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outgrown drag, sell transam for vette or mod transam?

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Old 11-16-2005, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default outgrown drag, sell transam for vette or mod transam?

as the subject line says,
i've outgrown "living my life a quarter mile at a time"

i dont like leaning during corners like im in a boat
and i dont like the unsafe feeling i get when on the freeway

my question is=
can i mod my 1998 trans am to handle as well as a C5?
can i mod my 1998 trans am to handle as well as a modified C5?

or is there "no hope" to handle like a vette?
and i should make plans to sell the Fbod for a vette?

i like the look of the TA more,
and it'd be cheaper, i think..
but i know the frames are different
and the C5 has IRS

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Old 11-16-2005, 05:30 PM   #2
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You can get F bodies to handle very well, but you will never have the combo of from a stop straight line launch with left/right slalom/road course agility like a C5/6. Those cars are just better (weight distribution, lower weight, strong IRS, lower Cg,etc.) set up for this. Witness the number of sub 11 second Vettes that can go and still kick *** on a road course with just a change of wheels and tires! A 10 sec. F body is not going to go around turns very well at all.
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:12 PM   #3
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Well there is Sam Jr strano who runs a z28 ls1 and wins autox events. He has given me hope for an fbod with excellent handling as that's what I'm pursuing. The thing is, I'll have a possible 8 sec capable car once it gets back from GMR with twin turbos and a forged motor. And I am doing everything geared towards handling and possible autox. I've lowered the center of gravity a full 2" and am going with Sam's hollow sway bars. I think the truth of it is that we can't get our fbods to reach the capabilities of a modded Z06 vette but that pushing a fully susp modded fbod to it's full potential on a track would be years ahead of our driving skills anyhow. So once my fbod is the limiting factor on track times, I'll be looking at something else.
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:17 PM   #4
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Just be careful out there and watch it when those hairdryers come on big boost at the apex exits!!
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone0fFire
as the subject line says,
i've outgrown "living my life a quarter mile at a time"

i dont like leaning during corners like im in a boat
and i dont like the unsafe feeling i get when on the freeway

my question is=
can i mod my 1998 trans am to handle as well as a C5?
can i mod my 1998 trans am to handle as well as a modified C5?

or is there "no hope" to handle like a vette?
and i should make plans to sell the Fbod for a vette?

i like the look of the TA more,
and it'd be cheaper, i think..
but i know the frames are different
and the C5 has IRS

it can handle as well as a stock c5
it probably wont handle as well as a modded c5
you need really wide tires to really stick an f-body to the road...... kinda like the supra guys. our cars are pretty damn big
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:11 PM   #6
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Well, the way we have it set up boost will come on early like 2800ish so it shouldn't pose a major problem that I can think of.
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humming Bird
it can handle as well as a stock c5
it probably wont handle as well as a modded c5
you need really wide tires to really stick an f-body to the road...... kinda like the supra guys. our cars are pretty damn big
Yep, agree with Humming Bird. I autoX with a guy that is a very good driver and races a stock Z06. He took a couple runs in my car and was nearly as fast as in the Z06, and probably would have equaled it or bettered it with some practice.

The thing you're got to do is build the suspension right (Strano setup,) bolt on the biggest stickiest tires as possible, get the right wheel alignment, and then get rid of as much weight as possible. I run 13 inch wide road race slicks on all four corners and the car weighs a hair over 3100 lbs. That's lighter than a stock Vette. The front suspension will need to be moded in one of several ways to get enough camber.

One reason the Vette's IRS helps is because of it's adjustability; i.e. you can do a performance wheel alignment on the rear as well as the front of the car. Something a lot of people don't know is you can do the same thing with a solid axle fbody, it's just a little harder.
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Last edited by Cal; 11-16-2005 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:30 PM   #8
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thanks for all the intel, guys

i dont plan to compete,
this is just my daily driver,
and i abuse it as much as possible without losing it

when i push the car,
i REALLY dont like the way the car drives unless its WOT in a straight line

so i think im going to mod the TA

then i'll see if im still unhappy.

thanks again guys
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:53 AM   #9
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You can get it to handle as well as a vette, but just know that the vette will do it a lot better (ride quality wise).
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone0fFire
thanks for all the intel, guys

i dont plan to compete,
this is just my daily driver,
and i abuse it as much as possible without losing it
When it comes to street use, the only really noticable difference between a vette and F-bod you're going to find is ride quality. You can get your TA to handle close enough to a vette on the street that the differences will be negligible, but the impact on ride quality will be more significant.

