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Tips, advice, recommendations, info for new owner

This is a discussion on Tips, advice, recommendations, info for new owner within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; So, I recently got into muscle cars. I bought a 99' Trans Am with 80k miles. Pics are below. I ...

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

    Tips, advice, recommendations, info for new owner

    So, I recently got into muscle cars. I bought a 99' Trans Am with 80k miles. Pics are below. I don't know what is considered stock on these vehicles. The only thing I know that isn't stock on my car is the dual exhaust w/ cutouts, and maybe the ram air hood? Not sure.

    Anyways, I'm looking for some general information about maintenance and visual/performance upgrades. As far as maintenance, what things should I be aware of given the mileage of the vehicle? Is it time to have anything looked at or replaced? Filters? Belts? Hoses? etc.

    What kind of performance upgrades would you recommend that are reasonable for a college student budget? Headers? Intake? Cam? Which brands/parts are regarded as the best? I hear about people running SLP loudmouth, y-pipes, long tube headers, etc. Could you go into some detail about these upgrades?

    The only thing that I can think of visually is a decal kit (perhaps large white stripes on the hood like this one: ).

    Any information you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks.



    Last edited by onetroubledguy; 12-18-2007 at 04:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Kalepsis's Avatar
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    Silver
    98 A4 TA

    First tip: Don't use ImageShack hosting. It doesn't work on this forum.

    Maintenance: These cars are extremely reliable, especially the engines. Have an oil change, even if it doesn't need one, and don't switch oils. I use Mobil-1 synthetic 10W30 religiously. Check your fuel and air filters (a K&N air filter will set you back about $65, but it's one of the best things you can do for its intake). Check transmission, power steering, and differential fluids, serpentine belt for frays, and hoses for cracks, dry-rot, or leaks... If there's nothing noticeably wrong, that's about it.

    As far as performance goes, airflow is the first thing you should look at, because it opens up the way for more serious mods like heads, cam, blower, etc. when your funds allow. An SLP air lid will help free up the intake better. Watch out for some aftermarket lids because they tend to not seal correctly. Intake manifolds: I've heard the 2 best ones to use are the FAST LSX intake, or an LS6 intake. http://www.lmperformance.com/4196/1.html; or http://www.lmperformance.com/554/1.html Neither is cheap, but they'll flow better than an LS1 intake. Headers and a decent cat-back are essential. There's been a lot of discussion about the best headers and exhaust systems to use, so just do a search for that. Pacesetter long tubes and an SLP catback are pretty popular, and not too expensive.

    Visuals: Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful cars GM ever designed. The TA body and ground effects are top-notch in the looks department. But there's a few things you can do... HID headlights, custom side markers, custom emblems from Third_Shift, etc. Not too many companies make body kits for our cars because there's not much you can improve on.

  3. #3
    2-Legit-2-Quit bgable's Avatar
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    he sumed it up pretty well n also just drive the hell out of it n have fun

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    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
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    Hey, thanks for the info. It will help a lot. I'll let you know what I end up doing and see if you think it's ok.

  5. #5
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    1999 Trans Am WS6

    So with intake aside, I would be looking at getting something like:

    Catback: http://www.lmperformance.com/5574/1.html
    Headers: http://www.lmperformance.com/757/1.html

    Would I still need a y-pipe with all that? How about a cat converter? Anything else?

    Keep in mind this is all new to me as I know nothing about cars :sillyme

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    Member RARON455's Avatar
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    white
    98 Ram air T/A Ls1/T-56

    I agree with all the above, but I am not partial to the big stripes its been done many many times, I like the Blackbird style stripes on the hood like in your pix.

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    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    Pewter
    2002 Trans Am WS6 M6

    if you already have the dual exhaust with cutouts leave the loudmouth system alone the dual makes more power all the loudmouth will do is make more noise and you already got cutouts so no need to worry about that

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    NY Representative basballny2's Avatar
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    Sub Frame Connectors

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    @#$% You I'm from TEXAS Rojerlockless's Avatar
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    ASC# 285 Born Oct 26 2001
    2002 Collectors EDTA

    power window motor =p

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    Junior Member
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    Black on Black
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojerlockless View Post
    power window motor =p

    +1

    lol and oh, soon you'll most likely need to have one of the headlight motors replaced too

  11. #11
    NY Representative basballny2's Avatar
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    first thing i did when i got mine was washed nd waxed her, not sure the condition of the paint if its in need of it but it can never hurt if your unsure

  12. #12
    NY Representative Vertiviper's Avatar
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    99 Trans Am, M6

    Quote Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
    So with intake aside, I would be looking at getting something like:

    Catback: http://www.lmperformance.com/5574/1.html
    Headers: http://www.lmperformance.com/757/1.html

    Would I still need a y-pipe with all that? How about a cat converter? Anything else?

    Keep in mind this is all new to me as I know nothing about cars :sillyme
    Avoid SLP headers if u ever plan on driving over a speed bump, they hang low like-sleeve-of-wizard.

    Loudmouth exhausts sound GREAT on stock manifolds but are raspy with headers and ORY's. If u go with the loudmouth weld in a round muffler and it sounds terrific, just terrific.

  13. #13
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
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    Ok, then I will forget a catback since I already have dual w/ cutouts.

    What do you think about the ceramic coated kooks headers here: http://www.lmperformance.com/15831/1.html. What's the power difference between the emissions and no emissions type?

    From what I have read, I won't see a huge improvement with just headers, but will be noticeable with other upgrades like intake. Is this correct?

    And, where does a y-pipe fit in with all this?

  14. #14
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojerlockless View Post
    power window motor =p
    I have heard that these go bad all the time in firebirds. My right window is actually very slow.

  15. #15
    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    2002 Trans Am WS6 M6

    yeah the passenger window will be the first to go. my firebird one died on me during a rainstorm believe me that was fun. but that worked out just fine traded it two weeks later for the trans am and the best part was the dealer didnt notice the motor had gone bad

  16. #16
    Member onetroubledguy's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
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    Kind of funny...one of my headlight motors is going out. Last night it started making a loud rattling sound and acting funny when I lock/unlock my doors.

  17. #17
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Wink Used Problems

    Get use to the problem. I'm running a 2000 Silver TA purchased this year that has loads of problems. You may want to check your front signal housing. I'm sure water sits inside after a wash with rust corrosion building up in the socket..... Replace the socket and purchase heavy duty seal for the lens and you will be good again.

    What can I say, used car come with used up problems.. that is the cost of owning a Trans Am.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttt

  18. #18
    Member ls1speedster's Avatar
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    black
    2002 trans am

    get a good coat of wax and that black bitch

    looks good...
    congrats

  19. #19
    Junior Member MikeB's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am NHRA

    I just bought my 2000 TA last week, everything everyone mentioned on here i.e. window motors, marker lights etc. I was fortunate that all that was discovered when I went in to check the car out....dealer had to replace it all before I would purchase. I'm sure murphy will catch up to me though sooner or later......but the drive and response of these beasts is worth the minor repairs you'll have to make.

  20. #20
    Senior Member t-rock's Avatar
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    2002 firehawk 94 Z28

    you already have cutouts get a stall and some 3.73's so you can lightem at will.

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