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Fastest stock trans am not an 89" TTA or LS1 or SD 455?!?! Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   fbird90nw 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:56 AM

I always thought the fastest stock trans am was the 89 TTA with the LS1 in second. But I'm reading my FIREBIRD catalog of 1967-2002. An apparently there's an car from 1969 with 475 brakehorse power! Here's the specs.

303 V-8 ( UPC L32): Overhead camshaft. Cast-Iron Block. Displacement: 303 cid. Bore & Stroke 4.12 x 2.83 in. Compression ratio: 12.8:1 Brake horsepower 475 at 8000 RPM Solid Valve lifters. Rochester four-barrel

An this is an official GM book!
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#2 User is offline   69_Rag_Top 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 12:57 PM


I have heard a lot of things about Trans Am Racing back in the late sixties.

The 1989 Turbo TA and later LS1 equipped Trans Ams were available direct from the dealerships... you just ordered the car the way you wanted it.

The book describes a 303 V-8 ( UPC L32): Overhead camshaft. Cast-Iron Block. Displacement: 303 cid. Bore & Stroke 4.12 x 2.83 in Trans Am.

Was this a one-off production race car built for Trans Am racing or was this a stock production car that could be ordered from a Pontiac dealership?




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#3 User is offline   budfreak 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:08 PM

That book is probably listing the HP as it was measured back then (gross), which is way overexagerated compared to the way we do it now. I'm sure it made plenty of power still, but chances are it ran right along the line with the LS1 and TTA in terms of speed, it would be quicker though if it were in a lightweight race car like for the Trans Am series or something which is what I suspect since I've never heard of a 303 OHC Pontiac motor in a production car.
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#4 User is offline   matt224 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:11 PM

Plus back then, the gearing and 4 speed trans jsut held them back. Wouldn't be surprised if that car ran a 16 second quarter mile. The 89 TTA has a faster 0-60 time than the LS1, but I am pretty sure it is near the same or slower than the 1/4 mile than the ls1.
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#5 User is offline   fbird90nw 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:35 PM

@ 69_rag_top it's listed with the production engines like the Ram air? So I guess so?

@ budfreak me either they usually say Comp only but this is listed right along with the other engine options of that year. Could be a typo idk?

@ matt224 probaly man I wish I could see a race between the two the LS1 would give it a great challenge.
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:35 PM

The 303 V8 was a special engine developed for SCCA Trans Am racing.
It was originally intended to be used with Ram Air V style tunnel port heads but the R/A IV heads seemed to make the best power.
PMD exec's pulled the plug on the project but roughly 100 engines were built and some installed in VINless `69 Trans Am's.
The block dimensions and architecture were later reused on the 301 engines.

As far as which model or era car is the fastest that is one test I would love to see.
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#7 User is offline   fbird90nw 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:04 PM

You my friend are great, nice information I never knew this engine existed until I read this book. But your explanation explains alot more than the book. As for the race idk. I'll put it my money between the 303 and the 89 TTA
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:17 PM

You got to remember about an LS1 TA. They made alot more power than what the factory rates them at. Also there are different models like the Formula, Base TA, WS6 TA and the Firehawk. Than there are packages like the Blackbird which were rated at 485hp. Or order a WS6 TA and they ship it to lingenfelter and skys the limit. And still get great gas mileage, power seats and AC.

This post has been edited by FSTLS1TA: 02 April 2011 - 04:19 PM

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#9 User is offline   fbird90nw 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:31 PM

[quote name='FSTLS1TA' timestamp='1301789859' post='634246']
You got to remember about an LS1 TA. They made alot more power than what the factory rates them at. Also there are different models like the Formula, Base TA, WS6 TA and the Firehawk. Than there are packages like the Blackbird which were rated at 485hp. Or order a WS6 TA and they ship it to lingenfelter and skys the limit. And still get great gas mileage, power seats and AC.

I Heard blackbirds only made 385hp. A lingerfelter trans
am is not stock. Now a Firehawk vs A 89 TTA would be
tits to see. 89 TTA where extremely underrated also. They where said to make 310rwhp stock. 0-60 in 4.6. Run 1/4 miles in mid to low 13's. Now for the SD 455 and the 303 idk
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:14 PM

I don't believe the 303 and the 301 are related, other than common displacement. The 303 was built to satisfy the 5-litre limit on Trans Am Racing Series rules. They were based on traditional Pontiac architecture, but destroked and equiped with a shorter deck height. They could use Pontiac heads, but the geometry of the shorter deck placed the intake ports of the heads closer together, requiring special intake manifolds. The motor was built with racing in mind and certainly would have been developed further is GM hadn't pulled the plug on it. Also, SCCA rules required that a minimum of 500 'similar' engines had to be produced for production cars. This is called the "homologation rule" to prevent companies from doing exactly what Pontiac did - built a special-purpose engine that was not available from a dealership. Yet somehow, Pontiac skirted the rules and only built 25 of the engines that were secreted out the corporate back door to racing teams like Jerry Titus and Bob Goodsall. The engines featured twin 4-bbl carbs that would not fit under the '70 TA hood, which had been designed to have twin scoops. So instead, they cut a hole in the hood and devised the now-famous shaker to protect from the elements. To keep from ingesting dirt and tire rubber from the track, the shakers faced backwards. This configuration also tested the notion that the vortex formed by air trapped at the base of the windshield could be forced into the carbs through that rear-facing scoop, but the practical advantaged were dubious at best. But the die had been cast and Trans Am models from that day until the end of 2nd Gen production featured the rear-facing shaker. What became of the twin scoops introduced in the 1969 TA? They became the basis for the Formula.

