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Thread: Shoeless GTM #501 Here we go!!!

  1. #1

    Shoeless GTM #501 Here we go!!!

    Well, now is as good as time as any. My name is Sean Jackson, I live in Palm City Florida, I am an Aerospace Engineering by trade, turned Program Manager and I work at Pratt & Whitney. I took delivery of GTM #501 on 10/3 and am very excited to join this group of talented builders.

    I have spoken to a couple of you over the phone, and a few messages here and there to get some general guidance, so thank you so far and thank you in advance for the many questions I’m sure I will be posting here.

    Here are my plans so far, and please anybody jump in if you see something that doesn’t add up.

    - LS3 427 From Blue Print Engines. I have been working with Johnny there so far and he is eager to help power a GTM as they mostly do motors for the MkIVs. He is offering some very nice incentives to have me work with him and I am very happy so far.
    - Infinity AEM Engine Management System (one main selling point is adding traction control that this system provides and I love the idea of being able to integrate a tablet in the car to do any tuning on the fly).
    - Mendy Transaxle – Glad I ordered this a while ago as there is a 5-6 month lead time when I ordered.
    - Some derivation of Tino’s Procision set up.
    - Infinity Box Setup with all the goodies.
    - Boyd’s Aluminum Tanks – Still haven’t decided on internal or external fuel pump.
    - QRP Custom Bilstein Shocks and coil overs and front sway bar.
    - Kooks fully ceramic coated exhaust.
    - All kinds of goodies from Shane and others.
    - Wilwood Breaks.
    - Forgestar F14 (19x9 Fronts and 20x12 Rears).
    - More to follow.

    I have gone through most of the inventory so far, and I will be honest, I’m a little disappointed in FF service so far. Here’s a couple examples. FFR sent me the carpet and vinyl box after my shipment, but it contained 2 full sets of carpet. They didn’t believe me until I sent them a photo of the 2 full sets laid out on the ground. Plus my exhaust screens are not cut in the same orientation, and I’m told FF can’t do anything about it. I offered if they provide me with a shipping label, I would send them back with the extra carpet in exchange for proper ones, but they didn’t take me up on my offer. I hope this is not what I am in store for with them.

    Here are a couple first questions, I apologize if they have been discussed a 100 times, I’m simply flooded with reading build threads and watching videos:

    1. I have gone through all the Aluminum pieces shipped on the frame. I count 30, but the inventory says I’m supposed to have 33. Take a look at the pics and see if you guys can help. I think I have everything up front correctly, so I'm missing something in the middle or rear sections I believe. Plus I don't see the Rear Body Mount anywhere. Not sure where this would have been packaged.

    2. What is your guys preferred fuel pump setup? Internal vs. External? I'd hate the idea of having to remove everything to access the internal tank to change a pump out, but I'm also concerned with real estate in the back. I’d like to get my tanks on order here soon.

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    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Shoeless; 10-27-2017 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Welcome and congratulations on starting your build!

    Are you missing the aluminum body supports on the sides of the engine bay like in this picture?

    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
    GTM #304

  3. #3
    Thank you Beeman.

    If you are referring to the pair (one with the Infinity Box Cell attached) and these were supposed to be attached to the frame from the delivery, then yes, that would account for two of the three I'm missing. 2 down 1 to go, thank you Sir.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wallace18's Avatar
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    Welcome to the GTM build group, LOL. I am up in Alachua FL and about 60% done on my GTM. Feel free to contact me if any questions come up and you are welcome to come and visit as well. Enjoy your build. TW

  5. #5
    Hi Sean,

    Welcome to the madness! Looks like you've done your homework and have a great build plan going there! As for your questions:

    1. It's been forever since we've received a virgin kit from FFR, so I don't recall what panels come attached to the chassis and which ones are boxed up separately. The ones Beeman pointed out above....I don't think those come attached to the chassis. There used to be a large half-moon shaped piece along with a large U-shaped bent piece that fits around the front hood grille opening to funnel air into the radiator, but I don't think FFR ships those parts anymore with the Gen II kits. Sorry I can't be of more help than that.

