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Thread: Help a nOob!?

  1. #1
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    Help a nOob!?

    Hey everyone names Rob, i have been really wanting to get into the whole kit car world but I don't really know where to start. I have done my research now I understand that there are a lot of scams out there, i guess my first question is what kind of kit should i get, i would like to build the 355 (hard top) but i don't want to mod the fiero chassis, as i do not feel comfortable doing that ( I know would screw it up some how). my next question is how much time does a project like this take, i understand that some people put years into it while others put several months, depending again on the detail they put into the car I know I am not going to be working on this project 8 hours a day 7 days a week but if i put say 15-25 hours in it a week how long would you say? Now the question everyone is always concerned with, what does a project like this cost? Now don't get me wrong I do understand that this can very depending on how much detail and OEM parts you put it in. All I would like to get is a rough estimate and extra parts that you would have to buy above and beyond the kit. example, paint, bondo, tools, other parts like headlights or spacers, ect. I would defiantly appreciates any thoughts or comments or links that you can send me. Thxs.

  2. #2
    Senior Member swoodard23's Avatar
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Very hard questions. What may take me 10 minutes may take you an hour or just 5 minutes. Every kit is going to require some fabrication. Cost and time are really going to be based on your skill level and how much of the work you can do yourself. Unless you are excited and willing to make the commitment to build a car yourself, I would recommend buying a completed or mostly complete kit. You will probably end up saving money from mistakes you may have made and you can spend more time enjoying the car. If you are like me and some others on this board, the process of building the car is as much fun as owning the finished product. But we have all made mistakes and spent money learning how to do what we do. So whatever budget you come up with, double or triple it, then figure what your time is worth. By the end you will have a lot of tools and a little more experience. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  3. #3
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Thanks for the comment swoodard23 I was thinking on getting a nearly completed one, or at least one that has most of the parts already available but the hard this is knowing whether the person your buying the car from has put the proper time and effort in it that you know you would. I would hate to spend 10's of thousands of dollars fixing a "lemon" if i may put it in those terms. These days its hard to trust anyone, there word does not count for much anymore, even if the person is honest. I guess it all comes down to a bit of a risk. Do you have any advise on what to look for in unfinished project, and what kind of price range they should be in?

  4. #4
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Always great to have new interest. I am one of those guys that has taken 7+ years to build his 355. In the early days of the 355 there were some kits produced in California, Florida, and in Canada. I bought one of these, and the panels were so severly warped, every panel needed some kind of rework. This is a MAJOR undertaking, certainly nothing you want to get into. The reason it took me 7 years is because I would get so throuroughly overwhelmed by the amount of work involved to straighten the panels, I had to take months off to work on something else, before I got back to it. This is the way that cars like the one I have get scrapped/sold to another sucker that then has to decide to just live with the problems, or continue to fix what is left. My recommendation is to contact John Watson directly and talk with him about your needs. He might just know of some deal that might be available.
    Welcome to the hobby. This is one place where you can get lots of help and I recommend going back in the forums doing research to determine how much you want to take on, being this is all new territory.

    Eric

  5. #5
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Rob:

    Welcome to the forum. I agree with Eric. Save some time and money by contacting John Watson. I have known the guy for almost 10 years and he is the real deal. He makes kits that go on a standard wheelbase Fiero with little work. He also makes some parts for those of us who have ventured above our skill levels. (He is always there to help you through). There are several of us on this forum who have built cars from John. He may know of a car that is available to fill your needs.

    His number is 706-328-3311

    Regards,

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

  6. #6
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Wow, I would like to thank the response that I have gotten, not once have someone been so understanding and helpful on a forum site. Thats said I think I have some more research and homework to do before I make any set decisions. But I do believe I will give that guy a call when I am ready to make set decision. When i do finally start my project I will make sure that to keep you all informed and start a log on it

  7. #7
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    We are like a worldwide family on this site. We just hate to see people make bad decisions that usurp the fun from the hobby. Most of us love the sport; about 50 or so actually have projects under way. We will be happy to post information to help you and guide you through the process. We have a list of vendors listed in the consumer opinions portion. If you avoid the ones listed as bad vendors, you should be 80% good to go.

