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Budget build vs turn-key bank loan?

This is a discussion on Budget build vs turn-key bank loan? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Okay, I've been researching f-bodies for some time now. I do live in a townhome so I have to sell ...

  1. #1
    Member RageAgainstTheMinivan's Avatar
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    99 Hugger Z28, 03 R6

    Question Budget build vs turn-key bank loan?

    Okay, I've been researching f-bodies for some time now. I do live in a townhome so I have to sell to make room before I buy. After the jet skiis and truck are gone, I'm planning for a camaro.

    My 'dream car' if you will is a 02 ss som vert 6 spd. I read somewhere that theres only 41 of these cars out there (maybe its just the factory slp's). So, from watching ebay and blue book, it looks like I would have to take out a loan for around $15k - $20k.

    However, I'm a mechanic by trade and I would like a project car aswell. V6 camaro's are selling for around 3500 here. The plan would be to find a cheap ls1 with hopefully a spun bearing or something. Possibly build a stroker, otherwise build it from the crank up. The rest of the car I would either try for an ss clone or just aftermarket hood, paint, suspension, etc etc. A budget for me with a project like this would be around $10k.

    So my question is do I just get what I want and be done, or try to stick to a budget and build up a car? What would you do? Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Senior Member slims00ls1z28's Avatar
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    2005 GTO M6 Black
    2000 Z28 A4 Red

    Me personally since I'm not the type hung up on "my car is # XXXX" or one of xxx I would build one to my taste. If you plan on doing anything mod wise that is irreversible then it also makes little sense to buy one for intrinsic value.

  3. #3
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Well it depends on how crazy you want to go on a build verses the money you want to spend.

    It's been my experience that most of the time you can purchase a car "done" cheaper than building one from scratch.

    It really depends on what you start with. You can easily sink $30,000 into a car and still not be happy with it. (just ask my wife,,,lol)

    I honestly don't think they are ever finished.

  4. #4
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
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    IMHO I would buy one done. After you put the time and money in building one you'd probably never get your $$$$ back out of it. The Drivetrain in the V6's won't hold up to a V8, so that all neds replaced, the Computer, the Radiator, exhaust, rear spolier, front bumper, rear bumper, Tail Lights, Instrument Cluster, fuel pump, etc, etc........ Unless you Buy a Donor car like I did I doubt you can do Economically. So much Stuff to change over to make a V6 car int a V8 car.

  5. #5
    Cookie Monster LukesSpeedShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z34LS1 View Post
    IMHO I would buy one done. After you put the time and money in building one you'd probably never get your $$$$ back out of it. The Drivetrain in the V6's won't hold up to a V8, so that all neds replaced, the Computer, the Radiator, exhaust, rear spolier, front bumper, rear bumper, Tail Lights, Instrument Cluster, fuel pump, etc, etc........ Unless you Buy a Donor car like I did I doubt you can do Economically. So much Stuff to change over to make a V6 car int a V8 car.

    Now tell me why you would have to replace the bumpers, tail lights, and spoiler to do an engine swap?

  6. #6
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    Want a new car

    I've done it both ways and by the time it's all said and done you might as well buy the one you want to begin with.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sleeper101's Avatar
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    Like everyone else has said you can buy an already built one cheaper. But if your like me and you like to know what you have then build it your self. Although you better leave that 10k as the engine only money. The little stuff is what starts adding up. If you won't stroker buy an Lt1 and stroke it ALOT cheaper. I just got mine back from the machine shop this past weekend. Assembled by me of course but machine work and parts only cost 2200$ and that would leave you with a good Cam, Head combo to work with and set you back around 5-6k total in the motor and the rest on your appearance. Although just a 6 speed transmission and the parts to hook it up is going to cost you another 2k.

    If your just wonting a toy to play with then you will be cheaper to purchase one built. If you wanting to seriously build one then do it. Either way plan for 20k budget that way nothing surprises you.

  8. #8
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
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    Well true you would not have to do the bumpers but if you were building a Clone...you would.

  9. #9
    Member red99ws6's Avatar
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    you can get an SS for around 10k pretty easy. that would be my suggestion but im not a mechanic

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