LS1GTO Forums banner
61 - 80 of 91 Posts

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Here's a quarterly update. Some family issues came up and I had to slow the progress on the GTO. In that time I managed to find a Harrop Diff cover and an upgraded Hendrix Engineering mount. The G-Force mini-tub's came in 2 days ago, the airbag for the steering wheel project just showed up at my office 15 minutes ago. For the past 3 weeks, I've been trying my hand at Carbon Fiber skinning (this has been on parts for my G5...but the intent is to do this to the interior parts of the GTO). I have all kinds of resins and 5 rolls of various types Carbon Fiber for that project....

...but it has been VERY slow going...

Sorry, but no pictures for now. Work has been next to impossible to keep up with,
  • Like
Reactions: Sacrifice

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
It has been 8 months since my last post. :(

I would LOVE to say I made some progress with my GTO. Instead, I had issues with my daily :poop:馃摝. If you want to read about it, here's the link.

In short....I now have 2 Orange Pontiacs with the engines painted Pontiac Blue Metallic. One is S/C, the other is N/A.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Vehicle Automotive design

Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Motor vehicle

I haven't touched the GTO in a while - BUT - while working on my :poop:馃摝 I got an idea of a new mod on the GTO. They say everything happens for a reason...and the reason my daily took a dump is because people are stupid and don't change their oil often enough!

...after going to Pontiac Adventures (in the Wisconsin Dells) and taking a week off of working on cars, I now have a LOT of motivation to get my GTO running. I still need to finish up a project for a friend's GTO. He recently moved BACK to Wisconsin and I promised him I would get this part done for him AGES ago. So, before I get myself involved in too much of my own stuff, I need to clean off my plate.

Anyway, I have a guy lined up who'll do the Minitub this fall, my diff. is out and at a media blaster. When that comes back, I'll rebuild it with ALL new components (incl. a Harrop Diff Cover and Hendrix Engineering heavy duty diff bracket). I also have NEW brackets (of my own design) for the coil packs, which I'm REALLY excited to show off!! All of this and I sold a car last month. Now there is a LOT more room in the garage...way more than before!

Thanks for reading and I'll be sure to post up more progress soon.

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #63 ·
I'm glad that 2021 is was a rough year. I hardly got a chance to work on the GTO due to a LOT of personal problems.

In May of 2021, I began having issues with my daily. I thought it was going to be about a month project...maybe 2 with the 'pandemic' and all. It wasn't. The previous owner ran the G5 I bought out of oil at some point and used thicker oil to remedy the problem and slow the smoke from coming out of the tail pipe.

I changed the oil and opened a can of worms. I ended up getting a newer motor; basically trading my 112k mile 2.4 litre Ecotec engine for one with only 65k miles. Since I needed to swap timing / balance shaft chains, I decided I'd also get performance cams, a larger T/B from an LSJ (supercharged 2.0 litre ecotec), a shorty header and some other performance parts.

Here's a short list of problems and solutions:
Problem #1 - Piston rings were not available.
Solution - bought a newer motor with fewer miles (took 6 weeks to deliver the motor).

Problem #2 - After inspecting the front steering rack and suspension, the sway bar was cracked and there was a tear in the rack boot on the same side.
Solution - Bought a new sway bar....
................(but the 22mm one I had was not available. I had to upgrade to a 24mm sway. I also had to buy new bushings and end links to match. The sway bar brackets were discntinued and I had to make new ones)

Problem #3 - The cam's I bought from Skunkworks Perf. were garbage. The car would NOT start because the valves were NOT seating after cam install. I contacted them and never got a reply. They did (however) block me on FB, wont return my calls or e-mails.
Solution - Reported them to BBB, facebook and on Google (like that will do anything), put OEM cams back in, but bought new performance cams from ZZPerformance (which are NOT installed yet).

Problem #4 - Car started, but was throwing all kinds of codes...
Solution - made new ground wires, cleaned ground connections. Checked connections on the Fuse Block and tested the battery cable. I narrowed down the CEL's one at a time and whittled it down to only one CEL P-0223 (high voltage from Accelerator Pedal to ECM). Bought new pedal.

Problem #5 - Installed new gas pedal
Solution - There is no solution, as the car went NUTS and threw a TON of new codes. I gave up and brought the car to my fathers friend who is a mechanic.

Problem #6 - 15 days later, my father passed away

Problem #7 - 10 weeks after dropping off my car by my fathers 'friend', I called and was asking what the problems / solutions were (if any)...
Solution - He texted me a list of engine codes the car was throwing on December 17th.

