Some of you may have been following our 2005 GTO in blogs, and soon, the pages of our magazine. Coming from F-Bodies, I was pleased with the ride and comfort of the GTO. There are, however, several drawbacks to the Goat.
At an estimated curb weight bordering the 3,800lb mark, it's no lightweight. One solution used to combat such a heavy curb weight is to lower the ride height and add more tire underneath. Sadly, the GTO is already pretty low and there isn't any more room underneath for additional rubber. Some owners have successfully stuffed a 275 in the rear, and that may be in the future plans. As for right now, we decided it would be best to add a stickier tire to our 18-inch wheels. We decided on the 245/40R18 Falken Azenis RT-615 for its full four-wheel rotation ability and reputation for increasing cornering traction. This made a large improvement, but there is still more to be had by adding an R-compound tire.
For suspension, the GTO uses an independent semi-trailing control-link with gas pressure dampers. For drag racing, this design might as well have been made out of glass because it doesn't hold up very well. It doesn't take too much abuse before you're picking up parts off the track. Knowing this, and having already built a drag car, our sights were focused in on cornering performance with the overall intentions of bringing the Pontiac out to an open road course. With small tweaks here and there, the GTO can be made into quite the formidable corner carver.
Our next installment on the GTO will be an increase in power of about 70-90rwhp by installing free-flowing heads and a performance camshaft. This will really wake up our 1 7/8-inch headers from American Racing Headers. Stay tuned to the pages of High Performance Pontiac Magazine for the full story and results of our install.