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98-02 birds

This is a discussion on 98-02 birds within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Is there anyway to tell the ws6 cars apart by looking at the exterior only?...

  1. #1

    98-02 birds

    Is there anyway to tell the ws6 cars apart by looking at the exterior only?

  2. #2
    What I do? SHines-IT's Avatar
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    A little by collors and I think theres different wheels for a few years. The 98 WS6 has one exuast, umm pretty much all I can think of at the moment.

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    Custom Painter/Tech Customta98's Avatar
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    Flame Red / Orange Custom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike0202 View Post
    Is there anyway to tell the ws6 cars apart by looking at the exterior only?
    Pretty sure they all have 17" rims not 16" rims like a baseline T/A's. Few other things like shocks (I think), rear end gears (ring and pinion) but that would be hard to figure out, but other than that im not sure.
    98 Trans Am Custom Paint, Ghost Skuls On Racing Stripe + Custom Front Lip, :MODs Tubular K-member, Tubular Upper and lower A-arms, Tubular Control Arms, 4:10's, Cam L-.567/.575 D@.05-.212/.218,1.85 Roller Rockers, P&P Heads, ARH Headers & HF Cats & Y-Pipe, SLP loudmouth catback, +'s

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SHines-IT View Post
    A little by collors and I think theres different wheels for a few years. The 98 WS6 has one exuast, umm pretty much all I can think of at the moment.
    Yeah but I dont think there is anyone who kept the single outlet exhaust.

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    What I do? SHines-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike0202 View Post
    Yeah but I dont think there is anyone who kept the single outlet exhaust.
    There's one that I see in the next town, that has one exuast and usually only see it on the weekends. But I would change it personally.

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    Bullet Boy Same ol Situation's Avatar
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    2002 CETA m6

    Hood would really be the best way or the ws.6 emblem on the back?

    Some of them will have a ws.6 in a circular plate in the middle of the wheel, but some have the ABS.

    A lot of times you will see a T/A with an aftermarket ram air hood, but no emblem on the back. So its a clone

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    Sunset Orange Metallic
    2001 Trans Am WS6

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike0202 View Post
    Is there anyway to tell the ws6 cars apart by looking at the exterior only?
    The only way i can think of is the Late 01's and all 02's (except the 35th annivs) had a different style 17" rim. Also, the late 01's and 02's didn't have WS6 center caps. They had pontiac logos...i could be mistaken on this, but i'm pretty sure that's the case.

    98-early 01 style -- http://www.ls1.com/forums/album.php?...&pictureid=882
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/album.php?...pictureid=1090


    Late 01/02 style -- http://www.ls1.com/forums/album.php?...pictureid=1198
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/album.php?...&pictureid=990

    Hope this helps

  8. #8
    Member Mike's TA's Avatar
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    There is no absolute, for certain, way to tell if it is a true WS6 or not by looking at the exterior. Sure there are obvious things like the hood, or the emblem out back, or the wheels, or the exhaust, but all of these things can be modifications done to any car to make it appear to be a WS6.

    You could look at the build numbers. Of course this is on the inside of the door. And that is assuming that someone didn't replace the sticker.

    So, as far as I know, the only absolute way is to look up the VIN.

  9. #9
    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike0202 View Post
    Yeah but I dont think there is anyone who kept the single outlet exhaust.
    Too bad because it's actually the best flowing of all the Factory exhaust systems.

    As for the OP question,
    The Best way is to look at the RPO sticker inside the Drivers door. If the sticker is missing then the Vin can be run at a dealer to come up with the RPO list for that car.
    If the WS6 RPO is not present then it's NOT a WS6
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  10. #10
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    1998 WS6 Trans Am

    my 98 ws6 still has original single exhaust
    lots of people tell me I should change it but I can't be bothered to really. I don't see the back end often even with it being my daily driver and also, it still sounds nice

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    Too bad because it's actually the best flowing of all the Factory exhaust systems.

