7\24\00: The third and final set of headers where installed on a 98 GTP. The owner seems very pleased and the install is getting less and less painless. I also got the 2000 GTP dynoed. Now this time around I decided to dyno the car hot. The accuracy of mod to mod changes on a hot engine is actually much more accurate then cold to cold. The car dynoed 212HP to the wheels hot and then dynoed 218HP to the wheels right after that with some electronic tuning. That equates to 270-275HP hot if you take into account a 180HP run on a stock GTP hot. The car was locked in 2nd gear and the power curve it gave was smooth. I also went up to Torrance where a major brake manufature is considering making calipers and rotors for 97+ Grand Prix's. They took all sorts of measurements and if what I was shown comes into production I think people will love it. For those of you who don't know its getting that time of year again for the annual Grand Prix Gathering in Kansas. Like years past....even with a busy job, I am going. Even though its 2 months away its not to early to think about registering and planning for time off work\school. The gathering is from September 28th-October 1st. If your a Grand Prix fanatic its something to not miss. Watch Grand Prix's being made, race your car and have a good time with people who enjoy the same hobby you do. Check out the information at http://www.gp-gathering.com.
7\10\00: Saturday I installed a second set of headers for a friend on his 98 Regal GS. I've cut the install time on this second set to 4 1\2 hours with just using hand tools. The owner seems very happy with them and there's defiantly a top end power difference. I still have 1 more set to install in the next couple weeks but I think I have made my choice in not installing them on my car. Just a personal preference but I think a intercooler is a much better purchase in my case. As soon as I get a call back from the intercooler distributor I can start the process of ordering one. I made it to the track this weekend as hoped. On Sunday I woke up at 5am and drove an hours drive to Pomona where there where already at least 100 cars waiting to get in when the gates open at 7. These people are either serious racers.....or have no life, ok maybe a little of both. From the gates opening it was a 3 hours wait till racing started, then another hour past that until the domestic cars where called up to race. Needless to say the car had plenty of time to cool. I only could stand waiting in line for 1 run and that was enough. First and only time down the track I pulled a firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH. This is a full 2 tenths faster then the run at Carlsbad and 1.2MPH faster. Just goes to show you what a good track can do to times. Its to bad its only open 15 days out of the year to streetcars. As soon as time allows I plan on dyno testing the car before adding the intercooler. I have found a way of locking the car in gear without downshifting which will vastly improve the accuracy of the dyno run by not getting torque convertor flash by having the car downshift. Short of putting the engine itself on a dyno this is the best way possible. I have a couple pictures of the dragstrip for your viewing pleasure. First is a picture lined up against a old muscle car here. And the results of that race here.
7\2\00: I arranged a group purchase of the Thrasher headers and picked them up June 23rd, including a set for myself. There where a few things in the way of getting it completed fast. First of which being no O2 extension harnesses where available at the moment. That meant cutting the O2 wires and extending them 14inches yourself.......which I don't like. Second the headers had to be drilled in 4 spots to open up the holes to fit on the engines studs that where sticking out. Then came the exhaust leaks. They where coming from the crossover pipe. Little did I know the crossover pipe was supposed to come with a gasket. Those problems where fixed and the car runs great. I decided to try the header install on a friends car rather then my own (what a nice guy I am). And after seeing whats involved i've decided to postpone the install on my car, at least until I install the headers a couple more times on other peoples cars. From what I can tell so far the exhaust is a little louder with the headers on a GTP with a stock exhaust and it definatly pulls harder at high RPM's. I'm very happy with the car the way it is and making the exhaust louder is not a goal of mine.......even at the cost of performance. One thing I can't get enough of is the supercharger whine. Ever since I got the cold air kit I find myself flooring the car right after a 1st to 2nd shift at about 25MPH to hear the supercharger spin up. With this in mind, I may find a intercooler a better purchase for the car (warranty issues aside). Also I have been wanting the intercooler for quite some time now and figure the transmission won't be able to handle headers and a intercooler both, so just pick one. I have a picture of the headers here. Pomona raceway is open next Saturday and even though I won't have a intercooler by then I think it would be fun to run, for comparison purposes versus the dreaded (and slippery) Carlsbad raceway.
6\4\00: I was pretty amazed when I totaled up the bill for all the items I have bought for the car so far (not including the new rotors and pads) and it came out to just under $500.00. That amount bought a SLP exhaust, exhaust Ubend removal, 3.4 pulley with nosedrive and a SLP airbox. Thanks to Mike Lewis at www.grandprixstore.com for a break on the SLP airbox and everyone else who helped out. I have been trying to contact Thrasher all week to order a set of headers to no avail. They are out of the office on the Hot Rod power tour across the US. Having no idea what the 2000 car was doing as far as quartermile time I went ahead and took the car to the track along with the 96. I made it a point this time to do NOTHING to the cars to ready them for the trip and just drive them the way I drive them everyday. In fact most of the runs I never even let the car cool off and just ran it hot. The 96 got a 14.3@98MPH and the 2000 got a email@example.comMPH. Both cars did ok considering the track and weather but traction was a real problem. I know the car is running fantastic because it spanked a new LS1 Firebird the night before multiple times with my friend Steve in the car. I've made it a point to try and go to Pomona or Los Angeles County Raceway rather then this track from now on so that traction is better. The next thing I would like to get done is to dyno the 2000 before header installation but a long work day has prevented it so far.
5\28\00: I have the Z28 rotors installed. For those of you who questioned, yes these are the same rotors found on the Olds Intrigue Autobahn package. The whole idea was given to the GP community when the topic of brakes was brought up at the 1998 Grand Prix Gathering while at the assembly plant. People asked about possible larger rotors becoming a option on the Grand Prix's and a engineer pointed out larger brakes where already available on the Grand Prix's sister car the Olds Intrigue...which are both built side by side. Soon after that people started buying the Intrigue JA9 (Autobahn) caliper brackets which space the caliper out more to allow for the larger disc. Why GM didn't go ahead and add this $150.00 option to the Grand Prix we will never know. The brake option was soon discontinued on the Intrigue but we can still buy the parts needed to do the conversion yourself. All together my parts totaled $250.00 which included lifetime warranty AIMCO 12inch rotors, Intrigue brackets and performance friction carbon metallic pads. When I was removing the stock rotor and pads I noticed how small the stock pads are on the GTP's in comparison to the new pads. View that picture here. So not only are we adding a full inch to the rotors diameter to keep everything cool we are also adding about 1 3\4 square inches of brake pad material for each side of the rotor. When the conversion was complete it made a HUGE difference in braking. ABS does not take nearly as long to pump the car to a halt and brake fade was reduced. All the parts that made up the conversion can be viewed here. And finally the completed install picture here. I'm planning on having headers installed either this week or next but really want to dyno the car before and after. I'm guessing the 18HP gained at the wheel on a completely stock car is lower then what I would get.
5\22\00: This past weekend was GM weekend. Friday a couple friends who have a Grand Prix came down from Fremont to come to Saturdays Southern California ClubGP meet. Saturday was a complete blast. Ram Air Tech donated a carbon fiber strut tower brace to be given away as well as 10% off coupons. The real treat was Thrasher Engineered Performance brought a 350HP+ 97 Regal GS with headers and a intercooler. They even let whoever wanted to drive it! I of course jumped on this opportunity and its fast as hell. Floor it doing 30MPH and you smoke the tires. It was perfect to......while driving the car around with another SCACGP member in the passenger seat we come up on a stoplight with a single car waiting there. The car happened to be a 99+ Z28. We didn't race off the line but did after about 50 feet where we both floored it and the Regal took the Z28. Also The Other Guys Performance Products stopped by and we got to see the final design of the headers that will be for sale through Thrasher. I really like the headers and the dyno results they are getting. With the modification done to my car so far the headers will bolt on 20HP+ at the wheels. This based on Thrasher dynoing a completely stock car with just the headers on and gaining 18HP at the wheels. They added a 3.5 supercharger pulley and air intake and got 254HP at the wheels....a really good number. The headers are now high on my list of upgrades to add to the car. Although this totally goes against what I said earlier with wanting to keep the stock look underhood. I'm carefully summing up local dealers opinions and seeing how cool they are going to be about them should the engine or transmission require warranty work. After the Grand Prix meet I was invited by Tony Lauer from Grand Prix Gathering 98\99 fame to the GM Pontiac Aztek beach bash......where they hosted 50 winners who get to drive the Aztek for 45 days and journal their opinions and feedback of the new SUV. I finally got my SLP intake today and installed it. Really nice to hear the sweet supercharger whine back again. Tomorrow I will be installing Z28 front rotors and caliper brackets to increase the front disc size to a full 12 inches instead of 10.9. I also bought new performance friction carbon metallic pads, both of which should make a good increase in braking performance. I will have pictures of those up tomorrow. I do have a few pictures from the SCACGP meet and Aztek beach bash. Here is what the stock airbox looked like. Its not a bad airbox at all. The airbox is semi-sealed against the headlight area to draw cool headlight air. Also its more of a direct flow then the 97-98 airbox's....which where pathetic in design and funtion, 2 90 degree turns. And here is what the SLP airbox looks like. Here's a look at the final design of Thrashers headers and what I can't wait to put on my car. And the almighty powerful Thrasher GSX (yes those are Grand Prix hood vents). Group shot. at the meet. And AZTEK'S rock!!! Just Kidding.
5\14\00: I will slowly be updating the modifications portion of the site to reflect new 3.4 DOHC products from RSM motorsports and TWINDUALCAM.com. Right now I have updated the Supercharged 3.8 modifications a little bit and will continue to add more new products as I find the time. Some of my information and estimates on horsepower gains for the 3.4 upgrades where inaccurate. I have learned allot about how the 3.4 DOHC and Supercharged 3.8 engines respond to modifications in the past 2 years since the original information was posted and feel I can give a much more accurate horsepower figure on them.
5\11\00: The exhaust tips are aligned and a pic of the installed exhaust is here. I had to overexpose the picture so its not the greatest but I will update it later. I ordered my SLP airbox today and it should arrive next week. Also next week if the airbox gets here in time it will be taken to Ram Air Tech and dynoed with different throttlebodys for some testing. I'm curious to see what the gains are with a ported model versus the ported\polished\recalibrated Stage2. I know my last Stage2 did not idle very well but I think the calibration that was in it was to aggressive. The only 2 "hidden" modifications left are a throttlebody and ported exhaust manifolds both of whch I will probably do.
5\8\00: The first modifications are on. I got the Ubend replacement pipe installed Friday and it did increase the exhaust noise by a little bit but nothing major. I also didn't notice any power gains but I know there was some. The next modification was a Magnuson nosedrive with 3.4 pulley. The install did'nt go nearly as smooth as past installs and the supercharger had to be brought to Magnuson in Ventura to install a new shaft key to hold the pulley one. I will blame the person who sold me the nosedrive on that one. With the stock airbox in place the 3.4 pulley made a huge difference in power but its still being held back by the airbox. Still undecided I think the SLP cold air box with serve my purpose well. Then today I got a offer I could'nt refuse for a exhaust system. A slightly used SLP exhaust from a SLP GTX conversion with 3,000 miles on it for $50.00. A far cry from the $800.00 price I see online. I snatched it up and installed it today. It sounds very nice. Not loud like the Ram Air Tech one and even quieter then a Borla system. SLP claims a 10HP increase with the system, not sure I believe that but thats ok. So far the car still looks very stock. I doubt even the dealer would have much to say about the modifications so far. I have some U bend before and after pictures here and here. Also I have a picture of the SLP exhaust with a stock GTP exhaust laying on top of it. Notice where the pipes split off to each muffler...the factory "T" pipe has been replaced with a much better "Y" pipe. Also the pipes are bigger, 2 1\2 inches around instead of the stock 2 1\8. Also the pipes are mandrel bent for smooth turns. View that picture here. I will have some good shots of the exhaust on the car tomarrow when I align the tips so they are perfectly level.
5\3\00: I went and visited the company making Thrashers headers in Long Beach Ca today. The design has been much improved since the most recent pictures on Thrasher's website. They changed all the 3 bolt flanges to 2 bolt flanges and researched to make all the gaskets available for the couplings available from any GM dealer. The 3inch flange gaskets are actually Chevy Suburban exhaust gaskets and the stock manifold gaskets can be used with the headers. I got a chance to hear the car runs with the headers and it even made the stock exhaust loud....not a easily done feat. I can only imagine how insane a car owner would go if they had a 3inch Ram Air Tech exhaust, no after cat U-bend pipe and these headers. I did get a couple pictures but due to their prototypical welds and not being coated with exposed bare metal its not fair to post them. I would say by far the only thing not appealing about the headers is the price.....about $935.00 all said and done. My Magnuson nosedrive didn't arrive today but that gave me more time to ponder more modifications not easily seen on the car that I could add. So far a catalytic converter U-bend replacement, Magnuson nosedrive, ported MAF\throttlebody. ported\coated exhaust manifolds top the list. The U-bend pipe could easily be replaced cheaply by any exhaust shop but I went and purchased a Ram Air Tech one due to its close likeness to looking like its factory installed, including exhaust hangers, type of metal used and nice clean welds. I get that installed tomorrow morning so looks like a exhaust U-bend will be the first modification...who would have thought. In addition to providing much improved exhaust flow it should louden the exhaust up just a little. I must say its quite a change from going from a loud RAT exhaust and cold air setup that you can hear the supercharger spin up to a completely stock whisper quiet exhaust and a very muted whine of the supercharger. I think for a while I will leave the stock exhaust on but the intake could be changed without looking to modified. SLP Engineering sells a air box that looks very nice and its shaped to look almost factory. At $199.99 its also one of the cheapest.
5\2\00: Let the warranty voiding....err I mean modifications begin!!! Until recently I have never owned a car with a factory warranty. Now that I have one I am leery about about doing any extreme modifications. I've replaced the transmission in my 96 about 5 times.....god forbid anything happen to this one I think GM should pick up the cost. There's enough modifications out there for the Grand Prix right now to pick and choose what suits you best.......you no longer have to settle for 1 maker of a cold air intake or exhaust. The first modification I will do is a magnuson pulley nosedrive with a 3.4inch pulley which should arrive tomorrow. The nosedrive is the stock color and I can even get a stock pulley that's been cut to fit on the snout if I should ever need it for warranty purposes. There will never be a more cost effective modification for the 97+ GTP then the nosedrive. Where else can you bolt on 25+HP for $275.00. 2 major things I would love to do to the car is headers and a intercooler but somehow I think the Pontiac dealer would frown upon them. I'm actually going up tomorrow to visit the manufacture of Thrasher Engineered Performance's headers for the 97+ Grand Prix motor so I will have thoughts and pictures of them then. I must say the 2000 seems so much slower then the 96 at this point but that will change. Some things I am really liking on the new car is the BOSE stereo that's perfectly clear even when you crank the volume all the way up. Also the spoiler sunroof is a added benefit, and little to no headroom was lost due to the glass panel not sliding into the roof but rather out. 1 thing I really dislike about the new GTP is the Heads Up Display. The MPH digits are much smaller and dimmer the the old 94-96 style. This was done to accommodate the radio station display in the HUD, a feature the 94-96 HUD's didn't have. As promised I got some more photos of the car. Here is a front 3\4 shot and here is a rear 3\4 view. I was flooded with e-mails asking for more pictures of my car in that "weird space looking runway" that I have on the main page. Here is a slightly higher quality full screen pic of the image. For obvious reasons I keep ultra high quality copy's of these pictures to myself....it wouldn't be the first time I found a picture of mine on another website claiming it as his\her own.
5\1\00: 3,700 miles and 160 gallons of gas later I have returned. I had a great time at Tony Lauer's wedding and was also able to meet Shawn Lin from the W body page while I was in the area. My friends 98 GTP that I took on the trip was very comfortable and furthers my decision to stick with Grand Prix's, thanks Phillip. Did you happen to notice a different picture on the front page of the site? Well I contradict myself yet again and further the neighbors argument of my lost sanity. 15 minutes before I left for the trip to Kansas last Monday I picked up a slightly used 2000 GTP coupe. The car is fully loaded with the exception of high polished wheels and a CD changer. The car has less then 5,000 miles on it and was allot cheaper then a new one. The owner of the car sold it to buy a new C5 Corvette.....a man after my own heart. I will have some better pictures of the car up soon but for now here are some photos taken of the car before I picked it up. 3\4 view shot, interior and the all important window sticker.
4\23\00: Level10 has still not refunded my money like they promised. It has been turned over to the lawyers. I am leaving for a week to visit some Grand Prix friends in Missouri and Kansas and to attend a wedding for Tony Lauer who runs the Grand Prix Gatherings every year. A friend of mine has been very kind enough to loan me the use of his 98 GTP to ensure a safe journey there and back. I will have some very exciting news when I return next week.
4\16\00: After numerous calls to Level10 and getting yanked around I had to sic the lawyers on them. So far it looks like I will prevail.....they told me Wednesday that they would credit back my credit card the full amount and had me fax the recent bill I got for shipping the transmission back to them so they could handle it. They also said they will send me back a core transmission, I'm not holding my breath on any of the above. Recently the garage has come a GM parts headquarters of sorts with engines here...transmissions there, parts everywhere. This came about because I replaced a friend of mines high mileage Supercharged 3.8 engine and transmission with a engine with 12k miles and a new 4T65-E transmission. Nothing "went bad" with the original engine and trans other then a annoying mysterious ticking sound coming from the rear of the engine that had been present ever since he had the car. And if your going to replace a engine with high miles.....might as well do the trans to. View the assortment of engines\trans here. Viewable (if you look hard) are 3 Supercharged 3.8 engines, 2 4T65-E and 1 4T60-E transmissions and a 3.4 DOHC block. Both cars, the GTP and the 89SE have transmissions waiting to be installed but I have been busy doing other things. I had the opportunity to drive a 98 GTP for about a week while the owner was away. With a 98+ GTP and a 99 Supercharged Grand Am being the 2 final cars I will pick from as a replacement for the 96 it was great to be able to get the feel of the car for a extended period of time. I couldn't help but wonder HOW a person with similar driving habits as mine was able to keep the transmission in 1 piece on a modified GTP with NO external transmission cooler for 75,000 miles. Certainly his use of synthetic fluid from a low mileage helped but I can't think that's it. With that stirring in my mind for a couple weeks I came to the conclusion that the transmissions have to be blowing because of the way I drive. Obviously I couldn't come to a absolute decision on this unless I drove this 98 GTP the way I drive my car but I don't do that to other peoples things. The GTP has stuck in my mind ever since I gave it back to the owner and it looks like unless I get to drive a Supercharged Grand Am anytime soon a 98 GTP will replace the 96. I could go on for days writing about how hard it is going to be for me to sell the GTP but it has to be done. The 96 will have to be sold before I even go searching for a new one. Not so much the money issue but the "If I don't get rid of the 96 and buy a 98 I will end up keeping them both" factor, the neighbors already think I'm nuts.....I don't need to confirm it anymore then it is already.
