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Starting my build, am I on the right track?

This is a discussion on Starting my build, am I on the right track? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; So, I have decided to keep the 2000 WS6 rather than sell and get a C5 vette. I just like ...

  1. #1
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    Starting my build, am I on the right track?

    So, I have decided to keep the 2000 WS6 rather than sell and get a C5 vette. I just like the looks of the TA. My goal is to build a SOLID 450-500HP daily driver that will be reliable and easy to drive. It will most likely never see a track in its life. If I can get the paint done, it will be more of a showpiece if anything.

    It has 128K on it and is developing a bit of a tranny slip and the rear end sounds like popcorn and has some driveline play that causes clunks.

    Here's my plan:

    Step one: UMI 3 point subframes, UMI crossmember to get the torque arm off the tranny, Strut tower brace, I already have UMI panhard and LCA's. Possibly a torque arm. That shoudl tighten up the unibody to accept the next couple steps.

    Step two: Strange 12 bolt with 3.42's in it, good compromise for mileage and torque it looks like.

    Step three: New tranny from Finish line transmissions (local-ish to me here in the midwest), they seem to get good reviews from most everyone. Something that will handle a solid 500HP. Small Torque converter, maybe 2400-2600. Nothing crazy since it is a daily driver.

    That is the stuff I am planning for this summer. That should give me everything I need to take final step next spring.....

    Last step: I was thinking about a ATI system but the guys at Nasty Performance kind of talked me out of it. By the time I rebuild the LS1 and FI it I am going to be at/over 10K to hit the 500hp goal. His idea was to do a LS3 crate motor with some basic mods to get pretty darn close to the 500hp mark. I have to agree that N/A always beats FI for reliability and general maintenance procedures.

    Thats it in a nutshell, seems pretty easy. The main thing is that the Motor is in good shape as of right now and with the chassis, rear-end and new tranny, it should be a reliable daily driver and be ready for the HP when the day comes.

    My questions are this:

    Am I on the right track for a reliable daily driver with good street behavior?
    Am I on the right track with the vendors I have chosen?
    I have seen a couple guys on here use Nastyperformance, anyone else care to jump in and give them a thumbs up or thumbs down?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    if youre looking for reliability, then simplicity is important. so the bolt-on ls3 would be a good choice.....as far as suspension upgrades, looks like a good start. ....hopefully others with more experience will chime in.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good start, daily or not, id recommend at least a 3000 stall but thats just me

  4. #4
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    If you do an NA ls3 then I would get a 3600-4000 stall. I think with the lower stall you might be disappointed and end up wanting to get a bigger one.
    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.
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  5. #5
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6:2767208
    If you do an NA ls3 then I would get a 3600-4000 stall. I think with the lower stall you might be disappointed and end up wanting to get a bigger one.
    Agree.
    It's on jackstands.

  6. #6
    Junior Member chevuman260's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have been talking to joe and nate already. Good people to be in contact with.
    2001 Camaro Z28 - AFR210 V2 Heads, JPH Cam, Fast 102mm intake, TS 100mm MAF, NW 102 TB, FTP 104mm lid, kooks 1 3/4 Long tubes, custom Y pipe w/dump, BMR LCA,TQ. Arm,PH bar, lca bracket,k member, Upper/Lower A arms, AFCO shocks
    11.20@120MPH
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  7. #7
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    If you do an NA ls3 then I would get a 3600-4000 stall. I think with the lower stall you might be disappointed and end up wanting to get a bigger one.
    If you run a 3600 - 4000 stall converter you will need 3.73 to 4.10 gears in the rear to take advantage of the converter. Now you have to get a cam to match the rpm's and heads to flow the gasses. All this stuff should have a good foundation so suspension should be the first item you look at. Why do you need 450 to 500 hp if you are not going to race it. Also, are you talking flywheel or rear wheel HP ? 500 RWHP is a freaking monster, not to good for daily driving.
    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

  8. #8
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2002ssslp:2767307
    If you run a 3600 - 4000 stall converter you will need 3.73 to 4.10 gears in the rear to take advantage of the converter. Now you have to get a cam to match the rpm's and heads to flow the gasses. All this stuff should have a good foundation so suspension should be the first item you look at. Why do you need 450 to 500 hp if you are not going to race it. Also, are you talking flywheel or rear wheel HP ? 500 RWHP is a freaking monster, not to good for daily driving.
    He's getting a 12 bolt anyways so he could upgrade gears when he gets that. And he's going to definitely need that rear with 450-500 rwhp.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 04-17-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    I should have clarified the numbers a bit. I am looking at the crate LS3 Hotcam that is 480hp at the flywheel, not RWHP. As 2002ssslp stated, 500 RWHP is to much for daily driving. I figured that 480-500 at the flywheel would equal a solid 410-420 at the Rear wheels through an auto. The main reason I want the 12 bolt and a tough tranny is just for sheer reliability. This is my one shot to build the car of my dreams and I want to make sure everything is overbuilt a bit when compared to the final power-plant choice. As far as why I want the motor/HP goal, I test drove a C6 vette and it had a nice blend of power and torque. I would like to try to re-create the feel in a TA.

    The suspension work is getting done in the next two weeks. Then rear-end, then tranny. I can drive it like that for a bit while I save for the motor swap.

    I wish I could try one with a stall as high as 3600-4000. I figured 3K max for a daily driver/show style car. It has been 15+ years since I was in a high stall car. All I remember was my cousin pissing and moaning about his Chevelle having bad street manners. No idea what brand or the stall speed though.

  10. #10
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    A 3k converter will work well with 400rwhp, I think you gear ratio may still be a little too low, 3.73 would be better with an OD trans. Remember to run a big trans cooler to give that expensive trans more life. With that much HP I know you will be on the throttle more then you think. Good luck with the build. Send some pics when you are done.

  11. #11
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    Ah, tranny cooler, good call. Forgot about that little nugget. Cheap insurance.

    3.73's and a 3k-ish stall shouldn't hurt the mileage to bad right?

    Ordering the chassis parts tomorrow and the car goes in next weekend to get it installed and to get all new bushings in the front control arms, rubber tranny mount and Poly motor mounts.

    Is poly recommended for the front end to get a modern tight feel or is it just a hard ride? I am getting clunks up front and was planning on just using Moog's up front.

  12. #12
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think twice about driving mine daily if I wasn't worried about maintaining it as near showroom quality. Hard to resist hitting the loud peddle though with 500rwhp at your disposal. When you do, forget about gas mileage

    Of course my set-up and a N/A set-up with the same power would act totally different though.

    Sounds like you're on a good path building the platform before adding power. That's exactly what I did.

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