Who does conversions (C4, C5) on the East Coast

C5 Specific - Technical and Performance

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jjl
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Who does conversions (C4, C5) on the East Coast

Postby jjl » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:36 pm

I am awaiting the arrival of a C5 and a C4, both of which need to be converted.
I know Corvette Qld (Performax) do conversions on all the models, but is there any other companies that do them well.
I assume they all have their own way of doing the conversions and any advice as to which ones you guys feel are better would be appreciated.

If it is possible to do it myself and kits are available then that information would also help.

Thanks
Jeremy.
Jeremy

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Postby Winfield RED » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:16 pm

What model of C4 is it?

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Postby jjl » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:27 pm

The C4 is a 92 Convertible
Jeremy

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Postby Winfield RED » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:52 pm

Youre going to be VERY lucky to get that converted, almost no one i know of does anything 90-96 now.

As far as i know, it would have to be a personal import in order to get a compliance plate.

For the C5, if you can hold out a little while, you need to talk to a guy on here calls himself Panther, he can do your C5 and it will be the best conversion youll get. :o

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Postby v-man » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:15 pm

very nice vette mate .top pics you would have to be proud of that

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Re: Who does conversions (C4, C5) on the East Coast

Postby australi » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:23 am

jjl wrote:...I know Corvette Qld (Performax) do conversions on all the models...


Hey there Jeremy;

Corvette Qld no longer do conversions on ANY Corvette, EXCEPT C6's.
They don't even do C5's anymore and when I was last there, they told me that virtually they don't even particularly want to keep selling older corvettes on consignment either.

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Re: Who does conversions (C4, C5) on the East Coast

Postby nifty » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:27 am

australi wrote:
jjl wrote:...I know Corvette Qld (Performax) do conversions on all the models...


Hey there Jeremy;

Corvette Qld no longer do conversions on ANY Corvette, EXCEPT C6's.
They don't even do C5's anymore and when I was last there, they told me that virtually they don't even particularly want to keep selling older corvettes on consignment either.

sounds to me that they think they better than everyone else......money is money in my eyes.if someone wants a conversion on say a c3 or c4 and has got the money to pay for it then why not? they dont seriously think they are car builderes do they? alas...another firm forgetting where they came from...NEVER forget your roots...sux dont it.

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Re: Who does conversions (C4, C5) on the East Coast

Postby Winfield RED » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:10 pm

australi wrote:Corvette Qld no longer do conversions on ANY Corvette, EXCEPT C6's.
They don't even do C5's anymore.....

Yes they do.

Performax website wrote:Performax International can do the steering conversions on the following vehicles that meet the above criteria.

Chevrolet:
Corvette 1997 on
Camaro 1993 onwards
Trans-Am 1993 onwards
Silverado 1988-1994 (2 or 4wd)
Silverado 1995-1999 (2 or 4wd)
Tahoe (2000 on)
Suburban (2000 on)


Here is the link for the full story: http://www.corvette.com.au/RHD%20Conver ... ns-15.aspx

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Postby jjl » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:15 pm

Does no-one bring in the C4s anymore. I like them and I want a whole stable of vettes. The old ones can stay LHD, but the newer ones have to be converted.

If no-one does the C4s anymore, does anyone know where I can get the required parts like dash etc. Where can I find out how to convert it myself, it cannot be that hard.

Where is this Panther guy situated? I will have the C5 in a few months (nothing ever happens quickly with these shipping people). The last car (one in the avatar) got stranded in LA because they lost the title etc and it took them 3 months to find it.
Jeremy

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Postby Winfield RED » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:46 pm

Mate Panther is the only bloke id bother with as far as the C5 goes, and if youve got a few months youre laughin cause he will be back late august i think. He lives in NSW.

The C4 may be a hassle to get the compliance plate, but the conversion wont be too much trouble to get the parts. Panther may be able to help you out there too, but try Phill Ryder at Vette Connection in Vic, he may have alot of the parts youll need for the 92. I could probably help you out with some of that job, if youre going to the Classic at southbank on the 8th of July we can have a chat about that then.

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Postby LRC89 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:37 am

There's only one person in Australia who can be trusted to perform a textbook conversion on a C4, and that would be John Bondok of Corvette Automotive at Gallipoli Road, Carina Heights, in Queensland.

Speaking from personal experience, my C4 had been converted by Corvette Queensland and looked like it had been done by a team of blind carpenters in comparison with examples of John's work.

Have a look on the technical page of the QCC web site for John's contact details.

