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Next Mod?

This is a discussion on Next Mod? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I'm taking the Z in for maintenance in a couple of weeks and looking for some opinions on my next ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Next Mod?

    I'm taking the Z in for maintenance in a couple of weeks and looking for some opinions on my next mod.

    Here's what she needs done maintenance-wise:

    Oil/Filter (going to try the Amsoil and Fram XG filter)
    Fuel Filter
    Windows tightened up (they rattle around inside the doors, rolled up or down)
    Passenger door panel coming loose from the door (needs to be glued back on)

    Current mods:
    Air Lid
    P/P Throttle Body
    Cat-Back
    Konis (front)/Bilstiens (Rear)
    Rear LCAs
    Strano Hollow Sway Bars
    SFCs
    STB

    Mods I'm considering:
    LS6 Intake (quoted $872 parts and labor)
    Strano Springs (quoted $620 parts and labor)
    Konis for the rear (quoted $260 parts, add $47 labor to install with springs)
    Tunnel Brace/Torque Arm Relocation
    Panhard Bar (since Stranos would lower the car)
    Stainless Steel Brake Lines
    K-Member (I'm assuming this would be a huge labor charge north of $500)

    I'm personally leaning toward the springs, assuming that I don't absolutely NEED the PHB to go with them. Other than that, all this stuff will eventually wind up on my car.

    Of the options listed, which is most bang for the buck in you all's opinion?

  2. #2
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    I'm taking the Z in for maintenance in a couple of weeks and looking for some opinions on my next mod.

    Here's what she needs done maintenance-wise:

    Oil/Filter (going to try the Amsoil and Fram XG filter)
    Fuel Filter
    Windows tightened up (they rattle around inside the doors, rolled up or down)
    Passenger door panel coming loose from the door (needs to be glued back on)

    Current mods:
    Air Lid
    P/P Throttle Body
    Cat-Back
    Konis (front)/Bilstiens (Rear)
    Rear LCAs
    Strano Hollow Sway Bars
    SFCs
    STB

    Mods I'm considering:
    LS6 Intake (quoted $872 parts and labor)
    Strano Springs (quoted $620 parts and labor)
    Konis for the rear (quoted $260 parts, add $47 labor to install with springs)
    Tunnel Brace/Torque Arm Relocation
    Panhard Bar (since Stranos would lower the car)
    Stainless Steel Brake Lines
    K-Member (I'm assuming this would be a huge labor charge north of $500)

    I'm personally leaning toward the springs, assuming that I don't absolutely NEED the PHB to go with them. Other than that, all this stuff will eventually wind up on my car.

    Of the options listed, which is most bang for the buck in you all's opinion?
    Dude if you do the ls6 do it yourself. It takes maybe 2 hrs to do the first time. I am down to removing amd replacing it in 15 minutes. Those prices are almost criminal. The install for shocks and springs isn't all that bad and hard either but the price you listed is much better.

    I would do the ls6 intake unless you have the money to do shocks, springs, lcas, phb, torque arm all at the same time since all of that is needed to properly lower a car.
    1998 Trans Am WS6 - Phantom
    421 CI LQ9, Tick Performance Custom Cam, TFS 255cc LS3 heads, Kooks 2" LT headers, Kooks 3" True Duals w/ high flow cats, FTP 104 lid, Speed Density Tune, 4" silicon tube, LS6 VCT, FAST 102 Intake, NW 102 TB, Oil Catch Can, SLP Bilstein Shocks w/ Vogtland Springs, CTS-V 4-piston Calipers w/C6 Z06 rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, R1 concepts premium rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, VFN WSQ Hood, C5-R timing chain, SLP oil pump, E85 tune, Walbro 450 fuel pump, Deatschwerkz 95# injectors, Breathless performance headlights, Frost Tune, !HVAC.
    (Coming Soon) BMR DSL, UMI TQ Arm
    421 LQ9 14.8:1 on E85 Build/

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    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    The LS6 intake compared to your stock 98 intake will make a huge dif. Just like 98TransAmWs-6 said. It isnt hard to replace at all, takes standard simple hand tools and the $$$ you save could be put towards some of the other mods listed.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    I just picked up a Ls6 intake on Ls1 tech for $350 shipping included, seen 3 sell for the same $ in the past week. Do you have the PCM tuned yet? If you do go with the intake you will need it set up for that. Tuned by Frost, site sponser.
    99 Trans Am, SLP Lid, Blackwing filter, smooth bellow, Ported TB, LS6 intake, Ws6 lower ram air box, OBX LT's, Magna Flow cat back, LS7 clutch, Tick MC, Hurst Shifter, Frost Tune, UMI SFC,LAC, STB, PB, Torq Arm, Super Hawk hood, Torq Thrust II, Kee Audio.
    Strange S60 4:10's, D&S Rotors, S/S Brake Lines.
    Nitto NT05R Track Tire's, 12.7 @ 108 / 1.82 60'
    Wish list.
    Coil overs, Heads & Cam