    Regards,

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

  8. #8
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    i don't want to mod the fiero chassis ... how much time does a project like this take .... if i put say 15-25 hours in it a week how long would you say .... what does a project like this cost?
    Assuming you are serious and not a 14-year-old with time on his hands:

    The biggest mistake I've seeen guys make is to jump on a cheap fiero like rapid dogs, then spend tens of thousands trying to build on it but never get finished. START WITH A GOOD CAR - fieros weren't THAT good even when they were new. If you buy a $200 4 cylinder, expect to have the fiero part itself nickle and dime you TO DEATH as well as multiply your time spent by a factor of 100 when you need to try to fix all the wierd problems that crop up. This is above and beyond doing the work to build your kit. Wanna sample of wierd problems, go to Pennock's Fiero Forum and SEARCH on terms like "phantom wipers" and "black death". How about "No Start" to get an idea of how many people have cars that just shut off and leave them stranded ? Granted it may be a simple fix, but that won't help when you wait by the side of the road to spend $100 for a tow time and time again.

    To give you an idea, i have an 88 Formula that I bought from the original owner with 49k miles, all maintenance records and the original window sticker. I've been stranded (4) times and this car WAS and IS maintained like it should be. These items were broken radiator, alternator quit, coil quit and water pump broke. These are problems that will happen with no forewarning. See what happens EVEN IF you start with a good car that has been maintained ? Imagine what can happen with a car that has been poorly maintained and neglected.

    If you buy a good car, you will STILL need to start taking stuff apart and off before you even START to build the kit. This will take time and depend on your skills, familiarity with fieros and the tools you have. Prepare to spend a lot of time dismantling stuff before you even start to build.

    If you're going to try to cheap out on everything, Don't Even Start the project - you and your project will self-destruct and you will deserve it. You wanna build a nice car ? STEP UP and Pay What it takes. Need a wiper stalk ? - go ahead and buy the $19 one made in China from eBay instead of the $80 from GM; I dare you. The guys on Pennock's can provide the feedback on that choice. How about brakes - scour eBay for THE cheapest parts you can find then wonder why the rotors warp in a few thousand miles THEN spend money for the good ones and spend MORE time doing the job a second time. My 512BB replica has stuff even the original didn't have: heated driver's seat, automatic headlights, steering wheel radio controls, express windows, but it took a lot of time and money to get it right.

    Look at the Rolling Chassis i have posted in the Mall - this is a perfect set-up for a build (even the alignment is done and A/C charged). An F355 build could be immediately Started because there is NO dismantling of old stuff required and ALL the stuff is verified good ! A set-up like this could cut your build time to less than half. BUT, mention trying to get less than half what it would take to duplicate and there is no interest. Try to sell a $200 fiero (that will require many hundreds or thousands of hours of work and many, Many thousands of dollars) and see what happens.

    If you're gonna get anal about every small detail, your chances of completing your project are into single digits. Your car will NEVER BE a Ferrari or Lambo. If you think most people are gonna care if you have a flat floor or a wheelbase accurate to 0.1 inch, you're fooling yourself.

    In Very Rough numbers, you should plan to spend (minimum ) $20k on a ferrari replica and $30K on a lambo; ferrari OEM parts are expensive and Lambo OEM parts are Very expensive. Paint job costs vary widely.

    Want some good advice: Spend $3,000 and buy a nice fiero and drive it for a few thousand miles. Get to know the car; get things right (fix the temp and gas guages which were bad on most cars DIRECTLY from the FACTORY) and spend another $500 or so. THEN park it and start your project. Even better, get a T-top car which is as close to a factory convertible as most people will get. If you can't fabricate and weld, odds are HEAVILY AGAINST you for a spyder or convertible (this INCLUDES frame mods AND convertible top mechanisms).

    Realize that most people on this forum are NOT builders. Spend your time here and at Pennock's and you'll find out who's a dreamer and who's a doer.

  9. #9
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Wow, what a post, well said. I think he has enough opinions/advice to overload him for a week just going throught previous posts.

    You have a PM. Eric

  10. #10
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    Re: Help a nOob!?

    Thanks - i replied on (2) different subjects

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