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Postby Winfield RED » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:52 pm

My 87 was done by Corvette QLD and was absolutely faultless mate. Everything worked, nothing rattled, and the car drove smooth as silk. It all looked as though it left the factory that way, and everything was done very well. Ive seen Bondok's dashes for the later models (anything after 1990), and its not up to a standard id expect, all the ones i saw were the same. From an engineering standpoint im sure they were fine, but you put it beside a lefty of the same model and its not a mirror, they just look weird. Last thing id ever call it is textbook!!

Its got to look good and original as well as drive good and original.

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Postby LRC89 » Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:45 am

John's dashes look fine to me, but his work under the bonnet is what sets him appart from other converters. My C4 looked good, until you compared it side by side to ones that John had done.

Then you could clearly see that John's work is superior to Corvette Qld's. That's not saying that Corvette Qld. did bad work, just that John does it better... :o

I've just finished reading the August edition of Vette magazine. Somehow, subscription issues arrive two months earlier than the news stand, and the feature car is Ray Doyle's blue C4.

This only adds weight to my thoughts about John's conversions as Ray goes to great lengths to give John the praise that he rightfully deserves as a skilled mechanic and converter of this spectacular vette. :D

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Postby australi » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:15 am

I've heard good (and bad) conversion stories, of both sources.

Let's not steal the thread and debate who's "better".

As for 'Performax'; as per my email WR, either I was misinformed or they still list C5's just incase work on C6's ever have a lull and it'll be bread & butter money. Having said that; they may as well list it regardless because they are still RAWS certified converters.

LRC; yes - Ray's C4 is brilliant!

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Postby MAXX WRENCH » Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:21 pm

WELL WINNIE...IT CAN'T LOOK ANY MORE "ORIGINAL" THAN RHD... :-o
ONE SHOT ONE KILL I WIN

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Postby LRC89 » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:38 pm

You're right Australi however, there remains one very important and relevant difference - John Bondock is still doing conversions on C4's..... :o

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Postby Winfield RED » Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:53 pm

Who told you that? And what models is he doing? Loads of people are still doing them, but they all stop at 89 models. No one i know of in this country does 90-96 anymore, although i havent looked into it for a while.

MAXX WRENCH wrote:WELL WINNIE...IT CAN'T LOOK ANY MORE "ORIGINAL" THAN RHD... :-o

Im refering to the mirror image of it though mate, if you take a look at my pics or Panther's 92 pics, the whole dash looks like the picture is mirrored almost perfectly, with the exception of the cup holder and gear selector (which i would never move anyway) and then the headlight switch and DIC buttons.

Ill see if i can get some pics of some at the show of exaclty what im talking about, ill point it out in each pic and youll see exaclty what im refering to.

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Postby jjl » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:00 am

While on this topic can someone tell me - when I bring in a car from the US, do I have to have a contract with the "converter" and am I bound to stay with that contractor or can I get a permit to import the car and then decide later who I will get to convert the car for me.
I ask this as I already have a car ready to ship over but the paperwork for importing is not done. I would prefer to get the car here and worry about who is going to convert it when I am fully appraised of who does what. I do not want to make a rash decision that I may regret later and it seems to my like the system is geared to force me in that direction.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Jeremy

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Postby australi » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:37 am

jjl wrote:While on this topic can someone tell me - when I bring in a car from the US, do I have to have a contract with the "converter" and am I bound to stay with that contractor or can I get a permit to import the car and then decide later who I will get to convert the car for me.


No.

YOU are importing the car - what you do or don't decide to do with it once it's here is your business; likewise who you choose to do the conversion.

'Panther' is one fellow who'll be able to put you on the right path here.

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Postby jjl » Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:50 pm

where is this Panther guy. I would like to talk to him asap as I want to get the ball rolling on this. Is he away at the moment.
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Postby LRC89 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:19 pm

RED, John and I are members of the same club and he is the club technical adviser for C4 models. I know he still does C4 conversions but a prospective customer would need to contact him to clarify models and prices etc.

He's a nice and very knowledgeable bloke. :o

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Postby v-man » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:25 pm

why dont any one like do the convertion on these model vettes . are thay harder to do or more complacated .or just a pain in the butt .

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Postby LRC89 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:05 pm

It is my humble understanding that many of the converters do not see sufficient finincal incentive to keep paying the government license fees to convert C4's when there is more money to be made converting pick-ups and late model vettes. I seem to remember, and my memory is getting worse every other week, that Corvette Qld were paying something like $200K per year to maintain their C4 converters license. They do more pick-ups than cars anything else now.

Please feel free to step in, I know you will, if you have any more info regarding this..