  5. #5
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Mods I'm considering:
    LS6 Intake (quoted $872 parts and labor) Screw paying for someone else to do that. Like others have posted this you can do
    Strano Springs (quoted $620 parts and labor) Damn I need to start charging if that's the rate, again you can do this in the driveway, you can also take to a shop and pay no more then $50 for them to install springs to shocks.
    Konis for the rear (quoted $260 parts, add $47 labor to install with springs) see springs, once installed setting them up you need to have on the ground under load for proper set up
    Tunnel Brace/Torque Arm Relocation Easy install in the driveway
    Panhard Bar (since Stranos would lower the car) Easy install in the driveway
    Stainless Steel Brake Lines Not sure of difficulty yet, haven't done it yet.
    K-Member (I'm assuming this would be a huge labor charge north of $500) This is about the most difficult on this list. Requires big tools, lift or very high jack stands & jacks. Also would require an alignment. This is best to wait to do with A arms, saves doing some of the work twice.

    My answers are in bold


    Best bank for the buck on your list is the LS6 intake. Easy to install (but pay attention, can't drop anything in the cylinder heads) in 2 hrs for a beginner. You can run it without a tune but to get best performance a Frost tune will be needed. I ran mine 6 months before I got it tuned for the LS6 intake.

    Next would be torque arm and relocate, then PHB.


    SS brake lines are more for show at this point. I'd wait till you do a brake caliber upgrade.

  6. #6
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Stainless steel lines take about 30 to 60 minutes including the bleed you have to do. But unless you have upgraded brakes or are racing they are a waste at this point.

  7. #7
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Ls6 intake. It is really easy to do. You don't have to disconnect the fuel lines to do it. Just flip the whole rail over on the inside driver's fender. The whole fuel rail including injectors pops off. It seems like something is holding it down, but if you lever your hands under it and apply steady pressure, it will pop off. You may consider replacing the knock sensor harness and knock sensors while you have it apart. I have failed emissions a couple of times because they get corroded, and the harness sits alongside and under the intake, and it gets pinched very easily. The intake has a space under the front of it, and water gets inbetween the intake and the top deck of the engine where the knock sensors are. That is why they fail. Water gets down into the wells they sit in.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Interesting. I figured $870 out the door was not too bad for the install on the manifold. I have NEVER found one (eBay, craigslist, etc) for less than $500, and my shop is estimating $400 for the part. Anyway, here's the estimate.

    Labor
    USED LS6 INTAKE MANIFOLD $400.00
    SHIPPING $13.99
    R & R INTAKE MANIFOLD AND COOLANT TUBES $237.50
    $651.49

    Parts
    COOLANT CROSSOVER TUBE PLUGS $70.99
    INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET SET $79.99
    INJECTOR O-RINGS $29.99
    $180.97

    Service charges
    SHOP SUPPLIES $23.47
    $23.47


    Subtotal $855.93
    Tax $16.46
    Total $872.39



    Also, according to this post right here, I don't feel 100% confident that I can do the install without breaking something or putting something on the wrong way and then having to rip back into it all over again to fix it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    EGR inlet tubes on the exhaust manifold will need to be capped if you do not get headers right away. Removal of EGR and Air Pump cost nothing but time. I also pulled the fuse to the Air Pump.

    Installing the Intake can be done in a couple of hrs (just the Intake, if you do the below items then it will take an afternoon for a beginner).

    I'd wait for a tune until you get headers if you have plans too. If you do just the Intake and TB no need for one till then.

    Costs:
    EGR Cap Plates
    - $ 15
    LS6 Intake - $300, got mine new from craigslist
    P&P TB - $100 S2 Performance, should be new $150 but the same seller sold both the Intake and TB together so I go a discount price if I got both.
    OPSU - $55 - This you may have to have on hand, it becomes brittle of the lifetime of heat cycles and most 1st timers that remove the Intake break it. It is located behind the Intake on the drivers side. And yes I did break it too even after Orion warned me.
    Tune - $150, I got mine from Frost

    Options while doing an Intake change:
    LS6 Valley Cover Tray Mod (this deletes the crappy pcv system on the LS1s) $58
    99'-02' Knock Sensors and Wire Harness upgrade for LS1's yrs > 98's - KS $ 34 x 2, WH $37
    Catch Can - $70 - $220, depends on where you get it and how it's setup.

    I also painted mine to my body color, spent $30 for adhesion promoter, primer, color, and clear

    Recommend doing these because you will have to take the Intake off IOT do these later (-) the catch can.

