Car Feature: Silver Bullet GTO

photos by: Joe Didario

This One-Owner GTO has Stuck with his Car through Thick and Thin

Two-thousand four was an interesting year for General Motors performance cars. Still coming off of the cancellation of the F-body twins, both Chevrolet and Pontiac struggled to capture the attention of displaced pony car buyers with vehicles like the overpriced and underpowered SSR, and the rebadged Toyota/Pontiac Vibe. It seemed all was lost, until Bob Lutz came on board and dropped the GTO bombshell.

Once previously suggested that General Motors bring the Monaro to the States in a 2003 GM High-Tech Performance article by Johnny Hunkins, the Holden Monaro coupe was rebranded as the fabled Pontiac muscle car — complete with two doors, rear wheel drive and a 350 hp LS1 under the hood. The reaction from the motoring press and the target audience, was mixed.

The first thing that stuck out to many, was the similarities in styling to the similar in size Grand Prix of the era (well yeah, it’s a Pontiac!), and the lack of hood scoops. Functional, or otherwise. Your author didn’t mind, though, for what it’s worth. We can get more into the details on the who’s, why’s and what’s here, but let’s not detract from the GTO-inspired story here.

Instead, let’s focus on the here’s and now’s, and delve deep inside this particular 2004 example, owned by Joe Forsten. Hailing from North Point, Florida, Joe has been the sole owner of this GTO since it had originally left the dealership almost thirteen years ago. It has undergone a few, subtle cosmetic changes over time, including the addition of the 2005-06 GTO hood, but the real story lies beneath the bonnet (see what we did, there?) and Joe himself.

As Forten relays to us, he actually picked it up as a 20-year old young man, after he traded in his ’96 Mustang GT convertible in for it. Growing up with an old man who owned quite a few classic GTOs, Joe had always promised himself that he would one day own one himself. When Pontiac dropped the 2004 example, he was onboard! Unfortunately, it wasn’t without its downsides.

Ridiculed and mocked by “real GTO” owners and enthusiasts, like so many others, he persevered with his modern interpretation of what the GTO would have ineveitibly become, had it been allowed to stay in production, maintained its RWD/V8 layout and two-door body style in the first place. Haters hate, though, but that didn’t stop Joe from persevering. In fact, even with the 3.46 gears and T-56, he managed to click off a 13.29 in completely stock format — not bad!

It wasn’t long until the “mod bug” had bitten Joe, though, and it started in an unusual way — but maybe not to GTO enthusiasts; a Sport Appearance Package upgrade. After stumbling upon an image on LS1GTO.com, Joe was surprised to learn that it was indeed a GM option on production 2005 (and later, 2006) GTOs.

Wasting no time, Joe placed an order for the kit that would set him back three months and $3000. To Joe, it was worth it, and not only updated the look of the car but also added additional “attitude” that many felt the car lacked. As a surprise bonus, the kit also included low restriction mufflers.

The low-restriction mufflers were twofold; they added some growl to the soundtrack and they also bumped the horsepower count up a notch. This ultimately led Joe to increase the horsepower count substantially, having selecting a head/cam combination that would really wake up the one-time sleeper Goat. Courtesy of the installation prowess at Tiberio Performance, and the tuning efforts of Jeremy Formato at Fasterproms in Tampa, Florida, the horsepower jumped up to 430 hp and 396 lb-ft of twist to the rear tires.  The quarter-mile drag time dropped considerably, from a 13.2, to consistent 11.3s and 11.4s on drag radials.

This made Joe happy — ecstatic, really. However, he eventually became very used to the revised performance level and he wanted even more — a Vortech blower lived with the LS1 for a brief moment, spiking the power up to 608 hp and 590 lb-ft to the tires. Coincidentally, the original 346 LS1 decided then and there that it no longer to join Joe on his power-hungry journey, and let go prematurely. The timing couldn’t ‘t be worse, as the economy had just crashed and despite the insistence of his friends telling him otherwise, Joe elected to keep the car and build a new engine as time and cash allowed.

However, he didn’t simply want to replace it with another factory-spec LS1, he wanted to go full-bore 383 stroker… with a dose of giggle gas! He was all-in now, and there was no retuning to stock at this point.

