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Ready to upgrade 3,000$ to spend what to get

This is a discussion on Ready to upgrade 3,000$ to spend what to get within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hey fellas, Too keep it short and simple, always lurk forums and never post just because I don't want to ...

  1. #1
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    Ready to upgrade 3,000$ to spend what to get

    Hey fellas,

    Too keep it short and simple, always lurk forums and never post just because I don't want to ask another question that I can find with the search tool. I have owned a 2002 Ws6 for about 2 years now that was traded to me. It has 33,000 miles on it, manual 6sp. Heres the Q

    I want to upgrade and want to do it all at once and not half ass anything, one install weekend, and one great tuning weekend hopefully.

    I have 3500-4000 to spend on the whole shebang, and basically there is so many ways and combos to go I would like input from you guys that are way more experienced with the T/A's than I am. I love mine and want to do it right. I do know cars and am not oblivious to the slang and numbers . Now with that in mind here what I am looking for.

    So far my set up that I have in my head

    LT headers-TSP?

    True duals-all the way for the most unrestrictive exhaust. Sound is not really a preference to me I think the majority of them sound good-TSP?

    A cam package-Some sort of cam that give me good lope and great power, the car is not a daily driver so I can deal with a bit of rough idle. Something mainly in the middle between not too much low rpm loss, but something aggressive at the same time. Also all the goods that should come with the cam springs,rods etc. dont know what brand to go with that has a good package (TSP? COMP?)

    Slp cold air intake?-should beef up the air

    polished TB?

    So how does that sound help me out if im off the mark for price or what else.

    How would you do it if you had it completely stock and you were given 4 large. Thank you for your imput

  2. #2
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    pajeff02's Avatar
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    You are always welcome to ask questions.

    Strongly recommend a set of subframe connectors and a lid as your initial mods. From there, a catback and headers are a good mod that will benefit both your power and sound. Kooks makes a sweet true dual setup, but it requires specific suspension pieces for clearance and it is not exactly cheap. Getting your torque arm off the back of the transmission and going with a revised mount and aftermarket torque arm, together with LCA's and a panhard bar will help plant your car and enhance its handling. I run all UMI on our car and highly recommend their products. As far as a cam goes, that is about where I am at with our mods... could be my next step.

  3. #3
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    I take it that this car is completely un-moded correct?


    You need to ask yourself what exactly you want as a finish product. $4 grand can do a lot but it depends on what you want. Solid DD, street/strip, track only, show......these are all options and all can be combos.


    Show - High end paint job will cost $4k easy. wheels and tires can go as high as $2k. This can be combine with any of the others. Only negative is you get paranoid on taking it out because of chips and scratches.


    Track only - car is stripped down to lower weight, engine and drive train is beefed up to the point it's not feasible to drive as a DD. Usually has full suspension, roll cage, no interior, big cam, expensive heads, and tall gears in a strong rear. Trailer queen.


    Street/Track - this combo, you upgrade everything, full suspension, mid-strong cam & heads, drive train and rear is upgraded. Not stripped down like a full track car. Let's you drive it on the roads but can hold up to weekend track duty. Best of both worlds and the most popular.


    Strong DD - This is a basic mod. Usually the mods are SFC's, wheels & tires, mild cam & heads, LT headers, mild stall, and muffler of your taste.




    IMHO for my project (street/strip) if I had $4k to dump into the car first it would be the rear end. You're going to use about $3500. It's one of the most expensive upgrade and is also one of the most needed for track use. Not so much for show & DD. These cars can blow up the rear on stock power (mostly M6's).





    WARNING WARNING WARNING


    Once the mod bug bites it never lets go









    In my signature is the list of stuff I've done so far.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 09-14-2012 at 09:22 AM.

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    Awesome answer, mind me asking what worked a better for you 3 point or boxed style? and welded in or bolt on? One more question, out of the rear end parts that you advised, lets say i go with the kooks full with LT's, I have to get all of those suspension parts? or some of them? because of ground clearance and fitment.

  5. #5
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    Also for bottom end could you give me some a couple priorities that would defiantly go for first? This is going to be a street/track category so really do not want a weak BE. So far im going to add the suspension upgrades that pajeff advised i like that idea. Then im liking what I read on the Kooks LT's with the true duals. Also a Lid intake combo. That should shoot me around 4 grand to take away my saved up money, do have a 1500 limit on the credit card So the bottom end sounds like a plan next.

  6. #6
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WSex View Post
    Awesome answer, mind me asking what worked a better for you 3 point or boxed style? and welded in or bolt on? One more question, out of the rear end parts that you advised, lets say i go with the kooks full with LT's, I have to get all of those suspension parts? or some of them? because of ground clearance and fitment.
    If you're lowered or are going to lower then you'll need adjustable torque arm, PHB and LCA's. this will re-align the pinon angle to the correct position. Lowering a car changes the pinon angle, if not change back to correct position you'll have issues with the drive shaft and rear. 3 pts are better then 2 pt. Box is stronger then tube, and bolt on lets you install without a lift, weld requires a drive on lift because the suspension has to have a load in order to properly position the SFC's. With Bolt ons - you can bolt them up and weld in later or leave 'em alone. if you decided to sell the car later you can remove and swap over to another car.

