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Discussion Starter #1
Hey does anyone on this forum do anything besides stand on the gas pedal and hold the wheel straight?

For all of the proclamations that the FBods suck and the GTO is way better, it seems that all of the conversation is about more power (Headers, CAI, Computer Tuners, etc.) and 0-60 times. Sounds like mullet-bonics to me.

Anybody ever try turning the wheel? That can be fun too.

The GTO has a great ride and what I would call dead handling. Some may use the word neutral but I think of it as dead. When you're sliding through a corner, it will rotate only as long as you're on the throttle. When you lift off the gas, the rotation stops. No oversteer, no sudden understeer. Very predictable, no drama. I can see why the drifting crowd loves this car. This is in contrast to a Corvette I owned which could get sideways unexpectedly an the wrong moment. And let's not forget the pendulum with wheels called 911.

With the above said, has anyone investigated handling improvements? A little more turn-in and stiffness would be nice if it didn't degrade the ride too much or hurt the power slide behavior.

Also, I imagine the stock tires could be improved upon.
 

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I may be wrong, but I don't think you've actually driven a car that handles. If you think the GTO is a neutral handling vehicle, you're flat out insane.

It's not a great drift car, the power steering can't react quick enough to back and forth movements, and the LSD makes tight, low speed maneuvers damn near impossible. It's frustrating at an autocross coming out of a low speed corner, getting back in the throttle, and having the inside wheel go up in smoke.

When driven hard in an autocross setting, or even road course duties, it has a tendency to push... bad! It has an enormous amount of body roll, which is actually very suprising to me. The brakes suck, you can't stop, and they get hot fast. You really can't expect a 4000lb car to handle like a lotus though!

As far as modifying the suspension, there are finally some aftermarket pieces coming out that are pretty decent. I know Koni makes a nice shock now, BMR, Hotchkis, and others make sway bars, sub-frame connectors and the like. But I think this site is mostly dedicated to the drag racer, and the car show type guys, which is fine!

I'm not hating here at all, but I do know I'm behind the 8-ball trying to get my car nationally competitive in SCCA competition. I have a set of Hawk pads waiting to be installed, I will be purchasing race tires this week or next (Kumho V710 ofcourse) and I am looking at the HAL shocks that Tbyrne has... though he hasn't shot me a price yet!

Anyways, I suggest getting a new set of tires for your car, and a set of Koni shocks. It will be a start to a good handling car!
 

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Do you need to upgrade both sway bars to help flatten the car out in turns, or will just an upgradee rear sway bar do the trick if you change to urethane bushings in the front?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Whiteshadow said:
I may be wrong, but I don't think you've actually driven a car that handles. If you think the GTO is a neutral handling vehicle, you're flat out insane.

It's not a great drift car, the power steering can't react quick enough to back and forth movements, and the LSD makes tight, low speed maneuvers damn near impossible. It's frustrating at an autocross coming out of a low speed corner, getting back in the throttle, and having the inside wheel go up in smoke.

When driven hard in an autocross setting, or even road course duties, it has a tendency to push... bad! It has an enormous amount of body roll, which is actually very suprising to me. The brakes suck, you can't stop, and they get hot fast. You really can't expect a 4000lb car to handle like a lotus though!

As far as modifying the suspension, there are finally some aftermarket pieces coming out that are pretty decent. I know Koni makes a nice shock now, BMR, Hotchkis, and others make sway bars, sub-frame connectors and the like. But I think this site is mostly dedicated to the drag racer, and the car show type guys, which is fine!

I'm not hating here at all, but I do know I'm behind the 8-ball trying to get my car nationally competitive in SCCA competition. I have a set of Hawk pads waiting to be installed, I will be purchasing race tires this week or next (Kumho V710 ofcourse) and I am looking at the HAL shocks that Tbyrne has... though he hasn't shot me a price yet!

Anyways, I suggest getting a new set of tires for your car, and a set of Koni shocks. It will be a start to a good handling car!
Sorry your brakes suck. Unfortunately, GM left some opportunity for improvement in the 04. Try trading up to an 05. The brakes don't suck and it is pretty neutral. It does understeer at the limit but that's safer than oversteer (911).

As for LSD....finesse may help rather than just tromping the pedal and expecting traction to hold. Again, the 05's additional power and torque allows a little more room to operate.

You're right, the GTO at 3,725 pounds will never handle like a Honda S2000 or a Lancer Evo or a Vette. It's more of a Grand Tourer, not a sports car. But then I'm not looking for a competition car. Race tires aren't a very bright solution for the street. I'm looking for a little better handling feel without destroying the nice ride of the GTO.
 