4\1\00: I called Level10 a few days ago and they said they had just received the transmission and it wouldn't be until next week until they test it and get back to me. To make matters worse a bill showed up for the transmission shipping that Level10 said they where going to pay...now that gets thrown in my face. Level10 has been a real hassle about this and I think lawyers are going to have to step in. The website is going to be getting allot of new files added to it soon. April 4th @Home is expanding users web space from 25megs to 70megs. This sounds like a real solution to my problems and I hope to add allot more pictures.
3\23\00: The Level10 transmission was pulled and sent out to Level10 Monday morning, see that here. Attached to the transmission is a long letter that was laminated so its still legible when they get it. I tried to word the letter as nicely as possible and ended up re-writing it a few times as my mind wandered and a 4 letter word was inserted here and there. They should get the transmission next week. The replacement transmission should arrive tomorrow and then I can put the GTP together. Also a replacement transmission for the 89SE has been found and will be installed shortly. I'm getting my fare share of wrench time in with all these swaps but I'm reminded it shouldn't happen again for a while. The detuning has begun with me selling my Stage2 MAF back to Ram Air Tech. A ported throttlebody\MAF with no electronics recalibration was installed in place of the Stage2. I have also removed the fuel pressure riser and will be selling that. I think those 2 things and maybe a couple misc pieces should detune the engine enough to not eat transmissions for the future owner. The Corvette idea has been heavily outweighed for various reasons recently, most of which I spoke about in my previous update. So the 2 remaining cars, the 99 Supercharged Grand Am GT and the 98 GTP still remain the cars of choice. Hopefully a decision will be made soon after I have had a chance to drive both of the cars.
3\17\00: A replacement transmission has been found and will be installed late next week. With the car being fixed and soon to be sold I think I should clue everyone in on a replacement. I have narrowed the list to 3 cars. Them being a 97 Corvette, 98 Grand Prix GTP, and a 4 door 99 supercharged Pontiac Grand Am GT. Why these 3? Well the explanation is long but let me try and be as brief as possible. Corvette: RWD 345HP and a force to be reckoned with. With all this bad luck with GM FWD transmissions it only seems logical to give the tried and true RWD platform a go around. Why not a Camaro or Firebird? Simply because it seems everyone in Southern California has one. Along with the +'s come the -'s. No rear seat, no heads up display, no "sleeper" appeal. Whats as sleeper? A sleeper is a car that doesn't look as fast as it really is. With a Corvette people know your car is fast and therefore unless they feel they have a car comparable, they will rarely race you at a stoplight. This was recently enforced by my GTP in a stoplight race with a new Porsche Boxster. After a pretty long race from stoplight to stoplight with me ahead by 5 carlengths and growing he pull's next to me and says "Its obviously an 8 isn't it?" I said "No, a supercharged V6" He says "You wouldn't think a car like that is that fast" I replied with "That's exactly how I like it". He was a really nice guy and waved as he tuned off a couple minutes later, that left me in a great mood all day. Anyone who has had a truly fast sleeper car know the feeling is priceless. On to the 98 GTP. I know I know, for gods sake are you insane? When its not boiling due to a transmission failure GM and Pontiac run deep in my blood for different reasons. I like the gadget feel with rubber coated knobs\buttons along with the great engine performance that Pontiac offers. I wouldn't get a 97 GTP because I feel the car is somewhat inferior to the 98 model. Lack of hood struts, funky designed ABS system, controversial (in my eyes) engine computer and a few other odds and ends. A 98 GTP solves these issues. Of course the first thing that runs through my head is what about the transmission problems? The 98 GTP has a couple things going for it that make it a viable alternative then just giving up on the current model Grand Prix's altogether. The most importantly being enough room underhood for the 300HP Northstar engine and transmission. I would only consider this if my luck with 4T65-E transmissions continues. And finally a 99 supercharged Grand Am GT. Supercharged? I know what your going to say, they don't make supercharged Grand Am's. Well they never made 89 Grand Prix SE's with 3.4 V6's or 96 GTP's with Supercharged engines either but I have them. The Grand Am GT is smaller then the Grand Prix and I would give up a little bit of cargo space. However there is a supercharger kit coming out for these cars that boost horsepower from 175 to 250-260HP. That in a car that weighs some 300-400 lbs lighter then my GTP. What about transmission life? Well the Grand Am GT has a even smaller transmission (4T45-E) then the GTP does. I can't help but think under supercharged conditions that trans is not going to last. BUT, GM found a way around this. In some of the prototype Supercharged Grand Am's that are running around GM has a 4T65-E transmission installed. This tells me it can be done and I feel I could do it as well. The other solution is that there is a 5 speed manual transmission for the 2000 Grand Am SE. This means there is pedals and a interior available for the car to support a manual conversion in a GT. This was the main reason holding me back from a possible manual conversion with my 96 GTP. They made pedals for the manual (88-93 circa) but not a 94-96 interior. All these cars are my final choices. I have looked at plenty of others but they are either out of my price range or I lose to many of the things I require on a car to be happy. All 3 of these cars have excellent aftermarket support and the room for upgrades on the Grand Am GT and GTP leave me more possibilities then my 96 GTP does.
3\13\00: OK here's where I'm at. After numerous phone calls to Level10 gone unanswered I posted a message on clubgp.com yesterday explaining my problems and Level10's bad service. You can read that post here. Well 5:30am I get a phone call from Pat the owner of Level10 apologizing and arranging a time good for me to have a trucking company pick up the transmission. They also promised refunding my money and some sort of compensation for my troubles and the loss of transmission core. This is looking much better. I will be searching around today for a good used stock transmission as a replacement. If anyone hasn't guessed at this point the car is soon to be replaced by another GM car in the driveway. I will post more on that soon.
2\29\00: Just a quick update. I feel bad leaving everyone out in the cold for almost a week but I had to. In fact I can't say much with this update either. The pump test was done and it passed. But Level10 is practically refusing to believe that they screwed up. I can say this. I have done everything to test and try and find the problem but everything points to something deep inside the trans case, nothing external. I am currently in negotiation with Level10 to solve the problem but it doesn't look promising. On a happier note I got the GTP smog tested and it passed with below average emissions which is hard to believe with all the modifications that have been done, gotta love computer controlled cars.
2\23\00: I archived some of the news so this page loads faster. I talked to Level10 yesterday where the owner Pat put on a Oscar winning performance of gasps and sighs as I explained my problem to him. He suggested I pull any trouble codes from the computer and perform a flow test on the transmission. Both of which are easy to do. Autotap will pull any codes out with my laptop computer and flow testing the transmission consists of this simple procedure. Disconnect the inlet hose to the transmission and put it in a fresh quart of trans fluid. Put the other side of the hose that use to go into the transmission that flows out in a bucket. Start the engine and get out of the car fast, or have someone standing to watch the quart of new fluid. At idle the transmission should pump the fresh quart out of the container in 30 seconds or less. If it does, trans pump is fine and there's some other internal problem causing the excess heat. My theory is the slipping clutches is causing the excess heat and now a clogged line or failing pump. If it does not pump the quart out in 30 seconds or less take it to the next step. Bypass your radiator transmission cooler and your external one if you have one. Using the same procedure above start the car and see if the quart is pumped out in 30 seconds or less. If it is there is a block in one of your transmission lines. If it doesn't there is some internal problem with the pump. I will do these tests later today and pray its something as simple as a clogged line, though I went through a extensive line cleaning procedure before I installed the trans.
2\22\00: I hope your comfortable because this update is going to read like a novel. After driving the car around the neighborhood and everything performing well I went to bed. It was raining like mad out and there's no way to floor the car around the city without spinning the tires hundreds of feet. I had one of the best nights of sleep that night, knowing everything on the car was good and my problems where solved. Its to bad this feeling didn't last. After waking up I took the car on the freeway for the first time where I noticed the car shifts out of 4th into 3rd off and on when cruising on the freeway. I called Level10 and asked them about this and they suggested my MAF sensor was bad. That same day I took a drive to my friend Phillip Kokens house which takes me through about 25 miles of twists and turns. Even without 4th gear essentially I drove it hard through the canyon and about halfway through I noticed the RPM's not being "synched" to the speedo. What I mean by this is in my car when you floor it, the tachometer will match the rising speedometer needle exactly. The tachometer needle was rising much faster then the speedometer needle was, a sure sign of the transmission slipping. The next day I drove to Ram Air Tech and they gave me a brand new stock throttlebody and MAF sensor to use to check Level10's idea of the bad sensor. I put the new throttlebody and MAF on and the problem continued. It was to late to call Level10 on Friday so I have to wait until later today. With the transmission slipping and not liking 4th gear I decided to drive the 89SE around. So I drive the car around and a Acura wants to race off the line at a stoplight. He goes and I go, with the ground damp the wheels spun a little bit then grabbed traction and the transmission slipped a little bit and spit differential gears out of the side case. Why me? I have a spare 4T60-E in the garage so another trans swap awaits me. I do however have an idea why the 89SE trans decided to let go. When I did the engine swap I did not know the significance of 2 radiator fans since I only saw 1 active when the coolant got hot. I decided to remove one of the fans and just keep one installed. The fan I removed of course is the fan that turns on around 210F and left the fan that turns on around 280F. The second fan is basically a overheat fan if your really low on coolant and isn't meant to be run as a only fan. Needless to say with no trans cooler other then the one in the radiator it boiled the ATF fluid and broke down the gears. I pulled the trans dipstick to find the red ATF turned almost black. I will be installing a large trans cooler this time around, and I guess I should throw that other fan in to, heh. I'm not to upset about the 89SE trans letting go because I know why it happened. I am very upset however that the new Level10 trans in the GTP let go. I went through the extra effort of thoroughly cleaning the transmission lines to remove any debris and install a large trans cooler. I don't know what Level10 is going to have to say for themselves this time. I gave them a second chance after the performance torque converter I bought from them last year blew up with less then 200 miles on it last year. They will probably want to give me my money back rather then pay for shipping back to them, the cost of them fixing it and shipping it back. Either way if they decide to repair it or give me my money back I think I deserve some sort of compensation for my time and the $150+ in fluids and the new trans cooler I installed to protect the now defunct investment. The few people I have spoken with since this incident have been very supportive and it reminds me what this car has brought to me, the indirect joy from people like Phillip Koken, Tony Lauer, Mike Napurano and the countless others that, if not for my car I would have never met and become great friends with. I don't know what is going to happen with this GTP. The only higher power GM FWD engine and transmission powertrain will not fit my car. The last resort is to detune the engine, install a stock transmission and sell it. It would break my heart to have gone through this much trouble just to sell the car. But I'm reminded that any sane person would have given up when the second transmission broke, let alone the third and fourth. The one thing I remain committed to is GM. They didn't design this transmission to handle the 320+ horsepower this engine is easily capable of producing. Currently there are a few proposed ideas on what car would satisfy what I want. Some cars are more entertaining then others but all of them would be a sacrifice over the GTP. There's no 1 car GM makes that would satisfy me, just a couple that would keep me the most happy. When a friend of mine dropped a e-mail to his internal GM contact about why\what could be done about me going through transmissions so much the answer was to the effect of "He's not our typical target Grand Prix buyer", well put.
2\16\00: ITS DONE!!!!!!! After working all night mounting the new PermaCool 24,000GVW trans cooler and making sure every trans lines was flushed clean. Its raining right now so not much testing. I can say it downshifts unbelievably fast, faster then any car I have ever been in.
2\15\00: I waited and waited and the rain kept coming. Then I heard the news this afternoon and it said more rain. I couldn't wait any longer so the car was put in the garage and work started about 7pm. The engine and trans where out fairly quickly and I decided to flush the trans cooler with gas to clean it and then blow compressed air through the lines. Massive amounts of metal pieces and clutch material came out. 3 hours and 5 gallons of gas later there was still metal particles coming out from the cooler, amazing. Needless to say these coolers are not very flushable as PermaCool claims. It's cheaper to buy a new cooler then to try and clean out your current one after a trans failure. I took a hacksaw to the cooler to open it up and it was packed full of metal shavings, I would have been there all night running gas through it. It probably would have been easy to flush out if it where not for these weird fins PermaCool installs into the cooler to increase surface area. I'm off to find a larger PermaCool cooler later today and finish up the installation.
2\12\00: I woke up this morning to massive amounts of rain which makes a engine swap difficult. The garage is full of motor vehicles that have to be put outside during my engine removals and most of them have never seen water on them. I will try again tomorrow morning but if its anything like today was I won't do it.
2\11\00: The transmission is here but not installed. The packing from Level10 wasn't the greatest either, bare trans steel strapped to a pallet, dust and dirt everywhere. I'm really surprised they didn't cover it and even more surprised they didn't paint it which is a common among aftermarket transmission reworks. I drove all around finding the 15 or so quarts of Mobil1 synthetic ATF its going to take. I'm going to install it tomorrow, if everything goes right it will be a 1 day install.
2\6\00: The transmission will arrive Wednesday morning this week. I will pull the engine and trans Tuesday or maybe do it all in one day Wednesday. I asked Level10 about using synthetic fluid and they claimed it didn't make a big enough difference to justify the added expense. They also said the biggest difference it made was viscosity at low outside temperatures. However 2 good friends of mine Phillip Koken and Jeff Middaugh made valid observations on why it should be used versus standard fluid. With that said I will be putting Mobil1 synthetic trans fluid in it. Now comes the story of a car show. The car show featured 2000 year model cars from all major manufactures. No aftermarket companies where seen. Almost done with the show and roaming around I was brought to the Oldsmobile booth which featured 3 concept cars. The cars where from OSV (Oldsmobile Special Vehicles). There was a Alero which had a supercharged\intercooled Quad4 which is the same one I saw at last years SEMA show, a Silhouette with a 3400 V6 putting out 205HP and 270foot pounds of torque, and a Intrigue with a 3.5 DOHC supercharged engine. The other 2 cars where interesting but my focus was set on the Intrigue. I approached a Olds rep we will call David (name changed to protect the innocent) I asked David if there was a chance I could take a peek under the hood. David thought for a second and then said "sure". He tried to open the car but it was locked. He went and got the keys from a locked box and unlocked the car. Just as David was doing this another Olds rep walked fast over to the car and said "Your going to take the risk on this huh?". David shrugged his shoulders and said yeah. He popped the hood and low and behold there was a 3.5 DOHC supercharged engine. It had a battery charger with wires running to the battery because in car show allot of times they leave the running lights on to add a dramatic effect to the car, besides they didn't exactly think someone was going to pop the hood. I snapped 3 quick photos and the hood was closed by David. I thanked him very much and went on my way. Now I think this is pretty cool to have pictures noone else has. I have never seen underhood pics in Car And Driver or any other magazines so I'm 99.9% sure this is a first. The car plaque said the engine puts out 260HP and 260 foot pounds of torque. So here is a rear quarter shot of the Intrigue OSV. And here is a picture of the engine. There's no telling what this engine may go into if its ever produced but, I'd own it!
1\25\00: Just got off the phone with Pat from Level10. He's going to be installing some prototype parts inside the transmission because he feels my trans would be a good candidate to test these parts based on the problems I have had before. All said and done the transmission is now costing about $4000.00. Yes, allot of money. I have been given guarantees from Level10 it will not break....so much so that if it ever does break Level10 will ship it back and fix it for no charge. The transmission will be on its way back next Monday. This is very exciting because the transmission is now capable of handling 400HP. With that weak point out of the way I can look towards future engine modifications to yield even more power. 1 of which being these headers.
1\19\00: Barring any 18 wheeler accidents the transmission should have arrived at Level10 this morning. I should get a call from them today or tomorrow to tell me what's going on with it and how long its expected to take. I stopped my RamAirTech the other day and saw this rather odd looking Grand Am. Notice the absence of door handles, hope the battery's in the keyless entry remote don't go dead. I also asked them about the 3.4\3.1 performance products website and how it was progressing. They have the name registered so I can tell everyone the name, it's called www.twindualcam.com. Those of you with Lumina Z34's or earlier model Grand Prix's with the 3.4 DOHC engine should recognize this as being on the engine cover, newer 3.4 engines say "3.4 DOHC V6". The website doesn't look like much right now but looks promising. It's no coincidence all the installed product images look like they came from my website, they did....they are just to lazy to take new ones.
1\14\00: Shipping arrangements and billing information has finally been worked out with the impossible to get a hold of Level10. I had to call them at 4am my time to catch the magical person I needed to speak with. Good news is Level10 pays for the shipping back to me. Which is great because I will get my money's worth going from New Jersey to California. ROADWAY shipping has become the shipper for this mission and luckily they are local. My local Pontiac dealer who is well aware of the situation called me and said they had a enclosed crate for a 4T65-E available for me if I wanted it. So I ran down there and snagged that up so hopefully it will arrive back in 1 piece. I plan to ship it this morning. Yesterday I went to the L.A. Auto show. Unlike other car shows I have been to this was for manufactures only, no aftermarket parts. I took allot of pictures but have sifted through them to find the ones I feel deserve posting. First is a 340HP Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe aka ETC. See that here. Although I don't agree with the color choice its still a fun car. With the added power 0-60 times where down to 6 seconds flat and hits the quartermile in 14.5 seconds. Another 340HP Cadillac was on display, this time a 4 door. It was also a 340HP Northstar version with the same 6.0 0-60 time as the coupe but no mention of quartermile times. Its also been selected as the pace car for the 24 hours of Le Mans. View that here. The black Regal GSX from SEMA was there and the GM lady displaying it said it WILL be production, lightly tinted headligh\taillight covers and all. She also said it will have a 270HP engine and be lower then the stock Regal. Buick had a Regal S a while back but I guess the look was to tame or not different enough from normal Regals. With this new model they blended some of the old prototype features with a new one. View the blacked out GSX here. Finally a 2000 Grand Prix GTX from SLP Engineering, see that here here.
1\9\00: I have fully exhausted the search for green band clutch plates which the local transmission place claimed where available for the 4T65-E trans as well as red plate and blue plates. Several transmission places I called got in contact with Raybestos and asked them if they had blue plates available, they said no. With this information I called Level10 back and asked them about this and they claimed they are under some sort of secret pact to not tell the general public. Now this sounds strange but it gets worse. I asked how much the blue plates and bands where and he said they cannot be sold separately from the $3000.00 total transmission rebuild. I swear every time I call Level10 they have a new story. I asked Level10 what I could do to prevent the clutches from burning up and the owner Pat recommend I send the valve body and pump from the trans to them for reworking. He said they would open some of the holes up and allow more pressure to be applied to the clutch pack therefore increasing the clamping pressure. All this to a tune of some $600.00. So $600.00 for that work, another $1200.00 to totally rebuild trans (out of the car). Forced with this expense I just said hell with it and am paying for the full Level10 upgrade. I have no clue how long this is going to take seeing as I have to ship a transmission to them in New Jersey via truck. The good thing is at least I have a transmission out of the car to rebuild rather then pulling the current one. All this has left quite a bitter taste in my mouth about GM FWD transmissions and even if it does workout a C5 Corvette is still in my future, but most likely it will be in addition to the GTP not a replacement. In other (and hopefully more exciting) news, word round the campfire is Ram Air Tech is splitting off the earlier W body parts sales to a new company. Ram Air Tech has been working on 88-96 GM 3.1 and 3.4 DOHC performance products for what seems like forever. Now that they are finalizing the engine and suspension parts they are branching off. With the addition of this new company comes a new website and e-mail handled by new staff with the only contacts related to Ram Air Tech being billing or detailed product order status that can only be handled by calling them. The website name is yet unannounced but any GM 3.4 DOHC car owner should recognize the significance of the name and laugh a little. The website will be up somewhere between mid to late Jan.