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Postby nifty » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:14 pm

jjl wrote:where is this Panther guy. I would like to talk to him asap as I want to get the ball rolling on this. Is he away at the moment.

panther is away on holidays...last i heard is he was in paris.....you could try sending him a pm and when he gets on line he can read it. :o

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Postby Winfield RED » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:14 pm

v-man wrote:why dont any one like do the convertion on these model vettes . are thay harder to do or more complacated .or just a pain in the butt .

Its not the earlier ones that they canned, its the 90-96, they are substantially more expensive to convert than anything 84-89. No good reason at all for it either really (certainly not $10,000 difference)

LRC89 wrote:RED, John and I are members of the same club and he is the club technical adviser for C4 models. I know he still does C4 conversions but a prospective customer would need to contact him to clarify models and prices etc.

He's a nice and very knowledgeable bloke. :o

Oh mate im well aware of how knowledgable he is, he is the same bloke that sold some one on here the wrong injectors for an 85, and the same bloke that thought he would have a quick joke at my expense about my 87 being a "poor conversion" (i was standing 5 foot away from him, the coment went something like "pretty poor conversion job on this one" while he pointed to the booster area) when it was still factory perfect and left hand drive. Was a bit of a shock to him when he looked inside and saw the steering wheel on the left to match the steering column and brake booster on the same side.

Not to bother knocking his work, but im yet to see this perfection. And as for being a nice bloke, that also remains to be seen in my opinion, about 8 years ago i made an effort to ask his advice and i was about as close to ignored as i could be, without being told to move on. He aint "all that" mate. Maybe cause i was young and didnt look like i had the $$$ to throw his way, which is 110% beside the point.


Next on the adgenda, i dont know the laws now, but if this 92 comes into the country and no one will convert it, youre stuck with an LHD car that cant be used. Call every Corvette conversion place you know of and get the story from all of them. If you can find a decent converter that will be able to put a compliance plate on 90-96 for a REASONABLE price for a class A job, let me know cause ill consider bringing in a hand full of low miles ZR1s.

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Postby jjl » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:20 am

I did suspect that there was noone doing C4s because of the financial side of it. I cannot imagine that the work involved actually doing a C5/6 is that much more to justify the huge difference in price. C5s are $37k+ and C6s are $10k more again.
The worst part of the importing stuff is that I have to get someone with the appropriate certificate to apply for the import permit. This pretty much means that I am commited to them to do the conversion. I fail to see why I cannot apply for the permit myself and then decide who will do the conversion when I am more familiar with who does what and for how much. Bloody govt idiots.
I will try and talk to someone in the govt this week, but I imagine I will just spend a long time on hold at lots of different phones while they try and decide who is going to interupt their lunch break.
Jeremy

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Postby v-man » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:49 am

Im not up to speed on the convertion side of things . Is a chain drive an opption on that model vette .Maybe not the best one .but better than the car/s being dust colectors for the next 20 years. The law on lefthand drive cars sux.I try'd years ago with about 2000 people singing a protition here in SA. The minister of transport diana lyedlow rang me and said to drop it or it may backfire and be no left hand drive cars at all.I droped it i didn't want to p*ss that many people of .I dont think my head could handle the pounding of that many people [sorry for the bad spelling ]

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Postby Winfield RED » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:48 pm

Chain drive isnt a good option on a C4. Its a very bad option.

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Postby v-man » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:48 pm

:o :o I would not go for the chain drive on any vette from what im told about it . I v never seen a car or driven one with the chain drive convertion so its a hard call i gess .

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Postby Winfield RED » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:26 pm

I have mate yeah, Ive seen a few, they were fine as far as the chain and cross bar part went (the ones i saw), but on one of them the ECM was under the carpet on the trans tunnel, the A/C duct work was original as everyone will tell you, but it had holes cut out of it and the A/C filled the inside of the dash more so than anything, the actual chain unit itself isnt that big, but there is no room for it to begin with.

The right hand foot well in a C4 is abit tighter then the left, but when its been chain converted youve got the pedals hanging down, and the A/C duct and blend door/heater box assembly taking up most of the room behind the dash on the right where you would want to mount the pedals, so it simply doesnt work. You dont get the height room or the depth room in the foot well you would if the job is done right.

If there was loads of space and everything could be made to fit very comfortably and easily, it would be a good idea. But there simply is no room to fit it in.

The chain converted 86 i drove many years ago drove perfectly faultless, but with my heals on the floor, i could almost touch the hush pad under the dash with my toes, and if you wanted to move your foot from one pedal to another, you wouldnt be lifting it too high!!


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