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how to spend about $15k on 135k mile trans am

This is a discussion on how to spend about $15k on 135k mile trans am within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hey guys I'm new to this forum and after several years of messing with 99-04 GT Mustangs, I've drawn the ...

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    how to spend about $15k on 135k mile trans am

    Hey guys I'm new to this forum and after several years of messing with 99-04 GT Mustangs, I've drawn the conclusion the $:HP ratio cost for mods & upgrades is not so great with Stangs compare to 98-02 F Body's.

    I've committed to spending about $15 to upgrade a 98 T/A I just acquired, this will basically be my hobby for the next 12 months & I will spend alot of tiem to ensure I'm squeezing the most out of every penny of it whether it be from junkyards, craigslist ebay etc etc

    I'd like some advice on what I could do for about $15k to get the powertrain to have as much power as a raped ape that $15k will buy? I donlt have the $15k today but I can put $1200-$1500 per month towards this project till its done.

    I just picked up a bone stock 98 T/A w/ Ram Air. Although the car looks damn close to perfect, it is 12 years old and it has 135k miles on it & I have noticed the automatic tranny shifts into 2nd rough.

    I don't necessarily need to drive it daily but also don't want to take it off the road for the 12 months it will likely take me to save up the $15k that I am planning on spending on the powertrain.

    Should I just start with a 383 stroker rebuild or try to pick up an LSX block and rape and pillage to build it up with a rotating assembly, heads, cam etc?

    Is $15k unrealistic to buy a combination of new and used parts to build up a 600HP+ LSX & rear end that will be relatively solid?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

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    Carless blkSS98's Avatar
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    Shouldn't be hard. Get a junkyard iron block out of an escalade, stroke it to 408ci, get decent aftermarket aluminum heads, a 92/92, quality longtubes, y-pipe, exhuast, fuel system and build up the tranny out of the t/a or the same truck. You probably should have spent it by then.

    Then you'll have to worry about the rear end
    Last edited by blkSS98; 09-08-2009 at 08:08 PM.

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    Member c5z28's Avatar
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    Endless possibilities
    You can do a 383, 396, 427 all from your ls-1 block if you wanted
    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/genera...ock-427ci.html
    Ford 9" built stalled auto swap to an m6.

    Since you intend to do everything you might want to build from the rear to the front so you can experience what each mod does while replacing all the weak points first.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    I'd start with the suspension, then rear, then tranny and finally the motor.
    that way you'll be able to get a great handling car that can put the power to the ground and stay under control.
    2nd if you do work from the rear forward hopefully you won't be breaking parts.
    when it comes to the tranny, what do you want the car for?
    an M6 will be more fun on the street and get better mpg, but a built a4 with the proper stall for your motor will be quicker and more consistant in the 1/4 mile.
    also I'd look for a good deal on a good deal on swaping out your 98 computer for a 2000+ computer better opperating system and (more adaptable to mods)

    for $15,000m I'd have a supercharged 408 under the hood of my goat

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    Junior Member jaydean21849's Avatar
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    ust outa curiosity how much did u pay for the car

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydean21849 View Post
    ust outa curiosity how much did u pay for the car
    I got the car in a trade for an F-250 Super Duty worth about $6k or $7k from a 70 year old man that acquired it from his son who I believe passed away. The guy hated the car for some reason and didn't want anything to do with it.

    I know in this economy with the high mileage I'd be lucky to get $8k if I were to sell it but I wouldn't sell this car for $15k because of the flawless condition the body and interior, but I'm a realist and realize I'd be luck to get $8k if I were to sell it.

    My goal is to build it into a streetable 600'sh HP beast (not for drag racing) I'm fortunate enough to have some friends in the custom car audio business that are going to help me with some eye candy type custom door panels, etc and I'm working towards having something to enter into some car shows.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark21742 View Post
    I'd start with the suspension, then rear, then tranny and finally the motor.
    that way you'll be able to get a great handling car that can put the power to the ground and stay under control.
    2nd if you do work from the rear forward hopefully you won't be breaking parts.
    when it comes to the tranny, what do you want the car for?
    an M6 will be more fun on the street and get better mpg, but a built a4 with the proper stall for your motor will be quicker and more consistant in the 1/4 mile.
    also I'd look for a good deal on a good deal on swaping out your 98 computer for a 2000+ computer better opperating system and (more adaptable to mods)

    for $15,000m I'd have a supercharged 408 under the hood of my goat
    That's how I have built mine so I agree whole-heartedly. I just need the 408 with the D1SC now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark21742 View Post
    I'd start with the suspension, then rear, then tranny and finally the motor.
    that way you'll be able to get a great handling car that can put the power to the ground and stay under control.
    2nd if you do work from the rear forward hopefully you won't be breaking parts.
    when it comes to the tranny, what do you want the car for?
    an M6 will be more fun on the street and get better mpg, but a built a4 with the proper stall for your motor will be quicker and more consistant in the 1/4 mile.
    also I'd look for a good deal on a good deal on swaping out your 98 computer for a 2000+ computer better opperating system and (more adaptable to mods)

    for $15,000m I'd have a supercharged 408 under the hood of my goat
    is buyiing a bare bones LS7 or LSX block & rotating assy, heads, etc as good deals come available a good idea?
    doable on a $15k budget?

