V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

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Thread: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

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    2.5L Iron Duke WarShrike's Avatar
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    V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    So I just recently fired up my car after it being in pieces since June.

    Had initially started as a cam install and replace the classic leaking intake gasket that almost all 3800's develop. After finding bad oil sludge on my 140K mile engine, I decided to pull it all out and get it fully refreshed. Since the project spread out over so long, I was able to obtain some much needed/wanted parts and refreshed the whole suspension.

    Ended up with this nice little list:
    Whisper Lid
    60*Inclusive ported Heads and Intake
    Intense S1X NA Cam
    Yella Terra 1.7 platinum roller rockers
    10.0:1 compression (up from 9.3:1)
    Manton pushrods
    FFF Longtube headers
    TSP Rumbler Catback (not hooked up in vid)

    TCI 3800 stall
    Aluminum driveshaft
    Trans cooler

    QA1 12 way adjustable shocks
    QA1 front springs
    WS6 Rear Springs
    BMR 32mm front, LS1 19mm rear
    UMI LCA's & Adj. PHB
    PA Racing Tubular K-member
    B4C power steering Cooler

    Current noisemaker
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    2.5L Iron Duke WarShrike's Avatar
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Figured I'd post up what I've been working on over the past few months. I'm not wanting to get into the debate as to why I'm modding a V6 or why an LSx would be faster etc. etc. I prefer having a good discussion, but you don't have to beat me over the head with an LSx stick.

    Not doing this to set records, just make the original engine a bit better and get some more life out of it before I move on to something else after I get my degree. I'm doing this to get my feet wet, and this engine is known to be able to take a beating. I've never torn apart an engine until this and I'm making sure it is done right.

    2000 Pontiac Firebird
    Torn down at 140K miles initially planning to replace a leaking intake gasket and install a cam. That changed after pulling the valve covers and found serious oil sludge on the heads and valve train.

    Before the teardown the only performance mods the car had were:
    Longtube headers
    TSP Catback
    Lid
    Aluminum DS

    Dyno'd 169hp & 184tq on a mustang dyno before I pulled it apart. Engine really was showing its age:





    As you can see, the oil sludge was pretty bad. I changed with synthetic oil almost religiously on this car, but I have a feeling that the original 60K miles in only 2 years from the previous owner didn't help much. I have a feeling they might have skimped on oil changes here and there. Heck I had to have the trans rebuilt a month after I bought it.

    So I decided to have the whole assembly cleaned, had the rotating assembly and everything taken care of, and sent the intake and heads to be ported some (just to liven it up) clean it up, tap it for the new rockers and mill the guides to allow for higher lift.

    Here's the mod list so far:
    Aluminum driveshaft
    Whisper lid & K&N (K&N is good for +100hp right? :lol: )
    Force Fed Fabs stainless longtube headers
    Texas Speed & Performance Rumbler catback
    32mm front and 19mm rear swaybars
    Intense Racing S1X NA Cam: 212º/216º .556"/.546" 113º LSA (Profile with 1.7 ratio rockers)
    60*Inclusive hand ported heads and intake
    Yella Terra 1.7 platinum roller rockers
    TCI Super Street Fighter 3800 stall
    UMI LCA's, PHB
    PA Racing Tubular K-member
    HPTuner suite



    Where it sits now, waiting on pushrods and valve covers:


    Step 1, assemble front k-member and suspension components:


    Step 2, begin mating dance and observe proper language to adhere to the ceremony and not take away from the moment:


    Step 3, bring mated pair to their new cradle and allow them to consummate their marriage:




    9:30 AM
    Started clearing a path to the car, half the bay is filled with the old OEM parts.

    10:00 AM


    10:15 AM


    10:45 AM


    11:00 AM Fighting a heavy engine and trans with a jack up front that keeps slipping down the smooth tubular K-member proves to be very challenging to line up.



    2:00 PM Time to shower up and head to work.


    Heater hose mod, front needs alignment so nose is still a little up in the air.



