not
part of the kits normal build. Not sure I would ever do a GTM without the donor.
Mike
 

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Welcome to the forum! IMO, you'd be better off going with a "donor pallet" from a reputable salvage yard. There are a few of them now that I believe specialize in these.....they just ship you a pallet of the donor parts (used) that you need for the build. In my experience you will NOT save time by going with new parts.....my experience is that you will spend days of your time trying to find all of the stuff that GM has discontinued and is no longer available. Also, I had more than a few parts that were the wrong parts from GM, so you have to spend hours with them trying to tell them what you need vs what they sent you. You really don't gain much at all by going with new parts since most of the parts are non-wear items anyway. If you buy a donor pallet minus engine, you will easily save enough money to buy a brand new crate engine for your build. JMHO.
 

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I am building a new car MK 4 with new parts....I am probably only doing this once (i am older than dirt) so why the hell would i build a used car. Its not like i am restoring a car. If you stay on this forum you will get great ideas from this group. I mean really great ideas. And they will cost you money. They will add greatly to the pleasure of the journey (i am in the middle of mine) but it will cost you money.....thats my 2 cents worth....well more like 10 bucks worth.

Sam
 

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Welcome. I would add:

-Used pallets are in the 5K range. New pallets are in the 11K range. Neither comes with all of the listed parts for the build.
-Donor teardown goes very quickly. With minimal planning, you can tear down the donor and have everything ready prior to the kit's delivery.
-If you're planning to use additional donor parts, like the EBTCM, a donor is a great choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very good points. I hadn't even thought about kit lead times, and how that would give me enough time to strip a donor car. Also, I think I'd much rather more time on the car rather than on the phone with customer service and waiting for parts to get delivered. Plus, the perfect way to get me derailed off a project is to be ready to do something, and have to go find the small parts, like door handles, mirrors, etc.

My concern with a donor is whether or not I'd know how to identify a good salvaged corvette from a bad one.

Looks like I'll have to seriously look around at some corvettes and see what they price out at.

Dan
 

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Another advantage to using a donor: Most people gat most if not all there money back, parting out what is left.
Just look for a donor that has minimal damage in the areas that you will be using parts. Even if corner gets taken off, it not too expensive for new upper and lower control arms.
Mike
 

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I went the new route except for engine, transaxle and steering column and I have no regrets. I built my Cobra going the donor route and spent a disproportionate amount of time stripping, cleaning and refurbishing after which I still had used parts. Many of the parts such as brakes and discs were not worth refurbishing and had to be replaced. However, there is no question that the cost is considerably higher going new. Shane has a very valid point regarding small parts such as mating electrical connectors that are hard to find new. I found that the Saturn shares many of these and got all I needed for next to nothing from the salvage yard. I bought all new bolts, nuts etc. for the suspension mounts from GM. It's really a question of how "new" you want your build to be and how much you are prepared to pay.
 

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I went the doner pallet route.

Then I used aftermarket brakes, rotors, and aluminum fuel tanks. So I didn't use the full value of my doner pallet. On the other hand I can sell the plastic tanks and maybe the brakes. We will see.
 

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I went the donor pallet route, then I augmented it with new aluminum tanks, new Z06 big brakes/rotors and various odds and ends. The donor pallet will not have everything you need. For the most part it was a very easy and compact method for getting what I needed for the build. The new parts route is now pushing $13k vs $4.5k for the the pallet. EVen if there is something totally messed up, I think you are still money ahead with the pallet.

This is my reasoning last yuear when I decided to go with the donor pallet:

Super Car Build: Donor Parts vs. New Parts
 

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For me it's coming down to price. Finding a donor car and bringing it up to my neck of the woods will be pretty much the same price as going with the donor palette from SMC. I also prefer using parts that where never used. As much as most of the parts used form the donor are 'for the life of the car' parts there is still SOME mechanical wear especially in the higher mileage donors.

But in the end it comes down to personal preference, budget and the logistics of the build.

P
 

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I went with the donor car option for the same price as the donor pallet.
What I have sold so far has almost covers the cost of a pallet and I still have a couple of $k in parts to sell.
Additionally I ended up with a free LS1 in good condition.
All the wear items have been replaced like bushes and ball joints etc with the exception of the hubs which I will upgrade along with transmission and RWHP. Bushes were to be replaced with polly anyway and ball joints are cheap.
I have two buckets of bolts that I regularly sort through along with the assorted connectors etc that I am repurposing from the donor. The dam thing just keeps on giving and giving.
All things aside stripping the Vette was both work and fun but I have to say that there is some sense of perverse satisfaction with taking a sawsall to a C5 chassis to make it small enough to drop into a dumpster ;-)
 

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unfortunately up here the market for re-selling the unused donor parts is no where near what it is like in the US. So the donor pallet still seems like the better route for me rather than sitting on a bunch of parts that I will never use (though I will research swap meets before making a final decision).

like always YMMV,

P

edit: one thing I just thought of.....taking apart the donor will help in figuring out how things go together, especially for those of us who don't work on cars for a living.
 
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