    If I had the garage space and a beater to drive while my car was down, I wouldn't mind it so much, but I can't afford right now to have my car down. I said it before in another thread, every install I've done has had to be done at least twice, and sometimes more (except my STB... LOL!!!). So, if the Camaro were just my "toy" then I'd be all over it. But, alas, she is my daily driver and I've proven to myself that my paltry UTI education (if you can even call it that) is not anywhere near enough to swap a part that involves multiple systems on the car. Especially when I have to delete some of those systems.

    Also, I'm super busy working full time and going to school full time, so I don't really have time to do the swap myself. But I have the money, praise God!

    So, all that being said, does everyone still agree that LS6 intake is the best choice, even if I'm going to pay $237 in labor to have it put on?
    Last edited by Naaman; 01-04-2014 at 06:05 PM.

  9. #9
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Almost 100% sure you will not need o-rings nor gaskets. It really is a 2 hour job the first time around. I think I am down to 45 minutes now, remove and reinstall. It looks like you can remove the AIR pump and EGR at the same time. You will need a tune to get rid of the codes. Otherwise you won't pass emissions. We really hate to see you drop $400 on the install. You could send the computer off to Frost after doing it yourself, and still put half of that back in your pocket.
    Last edited by az gt eater; 01-04-2014 at 06:46 PM.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Nice find, sir.

    Even if I do it myself, I'd still want to replace all the rubber and gaskets and any other wear & tear items while I had the manifold off. I'm sure if Sean determines that my gaskets/o-rings are reusable he won't charge me for them. In any case, if I'm going to do it myself, it won't be right now.

    If it's really that worthwhile to do it myself, I'd just as soon have a different mod installed while she's in for service (all the stuff I'm taking it in for, I can do myself, but I don't have the space and I'll get in trouble with my apt manager if they see me working on my car in my parking spot).

  12. #12
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Have him change the plugs. That is a PITA to do. You could also work on maint items. Hoses, belts, plug wires. Make sure you get the old belts back, and stuff em in with your spare tire. Have him flush the cooling system. Have him flush the rear end. I don't have any problem helping you swap out the intake. It really isn't hard at all. You can get the parts, and come over on a Sat. And, you really shouldn't need gaskets replaced. I haven't had to do any of mine yet. And, I have had my intake off a good half dozen times.

  13. #13
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    We can plan ahead, and I can have the OReillys down the street order in a OPSU in case yours gets broke. I haven't broke mine yet, bt be nice to have access to it, seeing as how it is your DD.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az gt eater View Post
    Make sure you get the old belts back, and stuff em in with your spare tire.
    Care to share why?
    It's on jackstands.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Never mind. I know why.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Always good to have a backup. Especially a serpentine.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Just remembered: I need to add a headlight upgrade to my list. I've been meaning to get either HIDs or projectors for a while. Pros/Cons? I like pure, white light... not interested in that bluish crap that doesn't light up the road (the owner before me put blue lights in the high beams... and they suck). I'm also not interested in that halo nonsense... so if my new lights come with them, the halo portion won't be getting hooked up.

    Keith, you have PM.
    Last edited by Naaman; 01-05-2014 at 04:30 AM.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    What do you want most out of the car? Horsepower, handling, appearance?
    Besides the intake which I find a bit high those prices seem fair in my opinion. Granted for everyone that is looking at it saying it's a ripoff isn't looking at it from a shops point of view, labor isn't cheap and if the shop is trustworthy it might be worth the piece of mind.
    I would personally keep on the lookout for an intake, they are a $350 part all day long. If you have a basic understanding of tools and mechanics it's a fairly easy install but if you're set on the shop so be it.
    Springs would be my second choice in that list but as the car gets lower as you said, the geometry of other components change as well. Factor in a front end alignment, panhard bar, and an adjustable torque arm if you want to keep your pinion angle in check and your total just went up.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Also just to add I have 5k hids and they're pretty white. If I remember right 4.7k is pure white. I personally like the way stock replacement housings or black painted stock housings look over halos and if you aren't going to have them hooked up why buy them.

  20. #20
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Since I'm not a huge fan of most of the aftermarket suspension stuff, your list didn't appeal to me.

    However I would certainly do an LS6 intake, and afterwards look into getting a tune. These 2 changes would make a nice improvement in power and likely pickup a little economy.
    I'd consider a mail order tune from Frost, turn around is pretty quick. Since you are having Sean do the work you could look at this a couple ways. I'd bet he likely has a spare computer laying around or knows someone who does. Stick that in the car while yours is out getting tuned by Frost. After 2-3 days swap yours back in and give Sean his computer back. Might be able to avoid down time that way.
    Another possibility is to just get your tune through Sean, he would probably have Nick tune it on the local dyno down there, and shouldn't take long at all. With your mild mods he would probably load a base file that's close and tweak it with just a few pulls.

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