1\3\00: The world hasn't ended? I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Years. Shortly before Christmas the transmission in the GTP started acting up. It started slipping to be exact. So bad in fact I barely made it home to park it in the driveway where it has rested since. This new transmission has 8,000 miles on it and has already decided to let go. The ONLY problem I have ever had with the 4T65-E is the transmission clutch plates slipping. I now learned the not going into 4th gear on the freeway problem I had was because of the clutch plates slipping causing excess heat. There are only 2 reasons I can come up with on why I can't seem to keep transmissions. A: The car is making so much power it is ripping them apart. B: I am overly abusive to the transmission with my driving. Now I would love to believe the first one but I'm not sure. As for the second?, well my driving habits are not going to change so maybe I will have to seek a car that can handle it. I drive hard and fast, I will be the first to admit it. There is a fine line between driving hard and abuse. I almost always accelerate hard from stops to the point where tires almost lose grip. In my opinion the car should take this without a problem. I also take what I feel to be enough precautions to prevent the hard driving from becoming abuse, like regular transmission fluid change, a inline transmission filter as well as a transmission cooler. In the upcoming weeks a critical decision is going to have to be made that will decide the GTP's fate. First I am going to do everything possible to get good clutch plates in the transmission. This includes Raybestos Green plates, red plates or blue plates.....I'm still uncertain which ones my local trans place can get. I would prefer Blue plates since they are the highest rated as far as power. Another possibility (as much as I hate it) is to send my transmission clutch basket to Level10 for GM 700R4 clutch plates and bands. I have been unhappy with Level10 in the past with the $599.99 torque converter blowing days after install forcing me to do a last minute swap out before last years Grand Prix Gathering. In addition to the stronger plates I will install a larger transmission cooler to keep fluids temps as low as possible for operating conditions, 160F. While the engine is out for transmission work I am going to try my hardest to engine dyno it. This is the only way to know for sure exactly how much power the engine is putting out. I am also planning on getting rid of my Stage2 mass airflow sensor as its calibration is making my idle unstable and makes the car sound like it has a wild camshaft installed. Some may like this but when the cars idling it sounds odd for a street car. Tomorrow will be the first day many business's will be open including Level10 and my local trans shop. If everything sounds promising I may take the engine out tomorrow. In addition to everything going on with the GTP the 89SE received KONI adjustable struts over the holiday season. I must say the KONI's made a larger difference on the GTP rather then the SE but with the old struts having over 140,000 original miles on them they where a little past due for replacement. I have left the KONI settings on its firmest setting and the car seems happy with that. Also yesterday I called my sister over who now owns the mint 89SE purchased a couple months back to come over for a group photo with my friend Steve Cromers 96SE. Pictures where taken and everything looked good. Minutes later she was rear ended by a Porsche who was hit from behind by a Chevy Tahoe. I went to the scene of the accident expecting pretty good damage to the Grand Prix and was pleasantly surprised to find the front bumper cracked and a left rear tailpipe bent in. The Porsche that hit the back of the car was not so lucky and will likely be a total loss. The SUV behind him looked down to adjust the radio a little to long and hit the Porsche which then hit the Grand Prix. I think the Grand Prix did VERY well and only needs a new bumper and tailpipe which the SUV's insurance company will pay for. All and all its been a very eventful couple weeks. To end the drama I have given my car a ultimatum. If after building up the transmission and it fails or starts slipping again I will seek a Pewter\Silver C5 Corvette replacement. This would include rebuilding the GTP's transmission again and detuning the engine to near stock specifications and selling it. I really really do not want to have to do this but I can't go rebuilding transmission every 8k miles. And I feel I have exhausted all possible options. This is a street car maintained by 1 person, not a rally car with a team of mechanics and unlimited sponsorship funds. The benefits of the GTP far outweigh a Corvette in my opinion. A car should not tame a persons driving habits like my GTP has, its up to the driver to choose the right car for him. I took a few pictures of yesterdays events. All the GP's lined up in the driveway is here. Then the Grand Prix accident damage pic is here. The totalled 912 Porsche. And finally..the cause of the accident the "I'm to clueless to lookup" Tahoe.
12\24\99: Looked at the 4T80-E yesterday morning with my friend Steve Cromer. The casing in the rear where the clutch plates are is way to big, the case will hit the engine block. It's unfortunate because the price was right, it had low miles and everything was looking up. The 80-E torque converter has 4 bolts to attach to flywheel and would require custom work to fit also. 4th gear has returned when the GM dealer reset the diagnostic trouble codes stored in the cars computer. The code it threw was "Transmission temperature overheat". It backs up my idea that the clutch plates are the weakest point in the transmission which I have said more then once. The car is going to be stuck in its current state of slightly slipping transmission and shudder until next week when shops open and I can search for heavier clutches\bands. Until then everyone have a great holiday.
12\22\99: GM laughed in my face. Oddly enough it wasn't the dealer who gave me the news but GM themselves from Michigan. I got a call about 9am my time and got to talking with the rep. He said I was insane to think I had ANY warranty on that car, regardless if it was a new transmission or not. Now he said this while laughing a little so I didn't get offended. If I was GM there's no way I would warranty my car either. He also advised against taking the car for trans service to any other GM dealer as its been blacklisted nationwide, wahoo! Its kind of a special\unsettling feeling to know GM has my car on a list of cars to avoid. He did complement me on my car and said he had to be going. Shortly thereafter I began the 4T80-E search. I found a 97 4T80-E with 2,800miles on it about 80 miles from here. Tomorrow morning I am off to look at it. Cool thing about having spare parts is I can bring them along now when measuring for new hardware. I have a old 3.4 DOHC engine block to simulate bolting it up to the 4T80-E trans, a sub-frame, another 4T65-E and torque converter to measure bolt pattern on 80-E converter etc. Basically I am going to bring all these items along with a camera to the junkyard and measure everything throughout. Only thing I see as being a problem and I will find out for sure tomorrow is the 80-E pan is wider going front to back and may hit the subframe. The transmission has the same shift pattern and gear ratios are very close, they even use the same type of electronic shifting mechanism.
12\20\99: Things are looking up with the webspace issue and will be getting my own domain and plenty of space for expansion. Things with the car right now are pretty uncool. After a hard night of street racing in San Diego Saturday night (not my usual thing) the car didn't want to go into 4th gear on the freeway. I have been told the transmission is going into some kind of failsafe mode which locks the torque converter up in 3rd to try and cool it down. The good news is the trans is under a 36 month 50,000mile warranty. I chose to drop the car off at a very nice Cadillac dealer for repair. Why a Cadillac dealer and not a Pontiac? Well simply put my car has become well known amongst the local Pontiac dealers so I have my doubts on how valid my warranty would be with them. I did get to race and beat allot of cars in Diego and had a fun time. While I was there I met up with a black 98 GTP and got to talking. Turns out he knows of my car and this webpage which is pretty cool. Other things on my mind is the engine. After Ram Air Tech ported the cylinder heads and intake I have been getting worse gas mileage and I suspect less power from the engine. My plans right now depending on how serious this transmission problem becomes is to accelerate my research on the 4T80-E transmission as a replacement for the 4T65-E. If that doesn't pan out and for some ungodly reason GM laughs in my face about having a warranty with all the modifications visible under the hood I plan on rebuilding and putting performance clutch plates in a spare 4T65-E I have in the garage. One thing I do plan on doing either way is adding a larger transmission cooler. I cannot stress enough the importance in a transmission cooler on these front wheel drive automatics. I'm going to add the largest possible PermaCool thinline series tranny cooler they make. The old cooler will go on the 89 GP with the 3.4. After the transmission situation is solved the car is going straight to the dyno. Now I know what your thinking "You have been trying to dyno your car for months now." Yes your right, I have. The solution is not to wait for Ram Air Tech to dyno it but to dyno it myself at another location other then them. The car in its current state and calculating for the headwork\porting should be putting 240-250HP to the wheels in street form on pump gas. If it's anything less then 240HP at the wheels I'm tearing the engine out and putting a new one in. But this time around I will NOT port the heads or intake. Also after each modification I will dyno the car to verify HP gains rather then bolt a whole bunch of products on and pray. I have everything its going to take to put the car back to a stock Supercharged 3.8 level for baseline testing including a stock 98 GTP exhaust. I hope to hear from the dealer one way or another tomarrow on the transmission situation.
12\10\99: Back in the US, Back in the US, Back in the USSR,,,,err I mean USA!!!! I have returned. I had a wonderful time abroad. Thanks to Phillip and Veronica Koken for inviting me on the exciting trip. While in Germany there where some very interesting cars seen, I hope to put pictures of them up soon. I do have a few selected photos up of the trip. First is a speedo shot of our rental Audi A6 wagon on the autobahn. Before you laugh let me remind you this is a 2.5L Turbocharged, Intercooled diesel with a 6 speed transmission. It pulled a very respectable 235km\hour or 148MPH. View that here. Next is a picture of the Eiffel tower in Paris here. And finally Stone Henge in England here. I hope to put up more pictures soon but as I mentioned before I left server space has become a issue. Solutions being considered are getting my own domain name and server space or buying more space from a offsite company. Mike Napurano from clubgp.com was nice enough to give me server space and index all of my SEMA pictures taken before I left as well as all my 99 Grand Prix Gathering pictures. Check those out here and here. Keep in mind these images are very high resolution and the file sizes are large. It was very nice to get back and drive the GTP after a month away. Nothing is going on with the car right now except I am trying to find a 97+ GTP catalytic converter to gut and use as a straight pipe and put the stock cat back on for emissions testing.
11\9\99: The day has come. I leave for Europe for a month of fun and excitement!!! I hope to get a ISP over there to update the webpage but if not I will update when I get back. Until then, bye.
11\7\99: I returned last night from SEMA and I had a great time. Mike Napurano, Mike Lewis, Brian Marks, Phillip Koken and the famous Tony Lauer where in attendance and we actually got time to hang out with one another unlike other events where things where more hectic. There where some very unique Grand Prix's at this years event,.....even more so then last years. Also there where a few Regal GS's and Grand Am's. The theme for GM cars this year was "Lets supercharge anything\everything that comes our way, and they did. There where supercharged 4cyl and 6cyl Grand Am's, Sunfires, Aleros and more. Though some peoples styling of the vehicles where questionable. The Ram Air Tech GTP-R looked like a riced out import car. What it didn't have in rear wing height it made up for with stickers. It surprised me Ram Air Tech would take this approach because I know the car is nicely setup with a full suspension package and engine mods. A picture of the Ram Air Tech GTP-R is here. There was also a supercharged Quad4 Grand Am with a insanely high rear wing, view that here. Thrasher also had a Grand Am that looked good. And yes, once again they chose to install 94-96 Grand Prix hood louvers in the hood. I think they give it a nice touch. View that here. There was also a Petty Grand Prix on display that will be sold through Pontiac dealers. The car sports a 300HP engine, custom body work\paint and interior. The car will be available through your Pontiac dealer. View that car here, here and here. With the exception of the odd looking 19inch rims I would buy the car. There are quite a few mentionable cars that I would like to add but I just ran out of server space to add them. I'm currently looking into solutions for this including my own domain and 150+MB's of space.
11\2\99: Well a few days ago I hit 100,000 miles on the car. I bought it with 55,000 and the Supercharged 3.8 engine was put in around 65,000. Car has no signs of ageing (maybe because I replaced practically everything under the hood) and those trips to TX\AZ\KS really add up fast. And tomorrow I'm heading for the SEMA car show in Vegas so there's another 500+ mile roundtrip. I like my car and I like to drive it allot so it only comes natural that the miles turnover rather quickly. A weird thing happened yesterday. The ABS light came on while I was driving. So I took it to a friend at the dealer that scanned the ABS and found the front right wheel sensor was getting a different RPM reading then the other sensors. I checked the obvious like tire pressure, connections, OHM readings on the wheel sensors itself and everything was fine. So I swapped the wheel sensors from the front right to front left and it did the same thing again. So I tracked the wheel speed sensor wiring through the engine compartment and everything looked fine. But I did see a spark plug wire next to the speed sensor wiring harness. Just for fun I zip tied the spark plug wire out of the way and walla the problem was fixed. So EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) was the culprit and problem solved. Mike Napurano from ClubGP was nice enough to give me space on his server for most of the Grand Prix Gathering 99 pictures I took in September. These images are high resolution and large files so keep that in mind. They can be found here http://new.clubgp.com/gpg99/aaron/. I will be back Saturday afternoon to post pictures of SEMA and give a quick update on everything before I start packing for my trip on Tuesday.
10\24\99: Those of you who know me personally know I have a pretty laid back life. And the thought of a month long vacation is downright funny. But nonetheless that's what I'm going to do. I was invited along from a friend and cannot pass this up. So from November 9th until December 8th I will be in Europe. Thats right, Autobahn, fast cars, weird food, beautiful countryside and of course, EURO babes!!! Sadly the GTP will not make the trip over and I've already been asked by about 10 friends if they can "watch after" my car for the month I am gone. I think the keys will stay with a family member :). The SEMA car show is coming up Nov 2,3,4 5th and I will be in attendance to check out all the cool upcoming cars\products so I will be updating site before I leave. I'm currently looking into solutions to updating the webpage from Europe and hopefully everything will come together.
10\17\99: Another Grand Prix in the driveway. Ok i'm probably being looked at as a lunatic but I saw this mint condition 89 SE at a dealership about 60 miles south of my house while trying to find a exhaust gasket for a friends 98 GTP. The car is showroom condition on the inside\out. It had every option except for rear window defog, ABS, sunroof,6 speaker sound. It has the 2.8L V6 with 56,000 original miles and runs great (for a 2.8L). Its eventually going to find its way into my sisters driveway and become her car in a couple months. Pics are here, here, here, here and here.
10\16\99: I went with a friend to El Mirage dry lake bed Thursday to do some high speed testing. After a couple runs my front right tire went flat and the day was cut short. I did get a few pictures of the event though. Here is the $750.00 worth of V rated tires mounted on my old crosslace rims ready for the run. Here is a picture of the car at the lake. Speeding along at about 125MPH, the trail of dirt that roostertails up in the air behind the car is a awesome sight. What ended my day. Imagine 150+MPH on that, yeah right.
10\11\99: 151 MPH with 2 people in the car and half tank of gas. Hehe, well I was able to get out again and make a pass early this morning. Special thanks to Steve Cromer who held the camera as I hit near 151 and took a couple pictures. Here is a shot of the speedometer. Unfortunately the flash from the camera washes the Heads Up Display pictures at night so its for daytime use only. If everything goes as planned I could be heading out to a dry lake bed soon for even further testing. The car is still pulling but I am running out of straight road.
10\10\99: 148 MPH with 3 people in the car and half tank of gas. I couldn't wait until the weekend to try it so I went out Thursday night for the run. I was hoping to get another run in tonight or yesterday and top 148 but that doesn't look like it will happen.......to many people on the road. The car felt VERY stable at these speeds and was still pulling when I ran out of useable road on the freeway. The speed numbers are "To be continued". I'm seriously thinking about putting a 4T80-E transmission in my car. Its much better built to handle power and speed. Luckily there is one in the driveway to gawk at and take measurements but I doubt the family member would be to happy if her Northstar\4T80-E was missing :).
10\7\99: The car still hasn't gotten dynoed but that's nothing new. What is new is that after 5+ weeks of waiting my reprogrammed computer finally arrived. I haven't put it through the paces yet but the shifts feel much firmer then before and the downshifts is faster and usually downshifts 2 gears where it can for added fun. Ram Air Tech has finally got off their butt and is actively developing 3.4 products for sale. They have had rear strut tower braces for some time now but they only fit the 88-96 Grand Prix's. Well there are making a strut tower brace that will fit all 88-95 GM W body cars. It's already confirmed to fit a 92 Lumina Z34, 94 Cutlass, and my 89 Grand Prix SE. I currently have it installed on the 89 SE and it looks great. It's a prototype piece so its painted black rather then powdercoated but the finished pieces will look cleaner. I took a couple pictures of the bar here and here. I plan on taking the car past 126MPH tonight to see if the speed limiter is really gone. I wont go to far over seeing as I have 2 V rated tires and 2 H rated tires. I'll let everyone know how that goes later this week along with more Grand Prix Gathering 99 pictures.
9\23\99: Well what can I say other then I had a really great time at the gathering this year. I got to meet allot of the same people that where there last year as well as some new faces this year. It's really nice to put a face on the people you talk to everyday. Rather then give a whole bunch of hyperlinks to pictures off this page I added all the gathering pictures under the "Pictures" section off the main page or click here. I drove out to the gathering with my friend Phillip Koken at about 6am Monday morning. We stopped by Mecham design and performance (which we found out was his house) and my reprogrammed PCM wasn't there. He said that the "guy" who does reprogramming for him was running late. After talking with him for about 30 minutes at his house it became apparent he must have been a dirty used car salesman in a past life, or at least he comes across that way. We then headed to Texas where I managed to lock my keys in my car at a gas station and it amazingly only cost me $35.00 to get a locksmith. In Dallas TX we met up with 7 other cars to make the trip from TX to Kansas. I was'nt able to get my speakers installed because I arrived to late but I did get them installed on the way back and they sound great. It was funny watching cars move out of the way as 9 Grand Prix's come flying at them in the fastlane. It was even more amazing watching the 50+ Grand Prix's taking over the highway on Casino cruise night at the gathering. We all arrived to some pretty great Kansas weather which was a change from the hot\humid weather last year. I'll fast forward here a couple days. We toured the Fairfax Intrigue\Grand Prix plant which is always fun but there where no technical\mechanical people from Pontiac there this year we could ask detailed questions to. Then came racing at the dragstrip. The slicks arrived in Kansas as planned but I did not find rims to mount them in time to race the car so I just ran the car the same way I do everyday. My best time was a firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH. Far off from the norm but respectable I hope. The best time that day run from a individual was a Mike Dye's 13.8 I believe and Thrasher had a 13.5 run with a shot of NOS. Thrasher also had a Regal GS there that had a working intercooler on it, it ran a 13.7. The next day was awards and the "Show and Shine" day where we all gawk over each others cars. I won the award for Most Modified again this year and also took the award for furthest distance driven (2100 miles 1 way)...wahoo :). That same day the designer for the 94-97 Grand Prix as well as the 99 Grand Am came out to see all the cars. I saw him autographing other peoples cars, literature, etc and quickly grabbed him and had him sign my driver doorframe. He was also rather surprised to see the supercharged engine in my car. I was very excited to get that signature and it added to the memory of this years gathering. I could type all day about this years gathering but i'm to lazy. I had a really good time and I hope everyone that didn't make it this year will strive to be there next year. I real big thanks goes to my friend Tony Lauer to who put together the whole Grand Prix Gathering. His efforts made everyone's good time at the gathering possible. I will post more pictures as soon as I have time to convert to web size. I took over 300 pictures so its hard to find the 15-20 that really sum it all up. Until then my car still needs to be tuned on a dyno and hopefully that will be taken care of next week.