Get some shocks, swaybars, and springs on that TA, and you'll definitely enjoy throwing it into the corners just as much, if not more than just straight line acceleration.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jRaskell
When it comes to street use, the only really noticable difference between a vette and F-bod you're going to find is ride quality. You can get your TA to handle close enough to a vette on the street that the differences will be negligible, but the impact on ride quality will be more significant.

Get some shocks, swaybars, and springs on that TA, and you'll definitely enjoy throwing it into the corners just as much, if not more than just straight line acceleration.

this is great news

i forgot to mention,
i really dont care how comfortable it is

if i did,

i would have got the vette in the first place!

time to save some money and call strano

thanks guys!
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone0fFire
this is great news

i forgot to mention,
i really dont care how comfortable it is

if i did,

i would have got the vette in the first place!

time to save some money and call strano

thanks guys!
Good plan. But you can get a significant improvement for zero dollars if you have a few basic tools by doing your own performance wheel alignment.
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal
Good plan. But you can get a significant improvement for zero dollars if you have a few basic tools by doing your own performance wheel alignment.
can you point me in the right direction?
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Old 11-20-2005, 01:22 AM   #14
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I am really pleased with my birds handle . When comparing this set up i got now with the original one , it is like day and night .The original set-up suck's big time.
I will add two more uppgrades on my car ,Subframes and Sam Stranos Swaybar's .
And also not to be forgotten , better seats .//D
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone0fFire
can you point me in the right direction?
There is a lot of fancy, expensive equipment available for doing wheel alignments to precise numbers.

But is a very precise wheel alignment what makes a car handle well in corners? No, not really. It's more a mater of adjusting the wheel alignment with handling in mind.

For a stock fbody, the design of the front suspension will not let you align the front end for enough negative camber. The amount of caster you have is not that critcal, but you would like as much as possible. A 4th gen fbody doesn't need a lot of toe-out to turn in well, especially if it is wearing a good set of performance tires with stiff side walls.

This boils down to aligning for as much neg camber as mechanically posible, taking what's left over in positve caster, and reseting the toe to zero last since the caster and camber affect toe.

The bottom line is this: All you really need to do is jack up the car, losen both the caster and camber adjustment bolts, and push the front LCA's all the way out to the end of the adjustment slots, then tighten the bolts. Then get the car's weight back on it's wheels, and set the toe to zero. While the car is still has the front wheels off the ground, you need to mark a very accurate chalk line somewhere on a smooth part of the tread. Try to rig up something that will hold a sharpend piece of chalk, like small machinists vice (a lot of other things would work also.) Spin the tires so the chalk line goes all the way around each front tire. Then with the car back down on it's wheels, bounce the nose a few times, and measure the toe between the chalk lines (you will need a helper to hold one end of the tape measure.) Losen both jam nuts, and adjust the total toe to zero by adjusting each tie rod end one-nut flat at a time, until the fronts of the tires measure the same as the rear of the tires within 1/32 of an inch.

You should end up with about -0.7* camber on a stock car at factory ride height, and up to -1.7* on a lowered car. You can also slot the UCA mount to get more, or weld up the holes and redrill them 1/4" inboard like I did. Or you can buy adjustable control arms (expensive.) With any of these mods, you could get -2.5* which is about optimum for handling, depending on the tire type used.
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Last edited by Cal; 11-20-2005 at 02:39 AM..
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:45 AM   #16
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Yes. My camaro will outhandle my FRC. The Vette is much more comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stang killer
You can get it to handle as well as a vette, but just know that the vette will do it a lot better (ride quality wise).
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:45 AM
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