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I don't even know why anyone would complain much about the handling on the 05 goat, I would have to say it's pretty darn good considering what you paid for the car. If you really want nice road course performance for the car, strip out some things you wouldn't need for such... like the extra seats. Then get some good tires like nitto's or something of equivalence, and find out about getting the suspension upgraded. Sure this car isn't a Lotus but it isn't as expensive either.
 

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Wing_Nut said:
Sorry your brakes suck. Unfortunately, GM left some opportunity for improvement in the 04. Try trading up to an 05. The brakes don't suck and it is pretty neutral. It does understeer at the limit but that's safer than oversteer (911).

As for LSD....finesse may help rather than just tromping the pedal and expecting traction to hold. Again, the 05's additional power and torque allows a little more room to operate.

You're right, the GTO at 3,725 pounds will never handle like a Honda S2000 or a Lancer Evo or a Vette. It's more of a Grand Tourer, not a sports car. But then I'm not looking for a competition car. Race tires aren't a very bright solution for the street. I'm looking for a little better handling feel without destroying the nice ride of the GTO.
When it comes to the LSD, I still believe it's a very ****ty LSD. My driving style is very smooth, though at times autocrossing requires a very aggressive drive. It wouldn't matter, it lights up one tire, not both. Our '99 Corvette doesn't have this problem, which is tough to get used to when switching cars.

No, race tires are a horrible solution for the street, but a more aggressive street tire may do the trick, like the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s.

I guess I was just hoping for a more nimble, agile car than what I have! The car definitely feels like it weighs 4000lbs.
 

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Wing_Nut said:
Hey does anyone on this forum do anything besides stand on the gas pedal and hold the wheel straight?

For all of the proclamations that the FBods suck and the GTO is way better, it seems that all of the conversation is about more power (Headers, CAI, Computer Tuners, etc.) and 0-60 times. Sounds like mullet-bonics to me.

Anybody ever try turning the wheel? That can be fun too.

The GTO has a great ride and what I would call dead handling. Some may use the word neutral but I think of it as dead. When you're sliding through a corner, it will rotate only as long as you're on the throttle. When you lift off the gas, the rotation stops. No oversteer, no sudden understeer. Very predictable, no drama. I can see why the drifting crowd loves this car. This is in contrast to a Corvette I owned which could get sideways unexpectedly an the wrong moment. And let's not forget the pendulum with wheels called 911.

With the above said, has anyone investigated handling improvements? A little more turn-in and stiffness would be nice if it didn't degrade the ride too much or hurt the power slide behavior.

Also, I imagine the stock tires could be improved upon.
:agree with your first paragraph. To focus primarily on the drag racing capabilities of the GTO is to miss out on everything else it does well. I'm no expert on drag racing or autocrossing but I have a LOT of fun driving mine everywhere I go, and it rides better than a 3-series or anything Japanese, no offense intended. A few $$$ in the right areas and a GTO becomes world-class for far less money. The car wasn't meant to be the fastest or best-handling car on the road but the combination of power, handling, comfort and interior space can't be beat by anything anywhere close to the price. I know, I shopped everything before I bought my '05. And I'm looking forward to continuing with a few tweeks to personalize it.
 

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I laugh at drag racers.

I have mocked them repeatedly.

However, this car is pretty much a boat when compared to my old 3-series cars, an E30 and a E46.

Calling the handling "dead" is accurate. I really miss that steering response of my Bimmers sometimes. That being said, the thrust of the GTO rocks.

My Threes were scalpels; my Holden is a hammer.

:cool
 

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0-whatever is fun and I wouldn't take a car with less power to the wheels. However, much more of the money I have spent modding this car has been directed at the suspension. This is car is a Grand Tourer and I wanted to maximize that without making it unpleasant to ride in. I have the Z06 for retina detatching acceleration, both linear and lateral.
 

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diverdan said:
0-whatever is fun and I wouldn't take a car with less power to the wheels. However, much more of the money I have spent modding this car has been directed at the suspension. This is car is a Grand Tourer and I wanted to maximize that without making it unpleasant to ride in. I have the Z06 for retina detatching acceleration, both linear and lateral.
+1

Oh, except for the Z06 part, cuz I ain't got one.
 

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I have to say that for the combination of power, handling, comfort, and stability our goats have they can't be beat by ANY other car in the world for the price. Can you think of one other car for under $35k that is just all around as good as our goats? I sure can't. Now if you're willing to spend $100k+ for something in the class of a Masseratti or Lambourghini then sure you're going to get something nicer then our goats. But for what we paid, I wouldn't complain about anything on our cars.

Plus if you know how to handle cars very well then you would know that the understeer capabilities of the goat can help very much in racing - Thus why the goat is the best car in the Formula D series right... it's beating out 2 Vipers.
 

