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How much power can stock drivetrain take?

This is a discussion on How much power can stock drivetrain take? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Anyone know the numbers on how much power the stock A4 and rear end can take on a 98 WS6? ...

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    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    How much power can stock drivetrain take?

    Anyone know the numbers on how much power the stock A4 and rear end can take on a 98 WS6?

    I am considering a Procharger but cant find specs on how much the stock drive train can handle. Anyone have this info?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    It can't handle the power of a Procharger...

    10 bolt will blow with any kind of traction...

    Your transmission will not last either without being built and a cooler added...

    Your drive shaft would probably survive....

    This would be running the minimum amount of boost on a stock block. If you plan on going with more boost and building the bottom end of your block (over 8 psi), then plan on soaking a heap of money into the rest of the car to get it up to snuff.

    If you leave your car stock and just throw a bunch of power on it, you will start breaking shit. I guarantee that. You'll also be spinning all over the place, which isn't too much fun....500HP and you still get beat by a Civic.

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    Neither the transmission or 10 bolt are capable of handling much over stock power. That being said, some guys have had luck with theirs holding together under boost. I think Ed Blown Vert actually ran a stock rear in his until blowing it earlier this year. All depends on what you do with it once you have the power adder under your foot... and how lucky you are.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Neither the transmission or 10 bolt are capable of handling much over stock power. That being said, some guys have had luck with theirs holding together under boost. I think Ed Blown Vert actually ran a stock rear in his until blowing it earlier this year. All depends on what you do with it once you have the power adder under your foot... and how lucky you are.
    Mostly this. Everyone knows you don't spend 6-7K for a Procharger to not be trigger happy

  5. #5
    I was told on here awhile back that the stock 10 bolt is pretty much maxed out with full exhaust and lid. Not sure if its true though.

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    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    Thanks but looking for tech specs

    Everyone knows a stock 10 bolt not bullet proof. It is not a 9 inch Ford. Also the 4l60E is not as strong as a stock TH400.

    What I am looking for here is power ratings though. And no I am not looking to boost it to 500Hp, I am just wanting to know power ratings for the trans and rear so I can see what can work without snapping or what the weak links are.

    I dont drag race and am more of a road race type guy, so unlike the majority of guys out there modifying their WS6 cars mainly to use as drag racers (which, DONT get my wrong, that is totally cooll, just not what I am doing) requirements are different. Most of the time power will be used when the car is moving. I will be using high end street tires that I both dont have the traction for drag racing nor do I have the money or desire to burn them up making smoke shows. Thus less stress from not hooking up with slicks.

    Dont get me wrong I appreciate everyones input, I am just trying to find out what amount of power things will handle.

    Right now I am considering a very low PSI kit. 400-450Hp. I can always upgrade should I have more money to throw in to it. If there are some weak links in the drivetrain that can be strengthened that may be a reasonable option.

    There are several cars, Cobra and newer with blowers stock as well.

    The thing is that I have been building street racers and drag cars for over 25 years, I am now 44. With this car being a 98 with 30K miles it is pretty fresh and a low psi blower would not be the cheapest way to go, BUT would be far easier to change back to stock or upgrade to more boost if I wanted to go either of those ways. Plus I just plain love blown cars.

    On top of that some mods one would make to drag would not work well for my project.

    I dont want a super high stall converter for my daily driver or other things that a drag guy would want to do to his car. Nor nickle and dime myself to death spending big bucks picking up a few Hp here and there while making the car so far away from stock it is not reasonable to get it back.

    Think of a vette and a ZO6 package. That is the closest thing to what I am wanting to do as I can think of. I have loved all my vettes and all my blower cars. I have had several TA's and next to this one which is great believe it or not a White 87 Formula w3s6 was my second favorite.

    I almost hesitated to put in the part about considering a blower because I am really trying to find out specifications. It has also led to some false assumptions such as desiring to drag the car.

    I have gone this way with a Vette with a Z-51 option before and it was perfect for me. Handled awesome, the stock gearing was perfect for my uses and that plus the efficiency of the blower even gave me good MPG if I was not doing a lot of WOT. This I am sure is what has prompted me to be interested in making similar changes to this WS6, the great success of that project. But before I start spending 6 G's on the blower I want specs on the drivetrain so I can see what my overall cost will be to get my rather reasonable goals. 100 or so more HP. It may not work out but it has before, I just dont know yet.

    I have 10grand in to a mint original 30K mile WS6 as is. I am not convinced that these cars will appreciate in value anytime soon although being an owner that would be nice. If I knew for sure and that would require a crystal ball (and some instructions) I could make a choice. I am sort of in the middle of being able to save up for the mods but not being able to afford a disaster should one arise from some hastily made mods.

    I dont have the typical goal for my cars use either, which is an important factor.

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    Member godless-phoenix's Avatar
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    i would think it would be alright until you start getting over 400 h.p. if you get a Rear end "gurdle" cover for the 10 bolt, then maybe it will be ok up to around 450 h.p. where you want it...buts thats just my 2 cents
    Last edited by godless-phoenix; 08-02-2010 at 01:37 PM.

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    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godless-phoenix View Post
    i would think it would be alright until you start getting over 400 h.p. if you get a Rear end "gurdle" cover for the 10 bolt, then maybe it will be ok up to around 450 h.p. where you want it...buts thats just my 2 cents
    What you suggest is the common "word on the street" and in magazines etc. That it can easily handle 400Hp. You are likely close. I am just seeking which piece handles what so if I need to spend a little more money to keep something from breaking vs waiting to see what breaks I would far rather do that.

    They do tests on this sort of thing to the breaking point as with everything else to find the limits I just dont know personally where to find them.

