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What exactly is the differance between a trans am and a ws6??? Please help!

This is a discussion on What exactly is the differance between a trans am and a ws6??? Please help! within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Originally Posted by jag42420 You know for sure it is missing the wheels and badging, and I highly doubt they ...

  1. #21
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by jag42420 View Post
    You know for sure it is missing the wheels and badging, and I highly doubt they added the suspension. Sounds like someone just added a hood and called it a WS6. Whoever traded it in may have just been trying to bump up their value a bit. Ask for the service record. When GM does work on a vehicle, they keep the records by VIN number. Without a receipt, I'd treat it as a TA with a WS6 style hood.

    If you like the car, you can always add aftermarket parts. WS6 cars were not really any faster than normal TAs. LS1 cars are really about the same. If you like it and the price is right, buy it. Check the value in your area with Kelley http://www.kbb.com/kbb/UsedCars/default.aspx and NADA http://www.nadaguides.com/default.as...=21&p=1&f=5004 . The dealer pays trade in value at best. That's where I usually top my offer out.

    I bought my '02 WS6 with 17k miles a few months ago. It was stickered at $24k, and the going rate in my area for one with low miles at a dealership was about $30k. I finally got them down to $18k before I bought it, which is trade in value. You rarely see a WS6 in my area. There are a couple SS Camaros, and a lot of TAs and Z28s. That was one of my attractions to the WS6...
    It's not a dealer thats selling it.

    So how can I find these service records? Can I call the guy and ask him what dealer did the mods, then call the dealer and give them the vin number?

    I know that the t/a and the ws4 are equal when it comes to a straight line but how big is the differance when it comes to handeling?

    And if a t/a with a ws6 hood and badge was next to a real ws6 with the same exact wheels and tire could you tell them apart without looking at any numbers or under the car? What I am asking is that if it doesn't have the ws6 suspention and I buy some ws6 wheels will it have the same stance as a real ws6?


    p.s. thanks for all of the help guys

  2. #22
    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    That's exactly what I'd do (calling the dealer that did the mods). They'll have records.

    WS6 handling was stiffer than a normal TA, mostly due to larger diameter sway bars. The exact WS6 package changed a bit year to year.

    (Excerpts below are from: http://tech.firebirdv6.com/general.html )
    1997
    Noteworthy V8 Parts
    In addition to the WS6 Performance Package, GM offered a new 1LE package, which included the WS6 Performance Package. This package also has Koni adjustable shocks, 6-speed manual ONLY, stiffer front and rear control arm bushings, NO power options available, and hardtop ONLY.

    1998
    Noteworthy V8 Parts
    WS6 and 1LE packages unchanged from 1997.

    1999
    Noteworthy V8 Parts
    WS6 package unchanged from 1997, 1LE package added power steering cooler.

    2000
    Noteworthy V8 Parts
    WS6 package unchanged from 1997, 1LE package dropped.

    2001/2002
    Noteworthy V8 Parts
    WS6 package same as 1997, except for new 17x9 wheels.

    (The following are excerpts from: http://www.ws6.com/faq/4_1.htm#ch4_1k )

    Q: What's included in the WS6 performance package?

    A: The package was available starting in 1996 on Formulas Trans Ams only. Included in the package were:

    Ram Air hood and air intake (like that of the Firehawk)
    The 1998s and up WS6s have a completely new hood with 2 functional intakes right above the standard non functional nostrils
    Freer flowing exhaust system
    Higher rate front springs (360 lbs/in)
    Variable rate rear springs (130-180 lbs/in)
    Stiffer front and rear shocks
    Harder bushings
    Larger diameter front anti-sway bar (32mm)
    Increased cooling
    17 inch wheels with 275/40ZR/17 tires

    Q: What's included in the 1LE performance package?

    A: The package required these options (Z28/Formula, respectively):

    Basic option group (FZAB/1SA)
    A/C delete (until 1996 when A/C became standard)
    6-speed transmission or performance rear axle with the automatic (GU5/G92)
    Z-rated tires w/ 150 speedo (QLC/QLC)
    Base stereo
    and it consisted of:

    Higher rate front springs (360 lbs/in for mid-1994 and after)
    Variable rate rear springs (130-180 lbs/in for mid-1994 and after)
    Stiffer front and rear shocks (Koni double adjustable for 1996 and after)
    Harder bushings (front upper/lower and rear control arms)
    Larger diameter anti-sway bars (32mm front, 21mm/19mm rear)
    Increased cooling (for 1995 and after)
    Engine oil cooler (1993 - 1995)
    Stronger Transmission mount for 6 speed Transmission's
    Stiffer Panhard-bar bushings

    Some of the base TAs and Z28s had the most of the same suspension as WS6s did. They had RPO FZAB or 1SA on their door sticker. There should be no stance difference, just a handling difference. There is no real way to say for certain that the dealer upgraded all the suspension (or how many WS6 changes were made) without contacting them. You could try and measure the front sway bar (it will be 32mm if it's for a WS6, and 30mm if not).

    If it's a 99 in good shape and has been well taken care of, it is probably worth $11k. If it's a 98 it's more in good shape, more like like $9500. Of course the 01-02s had the more desired LS6 intake...
    Last edited by jag42420; 04-09-2007 at 12:58 PM.

  3. #23
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    There are subtle things you can look for. Under the hood, look for the power steering cooler. That was installed on all WS6 and SS models. Look for the larger 32 MM front sway bar. Thats also easy to spot if you just looked at a standard size bar.
    Look at the engine again,,,the upper radiator hose will have an aluminum tube inline with it, and a couple of hoses coming off of the bottom to the power steering pump. This is the cooler for the power steering.
    As mentioned before the springs and shocks are different as well. And I also believe the rear spoiler was different as well (on hard top models) which I have not seen mentioned yet here.
    There are alot of little things that seperate them from a standard T/A. I would find it very surprising and highly unlikely that anyone would take a standard T/A back to a dealer and have them install all the WS6 components. A hood and wheels does not count in my book,,,if you're going to make a fake one, then do it right and install all the goodies.
    I have both a standard Z28 and an SS model and I can tell you from my personal experience there is a difference in ride quality, handling etc....the SS is a much nicer overall package in my opinion.
    If you really want a WS6 I personally would just wait for the right one to come along, preferably a real one. Then again, if you really like the car then buy it and enjoy it and who cares what other people think Larry.

  4. #24
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    There are subtle things you can look for. Under the hood, look for the power steering cooler. That was installed on all WS6 and SS models. Look for the larger 32 MM front sway bar. Thats also easy to spot if you just looked at a standard size bar.
    Look at the engine again,,,the upper radiator hose will have an aluminum tube inline with it, and a couple of hoses coming off of the bottom to the power steering pump. This is the cooler for the power steering.
    As mentioned before the springs and shocks are different as well. And I also believe the rear spoiler was different as well (on hard top models) which I have not seen mentioned yet here.
    There are alot of little things that seperate them from a standard T/A. I would find it very surprising and highly unlikely that anyone would take a standard T/A back to a dealer and have them install all the WS6 components. A hood and wheels does not count in my book,,,if you're going to make a fake one, then do it right and install all the goodies.
    I have both a standard Z28 and an SS model and I can tell you from my personal experience there is a difference in ride quality, handling etc....the SS is a much nicer overall package in my opinion.
    If you really want a WS6 I personally would just wait for the right one to come along, preferably a real one. Then again, if you really like the car then buy it and enjoy it and who cares what other people think Larry.
    Well I just sold my 6cly camaro so I need to find one quick. But this car is more or less the reason I sold my car. I want the ws6 but being 19 I just can't afford it. And this car seems like it has been well taken care of and I want to mod the suspention anyway. The car has also been recently dynoed at 305hp at the wheels, with only a catback exaust and that wierd looking airbox. But I am more concerned with handeling than straight line performance.

    Oh and what about the rear spoiler? It's t-top car. I think I might have heard something about that once. It better have the same ws6 spoiler because that thing looks flat out mean.

    Also... I have a picture above showing the rear swaybar. Can anyone tell by looking at it if it is the ws6 swaybar.

  5. #25
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    That's a suncoast creation air box with a K&N filter. If your going to mod the suspension then you'll change the sway bars anyway. IMO the only thing in the WS6 package worth while is the hood. I already changed everything else on mine with better parts then the factory used on the WS6. I don't know why he would have a dealer install the WS6 package and not have it modded better by a performance shop. Make no sense to me.

  6. #26
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    So... what about the spoiler? Is it the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanater View Post
    So... what about the spoiler? Is it the same?
    It's the same. The Firebird and the verts have different ones.

  8. #28
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    So do you think it would look stupid with the ws6 hood and 16" wheels and 245 tires?

  9. #29
    M6 King Hot Black Trans-Am's Avatar
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    That's what mine had when I first bought it. It looks ok, but I don't like the little 16" wheels. I hated the lack of traction the 245 tires had even more! Just don't put WS6 badges on it or WS7 or that crap and it'll be good.

  10. #30
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    Sort of off topic but does anyone have a carfax subscription? I have the vin number now and I don't want to pay the $25. If not I will probably buy a subscription myself but I figured I might as well try and get the report free
    Last edited by Ryanater; 04-09-2007 at 08:07 PM. Reason: really bad spelling

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanater View Post
    So... what about the spoiler? Is it the same?
    To clarify, all T-top T/As have the same spoiler (WS6 or not), except 'verts (both V6 and V8s) have a lower spoiler very similar to the HT/T-Top Firebird / Formula spoiler. The only 'birds that had different spoilers were Firehawks. There is no such thing as a "WS6 spoiler".

    Also, there is no such thing as a "WS7 option" either. That's just a nice way of saying "mine's a fake WS6" without being a poser.

    Ryanater, since you are planning on suspension upgrades anyway, I wouldn't worry about what suspension is on the car now. Just get a good deal on it, treat it as a regular T/A w/ a $1000 hood on it.

    Johnny B - '98 "Triple Black" WS6 Convert, M6, All Options, ASC #3030 (1 of 50)
    KBDDSFC, DGM C/F Tonneau, MTI C/F Lid, K&N, HPP-III, 160 T-stat, Pro 5.0
    Link to Firebird Production Breakdowns

  12. #32
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    So does $11,000 sound pretty good for a 98 trans am w/ a ws6 hood and 42k miles? Is it worth going out of state for?

    btw: He says he has paperwork from the ws6 conversion.

  13. #33
    Last of the Breed Pewter02Formula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanater View Post
    Actually that second link gave me exactly what I was looking for! Thanks.

    Here are some pictures if the car I am looking at. Can anyone tell me if this has the ws6 option. (I know it doesn't have the badge)
    Wow, is that a giant scratch & stone chips on the hood?

  14. #34
    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    2002 WS6 Trans Am

    $11k would be good for a 99, but seems high for a 98. I'd offer $9500, closer to book value. WS6 conversion papers would be great, but you already know it was not a complete conversion so treat it as a 98 TA with a $750 hood upgrade.

  15. #35
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by Pewter02Formula View Post
    Wow, is that a giant scratch & stone chips on the hood?
    Yeah he sent me that picture because he said that the hood was a little beat up. He said someone has keyed it. And what does it matter if it was a 98 or 99? If a 98 and a 99 had the same miles and were in the same shape wouldn't they be worth the same? They are basically the same car right?

    And he has the paperwork from when he dynoed it two months ago, it has 305hp at the wheels. Is that pretty average for just having a catback and a k&n filter.

    And I already tried getting a lower price. He is asking $12,000 and getting him to take $11,000 was hard enough!!!

    So overall do you think I should do it? You know as much about it as me.

  16. #36
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    It's not a ws6, not rim's, no badges, and the air intake is not what it should be...

    11K is too high i'd offer 9500 for it, but there is no way he went back to the dealer and bought the WS6 package... It would have come with the 17inch rims...

  17. #37
    no more 4th gen secondgearscratch's Avatar
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    my advice to mr Ryan is if youre on here and youre not sure...dont buy. dont have any quirks about things when buying a car, it usually backfires. if the guy told you it wasnt a ws6 then he may be honest, but i would assume that since it isnt it doesnt have the suspension upgrade. be critical, its your money. not all ram air trans ams were ws6s. did the hood come from the factory? how does the car sound/look. did he drive the shit out of it? did he cut corners?

    i would only be concerned with the suspension upgrade advantage of the ws6, everything after that, to me, is a mood point. make sure the condition is on par with the price, thats the main thing. and if not 100% sure of either the car or the seller....pass. it will save you in the long run, and another deal with come your way.
    Good luck....again.

  18. #38
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    Thanks, but I am assuming that it doesn't have the ws6 package. I think a 98 trans am with a ram air hood, exaust, 18" wheels(included), and only 42k miles is worth $11,000.

    I am pretty sure that I want the car, but if I am being stupid I want you guys to talk me out of it.

    I haven't seen the car but he tells me that the interior and exterior are in perfect shape except for the hood. So what I am going to do is fly down there on friday, look at the car friday night, and If I like it I will drive it home saturday morning. If I don;t like it I will spend the weekend with my cousins that live down there. So that way I won't feel pressured to buy the car.

  19. #39
    Junior Member Armor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by secondgearscratch View Post
    not all ram air trans ams were ws6s.
    Hmmm....never heard that one....I'm sure most dealerships would order and install a ram air hood on a base T/A or Formula to sell a car, (at the buyers expense of course) but to the best of my knowledge the ram air option was unique to the WS6 package, not an actual factory option by itself....can anybody confirm this?
    1999 Formula WS6 Silver T-Top, 6 speed, 3:42 gears

    1997 Trans Am Silver hardtop, many extras

  20. #40
    Member Ryanater's Avatar
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    1998 WS6, 1969 Camaro

    I think that he means that just because a t/a has a ram air hood it doesn't mean it is a ws6.

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