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    how much power can an m6 handle? what is a good price for a used one? are they available at junkyards? - what kind (if any) rear ends are available at junkyards that can handle 600-800hp?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blkSS98 View Post
    Shouldn't be hard. Get a junkyard iron block out of an escalade, stroke it to 408ci, get decent aftermarket aluminum heads, a 92/92, quality longtubes, y-pipe, exhuast, fuel system and build up the tranny out of the t/a or the same truck. You probably should have spent it by then.

    Then you'll have to worry about the rear end
    what year range is desirable for escalade blocks?
    what rear end do you recommend?> any from junkyards or used that will do the job?

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    That's how I have built mine so I agree whole-heartedly. I just need the 408 with the D1SC now!
    I did heads and cam on the goat first....lol I didn't realize how bad the stock suspension was till I replaced all the soft old bushings with poly and put in new springs.....it handles like a true sports car now!

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    Carless blkSS98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossho View Post
    what year range is desirable for escalade blocks?
    what rear end do you recommend?> any from junkyards or used that will do the job?
    Dude, I don't know about the years. I think the early ones were iron blocks and the late ones were alum. But idk.

    And rearends from a junkyard, probably if you can find a dodge or ford 1-ton w/ a dana 60. But I don't think you will be able to hit your power goals and still be able to afford it.

    You could start from the back like everybody says, but you might as well buy a built d60 or 12 bolt from strange if you are gonna go that way.

    Also, I really like the detroit truetrac diff if you are going to buy a built rearend. I wouldn't reccomend anything else!

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    rear end, tranny just so the car can run. suspension so the car can play. and a bigger budget for 600whp. built rear new 3k. built tranny new 3k. suspension another 3k for full front and back(more than likely closer to 2k) that leaves 6k-8k for power. you wont be able to forge any lsx motor and boost it for that much new. maybe nitrous but then again refills.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 00z28bubba View Post
    rear end, tranny just so the car can run. suspension so the car can play. and a bigger budget for 600whp. built rear new 3k. built tranny new 3k. suspension another 3k for full front and back(more than likely closer to 2k) that leaves 6k-8k for power. you wont be able to forge any lsx motor and boost it for that much new. maybe nitrous but then again refills.
    its amazing just how fast the money goes isn't it lol

    you will also save ALOT of money if you do the work yourself

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark21742 View Post
    its amazing just how fast the money goes isn't it lol

    you will also save ALOT of money if you do the work yourself
    Yes it is! I have about 11K into mine, and I am basically stock power still.

    And yes, if you have the time, get your hands dirty and do the work yourself. I was impatient and wanted everything done this summer so being in school and working full-time didn't allow me to monkey around on it myself.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossho View Post
    is buyiing a bare bones LS7 or LSX block & rotating assy, heads, etc as good deals come available a good idea?
    doable on a $15k budget?
    if you can find a good junkyard motor for a good price go for it.
    I know on ls1tech they have a very good breakdown of the differences between the Lq4 and the Lq9......i think the biggest difference is the Lq4 has lower compression

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    also for heads, check into the GMPP LS7 heads. they need atleast a 4.00 bore, but they flow around 330cfm and assembled for about $375....cant beat the price

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark21742 View Post
    I did heads and cam on the goat first....lol I didn't realize how bad the stock suspension was till I replaced all the soft old bushings with poly and put in new springs.....it handles like a true sports car now!
    Hi Mark - what suspension, springs and poly bushings kits did you go with? - would you have chosen another if you could ?

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossho View Post
    Hi Mark - what suspension, springs and poly bushings kits did you go with? - would you have chosen another if you could ?
    you will have more choices than I did with the goat, but.
    Pedders adjustable poly radius rod bushings and tie rod ends, Energy Suspension poly bushing everywhere else, and Eibach springs.

    you might want to call up Strano, he specializes in F-body suspension

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark21742 View Post
    its amazing just how fast the money goes isn't it lol

    you will also save ALOT of money if you do the work yourself
    that wasnt necessarily with labor. i was assuming all done by him/him w/friends. paying for labor will probably leave 3-4k left lol. unless you are really close to the shop owner. and i mean really close, like sleeping with his daughter and he likes you close. either pay a pretty penny for installs or get to researching.

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