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About the 98-02 Firebird Formula..?

This is a discussion on About the 98-02 Firebird Formula..? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I've been doing research on the T/A and Formula Firebirds but haven't really pinned down the specifics that differentiate the ...

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    Junior Member Zabo's Avatar
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    About the 98-02 Firebird Formula..?

    I've been doing research on the T/A and Formula Firebirds but haven't really pinned down the specifics that differentiate the two. Some places indicate the T/A of that era almost as a suspension and trim upgrade, while others say the same for the Formula instead.

    Searching the archives has brought up nothing concrete for me so if anyone would like to discuss or clear it up, I'd find it awesome. Also if you could share any resources on late 4th gen formulas I'd appreciate it as well.

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    The Formula is all about speed.

    It's basically a base Firebird (like a V6 model) that has the V8 drivetrain.

    So all of the performance of a T/A, with none of the flash.

    IMO the Formula is cleaner looking, and is a "sleeper" since it looks just like the V6 car.

    It comes with less standard features than the T/A did, the T/A is basically loaded with few options available.

    Formulas were standard as hardtop cars with cloth interior, leather and t's were optional, as well as power seats, cd changer, etc. (Mine is fairly loaded, it has leather, T's, power driver's seat, and keyless entry/alarm.)

    Also, the WS6 package was available on Formulas from '98-'00, and the WS6 Formulas are some of the rarest 4th gens out there.

    IIRC GM made more WS6 T/A's than even base Formulas. The T/A outsold the Formula by a wide margin all years.

    And honestly, the T/A and Formula are mechanically identical, the T/A just has a bunch of luxo features and a body kit added on. Neither is a perfomance upgrade over the other, although it could be argued that the Formula is a bit lighter. On either car, the WS6 package IS an upgrade, but mostly suspension wise. The hood is more of a cosmetic upgrade. You might get a few more ponies at the top end, but they should dyno about the same.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, and here's a website that should help: http://www.theformulasource.com/
    Last edited by StuntmanMike; 08-04-2009 at 02:59 PM.

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    Junior Member Zabo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    The Formula is all about speed.

    It's basically a base Firebird (like a V6 model) that has the V8 drivetrain.

    So all of the performance of a T/A, with none of the flash.

    IMO the Formula is cleaner looking, and is a "sleeper" since it looks just like the V6 car.

    It comes with less standard features than the T/A did, the T/A is basically loaded with few options available.

    Formulas were standard as hardtop cars with cloth interior, leather and t's were optional, as well as power seats, cd changer, etc. (Mine is fairly loaded, it has leather, T's, power driver's seat, and keyless entry/alarm.)

    Also, the WS6 package was available on Formulas from '98-'00, and the WS6 Formulas are some of the rarest 4th gens out there.

    IIRC GM made more WS6 T/A's than even base Formulas. The T/A outsold the Formula by a wide margin all years.

    And honestly, the T/A and Formula are mechanically identical, the T/A just has a bunch of luxo features and a body kit added on. Neither is a perfomance upgrade over the other, although it could be argued that the Formula is a bit lighter. On either car, the WS6 package IS an upgrade, but mostly suspension wise. The hood is more of a cosmetic upgrade. You might get a few more ponies at the top end, but they should dyno about the same.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, and here's a website that should help: http://www.theformulasource.com/
    Wow, it seems my google fu has failed. If the mods see fit they can sticky this because I'm sure there'll be other Fbod noobs wondering what the difference is. Save us all headaches when they ask like I just did.

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    The reason the T/A outsold the Formula is because more T/A's were produced. I believe in 2002 16000 T/A's and 901 Formulas. I always thought the Formulas were standard loaded with everything except spoiler package. I have had a few and all had all the bells and whistles. Yes I am biased.
    http://i918.photobucket.com/albums/a...mula02/030.jpg

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    Besides the obvious body alterations all Trans Am's have Leather T-tops and Keyless entry as standard over what a base Formula comes with. Proof of the standard Formula Content can be found here on my Window sticker from my base Formula that I ordered back in Jan 1998.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideon1200 View Post
    The reason the T/A outsold the Formula is because more T/A's were produced. I believe in 2002 16000 T/A's and 901 Formulas. I always thought the Formulas were standard loaded with everything except spoiler package. I have had a few and all had all the bells and whistles. Yes I am biased.
    http://i918.photobucket.com/albums/a...mula02/030.jpg
    Not to sound like a smartass, but the reason more T/A's were produced was because more people bought them. It's not like they were limited edition or anything. If more people had wanted them, trust me, GM could have produced tons more Formulas than they did.

    As far as I know, Formulas were pretty bare bones, They had a few things standard that were optional on the base V6's, but not alot. Power windows, door locks, and the Monsoon were standard and optional on the base car, IIRC.

    I had a '98 Formula, and the only option it really had was leather. No T's, no power seat, no keyless entry. My '00 is loaded in comparison.

