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bought abused 02 ws6; trying to work through problems...

This is a discussion on bought abused 02 ws6; trying to work through problems... within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I bought my dream car a year ago, 02 ws6, and was so excited when i found it i made ...

  1. #1
    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
    2002 Trans Am WS6 traded

    bought abused 02 ws6; trying to work through problems...

    I bought my dream car a year ago, 02 ws6, and was so excited when i found it i made a foolish purchase; trusting the dealer, and ended up with a very abused car. it had 46000 miles and among other things had a warped driveshaft (didn't find until after purchasing..). In the 2 months after purchase i replaced tires, driveshaft, rotors/brakes, belt tensioner, headlight gears, and serviced tranny. After all of that i still have some problems that the dealer can't seem to address...But as I said, I've always wanted a trans am and its worth it to get it right to me, and after reading; and learning, a lot from all of you i've decided to throw them out there and see if you all can help me!

    1) Most frustrating...my tranny (a4) is behaving very inconsistantly. Sometimes shifts very smooth and firm; but occasionally has problems. Sometimes when shifting from 1-2 at WOT it hangs at the rev limiter for a bit before shifting; and also sometimes between 1-2 under light acceleration shifts very hard; jaulting me, from 1-2. Also sometimes between 2-3; under light acceleration, it hessitates when it is shifting. I would compare the feeling to driving a manual and slowing letting off the clutch. I have been to the dealer twice in the last month over this...first time they replaced trans fluid/filter and fuel filter and reprogrammed trans with no results. The second time they returned it to me saying "we drove it with the computer and it didn't tell us anything was wrong..." Frustrating...
    2)Vibration. I don't know how much vibration is 'normal' with these cars.... As i said above, i complained of terrible vibration when i bought the car and the driveshaft was replaced, but didn't solve the problem. I spent much $ having different places balance and road force balance with minimal results. I replaced tires 500 miles ago, and ride is much better, but nagging vibration on smooth road at ~45 and above is still there...can feel it in the wheel. Have had alignment checked since buying tires. wonder if this could be related to above trans probs????
    3)Very noisy suspension. Not a huge deal...just wonder if the squeaks and squeals from the rear suspension are normal???
    4)Last one i promise! Think this may be normal too, but while i'm at it... Car seems very sluggish at around 40-45 mph (once it won't shift down to 1st). Have been beaten by small v6's when rolling at this speed....very frustrating some times!!!! Is this just gearing, or am i losing power somewhere????

    Thanks for any help...love this car but have considered looking for another one that doesn't have all the quirks. Does have some goodies now though that make me shy away from getting rid of it though...borla cat-back, air lid, K&N. Modest compared to a lot of ya'll...but still a lot of $$ to trade on something else to me....

  2. #2
    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
    2002 Trans Am WS6 traded

    Forgot one...

    I know i promised i was done...but i don't want to leave anything out...

    i mentioned replacing the belt tensioner...i did that after cranking one night to find the belt had worked its way half way off the pulley. When i brought it in i was told the belt tensioner was bad and replaced it. It has since done it again, but it was just shy of a year later, so i just put the belt back on the pulley. Any ideas on how serious a problem this is and what it might be??? Had the car 16 months, its done it twice.

    Thanks again for any insight!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    RED
    1998 Pontiac Trans AM

    to try to answer some of your problems, it sounds like your tranny is giving you the biggest issues. First start with the easiest issue. Check the transmission mount on the tail of the tranny and the mount for the torque arm. The stock bushing is a weak piece of rubber that tears itself to pieces easily. You can get a poly mount for $20 at pepboys or autozone. Anywhere that carries energy suspension products. As far as the suspension squeaks in the rear, could be suspension bushings gone bad. Like the tranny, the bushings are crap. Just invest the money in a new rear setup, panhard rod and lower control arms to replace the stock pieces. A decent set will run about $150. Tensioner, mine went out and screwed a lot of things up. So don't worry you're ok now. The shifts are prolly from the mount pulling the tranny in an awkward possition or if worse comes the worst, the tranny needs a rebuild and it's a mechanical issue that the computer didn't see. Hope I helped.
    98 WS6 M6 ASC #2647
    Forged Custom 408 w/Vortec G Trim Test Blower 500rwhp/475 ft lbs
    Waiting to install Vortech YSi

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    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
    2002 Trans Am WS6 traded

    After reading several posts of similar problems...was wondering about tranny mount...is this somthing that i could easily see with car on ramps??? do i need to take it off to determine whether or not its broken??? something i can replace myself with common tools/equipment or something i should take somewhere to be fixed??? what do you recommend for a 'decent rear suspension setup'..i mean from where should i get these aftermarket parts??? Can i replace these myself??? appreciate patience...i have really never done much work to my own autos before now and am trying to do/learn all i can with my t/a. have learned not to trust other peoples' work, and am just interested in learning my car and doing my own work...

