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2002 WS56 Mods

This is a discussion on 2002 WS56 Mods within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; The car has a 3000 stall. I'm adding a shift kit. Should I do 4.10 gears?...

  1. #21
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    The car has a 3000 stall. I'm adding a shift kit. Should I do 4.10 gears?

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    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    2002 Trans Am WS6 M6

    Just wasting your money in a 10 bolt. As you upgrade the suspension the better the car hooks. The more it hooks the quicker a 10 bolt dies. Add 4.10 gears to the mix and you can kiss that 10 bolt goodbye. It's not a matter of if but when. The reason is the taller the gear the smaller the teeth. The smaller the teeth the quicker it goes boom and your looking at a rebuild. Save the money towards an actual rear end any of the following will do depending on goals. 9 inch, 12 bolt, s60 or you can do like scott and build a 8.8.
    Mods - Lid, Skip Shift Eliminator, MGW shifter, UMI SFCs, Founders Lower Control Arms, Founders Panhard Bar, Founders Adj. Torque Arm, UMI Torque arm mount, MWC Drive shaft safety loop, KONI Yellows, Strano Springs, Strano Sway bars, UMI Upper and lower A Arms, 160 thermostat, TSP headers and TSP true duals Monster stage 2 clutch, racetronix fuel pump, Strange S60 rear axle and tune by Frost.

  3. #23
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    Go need to find a shop that build or installs rear ends. As far as the other suspension mods, who has the best prices?

  4. #24
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigshow1977 View Post
    The car has a 3000 stall. I'm adding a shift kit. Should I do 4.10 gears?

    3.73 is the preferred rear gear for an automatic in our cars. You can go steeper, but your highway rpms are going to climb up there. If your car is currently running a tune that includes modified transmission settings, you'll need to tone those back down if you install a new valve body in the transmission (as me how I know ). Failing to do this can result is exceptionally high line pressures and the transmission will simply not act right.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    3.73 is the preferred rear gear for an automatic in our cars. You can go steeper, but your highway rpms are going to climb up there. If your car is currently running a tune that includes modified transmission settings, you'll need to tone those back down if you install a new valve body in the transmission (as me how I know ). Failing to do this can result is exceptionally high line pressures and the transmission will simply not act right.
    It has a transmission cooler besides the torque converter. It is tuned for the stock WS6 gears. What are the stock gears by the way?

  6. #26
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigshow1977 View Post
    UMI, Koni, and Sprano it is.
    I run this set up, and I like it. However, if you have the cash, instead of Konis and Springs, take a look at the KW V3 suspension. I do not know of anyone who has run it in an F-Body, but all the other cars I've researched it for hail it as the best suspension short of magnetic. I'm actually considering swapping to the KW some time down the road to solve the ride height problem I have with my driveway (cheaper than re-paving my driveway).

    Regarding the sway bars, you will find that UMI makes solid bars and Strano makes hollow bars. I can only speak to the hollows, because that is all I have ever used other than stock. I like the Strano bars a lot. When I installed them, my car had:

    UMI 2-point subframe connectors
    Koni Shocks
    Stock Springs
    Rod-End LCAs (not sure brand, came with the car).

    That particular combo (the stock springs with Strano bars and Konis) rode so nicely that I sometimes miss it now that I have the Strano springs.
    In my opinion, if you like the factory ride height (or lowering is impractical for you, as it has turned out to be for me), then consider leaving the springs for last: you may love the ride with the stock springs.
    Lid, Throttle Body, LS6 Intake, Heads, Cam, Magnaflow, LS7 Clutch, SFCs, STB, Panhard Bar, Strano Springs, Hollow Sway Bars, Poly/Roto LCAs, Konis, MGW Shifter

  7. #27
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    Thanks Naaman. I'm not an expert so bare with me. So does the car have both front and rear upper and lower control arms? And what is the difference between panhard bar and sway bars?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigshow1977 View Post
    It has a transmission cooler besides the torque converter. It is tuned for the stock WS6 gears. What are the stock gears by the way?

