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Time for some winter upgrades/suggestions

This is a discussion on Time for some winter upgrades/suggestions within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hi Everyone, Ive spent many many hours/days researching with the result of lots of knowledge but still no prevail to ...

  1. #1
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    Time for some winter upgrades/suggestions

    Hi Everyone, Ive spent many many hours/days researching with the result of lots of knowledge but still no prevail to a solid plan. Sorry if some of this is repetitive but I am looking for a straight forward answer. I have also read all of the Sticky's for knowledge as well. Anyways its winter and I want to make the car a little funner for this coming summer.

    I have a 2000 T/A LS1 M6. Im assuming I have the 241 heads but I havent verified that yet so they may be the 853's or whatever the earlier heads were.

    My goal is to make 400hp or close to it, im not going to be bummed if it only makes 385 or 390 but that 400hp would be awesome!!! I do want to keep this on a budget but the funds are available if I need to spend them... I only want to make 400Horse not 500+ and the 400 sounds pretty easily attainable on a small budget. This will be my summer daily driver as I cannot resist driving it compared to driving my Grand Prix GT. So I want to keep it very streetable with the decent fuel mileage I already get out of it (28-30 mpg highway) I know its a muscle machine and fuel mileage really is not my concern but it sure is nice if I can maintain it.

    Currently the car has a
    -Borla (tuneable) cat back
    -Lid
    -the rest is stock except for the Tick Master and clutch.

    Planned already is(awaiting purchase/install):
    -LS6 Intake
    -Ported/polished stock Throttle body
    -Long tube headers
    -Cat less Y-pipe most likely 2.5"
    -A dyno tune by a reputable shop

    Above is my original plan but I really want close to that 400hp and if I do the above and go through all the time for the tune and can only get 350hp or so out of it im gonna be bummed and wish I did cam/heads as well and I will end up doing that and go through the whole tuning process again which why do things twice.

    So I have been doing lots of research and sounds like my above plans may not quite get me to or close to the 400hp OR WILL IT??? (please answer)

    So to get me there it will be heads and Cam to add to the above power adders. When I bought the car I really wanted to leave it unmolested and leave it factory but that idea fizzled out. But Like I said above I want to keep it street and daily driver friendly. I dont want to mess around with surging and bucking while just cruising or hard starts and not looking for a hugely choppy idle. Id like to maintain the 800rpm idle and be able to cruise the parking lot with little hassle. I dont want to regret my cam choice with wishing that I wouldve went bigger or regret that I wish I wouldve went smaller. Ive listened to youtube videos and sounds like the Torquer 2 is real popular and streetable and honestly that one is almost too choppy at idle for me but I know that there would NOT be one day that I would hate it either. So is this what everyone would suggest for a cam to attain my 400hp goal (with the above add ons and heads if need be)??? (please answer) or is there another cam out there that may not be quite as choppy that will easily get me to my goal (tick performance, comp cams, speed shop cams)???

    Next would be heads:
    will my stock heads with the cam and above add ons get me to the 400 hp range?? (please answer) Or should I upgrade. I do not want to spend $1200+ on heads... the most im willing to pay is $500 on heads whether that is on some 243's or a port and polish on the ones that came with the car. But why spend the money if the ones already on it will get me to the 400hp mark. But I would hate to already be so far into dissassembly and get it together and to the dyno and I only pull 360hp out of it and if I wouldve done heads then I would have hit the 400Hp mark. So which direction should I go with the not any more than $500 budget for heads? (please answer) Should I purchase 243's since they are going quite cheap and possibly port and polish those? or should I take my 241's (assuming) and port and polish those?? or should I just leave the heads alone all together and be confident that with the cam and above power adders that I will hit the 400hp mark?? (or close to it)

    When do the cam I will be doing springs and push rods with the knowledge that the factory ones are just barely sufficient for factory components.

    My plan was Beehive springs and just hardened push rods.

    Lets say I went with that Torquer 2 cam would I have to change lifters or rockers? Are the push rods going to have to be a different length from the factory push rods... I know These are questions I can ask Texas Speed but maybe someone knows off the top of their head???

    So to get my 400 Horse what out of all the stuff above is needed and not needed or is it perfect? What brand/size springs would you suggest?

