View Full Version : New member, future GTO owner

08-26-2009, 04:42 PM
What's up, all? I just sold the car I've raced and had a blast in for the past 9 years, my '92 Pontiac Grand Prix with the DOHC V-6 and a 5 speed. I had a lot of fun, but I've never owned a RWD car and I'm ready to move up. Two cars are on my list of next to buy, but leading the list is a GTO. I love the car, I love that it's Australian, I love its simplicity. I'm saving up for a down payment on one and hopefully I can get it by May 12th, 2010, which is my 30th birthday. I've done a lot of research on the GTO, but I figure the best information will come from actual owners. So I have a couple questions that I'm hoping some of you can answer.

1) I'm pretty sure I want one that's been unmolested. I like to work on cars myself and then I know what's gone into it and how it was built. I want an '05-06 because it has the LS2 and from what I've read, it's a lot easier to get power out of and there are more parts available for them. It's also drive by wire and the '04 is still cable linkage. Am I right on this? And is there any reason an '04 would be better than an '05-06?

2) I've heard the GTO is quite a heavy car. I've heard anywhere from 3750-3900 pounds. I want a six speed, which should be lighter. Are there ways to lighten them up without getting rid of too many of the luxuries (i.e. the seats, interior bits)? Ideally I'd like to get one down to the 3500-3600 pound range.

3) I've heard about the widest tire you can get on the back of a stock bodied car is 285mm with the Pedders springs and maybe a 255 up front without radical suspension changes. I've seen the RAM AIr 6 concept and found that you can get the body panels to make one yourself, but that's a lot of money and I'd rather not spend it if I didn't have to. I want to make an all purpose street/race car, road course and dragstrip, so I know to make a weighty car handle I'll need some big meat underneath it. How big of tires can you go on the stock body?

Any answers to these questions would be appriciated. Thanks in advance!

08-26-2009, 05:13 PM
Whats up bud and welcome... Performance wise the 04 vs 05-06 are pretty much the same... When I was bone stock I ran a 13.2 @ 105 in my 04 M6, Ive driven a 06 and I couldnt tell the difference between the two. The 04 has a cable driven Throttle body while the 05-06 use an elctronic Throttle body, I like the Cable driven better for reasons if your working on the car you can control the throttle from under the hood... If you like the bumper and hood on the 05-06 then its all you go for it.. I just swapped out my rear bumper to an 05-06 but liked the flat hood better... Its all person to person on what your looking for but they are generally the same car with little differences... Get whats cheaper and mod the shit out of it... Once you get one of these cars your not gonna leave it stock, TRUST ME.... So it really doesnt matter stock vs. stock because if you run into another GTO owner on the road more than likely he's not stock nor is anyone on this site.... Alos just FYI these cars way 3750lbs.... Either one you buy you will be happy as a pig in shit so GL with the purchase...

08-26-2009, 07:35 PM
Thanks a lot for the info. I just test drove one yestarday with an automatic. I know for sure I'm getting one now, but I need to shift my own gears so it'll be an M6. I'm looking at a yellow one right now. I guess it's the rarest color but I like it! I'm still wondering about the tires sizes though. Anyone got any insight on that?

08-26-2009, 08:09 PM
The LS2 cars seam to respond to mods a little better, and have better brakes from the factory (they still suck). They are getting pretty cheap though, so you should be able to pick one up for close to what the '04's are going for. On the mods, you might be ahead of the game to buy one with some of the basic stuff already done. A good set of Kooks headers is over $1000, but most people realize that they are not going to get all that back in resale value. If you are set on an M6 car, plan on replacing the shitty stock clutch and shifter pretty quick.

Most guys are only getting a 275 under the back of the car without mods, but mini tub kits are not too expensive, and you can go up to a 325mm if you go that route. Probably what I am going to do. These cars are a couple of hundred pounds heavier than the F-bodies, but it's not that big of a deal, and there are plenty of ways to lighten them up some without giving up creature comforts.

YJ is definitly not the most rare color. Barbados Blue and Cosmos Purple (04), and Midnight Blue (05), and Brazen Orange (06) are all more rare if I'm not mistaken because they were only offered for one year each. Yellow Jacket was offered in '04 and '05.

08-26-2009, 09:20 PM
Buy an Fbody....cheaper, easier, etc.

These cars are also more than "a couple hundred lbs heavier" then an Fbody.

My GTO lightened quite a bit weight out at an even 3800 lbs with me in it....I weight 180.

Having a GTO and an Fbody.....just drive them both before making a decision. If you get an 04 you have the advantage of a cable driven throttle body and an LS1 which don't usually have LS2 oil consumption and piston slap problems. You also have the better looks. You can easily upgrade to the 05-06 brakes and more power out of an LS1 with no issues. I have a 275/35/18 in the back with lowering springs. I'm sure if I rerouted part of the exhaust I could squeeze a 295 back there, my fenders are ground down to almost nothing in back and I have good offset rims. Minitub kits are cheap though which is a definite option. I fucking hate it when people suggest pedders' lift springs and drag bags....that is a cheap way out and lift springs look and drive gay....Its a touring car, not a drag racer.

Good luck in everything.