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    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    You said you had a service done right? What all was included in the service? Have you taken a look at plugs and wires?
    The tranny mount is fairly easy too replace, Dont take it too someone.
    Get the car up on your ramps and right where the driveshaft meets the tranny you will see a cross-member, right above it there will be a rubber mount connceting the tranny too the member. Couple of bolts and its removed. You might have too get a jack under the tranny to raise it up a bit too get the old mount out. Then just put the new one in the same way the old one came out. Like said above dont get and oem part. I like the energy suspension stuff, i used them on my z alot when shit started too break.

    Also take a look at your motormounts while the car is running and pull on the throttle a lil and see how much the motor jumps. If you can try and pin-point where the noise from the rear is coming from, Just replacing parts will eventualy fix the problem but how much cash will you spend in the mean time? Push on the rear of the car a bit and see if you can hear it making the noises you describe.
    Hope this helped a bit
    J
    2001 SS, Its not the car its the Driver that matters....

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Really sounds like the tranny mount is the right direction to start looking. I was also thinking that the rotors could be warped causing your vibration but a tranny mount will also. Is the vibration in the steering wheel or in the chassis?

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    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
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    thanks for all the input guys! I'm off tomorrow and will look at the mount. As for the vibration...it's hard to tell. I didn't feel the vibration in the wheel until my last balance so i think that can be fixed with another balance; but the long standing problem is most noticeable in the empty passenger seat visibly vibrating back and forth and of course I can feel it. Is it possible that if this mount is broken, it is what caused my first driveshaft to warp and has now warped this one causing the vibration? Or maybe just allowing the driveline to twist enough to cause vibration??? Again...not a lot of experience and just trying to reason this stuff out....thanks for your advice!

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    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    Im not sure how your dealer came too the conclusion your ds was warped but i dont think your tranny mount goin out would cause it too warp. Maybe throw off some of the weights but not warp.
    I would like you said go and get them to rebalance your tires...
    What brand tires did you get?
    J

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    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
    2002 Trans Am WS6 traded

    I got BF Goodrich g-force sports. They've only got 500 miles on them so i haven't really had a chance to test 'em out yet...just been driving back and forth from the dealer lately.. They replaced goodyear eagle f1 (the oem tire), i just couldn't afford to do those again!

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    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    My 01 SS came with those f1's and about 50 miles after i bought it i took the tires off and now they sit in my closet for a "emergency tire". I think they are junk all the way around.
    If you like power and traction then f'1s dont go together.
    J

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    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    RED
    1998 Pontiac Trans AM

    If your car vibrates when you brake on the freeway then your rotors are warped. Loss in power and vibration could also be the motor mounts. I run solid mounts and trust me, shit vibrates. Your DS will break before it warps. As far as rar suspension, package deals from Hotchkiss or BMR are great choices. If you want all out awesome, look into Spohn or LG motorsports.

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    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
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    thanks sunsetorange and redphoenix for your time and advice--going to check motor and tranny mounts in the morning; i'll be sure and let ya know if that was my problem. Also plugs and wires were suggested...the car has 63000 miles-time to worry about wires???? And i've read that no one seems to be a fan of the platinum '100000' mile plug. may be off topic; but while i'm at the parts store tomorrow...what are your suggestions for wires/plugs??? How often do i need to change plugs???

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    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
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    Ok...got it on a lift today and sure enough the trans mount is broken. Calling around right now to see who can get me a poly mount the quickest... Thanks getting this figured out for me!

  14. #14
    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    i have squeeks in the rear also. i have listened while pushing on the suspension and think that the sway bar bushings are the culprit. just too lazy to drag out the jack and lube them.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    RED
    1998 Pontiac Trans AM

    doesn't look too bad to change out now does it.

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    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    Yea mine were squeakin with 5 thou miles on the clock so i just took some wd-40 and it did the trick...
    As far as plugs and wires im thinkin the maint. calls for every 70 thou but if your car was abused im thinking that it would be a great time too go ahead and change them out. I would get some msd wires and i like the stock plugs or bosch but alot of people go with the ngk 555's.
    Your call thou
    J

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Glad you got that piece of the puzzle fixed. I run NGK tr55's in mine which seems to be the plug of choice.

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    Member 02WS6dream's Avatar
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    08 Mustang GT/CS Blue
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    Got the mount replaced...all better! Except the guys on other threads complaining of the increased vibration with the poly mount were right!!! Was worried at first that there was more to this puzzle, but have decided that the borla exhaust that is mounted on the trans must be causing the vibration....any thoughts?? make sense??? And stay close...my next project is plugs and wires...i'm sure i'll be coming back to the computer before its done! Thanks guys!

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    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    On my 98 Camaro there was a squeak coming from the rear suspension which wound up being the brake calipers needed to have the slides lubed. A little Silglide took care of it-it sqeaked on certain bumps and turns and stuff-doesn't seem possible but true story-hope it helps.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    SS: NBM, tan top
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    may i ask how much you have payed for this WS6?

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