Problem #8 - I contacted the shop owner on January 3rd via text and later that day with a phone call. I again messaged him on January 10th via text message. He never contacted me back. At this point I hadn't heard from him in 3 weeks. I informed him I wanted my car back the following Friday (January 14th), whether it was finished or not. At this point, he would have had my car for 15 weeks and one day. I also texted him I needed a bill, so I could pay him what I owed (he previously said he replaced the battery and swapped in the gas pedal 2 or 3 times (apparently).
Solution - I had to spend almost my entire Friday tracking this guy down. Once he finally returned to his shop, I had to call the police to get my car back. He said I owed him $$$, but he didn't know how much (mind you, he had 5 days advance notice I was going to be at his shop). I had to return the following morning to get my car, but the shop owner started arguing with the police. He was almost arrested and I wound up only owing him about $400.

That car is now at another shop. I have had MORE contact with this new place on Monday the 17th between 8 am and 10 am, than I did wth the previous shop in 5 weeks!!!

I already contacted a buddy, who has a local speed shop and builds high end race cars (Audi's and GTR's). He is currently competing at the GTR Nationals, but they will be doing the mini-tub on the GTO. Once I get it back, I will be running the return fuel line, installing the new fuel pump, rebuiding the diff. and doing what I can to button the car up and get it over to the tuner to get it started / running.

Pontiac Fanboy
1,581 Posts
Good Lord, sorry to hear about your dad and the dirt bag mechanic, on top of supply chain woes.
It's not a good time for anyone looking for parts.
ZZP has been a little goofy at times in the past, but I had an overall positive experience with them for many years dealing with 3800 stuff. I'd stick with them for LSJ everything.

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Almost a YEAR since I've really worked on the GTO, I finally made some headway. To get the car ready for the Mini-Tub, I took all the stuff out of the trunk (the tail light project, rear insert project, the center console triple gauge pod, along with 3 other cernter console's I was working on, small misc. interior parts and the spare tire set), packed it all away and cleaned it out. I also removed the tail lights and all the trunk trim.

Hood Tire Motor vehicle Light Vehicle

Then I got to working on the interior. I managed to gett he seats out and stored away and removed most of the trim. I still want to remove the speakers, and all the wiring for the guys at the speed shop. I'm not sure if I should re,move the carpet. It might be a good idea, but I'll ask the shop owner if they have a fire retardant blanket to put down. I have one I could use to cover it, but I want to make this as easy and smooth as possible.

I didn't have much access to the passenger side, because the car is about 2 feet from the wall. Everything had to come out of the drivers side.

Seat belt Vehicle Window Car Steering part

Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire

Hood Car Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle door

Since everything will be out, I'm wondering if I should recover some of those interior bits. I was ALSO thinking of recovering theOEM black suede bits with something that looks more body colored. Maybe it will accent the interior nicer. Again, the speaker shelf will be cleared off and all the speakers will be removed. I'm also going to pull the wiring out from the trunk and store that up front, towards the front floor boards. I don't know if they will want the door panels removed. If they do, the passenger side will have to wait.

The headliner is sagging, so a couple more screws for the visors and after I remove the passenger side A-Pillar trim, that will be free. That will need to get fixed.

I tell you, it feels really good working on this car again. It's oddly weird not having my father coming out into the garage to get in the way (this is in my parents garage, as I don't have the room to do any of this).

I didn't admit to this, but a few weeks ago, it honestly seemed like this car was never going to get done. There is/was zero time for anythin, and what time I had was going into dealing with my fathers basement hoard, figuring out billing at work (so I can get paid) and dealing with my sister, who makes it seem like I don't do anything to help my mother.

...I could could delve into this, but this isn not the venue... I will say, she and I used to be close and now we hardly even text one another. We are no longer friends on Facebook because she feels I'm abondining my mother. It doesn't help that she also hates my girlfriend. Mind you, she has done LITTLE to help my mother around the house, other than to complaint to and at me about all the things I'm (apparently) not doing...(yeah, because the snow at my mothers shovels itself and the garage / basement have miraculously-but slowly-been organized by the elves living under the stairs).

I understand that everyone has their own 馃挬 going on in their lives and I'm NOT going to discount or make excuses as to how bad my situation is. It's just, there doesn't seem to be enough time to get everything I wanted to get done on this car, finished. It has been over a 4 YEAR project at this point. I'm very unhappy about it. I expected to have this car done and running so my father could hear it. NOW, I'm going to have to get this thing running and drive the F_ck out of it w/ the electric exhaust dumps open so hecan hear me. My girlfriend and mother have been very patient and supportive through this whole thing. I can honestly say, after this weekend, I can see a very fant light at the end of this very long tunnel.

