Kurt H (hoffkm) SL-C build thread

While in the final stages of waiting for my kit to be complete I thought I would start my build thread to occupy my time. My name is Kurt Hoffman and I reside with my wife Michelle in Wauseon, Ohio. I am a mechanical engineer by trade. My desire to become a mechanical engineer started at a very early age. I loved all kinds of machines. Growing up out in the “country” near farms (my father was not a farmer, he was a carpenter, but nearly every relative of mine was a farmer) I was surrounded by large machines. My grandfather was an implement mechanic so he worked on these machines. He would often bring tractors home to his shop for my brother and I to work on with him. Between this, converting old lawn mowers into go-karts in my grandfather’s shop, and all the Lego blocks and countless other such toys I tinkered with as a kid becoming a mechanical engineer was a natural progression.

I work as the Director of Engineering at a local machine tool builder. This means that day to day I am still “playing” with large machines and I am designing things that other people put together. I thoroughly enjoy my job but sometimes I just want to use my hands to build something myself. This and the desire to get off of two wheels (I had been riding and restoring Harley’s for 15 years) prompted me to purchase my first mid-life crisis seven years ago. I have always loved cars (working on them, just driving them, showing them off, etc.) and had many plastic models as a kid that I had assembled and “customized”. Of all these, the Chevy Camaro was my favorite. When I was 12, the first car I ever drove was my cousin’s 74 Camaro. That sealed the deal for me right there. My plan since childhood was to purchase a 68 Camaro, same age as me being born in November of 1968. As a kid, it never occurred to me that in November of 1968 they were building 1969 Camaros. I searched and searched around and found a 69 Camaro SS that according to the serial number was built the second week of November in 1968. It was only about a week older than me. The car was drivable but needed the mechanicals gone thru from end to end. Luckily the body had been redone in 2000 so I did not have to do any rust repair or paint (this is not my favorite thing to do having done some growing up with the rust buckets of the 70s). I spent the next winter and next few years fixing and customizing things while driving the car and taking it to car shows where it has won several awards. My daughter drove it to prom and homecoming while in high school and was the envy of all the car guys there. She also loves the Camaro and often claims it as her own. That’s not happening while I’m still around, just means I can probably never sell the Camaro. She is off to college now studying electrical engineering.

When work on the Camaro wound down I needed something else to fill my 24 x 36 shop so I found a 66 GTO convertible that needed everything (the motor was in boxes in the trunk and there was rust on nearly every panel of the car). Mid- life crisis number two. This was a 25th wedding anniversary present for my wife. She had always liked the GTO and El Camino, they were her dream cars. I spent the next four years restoring the GTO and finished it this past August. We took it to a few car shows before the season ended and it has already won a couple of awards and gets a lot of attention everywhere we go with it. We like taking it out for a spin to go out to dinner and have had people follow us into parking lots to stop and talk about the car, take pictures, etc. We plan to continue to take it to shows, use it for parades, etc. This spring I need to re-teach the wife to drive a stick first (it is a real muscle car with a four speed).

During the grind of doing all the bodywork, rust repair, and paint on the GTO I felt the need/desire to do something different. About that time, I saw a few episodes of Engine Power where they visited Factory Five. I started researching Factory Five and liked the GTM and the new 35 pickup. I researched both of these builds and was a little concerned about the amount of bodywork the Factory Five kits seem to require. The 35 pickup and 33 coupe appeared to be an easier, more straightforward build but there is nothing “exotic” about those two cars. Bodywork is the part of the GTO resto that made it drag on so long and I was hoping to get away from that on my next project. In researching Factory Five I came across Bill Phillips book on his Factory Five 33 Coupe build. After reading that I found his SL-C build journal. The SL-C blew my mind. I quickly fell in love with everything about the SL-C. Exotic, racey, way nicer than the GTM, but with a price tag to go with that. I worked up a build budget for the SL-C, GTM, 33 Coupe, and 35 Pickup, weighed the pros and cons of each, went on a tour of RCR with the wife on 11/26/18, and decided the SL-C was the way to go!
 
February 8, 2019 I made a second trip to RCR (conveniently the factory is only about 2 hours from my home) and placed my order. Ordering in February was planned to put delivery right around completion of the GTO. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.

