RCR GT40 Build Questions

This goes out to everyone that has purchased and has built (or is currently building) a GT40 replica from RCR. I am interested in possibly purchasing the GT40 kit from RCR, but before I do I have some concerns that I can hopefully get answered before I make the dive. I think this forum will definitely help! I was wondering how difficult would this kit be for someone who’s only mechanical knowledge is EXTREMELY basic? (I know from my research that RCR offers 3 different packages ranging in levels of difficulty/price, so for the sake of this question, let’s say I purchase the most complete package.) I don’t want to spend all this money for the kit and start building it only to realize I’ve made a huge mistake. I don’t want to get in over my head when I could just spend roughly the same amount of money for a decent (completed sports car.

When I say my knowledge is basic, I mean I conduct all the regularly scheduled maintenance on my current truck. I have also tinkered with adding some aftermarket parts like an exhaust and cold air intake. I know that this is no where close to what it will take to put together an entire car but I figure it’s at least a start. So let me have it! Am I crazy for even considering doing this??

My biggest concerns are how difficult it is to wire up everything and how much customization is going to be required for certain parts...

Thanks in advance for all the help!

-Jake
 

bryanf

Supporter
I think mechanical aptitude is as important as experience and you will also need patience, commitment, and perseverance.
 
Hi Jake,
Building of the more established kits, like RCR really helps, in the form of all the parts from one source (if required) and a factory help line, when things need resolving.
The build logs on this forum, is an absolute gold mine of information & ideas of how to do things and importantly in what order. As long as your prepared to spend an equal amount of time researching each sub-system to actually building, you won't go far wrong
Regards,
Andy
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Personally, I think taking on a component car like one of these will be an exercise like no other in the automotive world short of doing a scratch build.
I've built a number of racing cars over the years and a half-dozen Cobra Kits for myself, friends and various customers. The step (read LEAP) into building a component level supercar like the GT40 can push the limits of easily half the people that buy them. Matter of fact, I venture to say that half of the people that buy them either throw in the towel on their own builds and sell it - or they farm out most if not all the major work to an experienced builder, or to the manufacturer of the "kit". This, in a way, is trading money for lack of experience or time.
That said - I have seen a number of people with basic mechanic skills bring a build full cycle and along with it they've managed to transform themselves into some pretty good fabricators and mechanics.
Read the Build Logs as stated earlier. That will give you some idea what you're up against.
Good luck in your decision!
 
My take on attempting one if these kits is less about skill and more about motivation. You have to have a lot of drive to push through the middle part of a build (between go-kart and finished car). If you are someone who loves projects and always needs to be working on something, you can succeed. If you have no prior experience with projects, maybe start smaller and work your way up. I bought a fixer upper house 2 months out of college and spent five years on it. Once the house was finally complete I found I couldn’t sit still, so that birthed my first car build.
If you are happy binge watching Netflix and driving a car someone else or a manufacturer built, then you might not enjoy a component car.
 

Bill Kearley

Supporter
It will be a great experience and you will learn lots. A few other factors you may consider if you are not a mechanic/fabricator. Lots of shop space, tools and a whole lot of cash. This site is the best place for many view points and knowledge. A lot of gratification on completion.
 
This really helps! I have thought about getting a “cheap” build to practice on but with a wife and kids eating up my budget and time I didn’t want to waste the little money I have been saving for this build or a completed fun car. Thank you for your help!
 
It will be a great experience and you will learn lots. A few other factors you may consider if you are not a mechanic/fabricator. Lots of shop space, tools and a whole lot of cash. This site is the best place for many view points and knowledge. A lot of gratification on completion.
Yes! That is what has me interested in doing this! Two things really, one is the fact that I can say “I built this.” when it’s finally done. Not only that but once I am done I would have a rare super awesome car that you just won’t see on the road normally!
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
My first question would be how much time can you put into this. Firstly on a weekly basis and then on a month to month basis. Can you pretty much commit to nearly every weekend at least 8 hours and a couple of hours 3 or 4 days during the week after work in the late afternoons and evenings?

Do you believe you can maintain that pace for at least 2 years? If you can really in your heart and after talking to the wife about it say yes then you can learn the rest. Beware young family can be a great family experience OR a distraction. You must resolve this first IMHO.