08-26-2009, 10:40 PM
Pulse is the Rarest color for 04!!!! ;)

08-27-2009, 09:19 AM
My LS2 doesn't use oil or have piston slap, and my '06 weighed 3720 stock with a 1/4 tank of gas and 40lbs of extra shit in the trunk. Taking 200lbs off these cars is super easy, and there will soon be tubular cradles and A-arms available. This HUGE weight break between the GTO' sand the F-bodies is flat out a myth. I say if you can pick up a lightly modded 05-06 for a reasonable price, do it and save your self some money. Then start modding the piss out of it.

08-27-2009, 05:01 PM
I love the look of the firebirds, but live rear axles are for straight liners. I like corners, too. And I don't want to start with 300 horsepower and work my way up. I'm settled on a GTO. I appriciate all the info from everyone. You're all certainly more helpful than the guys at GTOForum. How big a tire can you put on the front?

08-27-2009, 11:52 PM
I wouldnt go any bigger than a 245 for the front and 275 for the rear unless you minitub...

08-29-2009, 09:55 AM
Minitubbing only allows you to put a bigger tire in the rear, correct?

09-03-2009, 01:41 AM
I just thought of this today. I imagine that the GTO uses a torque tube to go to the rear end instead of a driveshaft. If so, how good is it?

09-03-2009, 04:58 AM
I just thought of this today. I imagine that the GTO uses a torque tube to go to the rear end instead of a driveshaft. If so, how good is it?

It's actually a two piece drive shaft and it'll handle well up until you get into the 500+rwhp range from what i hear but you can always just buy the aluminum one piece thats rated for like 800rwhp.

09-03-2009, 08:05 PM
It is a 2-piece, and they are complete junk. There is actually a rubber doghnut at each end that attaches it to the yokes. GeForce sells a single piece CF and a single piece Aluminum with a custom rear yoke that uses a regular U-joint. I will have the CF unit in my car in the next month.

BTW, it is an independant rear suspension, kind of like a Corvette, but the tranny is still bolted to the motor so there is no reason for a torque tube.

09-05-2009, 06:51 PM
Thanks for that info. So in the past two weeks I have driven an '05 automatic which went like nothing I have ever driven, but it was an automatic. Then just today I drove an '04 6 speed with 4,500 original miles! And they only want $19K for it with a one year warranty. Apparently it was owned by a collector who ran out of room in his garage, this place bought it from him, it has the original tires, oil, everything.

Except he did change two things: he put a K&N FIPK on it, and he put a Hurst short shifter on it which made 2, 4, and 6 feel like mush, which I didn't like. And, changing from 1 to 2 at speed, I got wheel hop which was a bit unnerving. It was fast, but no where near as fast as that '05, and what really susprised was that the acceleration was so non-linear. I thought a cable linkage throttle would give you better response, but this thing felt like it had turbo lag. But, the car came with the original shifter and air box just in case I wanted to put those back in.

Then I was talking to a friend who works at a exotic supercar shop, and he said the '04 cars have a weaker rear end in them than the '05-06 cars, which can break even with stock tires because of the wheel hop. Is there any truth to that? If so, I'd probably pass this up even with the low miles. I still think the LS2 is a much better and more upgradeable motor. Comments?

s/c'd cav
09-07-2009, 03:59 AM
dam you got rid of the holy grail of 5spds , lol

those cars are so much fun

i love my goats(yes i have 2) , my 04 has 11k , and my 06 has 6200

the shiftbe changed ive had the gmm and hurst and went back to stock in the 06 , the g/f couldnt work the hurst , and hated the up down movement of the gmm , the wheel hop is usually bad , but can be worked out , if airbags and springs dont do it , then it can get costly to get out

the 04 diff is pretty much the same , but the stubs that go in the diff are weaker , and the 04 are known for the axles loosening up

my 04 is my race car and 06 the weekend cruiser , i got the 04 because of the cable tb and it was already set up for drag racing

09-07-2009, 04:55 AM
False there is no difference in rears on the GTO's... The hurst shifter is probably the worst one made for the GTO... I wasnt able to tell the difference in performance between the 04 and 05-06 when I bought mine, they all felt the same....

09-07-2009, 08:36 AM
You can buy mine (25K miles) for less. Perfect but it's an automatic!

09-08-2009, 11:43 AM
Oh, and it's my favorite yellow too! But yeah, I need to shift me own gears, even though the automatic is one of the nicest American autos I've driven. That and I know the M6 cars get better mileage. I have a TDI Jetta for a daily, but I would imagine during the summer if it's a sunny day I'd be driving a GTO. I have actually found 4 '04s in Wisconsin alone with less than 10,000 miles on them. I'm not sure why, there are gorgeous, but I still love the LS2, so I'm still looking for '05-06 first.

Out of curiosity though, what would you sell that pretty yellow one for? :)

09-20-2009, 07:41 PM
Well, I've test driven just about everything now. An LS1 M6, an LS2 A4, and an LS2 M6. I know now I want an LS2 M6. So I may pop on every now and then and ask a question about them, but I since I probably won't have one until spring I'll just keep pining for one. Thanks for all the help you guys!