Starting with an Eagle billet crank and rods, and MAHLE forged pistons, Joe built his 383 from the ground up with solid hardware. He topped the short block off with a COMP Cams hydraulic bumpstick, speccing in at 232/234 duration, 595/598 lift and a 112 LSA. The heads are Livernois Motorsports CNC-ported Stage 3 castings — stuffed with OEM 17 rockers and Manley valves, that are paired-up with a F.A.S.T. 92mm intake manifold and PTM 92mm throttle body. A stock MAF sensor, K&N filter and OTR cold-air kit handle the rest of the induction side of things.

The spent fumes are expelled through a set of budget-friendly Pace Setter 1-3/4 inch long-tube headers and X-pipe, QTP cutouts and Magnaflow 2.5-inch diameter exhaust. The sound is incredible, and the components all working together guarantee excellent flow characteristics. balancing out the air/fuel ratio is a Lingenfelter pump, 52-lb/hr injectors and a stock regulator.

With a 150-shot Nitrous Outlet wet kit onboard, the power level jumped up to a rock-solid 515 hp and 543 lb-ft of torque to the rear tires. This ultimately resulted in a 10.75 at 129 mph with a relatively stock suspension setup. In fact, the only chassis or suspension mods that Joe noted in his tech sheet is a BMR driveshaft loop, cradle bushings, axles and drag bags, Pedders rear drag springs, KYB shocks in the front, Koni adjustables in the rear and nothing else.

It still maintains its OEM sway bars, and upper and lower control arms all the way ar0und! However, DBA slotted rotors sit inside the calipers, and Joe had the factory ’05-06 18-inch GTO wheels powder coated black, and wrapped in Nitto NT555 rubber all the way around. They measure in at 235/40 in the front and 275/35 out back.

Incredibly, the manually-shifted T-56 still sits in place, with a Monster Stage 3 clutch and chromoly flywheel snug inside the bell housing. A factory 2006 driveshaft connects the GMM Ripshift’d T-56 to the factory IRS, which house an Eaton Tru-Trac, 3.46 gears and the aforementioned BMR axles. A Harrop differential cover sits bolted to the back.

On the inside, it’s pretty much standard GTO, with the only additions being AutoMeter Cobalt gauges, an Aeroforce Interceptor OBD gauge and an upgraded stereo system that fills Joe’s ears with his favorite tunes, that aren’t emitting from his GTO’s soundtrack. We think we’d prefer the sound from the stroker LS1, though.

As it stands now, Joe has no immediate plans to turn up the wick any further on his cherished GTO — maybe a larger nitrous jetting, but that’s about it. He’s quite happy in the 10-second zone, and he can still enjoy the car on the street whenever he wants. We say that’s a win.

TECH SHEET:

  • CAR: 2004 GTO
  • OWNER: Joe Forsten
  • ENGINE BLOCK: LS1; (bored and stroked to 383 ci.)
  • CRANKSHAFT: Eagle, forged
  • PISTONS: MAHLE; forged
  • CONNECTING RODS: Eagle, 6.15 H-beam
  • CAMSHAFT: COMP Cams; hydraulic, 232/234 duration, 595/598 lift, 112 LSA
  • CYLINDER HEADS: Livernois Motorsports; CNC-ported, Stage 3 LS1 — Manley 1.55/2.02 valves
  • ROCKER ARMS: GM; 1.7 ratio
  • COMPRESSION RATIO: 11.8:1
  • INDUCTION: F.A.S.T. 92mm intake manifold, PTM 92mm throttle body, stock MAF sensor, K&N filter, OTR CAI
  • IGNITION: GM coil packs, MSD spark plug wires, NGK TR6 plugs, LPE ignition box
  • EXHAUST: Pace Setter; 1-3/4 inch long-tube headers, X-pipe, QTP cutouts, Magnaflow 2.5-inch diameter exhaust
  • FUEL DELIVERY: Lingenfelter 255/hr pump, stock regulator, 52-lb/hr injectors
  • OILING: Texas Speed LS6 ported pump, windage tray removed, oversized pickup tube
  • TUNING: Fasterproms; Jeremy Formato
  • TRANSMISSION: T-56;
  • CLUTCH: Monster Stage 3,
  • DRIVESHAFT: OEM 2006 GTO
  • REAREND: OEM IRS; 3.46 gears, BMR axles, Harrop differential cover, Eaton TruTrac
  • SUSPENSION: BMR driveshaft loop, cradle bushings, axles and drag bags, Pedders rear drag springs, KYB shocks (front), Koni adjustables (rear)
  • BRAKES: Stock calipers, DBA slotted rotors
  • WHEELS: OEM 18-inch 2006 GTO (powdercoated black)
  • TIRES: Nitto NT555
  • HP/TQ.: 515/543 (at the rear wheels)
  • E.T.: 10.75 at 129 mph