    As for the OP question,
    The Best way is to look at the RPO sticker inside the Drivers door. If the sticker is missing then the Vin can be run at a dealer to come up with the RPO list for that car.
    If the WS6 RPO is not present then it's NOT a WS6
    So I guess there is no real way to tell a true ws6 car apart from another. Only by looking at the rims. I was just curious because someone in town has one just like mine. Also how is the single outlet better?

  12. #12
    Orig Regist: 9/98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike0202 View Post
    So I guess there is no real way to tell a true ws6 car apart from another. Only by looking at the rims. I was just curious because someone in town has one just like mine. Also how is the single outlet better?
    Even rims can be changed, more easily than adding a hood.

    9T8W66 is correct, the ONLY way to guarantee it is the WS6 RPO on the door sticker, or running the VIN through the dealership's computer to obtain the RPO listing for the car. The VIN alone does NOT indicate the car has the WS6 option. Nor is there anything special about the rear gears on WS6s, only that WS6s w/ A4 required the optional 3.23 gears as a "mandatory option". Thus, no A4 WS6 w/ 2.73 gears, but 3.23 gears is no guarantee you have a WS6 as it was optional on non-WS6/SS A4 V8 f-bods.

    I'm glad nobody asked about that WS6 spoiler either.

    On the '98 SOTL exhaust, new noise rules went into effect in '99 and required a quieter exhaust than was put on the '98 SS/WS6 cars. The SOTL is a better flowing and better sounding exhaust than the '99+ SS/WS6 exhaust systems. There have been several dyno tests over the years that shows that the addition of an aftermarket cat-back picks up more power on a '99+ SS/WS6 car than that same exhaust on a '98 SOTL car, which indicates the '98 SOTL to be a slightly better flowing system than the '99+ SS/WS6 exhaust. The only difference between the two is the muffler and tail-pipes (single 3.5" vs dual 2.5"). Theres less turbulence in the muffler of the SOTL system since it flows in on one side and out the other rather than making a 180-deg turn to go back out the passenger side.

    I'm sure all the flack GM took on the "ricer" exhaust on the '98s also had something to do w/ going to a dual-out setup in '99. Personally, I still have my SOTL. The fact that, until you go w/ headers and a ORY, there is little to be gained by changing the SOTL to an aftermarket cat-back, and the fact that it sounds pretty good, I've elected to retain that stock, albeit lop-sided, appearance of the SOTL. Any chuckles I get are quickly drowned out.

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  13. #13
    What was the purpose of having two cats and a y pipe? You would think they would have done true duals from the factory.

  14. #14
    What I do? SHines-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike0202 View Post
    What was the purpose of having two cats and a y pipe? You would think they would have done true duals from the factory.
    Cost and government? That would be my guess.

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    lmpounded SandmanWs7's Avatar
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    I agree with what most say here. Check the door for the RPO code. Because looks can be changed.

    NOT A WS6

  16. #16
    Don't know about '98, but from 1999 on, weren't at least some of the WS6 cars given square exhaust pipes and all the regular Trans Ams round ones?

  17. #17
    lmpounded SandmanWs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clovenhooves View Post
    Don't know about '98, but from 1999 on, weren't at least some of the WS6 cars given square exhaust pipes and all the regular Trans Ams round ones?
    No. My 2000 Trans Am had the square ones. Unless it was the other way around, then maybe.

  18. #18
    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    `98 Formula M6 HdTp

    1998-2002 Standard cars have Aluminum Oval exhaust tips (same tips as `96-97 WS6)
    All `99 -up WS6's have 2.5" Polished round tips `98's have the Single Polished 3.5" tip.

  19. #19
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    navy blue metallic
    2000 trans am ws6

    if your looking at the interior open the drivers door and look for the ws6 code in the door jam thats the only way youll ever know the ws6 was $3100 option that upgraded suspension and added ram air hood and 17in wheels so im sure you wont see a difference in the interior

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    1998-2002 Standard cars have Aluminum Oval exhaust tips (same tips as `96-97 WS6)
    All `99 -up WS6's have 2.5" Polished round tips `98's have the Single Polished 3.5" tip.
    Sounds good, but I prefer sights Can you point to any comparison pictures? Do you mean the diameter of the pipes?

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