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hey guys, ok so its obvious tht i should be in this section since im a newbie to all of this. so my name says it all. i have a 2002 pontiac firebird and i wanna make it the best i can so i can roll or beat some of the top dogs around the area, only problem is is that im 17 and money, at times, can be a problem. all im looking for is someone(or people) to set me in the right direction. im wanting to get the best without paying off all my limbs haha. the first thing that i HAVE to do is buy a new exhaust system, due to the previous owner tht i bought it off of. he put on some kind of an exhaust system on (idk wat kind) and he had to wield an extra bracket to hold up the back end exhaust and after about a year of owning it (last week) the wield broke loose and now there's a massive gash for an air leak. so the 1st thing im going to buy is magnaflow exhaust.
Also, someone said while im on exhaust, tht i should but a turbo, blower, or even twin turbo. but i really cant afford to spend 3 G's on just turbo's. so if u can help me get to the end of my goal, i'd much appreciate it ;) thnx
 

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FWI
Exhaust
Cam<----/rockers
Spray
Tune

Simple and should be pretty effective. Heads and porting would be nice but this should be enough to see you through especially if you get more aggressive with the cam.
 

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Best bang for the buck if your on a budget with a v-6 fbody would be a set of pacesetter headers, a homemade cold air intake, low temp T-stat, 1.9 modified rockers, used nitrous kit with new solenoids, a shift kit,colder plugs and a tune. If your doing all your own installs and you know how to shop for deals you can put these parts together for around a grand(give or take a hundred). and that would include having someone do the custom tune for you.

This should net you some mid to low 13sec 1/4 mile passes depending on if you can find traction. Just be aware that the 4l60 trans and rear end in the V-6s dont tend to like lots of abuse.
 

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Best buid One big turbo/inercooler set up and an expensive tranny to match.

Best bang for buck what the guy above said, but again if the tranny goes it will never be cheap!
 

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Going the turbo route you are forced to upgrade quite a few other things which would cost more then the 3k just for the kit.
It is possible to go the other direction and try and top swap(eaton m-90) the engine. It would require alot of work to make the inlet clear the firewall but its been done. This would still be quite a bit more abuse on the trans all the time over a simple wet kit.
 

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nice to see some guys my age on here, i feel like the dumb baby on the forum at times with all these old farts :p ;)
 

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im new on here too and have an 01 camaro i was just woundering where you were buying your exhaust from because i was looking into the magnaflow as well
 

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Okay, wading in here for a minute so you can get some F-body specific help. First off I'll quote what I was told by a very knowledgeable man a years ago when I wanted to start modding my bird, "Cheap, Fast, Reliable. Pick two of those three."

TRANS:
First off if you have a 5-speed manual it doesn't handle abuse at all. They're not very strong to start with and the moment you start developing more than stock torque, you'll be breaking it in short order. Even guys with built T5's end up wearing them out once they are in good power. You can get one built from G-force, but expect to spend some coin on top of getting a good clutch.

The 4L60E will handle the abuse alot more, usually you'll trash the stock stall and pump before anything else will break. Performance stalls will run you around $400, but you want one matched correctly to your engine setup. You can get a Shift kit and corvette solenoid, but not something I'd recommend for somebody completely new to this to try the first time out. There are companies that offer a built transmission but like the G-force T5, expect to pay some good money.

Engine:
With a 2000+ model car, you have tubular exhaust manifolds, much better than the earlier models that had log manifolds. Figure out your RPO codes on your door to see what gear ratio you have and if you have a posi differential or not. You also have a drive by wire throttle and straight intake, while 1998 and earlier had a cable throttle and angled intake.

So for starters, I recommend trying to find a Whisper Lid for the V6's. It was my very first mod and was a noticeable change audibly. You could hear the engine working really well with stock exhaust (something I can't hear now over my current exhaust). It is a very simple mod and doesn't really require any tools except maybe a screw driver to help pop the old intake and baffle off and install the new one.

Here's mine, ignore the dust we just had a nice windy front blow through here. And in the Texas panhandle, expect alot of dust!


Next up is headers. Pacesetters are the least expensive, but have quality issues (not mating up correctly or rusting out. Clear Image Automotive has nice mid length headers, probably the best quality and bang for your buck. Longtubes are out there, but expect to pay the price for them and run a custom y-pipe.