    Stock gearing should be 3.23.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigshow1977 View Post
    Thanks Naaman. I'm not an expert so bare with me. So does the car have both front and rear upper and lower control arms? And what is the difference between panhard bar and sway bars?
    Front has an upper/lower a-arm suspension with a coilover shock/spring combo. The rear has a solid axle using a separate spring and coil suspension. The rear has "lower" control arms only. They bolt the rear end to the chassis (into the subframe connectors, if you have them) and run parallel to the ground.

    The front a-arms are quite expensive, so you have to really want them if you're going to fork out the cash. I'd like some with poly bushings, myself, but I have other priorities at the moment. Some day.

    Panhard bar centers the rear axle under the car and counters the movement of the LCAs (if I'm not mistaken), keeping the rear axle centered as the suspension travels up and down. If you have rotating joints on your rear LCAs, then you also want a rotating joint on your panhard bar. If you're lowered (or plan to lower), you'll also want to get adjustable LCAs and panhard bar, in order to be able to keep proper alignment of the rear wheels.

    Sway bars connect the left side suspension to the right side suspension. This helps to keep the car from leaning when you turn corners. Since the car is not leaning as much, the suspension on the outside is not overloaded and the tire on the inside can hold more traction than it normally would; so all four tires have traction around a corner. Stiffer in the rear will tend to reduce understeer (or increase oversteer). Stiffer in the front will tend to do the opposite. Generally, for a street driven car, if you beef up one, you want to beef up both.

    There is a youtube channel called Engineering Explained where a car-nerd guy with an engineering degree explains all about cars and how their various parts work. He's pretty good at making things clear and understandable.

    EDIT!!!!!

    Let me correct something I said about sway bars (I'm no expert either) .

    They do not redistribute weight to the inside tire. Rather, they actually tend to increase the weight transferred to the outside tire, but they also allow that tire to be more optimally aligned than a softer sway bar would. Since the appropriate camber angle is maintained by a stiffer bar, the outside tire holds more traction around the corner than if the sway bar were softer. But, too stiff a sway bar can ruin the independence of the suspension, and cause the inside of the car to literally lift off the ground during hard cornering.
    Last edited by Naaman; 05-31-2016 at 06:38 PM.

  10. #30
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    Thanks Naaman. I got a good picture now. So for a spring lowered car, it is best to with adjustable lowers? I like how the car's lowered stance looks and it has the stocks. Does that mean I should use the regular non-adjustable lowers?

  11. #31
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    If you lower the car, adjustable LCA's and panhard allow you to keep the rear centered in the wheel well openings and centered from left to right. Our car will never be lowered, so I opted for non-adjustable suspension pieces in the rear, with the exception of the torque arm which allows me to set the pinion angle.

  12. #32
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    Also, is there a database reference or solid physical method of confirming if a trans am is not a WS6 clone?

  13. #33
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Look at the RPO numbers -- decal on the end of the driver side door. Unless they swapped out a door, in which case the VIN would not match, the decal does not lie.

  14. #34
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    What RPO numbers am I looking for?

  15. #35
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    It will say WS6 in the RPO codes.

  16. #36
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    I saw one that had different numbers but I spotted WS6 and WS9 among the sets of numbers

  17. #37
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    That is correct -- if memory serves all WS6 cars have the WS9 code as well.

  18. #38
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Actually all Trans Am's have the WS9 code, the WS6 code was added to show the difference between the non/WS6 cars.

    WU6 is for Firehawks.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 06-06-2016 at 07:31 AM.

  19. #39
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    Ok, so this Trans am is a true WS6.
    Is $8.5K, two owner, in good condition, white TA WS6, bone stock, with 96k miles on it a good deal? It had the usual door cracks and dashboard is cracked.

  20. #40
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    what yr?

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