9\22\99: I'm back!!! If you couldn't tell I wasn't able to update the website from the road. I had a REALLY great time this year and was even more fun then last years gathering. I just got back so I plan on having pictures up tomorrow.
9\12\99: Everything is put back together and car seems to be running just fine. I leave in about 9 hours to start the trip. I will take lots of pictures like I always do and hopefully my laptop can connect to @Home's server to update the web page. If not just drop me a e-mail and I will tell ya what's going on.
9\11\99: OK the company that RAT was dealing with who tore apart my spare 4T65-E really jacked it up. Basically $1300.00 in repairs. RAT was very apologetic and agreed to make things right. This includes buying me a new 4T65-E transmission. It arrived this morning and was installed today in record time. There are still a few wires and hoses to connect but its in. To my surprise the transmission also came with a new torque converter. I didn't think much of it and thought it would just turn out to me a spare sitting in my garage. When I split the engine\transmission today I found that my new super duper $700.00 Level10 torque converter had shredded a thrust washer. The remains of the mangled washer where clearly visible when I looked inside. I'm going to call Level10 while I am on the road to Kansas and discuss this issue with Pat the owner. At this point I think I want my money back on it. The mileage has decreased from 280 miles to the tank to 200 miles to the tank with that converter not to mention it downshifts allot going up hills. Both of which don't matter at the track but this is a everyday car. The really cool thing about the transmission is it comes with a 36 month 50,000 mile warranty on parts and labor at any GM dealer. I have taken the poly bushings I had installed on the end of the front sway bar because I feel the mount is not designed right to work on this car, the metal of the mount is touching before the polyurethane is. I didn't take allot of picture but besides.....haven't we all seen me yank a engine\tranny before? I did take a picture of the nice and shiny new 4T65-E that came in this morning here. It's been a very busy day and considering I leave in approx 30 hours on Monday morning for my road trip I have allot of things to do.
9\8\99: I'm going to make this update rather short because I have allot of things on my mind and a short time to process them before GPG99. First......I did get a new CV boot installed yesterday and the car is back to running. The trans\converter felt good with the only gripe that the trans downshifts much easier when going up large hills then it used to due to the torque converter. It ran good until today when it started shifting REALLY firm at half throttle.....enough to shake the steering wheel violently. There is no time to fix this trans before I leave Monday for the gathering in Kansas so I will install a spare 4T65-E transmission in the meantime. Only thing is its apart somewhat right now because a company was looking at it and refuses to put it back together due to the other company I was working with......more on this later. I'm going to pick up my spare transmission tomorrow and drop it off at a AAMCO dealer for reassembly and search junkyards for a possible 4T80-E transmission out of a Cadillac STS for conversion.
9\5\99: Well the converter arrived Saturday as planned and the car was almost all the way put together until I noticed I had cut a hole in the left axle CV boot while it was out. So now I have to wait until the Pontiac dealer opens to get a CV boot. I think they are closed tomorrow due to Labor Day. I also got the polyurethane bushings installed. The 7\8's mounts where slightly to small so I honed them to 15\16's and they fit perfectly. Here is a picture of the new end mounts installed. If they turn out good I will do the mid mounts on that bar to. Here is a picture of the expensive Level10 torque converter. And finally here is a picture of the engine back in but with allot of hoses\connectors unhooked. The trip to Kansas may get yet another destination added to it. 3 days after the gathering is a "Buicks at Bristol" event in Bristol TN. They have a specific class for Regal GS's and Pontiac Grand Prix GTP's powered by the 3800 Series II supercharged engine. The rules and information are here. Prize for first place is a trophy and $500.00 cash. The money is cool but its all about having a good time with people who enjoy the same things as I do, and the GP Gathering and Buicks at Bristol events are just the ticket.
9\3\99: Level10 did not have any torque converter cores in stock so I had to overnight mine to them to modify. To make matters worse Ram Air Tech was supposed to ship it last Friday and it didn't get shipped until this Monday. Mistakes and Ram Air Tech seem to go hand in hand. I ordered my own set of Mickey Thompson racing slicks today from JEGS, no more borrowing slicks to race. They are being shipped straight to Kansas so all I have to do is bring the rims and have them mounted\balanced. The torque converter was finished this morning and was shipped overnight so it will be here in the morning. When they tore the stock converter apart they found the turbines that spin inside where torn up do to the power increase put on the converter from a stock engine. Shortly after Level10 told me that I got a call from the transmission place telling me the transmission had metal in it and he couldn't find out where it was coming from. I told him what Level10 said and he concurred that it was the torque converter was to blame. So the transmission was completely torn down to every nut and bolt and cleaned. The clutch plates had to be replaced because the metal from the converter chewed them up a little bit. I'm really glad I decided to get the converter replaced while it was out because it obviously had some major problems with it. The car should be completely put back together Sunday sometime. Then its a week of breaking the transmission\converter in before I leave for Grand Prix Gathering 99!!!!!!!
8\27\99: Well I had planned on getting the exhaust manifolds ceramic coated but the turnaround is 7 working days which is to long for me. I ordered a Level10 torque converter and should have it Tuesday\Wednesday the same time the transmission is done. The converter has a slightly increased stall and lockup but has excellent drivability. Most of the same features going into this converter are the same that Level10 uses for a Lexus GS400. So if its smooth and performs up to a Lexus owners standards it should suit me fine to. Also my big trip to Kansas for the gathering has changed a little. I'm going to leave early the 13th and meet Dennis Mecham from Mecham Design and Performance in Glendale Arizona. He is the only one who has come forward and said he can get 97+ GTP engine computers reprogrammed. Some of the features of the reprogrammed PCM include no speed limiter, 200RPM increased shift points, quicker downshifts, firmer shifts and a host of other features. From Arizona its off to Texas where I am getting some audio stuff installed and then meeting up with Mike Napurano who owns www.clubgp.com. From there we are meeting up with 7-8(?) other Grand Prix owners and driving together to Kansas. So allot of exciting things are happening and I'm itching to get the car together and try everything out.
8\25\99: Not this week either, man what gives. This is cutting things very close if anything was put together wrong or there's something I don't like about the new transmission upgrades before the gathering in Kansas 3 weeks from now.
8\19\99: Should have expected this but...transmission will not be done until next week sometime. Leaves me a few days to ponder what else to do to the engine while its out and parts are easily accessible. I may pull the exhaust manifolds off and get them ceramic coated but we'll see.
8\18\99: I took the engine and transmission out yesterday and the transmission has gone to JET for the modifications. While everything is out I decided to replace the outer front swaybar bushings with Energy Suspension polyurethane ones. I'm only doing the outer ones right now because if they squeak they will be easy to replace. If they don't squeak I will replace all the front bushings. I have been told by many people the black bushings don't squeak at all so those are the ones I am trying. The bushings are $12.00 for both so they are chap enough to throw away if I don't like them. The transmission is due to come back Thursday so hopefully I will get it in by the weekend and race it Saturday afternoon.
8\10\99: Gave the car a quick wash and cleaned the rims for some pictures. No sense in polishing it until the engine\transmission gets put back in once I remove it. Rim pictures are here and here. I also investigated a small yet annoying rattle coming from the rear suspension that I have been hearing. After taking the rear struts off I saw that the bolt on the bottom holding the strut assy. in the housing had worked its way loose and had backed the threads out about halfway on both strut assy. After looking at the bolt I can now see why they did. KONI includes a 8mm allen head bolt for the struts and you simply cannot get enough torque on such a small surface to lock it in place. I found some suitable replacement bolts at the hardware store. They are Grade8 with the same length of threads but have a 24mm socket head on them. I put some red loctite on the bolts and impacted them in. I don't think these will be coming out for a while. My friend Steve has this rattling sound on his car to after installing the KONI's so it sounds like his is doing the same thing. My advice to anyone installing KONI's on the rear is ditch the bolts KONI gives you and get some REAL bolts with some meat on them to install.
8\9\99: The engine\transmission is on its way out again. Although I can't be specific basically there are a couple more "beefing" up modifications I would like to do before the gathering in Kansas next month. Oh and here is a picture of my 89SE racing a 96 SE a couple weeks back at the track. Look at the 89 SE pull on the 96 :). Actually it was really close...with my best time a tenth faster then the 96 but his best MPH was 1 better then mine. Now I'm told this is a weight issue and that's why the 89SE is faster but I don't think that's it...someday we will weight the 2 cars side by side and find out for sure. The 89 SE engine is completely stock with no mods. The 96 had a exhaust, torque converter, MAF mod, throttlebody bored and I forget what else. My best time was email@example.comMPH.
8\8\99: Yeah...its been a while has'nt it? Allot of good stuff has been happening. My GTP's ALDL connector is now working so I can use Autotap software to diagnose and monitor the engine\transmission. I ran a few tests and it looks like I will need bigger fuel injectors sometime soon. Also I FINALLY got the 5 spoke rims I have been looking for for well over a year. I don't have any pictures of them installed on the car yet but as soon as I wash\polish the car this week I will post some pictures. Until then you can see pictures of the rims here and here. Speaking of car polish, my friend Tony Lauer has been pushing this stuff called Zaino for some time now. Recently I got a some of their products and I must say its VERY good stuff. Its a long process if you want to do it right (4-5 hours) but your car will look very good. To test the Zaino I applied it to my 89 SE and as you can see from the results its a great product. I took some pictures of the freshly polished car here and here. If anyone gets Pontiac Enthusiast magazine you can see pictures of my car on page 25 of the July\August issue. They where doing a article on last years Grand Prix Gathering and they got some good shots of my car. If you haven't registered for this years gathering head over to www.gp-gathering.com and do so now, its only 5 weeks away! A couple weeks ago just for fun I took the 89 SE to the track to see what kind of times it would get. The best run of the day was a firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH which is pretty good for a stock engine with no modifications.
7\7\99: The PASSKEY problem has been fixed. What happened was that when I took my computer out and put it in the other GTP it learned his PASSKEY resistance instead of mine. Simply disconnecting the power to the computer will not reset it. What you have to do is leave the key in the ignition in the ON position for 10 minutes, then off for 10 minutes, then ON again for 10 minutes, then off again for 10 minutes. The next time you turn the ignition to the on position it will re-learn your key. So with that out of the way I dropped my car off to a friend of mine who works at a Pontiac dealer to find out why Autotap cannot read my computer. If he has to he will just re-run new wires to under the dash to the ALDL connector. Here is something I hope everyone shows a interest for. A good friend of mine Phillip Koken has some contacts at Borla. He gave me the number to a main guy in product development to call about building a exhaust for 88-94 3.4 DOHC, 3.1 MPFI GM vehicles. His name is Sal Sinsun. I talked with him for a while about building exhaust for our cars but he's not convinced the market is big enough to warrant building a exhaust system. This is where you guys come in. Sal wants everyone that would like a exhaust for their 88-94 Grand Prix, 88-94 Olds Cutlass, 88-94 Luminas with the 3.4 DOHC and 3.1 MPFI engine to e-mail him at email@example.com and tell him your interested. If enough people are interested he will have Borla make a exhaust specifically for our cars. This avoids using the 95 Monte Carlo 3.4 exhaust that could possibly hit the ground. The exhaust on these cars are all the same routing for 88-94 but changed in 95 and 96 so those years are out of the picture.
7\6\99: What a eventful day it was yesterday. I went and swapped my computer in a 97 GTP and Autotap could read it. Which means it's something in the wiring of my car that's not letting it be read by Autotap. I don't see that as a huge problem seeing as it's only 5 wires. But here comes the funny part.....I go and put my computer back into my car and start it up.....it only runs for 3 seconds then shuts off and the security light comes on. Oh gee's sounds like the trouble I was having when I was first putting the engine in the car. So I had the car towed about a mile away to a Pontiac dealer and as of right now they are telling me I need a new Ignition key with a new resistor pellet in it.
7\3\99: I did'nt drive out to Mecham for a reprogrammed PCM yet......I was all set and ready to go when I got a e-mail response from a local 97 GTP owner in the Southern California Club GP. I had e-mailed him a week ago asking if it was possible either to put my PCM in his car or put his PCM in my car and Autotap it to see if it could be read. Good news is that he will let me put my PCM in his car so I can make SURE that it's my PCM that is not causing Autotap to be read from my car. He comes back into Ca on Monday so I plan to do it then. Also I am finally getting the 5 spoke 94-96 Grand Prix rims I have been looking for. The owner of the rims wanted to trade for crosslace rims. So luckily I had a friend who knew someone wanting to sell 4 Silver crosslace rims cheap. So I bought those rims and had the tires removed and sent them off to Texas to their new home. I can't tell from the picture the 5 spoke owner sent me if the rims he is sending are Grey or Polished but it doesn't matter to me. Here is a picture of the rims I sent him. And here here is a picture of the rims I am getting. The rims are due to arrive next week some time.
6\29\99: Well the weekend was kind of exciting. I took my friend Steve Cromer who has a 96 SE out on a speed run through a local canyon in my GTP......I waited for all the cars to be gone in front of me then went down the long straightaway towards the first turn. And what comes flying around the corner coming my way? A cop. I saw brakelights in the mirror as a speeded by him in a turn so I knew he was going to turn around. So I speeded up and got through some turns only to be stuck behind a pickup truck and a Acura. I saw the lights coming from behind me so I just pulled over. He came screaming around the corner and I was put through the normal B.S.. He was nice though...and let me off with a warning. So not being satisfied with that demonstration of the new struts we went on a 6 lane road at about 2 in the morning when no one was out and did some lane to lane changes doing 60. Needless to say I think Steve is getting some KONI struts now. He also brought over Autotap that day and we tried to hook it up to my car to monitor the engine. Something was wrong though and the PCM only displayed current time. So I broke out the wiring diagram and started double checking my wiring job. Everything looked good so that wasn't it. Then I ran the wires Autotap needed directly from the PCM to the connector and it still did'nt work. At this point I'm 99% sure it's the PCM so I think I will get a Mecham calibrated PCM and use my current one as a core to give him. I would like to do it as soon as possible so I might drive out there this week to Arizona and have it done. Also I have been working on getting the car looking the way I want cosmetically. My only real big complaint is these crosslace rims. They are very hard to clean and usually get dirty again 200 miles later. Also they don't cool the rotors as much as I would like. The solution is 94-96 SE, GTP 5 spoke rims. They come in White, Polished, and Grey. I think I have found a set of polished 5 spokes and will know for sure next week if I get them. The other thing I don't like is that GM decided not to badge the sides of 94-96 GTP's but did badge the SE's. The solution I saw at last years Grand Prix Gathering with Gus Rubios 95 GTP. He put 98 GTP rear "Grand Prix" badges on the doors. Here is a picture of them. The whole goal is to make car look good without making it look modified and I think these 2 things will do it.
6\24\99: OK instead of putting a bunch of pictures up with links I made a whole page about the KONI installation here. I also tried the full firmness setting on the KONI struts and lets just say the ride is less then pleasurable. I think the perfect setting is right past the halfway mark. I added a link to the Grand Prix Gathering 99 on the main page, check out the site for up to date information about this years gathering. And if your not doing anything September 16-19th please by all means register and come over to Kansas for the event. Last year I had a great time and I'm sure I will this year as well.
6\22\99: Well the KONI's came in yesterday and I debated wither to install them myself or go see my friend at a suspension shop and ask how much he would charge to install. Looking over the instructions I decided to see how much he would charge. When he said $100.00 to install with alignment I couldn't resist. So I sat back and laughed at the comical adventures of him grinding the old rear strut out....spilling oil from the old front strut all over the floor then slipping and falling on his ass. He still got them done in 5 hours which is sooner then it would have taken me. Man what a difference these struts make. Even on the HALF firmness setting on the struts they ride just like stock but handle so much better. So much better in fact I had to re-learn the cornering of the car to know exactly where the rear tires would break loose. Also I will have to remember when driving the other Grand Prix that it does'nt have KONI's on it before any rapid lane changes at highway speeds. It doesn't even feel like the same car, it feels much much better. I would have to say besides the Supercharged engine swap this has to be the best upgrade I have done on the car so far. I will have pictures up later this week of the install but for now I want to go take some sharp curves.
6\18\99: Not only did the car not get dynoed but the KONI struts where delivered while Ram Air Tech was out and about so I won't get them until Monday. BOO RAT!! Ok now off to more fun stuff. Once again I was able to get hold of yet another Pontiac to drive around for about a week. This time it was a 99 Grand Prix SE with a 3.1 V6. This engine sucks....NO power. The car is very nice though it handles well and rides like the large car it is. I made a audio clip of the Grand Prix doing a 0-60 and as you can imagine it took a while to get there. Listen to it here. Also under the "just for fun" category I just had to make a burnout picture of this car. Now the car doesn't burnout......EVEN if the road it wet so it took some tricks but the end result looks like a 99 Grand Prix SE making major smoke from it's 160HP V6. View that here. Also I took a couple pictures of the Grand Prix SE in the driveway....see them here and here. I updated some of the pictures and audio files from the news area to the Pictures area so check those out.
6\15\99: I took the 3.4 Grand Prix up to Ram Air Tech yesterday so they could measure everything to build a exhaust. After looking at all the measurements they could not use anything off the 97+ Grand Prix exhausts they have already tooled up exept for the mufflers and tips. Seeing as they would have to make a completely new exhaust and have them mandrel bent they have come to the decision not to make the exhaust for the 3.4 Grand Prixs.
6\11\99: Well my new computer has been put together and its real fast. You can read about it here. Next week I will be taking the 3.4 DOHC Grand Prix to Ram Air Tech so they can make a exhaust for the 3.4 Grand Prixs. Also the KONI struts are due to go on and hopefully the car can get dynoed. I'm getting anxious to get to the track again so if the dyno goes well i'm shooting for next Saturday.
