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Performance upgrade help

This is a discussion on Performance upgrade help within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I have an automatic 99' TA that I have owned for about a year now and am ready to make ...

  1. #1
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    1999 Trans Am WS6

    Performance upgrade help

    I have an automatic 99' TA that I have owned for about a year now and am ready to make some upgrades to it. It is a daily driver with about 93k miles. I'm not looking to hit the track with it, but more street racing. Also worried about staying legal (emissions), and ground clearance. As far as I know everything is stock except for my dual exhaust (tips?) w/ cut-outs.

    Recommendations?

    Performance
    LT Headers - Kooks, QTP, Hooker, or Pacesetter?
    Catback - Borla
    Catted Y-pipe - Kooks? QTP? Hooker, or Pacesetter?
    Intake - SLP or FAST LS6?
    Lid - Clear MTI
    Throttle body - FAST?
    Gears - ?
    Electric cut out - ?
    Torque Converter - ?
    Cam - ?
    Sub frame Connectors - Kenny Brown?
    Stall converter - Yank?
    Air Filter - K&N
    Tires - BFG G-Force T/A Drag Radial

    Looks
    Lights - HID?
    Decals - Ordered (pontiac on driver-side light, bird/transam/pontiac on brake, license plate bird cover...all white)
    Embroidered head rest - Ordered (trans am/bird...white/blue)
    Engine dress up - Ordering in January (custom battery, fusebox, pcm cover...all white on blue)
    Calipers - Paint white
    Lower back bumper - Paint? Don't think so
    Gauge overlays - Ordered (hvac, speed/tach, headlight, shifter...all white)
    Ram air vents - paint white
    Side vents - paint white
    TCS box - Ordering in January (Custom with white/blue bird on black)

    See pics below of my car:






    Last edited by onetroubledguy; 12-20-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    War Machine BIG GUNS's Avatar
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    Nice ride. I went for dress up mods first but, each has their own pref. I started with window tint and then did many appearance mods on my own.

    Hard to tell anyone what they should do first. So many things you can do and can add up in a hurry. I'm still not done but, do what I can, when I can.

    Just keep asking questions and everyone here will attempt to point you in the right direction.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
    I have a 99' TA that I have owned for about a year now and am ready to make some upgrades to it. The problem is I know nothing about that, and am not sure what I already have. As far as I know, everything is stock except for my dual exhaust (tips?) w/ cut-outs. I've decided on this so far...

    Hooker 1-3/4" ceramic coated longtube headers
    Borla catback

    ...but am not sure what else to get. Recommendations for everything else? Intake? Cams? I assume I have an LS1 intake. Would an LS6 be worth it? I also have an MTI clear lid, but I am not sure if an SLP would be better? Also adding some visual upgrades (engine dress up, embroidered head rests, decals).

    See pics below of my car:


    Click for full size

    Click for full size

    Click for full size

    LS6 intake is definitely worth the money. The first things I did were LT Headers, exhaust, CAI and gears. It really woke the car up. It had a stall when I bought it which helped a lot.

  4. #4
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    do a stall first.

  5. #5
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    wait on the intake until you do the cam. I would do a stall, headers, tune, sub frame connectors, and drag radials. That would be a pretty good start.

  6. #6
    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    do a stall first.
    Yes. If you are an auto... I dont remember if you specified. I was lucky that my car had a good stall when I got it. I just had the tranny rebuilt and put a yank 3500 stall in it. I highly recommend them. Whatever you do first, it is addicting. I said I would stop with headers... 6 months later I had a cam and heads installed.

  7. #7
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooddaniel View Post
    Yes. If you are an auto... I dont remember if you specified. I was lucky that my car had a good stall when I got it. I just had the tranny rebuilt and put a yank 3500 stall in it. I highly recommend them. Whatever you do first, it is addicting. I said I would stop with headers... 6 months later I had a cam and heads installed.
    doesn't need to specify.....I can see the tranny dipstick tube in his picture.

  8. #8
    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    doesn't need to specify.....I can see the tranny dipstick tube in his picture.
    Touche! Shows how observant I am.

  9. #9
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Thanks guys...it's an automatic.

    By stall you mean a stall converter? Can you go into some detail about what that is and what it will do for the car?

  10. #10
    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
    Thanks guys...it's an automatic.

    By stall you mean a stall converter? Can you go into some detail about what that is and what it will do for the car?
    Yeah a stall converter. It will help even out the dead spots in your powerband. Best mod for an auto car

  11. #11
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Which stall from this page would you recommend? Does it matter?

    http://www.converter.cc/converters/street/GM/1/

  12. #12
    Army of 1 wooddaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
    Which stall from this page would you recommend? Does it matter?

    http://www.converter.cc/converters/street/GM/1/
    It depends on what you want. And your supporting mods. The higher RPM stall the harder it is on your tranny. 3000 is a good number all around.

  13. #13
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Updated first post to include list of mods I'm interested in. Thanks for the help again.

  14. #14
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    you first need to set up some end goals. You need to match your stall up with whatever cam you will end up with depending on where your cam will make power. I run a 3500 in mine and couldn't see me running any less than that but that's me. Is your car a daily driver and is it going to stay that way? There are a lot of questions you'll have to ask yourself before picking parts. I had my 3500 in on my stock heads/cam and it drove fine. If you do a lot of city driving you'll notice a hit in gas mileage but who mods a car for gas mileage?

  15. #15
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    This is a daily driver unfortunately with quite a bit of miles on it (93k). I'm not really looking to hit the track, but more for street racing. We have emissions here too, so that's a bit of a worry (Headers aren't legal, but I know some cars passing with it here in TX). I'm also worried about ground clearance.

  16. #16
    Member stephen02ws6's Avatar
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    go with a stall and gears. that will make you faster and stay legal.

  17. #17
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Well, I'm going to start with catback + headers. Should I go ahead and get a y-pipe?

  18. #18
    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    Mods- 98 TA Long tubes and cat back

    I have QTP headers w/ a ORY and had my computer set up so it passes OBD2 testing in TX as long as the guy doesn't look under the car. QTP's look good and aren't that much money for a quality set of headers. I had hooker's on the car b4 but didn't like looking at the emmisions plugs after I switched to a LS6 intake. I got mine from a local shop used. Someone put a Fast 90mm and I picked up there used one fo less than half the price of a SLP one new.
    I had a flowmaster catback but without my cats it got raspy so I went with the SLP power-flo and I love the setup. if you have xcats though you may want to swap out the LM2 muffler for a LM1. Also my friend has dynomax bullets which are good if you want a load!!! exhaust. Also I like the new quad tip magnaflow, nice tone and good looking.\
    With the rest of my mods my car hit 338rwhp before the new ported throttle bod and just over 345 with it.
    Like a whole new and better car.

  19. #19
    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    6000K Hid's


  20. #20
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanJM View Post
    I had hooker's on the car b4 but didn't like looking at the emmisions plugs after I switched to a LS6 intake. I got mine from a local shop used. Someone put a Fast 90mm and I picked up there used one fo less than half the price of a SLP one new.
    Those hid's look real nice. What do you mean by looking at the emmisions plugs? How does the FAST intake compare to SLP's? Also, any thoughts about the borla catback? Think that's what I'm getting.
    Last edited by onetroubledguy; 12-17-2008 at 10:39 PM.

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