21 Year Old NEEDS HELP w/95 GT

Bryant

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Hey guys, I really need some help. I have a 95 convertible GT. Current mods are: CAI, 70mm TB, cat-less x pipe, pypes violator cat back, rear seat delete, offset tire set up. Otherwise, I have replaced a whole bunch and upgraded the suspension, brakes, IAC, Oil breather, switched to synthetic, higher octane fuel etc. In total, I feel like my bolt ons should have netted me maybe 5-10 hp and I know I have dropped just under 200 lbs from what I have taken off the car or replaced. I really want to enjoy driving this car more. I love the top down, love the style, like the sound, but I am all growl no bite. I want to go faster or feel like I am going faster. The hot rod and classics shop near me gave me this outline for $4750 of work: 4.1 Gears, high torque stall converter, manual shift valve body, BBK long tube headers, sparks and wires tune up, and belt replacement/de-smog. I have one problem, is this actually gonna make me enjoy driving? I HATE THE AODE. I can't stand it. Nothing off the line, doesn't shift well at all, I can ride 1st till 52MPH or so, highway wants to sit third gear etc. I love manual transmissions, daily drive a 6 speed, never will buy another automatic sports car as long as I live. My Long Term Goal is to be under 12 second quarter mile and have a drive able car. Preferably 10 something 1/4 if possible. Can I get some suggestions for maybe a 2 part 7500 to no more than 9000 dollar project. Please keep in mind, I am 21 years old with limited tools and proud of what I have done in my driveway to this point. I am considering some of the following things t56 magnum w/2.95 1st gear , 24lb injectors/BBK MAF pair, much larger gear ratio (with a .5 OD I think I could get away with 4.56 or 4.3 rear end?!?) , long tube headers are a must, new cam?, getting my intake plenum cleaned up and bored out?, aluminum driveshaft, etc? I don't want to do anything twice and don't think I want to do Forced Induction. I figure my car is high miles and when the day comes I can just keep the progress I have and go with a 347 or another 302 who knows. I feel like a supercharger will just kill my engine.
 

ttocs

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your going to gain a few hp with that set up and gain some time with the gears/converter but your still well off the 12 sec mark. I would check out what they would charge to install a supercharger otherwise most of the bolt on kits are made to be done with out too much trouble. I am still learning the mechanical aspects of the car but I found the instructions on the vortech kit to be complete and easy to follow with pics and all. Its been done a million times and its dependable power. Maybe find a friend that has some more experience and likes to wrench and the two of you could knock out the install in a weekend and you would be less than the $5k mark and over the 300hp area easy if you buy it new. If you keep your eyes open they come up for sale used often enough. I had my eyes on a kit for a while and lucked out to find someone that got the kit, stalled on installing it and then wrecked the car. I got the kit new, having only taken the head unit out to inspect for only $2k.
 

ElrodKTPQ_89

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Sounds just like how I started with my car. From my experience:

The first thing I ever did was swap to a rear with 3.73’s...loved it immediately even with crappy tubular control arms and a worn out auto.

Next was swapping to a T5. I took my time and bought everything I knew I really wanted, from shifter and crossmember to clutch and cable kits etc. I completely understand having to budget but at least to me it was more rewarding knowing I didn’t cut any corners and wind up with something I hated. It was a Saturday swap and back on the road.

Next was a Cobra intake, maf, throttle body and injectors, and a set of 1.7 roller rockers. I scored all of the parts ridiculously cheap, and me and a friend swapped everything out overnight.

A few months later I started stashing parts for a front suspension overhaul. Brakes, k member, coil overs etc. At that point the car was the most fun it’s ever been as I still haven’t driven it since the last round of work lol.

I guess what I’m saying here is take a few little steps with the car here and there and enjoy it between projects. You’ll get a better feel for what was lacking that way and give you time to replenish your funds and do some research before diving into something new. It’s been 3.5 years since I’ve driven my car now and I really wish I had driven it a liiiiitle linger before starting my engine swap.
 

Daryl

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Elrod nailed it. Key to a build up is “one step at a time” but first....

Decide the direction you want to go, and for you it sounds like performance increases. Find a way to learn what’s left in your internals. You alluded to high mileage and not wanting to throw a SC on it. That’s fine, but learn what mods will provide the most bang for your buck (and budget). Maybe a compression check? Cylinder head check; crank?; camshaft? Pistons? All the lower end motor components that suffer the brunt of wear and tear. Then, determine if a rebuild or a replacement is the best route for YOU.