6\9\99: I know I know I've been busy :). About 3 weeks ago I was able to get a hold of a brand new red 2door 99 Grand Am 3400 V6 and drive it around for a couple weeks. The build date on the car was 5-16-99 so the car was literally 6 days old. The 3400 engine puts out 170HP and 180ft pounds of torque. It's a quick car. So quick in fact I was dying to take it up against a few comparable cars. First was my friend Steve's modified 96 3.4 SE. I drove the Grand Am and he drove his car. The Grand Am beat him every time. Thinking it might be the driver we switched cars and he drove the Grand Am and I drove the Grand Prix. Once again the Grand Am pulled ahead by a car length up to about 60MPH. There wasn't enough road to go faster but I feel pretty sure the Grand Am would have continued pulling at higher speeds. We where both pretty amazed that the Grand Am did so well so we drove back to my house and I brought out my 89 Grand Prix SE 3.4 to race it. Steve drove the Grand Am and I drove the Grand Prix. Once again from a stop to 60MPH the Grand Am was ahead by a car length. Then a couple days later driving around town I saw a 97-98 Grand Prix GT with a 3.8 Series II V6 in it that wanted to race. So he powerbrakes his engine and I powerbrake the Grand Am to about 2000RPM. Light turns green and we both take off. we where about even going across the crosswalk on the other side then the Grand Am pulled ahead by almost 2 car lengths of to 70MPH. At that time GT made a sharp right into a residential street. Pretty amazing little car. The Grand Prix outweighs it by about 350-400lbs which gives the Grand Am the advantage. The car handles very well to for what it is and the "solid form" design we have all hear about on Pontiacs commercials is no B.S.. With that said let me assure everyone I won't be selling my Grand Prix's to buy one anytime soon. Just wanted to let everyone know what a great car the Grand Am has become. My car was dynoed last week and it started cutting out on the dyno above 4800 RPM. I drove it home and it was acting fine then later again it started cutting out. After further inspection I found the spark plug wires where arcing on the coil packs. The boot was not making a good connection on the coil and was causing intermittent spark. I put a new set of Magnecor wires on and the problem went away. I may change my opinion of Magnecor wires if this happens again. Incidentally the car made 250HP at the wheels even with intermittent spark. I hope to get it back on the dyno this week if possible for another run. Also in the past week I have been building a new computer. I will be updating this web page with allot of new information on products for the 88-96 Grand Prix's along with 97+ Grand Prix stuff in the next week as soon as I get this computer built. A AutoZone parts store recently opened in my area so I went and got a set of Performance friction pads for the front and rear of my GTP and installed them. They are very good pads and stop on a dime. Also they don't fade as much as Wagner and Raybestos pads do when they get hot. And with a lifetime warranty you can't go wrong. Next week I will be installing KONI adjustable struts on the front and back of my GTP. KONI makes some of if not the best aftermarket adjustable struts for cars. They have a knob at the top of the strut to adjust the firmness of the ride. The are expensive at $120.00 each but they are premium struts that carry a lifetime warranty. I will post pictures of the conversion when I do it. Finally here are a couple multimedia items for everyone's listening\viewing pleasure. First is a picture of Steve Cromers 96 Grand Prix and the 99 Grand Am the day we raced. Next there is a picture of the inside of the 99 Grand Am. And here is a picture of the 3400 SFI engine in the Grand Am. And here are some audio files of the 3.4 DOHC , 3400 and 3.8 Supercharged engines doing 0-60 from inside the cabin. And finally here is what the pavement looked like after the 0-60 run in the GTP.
5\9\99: What a trip. The event in AZ was a flop from what I could see. The first day the track was very slippery and there was a 3 hour delay before we could start racing because everything was so unorganized. My car spun its tires through first, second and third at the track so I won't bother posting my times. They sprayed the track with VHT liquid which is supposed to sticky it up but I think it did the exact opposite. I didn't even bother staying the night and decided to leave for Texas. Texas was decent and I had a few good nights there and then left for home. I was supposed to stop at Mecham Design and Performance in AZ on the way back to pick up a reprogrammed computer for the car but it wasn't ready. Most of the trip was a waste of time and I really want to put it behind me at this point. I did get a few pictures of my travels, here is a picture of my car all detailed the day before I leave for AZ. Here is a picture of me rounding a corner in the fog and here is another view, this time from the speedometer. Here is a picture of my car in AZ. And finally here is a picture of my car lined up with all the other Grand Prixs at a North Texas ClubGP meet I attended while in Texas.
4\30\99: The car didn't get dynoed this week. Instead it was at the dealer most of the week getting thoroughly detailed. I leave in a couple hours for Pontiac Weekend 99 in Tucson and then from there on Monday i'm heading to Texas to visit my friend Mike Napurano who runs www.clubgp.com. If there are any real interesting pictures from the show in Tucson I will post them that day otherwise I will wait until I get back in a week. Today is the official start of Pontiac Weekend 99 and there will be racing this afternoon starting at 3pm. I plan on running the car the same way I drive it everyday. It's been a while since I have raced the quartermile without slicks and other track only modifications so this should give a good idea of what it will do the way I drive it on the street. On the way back from Texas I might stop by Mecham Design and Performance in Glendale AZ. Mecham is the only company that offers reprogramming of 97+ GTP computers. Some of the things he does to them include removing the 127MPH speed limiter, increasing the shift RPM, firmer transmission shifts by increasing line pressure and a host of other things. Cost is $399.99 and i'm hoping I can get my computer modified or a modified computer that day.
4\22\99: Hurry up and wait....that's what I feel like. Things are so busy right now I doubt there is enough time to race this weekend. Next week the car will be dynoed with the new heads and intake and possibly with some other modifications. Then next Friday I leave for "Pontiac Weekend 99" in Tucson AZ from April 30th- May2nd. It's a yearly event for all Pontiacs to come together and show off each others cars. Friday the 30th there will be drag racing as well as a couple club get togethers. Saturday the 1st is a cruise through town and a buffet dinner at a airport hanger under a restored B29 bomber followed by presentations by people from Pontiac showing off some wild concept cars as well as many factory custom cars including many supercharged Sunfires and Grand Am's. Sunday the 2nd is a day at the park with hundreds of Pontiacs displayed in a local park. The event does'nt have a website but they have recorded information at 502-795-0978. I'll be sure to take allot of pictures for those who cannot make it.
4\17\99: Well I got to the track at 5am and waited until race time at 9 and ran. I did a small burnout and it spun the tires but something didn't feel right. I start the run and it drops power above 3500RPM. I checked over everything and attempted to recreate the problem in the pit area but there wasn't enough room. Upset I went home and checked over the car. I put the smaller supercharger pulley I use for the track and floored it up and down my street and got the same problem.Upon further inspection I saw some black rubber on the supercharger pulley. The belt was spinning on the pulley. I had failed to wipe off some oil on the crankshaft pulley and some oil got on the belt. That's what you get for racing a car only 5 hours after it was put together. I sprayed down the pulley's with cleaner and washed the supercharger belt and now everything is fine. I plan on racing next weekend at Carlsbad and this time I will have all my race mods installed.
4\16\99: Everything's in and it runs great! I didn't get the engine and transmission back until 10:30am today and spent the rest of the day installing it and double checking things. It pulls strong and shifts allot firmer although it does not spin the tires going into second gear like I was told it would by Level10 who sold me the shift solenoid. Since I was busy all day I didn't have time to do some of my normal track modifications so I will already be running with a 3tenths of a second handicap. Hopefully it will still pull a 12 second quartermile tomorrow.......wish me luck.
4\14\99: With the exception of a couple bolts the engine is back together. It took me most of the day because I double and triple checked everything as well as cleaned all the parts to take all the grease off. Tomorrow I will install the transmission on the engine and take it home. I plan on dropping the engine in tomorrow and hooking everything up tomorrow evening and Friday morning. I'm cutting it kinda close here seeing as I'm planning on racing at Pomona Saturday morning at 7:00am. I took a couple shots of the engine being put back together, here is a picture of the ported and polished intake manifold. Here is a picture of the engine all assembled.
4\13\99: Wahoo the heads are back on and tomorrow I will install everything else left on the engine. Then either late tomorrow or Thursday take it home and install it. The transmission place that did the work actually found a way to add more clutch plates in the transmission to further handle the power.
4\12\99: Still waiting on the intake manifold. I did go up to Ram Air Tech and take a picture of the cylinder heads though. They are ported very well and the combustion chambers are all polished up. Take a look at the heads here. On my way home from Ram Air Tech in my 3.4 Grand Prix a Geo Metro came flying by me and cut me off. I couldn't believe it so I floored it and caught up with him. This idiot has racing stickers all over his 3cylinder 1.3liter car. I quickly grabbed the digital camera and snapped some pics......then blew by him. Here and here are the Geo pics. The intake will be done tomorrow and the engine will be together with tranny tomorrow or Wednesday. It took about 5 hours to remove the engine so it's probably going to take at least 7 hours to put it back in. Things are always easier coming out!
4\8\99: Well here it is Thursday and I still don't have everything back from Ram Air Tech to put my engine back together. The heads are done and so is the transmission...just waiting on the intake manifold to come back from being ported. One thing about Ram Air Tech is if they say something is going to take a certain amount of time, it will probably take 3 times as long as they tell you to do. If everything goes right I could get the intake manifold back late today or tomorrow.
4\6\99: Cylinder heads and transmission will be done tomorrow and I hope to have the engine back together tomorrow and installed in the car Thursday. I will take some pictures of the modified cylinder heads tomorrow.
4\2\99: It's not looking likely that I will be racing this weekend either. The heads are still being modified and even if they get done today there isn't enough time to put everything back together without rushing it. I was going through some old Car and Driver magazines and found a January 94 article on the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. Click here to read it.
3\30\99: I spent today removing the transmission from the engine and disassembling the engine. The Series II 3800 V6 is surprisingly easy to work on, unlike a overhead cam engine you do not have to reset or adjust the timing after it is reassembled. Also there are some nice components that come stock on the engine like, roller rocker arms, progressive beehive valve springs, nice short runner intake manifold. Ram Air Tech says they would compare the technology behind it as a LS1 V8 engine in the Corvette\Camaro with 2 cylinders chopped off. I took a few pictures to show everyone what I mean. A couple of the pictures are in high resolution because they where shot in portrait format so bear with it. Here is a picture of the roller rocker arms. Here is a shot of one the cylinder heads. And here is a shot of the block with everything removed. The 3.8 engine and transmission have over 20,000 hard mile on it and they are holding up beyond my expectations. I would contribute the transmission durability to excellent GM design and the addition of a transmission cooler which brings down the operating temperatures. The engine is in immaculate condition with the cylinder walls having the crosshatches still visible from the factory. The cylinder heads are being sent out tomorrow and I hope to see them by the end of the week. The transmission has been sent to the builder and should be done about the same time as the heads.
3\29\99: Yesterday I removed the supercharged 3.8 engine and transmission for the cylinder headwork and the transmission upgrade. It took a little under 5 hours to take out which is pretty good. Today I took the engine with transmission attached to Ram Air Tech where tomorrow I will disassemble and send the heads out to be ported\polished with a 3angle valve job and take the transmission to the transmission shop who will install high performance clutches\bands, solenoids, etc. I think the intake manifold is going to get extrude honed and the supercharger inlet polished as well. Here is a picture of the engine and transmission in the truck ready to be taken to Ram Air Tech.
3\26\99: OK got a couple pictures of the rear coil over shock suspension installed. Here is a picture showing the coil and brake assembly. And here is a close up showing the rear leaf spring removed and just the coils installed.
3\25\99: I got a prototype rear coil over shock suspension system installed on my 3.4 Grand Prix today from Ram Air Tech. It replaces the rear leaf spring and has coils that go over the stock shock setup to make it true fully independent suspension. It rides allot better and handling has improved. You can also raise or lower your rear suspension by about 1 1\2 inches over stock ride height this way you can install Eibach front springs off a 95 Monte Carlo and adjust the rear suspension to lower your car 1 1\2 in the front and back for better handling, I will post pictures of the suspension setup tomorrow. Saturday or Sunday I will remove the engine and transmission from my 96 GTP for the headwork and transmission modifications.
3\23\99: Car is running great but I don't think there will be enough time to get the cylinder heads and transmission modified before Pomona this Saturday. I'm very disappointed I won't be able to race at a good track for another month until it opens again but I do plan on racing April 3rd. Next week is going to be busy with engine and transmission removal so I decided to wait until then to install the transmission solenoid......no sense in taking it apart twice.
3\19\99: Well the wiring is all done and it looks great under the hood.....no exposed wires and everything looks factory. Here is a picture of my engine compartment all cleaned up and looking nice after the wiring install. I haven't heard from the tranny shop to see if they got all the parts in to modify the transmission so I don't know if I will be pulling the engine out for the transmission upgrade on Monday or not. If they don't have all of the parts in I will install the Level10 shift solenoid myself on Monday or Tuesday.
3\14\99: OK for everyone who was wondering what I have been busy doing these past couple weeks check out this recent update to the Ram Air Tech website here. I will be testing the electric shift switch on my 3.4 Grand Prix while my car is apart this week for the 97 engine harness changeover.
3\12\99: The transmission will have to be pulled for the solenoid to be installed but that's no big deal since it's coming out soon but I did get a couple things done to it that firmed the 1-2 shift up nicely. First was to install firmer springs in the transmission collector and second was the installation of a prototype electronic shift switch which has different settings for different firmness. Both of which firmed the shifts allot better then stock but not as firm as I would like. I want to be able to hear the tires chirp when going into second gear and the solenoid should make that happen. All these modifications are only noticeable at wide open throttle....this way your daily driving of part throttle still has barely noticeable shifts just like stock. Tuesday I am starting the 97 wiring conversion and will probably take the rest of the week.
3\10\99: OK I usually update this page almost everyday but lately I have been real busy arranging things for the car. The things that are being done to the engine in the next 2 1\2 weeks are very cool. I will briefly run down a list of some of the things I will be doing. Recalibrated Stage2 mass airflow sensor with larger fuel injectors, 97 Grand Prix GTP modified engine computer and harness, Stage2 R.A.T. cylinder heads, extrude honed intake manifold. Along with a complete transmission rebuild using www.LevelTen.com parts including clutches,bands,servos,shift solenoids and valvebody. This is all in preparation for the Pomona dragstrip on the 27th of this month. A couple of the electronic components for the transmission are going in tomorrow and then the major stuff next week.
3\5\99: Injectors where not ready this week so looks like it will be early next week along with the transmission solenoid. Along with those modifications I am having the cylinder heads modified and re-doing the entire transmission with heavy duty parts including clutch plates, bands, valvebody, shiftkit, etc. Hopefully most of this stuff will get done before Pomona on the 27th.
2\28\99: Whoa...I haven't updated this page since 18th? Hmm....well no 12's where pulled that weekend, in fact it pulled 13.1's @ 105+MPH all day long. I'm speeding up the 97 electronics\wire harness changeover. It will clean up the underhood allot and hopefully boost the horsepower a little bit due to the timing tables in 97 PCM's. I'm getting a transmission solenoid from Level10 in the upcoming week that will double the shift firmness from the first to second shift. I'm not sure if I can get the side cover off the transmission without removing the engine\tranny from the car....I will see when I start working on it. Also this week RAT will be dynoing some prototype mods including new fuel injectors. Good news is check out Ram Air Tech's website. I finally got them to post all the upcoming 3.4 DOHC products. Although no prices are set at least you can get an idea what they have planned. Check out www.RamAirTech.com. I don't think I will be going to the track again until I can find a way to make a little more power and get the slicks to hookup better. The plan is to get it ready for Pomona on March 27th and go kick some butt.
2\18\99: Well it looks like I will be heading to the track again Saturday with Ram Air Tech. Hopefully it will be a short day.....pull a 12.*** @106-107MPH and go home ;).
2\16\99: After some tuning of the Supercharged 3.8 engine it was able to produce 300.9HP at the wheels with race mods!! Click here to see the dyno run. Looking forward to going to the track this weekend with some new found power. Also I got my 3.4 Grand Prix dynoed. It made 163HP to the wheels with a K&N drop in filter. Then Ram Air Tech put a prototype cold air kit on and dynoed the car again. It gained 7 HP throughout the powerband with a 12HP peak. Although those are great results I think the power will be even more of a gain for people with stock air filters. Click here to see the cold air dyno run.
2\15\99: I scanned Saturday's timeslip in, click here to see it. I think the engine can be tuned to make more power to overcome the tires spinning. Also I have considered working on some suspension mods to keep the front end planted and not unloading towards the rear when I take off. If I get into the 12's i'm going to stop with the engine mod's and start working on firming up the transmission shifts and do some suspension work. If everything goes as planned this week I could be headed to the track this weekend.
2\13\99: I drove out with Ram Air Tech to Pomona in hope that I could get MUCH better traction there then at Carlsbad raceway. We get there about 9:30AM and find it closed. Seem's people line up from 4:30 in the morning to go race. Anyhow they had the 600 racer limit at 7:30AM!!!! So upset but not giving up we drove back to Carlsbad raceway and ran. This time at the track since my firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH run I installed a RAT off road exhaust pipe and removed the passenger seat, also I had enough ice this time to ice the charger down a little. Well the first run out it pulled a email@example.comMPH with a 1.969 60 foot time. Second run I got firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH with a 2.044 60 foot. Third time a email@example.comMPH and a 2.128 60 foot. Fourth and final time a firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH and a 2.129 60 foot. So although I did'nt get to run at Pomona which is a great track from what I hear with very good traction I was able to get a email@example.com. I feel confident that if I had got into Pomona it would have run a 12. You can be sure I will be there next month bright and early.
2\11\99: As of today 4 people have ordered the rear strut tower brace. All I will say on this one is I went out of my way to get products for us 3.4 people and then people back down from ordering them when they are available. On a positive note, this Saturday Pomona Raceway opens it's doors to street cars to run the 1\4 mile. My car will be there with a couple modifications since last time. This time...just for a shot at a low time I will strip the passenger seat and rear seats out to lighten the car up 50-60lbs. Also I will put spare tires on the rear for less rolling resistance and remove the exhaust and catalytic converter. firstname.lastname@example.org has been my best run to date, and with a MUCH better track like Pomona to run at it should be a very interesting weekend.
2\5\99: OK people.....what seems to be the problem here? I got your names and phones numbers from people that where interested in a rear strut tower brace for 88-96 Grand Prix's\Lumina's and submitted them to Ram Air Tech. Then Ram Air Tech goes out of their way to make everyone rear braces, and guess how many people out of the 20+ people respond when Ram Air Tech calls them to sell the braces....1. Yeah that's right 1 person ordered a rear strut tower brace. Everyone cry's for upgrades for our cars yet when one becomes available no one is interested. If Ram Air Tech is stuck with all these braces I can guarantee you there will be no more parts made for this car. Ram Air Tech's number is 714-901-9101.