    2. That's a good question. IMO, there are a couple of things to consider. Real estate is definitely a concern. One thing I would suggest is to NOT mount an external pump up on top of the aluminum panel next to the engine. Fuel pumps were meant to create pressure....not suction.....and I have heard of plenty of people who mounted their pumps up high on that aluminum and then had starting issues since the pump can not pull fuel up that far out of the tank. That means that if you're going to go external, the only real mounting position is to figure out a place for the pump directly behind the tanks . Not a ton of room to work with down there and it gets pretty complicated if you're wanting to us all AN fittings and get a pre-filter and post filter fit in there.....but we have done that a few times. Yes, it would be a bit easier to access the pump there vs having it in the tank.

    The other issue is noise. External pumps are generally pretty noisy. Some more than others.

    Good luck with your build!
    Shane Vacek
    VRaptor SpeedWorks, LLC
    www.vraptorspeedworks.com
    Turn-key GTM, SL-C & Ultima GTR Built to Your Specs!
    Offering a full line of GTM Upgrades and Custom Parts

  6. #6
    Sean welcome to the fun.

    I have GTM 493, have had a good time building lots to look at and plan for as you proceed through the build with lots of help here on the forum. From your pictures I do not see the piece that closes up the front bottom under the radiator. The pieces that Beeman points out should be in another box with the rest of your sheet metal pieces. Do you have the piece that is in the top right of the driver foot box with a hole cut in it for routing your wiring through into the tunnel?

    I am also waiting on a Mendy so I will say don't hold your breath for the 5 to 6 month lead time.

    good luck with the build list of items looks good.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Congrats on your kit!
    Your pump(s) should depend on your power goals. One in-tank 340 or 450 should be plenty if you are staying n/a and on pump gas. The internal pumps run cooler and are quieter.
    I actually have two pumps, one internal on the pass side(corvette driver side) and one mounted externally on pass side. The external pump is on the inside of the panel cubby area directly behind the tank. The cubby area on the other side houses the y fitting for both fuel lines and the return as well as my methanol pump and tank. My external pump is controlled by Holley efi so as to only come on during boost so I don't hear it run all the time.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by VRaptor SpeedWorks, LLC View Post
    Hi Sean,

    Welcome to the madness! Looks like you've done your homework and have a great build plan going there! As for your questions:

    1. It's been forever since we've received a virgin kit from FFR, so I don't recall what panels come attached to the chassis and which ones are boxed up separately. The ones Beeman pointed out above....I don't think those come attached to the chassis. There used to be a large half-moon shaped piece along with a large U-shaped bent piece that fits around the front hood grille opening to funnel air into the radiator, but I don't think FFR ships those parts anymore with the Gen II kits. Sorry I can't be of more help than that.

    2. That's a good question. IMO, there are a couple of things to consider. Real estate is definitely a concern. One thing I would suggest is to NOT mount an external pump up on top of the aluminum panel next to the engine. Fuel pumps were meant to create pressure....not suction.....and I have heard of plenty of people who mounted their pumps up high on that aluminum and then had starting issues since the pump can not pull fuel up that far out of the tank. That means that if you're going to go external, the only real mounting position is to figure out a place for the pump directly behind the tanks . Not a ton of room to work with down there and it gets pretty complicated if you're wanting to us all AN fittings and get a pre-filter and post filter fit in there.....but we have done that a few times. Yes, it would be a bit easier to access the pump there vs having it in the tank.

    The other issue is noise. External pumps are generally pretty noisy. Some more than others.

    Good luck with your build!
    Thanks for the response Shane. I’ve put in some time into planning this out as best I can, but will definitely be relying on the knowledge here.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
    Sean welcome to the fun.