    So will this list get me to the 400hp?
    -LS6 Intake
    -Ported/polished stock Throttle body
    -Long tube headers
    -Cat less Y-pipe most likely 2.5"
    -A dyno tune by a reputable shop
    -Lid
    -Cat back Borla
    *im assuming not so will the addition of a cam (torquer 2 or other suggestions) get me there?
    *or will I need the heads too to get me there??? If so what do you all suggest I do with the heads... Port/Polish my stock ones on the car? Get 243's or will I have to port polish those as well? Any other suggestion for heads that isnt far off from $500 budget for heads? or will my 241's or the 243's get the job done?

    -Will I need to do a cam to hit my goal?
    -Will I need heads with the cam to hit my goal or will stock heads do it?
    -Is the torquer 2 the most suggested cam for what I want (not too choppy, easily streetable/parking lots/daily driver, maintain fuel mileage, 400HP) or is there another off the shelf cam that will better suit my needs and hit that 400hp?
    -I will do all the work myself
    -Daily driver, will prob never see the drag strip and if so just on a Street legal Wed. night but prob. not but may see a pull here and there if some hot shot wants to test a F-body or if I just have the need for speed.

    Thank you for the help everyone!!

  2. #2
    Junior Member JayL's Avatar
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    I just read your post and thought...how many others out there have been in the same boat? It sounds like you and I want the same thing for our rides! I have a 2001 WS6, so not exactly apples to apples, but close. An LS1 is an LS1, that’s what makes them great. Mine is a daily driver, kids to school, work what evs. It’s also my dream car ...so many options and ways to go etc. I'm like you, wanting a 400hp driver. I have an adjustable cat back Borla exhaust (half plate), BBK headers, SLP Lid with a smooth Bellow and K&N, throttle body and matching MAF. That’s it, no other mods at all. Of course the 01 already has the LS6 intake, probably the biggest difference in our cars. No engine mods yet. Just lots of cold efficient air in and fast efficient air out! My goal was 400hp as well, for some reason that number is magic, it puts you in another class...example 6.0 GTO's etc. Now all that being said, I finally had the car tuned by a very good shop...I spent months wondering what I had, what to do next, researching everything like you did. Then I saw my Dyno results! 380hp at the crank and 320 to the wheels!!! Now maybe I'm just lucky, we all know every car is a little different, but this blew me away. The car runs like a bat out of Hell! I know these are under rated and all that SHIT, but 380 with no engine mods? The car is perfect the way it is, Stock but Not! I have been looking at cams as well, but I’m not convinced I need or want it! The 400hp thing is cool but doesn’t really mean anything! Just get the car the way you want it and enjoy. I have an awesome, fun, fuel efficient, daily driver that turns heads and will through you back in your seat. And I know the Karma Gods will rip that 10" rear end right out if I throw much more to it! Good Luck Man, keep us posted on the mods!

  3. #3
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    HP is subjective and just a number. You didn't state whether you want 400HP at the crank, or 400HP at the wheels. Big difference.

    It will also depend on what DYNO you use as they all read differently. Mustang DYNO? DYNOJet? A Mustang DYNO will read lower as it accounts for many more variables.

    With all of that said, I wouldn't get too hung up on a number. The most important thing is how well the car runs. I would just pick a cam you like based on your above description, add your exhaust, get the lid and LS6 intake and you'll make high 300's or close to 400 with a good tune. You won't break the 400 mark without a set of aftermarket heads or at least 243 P&P heads.

    Shorter posts will get more responses

  4. #4
    Junior Member JayL's Avatar
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    2001 Trans Am WS6