Build spec as purchased from RCR

Street Tail
White gelcoat body
Electric fender mount mirrors
One piece windows
Gloss Black CF5V wheels
Fiberglass tub
Fiberglass door panels
Gentleman’s driver’s seat
Fiberglass a-pillar covers
Fiberglass front box heat deflector
G96-01 to LS flywheel and adapter plate
G96-01 clutch assembly

While waiting on the car to be completed I have read the owner’s manual more times than I can count, read and re-read all the build logs and posts on this forum, put together my engine and transaxle, formulated a build plan, put together a complete bill of materials, put together a detailed build schedule, and purchased many of the items for the car that I know will not be changing. I “think” I can complete the car in about a two-year timeframe. Time will tell on that.

Items I am supplying/changing in the build
GM LH6 engine from a 2009 Saab 9-7x modified and built up with an LS2 intake manifold, a TSP 224R cam, PAC
dual valve springs, and Brian Tooley rocker arms. With modifications the engine is now producing 456
HP and 420 ft. lb. of torque (will add turbos in the future if this proves to be in-adequate). Used, I
know, but built for less than half the price of a crate engine with about the same power plus the bragging rights that “I built it” (so long as it runs!!)
Holley Terminator X engine control system with touch screen which will be mounted in the center binnacle for
gauge display. This system will allow me to run a lower redline on the street than the track, integrate a high RPM AC shutdown, includes a full complement of gauges, is a simple system, comes with a complete brand new wire harness, and will allow me to tune for any possible future additions/modifications. I run a similar Holley setup on the Camaro and the GTO and have been very pleased with them (Holley Sniper EFI).
Holley cable driven throttle body (K.I.S.S. concept is being used in many places in this build)
LS7 exhaust manifolds into Flowmaster FX mufflers with dual chrome tips exiting thru the rear clam and
wrapped in DEI header wrap
25 row aluminum oil cooler with 7” electric fan (controlled by Holley ECU) mounted in the driver’s side air intake
Getrag G96-01 transaxle with stock limited slip differential from a 2003 Porsche Carrera (flood vehicle)
Nitto NT05 tires
Stanceparts 2” pneumatic front suspension lift cups
Tesla electric rear parking brake calipers (design borrowed/copied from Bob from Cleveland’s build thread)
Autovox X1Pro rear view camera system
Replacing the Dodge Dakota taillight assemblies with Lotus Elise taillight assemblies that have been converted to
LEDs and Halos (I purchased these from Del Calloway when he changed to the GRP V3 taillight
assemblies, thank you very much Del!). I installed halo ring headlights on the GTO and love the look!
Plan to integrate halos into the headlights for daytime running lights somehow (will figure that out once I get to
that point in the build)
Re-shape the front roll bar hoop to fit the body contour tighter, re-shape a-pillar covers to match.
Panda charcoal leather (no pandas were harmed in the making of this leather) for the seats, center console,
dash, and upper door panel
Carbon fiber skinned binnacle back panels in the dash (driver’s side and center)
Paint lower door panels and seat backs to match exterior color
Essex automotive carpet on the tub, floors, and back wall
Paint roof panel and a-pillar covers flat black with flat clear
Custom fabricated electric pedal adjustment assembly made from re-purposed automotive power seat sliders.
Hinged front clam of my own design (shouldn’t need to open it much other than to show off the suspension at
car shows).
Infinity Kappa sound system with Bluetooth receiver module, 6 ½” component speakers in the doors, 400Wx4
amp, and a 12” subwoofer mounted behind the drivers seat (no head unit, Bluetooth playback only).
Body will be painted in PPG Rosso Corsa (red has always been my favorite color, my grandfather worked for
International Harvester, I think it started there as we were always surrounded with all things red) with
PPG Nero stripes and accents. I will be doing all the body and paintwork myself (I have access to a
paint booth at my workplace and I prime and block sand in my shop at home), the challenge will be to
not overdo things and make the paint so nice that I do not ever want to take it out on the track.