65 Posts
This is certainly a well documented journey Looking through all your photos I don鈥檛 see the A/C in there yet, correct? Trying to wrap my head around the C6 bracket/GTO compressor w/C5 clutch setup in order to run Corvette/G8/CTSV accessory drive spacing. I鈥檝e seen a couple threads saying it was done but not much detail.

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #68 ·
This is certainly a well documented journey Looking through all your photos I don鈥檛 see the A/C in there yet, correct? Trying to wrap my head around the C6 bracket/GTO compressor w/C5 clutch setup in order to run Corvette/G8/CTSV accessory drive spacing. I鈥檝e seen a couple threads saying it was done but not much detail.
Oh, man. I don't have the A/C mounted in there yet. I wasn't sure if I was going to install it, but I did get the C6 bracket for the A/C. I was told this would work. When I mocked everything up, the belts looked like they were all O.K. and aligned. I'll have to get better pictures for you.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I got a little more taken off the car last weekend. It wasn't much, but the fuel tank is out and so are the speed sensors from the diff cover. Those are a REAL P.I.T.A. to remove. I wound up having to cut the diff. and break off a small bit of the speed sensor housing, to get them out. Even after that, they still fought me!!!

I don't have any pics of the underside, but I snapped these before I had to get going. In 2 weekends, I'll be able to pull the side skirts, rear bumper and notch the LCA's for the wheel. I'm also going to attempt to push out the 1/4 panel with a bottle jack or use a Port 'A' Power. I need about 1/4" on that fender lip!.

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Vehicle Automotive lighting

Looking through the trunk into the interior. Those two bolts in the center are for the rear seatbelt receiviers.

Bumper Gas Automotive exterior Tints and shades Composite material

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior Vehicle Vehicle door

Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire

All I have left to do for the mini-tub is:

1). Remove the rear bumper
2). Remove the side skirts.
3). Notch the Lower Control Arms.
4). Remove the wiring from the trunk lid accessories.
5). Pull the headliner (only thing in the way is the pass side A-Pillar)
6). Remove the passenger side inner door panel
7). Pull the carpeting out
8). Try cleaning off the undercoating
9). Finish tremoving the 4 bolts (top) for the diff.

Once all of that is done (which I should be able to complete the weekend of the 12th), the car will be ready to go to the shop for tubbing. They said they will have the car for about 2 or 3 days. All I will have to do is reassemble the car and make 2 brackets!

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
The car is going in for the mini-tub TOMORROW!!! I haven't even gotten the car onthe ground yet (It's been close to 2 years since it has been off the jack stands. It's really weird to see the car in this state, but I promised the shop the car would be stripped down and bare. I still have to remove the carpet and headliner. I''m hoping that will happen tomorrow after work!

Before I load the car I have to get it away from the wall (passenger side aspect) so I will have enough room to:
  • remove the passenger side inner door panel
  • Remove the A-Pillar
  • Remove the headliner
  • Remove the carpeting

Here's an update:
Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire

Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Auto part Machine

Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design Automotive exterior

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire

Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Vehicle registration plate Vehicle

Tire Car Vehicle Hood Wheel

This is probably the weirdest pic out of ALL of them. Here, you're looking from the aspect of the differential, straight down the drive shaft tunnel to the rear of the transmission.

Hood Automotive tire Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

I get out of work at noon, and will be getting the car to the shop around 4 pm. Once the car is out of the garage (fist time since November 2018) I'll be taking more pictures.
  • Like
Reactions: Westphal

2,730 Posts
Cut the spare tire well out, put a fuel cell underneath and have a usable trunk while you're at it!

I would do that if I didn't want to retain the spare since I drive mine out of town semi-regularly and don't want my dirtbike days to be ruined from a flat

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Last night after work, I buttoned up a few things under the car and turned up the springs on the coilovers (this is my first car having them). I didn't want the car bottoming out. It was kind of scary getting the car onto the ground, because it hasn't been on the ground in almost 3 years. Plus, it was an emotional time as I think my dad would have liked to have been alive to see this.