    I have GTM 493, have had a good time building lots to look at and plan for as you proceed through the build with lots of help here on the forum. From your pictures I do not see the piece that closes up the front bottom under the radiator. The pieces that Beeman points out should be in another box with the rest of your sheet metal pieces. Do you have the piece that is in the top right of the driver foot box with a hole cut in it for routing your wiring through into the tunnel?

    I am also waiting on a Mendy so I will say don't hold your breath for the 5 to 6 month lead time.

    good luck with the build list of items looks good.

    Steve
    Thanks for the welcome Sir!! I have the front bottom piece that would be below the radiator, it just happened to be on the floor just out of the pic. I’ll check on the drivers footbox when I get home. Thanks for taking a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blast3r0 View Post
    Congrats on your kit!
    Your pump(s) should depend on your power goals. One in-tank 340 or 450 should be plenty if you are staying n/a and on pump gas. The internal pumps run cooler and are quieter.
    I actually have two pumps, one internal on the pass side(corvette driver side) and one mounted externally on pass side. The external pump is on the inside of the panel cubby area directly behind the tank. The cubby area on the other side houses the y fitting for both fuel lines and the return as well as my methanol pump and tank. My external pump is controlled by Holley efi so as to only come on during boost so I don't hear it run all the time.
    Wow that sounds like quite the setup. I’d love to see some pics if you have them.

    The motor I’m planning on will have a targeted HP of 625 and max torque of around 570. With those numbers any recommendations on fuel pump?

  10. #10
    So I spent the day organizing the garage a little bit more and getting the frame up on jack stands and furniture movers to make it easier to move around the garage.

    After that I spent some time reviewing the panels again. Looks like my count was off by one, so Iím only missing two panels according to the inventory sheet. My best guess is Iím short the following two panels:

    - FF# 25167 Aluminum Panel, LH Door Sill, Inside
    - FF# 25168 Aluminum Panel, RH Door Sill, inside

    After that I turned my focus towards removing the screws and looking at the fit up in the passenger footbox as it didnít seem quite right. After playing around a bit, I will surely need some more attention in this area before I remove all the panels for drilling and coating. Unless Iím missing something, it just all seems way off when put together at the factory.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    That's a fairly common issue. You will want to go thru and "massage" the panels into the best position before you go drilling holes in them. Issues like the one in your photo will probably require some "modifications" to get the fit right. As for coating the panels, if you're talking about powdercoating them, I would not powdercoat the interior panels.....they all get covered anyway, so not much sense in spending all that time and money prepping and powdercoating them when no one will see them on the finished car. Besides that, I've seen plenty of the powdercoating fail on aluminum panels here (falls off in big sheets)....which means if you have that problem on the interior panels after you get your carpet and vinyl installed, all of that stuff will fall off.
    Shane Vacek
    VRaptor SpeedWorks, LLC
    www.vraptorspeedworks.com
    Turn-key GTM, SL-C & Ultima GTR Built to Your Specs!
    Offering a full line of GTM Upgrades and Custom Parts

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post

    Wow that sounds like quite the setup. Iíd love to see some pics if you have them.

    The motor Iím planning on will have a targeted HP of 625 and max torque of around 570. With those numbers any recommendations on fuel pump?
    Attached is a diagram of my pump setup. I chose to do the 255 intank as it is the only size available as a direct drop in for the early c5 tanks. I'm not sure if the aluminum tanks are designed as early or late so that may change your options. 600 wheel n/a on gas would be pushing a single 255 to the ragged edge, if you ever wanted to add power or use e85 the single pump would not be enough. Id recommend at least a 340 or 440 for an n/a 600hp gas engine. fuel line diagram.png
    fuel line diagram.png

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by VRaptor SpeedWorks, LLC View Post
    That's a fairly common issue. You will want to go thru and "massage" the panels into the best position before you go drilling holes in them. Issues like the one in your photo will probably require some "modifications" to get the fit right. As for coating the panels, if you're talking about powdercoating them, I would not powdercoat the interior panels.....they all get covered anyway, so not much sense in spending all that time and money prepping and powdercoating them when no one will see them on the finished car. Besides that, I've seen plenty of the powdercoating fail on aluminum panels here (falls off in big sheets)....which means if you have that problem on the interior panels after you get your carpet and vinyl installed, all of that stuff will fall off.
    Hey Shane,

    I got my Kooks refund check in the mail on Saturday, I’m glad a few more guys showed up to the party. Thanks for sending that out.