1\27\99: No...I haven't gone anywhere, there has just been a lack of activity on my car lately. I did get some 3.4 heads modified for a friend recently. Ram Air Tech replaced all the valves, ported\polished combustion chamber, ported\polished intake and exhaust runners as well as some other trick stuff. They charged $1095.00 which is a very good deal. Such a good deal that I replaced DPR's $2000.00+ recommendation on the 3.4 upgrades section with Ram Air Tech's. There's also something I haven't told anyone about my car......shortly after my 13.6 run at the track I began prototype testing of a Ram Air Tech Stage2 mass airflow sensor, however I could not release this information until recently. This product has taken a while to get to the marketplace and looks like it will come out very soon. They claim a 20HP increase at the wheels and testing on my car has shown that to be very realistic. I am very happy with the new exhaust.....on my last dyno run it picked up 12 more HP over my previous modified exhaust. I also am getting a PC program called Autotap for the car that monitors over 300 parameters in the drivetrain to see exactly what the car is doing. Click here to see a list of some of the things it can monitor. With a laptop computer and Autotap installed it will become a useful tool to use on the dyno and at the track. Also in the upcoming weeks I still have quite a few things planned for the Supercharged engine. Some of which include supercharger inlet porting\polishing, 97 PCM and electronics swap and Stage3 cylinder head modifications. If anyone has forgotten what modifications I have done to my 96 GTP I added a link to the mod's page in the "The Site" section on the main page. Also check out that section for answers to some frequently asked questions. Looks like Ram Air Tech will be coming out with allot of 3.4 DOHC upgrades soon and they may even list them on their website very soon. As far as Ram Air Tech's rear strut tower brace is going it looks like it will be done and ready to ship next week.
1\17\99: Well I looked through all my timeslips from yesterday and I found one that recorded a correct time. It was my last run with the supercharger hot cause I had no more ice but never the less I got a email@example.comMPH. Here is a scan of the timeslip. So until next time I go to the track that's my best time.
1\16\99: Track sucked, the car was running great to. Seems the timing system was messed up and gave everyone weird results. People where getting times like..... 14.8@200MPH and my favorite.....15.4@3MPH. Kind of a waste of a day but it was nice to eat some cars up for fun. Here are a couple pictures taken today. Slicks on waiting to enter raceway Close up picture of slicks
1\15\99: Well tomorrow is the big day at the track. I decided not to remove the passenger seat or "strip" the car in any way. I will take plenty of pictures for everyone to see.
1\12\99: 286HP at the wheels!!! Ram Air Tech was quite amazed at the power gain with the exhaust and a little bit of fine tuning. Should be interesting going to the track this weekend with 54 more HP then I had last time. I might remove the passenger seat to go for a all time record time. Here is the scan of today's run.
1\11\99: Back from CES. I went to Ram Air Tech today and talked to them in detail as far as what products the 3.4 DOHC owners would buy and what they wouldn't. Based on this it looks like allot of products will come out soon. Also they may add these 3.4 products to their website for easy viewing and technical information. Looks like the motor that once had very few performance mods available will finally get the support we have been waiting for. Barring any natural disasters I will dyno the car at 1:00pm tomorrow.
1\6\99: No dyno today either.....what a great week. I leave for CES in Vegas tomorrow and I will be back Monday.
1\5\99: Well the rim deal fell through. They turned out to be silver crosslace. Here's a open invitation for anyone who has factory Silver or White 5 spoke rims that came on their Grand Prix and are looking to get rid of them please e-mail me. Tomorrow at 12:00pm the car is getting dynoed. Hope to see 240HP at the wheels with no race mods.
1\1\99: Got a picture of what my car looks like with the new exhaust on. Click here to see it. There was no time during the week for a dyno test. Looks like it will be tested early next week. I also got a hold of some 5 spoke Grand Prix rims that I have been looking for. They are grey but will probably be painted the same bright white color as the car soon. I can finally ditch the old crosslace rims that are a pain to clean and don't cool the rotors very well.
12\28\98: Ram Air Tech exhaust is installed. WOW it looks great. This has to be the best product I have got for this car to date. The quality is very nice, the exhaust tips look great, and it sounds sweet. I noticed that the car pulls harder at all RPM's...there is definitely a noticeable improvement. Sometime later this week the car will be dynoed again to see what it's putting out. I also took the names of people who where interested in the strut tower brace to Ram Air Tech. They where very pleased with the results and are producing them as we speak. The braces will be powdercoated black.
12\27\98: I hope everyone got what they wanted for Christmas!? The dragstrip was closed yesterday due to the holiday and it will be closed next week to. Then the week after that i'm going to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Looks like I won't be able to hit the track until January the 16th. In the meantime tomorrow i'm getting the Ram Air Tech exhaust installed. I picked the exhaust up Thursday and it looks great. The pipe bends are VERY smooth and there is no sharp corners. The pipes are 3 inches from the catalytic convertor to the Y pipe where it splits into two 2 1\2 inch pipes to the mufflers where they are 2 1\2 inches in and out with polished tips. The exhaust is for 97+ GTP's but will fit with 95 Monte Carlo 3.4 muffler brackets. I also hope to dyno tune the car this week to see what the exhaust picked up. The current HP is 232 with no race modifications. I hope to bump that to 240HP with the exhaust. Also....I have 9 orders for the rear strut tower brace, all I need it 1 more to turn into Ram Air Tech so we can get this product on our cars ASAP. I have confirmed the brace will NOT fit on the 95-98 Monte Carlo's. I added a whole bunch of new pictures to the Picture section so check them out.
12\22\98: Ram Air Tech needs a order of 10 rear strut tower braces for the 88-96 Grand Prix's (Maybe Monte Carlo,Cutlass,Z34..will know after I get measurements) to speed up the production process. This brace keeps the back end of the car more level during sharp turns. So far I have 5 confirmed people who would like one, including myself. This will be their first product for the first gen W-body's so lets support them. If this product sells a front strut tower brace, cold air, 3.4 engine mods will be developed soon. The price will be about $149.00 and the brace will be powdercoated. It is very easy to install and only requires removal of 4 nuts in the trunk. If you are interested in getting one send me a e-mail with your daytime phone number and I will take them to Ram Air Tech next time I am there.
12\17\98: WOW!!! I got to the dyno with Richard from Ram Air Tech at about 11:00am and let the car cool. The first dyno run got a 232HP at the wheels which is about 275-280HP crank. After a few modifications and removal of a couple items I got 272HP at the wheels which is about 320HP at the crank. What did I do? I will say a couple things....slightly smaller supercharger pulley.....and cleaned up the intake and some other stuff. The exhaust was left on which means once the new Ram Air Tech exhaust is installed I should pick up another 8-10HP. The modifications I did to get the 40HP gain will probably only be done at the track and not run like that on the street. Therefor even though the engine is capable of 320HP with about 20 minutes of work....I will keep it at the current 275-280HP for the street. But I plan on getting 300HP out of it for street use very soon.
12\16\98: OK back to upgrading the car. Very soon I will be getting a exhaust from Ram Air Tech. It goes on 97+ GTP's but will fit on mine with muffler brackets off a 95 Monte Carlo.....much like the Monte Carlo Borla system. Ram Air Tech uses 3inch pipe that is mandrel bent so the turns are VERY smooth and not rippled like most exhaust shops bend pipe. Also the exhaust flow on this system is better because it's a straight shot after the turns in the pipe through the mufflers. On all 88-96 dual exhausts the pipes turn up to the mufflers then back down out the exhaust tips. On this setup the mufflers hang a little lower and the exhaust goes straight in and straight out so there are 4 less critical bends for the exhaust to flow through. It also comes with some very nice polished exhaust tips. I don't know how the tips will look on the car since I strive to keep it stock looking. Tomorrow the car heads to the dyno again to see what kind of power it's making. I've added the spark plug wires, and a fuel pressure riser, and got a larger cold air canister since my last dyno run. This time I will be sure to let the car cool down before the dyno run to show true results unlike last time when there wasn't enough time to let the car cool down and was dynoed hot.
12\12\98: 13.6@100MPH!!! Actually it's 99.99 MPH but what the hell I will call it 100. Track was a rather warm 75 degrees out. I didn't get any times on my street tires but the 60 foot times are the same with the slicks as they are with a stock tire warmed up after a burnout so the slicks really just save my street tires there isn't a huge difference between the two. I'm very happy with today's run but believe I can still do better. The next big mod will be the wiring harness in January and i'm going to work on cleaning up the intake and exhaust flow this week.
12\11\98: I was able to get my hands on some very sticky Mickey Thompson racing slicks for the track tomorrow. I will make a couple runs on those then switch back to stock tires.
12\9\98: My other Grand Prix with the 3.4 in it is back from Ram Air Tech. They used it to prototype all the new 3.4 products coming out. They are now waiting for the products to be produced and will begin selling them soon.
12\7\98: Unless you have followed this website for a long time some of you might not remember all of the upgrades I have done to my 96 GTP. So I decided to put up a little section briefly listing all of my upgrades. You can get to it by clicking here. Also.....please make sure your bookmarks for this site are updated to the members.cox.net web site and not the linkline.com one. That ISP will be canceled soon and I don't want to leave anyone out in the cold.
12\6\98: After driving a hour and a half to Pomona I found out it was closed for some kind of repairs. What a weekend full of wild goose chases. I'm going to try and search around and see if anyone has races during the weekdays at night. If not looks like it will be another week before I can race.
12\5\98: Well......the weather WAS perfect but the dirt roads going into the track where not. The recent rains flooded them and I couldn't get in. Although.....tomorrow I am going to drive to Pomona raceway where I hear the track is allot better.
12\4\98: Magnecor wires arrived and where installed. Tomorrow looks like perfect weather for the track. Sunny with a high of 63 degree's........nice and cool supercharger air.
12\3\98: Magnecor wires didn't show up today....guess UPS is slow due to last weeks holiday. I did stop by Ram Air Tech and buy a fuel pressure riser. I installed it and raised the PSI by 2-3 points and so far I don't notice a difference but it's hard to notice a couple tenths on the street. Weather is looking good so this Saturday i'm going to the dragstrip. I've contemplated stripping the interior just for fun and see what kind of improvement I would get. Every 100lbs lighter you can make your car you gain 1 tenth in the quartermile. So far it's just an idea and don't know if I will do it. Seeing as I run with full interior on all my previous runs I might leave interior in this time to accurately see the difference the new fuel pump and riser made and take out interior next time.
12\2\98: 97 engine wire harness came today. Now all I have to do is find the time to install it. Also...I am getting a fuel pressure riser tomorrow and Magnecor wires and installing them. If there is time I would like to dyno tune the car this week before the dragstrip this weekend.
11\30\98: I took a picture of my dyno sheet that show's the 341.8 torque. It's not a direct scan so it's not as clear as my other dyno scans but it's clear enough to read everything. Click here to see the run
11\29\98: Well....it rained all day Saturday and part of today so I didn't get to go to the track. This week the car is seeing allot of action though. I'm hoping the Magnecor spark plug wires come in along with the 97 engine electrical harness. Also the car is going to be dynoed again with a air\fuel meter in the exhaust to make sure it's running properly.
11\26\98: The car is running very well. Next week it will be "tuned" on a dyno to make sure its getting the proper air to fuel ratio. I also ordered a set of Magnecor 8.5mm spark plug wires yesterday and will either arrive Friday or Monday. And weather permitting i'm headed for the track Saturday to see if the fuel pump made a difference.
11\25\98: Here is a picture of the 3 fuel pumps I went through to find the right one. Pictured from right to left, on the right is the stock 3.4 DOHC fuel pump. in the middle is a stock 87 Buick GN fuel pump, and on the left is the high flow Holley 190ltr Buick GN fuel pump with filter attached. Also here is a picture of my car at the dyno.
11\24\98: Installed spark plugs and new fuel pump and went to the dyno. They did'nt have time to let the car cool like last time but this time I did get torque readings. 214HP and 340 pound feet of torque with the supercharger and engine hot. If anyone remembers the 3.4 DOHC put 165HP and 180 torque to the wheels. Looks like the torque is there.....need to work on the HP though.
11\21\98: Everything has been moved to the new server. If anyone has trouble accessing anything on the site let me know. I've pretty much double and triple checked everything but something could have slipped by me. Well I had alot to do today and I did'nt get to install the new fuel pump or the spark plugs and go to the track. Looks like it's going to be a Monday afternoon project. On the + side my 97 PCM Engine computer arrived today....now i'm just waiting for the harness.
11\20\98: I got my cablemodem yesterday and am in the process of moving all my files to the new server. The new server is at . It's going to take a few days to transfer all the files over and change all the HTML pages but the news section and the main page is there right now so please update your bookmarks. Also my new e-mail address is GTP@home.com. My fuel pump also arrived today and will be installed tomarrow morning. I added more SEMA pictures...check them out under the Pictures section on the main page.
11\18\98: I found a used 97 GTP computer in Texas. It looks like it will arrive with the harness next week. I also ordered a high performance 87 Buick Grand National fuel pump to replace the stock Grand National fuel pump that I have right now. This pump should be more then enough for this engine even with major mods. It flows 190ltr an hour and the current pump flows 110ltr an hour. Fuel pump will be here Friday and I might have time to get it installed and go to the track Saturday.
11\11\98: 97 GTP harness is on order and should be here next week. I'm still looking to find a 97 GTP engine computer used but pickings are slim. Also this page will be moving to a new server early next month. I'm getting a cable modem so that means out with this ISP. The new service has twice the space available for webspace so that means more pictures and more info will be added. A few stat's on this page for anyone interested....this page has grown from 8-10 pictures on a single HTML page to 152 pictures on over 60 different HTML pages.
11\7\98: What a great day at the track and BBQ!! At the track I ran a firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH!!!! I did a huge burnout before the run and got a 2.0 60 foot time. Which is about .3 better then I have ever got before. I also let the car cool down for about a half hour which helped allot to. Ram Air Tech was also at the track. They slapped on Mickey Thompson racing slicks and removed the catalytic convertor as well as the mufflers and put on a straight exhaust pipe. Then they pulled off a blazing 13.5@101MPH. The car could have done better but it's making so much power that it's spinning the tires even with drag slicks. Here are a few pictures from the track. Ram Air Tech's racing slicks Out comes the exhaust Everyone enjoying the pleasurable sound of a open exhaust.
11\6\98: I got back from SEMA and the show was great!!! Here is a few pictures from the show. A Orange\Grey 1998 Grand Prix GTX A prototype Supercharged 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT A prototype Supercharged Pontiac Sunfire. Well supercharging seems to be pretty popular at this years show. Tomarrow is the big track and BBQ meet for the local Club Grand Prix so I will be sure to post pictures.
11\4\98: OK my HP depression is over, time to move on. I've now decided to rip out all the 98 wiring and computer in the engine compartment and go with a 97 GTP harness and computer. Why? Well...the 98 harness that's in the car right now has been spliced and diced every which way but loose. And the wiring looks pretty bad up close. Also 97 GTP's on average dyno 10HP more then 98+ GTP's. Although GM denies it the 98 GTP actually lost 10HP through a new computer and possibly different timing. So by switching to a 97 GTP harness and computer I get rid of all my loose unwrapped wires and I gain 10HP. I also have a hunch that the 98 wiring may be causing the fuel pump problem. I put a 87 Buick Grand National pump in the tank which is supposed to be good for 65PSI and went to the track last Saturday and it still pulled 14.4's. I think the computer is not keeping the fuel pump in high mode. I hope to order the 97 engine harness and computer next week. Also this Friday I am going to the SEMA convention in Las Vegas. SEMA is a huge car aftermarket parts\accessory convention held yearly to show off all the new products coming out. There is rumored to be a 3.4OHV Supercharged 99 Grand Am there that is pretty fast. But don't get your hopes up.....the engine is the new 3.4OHV V-6 not the 3.4 DOHC V-6. And Saturday is the big GP meet at Carlsbad raceway followed up by a BBQ.
10\29\98: Dyno results are in. 225HP at the wheels. Which is 270HP at the crank. With the upgrades I have done so far I should have 300HP at the crank and 250HP at the wheels. So where did all the HP go? The people at the dyno shop seem to think it's not getting enough fuel. After all i'm using a fuel pump rated for a 210HP motor and now it's trying to feed a force fed 300HP higher displacement motor. I need to have a few tests done first before I rush out and buy a 98 GTP fuel pump. The service manuals for 96 and 98 don't say anything about fuel flow in GPH, just PSI.
10\28\98: I got the factory catalytic convertor installed today. Not only does it perform better then the Dynomax 2.5 inch one it makes the exhaust sound better to! Also...the 3.4 pulley came in. So tomorrow i'm going to pick up the 3.4 pulley and then go to the DYNO!!!! Now we can see exactly what the horsepower numbers are. A 98 GTP in stock form will put about 190-195HP to the wheels. And a recent test on a modified 98 GTP that has 285 crankshaft HP put 232HP to the wheels. What will my numbers be? Tomorrow we will find out.
10\25\98: Track was unforgiving yesterday. Best time was a email@example.comMPH. My 60 foot times where 2-3 tenths off what they where on the 14.2 run I did last time. I also think the 2.5inch exhaust downpipe is even more of a restriction with the ported and polished manifolds. I will try again next week when I get the 3.4inch pulley and the stock catalytic convertor installed. In the mean time i'm going to hookup a fuel pressure gauge and make sure the motor is getting enough fuel at high RPM. And I just thought of another reason why the car might not be it's all. The GM engineers at the Grand Prix plant told me it takes 300-400 miles after the battery being disconnected before the PCM can relearn driving habits and engine variations.
10\24\98: Well I couldn't wait until morning to put the supercharger on. So here it is 3:00am and I finally got done. WOW what a difference. The car pulls harder and goes through the gears faster. I can't wait to get it to the track later today. I'm also excited to know that once the factory catalytic convertor and 3.4 pulley go on there will be even more power.
10\23\98: I got the exhaust manifolds and supercharger back. Both look VERY nice. The supercharger is nice and smooth inside with no sharp corners anywhere. The front manifold was ported and then extrude honed to give it a baby smooth finish on the inside. The rear manifold is ported but hand polished instead of extrude honed because there where only a few areas that needed to be smoothed out. I was also given results from Ram Air Tech on the before porting and after porting cubic feet per minute flow (cfm). The front manifold gained 40cfm and the rear manifold gained 30cfm. I'm very happy with that gain, and once I get the stock catalytic convertor with the 3 inch downpipe on it will improve even more. Unfortunately the 3.4 supercharger pulley hasn't come in time to run it at the track tomorrow but this way we can see the results of just the supercharger porting and the exhaust manifold porting. Then next week run the 3.4 pulley and the stock catalytic convertor. So far I only have the manifolds back on and the supercharger is still off. There wasn't enough daylights hours to put both of them on tonight. So tomorrow morning I will finish putting everything back together and drive it around for a while until I go to the track at 1:00pm.
10\22\98: The manifolds are done and i'm going to pick them up today. The supercharger should be done tomorrow as well as the catalytic convertor.
10\19\98: The manifolds,supercharger,catalytic convertor will all be done this week. But there is a Grand Prix meet at Carlsbad raceway November the 7th so I don't think there is enough time to send out the manifolds to get ceramic coated. The good news is I could have the car back together as soon as this weekend to take to the dragstrip. Bad news is of course after November 7th the manifolds come back off for 2 weeks to get ceramic coated. If anyone is interested in coming to the Carlsbad raceway in southern California on November 7th call the raceway at (760) 727-1171 or check out the Southern California Club GP event list at http://www.gp-owners.com/clubgp/scacgp/events.html. Tony Lauer from the GP Gathering in Kansas will also be in attendance. I got a firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH last time at the track, wonder what I will get this time?!?!
