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Buyers remorse...

This is a discussion on Buyers remorse... within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; At long last I finally found what I thought was a great deal on a 2001 Pontiac ws-6... After several ...

  1. #1
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    2001 trans am ws6

    Angry Buyers remorse...

    At long last I finally found what I thought was a great deal on a 2001 Pontiac ws-6... After several texts, calls, emails, and ebay messages I agreed to purchase the vehicle for the $6,000.00 buy it now price. I even had a friend go look at the car for me. He said it seemed mechanically sound. Seeing as how hes an ase certified diesel mechanic and has a beautiful yellow GTO I figured it was a safe purchase. Although he did warn me the paint needed some attention. A problem I thought I could handle. Come to find out it's a bit worse than he made it out to be. There's some badly attempted bondo work in both rear quarter panels (small dents about the size of a quarter), some rattle can paint, and some other stuff that just screams repaint me...

    Some of the mods include the Polluter cam, slp ram air box upgrade, slp bellows, slp mass air, professional products power + intake, professional power throttle body, upgraded fuel rails, custom radiator and fan, line lock, battery relocated to trunk/hatch, oil filter relocated to left of radiator, custom radiator overflow, strut tower brace, 2 inch lowering kit, polyurethane bushings, rear sway bar upgrade, solid motor mounts, back seat eliminator kit, alpine stereo (infinity subs and an amp that you cant hear over the exhaust), corvette z06 rims wrapped in nexen tires, upgraded drilled and slotted rotors, an a-pillar gauge pod with blacked out glow shift gauges (oil temp, oil pressure, and fuel pressure), and a gun safe... Well worth the asking price. I forgot to add the stage 2 Mad dog transmission and some custom valve covers. A bit taller than the stock ones and bright polished aluminum. I'm sure theres some stuff I missed but that covers quite a bit of it.

    The purchase is made, payment is sent, and the shipping company picks it up a few days later for the 800+ mile trip to my home. That's when everything goes wrong... and not just wrong but horribly wrong.

    The transport truck breaks down on Saturday after business hours. The anticipated delivery date of the following Monday is now out of the question... but no one told me this... so I had already taken the day off of work. It starts getting late so I call the trucking company. They say Wednesday at the latest... It shows up late Tuesday night... 1. It's fuel tank is bone dry. 2. The battery is stone dead 3. The Diablo flash tuner is not in the glove box where it should have been 4. All of the factory parts that were replaced with performance parts were strewn about the car (luckily most of the real dirty ones were in a bin)...

    So we roll it down off the trailer, throw about a gallon of gas in it, and jump start it. It is omg loud (full length headers into 3 inch dual pipes that dump straight down 2 inches from the ground just in front of the axle) I limp the car to my garage and park it. The next day I pour 5 gallons of fresh gasoline in it and hook up the charger. It starts but the idle is all over the place (750 rpm to about 2,000 rpm and back down in 20 second intervals), has very sluggish throttle response, and its burning very rich. I shut it off after about 2 minutes or so not wanting to do any more damage to anything that may be wrong.

    That's when I notice small oil leak and a rather large coolant leak. Not sure where the oil is coming from but the coolant is from the head to head line that runs under the throttle body. It has a small line that isnt used or plugged so its spewing coolant out of it. I plugged it and called my adopted dad. He's been a mechanic since he was 8 alongside his father. The list of car's this man has owned is legendary. I've seen pictures and heard stories. I have AAA pick the car up and make trip to his house. He throws the computer on it and it finds a few codes. The idle air control valve and or motor is bad, the throttle body and the mass air may be malfunctioning as well. And this is just the start. Come to find out the seller had taken the "check engine" light out of the socket so it wouldnt let up. He also knew when he car was getting ready to malfunction and would rev the engine so my mechanic friend didnt notice anything wrong.

    The battery is nearly dead yet again after getting a full charge the day before. So we start tracking down that problem. Disconnect the battery and break out the continuity tester and volt meter... Only to find theres a short in the cars electrical system somewhere. We then start pulling fuses and putting them back until we track the short down to the headlight system. I hear a very faint click click click noise which sounds like its coming from the drivers side headlight motor. Most likely where the short is. So now that's another issue. While pulling the battery panel in the trunk (drivers side) we notice all the speaker wires are cut. By this time I'm furious.

    Then the brakes... not sure if it's an improperly installed line lock, the cam robbing the vacuum, or what but until it's up and running right we won't know for sure.

    The more we look the more I'm sure we'll find.

    Now I'm online looking up parts and hoping to get some advice. I've wanted one of these beautiful cars for over 10 years but they've always been a bit out of my price range. The seller up and disappeared like a fart in the wind and cannot be found. He will not return calls, texts, emails, or ebay messages. I've decided it will be cheaper for me to fix what problems we find than to go through the hassle of returning this car to its previous owner, finding a new one, and paying for all the upgrades. I would appreciate all and any help, advice, or anything else anyone could give me. Right now my main concern is the exhaust. I need to put something under it to quiet it down. I DO NOT want to go back to the original y pipe and muffler design. I like the big 3 inch duals and dumping it under the car. I'm just looking for mufflers I guess or maybe even a header back kit. Everything I've seen so far is cat back... There's no cats here. I guess I could take it all the way back out the back if I had to but I'd rather not.

