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What mods for 2000 Trans Am to stay with 1971 vette?

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Old 03-08-2007, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default What mods for 2000 Trans Am to stay with 1971 vette?

So here is my deal. I have a bone stock 2000 Trans Am (Auto trans). My brother has a 71 Corvette. While I have no interest in drag racing, I would like to do some track events (road racing, lap days, HPDE, etc.) I have four main goals:
1) Compete evenly or have an edge with my brother in track events.
2) CA Smog Legal
3) Daily driver
4) I am a value guy. I don't buy cheap stuff. I dont buy the best you can buy. As an example if I am buying an AMD CPU right now...I would buy Opteron 2.4 Ghz for $900 ($375/Ghz). I would find it hard to justify $1,150 for a 2.6 Ghz ($250 for .2 Ghz more). There is NO WAY I am spending $1,600 for a 2.8 Ghz ($700 for .4 Ghz more). Its not that I cant afford it, I just can't justify it...

Information on my brother's car:
71 Corvette
Moderate 454 (Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, aggressive cam)- not dyno'd but I am guessing mid to high 500's in flywheel torque and power.
Complete Vette Brakes Suspension kit: http://www.vbandp.com/detail.aspx?ID=474
Car has all non-essential items like AC removed.
Performance built 700R4 Tranny
Minor mods to brakes (maybe upgraded pistons, but stock calipers)
Don't know what wheels/tires he will be going with.

So lets talk suspension. Obviously smog doesnt matter. In Southern CA, the roads are way better than back east, so you can run a stiff suspension without ruining your kidneys. The car is my daily driver, but that consists of about 20-40 minutes each way with 50% of the time and 80% of the distance as freeway.

From reading here it looks like Koni 4/4, Strano Springs, PHB, 35mm/22mm sway bars. How will it compare? Do I need to do more? if so, what?

I know rubber will be important too. I have a set of 17x9 front and 17x11 rear ZR1 clones with the Grand Sport offset collecting dust in my garage as well as the stock wheels on the car. From what I read, these will fit but isnt it better to have the same width on all 4 corners? If I get another set of 17x11 for the front, will they fit? The other issue is using the tires that I drive there with...probably not the best choice. Should I get a 2nd set of wheels with tires just for racing? if so, what size and what are the cheapst wheels if appearance does not matter (used only at track)?

For brakes, will C5 rotors with adapers be enough?

Will rear mounted turbo vs super charger make enough of a difference to warrent changes to any parts?

Anything else I should be considereing?
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bacardi151
From reading here it looks like Koni 4/4, Strano Springs, PHB, 35mm/22mm sway bars. How will it compare? Do I need to do more? if so, what?
Koni SA. Stiffer springs (Strano's are probably good, ground control type adjustable where you can pick your rates would maybe be worth a look). Rod end panhard bar, Strano's swaybars. Yeah, you've got the basics covered. Not much else you can really do to improve handling besides maybe PHB relocation.

11" wide can be done in the fronts but they say its "race only" or something on the tire sticky. Dont know why. If I recall it requires a little bit of modification inside the front fender wells.

If it were me, I'd go wider in the back without hesitation. Some will argue, but you've already got the wheels, so I say give it a try with both setups and see which is actually faster for you.

Good luck
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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To make your car a competitor on the track there is only one man to talk to....SAM STRANO. Call him asap and he will get you quality parts at great prices.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:34 PM   #4
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I have most of your mentioned suspension parts and am very happy w them. My car is able to beat several C4s and a 454 C3 at big tracks. But then that could be driver issues also (older guys).

A good site to chsck out if you haven't already is FRAXX:

They have a sticky on 315s all around. It says thats actually easier on a bird. Don't know much about the STS and other turbo kits, but wouldn't want to give up ground clearance. I would sort out the cars handling , and get real smooth at driving it (lots of seat time). They already have more HP than some can handle. I think you will be pleasantly suprised when you race it.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:48 AM   #5
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Also, don't buy a set of wheels with some Victoracers or something just yet. Get out there and run with street tires for a while. It'll teach you skill better and quicker than running with race tires. Race tires tend to hide a lot of driver errors, but obviously then make it harder for you to get better as a driver.

Run some street tires (might want a 2nd set to abuse at the track though) and get used to how those feel pushing the envelope. Get good at predicting what "too far" is before slapping on some sticky tires.
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