Your cost will exceed your original forecast but it can certainly be kept within reason. Places to save, do your own bodywork and put a street use paint job on it, Don't buy stuff to put onto the car until its time to need it. A $1500 trick intake sitting in the garage for two years will do you NO good. Use used tires until you need good ones. New ones will dry up before you can use them. Get them for free!

The good news. Everything you can learn to do yourself will save you 80-90% of paying someone and you will get the tools for free. Harbor Freight is good enough 90% of the time and wait until you need something to buy it. You will need a couple of sets of socket/wrenches, box-end wrenches, an assortment of screwdrivers and wrenches hammers etc. You do not need 2000 Sq ft. A 2 car garage will work just fine but you will need to commit to using nearly all of it. Talk to the wife again about her car and yours on the driveway for the next couple of years.

If you keep to an LS crate motor (resist +550 HP) and its intended electronics there is a lot of help. The rest of the electrical system isn't magic but you will need to learn a moderate amount of electrical assembly technique. This is all on UTube. You will watch lot of Utube...........about everything. It's all there.

Lastly, invest in a couple of road trips to talk to other nearby RCR builders and what you are talking about.

The fact that you think you can do it in the back of your mind leads me to believe that you want to do it. Only you know your motivation. If The learning part equals the driving part then go for it. You will meet the nicest people you have ever met and gain a lifetime of enjoyment.

You can call me anytime. Howard
 
This really helps! I have thought about getting a “cheap” build to practice on but with a wife and kids eating up my budget and time I didn’t want to waste the little money I have been saving for this build or a completed fun car. Thank you for your help!
I was at that stage when I first decided to build a cobra replica. I ended up waiting another 10 years.

Waiting does a couple of good things; more time to save enough money to make sure you can finish it, and making sure it isn't just a 'instant gratification' purchase that will end up unfinished like so many other big car projects do.

Maybe at this stage, buy a fun toy car, then sell it when you are able to commit the time to a build.

John
 
This really helps! Thank you.
I was at that stage when I first decided to build a cobra replica. I ended up waiting another 10 years.

Waiting does a couple of good things; more time to save enough money to make sure you can finish it, and making sure it isn't just a 'instant gratification' purchase that will end up unfinished like so many other big car projects do.

Maybe at this stage, buy a fun toy car, then sell it when you are able to commit the time to a build.

John
This exactly what I was thinking honestly. I could never get my wife to agree to financing this project so I would have to save up for it so it’s good to hear someone say the same thing. One of my biggest fears about diving into this is getting so frustrated or distracted I don’t finish it. I’d like to do this with my son someday too.
 

Chris Kouba

Supporter
Pay attention to the time stamps on the posts:


I was single when I started the project and acquired an incredibly supportive spouse along the way. No kids. Would be happy to chat about my experience.

Also, post your location. You might be in someone's backyard.

Welcome to the asylum.
 
My first question would be how much time can you put into this. Firstly on a weekly basis and then on a month to month basis. Can you pretty much commit to nearly every weekend at least 8 hours and a couple of hours 3 or 4 days during the week after work in the late afternoons and evenings?

Do you believe you can maintain that pace for at least 2 years? If you can really in your heart and after talking to the wife about it say yes then you can learn the rest. Beware young family can be a great family experience OR a distraction. You must resolve this first IMHO.

Your cost will exceed your original forecast but it can certainly be kept within reason. Places to save, do your own bodywork and put a street use paint job on it, Don't buy stuff to put onto the car until its time to need it. A $1500 trick intake sitting in the garage for two years will do you NO good. Use used tires until you need good ones. New ones will dry up before you can use them. Get them for free!

The good news. Everything you can learn to do yourself will save you 80-90% of paying someone and you will get the tools for free. Harbor Freight is good enough 90% of the time and wait until you need something to buy it. You will need a couple of sets of socket/wrenches, box-end wrenches, an assortment of screwdrivers and wrenches hammers etc. You do not need 2000 Sq ft. A 2 car garage will work just fine but you will need to commit to using nearly all of it. Talk to the wife again about her car and yours on the driveway for the next couple of years.

If you keep to an LS crate motor (resist +550 HP) and its intended electronics there is a lot of help. The rest of the electrical system isn't magic but you will need to learn a moderate amount of electrical assembly technique. This is all on UTube. You will watch lot of Utube...........about everything. It's all there.