    In the Duke's Pit of Despair!


    Coil bracket mounted to firewall, had to move it an inch over towards the intake as the prong on the coil pack was on the brake booster.


    Looking like a car again!
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    5.3 Liter Vortec V8 avro206's Avatar
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    way to go! Very cool to do something different. When you get it to a track post up your times.

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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Quote Originally Posted by avro206 View Post
    way to go! Very cool to do something different. When you get it to a track post up your times.
    I will for sure. Current local track has been down for two years, and they're working on applying new asphalt finally!
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Nice work. The 3800 looks sharp when its had some attention to it. Can't wait to "hear" and see the results.
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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 tbirderic's Avatar
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Lovely car. How much HP are you looking to produce with the rebuild?
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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar demonspeed's Avatar
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Any updates?
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Quote Originally Posted by demonspeed View Post
    Any updates?
    Hunting weak spots here and there. Fighting to find time b/w work and school to tune the car as well.

    Found the COMP 105# valve springs weren't going to cut it and went with PAC Racing 130# springs. 130 on left, 105 on right.



    Picked up some BFG Drag Radial II's 255/50/16 as well for excursions from a dig

    Car is running good now, just gotta get some time to sit down with my friend and tune it.

    New plate too:
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    3.6 Liter SIDI V6 SuperSS27's Avatar
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Have you thought about getting a supercharger off other 3.8 applications from Pontiac or Buick? That would be a trick little car after that. Or since you have a freshly built motor and trans, what about a turbo or remote mounted turbo? Also, consider getting an extra tranny cooler for the new stall converter. Just for some insurance and piece of mind.

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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSS27 View Post
    Have you thought about getting a supercharger off other 3.8 applications from Pontiac or Buick? That would be a trick little car after that.
    It has been done, and quite the task compared to adding a procharger. You have to mod the inlet as it is too close to the firewall and some people have to chop a little off the cowl to get the top of the M90 supercharger to clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSS27 View Post
    Or since you have a freshly built motor and trans, what about a turbo or remote mounted turbo?
    A good boost setup is in the plans but since I couldn't afford to do it correctly the first time, I decided not to do it. It won't be on this engine anyway as it is running 10:1 compression. I've got plans here in the next few years to run an LLT V6 and boost it. Would love to run something close to dual GT35Rs.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSS27 View Post
    Also, consider getting an extra tranny cooler for the new stall converter. Just for some insurance and piece of mind.
    Got that covered. I've been running a Hayden 1405 trans cooler ever since I started it up. My 3800 stall would have cooked this trans lol! I also had to have that rebuilt, it is good to about 700hp now
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Installed LS6 injectors to deal with the current stockers just getting too close to maximum duty.

    Getting started!


    LS6 connector from Casper's Electronics:


    Spliced into the harness:


    Injector Spacers:


    Back to tuning!

    Where the car stands now:

    Factory Options:
    GU6 & G80, AKA 3.42's and a posi. Something not commonly found in V6's outside the W68/Y87 packaged cars.

    Exterior Modifications:
    8000K HID low beams.
    8000K HID fog lights.
    60LED Switchback DRL/Turn Signals.
    Debadged, trim delete and rear filler panel is now devoid of the firebird name and logo.

    Interior Modifications:
    PLX Wideband gauge in central AC vent.
    Weight Reduction

    Performance:
    Whisper Lid
    Intense S1X NA Cam
    Yella Terra 1.7 Platinum series roller rockers
    PAC 130# springs
    60°Inclusive ported heads and intake
    LS6 Fuel Injectors
    Manton Pushrods
    LS7 lifters
    Fabricated Valve Covers
    Force Fed Fabs Longtube Headers
    3" Spun Metallic Cat
    TSP Rumbler

    Suspension/Chassis:
    Front:
    BMR 32mm Solid swaybar + Poly endlinks/bushings
    PARacing Tubular K-member RR
    HAL QA1 12-way coilovers
    Rear:
    LS1 19mm swaybar + Poly endlinks/bushings
    UMI Performance LCA's
    UMI Performance Adjustable Torque Arm
    HAL QA1 12-way shocks w/ WS6 rear springs

