The GTM Supercar Build Log

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Driving and Tuning

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Everything has been running great since doing the coolant leak fix and getting the AC running. Just ticked past 2200 miles today and set a new record for ‘number of cameras sticking out of car windows’ in a 45 mile drive with 6. It never gets old.

Over the last month I have been working on the GTM’s engine tune. With more HP Tuners knowledge under my belt I have been focusing on fine tuning drivability, fuel efficiency, etc. I started from scratch, basically, and got the fueling (VE) and MAF airflow tables in line, making throttle response much crisper and smoother. I was able to ‘undo’ a lot of the things I tweaked last summer when I was just trying to get the motor to run and not stall at stops. Fuel economy is much better now that the motor is not running so rich at lower rpms. While tuning takes a lot of seat time to get data logs and results, that’s certainly not something I’ll complain about.

1000 Mile Milestone

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Finally reached 1000 miles in the GTM today and it is running great.

Time will soon be more readily available to work on the GTM so here is a rough list of things that I will be working on once I get the chance:

1. Raise rear ride height to 4.75″ (was set to this pre-body fitment, but it has settled to well under 3.5″)
2. Get a new alignment – the rear needs more toe-in
3. Carbon fiber front splitter and rockers
4. Carbon fiber engine cover
5. FFR “recall” suspension shock mount reinforcement brackets
6. Relocate transmission oil overflow puke tank so oil drains back into the transmission
7. Oil fume catch tank for breather on the valve cover oil cap (spraying oil residue over the hatch window)
8. Push-button start with RFID security
9. New ‘halo’ style fog lights
10. Fix transmission oil cooler switch (right now the switch is bad, causing the pump to always be on, as opposed to when the  trans oil reaches hot temps)

That is the ‘Top 10′ right now. There are a handful of other things that are on the ‘if these get done, then I’ll think about it’ list. Don’t want to have too much down-time and miss quality driving days :)

Back on the Road!

Monday, April 11th, 2011

The weather finally turned spring-like and I was able to get the GTM out for its first drive of 2011. Started right up and ran great. Haven’t really done any of the ‘winter’ mods I wanted to do as I recently moved so all that got pushed back for a while, but I should be starting on that stuff soon! Stay tuned.

A Few Pics…

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Not much to post about yet as I have just been enjoying the car and waiting for winter to arrive. I snapped some pics the other day because I just can’t have enough pics of the car, and a friend took some good wallpaper quality pics, so I’m posting them up.

The GTM has nearly 850 miles on it now.

Checking in…

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I haven’t posted anything in a bit so I thought I would check in and give a general update on the latest happenings/experiences with the GTM.

A crack appears

A few weeks ago (at around the 200 mile mark) I noticed a crack forming on the underside of the driver-side wheel well. It didn’t show through on the exterior, but it was obviously bothersome to me. There are rubbing issues with the tire and wheel well edge when I hit nasty bumps. I had a friend’s shop shave the inside of the fender down a bit, fix the crack, and repaint the underside of the fender, but the crack reappeared after 50 miles. The crack is smaller, and does not seem to be getting worse, but it is something I’ll be tackling over the winter with some suspension tweaks, and reshaping of the interior fender edge.

500-mile milestone

The GTM has 545 miles on the odometer as of today. Driving this beast never gets old. Most of my drives are 20-50 mile jaunts through the country side so I can stretch it’s legs out a bit. Every drive yields a handful of thumbs-up and metal-horns from bikers and other passer-bys.  Any time I stop for gas the car gets swarmed. Every stop is different, but still the same. Someone will ask what it is. Another will ask how  much it costs. Another handful are taking pictures with their cell-phones. People will drive by real slow with big grins on their faces. Someone will be in the background repeating the phrase ’super cool car, man’. I did have one guy come up really excited because he ‘just saw one of those on Supercars Exposed’. His opinion was ‘yours is way better, it sounds insane, and the color scheme is perfect’. Seeing the GTM ‘made his day’ and he could’t stop grinning and laughing over his ‘luck’. Another guy asked if it was a Veyron (ok, seriously now?). If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone I’m passing by on the sidewalk or in other cars do the ‘do a burnout’ gesture, or randomly start cheering…

Minor issues encountered

The GTM is running great, but it’s not faultless – yet. Aside from the fender crack above, I’ve only ran into small issues so far. The aforementioned sticky shifting issue was further addressed with a layer of Thermotec heat barrier over the Earl’s FlameGuard insulation sleeve. No reoccurrences  so far.

