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About to buy WS6 - Need help

This is a discussion on About to buy WS6 - Need help within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello, I'm fairly new to F-bodies, and I am just about to buy my first one! I'm looking at 2002 ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    New Brunswick

    About to buy WS6 - Need help

    Hello, I'm fairly new to F-bodies, and I am just about to buy my first one!

    I'm looking at 2002 Trans Am WS6's and I have 2 or 3 in mind. They are all automatics and have no more than 35000 miles on them.

    I would love it if someone could tell me what to look for in a good one...such as desireable (or even possible) options. Any common trouble points I should look out for and also the location of the various ###s so I can be sure is all original and infact a real WS6
    That brings me to my next question, what should I be looking for in the vin to ensure its a real WS6 and not just a trans am that someone has put badges and a ram air hood on.

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated...I've been saving for this car forever and I'm so anxious about finally pulling the trigger and buying one....but I want it to be the best one I can get.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Newport, RI

    Navy Blue Metallic
    '00 Formy A4

    I believe the VIN's are all the same, WS6 won't show up in it.

    Look at the door jamb tag, WS6 should be there with all the RPO codes.

    Just check it out like you would any used car...

    check to make sure everything works, including heat and AC, try all the lights, look at the body real good (look for overspray and even panel gaps, problems here could be signs of a fix), and take a look underneath for any visible leaks. When I bought mine I also took a look in the rear wheel wheels for excess rubber, which would point to frequent burnouts or racing.

    If you find one you're serious about buying, run a carfex on it also.

  3. #3
    Nuclear Cat Will End All LS1Powerhouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Edwardsville, IL (So. IL Univ. of Edwardsville)

    Mystic Teal
    1999 Camaro Z28 - A4

    List of RPO codes... Main thing in a car is, does it make you happy... I'm still shits and giggles in my car and its been almost a year.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    2002 WS6

    Another tip, depending on how indepth you wanna get, look under the car and in the wheel wells for any new paint, over spray, or undercoating that doesn't match or seems out of place could be sign of recent body work and attempt to hide someting.

    Also run your fingers around the inside lip of wheel wells, especially the back ones and feel around the inside of the rear bumper for tire bits, if there is a build up (don't be suprised if you find a little), it was probably beat on.

    A test drive is always a must as well a an indepantant inspection and vin search.

  5. #5
    Member Bouvers's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Blue 1997 Trans Am(Sold)
    Pewter 2001 Trans Am Vert

    well I would suggest a compression test when you choose one just to be sure I did it, cheap insurance and you can change out the plugs at the same time 2 for 1... get the dealer to split the cost...
    look for leaks, oil underneith the car look for uneven wear on the tires might show signs of needing a wheel alignment basically stuff you would do for any car...
    for LS1 specific common problems, headlight gears stripped, slow window motors, cold knock (a little is normal but excessive is a good sign to stay away), rear-end whine, spongy or soft brakes, leaks for the t-tops... those are a few things that come to mind when checking out a TA specifically...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Quick Silver
    2002 Z06

    Slow motors can always be fixed

    Check for rear end whine like said above. It is making noise it needs to be fixed.

    I would check them all out for piston slap. My 98 has over 190,000 miles and has never done that. I know it is a somewhat common issue but I would choose a car that did not do it over one that did.

    Check to see if they have documentation of what has been done to the car. Used cars that have receipts of frequent oil changes/ anything done at the dealer is a good sign.

    Other things listed in the above post pretty much cover basic problem areas.

    No matter what the people here can help fix whatever happens later

    Slow Passenger Window - Want Passenger Express Down - Tired of Replacing DayTime Running Light Bulbs

    Camaro Owners Click Here
    Firebird Owners Click Here

    Need instructions to replace your F-Body window motor?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    New Brunswick
    How would one go about checking for rear end whine...just drive it around at slower speeds and listen???

    As for piston slap...can't say I've ever heard a motor with that problem so it would be a foreign sound to me. Probably fairly obvious though?

    Yes..I know, I'm useless but everyone starts from somewhere.

  8. #8
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    98 Formula
    06 duramax

    check out the front of the rear for a pinion seal leaking....pretty common on these cars. It'll be just behind where the driveshaft goes into the rear. Not sure how familiar you are with cars.

  9. #9
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Madison, WI

    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    Check for blown speakers with Monsoon radio. Turn the BASS up a little and you might hear one of the two bass speakers distort/rattle. Not a big deal though.
    Look at the Taillights. If one is darker then the other then its had water in it and will need to be replaced. see pic for example

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