    I just read your post and thought...how many others out there have been in the same boat? It sounds like you and I want the same thing for our rides! I have a 2001 WS6, so not exactly apples to apples, but close. An LS1 is an LS1, that’s what makes them great. Mine is a daily driver, kids to school, work what evs. It’s also my dream car ...so many options and ways to go etc. I'm like you, wanting a 400hp driver. I have an adjustable cat back Borla exhaust (half plate), BBK headers, SLP Lid with a smooth Bellow and K&N, throttle body and matching MAF. That’s it, no other mods at all. Of course the 01 already has the LS6 intake, probably the biggest difference in our cars. No engine mods yet. Just lots of cold efficient air in and fast efficient air out! My goal was 400hp as well, for some reason that number is magic, it puts you in another class...example 6.0 GTO's etc. Now all that being said, I finally had the car tuned by a very good shop...I spent months wondering what I had, what to do next, researching everything like you did. Then I saw my Dyno results! 380hp at the crank and 320 to the wheels!!! Now maybe I'm just lucky, we all know every car is a little different, but this blew me away. The car runs like a bat out of Hell! I know these are under rated and all that, but 380 with no engine mods? The car is perfect the way it is, Stock but Not! I have been looking at cams as well, but I’m not convinced I need or want it! The 400hp thing is cool but doesn’t really mean anything! Just get the car the way you want it and enjoy. I have an awesome, fun, fuel efficient, daily driver that turns heads and will through you back in your seat. And I know the Karma Gods will rip that 10" rear end right out if I throw much more to it! Good Luck Man, keep us posted on the mods!

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the reply! I know it was quite lengthy but have seen similar questions and many people leave out all of the variables that get asked anyways so I figured I would just answer them anyways which made the post quite lengthy. With lots of research I think I have come to the conclusion that I am going to have to do the heads to hit that 400rwhp mark that im shooting for with the well knowing that all dyno's produce different numbers but Im just fishing to get what most others with the same set up or similar set up are getting typically. I have seen one guy dynoed 460 on one and 405rwhp on the other. I am shooting for that 400rwhp mark and looks like the shop ill bring it to for tuning has a dynojet. Ive seen where many have pulled 400rwhp with just 243's untouched... Ive had suggestions just to mill the 243's and maybe see if I can work out a deal with the machinist that mills them if they will bundle the price for a p/p. But was suggested that milling them alone will easily hit that 400rwhp mark. What do you all suggest? Milling them a good idea and no p/p and still hit my goal or do not mill them and just p/p or just throw them on untouched and shouldnt sweat being able to hit that 400rwhp mark???????

  6. #6
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    From what I have seen, people who add a mild cam (Torquer V2, TSP 228R), along with P/P 243 heads are in the low 400rwhp range. If you add an intake (FAST 90/102), then you get up into the 430rwhp range. Any cam in the lower 230 duration or under is considered mild and good for daily driving.

    You have headers listed which will be a must with a cam upgrade. You need headers because of the extra exhaust flow of the cam. Without headers, all you do is choke the exhaust and any gains from a cam swap wont be half as much if there was headers.

    241 heads very flow well up to .550 and not much at all above .575. With that said, I still believe you will need head work to hit 400rwhp. Personally, I don't see the 241's being worth spending money on. You should look at 243 P/P if you're on a tight budget.

    You may also want to consider a lower rear end gearing than your stock 3.42. M6 cars with aftermarket cams like lower gears (by lower, I mean something like a 4.10/4.11). However, not too many people want to soak any money into the POS 10-bolt.
    It's on jackstands.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the help and your knowledge and the detail and being thorough with your replies. As with everyone else I dont want to stick money into that rear end as that will be next. But the car will most likely never see a track day or a drag race from a dig or a pair of slicks. Although the rear end is just a ticking time bomb anyways. I wouldnt be bummed if I came short of the 400rwhp but I sure do want it. I am going to pick up an LS6 intake which I have read really doesnt perform and less than a FAST intake but cost less although an up side to the FAST is that you can port it etc being what I understand a 2 piece design. Sounds like I will be doing the 243's for sure since Im going to be that far into engine dissassembly anyways and would kick myself in the ass if I came out real short of my goal and know if I wouldve done it right with the heads I would hit my goal (I know all dynos will produce different numbers) so heads it is. Is it worth my time to mill them. Would doing one over the other benefit me better Milling vs. p/p or should I not mess with milling at all. I see that 11:1 is the most compression should push with these motors on 91 pump gas... am I incorrect? Which to get that c/r wouldnt need much milling.

  8. #8
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I never looked into running higher compression since I went the opposite route and installed a supercharger on mine; I want less compression.

  9. #9
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    Good point. Maybe someone else that is running N/A will see this thread and chirp in about that question with the heads.

  10. #10
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chawin View Post
    Good point. Maybe someone else that is running N/A will see this thread and chirp in about that question with the heads.
    A lot of what compression is is able to run on 91 or 93 octane has to do with the tune.
    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
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