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Basic Bolt On's list and some explanations

This is a discussion on Basic Bolt On's list and some explanations within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; 1. Best bang for the buck mod by far is a lid. When it comes to the different manufactureres, just ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    1998 Pontiac Trans Am

    Basic Bolt On's list and some explanations

    1. Best bang for the buck mod by far is a lid. When it comes to the different manufactureres, just remember, a lid is a lid. If you're looking for something cheap and affordable, check out the SLP lids. Great fit overall. I personally run the whisper lid but the fit isn't as good as the SLP.

    2. Don't fall for the trick, stay with the stock MAF. DOn't spend the money for a bigger MAF or a Cold air tuned MAF. It will only give you more problems than gains. Detonation is a big issue! The most you should do with the MAF is porting and descreening the MAF which is a free MOD.

    3. If you're running a 98-99 LS1, look into an LS6 or FAST manifold. Very good MOD and it makes a difference.

    4. Freeing up your exhaust IE headers and cat back not only gives you more bark, but it will help you with the bite later after a cam install.

    5. Pushrods are fairly easy to change. If you have an M6, Pushrods should be the first thing to change. The stock length is 7.400". The upgraded Chromoly's are only $150 approximately but it will save you from heartbreak when you ding past redline leading to bend or in my case, pushrods snapped in half.

    6. Quarterpanel flex, leaky t-tops, twisted frames, it's all too common in our cars. Invest in a good set of Sub Frame connectors. Have them professionally installed, bolted, or welded on a loaded lift, not a frame off. On a frame off, once the car is lowered onto the tires and the suspension is preloaded, the welds will break and the bolts as well. For those who have questions on the loaded lifts, it's just a lift you drive up on and the whole car is lifted. Most shops have a roll on lift or a pit.

    7. Rearend is a weakpoint when it comes to high horsepower. You can run a rebuilt stocker and be fine. The axles are usually what goes first.

    8. Nothing beats a custom tune from a performance shop. Check out some local shops to see if they do any custom tuning. A programmer can cause some issues like pulling the wrong timing, wrong A/F Ratios, etc.

    There are more mods than can possibly be listed, but this is a basic list. Pick and choose the route you take and do your research. On this site, you'll find a lot of informative sponsors. When shopping for a cam, look into Thunder Racing, they have some great custom Cams with full explanations and a few with Dyno Graphs. This site is full of info as well, do your research and surf through some posts.

    Ok guys, if you want to add any more info into this list, feel free to add!

  2. #2
    Member Hawk241's Avatar
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    2002 TransAm Firehawk

    SLP blackwing?

    I have an 02 Firehawk, its got a slp blackwing lid, can you define its difference. I understand its different than a stock lid, my buddy says its the same. I dunno.

  3. #3
    sethta
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    You can also do free mods like throttle body bypass, free ram air, and port and polish throttle body. Cold air induction setups can get you some horsepower and if you wanted to you can do new 8mm spark plug wires.

  4. #4
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    How do you do a Throttle Body bypass? I'm not sure what you mean?

  5. #5
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    You also mentioned descreening the MAF. Is there a screen inside blocking the flow? I haven't had mine off yet.

  6. #6
    sethta
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    A throttle body bypass keeps the hot antifreeze from flowing through the throttle body keeping the incoming air cooler. I tis said to five about a six horsepwoer gain. Go to install university to see how to do it. Also yes there is a screen inside your MAF IT doesn't really block the flow too much but it is free horsepower if you take it off, but I would leave it in, it's there for a reason.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    To Answer some questions, the donaldson/blackwind lid on the firehawks does have better flow than the stocker, it's basically a lid, that's all there is to it. Less restrictive than the silencer ram air setup found on WS6's and Stock T/A's. The Maf has a screen at the end which basically keeps big particals out. Some have notived a difference by descreening it, others have said not to do it because of the particles that can harm the MAF but then again, I haven't heard of any damage from a loose rock getting passed the filter to damage the MAF so I don't see a problem with it. Been running Maf ends with no screen since 98 and have had no issues. Also as a side note, if you have a kit like the BGRA kit or the SLP underbody sold air kit, it's not a good idea, on WS6's and aftermarket WS6 hoods to have both. It may seem like a good idea, an opened up hood to force more air and the underbody cold air at the same time, but what really happens is the air turbulence from two opposing air currents actually makes it less efficient.

  8. #8
    Member Hawk241's Avatar
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    Hey thanx for getting back info on the blackwing lid...do I keep it or does it compete with other aftermarkets like clear and whisper? If I keep it, what filter do you think I should run? The original was very dirty, so quick bought a wix....?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    the paper filter works just fine. Just keep the blackwing. I know that sucker resells for a couple hundred. It's basically an OEM SLP lid for the firehawk to the best of my understanding

  10. #10
    Black Beast 1 badblack transam 01's Avatar
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    When I first got my 01 ws6 and i took the air box out I found a blade of grass stuck to my maf screen. Personal opinion says keep it for reasons like that, because u never know what might get to it.

    I have oftened wondered if you couldnt take out the screen and weld in a chicken wire (just smaller holes) type of metal in and get a horsepower gain.
    Has anyone tried this?

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the help with the screen. It looks like it 's time to go tinkering.