Headers were the first mod I did to bust my cherry as far as turning a wrench on the engine. Expect setbacks and other issues.

I'd recommend getting 90* boots on both ends for the spark plug wires and install new plugs. The straight boot plug wires have a tendency to get burned on the new headers as they are a different tube diameter and geometry. I might even recommend installing new pre-cat O2 sensors after letting the car run with the new headers for a few miles. Will help optimize the car's performance.

High flow catalytic converter (will also help cut rasp compared to straight exhaust).

Good catback. There are many out there to choose from. Find soundclips of cars with them installed and start narrowing it down. I run a TSP rumbler, one of the least expensive catbacks out there, but I warn you that it is loud. Some just run a 3" exhaust through a summit turbo muffler. Nice and quiet but still a good flowing exhaust.

Start off small and see how you like it, this is the simplest part of the modding and easily the most enjoyable without running the risk of making your daily driver less reliable by tearing into your engine and not knowing what you are doing.

Suspension:
Sway bars are a great mod to these cars, helps make the ride feel more controlled and the car is more flat through the corners. Actually one of the most fun mods I ever installed on my car and the first mod installed after doing the whisper lid.

I used a BMR 32mm solid front swaybar and a 19mm LS1 rear swaybar. Big difference over stock.

Good shocks like Bilstein HD's will work great with stock springs. If you want something lower, find something that makes you happy and get an alignment done.

Tubular panhard rod and lower control arms are a good choice especially if you are running a car with higher mileage. On a budget you could just replace the stock bushings with Moogs and call it a day.

Aluminum driveshafts can be had for under $100 bucks, and removes a bit of rotating mass off our drivetrain.

Expensive:
Here's the breakdown on the heirarchy in the V6 f-body world from slowest to fastest: NA > Nitrous > Supercharged > Turbocharged
Even though nitrous can be used in conjunction w/ SC or TC cars, nitrous only can have its limits on our cars especially if you are using a generic tune.

You can be fast with an NA car, we have NA V6 cars in the 12's cam only but on an agressive cam that you might not enjoy in a daily driver.

All out NA cars can be a nuisance to some people, but others absolutely love them.

Superchargers are in short supply and the M90 off a supercharged car like the GTP will not directly fit! It has been done but is a royal PITA and requires alot of fabrication and a good working knowledge of the engine. Procharger and Powerdyne offer superchargers, but finding kits still on the market might be hard.

Turbocharger kits are in short supply as well, but a few people in the community do offer turbocharger builds as a one-off make. Many people custom build theirs.

All of these maximum effort builds will require good tunes that are right on the money or you will risk blowing your motor. Look towards good camshaft specs for your purpose, ported heads and intake, better valve springs and larger valves to improve the amount of airflow that goes into the heads (more air offers chance of more power, but you need the fuel to get there).

Both supercharged and turbocharged routes I wouldn't recommend going above the 10psi mark, as there are alot of issues with getting good fueling and you have a higher compression engine. When you run lean on these higher compression engines, you'll break in a big way.

Do it right, don't cut corners, don't skimp on important parts and safety equipment.
 

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*starts a slow clap*
Awesome break down Dane! I have a friend with a v6 camaro, i may have to print that off...
 

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Thanks, took me a bit to write it down and think it through.

With my personal experience of doing my first build it helps put things into perspective now as compared to a year or two ago. But building the engine the first time around with some skilled assistance to guide me through was the biggest help ever.
 

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As per your PM, yes there are V6 specific whisper lids. The LS1's don't line up right and people resort to using crappy hose to link it up to the TB.

Take your time and you'll find one, they're worth the wait.
 

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lsx swap /thread

seriously a 6.0 from a truck with an fbody top swap can be had for a fairly decent price
Exactly.

Sorry, but dumping a bunch of cash trying to make a V6 Fbody fast is a waste of money, unless you can afford to build it right (IE a 4k turbo kit, forged internals and everything that goes with it). Even a 5.3 with bolt ons would put you much further ahead in the game and leave you room to make much more power.

I'm not saying you can't make a V6 fast, but spend the same amount of money on a V8 swap versus building a V6 and the V8 will always be faster.
 

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