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Thread: Few questions

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Few questions

    Hi everyone, I just had a few questions before I order a kit. I have an 88 fiero gt and I'm going to order a countach kit from Thelamboshop.com. I have no interest in streching the frame so thats why I decided on this one. I wanted to know if there is anywhere I could find like instuctions on how to put it all together. What holds the door skins on? What is gel coating? Will the windows roll down or are they stationary? What sort of skills do I need to build one of these? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Few questions

    Don't make the rookie mistakes that so many others have made by buying a kit first and then having to sell it a year later for a BIG loss because it's tooooooo much work and tooooo much effort required to build it right!! These are very common mistakes first-time wannabe builders make....Save a lot of pain and money by doing a Google search on those topics and the basic questions you have....All the info you need is pretty much available online for FREE. Take a look at other people's build diaries and look at a lot of photos....The last thing you need right now is "how to build a Lambo" instruction booklet (although this info is available FREE online at the LamboShop Forum, I believe).

    Ask yourself a few basic questions: what's your skill level working on cars?? are you good with tools an working with your hands?? do you get easily frustrated when having to follow build instruction?? etc, etc (this is just a small sample). BTW, building a Lambo replica is NOT an easy project for most beginners, so beware....

    If you live on the East Coast close to NY-NJ-PA then go to Carlise Import/Kit car show in May and you will get answers to all your questions and then some...You will be able to talk with many Lambo builders and company reps and get first-hand advice on the joys and pitfalls of building a replica on a Fiero. Many vendors will be at Carlise with fully or partially build Lambo cars...

    If I were you I won't order anything yet until I get more basic info on what's involved on building a replica - talk to more people online and in person....go to a few Kit car shows to get ideas and see for yourself.....

    Good luck - VK
    Life is too short to be driving Hondas!

  3. #3

    Re: Few questions

    The will to learn and finishing is more important that a check book.

  4. #4
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    Re: Few questions

    I do have the will to learn, but is there anywhere I should start maybe a book I can read.

  5. #5

    Re: Few questions

    There aren't any good books I've found on building a kit There are some good websites however, as well as some knowledgeable people on this forum to help you out when you get stuck. Do a google search for 'Build Diary', countach kit, fiero, etc, and you're bound to find something. I ran across this site, which may help you:
    http://www.lambolounge.com/

    I've not built a lambo kit, but I don't think you use the doors from the donor car with the kit. The kit will come with new doors, so you won't have to worry about bonding the fiberglass to the fiero door. However, if you needed to do so, you'd cut a hole in the fiberglass, and glass in a nut or a bolt that you would then use to bolt the door to the chassis.

    GelCoat is essentially a thick paint as I understand. When a kit is produced from a mold, the mold is first sprayed with the gelcoat, then the fiberglass is applied. When the parts are pulled from the mold, the gelcoat makes up the surface of the part. The end result is a smooth finish in pretty much any color imagineable. I'm not sure whether you can get away with buffing the gelcoat to a smooth finish or whether you'll have to paint it. My kit is a dull grey gelcoat, so it will have to be painted...

    Whether the windows roll down is probably more a question of your skill than anything. The kit manufacturer may provide some hardware to do so, but it's unlikely. Chances are, you'll be fabricating parts or modifying OEM fiero parts if you want them to roll down. Be aware that the real car was pretty pathetic in that regard; only the lower half of the window rolled down.

    To build the car, you'll want to have some welding skills (nothing you can't learn in a continuing education class at a community college). You will need to know how to fabricate some brackets here and there to mount panels, lights, etc. You'll also want to be good at junkyard scrounging, as taking random parts like hinges, door handles, or interior pieces from a junked dodge intrepid can save some time and money. Beyond that, general knowledge about cars will do you just fine.

    I don't have too high of an opinion on nonstretched lambo kits. I know the idea that you don't have to stretch the car makes it seem easier, but stretching the kit is only about a 4 day job, is only a small part of building a kit, and won't save you from learning how to weld if you don't already know how. You're going to have to cut off the top, which is going to require you reinforcing the frame by building an xframe/subframe. You will want to replace the Fiero roof with your own roof/rollcage that fits the profile of the kit's roof.
    You will also have to cut off some of the front end, because the fiero sticks out too far for the kit to fit right. Again, you'll want to replace what was removed by building some frame out of steel tubing. You'll also probably have to weld up some angle and brackets to mount the body panels, as well as the doors. (A lot of kit manufacturers want to sell you on the doors being hinged on the fiberglass body, but you'll want the hinges to be mounted to some steel on the chassis since fiberglass will crack or warp under stress.)
    Now I'm not trying to talk you out of anything, but I think buying a stretched kit is well worth it considering that the finished product looks more authentic.

    You're probably already aware of this, but you might want to keep an eye on ebay, http://www.kitcars.com/ and http://www.kitcar.com/home2.html You're bound to find an abandoned Countach project at a decent price.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Hope that helps you out a bit. Good luck with the project!

  6. #6
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions

    The best way to build a kit on a Fiero is to follow one of the build threads. I have been posting on this site for years as well as other builders who take time to go step by step.

    The technical discussions are a great way to learn. I would buy the 88 if you have access to one. it has a lot of great modifications and was the "Best of the Breed"

    There goes my .02 cents worth.

    Regards,

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Re: Few questions

    Do your research and do your homework before you buy. Find the kit you want then start posting here, kitcentral, and other similar forums and get in touch with people who have built that kit or one very similar. There are a lot of skills that are required to build a car but most can be developed. You may have to hire some experienced craftsmen from time to time, like structural welding or bodywork. Remember budget and schedule are inter-related. If your budget is tight the build process will be longer, if your schedule is shorter, be ready to spend more money. There may be something out there that I am unaware of but to my knowledge EVERY kit requires bodywork and paint. They are not in a finish gelcoat like a boat. The reason is too many mold lines due to a much more complex shape than a boat hull. AND as a general rule (not always), the cheaper the kit, the more work.

    Don't be discouraged, I/we want you to succeed in your build, we just want you to go into it with an educated decision. Please educate yourself before buying.

    My .02 as well.

    Bart

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Few questions

    You hit the nail on the head in your first post about not stretching the frame. Thing is how real will it look unstretched, im thinking not very and then the stretching is the hardest part and most critical in my opinion, especially a Lambo.

    my .02 cents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TwilightZ's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions

    the stretch is one of the easy things about a lambo build.just ask any one that has built one.if you think that is the hard part then i would advise against a lambo build.the doors alone will give you ten times more problems.they are the hardest part. my .02 cents

  10. #10
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    Re: Few questions

    Thank you for all your replies, and I've gave it some thought and I'm going to wait a little while and read more before I buy. As for the stretching, 3 inches cant be that noticable but if I was doing a different one that required 11 inches I would definatley stretch it or buy one already done. Also when you guys build a kit car do you remove the engine?

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