    After stairing at everything last night for an hour or so and removing the panels and trying to install per the manual, you are spot on, looks like some “massaging” is in order before I start drilling. As for coating I remember seeing guys have issues with powder coating panels. My plan is to coat the majority of the panels with lizard skin, any heat affected areas will get the ceramic top coating, and any wheel well or bottom panels will get a bed liner type product. I’m probably erroring on the safe side as I live in S Florida and about 10 minutes to the beach so the salt air really gets to things.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
    Hey Shane,

    I got my Kooks refund check in the mail on Saturday, Iím glad a few more guys showed up to the party. Thanks for sending that out.

    After stairing at everything last night for an hour or so and removing the panels and trying to install per the manual, you are spot on, looks like some ďmassagingĒ is in order before I start drilling. As for coating I remember seeing guys have issues with powder coating panels. My plan is to coat the majority of the panels with lizard skin, any heat affected areas will get the ceramic top coating, and any wheel well or bottom panels will get a bed liner type product. Iím probably erroring on the safe side as I live in S Florida and about 10 minutes to the beach so the salt air really gets to things.
    As I have mentioned quite a few times, if you are looking for a really durable finish for the aluminum panels...have them anodized. It also makes for a great base for paint, glue, etc.
    www.myraceshop.com

    GTM solution kits
    Corvette and Race parts

  15. #15
    Sorry if the photos are too large. I'm still working around the damn Photobucket crap. I'm not paying $400 a year to use them again. What hosting service or posting method are you guys using that is more user friendly?

    I am back from my business trip to San Diego and finally got some more time working on the passenger footbox fit up. I started working on my panel #11. I believe the formal name is the passenger footbox closeout. I was having major issues so I started here. I needed two separate bends at different angles. I like the way it turned out.







    I then moved over to the right side of the passenger footbox. I needed to trip panel #14 to get things to fit up nicely. Now there is a small mismatch on the bottom right corner, but there is plenty of material here for the overlap.



    In order for me to get the right side panel of the passenger footbox to site nicely, I'll have to trim panel #15 where the black marker is (panel #13 is there just as contrast to show where Iíll trim #15). This will allow the right side panel to fit nicely against the square tubing.



    I figured I would lay the carpet in there just as a sanity check to make sure I am not doing something stupid.



    So far, Iím pretty happy with the fit up after all the ďmassagingĒ of the panels.

  16. #16
    So I have been fairly productive between work and Thanksgiving. I have the majority of the sheet metal all fitted, drilled, and ready for coating. My only issue is this darn passenger foot box. Nothing special in these first couple pics, just progress so far.





    Here is the passenger foot box. It seems my panel 12 needs to be longer and taller to fit all the areas it will be riveted properly. On the forward edge and top edge I needed to add a 1/8 spacer of aluminum and on the bottom edge I needed to add 1/4 spacer of aluminum just to get everything to line up properly. Without the spacers on the top and bottom, it will not rest flush with the top where it is riveted in the future with the top closeout panel, and will not rest flush on the floor. Similar with the spacer on the front edge, without it, it will not rest flush on the front piece of aluminum. I then needed to trim my panel 14 where the small orange clamps are so the edge is flush with the diagonal square tube.

    Iím a little hesitant to start drilling and make it more permanent as Iím waiting on Shaneís AC Blower Relocation Panels that I know will interact with these parts.

    What are your guyís thoughts on my need to add aluminum spacers to make everything ďfit?Ē




  17. #17
    Senior Member wallace18's Avatar
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    If you are installing A/C your are doing yourself a big favor buying the recirc kit from Vraptor. Just my 2 cents worth.