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    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    You found one

    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Mostly this. Everyone knows you don't spend 6-7K for a Procharger to not be trigger happy
    I have other cars for other uses and of course a 10 second close to stock street bike that is what I use for my adrenaline thrills.

    But if I were to spend 6K on a Procharger I would have a 16,000.00 street machine with 30K miles on it that I really liked to drive. Is that such an outrageous cost for what I would have for the street?

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    buddy of mine put a procharger with no modification too the drive train 455HP too the ground.










    week later sheered the sun shell.

    fixed that with the beast



    next day snapped the axle.



    some few weeks later sold the car for a pick up

    i say its always better too upgrade all suspension/transmission/differential first before touching the motor!
    you would be suprised how much faster your car will be with just those things!
    Last edited by TmaxicanA; 08-02-2010 at 08:08 PM.

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Sometimes you can get lucky with automatics and the rearend will hold up for a while. Manual trannies usually kill the stock 10 bolt rather soon. In general, I would say the stock drivetrain can't take much more stock power or bolt on power. Once you start throwing more HP at it, and sticky tires, the rearend is counting down its death.

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    "THIS" sounds like my goals just want an extra 100 or so horses for "point and shoot driving" and also the bottle neck in order of which stock drivetrain parts start to reach there limits. so can beef em up in there respective order. like i did to my 91' lx 5.0 notch
    98' Firebird Formula ls1 a4 slp's CAI, slp lid,K&N, slp smooth bellow,bored and descreened stock maf installed, have slp 85MM MAf but wont run right till its tuned,Triflow catback, 2.73's

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    As much as it takes to break it.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    I have other cars for other uses and of course a 10 second close to stock street bike that is what I use for my adrenaline thrills.

    But if I were to spend 6K on a Procharger I would have a 16,000.00 street machine with 30K miles on it that I really liked to drive. Is that such an outrageous cost for what I would have for the street?
    I have 19K miles on my 35th Anniversary Limited Edition SS. I also have 13K invested in it in aftermarket parts and I have not yet added a Procharger...so when all said and done I'll have over 20K invested in mine. So to answer your question...no...it's not an outrageous cost

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    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    I didnt think so

    Thats my point. Even "upgrading" to a different car with more performance to begin with is going to cost more. A new Kia fart bucket costs more. Plus I like the styling of the TA best on top of it. A performance packaged C-6 and up would be nice but they dont cost 16K where I come from.

    I have not seen anyone recover their modification costs when trying to sell their vehicles so if that is ever going to be of interest a bone stock low mileage car is going to be worth most. A procharger can be removed and put back to stock rather easily while retaining it for use on something else, at least the ATI charger itself even for a different app.

    So in this case a blown LS1 WS6 is rather inexpensive compared to whatever else you get for 16K...or simply cant get.

    Though everyone has their own opinion or have "heard something" this thread was a request for someone that has information I dont on drivetrain power limit rating and so far most of what I have received is opinions about superchargers (doubt many have every owned one) which is not relevant and I should have omitted.

    Cat back exhausts are fine to get if you like them but they are NOT a great power increase period much less for the cost. Running a larger MAF on a stock motor is also not going to increase power. Running a car without a MAF screen is the worst idea yet. I have just seen a lot of comments here that aside from being off topic were pretty misleading as to being mods that generated power vs supporting a higher power motor or being totally questionable as to doing so at all.

    Anyway I will get the information I am seeking and then do the appropriate mods as needed to prevent breaking things not break them to figure out how far they can be pushed. Someone as already done that and I am looking for those numbers. GM has done it, dont expect to find a publication from them though.

    I respect what anyone wants to do with their own cars, dont get me wrong, but I am not building a drag racer in my case and I have built a lot of other cars in the past. They usually work out best when planned in advance rather than the "pieced together with whatever I can afford to stick on from this weeks paycheck" approach.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    There are people on this forum that drive spirited with a stock engine on the street only and have gone through multiple 10 bolts. Some have been M6 cars, others have been A4 cars.

    There are also people on this forum who have boosted applications pushing north of 500rwhp and cutting 1.5X 60' times and the stock 10 bolt has survived.

    I don't see how a horsepower rating is even valid based on that information personally.

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    Though everyone has their own opinion or have "heard something" this thread was a request for someone that has information I dont on drivetrain power limit rating and so far most of what I have received is opinions about superchargers (doubt many have every owned one) which is not relevant and I should have omitted.

    Anyway I will get the information I am seeking and then do the appropriate mods as needed to prevent breaking things not break them to figure out how far they can be pushed.
    People are giving you opinions b/c that's all there is. There are no numbers that show when things will break or how much they can handle. Everyone is trying to give you the best advice with what to do with your car b/c they know through personal expereince.

    These numbers don't exsist b/c no 2 cars are the same.

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    Member dav-02ws6-m6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    People are giving you opinions b/c that's all there is. There are no numbers that show when things will break or how much they can handle. Everyone is trying to give you the best advice with what to do with your car b/c they know through personal expereince.

    These numbers don't exsist b/c no 2 cars are the same.
    i agree people here are trying to give the best advise some cars can take more while others break on stock form if you are looking for solid information you are going to have to do a bet more research.

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    It mostly depends on your choice of tire, traction and gearing. If you like to dump the clutch alot, a stock motor will break it up. With an m6 you can ease the gear shifts and get away with letting it live longer especially if you are into rolls or freeway pulls. If you are going to drag the car don't even think about it.

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    As far as a stock rating goes, I am almost certain that I read somewhere the 4L60E is factory rated to handle 350 hp. Am I off on this? I do not believe I have ever read anything about the 10 bolt rating though.

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