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    Junior Member Zabo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Not to sound like a smartass, but the reason more T/A's were produced was because more people bought them. It's not like they were limited edition or anything. If more people had wanted them, trust me, GM could have produced tons more Formulas than they did.

    As far as I know, Formulas were pretty bare bones, They had a few things standard that were optional on the base V6's, but not alot. Power windows, door locks, and the Monsoon were standard and optional on the base car, IIRC.

    I had a '98 Formula, and the only option it really had was leather. No T's, no power seat, no keyless entry. My '00 is loaded in comparison.
    Bare bones but they had power windows and locks?

    Hmm, wonder what the rationale for this when the base Z trim on the Camaro had crank windows in 98-99 (00-02?). Though this is a good thing, because after shopping my share of Camaros and T/As I've been looking into the Cloth bare bones examples due to personal preferences and how some examples of the leather interior have aged pretty bad..

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    Barebones looks pretty loaded. Power locks and windows, a/c, cruise, moonsoon stereo/cd player, not really what i consider barebones. Mine does have leather power seats and keyless entry.

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    t/a=hey,look at my fast v8 car....formula=it might just be a v-6 or maybe not. i like the formula approach,my wife prefers the look a me style of the t/a.powertrain is all the same though.

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    I put the WS up because so many people think Formula's are bare bones.
    Obviously the Formula's aren't strippers like a base Z28 could be but the Formula's base price is about $2k more.(worth every penny IMO)

    You could however order a stripper Formula in the form of the 1LE Pkg. $1,175
    These came with an -$1,125 Delete option the removed the PW PL PM and Monsoon. But it did prerequisite the WS6 option ($3,150) with it's larger wheels swaybars springs but replaced the Decarbon shocks with Koni double adjustables.

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    Junior Member Zabo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    I put the WS up because so many people think Formula's are bare bones.
    Obviously the Formula's aren't strippers like a base Z28 could be but the Formula's base price is about $2k more.(worth every penny IMO)

    You could however order a stripper Formula in the form of the 1LE Pkg. $1,175
    These came with an -$1,125 Delete option the removed the PW PL PM and Monsoon. But it did prerequisite the WS6 option ($3,150) with it's larger wheels swaybars springs but replaced the Decarbon shocks with Koni double adjustables.
    Ouch.. don't ya just LOVE the fine print? Might go lookin' for one within the next 4 months. Hope to dump my truck for at least an Fbody, and I always did like the sleeper concept.

    Just have to find one with low miles for the right price by December.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zabo View Post
    Ouch.. don't ya just LOVE the fine print? Might go lookin' for one within the next 4 months. Hope to dump my truck for at least an Fbody, and I always did like the sleeper concept.

    Just have to find one with low miles for the right price by December.
    Good luck with the search
    Formula's make up approx 10% of all Firebirds built (including T/A's) between `98-02.
    Approx 620 WS6 Formula's built `98-00

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    Junior Member Zabo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    Good luck with the search
    Formula's make up approx 10% of all Firebirds built (including T/A's) between `98-02.
    Approx 620 WS6 Formula's built `98-00
    From my search, you'd say otherwise if this were so. Kinda surprised really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zabo View Post
    From my search, you'd say otherwise if this were so. Kinda surprised really.
    Crappy Economy probably has alot to do with finding more cars for sale.
    Also Some dealers will list the vehicle based off what the Vin tells them.
    And with 4th Gen Birds the Vin does not distinguish between Formula or Trans Am, it merely tells you it's a V8 equipped Firebird.
    Checking the RPO sticker inside the drivers door is the best way to identify each model
    look for WS9 W66 Y82 and Y84
    WS9= V8 Bird (all V8 cars will have this RPO)
    W66 = Formula
    Y82 = Trans Am
    Y84 = Trans Am Convertible

    And of coarse if the car doesn't have the WS6 RPO then it's not a WS6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zabo View Post
    Bare bones but they had power windows and locks?

    Hmm, wonder what the rationale for this when the base Z trim on the Camaro had crank windows in 98-99 (00-02?). Though this is a good thing, because after shopping my share of Camaros and T/As I've been looking into the Cloth bare bones examples due to personal preferences and how some examples of the leather interior have aged pretty bad..

    Just a bad choice of words on my part. I just meant that the T/A was completely loaded as compard to the Formula.

    I think the Pontiac had more standard features because it was supposed to be a bit more upmarket when compared to the Chevy. In GM's vehicle heirarchy, Pontiac was always above Chevy.

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    Junior Member Zabo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Just a bad choice of words on my part. I just meant that the T/A was completely loaded as compard to the Formula.

    I think the Pontiac had more standard features because it was supposed to be a bit more upmarket when compared to the Chevy. In GM's vehicle heirarchy, Pontiac was always above Chevy.
    Always figured as such, but thinking about it more it does make sense. You could get a stripper car but then that'd be entrenching on Chevy's lower budget target market.

    As for the listing, believe you me I'm going to go over with a damn manilla folder in the truck just in case. Not to mention probably piss off Konigandy6 when making sure the cars are straight.

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