    Thanks,
    K.O.
    Last edited by MagRes50Cal; 08-21-2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: forgot to list some parts

  2. #2
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    Wow man sucks to hear stories like that. I passed on a car that I saw on ebay and was going for a great deal and sometimes I really regret doing that becuase it had less miles and was a 6spd but hearing stories like this make me glad I bought local.

    You came to the right spot for help and support and while it sucks that the car is not what you thought you were getting, it sounds like it can be fixed.

  3. #3
    **Te@M fBoDy** fbodyNATION's Avatar
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    i hate to hear stories like these,he will get his though,either the same way or a bit worse i hope everything works out for you in the end

  4. #4
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I'm reading your post and the whole time I'm thinking a few things.

    1. When most people spend $6k on a car they get damn near a roller. You got a great deal on that car.
    2. When you buy a modded car you're almost always inheriting some problems.
    3. Nothing you listed there so far would make me remorseful for buying that car, with those mods, at that price.
    4. Nothing about that mod list tells me he only drove it to the store and back.
    5. A huge flag there for me is that mod list and even mentioning a hand held tuner. That needs a better tune.

    The good news is you can put some money into that car to make it right and still be ahead of the game. Start one problem at a time and knock them out.
    Easiest would be that coolant leak. From what you're describing it sounds like he did a "TB bypass" and it's leaking there or a line popped off or something. You can buy some coolant hose and run that straight to the top fitting on the radiator. Factory they ran coolant through the TB to keep it from freezing up in the winter time. Problem is it's pumping 200 degree coolant through there all the time....even the summer.
    A code list would be helpful in figuring out your MAF and idle problems. These cars "learn" the idle so anytime the battery goes dead it's going to idle for shit until it learns the idle trims. Since it was tuned with a Predator I can say without a doubt you should get a good tune from someone that's reputable. That alone could solve your MAF and idle problems.
    Lastly.....I don't doubt your adopted father's skills with cars so I'm not passing judgement on him personally or taking a shot at him. I'm only sharing my experiences with old school guys in general. They're damn near lost when it comes to trouble shooting these cars. The electrical stuff....yes....it translates. How the engine management systems control the engine though is like another language to the guys I've talked too. When you get into a modded car it's not always "pull a code and replace a part". There are a ton of tables that need to be adjusted in order to get a cammed car to run correctly.....the airflow tables and VE tables all go out the window once a cam is put in. Like I say.....not taking a shot at your father.....just sharing my experiences. Your father could be great at this stuff and if so I'm confident you'll get it all worked out in no time. However.....self educate yourself by reading the board so you can provide a check and balance there.

  5. #5
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    ps
    I also recommend asking A LOT of questions here......you'll find that you will get a ton of help from people that have "been there and done that". There's no question that will go unanswered. Let us help you so if you have any questions feel free to post them.

  6. #6
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    For $6,000 -- I haven't read anything in your opening post that scares me. 0rion hit the nail on the head with his reply. You have a lot of technical expertise on this site and we have heard, seen or experienced just about every issue these cars can throw at you. Post up your questions, give us the specifics and toss up some pics where applicable. We're all ready and willing to assist you.

    BTW, whereabouts in MI? My family is originally from Bay City. We just spent a week out there in early July -- hotter than Hades, but still had fun.

  7. #7
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Throw a little money @ it and you'll have a great runner.

    Just sounds like the original owner ran out of money.

    This econ is killing folks.

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    Sold: LS1 '85 El Camino ls1camino's Avatar
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    Whenever I buy a car, I do the following:
    - Change the oil (no idea how long it's been in there)
    - Change the coolant (again...no idea how ling it's been in there)
    - Change coolant hoses (easiest while changing coolant)
    - Bleed the brakes..change pads and/or rotors if they're getting low
    - Tune up...replace plugs/wires, clean MAF/TB
    - Change rear diff fluid and rear cover gasket
    - Change trans fluid and replace trans filter
    - Replace Air Filter

    These are all things that are general maintenance practices. Even if the seller says he/she did them, don't trust them.

    In your case, I would do what everyone else said in addition to the above list, and start replacing the little things like the IAC, etc. Also, get a real tune. Get in touch with Steve Williams (Frost on here) and get a mail order tune for now. He usually gets them spot on, and it gives you the ability to drive around now. Once you've got all of the kinks worked out, make the few hour trip down to him in Richmond, VA and get a dyno/street tune from him.

  9. #9
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    silver
    2001 trans am ws6

    forgot the trans, hi torque starter, and valve covers... thanks for the info and insight. ill do what i can to get this thing back to the killer ride i know it can be.

    a link to the original auction:

    Pontiac : Firebird ws6 in Pontiac | eBay Motors

    a link to the video my friend shot of it running when he went to look at it for me... trust me when i say the video doesnt even begin to cover how loud this car is... you can feel the reverberation in your chest standing about 15 to 20 feet from it...



    hope to post some pics of it soon...


    logging in to summit and jegs both to rack up some more cash on the credit card i just paid off...