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Geez, it's a STREET car. And a great one at that. It's not a drag race car or road racing car. It's a powerful, good handling, comfortable and reliable street car.

If you want to drag race, build a purpose built drag race car out of an old F-body or something. If you want to road race, do the same or, if you can't afford it, get a shifter kart. A basic Rotax is a decent place to start.

You can even pick up a second or third-hand Trans Am or GT car for 50 large -- and have a dependable 700 hp car that will kick butt over anything the general public can buy. No room in the garage for it? Park it on the lawn.
 

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Groucho said:
I laugh at drag racers. I have mocked them repeatedly.
Yeah, but the sound of the nitromethane cars is unbelieveable -- as are the header flames at night. Drag racing actually develops a lot of the core technologies that spreads to other forms of motorsports later on -- particularly in the areas of cylinder head technology.

I'll go to an NHRA national event -- and spend most of the time in the pits watching guys tear a car down, rebuild it, then fire it to set up the clutch.

I like a lot of different forms of motorsports and respect each for its particular area of expertise. Had a couple of friends who always looked down their noses at the drags -- they used to think Champ Cars were loud (to me they sound like overgrown chainsaws) -- until they nearly crapped themselves when I took them to an NHRA event.
 

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b_a_betterperson said:
Yeah, but the sound of the nitromethane cars is unbelieveable -- as are the header flames at night. Drag racing actually develops a lot of the core technologies that spreads to other forms of motorsports later on -- particularly in the areas of cylinder head technology.

I'll go to an NHRA national event -- and spend most of the time in the pits watching guys tear a car down, rebuild it, then fire it to set up the clutch.

I like a lot of different forms of motorsports and respect each for its particular area of expertise. Had a couple of friends who always looked down their noses at the drags -- they used to think Champ Cars were loud (to me they sound like overgrown chainsaws) -- until they nearly crapped themselves when I took them to an NHRA event.

That's different. Those things are amazing.

I'm talking about the mullet-convention bracket races where they sit around on Dale Enhardt signature folding chairs trying the concoct the best way to cripple an IRS to eliminate wheel hop, listen to 38 Special, and drink MGD until their old ladies are ready to go back to the trailers.

:rofl:
 

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Groucho said:
That's different. Those things are amazing.

I'm talking about the mullet-convention bracket races where they sit around on Dale Enhardt signature folding chairs trying the concoct the best way to cripple an IRS to eliminate wheel hop, listen to 38 Special, and drink MGD until their old ladies are ready to go back to the trailers.

:rofl:
What an image! :lol:
 

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Groucho said:
That's different. Those things are amazing.

I'm talking about the mullet-convention bracket races where they sit around on Dale Enhardt signature folding chairs trying the concoct the best way to cripple an IRS to eliminate wheel hop, listen to 38 Special, and drink MGD until their old ladies are ready to go back to the trailers.

:rofl:
I meet several of these types at Gainesville raceway regularly. One guy drives an E55 AMG that turns 11.6 and there are a bunch of Mercedes guys there. Any Merc with an AMG badge is serious stuff. The BMW guys show up, but they get trounced. Audi's do very good with the right drivers.
All in all the funniest thing to watch is the people in rental cars. I saw a guy there with a rental Caddy Sedan Deville, a nice understated gold color, that was just crushing ricers. He was deep into the 14's at high nineties and the Mustang GT guys were actually afraid of him too.
By the way Groucho, No alcohol is permitted in the pit area.
Eliminating wheel hop does not meen cripling an IRS. You actually can drive around it or go to stiffer bushings which improves it. Most of the serious Cobra drivers swap theirs for a good old 9" Ford. No crippling, just selling pieces to someone that wants to crash going around a corner.
It's just a different way to have fun. You should try it, it hones your skills for the straights, and teaches you how to get the most forward motion out of your car.
 

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Admittedly, I was being stupid in my post.

The point is this-- it is funny as hell listening to guys who only want to drag bitch about the wheel hop on the Holden. It's a lot like buying a MINI Cooper S and then being pissed off that won't haul a sheet of plywood.
 

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Groucho said:
Admittedly, I was being stupid in my post.

The point is this-- it is funny as hell listening to guys who only want to drag bitch about the wheel hop on the Holden. It's a lot like buying a MINI Cooper S and then being pissed off that won't haul a sheet of plywood.
I was just talking about the same thing. Living here in Florida, and with hurricane season here, I just discovered that GTO won't haul one either.
 

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fergyflyer said:
I was just talking about the same thing. Living here in Florida, and with hurricane season here, I just discovered that GTO won't haul one either.
I see roof racks in your future... :D
 
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