Lastly, invest in a couple of road trips to talk to other nearby RCR builders and what you are talking about.

The fact that you think you can do it in the back of your mind leads me to believe that you want to do it. Only you know your motivation. If The learning part equals the driving part then go for it. You will meet the nicest people you have ever met and gain a lifetime of enjoyment.

You can call me anytime. Howard
Honestly was thinking about a lot of what you mentioned and for starters I know I would not be able to donate that much time to it per week especially with my job. I would not be able to spend any time after work that’s for sure (I work 12 hr days) so the overall time line for me would be around 5-7 years (I’d love to finish it before that time but I’m trying to be realistic with myself). Also this is something I would like to do is work on this with my son. I think it would be a great bonding activity.

I feel like it would be blasphemous to put an LS motor into a Ford, not that I have anything against Chevy. I wouldn’t want to skimp out on the engine for two reasons: 1. I don’t want to regret putting in a cheaper motor just to get it done faster, only to be upset with the performance and 2. The the resale value. From the research I’ve done people are more likely to pay more for a replica that is as close to original as possible.

I do appreciate your suggestions! This is all great stuff!
 
Pay attention to the time stamps on the posts:


I was single when I started the project and acquired an incredibly supportive spouse along the way. No kids. Would be happy to chat about my experience.

Also, post your location. You might be in someone's backyard.

Welcome to the asylum.
North East, Ohio so not too far from RCR HQ
 

Steven Lobel

Supporter
I am 3 years and 1 month into my GTR build. Some of the work farmed out to H-Craft. About 6 months off total doing other projects like moving and building a new garage. So over 26 months I put in 4-8hrs per week with a mechanic buddy. Lots of small frustrations, installing and removing things for better parts, different spots, conflicting locations of parts, etc... I have 30-40 extra holes in my chassis/floor/interior panels. No big deal.
Just keep plugging away.
 
Jake,

While I am not building a RCR GT40 I am building a RCR SL-C which construction wise is quite similar. I am located on the other end of the turnpike in NW Ohio (Wauseon) if you would like to meet up and review my project and what it entails for comparison. I can share my timeline with, build experiences, space and tool requirement, etc.
 
I waited to start building. I look back at the time lost because I didn’t think
I would be able to devote the time to get it done. Looking back now what difference does it make if it take 5 to 7 or more years. Work at a pace that you’re comfortable with, do the family things, do the work things and just keep plunking away at the build. These things are timeless and when it’s done you’ll have a truly cool piece.
 

Kim Haun

Supporter
I just completed my RCR GT40 build. I have 3 years and over 2600 hours invested. I did all the work myself with the exception of spraying the final color and gloss coats. I was very driven and devoted a lot of time to the build. There was a point in the build that I had to walk away for a few months due to frustrations with my fuel injection (which turned out to be a firmware problem from the fuel injection manufacturer). I did spend extra time with customized systems that weren't exactly necessary. My goal was to build the car at a high quality level, at the lowest cost possible, which meant I needed to do all the labor myself. Body fitment and final bodywork and gapping being especially challenging. My level of experience would be high amateur, having restored and customizing a handful of other classic and performance cars. All the above advice is spot on but I would like to add one thing. Find a GT40 owner that will allow you to either ride in, or even better, drive one. It's a completely different experience from other cars and takes some getting used to, and might not be to your liking. It is defintely a race car and if you don't have prior experience with this type of vehicle it can be especially intimidating. I have had experience with a couple different Cobras, with a modest amount of track time and when it came to driving the GT40 it was definitely a handful. You might consider building a Cobra, which in my opinion would be 50% of the time and cost invested as that of a GT40 and a whole lot of fun to drive! In either case, the feeling of accomplishment when you get to the finish can not be beat!
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
Ya, I agree on using a SBF in a GT40. For sure. I think a lot about my SLC and it sidetracked my train of thought. The Winsor 400Hp crate motors are perfect and easy to get going with a Holley 4 barrel. You will need to solve the work time availability Issue one way or another. I did take 12 years to build my GTD40 and 8 to do my SLC so a long time isn't a problem in and of itself. It doesn't need to be a hurry-up thing really. It's all fun and the longer it takes the easier the funding becomes.
 
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