Share this post

429 comments

Add yours
  1. asmr https://0mniartist.tumblr.com 11 April, 2021 at 04:38 Reply

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am having troubles with your RSS.

    I don’t know the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems?

    Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond?

    Thanks!! 0mniartist asmr

  2. 0mniartist 12 April, 2021 at 03:19 Reply

    Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot! asmr 0mniartist

  3. 0mniartist 12 April, 2021 at 08:31 Reply

    I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or
    blog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally
    stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i am happy to express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I discovered exactly
    what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make certain to don?t overlook this site and provides it a
    look regularly. asmr 0mniartist

  4. tinyurl.com 14 April, 2021 at 12:15 Reply

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless
    I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My website discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!
    asmr 0mniartist

  5. http://tinyurl.com/yekoo9gy 15 April, 2021 at 20:39 Reply

    After checking out a few of the articles on your blog, I really like your way of writing a blog.
    I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please check out my website as well and tell me your opinion. 0mniartist asmr

  6. gamefly that 27 April, 2021 at 21:24 Reply

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit
    and sources back to your site? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would truly benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!

  7. this asmr 28 April, 2021 at 17:37 Reply

    Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say
    I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?

    Thanks for your time!

  8. and asmr 29 April, 2021 at 02:22 Reply

    Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
    collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.

    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  9. that asmr 29 April, 2021 at 13:22 Reply

    I’ve learn several good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.

    I wonder how a lot attempt you set to create any such great informative site.

  10. Randal Sehgal 29 April, 2021 at 22:52 Reply

    I’d should test with you here. Which isn’t one thing I usually do! I get pleasure from reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!

  11. asmr their 4 May, 2021 at 04:35 Reply

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
    topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post,
    I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  12. tinyurl.com 7 May, 2021 at 05:46 Reply

    My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right.

    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply
    how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  13. their asmr 7 May, 2021 at 19:56 Reply

    whoah this weblog is great i like reading your posts. Stay up the good work!
    You know, a lot of people are hunting around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  14. my asmr 9 May, 2021 at 02:19 Reply

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to
    be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the
    hang of it!

  15. http://bit.ly/3uT6S5F 16 May, 2021 at 15:46 Reply

    scoliosis
    Your style is really unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this
    web site. scoliosis

  16. and free dating sites 26 May, 2021 at 05:54 Reply

    Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    web browsers and both show the same outcome.

  17. scoliosis surgery a 30 May, 2021 at 14:48 Reply

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else
    encountering issues with your blog. It seems like some of the written text in your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening
    to them as well? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Kudos

  18. free dating sites it 31 May, 2021 at 08:56 Reply

    I blog frequently and I really appreciate your content.

    This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about
    once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  19. free dating sites on 31 May, 2021 at 22:53 Reply

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and
    also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  20. http://tinyurl.com/y2g69v2q 1 June, 2021 at 17:14 Reply

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your
    information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will book
    mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week.

    I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  21. linked here 14 July, 2021 at 05:33 Reply

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & assist other customers like its helped me. Great job.

  22. click site 16 July, 2021 at 11:30 Reply

    You are in reality a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a wonderful process in this subject!

  23. look at these guys 18 July, 2021 at 06:38 Reply

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  24. find more 19 July, 2021 at 04:01 Reply

    Maximize your by how a large amount of gear are employed internationally and will often impart numerous memory making use of that your is also fighting that is a result from our team rrnside the twenty initial centuries. everyday deal livingsocial discount baltimore washington.

