So like I mentioned in the first post, my plans were for an LS7 and T-56, that was until I saw how expensive those damn things are... So I thought my goals were a little lofty with my miniscule budget (wife and 3 kids at home), so I started keeping my eye on ebay, craigslist, and the local classifieds. Every once in a while, I'd see the wrecked F-Body with an LS1, but more often than not they had a 4 speed auto, the ones that had a 6 speed still commanded a bit of money. I also kept my eye out for an 04-06 GTO, and wouldn't you know it. a relatively low mileage 06-GTO came up on craigslist for 5K in the California desert,
I contacted the guy. on the phone he was pretty sketchy but confirmed that it was an LS2 with a 6 speed. I was worried about the condition of the engine from the picture above, but he confirmed that the engine was OK, and that he was able to turn it over. I grabbed my dad, and headed out to So Cal that day with cash in pocket. I didn't have a truck or trailer, so I drove out in my van, and planned on renting a U-Haul and trailer to tow it back if I ended up purchasing it.
When we got to El Centro, the guy was just as sketchy as he was on the phone, and told me that the car was in Calexico, and just like it sounds, it's right on the border to Mexico... We go check out the car, and it looks WAY worse than the pictures that he sent me.
The core support is so entangled around the engine that there is NO way there was any movement from the engine. Both engine mounts were ripped apart, and so was the transmission mount. The entire drivetrain was shoved back almost 6 inches. I waffled on buying it because I couldn't tell if the engine was any good. The interior was in pretty good shape, as was the rest of the body. I decided to pull the dipstick and it was dry. I told the guy that the whole reason I wanted the car was for the drivetrain, and started to pack up my stuff. He asked me if I was going to buy it, and I told him No, that there was too much damage, and I couldn't verify that the engine was good. He asked me what I would pay for the car, and my dad piped up that it's really only worth about 2K. The guy countered back at 3K, and we settled on $2800. We traded the title for cash, and went to get the truck and trailer and loaded it up to head back to Arizona.
Just look at how far the exhaust tips were pushed back out of the bumper.... These are ordinarily pretty flush with the back of the bumper.
Made it back to AZ and bot the car rolled back into my garage.
After a couple hours with a sledge hammer, Sawzall, portapower, and jacks, I had this: