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Need opinions on my firebird

This is a discussion on Need opinions on my firebird within the Appearance Section forums, part of the General Help category; Hi I need an opinion. I'm 16 years old and really don't have the money for a ls1 trans am ...

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Need opinions on my firebird

    Hi I need an opinion. I'm 16 years old and really don't have the money for a ls1 trans am which is why I am considering doing a front clip swap on my 96 firebird. There is a v6 firebird (99) for sale on craigslist for 700$ in pretty good shape. If I bought that car would I be able to put my old front end on that car so I could resell it? I would assume yes considering that clip will fit mine but I just want to be sure considering I'm still learning a lot about these cars.

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

    Welcome to the forum and the car club. Don't be embarrass because you young and have limited funds. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE....Hell some of us are still there.

    Is this FB a wreck car, a roller (missing the engine and drive train) or is your 96 messed up?


    Most ppl will swap early 4th gens to the later 4th gen front clips. Better looks.

    But to answer your question yes you can swap over them over. Fenders, lights, hood.
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f7/my-6-liter-build-174257/

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f8/my-8-8-rear-build-165553/

    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56 w/Viper shaft, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

    Horsepower never lies, but is often lied about!

  3. #3
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Now regarding future plans.

    Finding a LS1/6 blocks are getting difficult. You also have a ton of better options.

    When you're ready look for 5.3 or 6.0 (better) blocks. Look for yrs that have 24x reluctor wheel. You can tell by the crank sensor, black = 24x, gray = 58x.
    Getting a 58x is not too bad, just means a little more costs and parts to make it work. If you can score the ecm and wire harness with the engine even better.
    You'll also need a LS1 k-member. Used ones go for $350-450. It may be better to just upgrade to a UMI K member for $500.

    Transmission - depends on what you have.


    If you start piecemeal it together before you know it you'll have what you want. Most car builds take 3-5 yrs. I'm on yr 5 since I started modding. Hell I'm on engine 3 and transmission 2 coming up on 3 yrs now.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Now regarding future plans.

    Finding a LS1/6 blocks are getting difficult. You also have a ton of better options.

    When you're ready look for 5.3 or 6.0 (better) blocks. Look for yrs that have 24x reluctor wheel. You can tell by the crank sensor, black = 24x, gray = 58x.
    Getting a 58x is not too bad, just means a little more costs and parts to make it work. If you can score the ecm and wire harness with the engine even better.
    You'll also need a LS1 k-member. Used ones go for $350-450. It may be better to just upgrade to a UMI K member for $500.

    Transmission - depends on what you have.


    If you start piecemeal it together before you know it you'll have what you want. Most car builds take 3-5 yrs. I'm on yr 5 since I started modding. Hell I'm on engine 3 and transmission 2 coming up on 3 yrs now.
    If memory serves, the truck blocks have a bigger manifold that wont clear an F-body hood, so a car manifold would be on the list too, that and brackets for the accessories?

  5. #5
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    It will be close, depends on what engine mounts you use. Stock ones I think it clears but by a hair...Poly then yes you need to trim the cowl or look for a new intake. I left off the H/C/I stuff off because I was giving some broad info to get the big stuff. When it comes time for H/C/I I'm sure he'll ask.

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    Welcome to the site!

    I like your plans -- someone famous once said, "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" (or something like that).
    SMWS6TA likes this.

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    It's actually a full running v6 firebird lol their selling it really cheap for some reason (will post a link to ad here: https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5192826704.html). And my car is a v8 (lt1) 6 speed and I really just don't have the money to spend on a trans am (plus I can't find any straight drives around). Also would it be a better investment to just build up my lt or should I try to get an ls1?(I know a man who has one with 102,365 miles on it for 1700$) I honestly don't know much about working on cars yet since my dad is always so busy with his work he never really has time to help me out much so I don't wanna go in too deep just yet but I still want to give my car the power to make the rich kids who called it a p.o.s. Cry when I blow their doors off 😈. And thanks for taking time to help out!

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

    Own by a messy chick or a wussy man. Pink, pink everywhere. $700 still seems way too low, but hey if it's a still grab it.

    Regarding the TA I have to see it to say it's a good deal. $1700 for a running TA that has 100k miles is way to low. What is wrong with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Williams View Post
    It's actually a full running v6 firebird lol their selling it really cheap for some reason (will post a link to ad here: https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5192826704.html). And my car is a v8 (lt1) 6 speed and I really just don't have the money to spend on a trans am (plus I can't find any straight drives around). Also would it be a better investment to just build up my lt or should I try to get an ls1?(I know a man who has one with 102,365 miles on it for 1700$) I honestly don't know much about working on cars yet since my dad is always so busy with his work he never really has time to help me out much so I don't wanna go in too deep just yet but I still want to give my car the power to make the rich kids who called it a p.o.s. Cry when I blow their doors off . And thanks for taking time to help out!
    at the bold.

    You are at the perfect age to start. It's the best time to learn, make mistakes but more important learn from them. You are asking the right ppl. Yes we are older but with that comes experience. We have quite a few tech threads that members have put up for just about anything. Best thing to do is what your doing. Researching and asking questions.

    It took me till I was in my mid 30's till I could get back into F-bodies. I had a 96FB for a few yrs prior to my 98 Trans Am.

    So back to your issue. The only really bad issue with LT1's are the opti-spark. In fact it's the #1 issue. If you don't know why, here's why. GM put it under the water pump. So every time the water pump leaks or the opti gets wet from road spray opti goes out. I had a friend do the LS1 swap just because he was tried of changing the opti every 4-5 months. There is a fix but it's costly and time consuming. It's called the 24x conversion. Basically you get rid of the opti and convert it over to coil packs like the LS1. I've seen some bad ass 383 Stroker LT1's so if more pwr you want that's a route.

    Now there is a bigger after market for LS motors over the LT's (Not the current Gen 5 LT's). So finding parts for LS are easy. Like I posted above You can either find a donor car like you did to get the parts you need and sell off the rest or find a good base car and go for there.

    Don't get hung up on WS6, CETA or Firehawk cars. You can clone them. Mine was a base model TA and everything that made those cars special I've upgraded and made better. If you look at my signature you'll see all the mods I've done over the last 6 yrs. If you take little chips at the end goal you'll get there.


    went back to add my signature
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 09-11-2015 at 07:15 AM.

  9. #9
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site Chase. Do whatever you have the time and money to accomplish. No sense biting off more than you can chew at your age. You have certain things most of our senior members do not have. Time, youth, energy and an open mind.
    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

  10. #10
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2002ssslp View Post
    Welcome to the site Chase. Do whatever you have the time and money to accomplish. No sense biting off more than you can chew at your age. You have certain things most of our senior members do not have. Time, youth, energy and an open mind.
    Winner^^^^So many times I wish I had started when I was 15-16.......Also one other piece of advice. No car is worth going into debt, EVER. Take your time and save.

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    Sorry I've taken so long to respond. Been pretty busy lately. In an earlier post I was referring to just an ls engine not an entire TA. I've heard it run and I know it's been taken car of so I'm thinking of buying it...but I'm also tempted to build a 383...still thinking on it. Also any tips from experience on the coil pack conversion? If i do decide to just build a 383 I definitely wanna get rid of the opti. My uncle has a bird just like mine and I've helped him replace his nearly 3 times already. My relatives think I'm wasting time on my car but I simply told them I'm willing to take the time to make it right. I really appreciate the help and encouragement guys!

  12. #12
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Don't feel bad about slow responses, it's your thread.

    If you feel the LS1 car is a good deal I would go for it. Hell keep this one to drive around while you work on the LS1. That would be my recommendation.

    The 24x conversion was just a suggestion/an option. It's also a big investment. I would only recommend doing it if you are just absolutely in love with the LT1 motor. With a LSx motor you have much more power and options that are far more worth the money.

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    My vote is for the LS1 motor all the way! Tons of power stock. Easy to upgrade and a better starting point then the LT1. As everyone has said, take your time, do your research, and learn from others mistakes so you don't have to make those mistakes. Im speaking for myself and probably most others on this site when I say that we didn't have a bada$$ ride when we were 16-18years old. You already have a cooler car then what I had when I was 16. Ever hear of a 1974 Plymouth Valiant? Probably not. That was my 1st set of wheels. 4 doors also! Enough rust on it, that it almost looked like it was a add on factory option. LOL
    1998 Pontiac TA, stock heads, FAST 90, FAST 90 TB, FLP LT, off road y-pipe with cat delete, flow master muffler, comp cams 54-457-11 223/231-610/617-112 LSA, Pro charger D1SC with FMIC @ 8psi, FROST tune, VIG 3200 stall, built 4l60e, snow meth kit, MOSER 12 bolt 373 gears, Derale 13900 trans cooler.

  14. #14
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    @ 16-18 My car was the old families 1983 Chevy Malibu Station Wagon.

    Funny how I never got any crap for having one once my friends realized we could all fit in one.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    @ 16-18 My car was the old families 1983 Chevy Malibu Station Wagon.

    Funny how I never got any crap for having one once my friends realized we could all fit in one.
    You at least had a car that had potential, my first car was a Plymouth Reliant 2.2L. I would break the speed limits and the cops would clap in amazement

  16. #16
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Own by a messy chick or a wussy man. Pink, pink everywhere. $700 still seems way too low, but hey if it's a still grab it.

    Regarding the TA I have to see it to say it's a good deal. $1700 for a running TA that has 100k miles is way to low. What is wrong with it?



    at the bold.

    You are at the perfect age to start. It's the best time to learn, make mistakes but more important learn from them. You are asking the right ppl. Yes we are older but with that comes experience. We have quite a few tech threads that members have put up for just about anything. Best thing to do is what your doing. Researching and asking questions.

    It took me till I was in my mid 30's till I could get back into F-bodies. I had a 96FB for a few yrs prior to my 98 Trans Am.

    So back to your issue. The only really bad issue with LT1's are the opti-spark. In fact it's the #1 issue. If you don't know why, here's why. GM put it under the water pump. So every time the water pump leaks or the opti gets wet from road spray opti goes out. I had a friend do the LS1 swap just because he was tried of changing the opti every 4-5 months. There is a fix but it's costly and time consuming. It's called the 24x conversion. Basically you get rid of the opti and convert it over to coil packs like the LS1. I've seen some bad ass 383 Stroker LT1's so if more pwr you want that's a route.

    Now there is a bigger after market for LS motors over the LT's (Not the current Gen 5 LT's). So finding parts for LS are easy. Like I posted above You can either find a donor car like you did to get the parts you need and sell off the rest or find a good base car and go for there.

    Don't get hung up on WS6, CETA or Firehawk cars. You can clone them. Mine was a base model TA and everything that made those cars special I've upgraded and made better. If you look at my signature you'll see all the mods I've done over the last 6 yrs. If you take little chips at the end goal you'll get there.


    went back to add my signature
    Didnt they have a fix for Optispark in 95 that put a vent in the distributor and offer a conversion for earlier LT1's? I that they licked that problem.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    My $.02, keep the LT1 car you have in good shape, save up money while you are doing researching what to go with. You may decide a warmed up LT1 might be the way to go, while its not the most ideal setup they can be respectable, and you already have everything for it but the speed parts. If you decide on an LS1 swap, unless you are stuck on that particular car, I'd save up to buy a decent 98-02 because it probably wont cost much more (if not less) than swapping an LS1 into your car.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    @ 16-18 My car was the old families 1983 Chevy Malibu Station Wagon.

    Funny how I never got any crap for having one once my friends realized we could all fit in one.
    I will raise you one 1981 Plymouth Reliant K-car, 4 door with a bench seat, 85 h.p. and a 4 speed.

  19. #19
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    I was lucky, I saved up my paper route money and cut some extra lawns and my dad helped out as well. In 1977 I bought my first car, a 1970 Dodge Charger 500 with a dark blue metallic paint job, black bucket seats, 383 Magnum, 727 Torqflite Auto and a 3.55 posi rear. I was winter and my testosterone and inexperience got the best of me. Bias ply tires, drum brakes all around and no computers anywhere this car was destine to be totaled and it was after three accidents in seven weeks. A 1966 Chrysler Newport was my next ride. Good choice.
    pajeff02 likes this.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I will raise you one 1981 Plymouth Reliant K-car, 4 door with a bench seat, 85 h.p. and a 4 speed.
    I think my 83 Reliant three speed auto was slower than your 81 4 speed manual

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