  10. #10
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    silver
    2001 trans am ws6

    garden city michigan. a few hours south of bay city. my family was from standish, pinchonning, and bay city when we my great grand parents came to the u.s... my family still owns the original farm.

  11. #11
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    wow, so glad mine didn't turn out like this horror story. Got mine for $6500.


    OP like previous posts stated - ask away we'll try to help as best as we can.

    We all wish the best and hope you are able to resurrect this bird.

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    found a black one with black interior locally for 6,200 on craigslist... i really wanted red. would have settled for black... but ended up with silver. its growing on me though. my marauder was silver. ill get used to it.

  13. #13
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    For 6,000 dollars you got a good deal even with the problems you listed. I know it was a shock when you found all of this out but you are ahead of the game from the start. A good 2001 WS6 with 85k on the clock and mods would be more then twice that price. Lesson learned. Ask more questions and fly out to see the car first. Good luck with the resto. Plenty of help on this site.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

  14. #14
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    I am surprised no one said it already, but you are better off with a factory MAF. Everyone says that the SLP MAF is a waste, and hurts your car. I am just passing on what I have heard. Learn from other peoples mistakes and all that.

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    contacted frost for a custom tune, ordered 2 slp loudmouth II mufflers, 2 kooks turn downs, and the iac. dad says if hes wrong hell pay for it. ill do some more reading/research and look in to a different mass air as well. should have it together and ready for another test session on sunday. hoping it works so i can get on to the next problem... thanks again everyone.

  16. #16
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    yeah.....he never let the car settle into an idle did he. I will say it sounds good as hell though in that video.

    That typhoon intake has notoriously been a headache for people. Haven't really heard much about their throttle bodies though. The SLP MAF (although not needed for your application) can be tuned for so if you're planning on a tune then just keep it. The problems happen when people just swap the MAF and don't do any other tuning.

    What RPM is your car idling at right now? I can't get past the predator tuner. A key thing in getting a cammed car to idle properly are the idle airflow tables. Unless he had a custom tune done via the predator tuner I would be curious how he's gotten the car to idle. Some people do some really wrong things to make that happen such as drilling out the TB blade hole larger and over adjusting the bump stop on the TB. Those were things that were done years ago because there was no other alternative and a general lack of knowledge. Now with products like hptuner and efilive giving us access to those idle tables and more knowledge being passed around on how to actually tune the idle those are no longer even close to acceptable options. An example would be that bump stop.....if it's adjusted out too much it won't let the car go into adaptive idle so it'll never re-learn the idle. There are 2 ways to check that....one is to use a good scanner that will let you see tps voltage and the other is to actually check tps voltage with a volt meter. At rest you want that tps voltage in the .45-.55 range.

  17. #17
    Member SuperSSguy's Avatar
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    Hello Karl....Sorry to hear/read what happened but was glad to read all of the great advice and words of encouragement from the members above ^^.... I too while reading your story was all bumbed out and thought you were screwed..( I too have that kind of luck sometimes ) but was glad to hear the others say different! From your video it sounded like a beast!!...Im sure youll get all the help you need here@Ls1.com...Good Luck and keep posting!!!
    Last edited by SuperSSguy; 08-23-2012 at 12:12 AM.

  18. #18
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagRes50Cal View Post
    contacted frost for a custom tune, ordered 2 slp loudmouth II mufflers, 2 kooks turn downs, and the iac. dad says if hes wrong hell pay for it. ill do some more reading/research and look in to a different mass air as well. should have it together and ready for another test session on sunday. hoping it works so i can get on to the next problem... thanks again everyone.
    If Steve says he can put you on the right path, he can. That is the biggest step you will make. Honestly, you should be able to run his tune until you get mula for a dyno tune. Dont be in a rush for a dyno tune, find a reputable hombre first. (Def don't want some idjit blowing it up on the dyno)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by az gt eater View Post
    If Steve says he can put you on the right path, he can. That is the biggest step you will make. Honestly, you should be able to run his tune until you get mula for a dyno tune. Dont be in a rush for a dyno tune, find a reputable hombre first. (Def don't want some idjit blowing it up on the dyno)
    livernois motorsports in dearborn, mi is a very well known (at least locally here in michigan) speed shop. they said they "might" dyno tune it for 750-800... "might" because it has 149k miles on it. they usually dont dyno tune cars with over 65k miles for some reason. i assured him the engine was recently redone,trans replaced, and only the body had that many miles. i had already anticipated that bill and set the space on the credit card aside before the ride even got here.

  20. #20
    Yeah baby! Yeah! silverWS6's Avatar
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    You should see a big difference with the Frost tune, car should be able to hold a good idle after a run or two. As previously said you still got a good deal on that car and just tackle it one problem at a time and it'll be great.


    Also silver is a great color!!!

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