  25. this 20 July, 2021 at 16:27 Reply

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about.

  26. useful source 22 July, 2021 at 14:04 Reply

    I wanted to draft you the very small note so as to say thanks once again on the remarkable methods you have provided on this website. This has been quite open-handed of people like you giving without restraint exactly what a lot of people would have offered for sale for an e-book to help with making some cash for their own end, precisely considering that you could possibly have done it in the event you wanted. These smart ideas as well acted as the easy way to realize that some people have the same desire really like my very own to understand way more in regard to this issue. I am sure there are many more pleasurable situations ahead for folks who find out your website.

  27. discover more 23 July, 2021 at 04:35 Reply

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  28. go 25 July, 2021 at 14:23 Reply

    Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  29. Melanie 26 July, 2021 at 14:09 Reply

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.

    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thanks

  30. additional resources 27 July, 2021 at 17:34 Reply

    I was more than happy to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new information on your blog.

  31. more information 2 August, 2021 at 10:56 Reply

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  32. browse around this site 4 August, 2021 at 17:52 Reply

    Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  33. an ps4 games 25 August, 2021 at 15:07 Reply

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found
    that it’s really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  34. tinyurl.com 1 September, 2021 at 04:49 Reply

    It’s in point of fact a nice and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with
    us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  35. scoliosis surgery it 1 September, 2021 at 17:11 Reply

    Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. That
    is a really neatly written article. I’ll make
    sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info.
    Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  36. http://bitly.com/3yNXjWx 4 September, 2021 at 04:44 Reply

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and detailed
    information you provide. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same outdated rehashed material. Fantastic read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my
    Google account.

  37. Профессиональные психологи 23 September, 2021 at 01:57 Reply

    Рейтинг психологов. Профессиональные психологи
    Психотерапия онлайн! Услуги аналитического
    психолога, психотерапевта.
    Консультация психолога в Киеве Онлайн консультация.
    Консультация психолога онлайн.
    Заказать консультацию психолога.

  38. Семейное консультирование и психотерапия 24 September, 2021 at 02:04 Reply

    Расстановки по Хеллингеру.
    Семейное консультирование и психотерапия Метод Берта Хеллингера.

    Растановки. Метод системных семейных расстановок.
    Глубинные системные расстановки.
    Глубинные системные расстановки.

  39. Чики смотреть онлайн 8 October, 2021 at 09:21 Reply

    Здесь девятнадцать рейтинговых сериалов
    для истинных ценителей мистики.
    Чики смотреть онлайн
    – смотреть онлайн. Просматривайте
    по премьере, Сериалы жанра “Фантастика”.

    Кроме того мы вам даёт таблицу различных каналов
    ТНТ, HD СТБ, 4K Дом кино, прямой эфир Матч ТВ, трансляция Че.

  40. Бумажный дом 5 сезон 7 серия смотреть онлайн 10 October, 2021 at 13:20 Reply

    Тут пятнадцать рейтинговых сериалов для поклонников криминала.
    Бумажный дом 5 сезон 7 серия смотреть онлайн – все серии
    подряд смотреть в онлайн-кинотеатре.
    Ищите по планируемой дате выхода, Сериалы
    жанра “Боевик”. Да и все мы дает список телеканалов Россия, HD Россия 1, 4K ТЕТ,
    прямой эфир СТС, трансляция ТНТ4.

  41. Сколько вышло сезонов полицейский с Рублевки 10 October, 2021 at 14:30 Reply

    Здесь шестнадцать топовых сериалов для фанатов
    мистики. Сколько вышло сезонов полицейский с Рублевки все серии
    подряд, смотреть онлайн.
    Смотрите с удовольствием по рейтингу, Сериалы жанра
    “История”. Вдобавок здесь мы предоставляет перечень телеканалов Наше новое кино,
    HD Первый канал, 4K 2х2, прямой эфир Интер,
    трансляция Новый канал.

  42. ps4 games is 25 October, 2021 at 01:29 Reply

    I just could not depart your website prior to suggesting that I
    actually loved the standard info a person supply for your guests?
    Is going to be again frequently in order to check up on new
    posts

Post a new comment