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Old 01-30-2017   #1
niterydr
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Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Well after lusting after a white fixed roof coupe since 2008 and missing 2 local options throughout those years (both were 2001 Z06 actually) I finally pulled the trigger on the car I've wanted since I sold my blue stealth.

Two weeks ago I got a notification from craiglist that a new corvette was available within the price range filter I had. I looked at the add and realized it was a 1999 Corvette FRC in my favorite color, Arctic White. Granted it is in the middle of winter so I looked at the add, but figured that since the Miata is in storage I am going to sit on the idea.

A week goes by and I can't stop thinking about the car. I figured if it is on my mind that much I should probably go look at it. Perhaps it is a piece of shit and doesn't meet my expectations (as it was fairly priced). So I talk to Ryan, who wasn't traveling for once, and we go check it out on Tuesday the 17th. It was on the showfloor at a local dealership and without the sales guy there (he was off), Ryan and I spent a good 30 minutes go over every inch on the vehicle. For the price, age, and mileage; it was a well kept car. Carfax checked out, so I figured I'll toss the Miata on craigslist and see what happens. Snapped this picture when I left:



Well I got a flood of interest on the Miata. Between Tuesday at 10pm and Thursday at 4pm I had 5 calls, 15 texts, and 6 emails. Had a nice young gentleman ask to meet me at the storage locker Thursday night with his buddies to look at it.
He ended up buying the Miata the following morning.

So then its time to wheel and deal on the corvette. Went down there around 3:30pm on Friday, January 27th, and did the most sacrilege thing ever. Drove a minty Corvette in the middle of winter on a test drive. Upon start up I was immediately grinning as it has aftermarket exhaust on it. Test drive went great, so I bought the car.


History lesson:

Chevrolet only made the Fixed Roof Coupe or Hardtop for 2 years, 1999 and 2000. It was designed as a "stripped" C5 with minimal options and designed for those wanting to track and race the vehicles.

The particular car was born on Friday January 6th, 1999 (Day 5 of production for 1999 model year vehicles in 1999). This car was car number #71 off the line that day. As the 1999 model year started June 16th, 1998, this was considered a "mid year" 1999 vehicle. In fact it is 17,012th 1999 C5 produced that model year.

Fun facts:
33,270 1999 Corvettes produced of which
4,031 Hardtops (Fixed Roof Coupes) were produced of which
311 Hardtops were produced in Arctic White (2nd most rare color, only beat out by Nassau Blue Metallic)

Effectively making this 1 of 311 made. Less than 1% of the 1999 corvettes are in this configuration, 7.7% of the Hardtops made were white.

2000 Productions:
33,682 Corvettes of which
2,941 Hardtops were produced of which
315 were White.

When you factor across all FRC's, it is still 1 of 626 White FRC's ever made (8.9% made were white).

Ok enough about why I really wanted a White one (rare and I love white)...back to the story....

By the time it was all done I was driving back to the storage locker in the evening, so I could use the crappy lights. Stopped and filled it up with gas:



and tucked it away.


After initial test drive I realized that:
  • The stock shifter is garbage
  • The headlights are worthless
  • I can't stand the replica Chrome Wheels

So the research started. I've always been a fan of the Z06 Speedline wheels, so I found a set locally in Mankato. Picked them on on Saturday and snapped a few pictures with the car. The wheels were in impeccable shape. I also picked up a set of 2003 Z06 shocks he took off his car with, 5,000 miles on them. For the price I paid; may as well toss those on while I determine what I am doing for suspension.



Trying to see how they fit:



Car came with a few fun things. Corsa Indy 3.5" Pro Series axle back exhaust.


The underside is clean on this car:



The car also came with a blackwing intake:




And a few other subtle things that just confirm the owner took care of the vehicle.

Since Saturday I have been busy formatting the plan...

...to be continued....
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
One thing this site has taught me is that the older, more beat up your car is, and the less you drive it, the more elite you become.

Last edited by niterydr; 02-06-2017 at 10:50 PM..
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Old 01-30-2017   #2
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

....The Plan....

Most of you know me and know that I can't leave cars alone and really like my stuff looking nice. This car will be no different. I want something I can autocross in, come out to the MAP time attack stuff with, do a few HPDE events, and street drive/cruise. Once all that is done, I'll see what I and the car excel in and make tweaks from there; but for now the idea is to improve everything 105% without sacrificing something else. Easy to turn everything to volume 11, beyond that you have to start making sacrifices.

Stage 1: Getting the car up to snuff and ready to teach me.

