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new 01 trans am questions

This is a discussion on new 01 trans am questions within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; So I just got a new to me 01 T.A. R.A. WS6 mint condition with about 40k miles on it. ...

  1. #1
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    new 01 trans am questions

    So I just got a new to me 01 T.A. R.A. WS6 mint condition with about 40k miles on it. I want to get some extra performance out of it without dropping 10k or some insane amount on the car.

    First off I'm not a car expert I know enough to understand whats going on with engine functions and am pretty good at looking stuff up to better understand. I'm not up to speed on all the engine abbreviations and such either.

    So to begin all of my friends who are very car savy have told me that its almost a sin to own a F-body without after market cams and heads. Is there merit to this and if so whats a good set to look at and general price?

    I see some guys on here talking about bolt ons most of them im not sure what they are, giving about 3-5 hp each. Is 3-5 horsepower worth a couple hundred bucks or so?

    From the research I've done on the web just reprogramming the computer or getting a new "chip" can make all the noticeable difference in the world. I figure you guys would know the most about it.

    In general I'm really looking for the biggest bang for my buck, to get my TA sounding and running its best. Any addition info you could add to my research would be greatly appreciated.

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    Member vannatte's Avatar
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    I'm kinda like you, I have basic knowledge of cars but I'm not looking to do any major modifications or spend huge amounts of money. I'm just planning on doing my exhaust (which is partially done), ram air hood (on order), new intake, computer reprogram, and eventually maybe headers. Where are you located in Indiana?
    1998 Trans Am, A4, SLP Loudmouth I, US Exotics WS9 ram air hood, Volant intake, 3.23's, 70k miles

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    I'll spend money on it if its a great cost efficient upgrade I don't mind. I just like to get some info and opinions of the guys here who know a hell of a lot more than I do. Im just north of terre haute

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    Member vannatte's Avatar
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    They'll say do all the "free mods", a lid (basically a free flowing replacement to the upper part of the airbox), long tube headers and free flowing exhaust, and a computer reprogram. For suspension, strut brace and sub frame connectors.

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    sticky says SLP is a good choice for air lid, where would one suggest I get a good computer reprogram, performance shop around town?
    Last edited by SilentTrouble; 10-24-2007 at 06:51 PM.

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    Member vannatte's Avatar
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    Yeh, that is the consensus. I am leaning towards a Volant intake myself which is a dual conical filter that only draws air from the front of the vehicle. The lids are designed to pull air from under the car and from the front. Many people like the Volant for its looks.

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    Moving forward. Pyromaniacal's Avatar
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    Your best bang for your buck as far as basic, cheap mods are concerns are as follows.

    Headers/Y-pipe/Cat-back 2.5" - 3" - Budget price would be around $800 - I highly recommend doing all of this at once, you can do it all yourself and avoid horrendous labor charges. Assuming you get a tune(which you will need to do if you take the cats out) you can expect a good 15-30hp gain from this alone.

    Lid - $100ish - This will net you a solid 5-10hp, I would recommend lumping it in with the exhaust package I talked about.

    3.73 to 4.10 gears - $150-$300 depending on which you purchase and where - 4.10's are the most extreme and I would recommend them if you plan on having no more than 420hp, any more than that and they become very unruly at the launch due to the fact that they love to spin the tires. These gears will make the most solid difference in your car's acceleration, people I've talked to describe it as "night and day" vs stock gearing. Drawback? Your speedo is going to be off a bit so it'll take some recalibration and you're going to be burning some rubber, count on it.

    If you do the above three mods, along with a dyno tune you can expect to be in the neighborhood of 330-350hp with a nice crisp/loud noise and throw you back in your seat acceleration. Along with this I would do all of the free mods except for descreening the Mass Airflow Sensor. Look them up on this site using the search engine for further details on that.

    If you get all of that done, you are ready for heads and cams. That will be a whole 'nother ball game altogether and you had better do a lot of homework and a lot of question asking before you choose what you go with.

    Good luck!!

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    does it matter that my car is an automatic with the gear ratio changing you spoke of?

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    Moving forward. Pyromaniacal's Avatar
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    Yes it does actually, 3.73 to 3.90 is as high as I would go with an auto. It is going to be substantially quicker if you get those done.

    Also, since you're an auto, something else to add to that list is a torque converter. $400-$700 and will give you that off the line power you need to fetch stout 1/4th times. Drawback? If you're stall is high enough you're going to lose a lot of drivability, you're going to want between 2600 - 3200. Any higher and drivability takes a huge dive.

    Since we're talking about the 1/4th at all, Micky Thompson drag radials are a great investment. Mount them on some other rims and slap 'em on when you need to get some good times, should cost you between 200-350$ a tire.

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    I'm not sure 100% what you mean by my stall being high enough. Could you elaborate? And how does it affect drive ability?

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    Preferred Member CWW17's Avatar
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    The majority of the information you are looking for can be found in the sticky's or by using the search function on this site. To answer your Heads and Cam question, your friends must have deep pockets, because a H&C setup will cost you a few grand after it's all said and done unless you can do the install. I would go for basics: Lid, Filter, Cat-Back. Then if you want a little more: Intake, Gears, Header's,Y-Pipe, and Stall. You get all that done, and a good dyno tune... with just bolt-ons you'll be looking at 350-370 RWHP easy.

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    Moving forward. Pyromaniacal's Avatar
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    A 2600 stall means your torque converter locks up at 2600 RPM, then launches from that RPM.

    Wikipedia has the answers you're looking for as far as the working of a TQC. I'd recommend reading it all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque_Converter

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    Preferred Member CWW17's Avatar
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    No offense, but there seems to be a new one of these threads just about everyday. Not ripping on you but with a little searching, the answers to all your questions can be found. Congrats on the car, you will enjoy it!

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    sorry for repetitive questions that may be stickied like i said i read through several posts and just wanted more information on what i had read there. thanks for all the info guys its appreciated

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    how could it be a sin to own an f body without a cam... i can see why they say that about a v6... but an ls1? come on... mine is basically stock and i kill everything!(not literally) but its wayy fun.

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    U-R-Sofa-King-Retarded SINISTER-TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromaniacal View Post
    Yes it does actually, 3.73 to 3.90 is as high as I would go with an auto. It is going to be substantially quicker if you get those done.

    Also, since you're an auto, something else to add to that list is a torque converter. $400-$700 and will give you that off the line power you need to fetch stout 1/4th times. Drawback? If you're stall is high enough you're going to lose a lot of drivability, you're going to want between 2600 - 3200. Any higher and drivability takes a huge dive.
    If you want your car to be highway suitable, then you don't want to use any of the gear ratio's mentioned above. 3.42's is as low as I would go on a mostly stock F-Body. (6 speed F-Body's came stock with these gears). Your car should have 3.23's stock. Unless you plan on making it a "strip only" or do not plan on cruising at highway speeds much, then I would leave them alone. Also, gears will not make your car "substantially quicker". Deeper gears can actually make you lose time at the track if the car is not properly set up for them (in your case).

    As far as the stall converter advice given above, disregard it...LS1 cars can be perfectly streetable with a stall speed up 3600 on a stock or mildly modified F-Body. Just make sure you install a tranny cooler to compensate for the added heat. Just make sure you buy a quality converter from a manufacture like Yank, Precision Industries or Fuddle. People will have different opinions on who make the best converter so pick the one that suit's your needs and budget.
    Last edited by SINISTER-TA; 10-25-2007 at 10:39 PM.

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