Items I am considering/decisions yet to be made
Holley 6.86” touchscreen dash or Speedhut gauges in place of the Koso gauge
Body color or flat black under the headlight covers
Which shade of red for the body, I currently have it narrowed down to six options, Rosso Corsa is in the lead
Twin turbos or a Procharger
Moroso oil accumulator (for track days) or just run an extra quart of oil as Fran suggests
EBC Yellowstuff brake pads (for track days)

I am building this car to enjoy it. That includes driving it whenever possible (to work daily, running errands, out to dinner on weekends, stress relief after work, etc.), showing it off at car shows (there are multiple car shows every week all summer long around NW Ohio including every Tuesday night in my hometown), and driving it “aggressively” at Mid Ohio S.C.C. test and tune sessions and Michigan International Speedway performance driving days (both tracks are only a couple hours away from my home). I also plan to take the SL-C on the Hot Rod Power Tour once the car is complete and proven out.

This build log will most likely be more of a pictorial/questions/”HELP ME” log as I am not much of a writer. I will try to update at least once a month with progress. I will be working on the car most every Wednesday evening (my wife teaches religious education at our church on Wednesdays) and as many weekends as I can without leaving the wife too lonely. It was hard enough to get out into my shop on the weekends to work on HER car the past four years.

I cannot thank everyone on this forum enough for all the information and ideas that are shared here to help fellow builders/owners. Although, I do blame Rumbles for getting me into this mess (LOL). The next two (or two plus) years should be challenging and fun!!!!
 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
Looking forward to following along. You've got a great head start already.
I would definitely recommend upgrading the stock LS2 intake manifold. GM dropped the ball on it's design. Look for a used MSD or Fast intake. Especially if you might go turbo or centrifugal blower in the future.
 
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Joel K

Supporter
Awesome, looking forward to following along. Particularly I like the adjustable pedal concept. Very neat idea.
 
Looking forward to following along. You've got a great head start already.
I would definitely recommend upgrading the stock LS2 intake manifold. GM dropped the ball on it's design. Look for a used MSD or Fast intake. Especially if you might go turbo or centrifugal blower in the future.
Ken,
Thank you for the suggestion. Research looks like the FAST is good for an easy 20-25 HP. Definitely worth looking into if I can find a used one!
 

Rich Kruger

Supporter
Welcome to the SLC family. One thing you may want to take into consideration is I was advised by Fran not to go over 500 hp with the G96-01 transaxle. I have one behind an LS 3 376/480.
 
Yesterday marked the one year "anniversary" of my first trip to RCR to look at and sit in an SL-C and talk to Fran about the car and the process. Time has sure flown by.

I spoke with Fran on the phone today for an order status update and the big day is drawing near!! With any luck I will be posting SL-C pickup day pictures within the next couple weeks. Getting excited.
 
I guess I'm a sucker for Black Friday deals. Speedhut is offering their gauges 20% off, that was enough to push me over the hump on deciding to replace the Koso with Speedhut gauges for speed, tach, and fuel gage. I purchased a 3 3/8 GPS 200MPH speedometer, a 3 3/8 tachometer with shift lights, and a 2 1/16" fuel gauge. All my other engine vitals will be displayed on my Holley 3.5" touchscreen.
dash layout.JPG
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Dan Carter

Supporter
Kurt

I too am using Speedhut. I made a stupid mistake that I will share. The tank gauge is programmable. I didn’t think about it when I wired it but I wired the gauge as an accessory but wired the tank sensor with ignition. So naturally I kept trying to set the gauge using accessory power not realizing the tank sensor wasn’t powered. The gauge kept doing its thing but l couldn’t get a correct reading. Took me a while to figure out what I did........don’t be me....lol.
Just sharing.
 
Kurt

I too am using Speedhut. I made a stupid mistake that I will share. The tank gauge is programmable. I didn’t think about it when I wired it but I wired the gauge as an accessory but wired the tank sensor with ignition. So naturally I kept trying to set the gauge using accessory power not realizing the tank sensor wasn’t powered. The gauge kept doing its thing but l couldn’t get a correct reading. Took me a while to figure out what I did........don’t be me....lol.
Just sharing.
Good to know that the Speedhut fuel gauge will in fact work. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
 
In case anyone is in the market for a FAST intake, the LSXR 102 versions for cathedral or square ports are both on sale on the FAST website, only $795. Ordered mine a few minutes ago. I can see already that this forum is going to end up costing me more money on my build!! :)
 
Yes it will, but everything you get will make for a better SLC!

I think it'd look cool to see a FAST intake through the rear window instead of a stock one.
 
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