Let's face it. This car is no joke. I know my limitations and understand that this car absolutely does not need any more power to teach me anything. I need seat time, and lots of it. Thus I am planning to get it ready for track use and see where the chips fall.

5 easy steps for this:

1) Get the Z06 wheels on there with new rubber setup for Auto-X, Street, and HPDE duty. Currently researching tires, but thinking I'll be in the STU class for autox so will stay under a 285 series tire. I've ordered brand new TPMS sensors so I can sell the chrome replica wheels with tires and sensors installed. Tires are TBA, going to noodle that idea for a month or so.
2) Fix the headlights. I've ordered a bunch of parts to make it better; including 9011/9012 bulbs, Hi-4 relay for all of them to be on at the same time, new corner lights, DRL switchbacks, All exterior LED's (except rear tail light bulbs). Also a few other dress up things; maybe I can actually get into cars and coffee with something this year!
3) Make it shift. The stock shifter is garbage. It is more vague than most vaguebook posts I see on my news feed.
Thus I have coming:

http://www.mtiracing.com/mti-racing-...t-shifter.html

This shifter SHOULD be awesome. I plan on writing an honest review with my installation when all the parts come. While the car is in storage I will probably go nuts and get down there in a month to get some interior work done.

4) Switch out fluids and old rubber. For this I've ordered SS brake lines (STU legal for autox) and Dot 4 fluid, new oil filter, new fuel filter, oil, coolant, thermostat, etc. I have those 03 Z06 shocks so I'll throw those on when I am doing lines and fluid. Brakes appear okay for now, but if they are beyond 50% worn I'll upgrade those when I am there.

5) Round it out for power and alignment. Car will go to Jeff when it is ready. For power, I ordered an upgraded air bridge to "complete" the intake and already pulled the tune out of it with HP Tuners. I'll throw it on the dyno this spring before the madness begins, I figure it'll make somewhere between 285-320 hp/ depending the engine health, weather, etc. It'll make what it makes but I'll know it is 100%. Eventually I'll add longtubes and a mid pipe, eventually a cam potentially head work down the road. Right now I want consistent and clean power.



After some more driving I'll make decisions as to what is next. Eyeballing C6 Z51 swaybars, but I want to experience the stock stuff first.

Stay tuned, this will be fun!
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
One thing this site has taught me is that the older, more beat up your car is, and the less you drive it, the more elite you become.

Last edited by niterydr; 01-30-2017 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 01-30-2017   #3
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Looks nice, congrats!

Btw, are the stock low beam projectors? I'd do a 4300k hid/xenon conversation if so. I've done a bunch on family cars the last few years and have been happy so far.
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Old 01-30-2017   #4
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

No, not projectors at all, otherwise I would. I looked at some of the projector kits out there and unless I am spending $600+ I am getting serious shortcomings. The new "HIR" bulbs should throw significant light and are worth a try for $25 for low beams. High beam HIR bulbs were an additional $25 and the "all on" prewired relay is $25. I'd rather give it a run for $75 and see if it is "enough" than DIY for a few hundred.
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One thing this site has taught me is that the older, more beat up your car is, and the less you drive it, the more elite you become.
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Old 01-30-2017   #5
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Amazing cars for the money. Can't wait to see how yours turns out.
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Old 01-31-2017   #6
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Awesome man, and as you already know, you picked the best color for Corvettes out there!

The C5 and C6 shocks and swaybars are all interchangeable, but my personal opinion would be to match the swaybars with the shocks you got (C5 Z06). I would guess they will be cheap and easy to come by since the majority of C5 owners jump to the C6 Z06 shocks/swaybars and pass up the C5 stuff (and the C6 Z51 stuff for that matter, so your idea would also be a relatively cheap and readily available option). Just a thought though!

The underside of that car looks impeccable, especially considering the age and miles. WOW.

I look forward to your review of the shifter. I've looked at/considered a few including that one, the Callaway, and the MGW (C5-7 all share stock shifter assemblies). For the time being, I am very content with my shifter setup. It's actually not all that different vs. what we did with the 1G shifters (Symborski kit + fluid).

Zip bushings: http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/...7-shifter.html

Redline fluid: http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/...d-service.html
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Old 01-31-2017   #7
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Vettestyle! Nice and clean, should be a fun whip!
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Old 01-31-2017   #8
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

I feel like I should get another one, although I'm partial to a certain C3.
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Old 01-31-2017   #9
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Very cool man! Car looks mint!
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Old 02-12-2017   #10
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Switched out all the lights as the stock ones were garbage. Also got in some base pulls today.

Car feels strong and flat, virtual dyno logs confirm.