  12. #12
    Member since 1998 DarthD's Avatar
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    Black ASC#7564 May11,2001
    2001 Trans Am WS6

    Just a note for the SLP lid -
    I sometimes send in a sample of my oil for analysis. When I installed the SLP lid on my WS6, my oil started showing a high silicon content. Blackstone Labs told me that dirty air was probably getting past my filter. I removed the SLP lid and reinstalled the stock lid. The next oil sample was normal. I tried the SLP lid again and I had high silicon again. Also, when I removed the SLP lid there was a small blade of grass stuck to my MAF screen.
    I was very careful installing the lid. It simply does not seal as well as the stock lid. It does not seem to fit as tight.

  13. #13
    car enthusiast djvaly's Avatar
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    some info on calculating HP, and my bolts on mods below:
    A4 TA, substract 18% to 20% from the engine hp and you get hp to the rear wheel.
    The M6 are said to be about 16% power loss..
    so let's take my '99 A4 TA which claims 305hp to engine. That means
    305-(305*0.18) = 304-54.9 = 250.1rwhp as stock engine.

    my Mods:
    I've got bolt on mods, lid and filter (5rwhp), SLP cold air induction kit (8rwhp), smooth bellow (5rwhp), Gratenelli MAF (5rwhp), 160F thermo, cat back Corsa (15rwhp), HyperTech Programer II (10rwhp), ASP Underdrive Pulley(12rwhp).

    This dynoed the car at 315wrhp. so all those bolts on gave me only about 60-65 rwhp gain which is just about right. I did spent $850 on the Corsa, then $250 on the HPP3, and then another $300-$400 on the rest, about $1500 total which is about right for 60rwhp gain. If you were to spend $2000 on new head cyclinder it would bump you 50-60rwhp so I think I made a pretty good investment so far on the bolt ons.

    My next move is to get jet-hot long tube haders and Y pipe which will add 20-25rwhp and then
    get ls6 manifold intake adding another 10rwhp. And when I get $2-3k aside next year I can get the
    head/cam package Patriot stage III probably which will get me in the 420rwhp with a nice tune.

    PS. I did get the Eibach Pro kit lowering 1.25, it looks great.. use the stock shocks as you won't bottom out with this unless you go with 2inches springs. If you lower your ride and want to do LT headers and Y pipe later, you can still do it just stay away from the SLP brand since they will eat an additional 1-1.5 inch into the clearance and may scrape/bottom out every now and then.

  14. #14
    car enthusiast djvaly's Avatar
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    my above posting is not entirely true... just found out all LSX are underrated by 30+ hp by GM:

    per "99blueZ" on another thread on same subject:

    "Way to open up a ancient thead.

    Ok you got some problems with your post. Your T/A probably has about 330 crank hp stock - these cars are underrated. You car stock is probably 280rwhp. Thus you gained about 35rwhp from your mods. 315-280= 35. not the 60+ you were dreaming of. Here are the more realistic gains for your mods: lid and filter -10rwhp, SLP cold air induction kit -0rwhp, smooth bellow -0rwhp, Gratenelli MAF -0rwhp, 160F thermo, cat back Corsa -15rwhp, HyperTech Programer II -0rwhp, ASP Underdrive Pulley -10rwhp."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hurley711's Avatar
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    414 RWHP 395 RWTQ
    00 Black Ram Air Trans Am

    As far as suspension mods go, the stock shocks are absolute crap, and I am talking from the second they put them on the car. Upgrading to something like Bilstein HD shocks will help ride quality immensely. Also, LCA are a nice mod to help reduce wheel hop which is all to common on our cars.

  16. #16
    Member svt_eater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z28241 View Post
    I have an 02 Firehawk, its got a slp blackwing lid, can you define its difference. I understand its different than a stock lid, my buddy says its the same. I dunno.
    From the old SLP message forum: The 2002 Firehawk's made in/after September 2002 or later all had the Blackwing/SLP lid stock as part of the Firehawk package. This is what made them 345HP instead of the previous 335HP. The remaining parts of the package stayed the same including the exhaust.

    Along with the SLP/Blackwing lid came a Donaldson air filter...designed to flow better than K&N or any other filter on the market, while still providing an equal level of filtering. This stock Donaldson filter is a paper filter. SLP sells for about $30 I think.

  17. #17
    ---Ws6---01
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    re: Maf

    Just had a question. My car is equipped with the slp performance package and was wondering if replacing the aftermarket maf w/ stock makes a difference even though everything was provided from Slp?

  18. #18
    car enthusiast djvaly's Avatar
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    invest your money in something else than MAF, smooth bellow and small stuff... maybe a 2-3rwhp difference, not worth the $$, I bought it and almost no diff. the SLP lid and cai gave 5-6rwhp, the HPP3 programmer another 4-5rwhp.. etc,, check out my sig..

  19. #19
    Import Killer camarostripes96's Avatar
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    1996 Trans am

    I Have A 96 Trans Am Lt1 , 6 Speed With K &n Cai, And Short Shifter With Borla Catback Exhaust With Magna Flow High Flow Performance Cats. What Other Mods Could I Do To Get Hp Gains And Arent Pricy?

  20. #20
    Junior Member Thunda's Avatar
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    I have been thinking of getting a Thunder Racing cams, what is a good recommendation for street and strip? and what about headers? which are you getting the best numbers?
    2001WS6 T/A slp lid, smooth bellows, Taylor Thundervolt wires, Bosch+4, Vig 3200 stall, BM trans cooler, SLP 3" Y-pipe, 3" corsa catback, preditor custom tune by RWTD, 275/17BFG'S. 1976T/A 455-4spd-3:42

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