I had an electrical gremlin that caused my fog light switch and climate controls to dimly illuminate when pressing the brake. I realized that tonight, during my first night-time back-road drive, my left brake light was not working either. It was working fine with the lights off, though. Inspecting the brake light tonight, I discovered I had the connections backwards for the brake light bulb. I corrected that and that fixed the ‘broken brake light when lights are on’ issue, as well as the weird dash illumination gremlin. Love those 2 for 1 deals.

The thermostat-corrugated hosing connection seems to be slowly seeping out coolant when the thermostat opens while driving. I will replace the hose clamp with a smaller, better fitting clamp this winter.

When Carquip rebuilt my G50/52 transaxle for me they placed the breather valve right atop 5th gear (not a great place for it). As a result it is constantly spewing oil into my trans oil puke tank. Right now I have to empty the tank after every drive, otherwise it eventually overflows and sprays all over the inside of the engine bay where the tank is mounted. Not fun to clean up. This winter I will be relocating the puke tank to a higher location and connecting the overflow hose to the bottom of the tank so that anything that spews up into the tank immediately goes back down into the trans when it gets the chance.

I still haven’t had the AC leak tested yet to find where my AC leak is located at, but I will get that done before winter so I can fix it (or not). Working AC is very low on the list right now as I primarily use the Vintage Air unit for heat dispersion and defrost.

Aside from the above minor issues, things are going great. Looking forward to this winter so I can tackle everything and get the ‘Stealth GTM ver 2.0′ ready for spring.

Inspection Day!

Friday, August 20th, 2010

The day finally arrived to have the GTM inspected.  After being anxious and nervous it was all for nothing – the inspection took 5 minutes and all the inspector wanted to see was the serial # on the frame, and that it matched my title app serial, etc. Thanks to Josh for hauling the GTM. Here are a few pics in actual day light for the first time since completion.

Weather permitting, driving will commence once the diffuser is reinstalled (just have to rivet the bottom back in place).

Visited the DMV

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Went to the DMV earlier this week and got the title-work put through. DMV gave me plates and a 60-day temp permit. I can get the GTM inspected after the title comes in the mail, which could take a month or two. Plenty of time get everything finished up I think.

Delivery Scheduled…

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Next Tuesday/Wednesday!

Drama at Ken’s Autobody

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Just when I thought this part of the build couldn’t drag out any longer, it has. Growing a bit impatient, I asked a friend from the FFR forums that has a GTM at Ken’s shop to snap a pic of my car. I got the picture yesterday and my GTM looked exactly how it did when I shipped it out in May – except that it now had a thick layer of dust on it. I was speechless (and irate).

I called Ken up and he told me he was working on my car as we were speaking. It was primed and reassembled, getting ready for paint, etc. Long story short, I brought up the picture and wondered aloud how that was strange since I just got the picture of it with the doors still taped on and boxes sitting in the passenger seat. He said I must have a pic of the wrong car, and I assured him it was the right one. I heard much confusion in Ken’s voice after this and he said he would get me some pics in a few days and have it straightened out.  My theory was that he started on the wrong GTM, thinking it was mine all this time, and it really wasn’t.

I called Ken again today since this was still bothering me a lot and asked for a no bullshit explanation. Basically, my theory was correct. The car got mislabeled by a worker and my car went untouched because of it. Ken was very apologetic, and I can tell he feels like a horses’s ass over it.  He’s busting his ass now to get it done, considering the time it has sat without being touched, but assured me it wouldn’t be a rush job and wouldn’t leave until it was perfect.

There it is…not going to have the GTM ready for spring as planned most likely. Unfortunate, but at least I know it’s FINALLY being worked on.

Is the car painted? No!

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Do I sound impatient? Yeah, a bit! Another “2-3 weeks” have passed and there hasn’t been any progress.

Ken is swamped with collision work and has fallen behind on the “custom projects”. While I understand how body shops work,and why collision work takes priority, it annoys me regardless. At this point I am hoping to have the car back before the end of the year so I can at least spend the coldest part of winter killing time working on this thing.