10\13\98: I got another GP Gathering highlight for anyone interested. This is a 3.1 meg AVI file of me getting my award.
10\12\98: The almighty and overpriced factory catalytic convertor came in today. It looks pretty well made....seamless welds with a very nice flex coupling up top. It also has a U-bend in the pipe to mount the O2 sensor. Although it keeps the O2 sensor well protected it reduces performance as well. So I took the covertor up to Ram Air Tech to replace the U-bend with straight pipe.
10\11\98: Wahoo it turns out I did get a picture of me in Kansas doing a awesome burnout at the track. My friend wasn't ready with the digital camera but another friend was and took a good shot. See if you can make out the 96 GTP doing a burnout.
10\9\98: Finished the motor swap page on 3.4 DOHC to Supercharged 3.8. You can find it by clicking here or by clicking on the "Motor Swap" picture on the main page. I also took my exhaust manifolds up to have them ported and the front manifold extrude honed. The back manifold is a tubular header design and uses smooth metal tubes. However the front one is sand cast and is very rough on the inside. They will also be flow rated to see what the airflow cfm (cubic feet per minute) is before and after the porting. The supercharger and manifolds are expected to be done next week. Also the catalytic convertor will be here next week. As soon as I get the manifolds back they still have to be sent to Washington to be ceramic coated black. Until then I am riding this.
10\7\98: I took the supercharger off and took it up to R.A.T. today. There trying there hardest to speed up this porting process. Their goal is to have it back to me next week...that would be great. I also found ported exhaust manifolds for the Supercharged GTP so it looks like I am going to buy those and then ceramic coat them instead of my stock ones. After I get everything completed these next couple weeks I am going to dyno test it and see what my numbers are. I put links to all the GP gathering pictures I have put up so far under the "Pictures" section on the main page.
10\6\98: I was originally told the S-porting process would take about a week. After confirmation today they said it would take 3 weeks because of a backlog of other work. Since my car is going to be sitting the the driveway for the next 3 weeks I have decided to ceramic coat the exhaust manifolds, crossover pipe and supercharger bypass pipe while the supercharger is being S-ported. I hope to start taking the supercharger and exhaust manifolds off tomorrow.
10\5\98: I ordered my wonderful catalytic convertor today. And either tomorrow or Wednesday I will take the supercharger off my car to have it "S-ported". S-porting is where the inlet and outlet of the supercharger are modified extensively into the "S" port version to greatly improve the flow rate. The improved efficiency also reduces the charge temp at any given pressure ratio. I'm also going to buy a 3.4inch supercharger pulley to experiment with. Here are some more pictures from the GP gathering in Kansas. Picture of my car in the parking lot The Ram Air Tech car Do you like yellow? Thrashers Regal and trailer Don Keefe from Pontiac Enthusiast magazine in a 66 Grand Prix A showroom condition 89 Grand Prix SE MPD's F1 Grand Prix All the cars bunched together at the track The 300GPX motor.
10\3\98: I broke 14.730. More like I smashed through it. I pulled consistent 14.3's with a best time of email@example.comMPH.
10\2\98: I had originally thought the factory catalytic convertor pipe for the supercharged 3.8 was 2.5 inches diameter. That's why I used a 2 1\2 high flow cat as a replacement. After close inspection of a new Grand Prix with the supercharged 3.8 I found that the downpipe to the catalytic convertor from the manifolds is 3 inches in diameter to the cat and is 2 1\2 inches coming out from the cat. I pulled off the pipe to the cat I have on there now and saw a carbon ring of 1\2 in diameter all around the flange. The means the exhaust gases where being forced down a smaller opening then it wanted. Solution is to get a factory catalytic convertor off of a 97+ Supercharged 3.8 motor. Easier said then done. Seems it's illegal to sell a used catalytic convertor so buying one from a junkyard wasn't a option. I checked the dealer and they want $455.00 for one. Gee's......you think GM would cut the cost on emissions equipment so that people would be more inclined to replace a malfunctioning one right? Wrong....because they know it's a required piece I think they jack the price up. And of course since I don't have a core to give them there going to charge me $30.00 more. Basically it's going to be a $500.00 trip to the dealer Monday. I'll be sure to take pictures of this overpriced piece of modern technology. Oddly enough I opened the newspaper this evening I found a article from the EPA saying that catalytic convertors actually do more harm to the environment then straight exhaust gas's. Click here to see the newspaper article. Tomorrow I head to the track again and see what kind of times I do. Hopefully I will beat my best time of 14.730.
9\27\98: Added Hi-flow throttlebody, Phenolic spacer and Supercharger pulley to Supercharged 3.8 upgrades section.
9\24\98: My other Grand Prix with the 3.4 was taken up to R.A.T. today to prototype some new products for the 88-96 Grand Prix's\Lumina's with the 3.4 DOHC engine. Upcoming products include cold air intake kit, strut tower brace and LOTS more.
9\22\98: I got my high-flow MAF\Throttlebody from R.A.T. installed today. There claim of 6-8HP seems pretty realistic. It pulls better in mid-range and high end. Hopefully they will get there Stage2 MAF ready for sale soon. That one is good for 20-22HP. I forgot to mention a important thing yesterday. I won the "Most modified" Grand Prix award at the gathering in Kansas. I'm pretty happy about it and will get some pictures of it soon.
9\21\98 I'm back!!! I had a great time at the gathering. It was great to finally meet most of the people I chat with online. Pontiac brought out some great cars for us to look at. Check out some pictures: Front shot of the 300HP 300GPX prototype car, Sideshot of the 300GPX, Frontshot of the 98 Grand Prix pace car, Rearshot of the pace car, An exact replica of the Hotwheels Grand Prix car, Wild Grand Prix with flames!!, All the Grand Prixs lined up at the raceway, Me racing a 98 GTP.
9\15\98: See everyone in 7-8 days!!!!
9\14\98: I archived some old news on a new page so this page will load faster. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the link if you would like to read the old news. Well.....tomorrow is the day!!!! Tomorrow I leave for Kansas for the big Grand Prix gathering, which includes dragstrip racing, BBQ's, all you can eat buffet's, tour of the Grand Prix production plant where the cars are made and the real 300GPX prototype Grand Prix that started the whole widetrack revolution. Who could ask for more?!?!?! I will make every attempt to update this page while in Kansas but if that's not possible I will still find a way to check my e-mail. So for the next 7-8 days I will be gone. Drop me a e-mail and say hi.
9\13\98: After close inspection of the exhaust manifolds I found that the rear manifold uses smooth tubes while the front one is a sand cast piece. The front manifold is pretty restrictive...so until I get the time to have the inside extrude honed to smooth the surface I ported it to match the exhaust port better. This consisted of filing down the inside of the pipe and sanding it with fine grit sand paper. I don't know how much of an improvement I will see but I know it was a restriction. I put up a page that has before and after pictures side by side. cyl.htm
9\12\98: Plans where changed a little and now I leave on Tuesday for Kansas. I got my strut tower brace yesterday and installed it. This is a prototype that goes over the factory plates on the strut tower. It makes the car handle allot better. The front end doesn't wash out as easily. Supriseingly it doesn't make the ride of the car that much harsher. But you can defiantly feel it in the turns. I still have not put it on my other Grand Prix with the 3.4 DOHC to see if it fits.....I will have to do that soon. Check out the picture of the strut tower brace here sbrace.jpg. I took my exhaust manifolds off today to paint them with high-temp black engine paint to make them look better. I would send them to get ceramic coated but there's not enough time before Kansas. Check out a picture of the manifolds here 38exh.jpg.
9\8\98: 6 days until I leave for the big Grand Prix gathering in Kansas!!! I'm pretty excited...I have 50 megs of memory loaded in the digital camera which will provide over 200 fullscreen pictures. Most likely I will find some way to update my page while in Kansas. The testing phase of the phenolic spacer is complete so today I go back to R.A.T. (Ram Air Technology) to have it removed so they can have it mass produced. Also I am working with them on making a cold air induction system. As you probably noticed from the most recent pictures of my car I am running a open cone style K&N filter. Although it is a good setup it needs a little improvement. When the car is moving hot air passes through the radiator and right into the filter. Also when the fan comes on it blows hot air right into the filter......this is not good. R.A.T. has a black canister that covers the cone filter setup and you can attach a hose to the canister to direct air to come in from wherever you want. Or you can leave the hose off and it will suck in air from behind the headlights which is allot cooler then my setup right now. I also added a picture of the phenolic spacer and a picture of my car at the dragstrip. spacer.jpg drag.jpg
9\5\98: I took a couple pictures of the engine compartment with the new engine and black nosedrive. black.jpg black2.jpg Also I went to the dragstrip today. Conditions where pretty bad......86 degree's out......full tank of gas....and stock tire psi. All things considering I did pretty well. I did consistent 14.7's with a best time of 14.730 at 82.68MPH with a 60 foot time of 2.516. My 60 foot times are bad. They should be around 2.2-2.3. That combined with the hot weather means this car will do14.4-14.5's with good tires.
9\4\98: What a great day yesterday was! First I got the prototype phenolic spacer installed. It does it's job very well.....the throttlebody still get's warm but not hot like it use to. Second I installed my Magnuson nosedrive with 3.6inch pulley. The whole process took about 2 1\2 hours to do. And the difference is defiantly noticeable. It pulls harder in all gears and has even more low end torque. One of the best investments I have ever made on either of my Grand Prixs.
9\3\98: One of the good things about living in Southern California is the mass of automobile performance shops in the area. One of them happens to be Ram Air Technology. Specializing in the GM Supercharged 3.8 motor, their just a 15 minute drive up the freeway. Today there having me test a product called a phenolic spacer. It goes in between the throttlebody and the supercharger to isolate the heat generated from the supercharger from traveling to the throttlebody and heating up the air passing though it. If the results are good look to see this product available in the upcoming months.
9\2\98: Now that my new motor is broken in I switched to Mobil1 synthetic. I also got my Magnuson nosedrive assembly today and right now is getting powdercoated black. Along with the red Magnecor wires I plan to purchase soon it will look really good under the hood.
9\1\98: GM press fit the pulley on the Supercharged 3.8 motor to prevent people from increasing supercharger boost. There are 2 ways to increase boost. First is through Thrasher Engineered Performance by removing the stock 3.8inch pulley and pressing on a 3.5inch. Second is to buy a Magnuson nosedrive assembly. Magnuson nosedrive assembly has a slotted keyway so you can change pulley size's in 10 minutes with a wrench. Pulley size's are available in 3.4inch and 3.6inch size's and many people can custom make whatever size you want. I chose to go this route because of the ability to easily swap pulley's. You get 17HP with the 3.6 pulley and 20-21HP with the 3.5 pulley. The nosedrive will be here this week but first must go to the powdercoater to get coated.
8\27\98: Ram Air Technology is currently the biggest company in aftermarket products for the Supercharged GTP. They finally got there website up today. I also I added a link to Thrasher Engineered Performance who also makes products for the Supercharged GTP. Check them both out in the LINKS section.
8\26\98: Only 3 weeks to go until the big Grand Prix Gathering in Kansas City. I will be leaving on September 14th and return on the 24th. I will take LOTS of pictures and post them on the website when I get back. Also...here are some pictures from the local ClubGP held on August 15th. gpmeet.jpg gpmeet2.jpg
8\24\98: 97\98 Grand Prix's have a "performance shift" switch. Searching through a 98 service manual here is the description they give.(When the performance shift switch is engaged the following parameters are changed. 1. Increased shift points 2. Increased torque output in second and third gears) Seeing as my "2nd gear start" switch was rendered useless with the new transmission I decided to use that for the performance shift switch. So I routed a wire to pin number 21 on the clear connector for the PCM and connected it to the old wire for 2nd gear start inside the firewall. After it was connected I took it around the block and did notice that the transmission shifted firmer when the switch was engaged. Seeing how I will probably leave that button on all the time I removed the dash and took out the bulb that light's up the green "Second Gear Start" lettering on the dash. I don't need unnecessary light's bothering my while driving.....especially ones that say a feature is activated that does even exist on my car :). Take a look at the light on the dash I removed light.jpg
8\20\98: I installed a 180 degree thermostat yesterday. It is working very well, the engine stays cooler then it used to and the fan only comes on if the car is stopped and has been idling for about 10 minutes. This weekend i'm going to Carlsbad raceway to see what my car pull's in the quartermile. My strut tower brace will be ready around Thursday next week.
8\15\98: Whoa!!!!! I had my car aligned today. I knew it was going to be out of alignment because of taking the A-arms off for the motor swap. The front wheels had 1 inch of toe-in on each wheel. It handles allot nicer now......in fact allot better then when I had the 3.4 motor in it. I can definitely tell the difference in motor weight between the 2. I also got my A\C recharged and am enjoying cool air now. Whew....only takes a couple days of 95+ degree weather to make you really regret not having it. Next I have to install the second O2 sensor and wrap the wires up.
8\11\98: I've been enjoying my car so much I haven't found time to finish things up under the hood. Getting the car done on Saturday was a total surprise to me. It turns out the dealer had a 98 BCM in stock and it did not have to be ordered. The car handles better and the front end does not roll as much as it did with the 3.4 DOHC motor. To improve this even more I am having a strut tower brace made for it. As soon as I get it and make sure it will fit on my other Grand Prix with the 3.4 I will let everyone know where to get them at. Needless to say I like the new motor ALLOT. Total time from start to finish on the motor swap was 2 1\2 months.....there where a few uncontrollable delay's like the GM strike and the manual for the electronics being wrong. But other then that things went fairly smoothly and I am happy with the end result
8\8\98: Car is done!!!!! Going to pick it up right now. I will update everyone as soon as I get it home and get everything buttoned up. Please don't flood me with e-mails. :) UPDATE 5:25pm: Car is GREAT!!!!!! I have to get the coolant tank mounted, washer fluid tank mounted and install the second O2 sensor and i'm set. The exhaust sounds SWEET.....they did a great job with it.
8\6\98: The tech from the Pontiac dealer called. The wires are re-routed and the computer is reprogrammed. But there's 1 wire missing. On the 98 GTP's the BCM (Body Control Module) sends a serial data signal to the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) saying it's ok to start. Since the BCM on the 96 doesn't send a signal to the PCM I have to buy one for a 98 GTP and install it. So completion has been postponed until next week when the BCM comes in. I also added spark plug wires for the Supercharged 3.8 in the upgrades section.
8\5\98: Added some new sites to the Links section. If you live in Southern California be sure to check out the SCACGP homepage.
8\3\98: I went to the dealer to see what was going on with the car. When they tried to scantool it and get troublecodes out of the computer they couldn't. The PCM had no trouble codes in it. So he tested the PCM and found out it was blown. He grabbed a new one from the parts department and was about to hook it up before he though he better check the wiring. He got the wiring diagram out for the 98 GTP and everything looked good. So he wondered why it wasn't running. So he went and got a new 98 GTP off the lot and parked it next to mine. About 12 wires where different. So basically I hooked everything up right but the manual from Pontiac was wrong. The company who made the manual copied the 1998 Regal GS diagram and thought it was the same. So the tech called the maker of the manual and yelled at them for a good 20 minutes. So now the tech is moving the 12 wires where there supposed to be and he is reprogramming the computer. He still says it will be done this week.
8\2\98: Added pictures of both engines to upgrade section. Also added 2 new upgrades for the Supercharged 3.8. There's allot more to come.
7\31\98: Called dealer and the tech said he's still working on the car. I also added a upgrade section for the Supercharged 3.8 motor. There's only a couple upgrades listed now but as soon as I get more time I will add a few more.
7\30\98: I went to the dealer and the tech said that he hadn't had allot of time to work on it lately but that it's real close to being finished. He told me to give him a call on Friday to see what the status is. In the meantime I am working on a Supercharged 3.8 upgrades section and putting up the motor swap page for the Supercharged 3.8.
7\29\98: I was surfing the internet and came across someone who had posted a 13.7 quartermile time in his 92 GTP. So of course I e-mailed him and asked what he did to his car to make it run those times. I got a reply and you can read his extensive upgrades at extensive.htm. As far as my car goes....I am supposed to call the dealer today and find out what's going on. If everything went well at the dealer it could be done today.
7\23\98: Rather then have the techs from the dealer drive to my house to work on my car I got it towed to the dealer. This way they have access to all the proper diagnostic tools and don't have to drive back and forth. It's expected to be done by this time next week.
7\20\98: The dyno run on Phillip Kokens car is complete. He gained 10HP through the powerband and 20HP peak. I can see buying this upgrade if you have done allot of other modifications and are running out of bolt on parts to add. But I don't think I will be getting the Stage 2 MAF\Throttlebody anytime soon. After all $600.00 is pretty pricey.
7\16\98: Well.....the GM tech's can't make it this weekend to fix my car. They had something come up and are needed at the dealer to do some repair work. They did assure me however that next Saturday they will be here. On a positive note...I will be attending a dyno run with Phillip Koken who is a friend from the local chapter of the Pontiac Grand Prix club to see how many horsepower you can gain out of a Stage 2 MAF\Throttlebody upgrade on his Supercharged 3.8. The maker of the thorttlebody\MAF is Ram Air Tech. They also claim a 22 HP increase....THIS I MUST SEE!!!! Cost of this upgrade? $599.99 That is allot of money but if they get around or near a 22HP increase with this product I would consider buying it for my car.
7\12\98: Added a picture section.
7\10\98: GM finally got my resistor in. I hooked it up and same thing. Shut's off after 3-5 seconds. Luckily I know someone in the service department at one of the local Pontiac dealers and he is going to come by next Saturday and hook a scantool to the car that will diagnose everything.
7\7\98: Wow......what a great weekend! The weather was perfect for BBQ and babes. I called my Pontiac dealer today for the hundredth time in the past 2 weeks wondering where my Fuel pump speed control resistor is. They said it was sent via FedEx on Monday and that I should have it tomorrow.
7\3\98: Have a Happy 4th of July everyone!!! Don't do anything I would.
7\1\98: Added link to the GP-Gathering in Kansas City.
6\30\98: Still waiting for my parts for the fuel pump controls. Check out the pictures of my exhaust! exhaust1.jpg
6\27\98: My car got towed home from the exhaust shop. They did a great job with it. Mufflers look great and for the 3-5 seconds that it runs for they sound great. Only thing I need is a 2 1\2 exhaust flexpipe welded in when I get the car running. They didn't have one in stock so it had to be ordered.
6\25\98: I took the gas tank out and flowrated the fuel pump. Turns out it is within specs for the Supercharged 3.8 motor. Hurray...because the fuel pump off a 98 GTP is a dealer only item. And that dealer only item costs $500.00. After I ruled out the fuel pump I read the service manual for the 98 GTP and found it has a fuel speed control relay and resistor that the 96 lacks. The Pontiac dealer had the relay in stock but the resistor had to be ordered. I decided I can't wait any longer for an exhaust. Tomorrow my car will be towed to the exhaust shop. I am re-using the stock tips and factory pipe routing. The exhaust will consist of a 2 1\2 pipe from the manifolds to a Dynomax 2 1\2 high flow catalytic convertor with a 2 1\2 midpipe to the Y where it will split off to two 2 inch pipes going to each muffler. The exhaust shop will put on Walker mufflers. They recommend them because they provide a nice tone but do not produce drown at certain RPM's like other mufflers.