Now to wait for the rest of the parts to come and the snow to go away, I am curious to see what I can get out of it. Ideally another 10-15hp, will see what the tune unlocks and the upgraded power duct I have sitting here.
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One thing this site has taught me is that the older, more beat up your car is, and the less you drive it, the more elite you become.
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Old 02-13-2017   #11
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Should definitely be some power on the table. I put a plug in tuner I bought from Kracka on the Tahoe and I actually felt a difference. The LS rocks.
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Old 02-13-2017   #12
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Quote:
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Should definitely be some power on the table. I put a plug in tuner I bought from Kracka on the Tahoe and I actually felt a difference. The LS rocks.
Handhelds FTW!
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Old 02-13-2017   #13
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Car looks great, but I'm confused on that dyno chart. That was a virtual dyno sheet, yet it stamps it as being from a dynojet?
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Old 02-13-2017   #14
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

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Car looks great, but I'm confused on that dyno chart. That was a virtual dyno sheet, yet it stamps it as being from a dynojet?
It's basically saying that it's reading equivalent to a Dynojet, in theory.
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Old 02-13-2017   #15
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

I see the virual stamp in the upper left now.

Otherwise I was going to say, seems like a gateway for any kid with a laptop now to make their own fake dyno graphs and passing them off as actual ones.

"FS: 800hp Camaro, dynojet sheet provided!!!" (**but actually on a virtual dyno with car weight set to 8000lbs and 25" wheels**)
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Old 02-13-2017   #16
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halon View Post
I see the virual stamp in the upper left now.

Otherwise I was going to say, seems like a gateway for any kid with a laptop now to make their own fake dyno graphs and passing them off as actual ones.

"FS: 800hp Camaro, dynojet sheet provided!!!" (**but actually on a virtual dyno with car weight set to 8000lbs and 25" wheels**)
It already runs rampant on the Evo forums. People claim huge numbers using these fake, easily manipulated, "dyno" charts. There is one remote t00ner in particular that is notorious for this. He'll ask people what their goal is before he starts tuning them and at the end makes sure the chart exceeds the customer's expectations. The best is when said customers then go to a real dyno for a dyno day or whatever and get all bent out of shape when they're down on power by about 150whp

It's a decent tool when setup and used properly. The weight of the car + driver has to be entered accurately (which it appears Swanny did), along with a few other parameters, and making sure the road is perfectly flat without any strong winds. It's best to use the same road each time to create a legit comparison.
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Old 02-13-2017   #17
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
It already runs rampant on the Evo forums. People claim huge numbers using these fake, easily manipulated, "dyno" charts. There is one remote t00ner in particular that is notorious for this. He'll ask people what their goal is before he starts tuning them and at the end makes sure the chart exceeds the customer's expectations. The best is when said customers then go to a real dyno for a dyno day or whatever and get all bent out of shape when they're down on power by about 150whp

It's a decent tool when setup and used properly. The weight of the car + driver has to be entered accurately (which it appears Swanny did), along with a few other parameters, and making sure the road is perfectly flat without any strong winds. It's best to use the same road each time to create a legit comparison.
Easy to fudge numbers on this software or a real dyno for that matter. It's a tuning tool and as accurate as the end user. I've actually worked with Brad a little bit on some development of car information and have used this software since 2011 I think?

I weighed the car and if I were to throw it on a dynojet I'd expect it to belt out 300/300. Hoping I can get it to 325, time will tell.
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One thing this site has taught me is that the older, more beat up your car is, and the less you drive it, the more elite you become.
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Old 02-13-2017   #18
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

Agree if you have good inputs you can get good/useful outputs, not denying that at all. And also agree you can fudge numbers on an actual dyno too. But not every kid has access to a dyno and access to tweak it. And those who have invested in / purchased an actual dyno I'd imagine are less likely to throw garbage info around like everyone does daily on the internet. Every swinging dick has a laptop though, guess I didn't know it was already a prevalent issue in the Evo community. Guess I need to start looking at these charts closer lol!

Anyway, sorry didn't mean to redirect your post here lol. I'm sure you're using it properly and as a tool. Car looks great man!!
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Old 02-13-2017   #19
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

No worries man! I always like a good discussion, this is as good as a place as any.

It's a solid tool for the diy crowd. Ideally it is used at a drag strip so the diy individual is being safe and repeatable. Plus you'll see the change in mph to validate any inputs.
I've tested this on cars from 300-900whp, numbers always check out if your inputs are spot on.
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Old 02-13-2017   #20
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Re: Back into the big leagues: Project FRC

^Thanks for that!
I'll have to add this to my laptop come race time.
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