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Old 06-30-2015, 10:09 PM   #1
Blake_GM
 
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Gwatney Chevrolet/GPI

Hey guys,

I know this is a long read but I think it is truly worth your time!

I wanted to share my experience with getting a cam installed (GPI SS2 VVT and Ryan/Mr. L99 tuned) at Gwatney Chevrolet/GPI down near Little Rock, AR.

So, there I was - I knew I wanted a cam. No, I knew I HAD to have a cam. Like many of us I poured over the forums, countless hours of "Where the hell do I start?" to "Wait..the L99 isn't a 'simple' cam swap?? Now what do I do?"

After reading and reading and reading I found that one name came up more often than not regarding cams and L99s..Gwatney Chevrolet/GPI. Every time. There I was thinking that great, another well known shop that is the best at something I have and surely they are in Arizona or something. Luckily, no, they are situated north of Little Rock a 5 hour drive from me. I was pretty excited at this point.

I went about the normal venues of contacting them - they are an EXTREMELY busy shop - there's a reason for that. I finally got ahold of Hamilton2008 (Josh) here on Camaro5 who invited me to call/text him with any questions I had that needed addressing. Josh works for GPI. I did just that. It wasn't but the next day that I decided to go ahead and schedule out a cam install for my car. Why? Well, Josh would listen to anything I had to say and offer true and genuine input. Never pushy, never ignoring of any concern I may have. I was extremely impressed with the level of commitment/attention that he alone was willing to give me in my quest for a cam.

I scheduled the cam install a month out - that part sucked. The waiting was terrible. Josh contacted me off and on in between that time to make sure the planned date still worked for me and if there was anything I had thought about or if I had more questions. Again, that is pretty awesome for a shop to do that.

So, the waiting period was over, my time had come. I arranged with Josh to drop my car off on Sunday night when I arrived. Yep, Sunday night, he met me at the shop on a Sunday to arrange that they have my car as early as possible on Monday - again awesome.

Monday AM, I get a call and text from Aaron who wanted to go over the parts/things I wanted done. We go over all the stuff and they start the work. He invites me to come over at any time to check on the progress. Very cool. I make it over there near the end of day on Monday just to see how it is all going. I am pointed back to my car where I find Mike working on it. He had already swapped the cam, had the timing chain on and was working on the top end of the motor. Mike was very open, down to earth and enthusiastic about doing the swap, we chatted for a little about cars, my car etc. He invited me to pull up a chair and watch him work if I wanted - unbelievably cool - I turned it down and let him work.

On my way out I came across Aaron who then showed me around the shop/all of the goodies they had laying about. Seriously - if you like Camaros/LS engines..their shop is a gold mine of awesome GM power. Aaron was also very receptive and personable.

Finally Tuesday comes around, I get a text from Josh that my car was making its way to the dyno. I got over there as fast as I could to find Ryan (Rhino79 here on Camaro5) working his magic. It was a hot day, in the shade in the dyno room it was reading 95 degrees, their outside weather station was reading 105, my IATs were somwhere in the 120s-130s. He did a pull of 449 RWHP. He showed me messing around with the dyno software that when he changed the the temp input to the outside it was pulling 460 RWHP..this was on old 91 octane that I had in there. I was very happy with the results. It sounded fantastic. However, the star of this really is Ryan. When people refer to him being the best of the best on here - just believe it. He takes the time to explain anything you want/answer any question or concern you have. He is also very personable and open.

If you have L99/auto questions..he is the man. He did the dyno tune and then we took it out on the street to fine tune some things. He fine tuned the shifting patterns/pressures and some idle stuff. It runs sweet! (Thanks to Mike also!)

All things must come to an end..so at the end of the fine tune..well tune. We were back at GPI, I hung around to watch Mike and Ryan work on a kickass CTS-V. Aaron had also popped in by then - I said goodbye to the guys and went to pay the piper. The piper here is James - James is yet another passionate and open guy at GPI. I enjoyed chatting with him AND paying the bill!

In all, if you get anything out of my long winded post - please visit GPI if you have an L99 or just an LS engine and you need work done. They are every bit as good as you read on the forum. Please be patient with them when contacting them..they really are that busy..because they REALLY are that good. They are a bunch of great guys who enjoy things that go fast. The biggest thing for me is..they treat your ride like their own. Best shop I've dealt with.

P.S. if you got this far..here is a quick and dirty video of the car doing a warm start up finally back at home..LOVE IT!

Click ME for Cammed Awesomeness
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Last edited by Blake_GM; 06-30-2015 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Added YouTube video.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:25 PM   #2
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Glad your happy with the experience man!!
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:27 AM   #3
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Sounds good. Have fun with the new power!
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:48 AM   #4
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Yep, Ryan is the L99 man! GPI is awesome...

-Don
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:04 AM   #5
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Sounds awesome. When I get my cam, it will be with GPI. Like yourself, have heard nothing but rave reviews about their work and communication. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:58 AM   #6
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It was a pleasure working with GPI when they modded my intake and ported my TB. Glad you had a positive experience!

Now get a stall!
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:04 AM   #7
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Nice work! Did you do anything with the TC or are you running it stock ??
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:29 AM   #8
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:36 AM   #9
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Sounds great! Awesome to hear about such a great shop. Those are rare finds these days...
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:44 AM   #10
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They know cam grinds better than any on the forums IMHO. All anyone has to do is look at 1/4mile times VS any of the "fancy named" cams that people buy for the lope, and peak dyno #'s and see how dramatic the difference is.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:47 AM   #11
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:10 PM   #12
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Nice, sounds good!
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:13 PM   #13
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Agreed! Worked with Ryan on my ss2 and stall tune. Been working with him again since installing my ECS kit. He knows his stuff.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:42 PM   #14
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Just got home from work and PM'd Josh at GPI. I immediately get a text and five minutes later his putting my kit together for shipment!
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfinger View Post
Just got home from work and PM'd Josh at GPI. I immediately get a text and five minutes later his putting my kit together for shipment!
Just trying to help folks out
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfinger View Post
Nice work! Did you do anything with the TC or are you running it stock ??
Hey man, I am running the stock TC.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:28 PM   #17
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Hey man, I am running the stock TC.
Thanks, me too.......at least for now. I just ordered the same package as you! See what ya did
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfinger View Post
Thanks, me too.......at least for now. I just ordered the same package as you! See what ya did
Always happy to help

You definitely know it is cammed at idle. Ryan does a really good job tune wise to not make it super harsh at a stop with the stock converter. You do need some extra brake force..but it isn't as much as you think. Would do it all over again.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:51 PM   #19
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Dude GPI is awesome
Hell I lost how many 5hr trips I've made from Dallas Tx to them lol the whole crew rocks!
Ryan along with the GPI crew will be building me a sick setup soon enough!
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Old Yesterday, 04:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfinger View Post
Thanks, me too.......at least for now. I just ordered the same package as you! See what ya did
You defiantly made the right move by getting the auto cal... now we can see exactly what we need to do tune wise
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Old Yesterday, 10:02 PM   #21
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Yes I agree to all of this, I had some work done in JUne, I actually did it for a mini vacation, the 15 hour drive and hanging out with the guys was totally worth it!
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Old Today, 05:19 AM   #22
Badfinger
 
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GPI and I are having a long distance affair using auto cal. Hmm road trip to GPI I hadn't really thought about that. I mean how much trouble could you get into down there with those guys...right?
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