    Drivetrain:
    Aluminum Driveshaft
    Yank Torque Arm Relocation Cross member
    TCI Super Street Fighter 3800 stall w/ 2.1 str
    4L60E built by Richard at Precision Transmissions in Amarillo, TX
    Hayden 1405 trans cooler

    Electronics:
    HPTuners
    PLX Wideband

    To-Do List:
    Install ram air hood, build air box, add speedlines after powdercoating is finished, install LS6 injectors, maybe larger fuel rails to compensate.

    Get some dyno time, Break into 13's NA.

    Collect parts pile for T-56 build.
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Bought these about a year ago off a guy in Florida that used these on an SCCA world challenge Camaro. They'd bought them when it was opened up to where they could run 17"x9.5" wide wheels in the rulebook.

    Bought them on the cheap and got them powdercoated.

    Before:


    AFTER!

    Need to get some lugnuts, center caps and valve stems. Probably going to run spacers to get them more flush with the body lines of the car (have ARP studs available, not looking forward to pulling rear axles)...Oh yeah and tires too!

    Probably going to put the speedline spoke logo back on but in black this time. Unless I find some speedline center caps that fit, but these are going to require a 70mm back center cap. I can drop a 20oz can through the hub opening and not touch.





    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Just got back from Texas Speed & Performance, I've been nervous all morning hoping everything would work out okay. I think I was more nervous than the day I got married!

    Just got back, I've been nervous all morning hoping everything would work out okay. I think I was more nervous than the day I got married!

    As many of you know, I've been doing part throttle and cruise tuning on this car for quite awhile with help from a friend of mine [John Ginter]. The tuner at TSP commented on the overall idle of the car and how it did on the cruise and that it was doing pretty well. He did 4 or 5 pulls with cooldown in between. He was just trying to get the AFR just right, finished it up around 12.9:1 and it was pretty happy at that point. Open longtubes were creating a little noise issue with the knock sensors, he said it might have made a little more without it causing havok on that.

    Going to look at getting a new harmonic balancer to help with spinning this thing up above 6K at the track since this thing without a balance shaft vibrates more than a sorority freshman riding a sybian for the first time.

    Just getting there:


    3.8 Liter capacity strap-on:


    Hot under the collar:




    Anyway, numbers.

    Dyno vid: [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAQyKuxvBMw[/ame]

    3rd gear pull, unlocked 3800 stall:
    196.02 hp @ 5600 rpm
    196.33 tq @ 4600 rpm



    2nd gear was a little cleaner line:
    195.12 hp @ 5750 rpm
    206.14 tq @ 4600 rpm


    These weren't really power pulls more just to get a good tune. He didn't want to lug it too bad in 3rd with it locked out.

    Compare to stock 'verter/trans and 140K mile motor:
    184 TQ @ 4700 rpms
    169 HP @ 5300 rpms


    I am honestly pleased to see these numbers through a big stall. There's so many things that have changed on the car that just looking at the numbers it is hard to really compare the two as this car is very different from when I first started.

    Going to the track soon, it closed the same day I got the dyno tune done due to dust storms.
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 tbirderic's Avatar
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    196 @ the rear wheels..I'm guessing about 225, 230 @ the crank?

    Numbers aside, how does it feel in normal driving conditions?
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    Re: V6 Firebird rebuild/mod

    Quote Originally Posted by tbirderic View Post
    196 @ the rear wheels..I'm guessing about 225, 230 @ the crank?

    Numbers aside, how does it feel in normal driving conditions?
    It might be more at the crank, these aftermarket stalls have a tendency of eating up a good bit of power.

    It feels great in normal conditions, very good manners. No brake surge or anything.
    2000 Firebird A4: 15.859 @ 86.10 Stock time
    GU6/G80, Whisper Lid, 32mm front swaybar, 19mm rear, aluminum DS.

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