SOOOOO many options and routes to go at this point. Much depends on YOU. Are you looking to keep the original block for “numbers matching” reasons? And if so, is a rebuild within your capabilities? Can you properly wrench and do you have the know-how to tear apart a motor and rebuild it? If yes and you want to do it all yourself then allow yourself the time and discipline to do it. But once you start, finish! Get all your ducks in a row (ie, parts and pieces!) and have at it. Make your decision on what you’re going to do and do it. Don’t waiver or change midstream as in my experience this lends itself to so many iteration of the build that it rarely gets completed

If not, your options are to either have a professional rebuild it (no shame in that) or buy a whole brand new engine and pop it in and go!
 

oz95gt

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Hey guys, I really need some help. I have a 95 convertible GT. Current mods are: CAI, 70mm TB, cat-less x pipe, pypes violator cat back, rear seat delete, offset tire set up. Otherwise, I have replaced a whole bunch and upgraded the suspension, brakes, IAC, Oil breather, switched to synthetic, higher octane fuel etc. In total, I feel like my bolt ons should have netted me maybe 5-10 hp and I know I have dropped just under 200 lbs from what I have taken off the car or replaced. I really want to enjoy driving this car more. I love the top down, love the style, like the sound, but I am all growl no bite. I want to go faster or feel like I am going faster. The hot rod and classics shop near me gave me this outline for $4750 of work: 4.1 Gears, high torque stall converter, manual shift valve body, BBK long tube headers, sparks and wires tune up, and belt replacement/de-smog. I have one problem, is this actually gonna make me enjoy driving? I HATE THE AODE. I can't stand it. Nothing off the line, doesn't shift well at all, I can ride 1st till 52MPH or so, highway wants to sit third gear etc. I love manual transmissions, daily drive a 6 speed, never will buy another automatic sports car as long as I live. My Long Term Goal is to be under 12 second quarter mile and have a drive able car. Preferably 10 something 1/4 if possible. Can I get some suggestions for maybe a 2 part 7500 to no more than 9000 dollar project. Please keep in mind, I am 21 years old with limited tools and proud of what I have done in my driveway to this point. I am considering some of the following things t56 magnum w/2.95 1st gear , 24lb injectors/BBK MAF pair, much larger gear ratio (with a .5 OD I think I could get away with 4.56 or 4.3 rear end?!?) , long tube headers are a must, new cam?, getting my intake plenum cleaned up and bored out?, aluminum driveshaft, etc? I don't want to do anything twice and don't think I want to do Forced Induction. I figure my car is high miles and when the day comes I can just keep the progress I have and go with a 347 or another 302 who knows. I feel like a supercharger will just kill my engine.
check tuning innovations on FB a guy Ted Jenkins does moates F3 chips that made a huge difference and improved the shifting in my AODE
 

snatchss454

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What throttle body do you have and whats your timing set to?
Upgraded DIS cap and rotor? Plug wires and coil? wider gap on new plugs? 180 deg thermo and bottle of water wetter? These are small and easy things you can do yourself for not a ton of money that are basic maintenance but also assist in going faster.

We have similar mods, plus what I listed above, and while I don't claim this to be correct, I didn't notice much of a difference until I adjusted my throttle screw on my BBK 70mm past what was in their instructions(.010+half a turn I think) and my timing was bumped to 14ish(93oct). I think I am at more like 3/4 to 1 full turn. It also cut down on the throttle body whistle. She still doesn't really have a solid top end or anything but lower rpm punches feel a lot stronger. I even backed the screw down to see if it was placebo but it was really noticeable and just kind of doggy, so back up it went and that's where its stayed. Granted I am a T5 also with crap 2:73 gears.

I wasn't happy with the mods I had done up until this point but Ive gained an appreciation for working through issues and not proceeding directly to steps 2 and 3 as listed above. I want gears and a tune next and think thats probably your best seat of the pants mod. I don't think headers will net us much until we do heads and intake and the cost is just too much for a little extra sound. Not to mention the install is way easier with the head off so its like 2 birds with one stone.
A converter could be cool but I believe a cooler is required or you'll burn up the converter (ask me how I know and it only took one brake stall launch to complete). Ive only had experiences with an Edge 3200 and a 36 or 3800 vigilante stall in a 00 SS Camaro 4L60e and it sucked balls as a daily. No idea what it will do for yours and I think you will also need a tune.

Shane

Just reread the thread after replying and it is full of quality posts for you. A lot of good info and insight only gained through time and the repeating of steps 1-3.
 
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Werecow

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All really good advice here, only thing I can add to it is when/if working on a budget gather your parts up a lil bit at a time till you have all you need for one step then take it so you can minimize your downtime. Just like was pointed out before, if you wanna go stick shift route, research it out, make sure you have all the parts needed then only after double and triple checking everything tackle that job. And you don't have to buy all the parts at one time. Get the clutch cable and firewall adjuster one time, the clutch fork and bell housing another time.. and you can get a lot of parts at your local pick-n-pull. I know the old adage "speed costs, how fast do ya wanna go?". But by being smart and doing your research and plan, plan, plan ahead you can keep from redoing stuff over and over again like you said in your first post.
 

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