• Dan 2000 Pontiac Trans Am

    2000 WS6 LS1 Trans-Am 5.7L
    This 2000 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am car was purchased over the Internet using Ebay, found a dealer selling the car in Pensacola, Florida. Wired the cash across by popping into my local bank. It was all risky as I had never seen the car before, only photos. I organised the shipping myself using a shipper in the States who transported it across land to Jacksonville. The whole shipping process took around 1 month. Arrived mid september 2002.It was the first time I used eBay, I signed up for an account, and then started bidding. The bidding was a bit addictive, when someone outbids you its almost like you have to be top, no matter what. Well bidding got over $16k, I was at work so couldn't watch the bidding too close. About 1 hour before the end, I just put down $20k and hoping I would remain top, and the bidding ended at $17.1k

    SVA test
    Had to get it through the SVA test, without a garage it was getting hard to work in the dark. So it never went in for its SVA test until March 3rd 2003. I had to change the way the front side lights worked and the entire rear light cluster and add some indicator repeaters on the front wings, nothing too major. The SVA retest was on the 13th March which it passed, then I took it straight for the MOT which it also passed, then went to get it registered which took a couple of days, but now it's all taxed and MOT'd, road legal on 13th March 2003. I'm very happy with the car, stunning performance.
    I purchased a set of GM workshop manuals from Bauer-Millett in Manchester, also got the EU rear light cluster from them too. The manuals were very useful regarding electrical wiring, and changing the lights I had a few modifications to do. I has to has on rear light reflectors, as the EU light cluster didn't have rear reflectors, therefore wont pass the SVA. I just got some plastic stick on ones from Halfords.

    Diagnostic / Tuning Tools
    A great thing about the LS1 engines is the tuning side of it is all done in the ECU. You really need to be geared up with a laptop and some great software to achive this. I purchased AutoTap Auto Tap/ got the enhanced version for the LS1 engine Auto Tap's EFI Live software. Its great for data looging and reporting error codes, many things you can check for manual or automatic cars. This told me about a vaccum leak not in so many words but did point me towards the problem so it could be fixed. Done some logging when going down Thorney Island drag strip, video of the car from a spectators view, can be seen here.
    Up against a Nissan Skyline V6 Twin turbo with NOS, well not sure if he used NOS down the strip, but he done the Fast and Furious NOS purge before the race.

    Great to have a bit of American muscle throbing with power at low RPM. Next time will try to change into 4th gear, was in 3rd at 101mph, well was at 100 about 50 meters before the end. The silly thing is I set the rev limit to 6000rpm, this means its starts taking out cylinders about 5500 rpm. 6000rpm in 3rd = 100mph. The rev limit was set by another piece of software I have by HP Tuners, available at hptuners this enables you to change stuff in your ECU. First thing to go was the speed limiter. Next was the CAGS (Computer Aided Gear Selection) its a reall pain in the butt, happiliy pulling away on a roundabout in 1st gear between 15mph and 20mph, time to change gear, but think again, is only locks you out of 2nd 3rd and 4th, duh!, whats the use? apparently meant for fuel economy, but not so good when car is coming towards to and your coasting to a stand till. I used to end up in 5th gear, it was the only one I could get into. Considering 5th gear takes you over 160mph, its not really geared up for accleration at 15mph.

    HP Tuners is a great bit of kit. Driving while doing data logging and then adjusting the 3D tables after tweaking for better performance.



    LSX Intake Manifiold and Fuel Raills

    Looking for some bolt on horse power, after loking at what some people had to say in www.ls1tech.com the F.A.S.T. Intake manifold looked the business, fine bit of craftsmanship, wouldn't lok complete with the stock fuel rails so I invested in some F.A.S.T Fuel Rails which can deliver plenty of fuel for my needs, think I read some where in the region of 2000hp.
    Photos of the F.A.S.T LSX Intake manifold before installation. Fitted the fuel rails. The braided hose and pressuer guage is from Speed Flow very helpful company, they visualise what you require and send you all the bits you need. I'm all new to these pipe fittings, I got everything I needed to do the job.
    Below is the standard LS1 intake manifold coming out. Need to take care taking it out as some pipes at wrapped round the oil pressure sensor, this can easily snap, we managed to take the old manifold off okay without knocking the sensor.
    Once the old one clear need to change the bolts that hold in the knock sensors to lower profile ones, these come in the kit and need to be used as the new intake is deeper and will fowl on the old bolt causing damage. While changing these bolts i knocked the oil pressure sensor, breaking it off, whoops, this car wont be going this weekend. Going to order a new part on Monday, hopefully will come next day.
    New FAST LSX intake manifold on the left, stock ont he right. Need to swap over the throttle body, and move the gaskets from one to the other, they are reusable. not reusing the fuel rails as I have some nice anodised ones to be fitted.
    LSX Manifold going in. to help with the install got rid of the AIR and EGR, will modify this with the HPTuners software.