  18. #18
    Depends on how OCD you are Shoeless. No one is ever going to see that area, so you can patch it or silicone it. If you want to redo the panel, buy some sheet aluminum from Aircraft Spruce and make a new one. I bought some sheets from them last year for making my own panels, it was relatively cheap even with shipping. If you were close by I'd give you one.
    Dave
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
    GTM #304

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by beeman View Post
    Depends on how OCD you are Shoeless. No one is ever going to see that area, so you can patch it or silicone it. If you want to redo the panel, buy some sheet aluminum from Aircraft Spruce and make a new one. I bought some sheets from them last year for making my own panels, it was relatively cheap even with shipping. If you were close by I'd give you one.
    Dave
    Yea I’m pretty OCD, but more on the side of functionality. I’m just concerned that by trimming and spacing things, I may screw up some fitment/function down the path that I’m not accounting for at the moment. I like the idea of getting some new sheets and making my own replacements. I’m picking up the front close out panel from Shane as well as I’m moving the coolant tank to the rear. Maybe I’ll take the current panel from the kit and play around with it and see if I can make a replacement out of that just as a test panel.

    BTW, what are you guys using to seal the panels to the frame and close up gaps? I’m not sure I want to go down the path of silicone, as I’m sure there is something better out there.

  20. #20
    Senior Member wallace18's Avatar
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    IMO the GE black silicone is the best. It fill gaps and is not very noticeable against the black frame.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by wallace18 View Post
    IMO the GE black silicone is the best. It fill gaps and is not very noticeable against the black frame.
    Thanks Tom!! I wish I could have seen you finish off your first GTM build, you were making fast progress.

  22. #22
    You don't waste time getting at it! Congrats again!
    Custom LCD Gauges , Data Loggers, Performance Parts
    www.procision-auto.com \\ 647-522-9953 \\ Voice & Text
    Proud new owner of GTM Gen 1., #105 - 08/27/11
    LQ9 Powered, G96.00 6 speed transaxle

  23. #23
    OK I need to vent a bit.

    So I finished up my inventory some time ago and sent a nicely organized list off to FF to start working on the missing items. Here starts the issue. I was missing a number of items, but I'll hit the highlights. I was missing all carpet and vinyl pieces, and then received a box with two full sets of carpet. I call FF telling them I was sent two sets of carpet and no vinyl. They were very sure they sent a carpet and vinyl set properly. Only when I laid out the two sets of carpet, took a photo, and sent it to them did they agree to send me the missing vinyl pieces that were originally on the first shortage list I sent them. Then I come home from a business trip and I have an entire ADDITIONAL box 13E show up. I clearly pointed out in my inventory I received this box complete with no shortages. This is the absolute largest, and probably pretty damn pricy Stitched Interior Parts box. Now I have two FULL box 13E and NO vinyl pieces. I call once again, explaining the issue, and they seem dumbfounded and say they need to look into it. I offered if they send me a return shipping label and schedule a pick up, I would get the box back to them. That was about 3-4 weeks ago now and I have heard nothing. So I have blown it off as a complete loss to them as I have done everything I can offer to get them the extra box back with no action on their side.

    Come to this weekend, I get to a point where I am on hold on the sheetmetal until I get some parts from Shane and make a final go ahead on the passenger foot box compartment. So I grab the battery tray. It says in the manual shift it to the driver side and I notice something that is off. The outside profile is not cutout properly. I call FF asking for a replacement and email the bottom photo. Nope, I'm told to wait til after the HVAC install and then install it. It clearly is not correct, yes I can cut it my darn self, but come on. This build is difficult enough without getting correct parts to start with.



    I have intentionally left names out of this, but I have been working with one individual through this whole process as recommended by other builders.

    OK rant over, back to researching parts and continuing the build.

    If anyone from FF is reading this and would like to discuss further, please PM me and we will discuss.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Procision-Auto View Post
    You don't waste time getting at it! Congrats again!
    Thanks again Tino, I'm looking forward to integrating your system in my project!!!