    You have 2 option when it comes to the torque arm (TA). Jeff has a shorten TA that goes to the tunnel brace. Mine is a full length TA but it is relocated off the tail cone of the tranny. I went with the UMI TA relocation kit that replaces the transmission cross-member and relocates the TA. I did so because I talked with UMI tech reps prior to ordering. It seems if I went with what Jeff has I would have sever clearance issues because I'm lowered. A 12 oz can won't fit under my car in some spots. Full length TA's are great for DD and autoX racing as well as track duties. Short TA like Jeff is excellent for track use but not so much for DD.


    Clearance can be a major issue if you lower the car. Some headers/ORY combos will hit, while others tuck up nice. Also some suspension parts have clearance issues either with exhaust or ground. Research and ask before you buy.


    Quote Originally Posted by WSex View Post
    Also for bottom end could you give me some a couple priorities that would defiantly go for first? This is going to be a street/track category so really do not want a weak BE. So far im going to add the suspension upgrades that pajeff advised i like that idea. Then im liking what I read on the Kooks LT's with the true duals. Also a Lid intake combo. That should shoot me around 4 grand to take away my saved up money, do have a 1500 limit on the credit card So the bottom end sounds like a plan next.

    I'm still a novice when it comes to internals of the engine. I can tell you what I've read from other members, I just haven't gotten to the internals yet. Been doing the suspension and rear first. I have a LQ4 short block in storage that is on my list to do after my current project.

    LS1's are aluminum blocks. You have few options when it comes to the block. You're restricted in boring out the cylinder sleeves. There are 383 stroker kits that get great power. LS1's can be built up but they do have some limits to how far you can go.

    I'll let others with more experience in engine building answer this for you.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 09-14-2012 at 10:09 AM.

  7. #7
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    Amazing thank you so much for the clarity. Bottom end- a bit later when I research more.

  8. #8
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    You will need to know this - if you are going to cam/heads, start saving for a rear. Over 400 rwhp it's not if but when it'll go. 10 bolts are junk, not worth the money to upgrade/repair.



    no problem in asking questions, it's what this site is here for.


    Post up some pics of the car if you can. You'll need to use photobucket to post.

  9. #9
    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    Y2K SS CAMARO

    hell for 4k i would go with a TSP heads and cam kit tv2 or bigger cam on a 112. torque arm, sfc's, lca's. the a lid with some pacesetter long tubes and a good dyno tune. over 400 hp will hook great on a sticky tire and a hell of a lot of fun but still minds its manners when your just cruising
    2000 ss camaro, forged lq9 370 short block, stage 3 PRC 243 heads, fast 102 w, big mouth throttle body, MS3 cam, 1.7 roller rockers, stage 3 t-56, monster stage 3, pro 5.0, 4.10's with moser axles, bmr tq arm, lca's, phb. SOLD (thankfully)!!!

    New project: 1968 step-side, partial restore, ls/th400 swap. hopefully boosted pics and more info to come!!!


    Having a small cam is like having a small dick, everytime you go to use it you wish it was bigger

  10. #10
    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    You will need to know this - if you are going to cam/heads, start saving for a rear. Over 400 rwhp it's not if but when it'll go. 10 bolts are junk, not worth the money to upgrade/repair.



    no problem in asking questions, it's what this site is here for.

    Post up some pics of the car if you can. You'll need to use photobucket to post.
    stock rear here with just gears and axles, havent had an issue yet. key work "yet" first time out on the new set up with the full slick leaving at 5k on a 200 shot. can you say goodbye?

  11. #11
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    If you are going to lower you should also get LCA relocation brackets in addition to what was already said. Also if you are going to do TDs like kooks you will need an upper PHB relocation kit. I would also look at upgrading your brakes as well as suspension and rear before too much power mods are done. What good is it if you can't stop? I replaced my stock calipers with brembo 4 piston cts-v calipers and 14" z06 rotors. You could also just get aftermarket rotors and pads or c5 brake swap. There are tons of options. The cts-v swap can be pricey if you don't have 18" or bigger wheels.
    1998 Trans Am WS6 - Phantom
    421 CI LQ9, Tick Performance Custom Cam, TFS 255cc LS3 heads, Kooks 2" LT headers, Kooks 3" True Duals w/ high flow cats, FTP 104 lid, Speed Density Tune, 4" silicon tube, LS6 VCT, FAST 102 Intake, NW 102 TB, Oil Catch Can, SLP Bilstein Shocks w/ Vogtland Springs, CTS-V 4-piston Calipers w/C6 Z06 rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, R1 concepts premium rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, VFN WSQ Hood, C5-R timing chain, SLP oil pump, E85 tune, Walbro 450 fuel pump, Deatschwerkz 95# injectors, Breathless performance headlights, Frost Tune, !HVAC.
    (Coming Soon) BMR DSL, UMI TQ Arm
    421 LQ9 14.8:1 on E85 Build/

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