Anyway, here's a few pics of the car on the ground.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire

Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Wheel Tire Grille

...AND then I noticed this was pretty bad. Obviously, I screwed something up. Some time ago, I changed out the front control arms and replaced the Radius Rod and Bushing and front LCA's. I'm going to have to re-do the washers, so the wheel fits in the well properly. Oh well, but the car looks really [email protected]$$ sitting on the ground. I just 馃挄 LOVE 馃挅 chrome and orange! Maybe it's just me, but I feel the car is sitting low. Then again, I'm used to it being 20 inches off the ground.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Honda s2000
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: vanrah and Westphal

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Here's a few more pictures from today....

Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Land vehicle

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire

...and then I got it to the shop where my (projected) 950 wheel hp makes my car, the slowest car there. However, when you'r pushing out 1050 horse out of a twin turbo 5 cylinder Audi R4, I don't feel I'm in bad company.

Car Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle

The R8 in the background (about mid roof of my car) is the house's test mule. They developed a twin turbo set-up that works with the stock trans and ECM, and gives the car up to 1600 HP (depending on how much boost you want to go with). The car currently is rated at 1300 wheel hp...just sick!!!

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Car Jeans

Below is a panoramic pic of the shop. Between the Lambo Superleggera, two Nissan GT-R's, The R8, two R4's, CTS-V and McLaren and the Skyline, I still like mine the best!

Wheel Tire Vehicle Water Automotive tire

Here's a few pics of the cars outside of the shop.

Car Wheel Land vehicle Tire Vehicle

Not sure why, but. I'm digging this 馃憜 VW Scirocco.

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle

Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #76 ·
So, I got a call from that shop this morning. They needed the rear V Diamond wheels (which I neglected to put on the car because of my time constraints). They already started cutting out everything for the tubs and have eliminated around 15 pounds of metal from the car.

After work, I ran home, got them and dropped them off. I was able to snag a couple of pictures of their progress....

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Light Wheel

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Vehicle

Tire Automotive tire Hood Vehicle Automotive lighting

Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle Automotive exterior

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #77 ·
I dropped off the car on Friday March 18th at around 5 pm. On SUNDAY night, the car was done!!!

Talk about a turn around! HOLY CR 馃挬P these guys were fast. Granted, I yanked everything out of the car from the doors back (except for the carpet, interior trunk release and the rear cradle). I am SO HAPPY with the work these guys did. Evan and Dominic really did a spectacular job. This is the reason you have professionals do this sort ofstuff. Iwould have taken 2 to 3 months to get this done and it would NOT have looked nearly as good!!!

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure! It looks like I will be modifying the rear side cards. One of the bolt holes is located in that stamped "U" shape on both sides. I don't care because the wheel wells are SO big, I could easily run 11" wheel out back and clear. My only limiting factor is the LCA's. I 'm going to get some sound deadner, to put on those tubs, to help quiet the interior a little. I'm also going to use a Rhino Liner for the wells, once I get the seam sealer in and dried.


Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Auto part Machine

and AFTER:

Motor vehicle Auto part Automotive design Vehicle Military vehicle

Wood Engineering Machine Space Metal

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive lighting

Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Aircraft Aerospace manufacturer

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Tire Yellow Wheel Motor vehicle

Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Tire

Tire Automotive tire Automotive exterior Fender Motor vehicle

I paid them and loaded up the car. Man, I love the look of these wheels. I know the stance is off and I have a lot to put back right on the car, but HOLY CRAP! I'm very VERY pleased with the work Rada Race Lab did on my car!!!!

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Window

Chickun maka lousy houspet
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Care to share the cost of having them do it? Curious what a shop charges (pm if you want?)
Let me preface this by saying, I did ALL removal of the parts fromt he doors back. I removed the diff. the rear suspension, bumper, side skirts and took everything out of the interior. . I also supplied the mini-tubs from (I got them from G-Force Engineering).

THEY did some research, looking at cars which had the tubs installed on a couple of forums. Obviously, they cut the wheel wells, cut, notched the LCA's, and boxed it all in. They even cut part of the frame rail in the car, and boxed this in as well...which was REALLY NICE, so I could go with a much wider wheel than the 10.5'" or 11" wheel if I wanted. They installed the tubs, installed the longer lug studs, welded the strut extenders in place on the LCA and got this thing done in about 2 days with 2 to 3 guys working on it (roughly 27 hours). They aired the car out, vacuumed out all the slag from welding and supplied me with the seam sealer. It cost me a little over $3,500 (or around 135/hr.).

2,730 Posts
ouch my wallet hurts thinking about that. looks like great work though and sounds priced well considering. id love to drop the car off and get the same treatment if i had the money
61 - 80 of 91 Posts