http://www.wallacera...com/ta-303.html

The 301 was a totally different animal, developed to increase economy and decrease weight. As such, it was never designed to be a performance engine, but instead to shave as much weight as possible and still deliver longevity. By the time the 301 debuted in 1979, the emphasis was off performance in a nod to skyrocketing insurance costs and goverment pressure to improve economy. Could the engine have been further developed into a performer? Probably so, with additional support and webbing. But with a total production run of less than 3 years, time was not in its favor.
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#11 User is offline   fbird90nw 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:44 PM

Damn you sure do know your birds huh! :)
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#12 User is offline   matt224 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:17 PM

I don't think there is much of a real difference, despite what is advertised, in Firehawk vs ws6, even Formula maybe. Most LS1's dyno around 300-320 at the wheels stock. I'd definately put my money on the LS1. Although the 0-60 times are faster in the TTA, that really means nothing. Quarter mile times are pretty close with teh TTA in the mid 13's and the LS1 more in the high 12's to low 13's; and if the race went farther than a quarter mile, it'd only get worse for the TTA.
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:30 PM

I have never seen any stock LS1 go high 12's stock in my life. I don't care care if Dale Earnhardt Sr. Is driving god rest his soul. My friend had a 2001 Camaro SS 6 speed bragged about how he ran 12.6 consistent at the Atco. We went down and outta 3 passes he only managed a best of 13.51 at 105. And he's been going to the track for awhile in that car all stock. I'm deff not bashing the LS at all but I've never seen or heard of a stock 12 ls1
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#14 User is offline   matt224 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:39 PM

I need to find the magazine I saw it in, it was actually a 2002 Camaro SS in a Mustang Magazine being compare to a Cobra. I believe they had it run either a 12.6 or 12.8. Let me look around for it a bit
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:44 PM

I read an article back a couple yrs ago that explained that 68-69 Ram Air cars were by far the fastest birds ever.. I am one of those guys that needs to see to believe, but someone mentioned above that the HP ratings for those yrs were overexagerated??? Really, I think your mis-informed if anything they are well under-the real Hp ratings all the manufacturers under rated them back then until it caught up to them in 72'.. I believe the stock Ram Air cars were pumping out 335HP back then and it has been noted they were really around 400HP. Only way to tell though is to build the stock examples and run em to find out. Just my 2 cents, I don't really know much. But if someone close to me wants to run me against a 3rd or 4th gen bring her over, LOL..
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#16 User is offline   matt224 

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:54 PM

Here is part of the article (rest of the pages are in the link below), also note the guys doing the testing in the Camaro SS are editors from Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords magazines:

http://www.stangbangers.com/01Bullitt_Article2c.jpg

http://www.stangbang...tt_Article2.htm

I would be very doubtful to see a 69 Ram Air run a 13 second quarter mile, I just don't see it with the old suspension and trans.


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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:55 PM

Yea Matt I'm not saying your lying but I just never in my life seen that not saying it never happen but I need proof. Believe me I would like to own an LS one say and see what they can do. But atleast I'm not arguing the LT1 vs LS1 lol. Yea the First and Second gen birds are fast as hell but stock I'd still take the TTA or LS1. Those 4 Speeds and gear ratios just didn't do those engines justice. With better setups I'd take the older Birds but then they wouldn't be stock :)
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:57 PM

White 68, You might want to look into it some more. Back before I think either 72 or 73 they measured HP using a gross rating, then they switched to net ratings in the early 70's and that took away from HP numbers a bit.

This post has been edited by budfreak: 02 April 2011 - 07:58 PM

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 08:00 PM

View Postfbird90nw, on 02 April 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

Yea Matt I'm not saying your lying but I just never in my life seen that not saying it never happen but I need proof. Believe me I would like to own an LS one say and see what they can do. But atleast I'm not arguing the LT1 vs LS1 lol. Yea the First and Second gen birds are fast as hell but stock I'd still take the TTA or LS1. Those 4 Speeds and gear ratios just didn't do those engines justice. With better setups I'd take the older Birds but then they wouldn't be stock :)

No worries, I try not to take magazine articles as the die hard truth, but after seeing those tests done by Mustang magazine editors, I had to lawl and believe it.



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Posted 02 April 2011 - 08:07 PM

Matt you proved me wrong, nicely played sir, nicely played. But I'm still gonna take the TTA for the win here's one article but there's another one from 1990 when a guy knocks a 12.81 1/4 mile time I gotta find it. But this is a mid 13 1/4

http://www.gtasource...TACDReview.html

View Postmatt224, on 02 April 2011 - 08:00 PM, said:

No worries, I try not to take magazine articles as the die hard truth, but after seeing those tests done by Mustang magazine editors, I had to lawl and believe it.


Yea I was thinking if mustang owners admitted they got there ass handed to them it must of been bad lol
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