  25. #25
    FFR has the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE in the industry. They really need to get their sh!t together. You pay 25k and as soon as they've got the cash, you can't even get a return phone call. Total BS. I had three left headlight covers in my kit, I hate to think how much wasted money goes out their door that they don't even seem to care about. Better check your front brake hose brackets too, they've probably got stress cracks in the bends, mine did. (Too tight of a radius for the thickness of aluminum) I fabbed some up faster than I'd get someone on the phone at FFR...
    Last edited by carbon fiber; 12-06-2017 at 07:47 PM.

  26. #26
    I have to assume that FFR browses this forum daily, it is after all their forum, but I only see promotional posts for the most part.
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
    GTM #304

  27. #27
    Senior Member wallace18's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your issues. I also had stuff missing but FFR always made good on it. I will say that the GTM is a very difficult build and FFR is planning on retiring it as I overheard one time up there. I tend to not get too caught up in the minor stuff otherwise you can go crazy. Making stuff fit and work is part of every FFR build. To me that is part of the fun in the challenge. I suggest you buy a smaller aftermarket battery vs the corvette one. you will be glad for the extra room.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by carbon fiber View Post
    Better check your front brake hose brackets too, they've probably got stress cracks in the bends, mine did. (Too tight of a radius for the thickness of aluminum) I fabbed some up faster than I'd get someone on the phone at FFR...
    I remember seeing those during my inventory. Cracks all over the bends. I’ll be fabing up a new set as well.

    I’ve also decided to buy some aluminum sheet and try my hand at fabing up a replacement panel for the passenger foot box. I figure it’s cheap enough to buy one sheet and see what I could do on my own. Although I have limited sheet bending tools, I’m willing to give it a try. I’m too OCD to go forward with it as is.

  29. #29
    Or make a angled patch piece as I am fairly certain that the gap that you are concerned about will not be seen once all the cover panels are in place.
    Fabricating new panels is easy due to the thickness as most low cost benders will do a good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
    I remember seeing those during my inventory. Cracks all over the bends. I’ll be fabing up a new set as well.

    I’ve also decided to buy some aluminum sheet and try my hand at fabing up a replacement panel for the passenger foot box. I figure it’s cheap enough to buy one sheet and see what I could do on my own. Although I have limited sheet bending tools, I’m willing to give it a try. I’m too OCD to go forward with it as is.
    Cheers,
    Dave

    GTM # 294 Build Start Date 10/12/2009,
    2000 C5 Donor, LS-1 Twin Turbo, AC/Heat, G50-20.02 6 speed, Brandwood Cable shifter
    Build site. http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/vv153/dfraser/

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser D View Post
    Or make a angled patch piece as I am fairly certain that the gap that you are concerned about will not be seen once all the cover panels are in place.
    Fabricating new panels is easy due to the thickness as most low cost benders will do a good job.
    I picked up a cheap bender today and waiting for my aluminum to arrive in the mail. If you look at my post 16, pics 3, 4, and 5, everywhere there is blue painters tape I have had to shim beneath the bent flange of the aluminum to set it properly. Its like FF cut it too short and narrow, and once the tabs were bent it just wouldn't work.

  31. #31
    I spent most of the weekend working on tearing down the suspension to get ready for powder coating. I had planned on leaving them as is, but once I started thinking I wanted to replace all the bushings and ball joints, it seemed like a logical next step. Plus, seeing some other builds and how nice they turned out, I decided to do it.

    I have a local powder coater who did some work on parts for my Tundra and has really stepped up their game in the local area. Years ago they were doing mostly T-Tops for boats and have now expanded their color lines and industries. Below is the color I plan on going with. I’ll be stopping by their shop this week, being slow at work prior to the holidays, and getting some final pricing. Hopefully these guys have worked with cast aluminum. In the mean time I’ll be ordering replacement PFADT bushings and all new ball joints.









    Last edited by Shoeless; 12-10-2017 at 08:02 PM.

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