    Installation all complete!.
    Had a faulty oil pressure sensor, so all came off again and changed the sensor. Off and on again in about 1 hour. Ready for the Can-Am 2005 Show the next day.




    Trans Am Burnouts


    The photos below were from the country lanes in Purbrook, between Widley walk and pigeon house lane. Houses are not too near by so the reving of the engine dosn't annoy many people as far as I know. I purchased a Corsa exhaust with 3.5inch pro tips fromt he states, and being stainless it would have a different sound or the standard sound. So I recorded before and after, only about 2 days between the videoing, infact the new exhaust is on the back seat of the first 3 videos.


    Standard exhaust sound on tick over.



    Engine rev standard exhaust.



    Burn out with standard system.

    Photo of the road after the above burnout, tarmac melted and not too much rubber taken off the tyres, glad there was enouth rubber for the next run in a couple days time.


    Burnt tarmac and smoking rubber. :O)
    A couple of days after the above videos of the burnout, the new exhaust system was fitted. didn't take very long, a simple installation job, would recommend put the car on a lift, it would take far longer if just jacking the car up. dry weather all day, then on the way to the burn out site and it starts to rain, never mind the tyres spin up very nicely in the dry or wet. cleaned and waxed the car before the Worthing 2005 car show tommorow and now I have all mud / rubber and tarmac up the side of the car. I'll take a rag with me and try to take some of it off when on the show site. Burn out came out quite well, cut a little short as a car was coming, dont think they were to impressed they couldn't see the road. opps!....


    Corsa exhaust sound on tick over


    Engine rev Corsa exhaust


    Burn out with standard system.

    The life of the tyres are almost up. Its Jan 21st 2006, time to wear them down a bit more, new tyres have arrived and on back seat, Tyres usually cost �120 each, for cheap ones and that was shopping around, the ones on the front were about �230 each, once I got a quote or Pirelli P7000, they were over �500 each so I dont tihnk I will be fitting them. The cheap ones I receive are Hankook Ventus Sport speed rated at 186mph, I got these from
    MyTyres
    they were a bargain at �83.80 each an that includes delivery and VAT. Think I may buy a few more in case the price rises or they realise they must have made a mistake with the pricing. Anyway back to more burnouts.



    The three below, same countrylane, one near the ford. Click on image to lanch the embeded media player.


    F.A.S.T Intake Manifold Swap
    One out and one in.


    Future Modifications

    At first I thought there would be no need for modifications, in fact they still isn't a need, but more of an urge to have silly amounts of power to make this WS6 fly. Already the land speed record for me in this car is 173mph, yes the speedo went off the clock and I had to rely on the GPS to tell me what I was doing, 6000 rpm in 5th and didn't have the guts to remove one hand from the steering wheel to select 6th gear. Not sure if 6th would have pulled and more, I guess I will never find out, no more land speed records for me.
    After having this car for over 2 years now I'm starting to think what can I do to this car to make it accelerate better than 4.5 seconds to 60mph. There is a whole load of things to increase the BHP or ft/lb torque, but I use this car as an everday car needs to remain reliable.


    More to be added...............



    Cosmetical Modifications
    One thing I like the look off isn't a performance modification but a bit of dressing up, provided by Wingswest in the states I could have the car looking like this....
    I need to get the front bumper of the car resprayed not because of scratches but its starting to not match the right front wing, the other side is fine, it could be the sun fading one part faster than the other, although both are plastic it could be different types of plastic. Most of the car is plastic / fibre glass apart from the rear quarters being metal.

    Performance Modifications
    I beleive Thunder Racing http://www.thunderracing.com have everything you could ever need for modifying a Firebird Trans-Am and many other cars. Such an easy and informative website to use, you selet the car you have and it only shows parts that will fit that car. There are many other sites that do parts for these cars, I always go back to Thunder Racing.

    At first I thought there would be no need for modifications, in fact they still isn't a need, but more of an urge to have silly amounts of power to make this WS6 fly. Already the land speed record for me in this car is 163mph, yes the speedo went off the clock and I had to rely on the GPS to tell me what I was doing, 6000 rpm in 5th and didn't have the guts to remove one hand from the steering wheel to select 6th gear. Not sure if 6th would have pulled and more, I guess I will never find out, no more land speed records for me.
    After having this car for over 2 years now I'm starting to think what can I do to this car to make it accelerate better than 4.5 seconds to 60mph. There is a whole load of things to increase the BHP or ft/lb torque, but I use this car as an everday car needs to remain reliable.

    Photos of the Trans-Am the Decals
    The Decals were purchased from 3rd gen decals who has many kits for F-Body cars.