6\21\98: I got to thinking.....the car should run even with no catalytic convertor, exhaust or post O2 sensor. The O2 sensor is "heated" meaning it only works when hot. So not having a post O2 sensor should act like having one when it's cold. So then I began looking into the PASSKEY II. PASSKEY II is than little resistor pellet on your ignition key that sends a resistance code to your theft module telling it that it's ok to start the motor. On the 96 system PASSKEY prevents the starter from engaging. On the 98 system it shut's the fuel injectors off 2-3 seconds after starting. This sound like my problem. So I grounded the PASSKEY wire coming from the engine computer (which should set a trouble code in the computer and bypass it completely) and turned the motor over and the same thing. So that determines that it's not the 98 PASSKEY system. So I covered the resistor pellet on my key and tryed to start the motor and nothing....the 96 PASSKEY did it's job. So with both PASSKEY systems covered I listened to the motor very carefully when I started it. It starts and then die's 3-5 seconds afterwards....after the motor dies I hear the fuel pump go on. AHA!! that's the problem. If the fuel pump is repressurizing the lines after the motor dies that means the fuel in the lines was used. On my other Grand Prix when you start it up and shut it down it doesn't re-pressurize. Basically the fuel pump cannot handle the flow of gas the new motor wants and it's starving out of fuel. So it's off to buy a fuel pump Monday morning.
6\18\98: IT RUNS!!! Well.......for 3-5 seconds before the computer shuts it down. I'm guessing it's doing that because there is no cat or post O2 sensor hooked up. The post O2 sensor is on order and as soon as it comes in I will have my car towed to a muffler shop to have a custom exhaust made. My 2 1\2 inch Dynomax catalytic convertor came so I'm thinking about 2 1\2 pipes all the way back to the mufflers. Stock for the Supercharged 3.8 is 2 1\4 inches. So 1\4 bigger then stock should provide a boost in power yet keep exhaust noise down to a minimum. I still have no idea what kind of mufflers I am going to get.
6\17\98: I worked on the electrical yesterday and almost have everything hooked up. I plan on completing the electrical today. After that it's little stuff like wrapping the wire harness back up in electrical tape, mounting the coolant overflow tank and washer fluid tank, and making a K&N air filter setup. As soon as I hear it fire I will take it to get a exhaust and the A\C recharged.
6\15\98: My old 3.4 motor finally got a new home. It was sold to a man in AZ who is going to rebuild it, get headers on it and shove it in a 2400 pound Fiero. A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART!!!
6\14\98: I'm planning a trip to the national gathering of Grand Prixs that is going to meet in Kansas City September 17-20th. Mostly comprised of 97\98 Grand Prix's all years are welcome. The events lined up sound like allot fun. First there's a authentic BBQ where everyone can get acquainted. Next day it's off to the racetrack where we have the track to ourselves from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. Everyone can compete against each other for prizes. Then it's off to the Pontiac Grand Prix assembly plant where we get to tour the plant and watch Grand Prix's being built. Then we drive the town with 200-300 Grand Prix's lined up. Also Jim Mattison from Pontiac will have the 300 GPX, a 98 Grand Prix Pace car, a NASCAR Winston Cup race car, and perhaps a '69 steam powered Grand Prix on display. Pre-registration is $35.00 and is highly recommend. Details can be found at http://www.gp-gathering.com. Total time for me to drive from Ca to Kansas is 28 hours covering 1636 miles. As always I will take allot of pictures and post them here.
6\13\98: I've decided to stop on the electrical and actually ENJOY my weekend. I have about 12 wires to go. I will start on it again next week. SOMEONE buy my old motor.....it has 60k miles on it and runs great. I had to use some of the wiring off the 3.4 harness for the 3.8 so I need to keep the electrical. I will include the engine computer. I was asking $700.00 plus shipping. I need to get this out of my garage ASAP so I can have more room. To make it move faster I dropped the price to $500.00 plus shipping. And if you live in Southern Ca I can deliver it for free.
6\11\98: Half of the electrical is done. The rest should be done by Thursday.
6\9\98: I had to get the axles off the 98 GTP to fit into the transmission. The splines are a little bit bigger so the old axles wouldn't work. So basically I used half of the 98 axle and half of the 96 axle to make a axle that had bigger splines where it fits into the transmission but still had the ABS sensors for the 96. So now that the axles are in I am starting on the wiring today. After that it's off to the muffler shop for a custom exhaust. I'm going to ask them to leave the stock exhaust tips on to retain the stock look.
6\5\98: I have been so busy this week that I haven't had allot of time to work on my car. I installed a transmission cooler and everything is hooked up exept electrical. Here is a more recent picture itsin.jpg
5\31\98: I have almost everything connected. I will tackle electrical during the week. I also ordered a high flow catalytic converter from JEGS so that will take a little time to get here. It looks great though! Check out my most recent picture.coveron.jpg
5\30\98: Motor and transmission are in! Nothing is hooked up yet. I'm going to start doing the hoses and some electrical tonight. Click on the link to see the engine and tranny in. frontview.jpg sideview.jpg
5\29\98: Yay the motor and tranny arrived. Click on the link to see a picture of it. super.jpg
5\27\98: Added Transmission section under upgrades. I called Roadway shipping and got the delivery moved to this Friday.
5\26\98: Roadway called and scheduled the engine to be dropped off next Monday the 1st of June. I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if I can't get it moved up to this Friday. I added a picture of my car with the engine out. Click here bare.jpg
5\24\98: I found out while I was browsing through specs on the supercharged 3.8 and 4T65-E that the tranny weighs 5 pounds more then the 4T60-E but the engine weighs 67 pounds less then the 3.4. Which will make the car 62 pounds lighter. Where did all that weight go? The decrease in weight is due to the fact that it is a pushrod motor not a overhead cam motor. Which means it doesn't have those heavy 4 cams sitting on top. GM also used a lightweight composite material on the valve covers instead of metal ones.
5\22\98: God......I hate to turn this page into a swap meet but I have tons of parts to get rid of. I have a Fastchip for a 94 GTP 3.4 for $100.00. A revised factory chip for a 95 GTP 3.4 for $30.00. Also my 3.4 is for sale...it has 50k miles and runs strong. It is totally complete with all accessories and wiring. Right now i'm asking $700.00 plus shipping. If you live in Southern California I can deliver it. And my friend Larry is still selling his 94 3.4 heads for $350.00 plus shipping....e-mail him at UncleJax@aol.com if your interested.
5\21\98: Cleaned up the engine compartment and took off all the old cooling lines.
5\20\98: Engine and tranny is out. I will take the time to clean everything in the engine compartment so it will look good. New engine and tranny will be here Tuesday.
5\19\98: With news of the Supercharged 3.8 engine and transmission's delivery expected early next week I started to pull the 3.4 engine and tranny out. Things are going rather smoothly. All the wires have been disconnected and fluids drained.
5\15\98: Buy my block. That's right...you to can be the proud owner of a 3.4 engine block with crank. 600 original miles..but due to slight rust in cylinder walls will probably need bored. I would bore it out anyhow...what the hell it will give you 10-12 more cubic inches. Price on this badboy? $100.00 click on the link to see a picture of what you get. block.jpg
5\14\98: Added new picture of my car to the main page.
5\12\98: Added picture of my 3.4 with the Magnecor's and ceramic coated exhaust manifolds. dohcmag.jpg
5\8\98: Well........the time has come to do another engine swap. Maybe it's because I have to much time on my hands.....maybe it's because I can't leave well enough alone. Whatever the case is I want to tell everyone that I will NOT be abandoning the 3.4 motor or this webpage. I still have my other Grand Prix with the 3.4 and it's going to stay that way. I am constantly searching for 3.4 performance products and I will continue to do so. OK.....ready for the big news? I bought a Supercharged 3800 V-6 out of a 98 Grand Prix GTP along with the 4T65-E transmission with less then 1,000 miles on them. I will take pictures of my conversion just like I did with my last one. A little background on the motor is that it produces 240HP and 280 torque and truly smokes tires a good 20-25 feet. Stock it pulls the Grand Prix from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. With the addition of a K&N cone filter and a upgraded supercharger pulley it makes 275HP and 335 torque and pulls 0-60 in 6 seconds flat. I will retain the stock "24-Valve V-6" emblems on the front end of my Grand Prix to confuse people :). It's going to take about 4 weeks for engine and tranny to get here. (slow boat from China,.......actually Michigan).
5\5\98: Contemplating buying the Borla exhaust. $650.00 is allot of money. Oh yeah.....friend of mine is selling some 3.4 engine parts. All the parts have 1000 miles on them. He is selling the following........complete Aluminum heads including camshafts,valves....etc. He wants $400.00 for them and can be reached at UncleJax@aol.com. This would be perfect if you have allot of miles on your motor and are in need of a valve job....or if your looking to do some headwork for increased performance while retaining your original parts so you can drive your car while the heads are getting done.
5\3\98: I got my Fastchip back. I have yet to dyno it but it runs better at low end.
4\21\98: Added more links to the links section. Added a little picture section here. I got my Magnecor wires today. I put them in in about 2 hours and they are great. I notice better acceleration.
4\19\98: Added picture of Borla exhaust and computer chip under upgrades section.
4\17\98: Changed the background image and the banner picture on top of the main page. I think it looks better but I want your opinions. Drop me a e-mail with a one liner saying if you like it or not.
4\16\98: All the chips where sent back to there owners......with one exeption. I decided to keep the Fastchip and work with it a little more. The Fastchip provided better midrange but suffers on the low end and a little on the top end. I have talked with the people at Fastchip and they assured me that they could fine tune it to perfection. So I sent my stock chip and Fastchip back to be "read" and tuned. When they come back in a couple weeks I will dyno test the Fastchip again and see if it has gained HP and torque all the way though the powerband. My goal is 5-7HP at the wheel. I also added new things to Upgrades section.
4\15\98: I ordered the $180.00 Magnecor 8.5mm spark plug wires. Should be here in a week. The chip test cost me about $150.00 after shipping the chips back to there manufactures and cost of the dyno run. But the fact that I have saved you guys the time, trouble and money of doing it on your own makes it worth it. Now that we know the chips don't make a difference it's time to do other things to make up for it. Look for new upgrades coming in the next week including....Cylinder head modifications, Throttlebody modification and MAF sensor modification. Check out the dyno runs graphs.... fastchip.jpg hypertech.jpg jetchip.jpg superchip.jpg
4\14\98: The JETCHIP came today so I went and got my oil changed and went straight to the dyno. Ready for the results? It's actually pretty pathetic. Stock chip ran 165.5 HP and 177.5 torque. FASTCHIP ran 165.9 HP and 178.1 torque. Hypertech got 165.1 HP and 178.4 torque. JETCHIP got 166.4 HP and 176.9 torque. SUPERCHIP got 166.8 HP and 172.1 torque. RESULTS: FASTCHIP wins .5 HP and .6 torque. All chips also raise shift points to gain about .2 in the quarter mile. My recommendation is to not buy a chip unless your desperate to waste money.
4\13\98: I installed the Superchip today and it took forever to start. The car runs good and everything but you have to give it gas and crank for about 7 seconds. I'm not going to even bother sending it back yet. The car runs once started so that's all I need to dyno test it.
4\12\98: I decided to give the fastchip a workout in the car. So Friday night I started a 970 mile roadtrip from California through Arizona to Las Vegas and back. The chip performed flawlessly. I hit 122MPH going up a slight hill. This is improved from the stock 118MPH. I just got back and am veryyy tired. Tomorrow I will install the Superchip and make sure it works. Then if the JETCHIP arrives on Tuesday I will dyno the car on Wednesday.
4\8\98: I got my manifolds back today and put them on.....they look great. Once again Performance coatings has done a great job. I installed them and everything is working great. Hopefully the JETCHIP will come early next week and shortly after I will do the dyno test.
4\6\98: I was looking at one of my stock rims today and I saw that they are made by world renowned ENKEI. ENKEI makes some of the best racing wheels in the world. Pontiac went all out and had good rims made for the Grand Prixs. Thumbs up to Pontiac.
4\4\98: Damn....I miss driving my car. Although having a motorcycle that does 160MPH and does 0-60 in 2.8 seconds is cool to drive to work, IT'S COLD....DAMN COLD. And I miss listening to the radio. Ahhhhh well....5 more days and hopefully all my parts will be back and I can put my car back together. I called Superchips yesterday and they said they are overnighting my original chip and my superchip back to me with a promise that it will work this time. I'm currently taking bets whether the superchip will actually work, just kidding. UPDATE 12:30pm: My Superchips arrived today along with my original chip that came out of the car. I have yet to put it in and start it up though. I am still waiting for the exhaust manifolds back......let's all cross our fingers that the Superchip will work.
4\2\98: Superchips called today saying that there chip program of my car was messed and they need my original chip from the car to "read" it into there computers. This of course was news to me because 5 days earlier when I called they said that there was a problem with the adapter board and that it had been sent out. The only reason I am sticking with this is to get the chip for the dyno test. Any normal consumer would have asked for there money back weeks ago. Even if there chip get's the claimed 21HP increase I would not put up with there lousy customer service......it's up to you but my opinion is SUPERCHIPS SUCK!!!!
3\30\98: I decided to have the new differential gears "Dry film lubricated" this involves having a film lubricant baked into the gears to further reduce friction. Cost is $8.50 each gear (there are 4 gears for the differential). So my gears and manifolds are off to Performance coatings to be coated.. I just sent them today so I hope to get them back early next week.
3\29\98: Well.....I am so impressed with the work that Performance Coatings did with my exhaust crossover pipe that I decided to have my exhaust manifolds coated as well. It took me about 6 hours to take everything off to get to the manifolds. And a new personal best for the least amount of broken bolts.....only 1 bolt snapped and that was on the catalytic converter which is easy enough to fix. I also took before and after pictures so I can show you what they look like. This was all brought about because a friend at GM told me there was a updated differential and carrier that go in the transmission. This new updated design is supposed to be stronger. While I was replacing the differential gears and I already had the alternator, strut, A-arm off and there was easy access to the rear manifold so I decided.....what better time to have the manifolds coated.
3\28\98: Added tires and anti-sway bar to suspension upgrades.
3\25\98: Received both the Hypertech and Fastchip. Just waiting for the Superchips and the JETCHIP to arrive and then it's straight to the dyno.
3\24\98: I was just thinking......a 3800 pound Cadillac with a 300HP engine has 0-60 times of 6.4 seconds. Think of a 3400 pound car like the Grand Prix with a 300HP motor. With that kind of power you would likely see 6.0 0-60 times. So my goal right now is 300 reliable horsepower.
3\20\98: Added Ram Air under the Upgrades section. Or click here ramair.htm
3\19\98: Although JETCHIP said "no way" to the lending or purchasing and returning of there chip I did find a connection to obtain one. So this brings the total chip count to 4. Hypertech, Jetchip, Superchips, Fastchips. These companies represent the majority of the ways chip's are tuned for power. Hypertech tunes at full throttle based off manifold pressure (same as JETCHIP). JETCHIP does the same as Hypertech but tunes for a lower manifold pressure so the power comes in sooner. Superchips tunes every 400 RPM from idle to redline throughout the powerband, even at part throttle. And I have no clue how Fastchips programs but my guess is they might have a advantage of being a smaller company so they might be able to get away with some tuning that a otherwise larger company could not.
3\18\98: Things are looking good......yep I called Fastchips and Hypertech today and they both agreed to send me a chip on a trial basis to test on the dyno. With my Superchips due back in a about 10 days everything will hopefully fall in place. I have a call into JETCHIPs to get a chip from them so hopefully I will hear back from them today. Also.....I got my exhaust crossover pipe back from Performance Coatings Inc. man........does it look great. They did a wonderful job with this pipe. I can't say enough about it. And even better I installed the pipe and put the thermometer back into the airbox and got a maximum temperature of 90 degree's. That's a 83 degree drop from the original 173 with the uncoated pipe. Total cost came to about $60.00 including shipping. I recommend everyone to have this done to your exhaust manifolds and exhaust crossover pipes.
3\17\98: If there's one thing i'm bound determine to do for this car and everyone interested in it is finding a computer chip that offers the most performance and will still pass emissions. Computer chip makers are growing all the time. So far I have found about 15....including the well known names. If superchips get's the chip right this time I am going to dyno test it and see if the claimed 21 HP comes true. It's going to cost me about $85.00 to dyno test it but this will finally determine who makes the best computer chip for the 3.4 DOHC V-6. I will try to obtain as many chips as possible for this comparison. Hopefully I can get a few manufactures to lend me a chip for testing. So far JEG'S said "No way, you buy it it's yours. It's a electrical part."
3\16\98: I called Superchips today since they did not call me back. I spoke with a guy in tech support and he said there is a problem somewhere in the chip and to send it back to them to have it gone through again. I'm going to try this one more damn time. If they don't get it right this time i'm going to get my money back and buy a Hypertech.
3\13\98: I got my wonderful superchip today. I installed it in about 30 minutes. However, when I started the engine the "Service Engine" light came on. I thought nothing of it and hoped it would reset. I took the car to my Pontiac dealer where they said they couldn't reset it because it was the emissions of the new chip that was causing the light to come on and if they reset it it would just come back on. So I got back in my car and was going to go home. 1 problem.......the car wouldn't start. It just sat there and cranked over and nothing. Then I see little puffs of black smoke coming out the exhaust. After about 5 minutes of cranking the engine it finally started but would only go about 2000 RPM. If I went over 2000RPM it would start to die out. So I coached it home with the greatest of ease. Then it died out and couldn't restart. Of course this was IN THE MIDDLE OF FREAKIN TRAFFIC WITH CARS HONKING AT ME. I put it in neutral and got it to a parking lot. Then I went home and got my tools and put the original chip back in. Waalaa everything was perfect and it started right up. Heed this warning now "SUPERCHIPS SUCK". Although I am getting my money back the stupid mistakes that SUPERCHIPS have made are unforgivable. First it took them 2 weeks to send it to me. Second I had to file off some of the plastic to get the chip to fit in the computer box. Third it didn't run right. Fourth........although I requested it the rev limit was NOT taken out and I suspect that the top speed limit was not taken out either. I have yet to hear what SUPERCHIPS explanation is of this situation. I know the computer code is correct because the same computer code etched on my original chip is etched on the superchip.
3\12\98: Well.....seems my counter was broken for about 3 days. In those 3 days the page would get "stuck" while trying to load. Anyhow I fixed it with a new one that I think looks better. What actually happened was the CGI script for my old counter was not supposed to be available to members of my ISP. I simply copyed the CGI script off my ISP's homepage then renamed the counter name. I did this because until recently my ISP didn't have a counter available for members.
3\11\98: I called superchips wondering where my chip was and they said they have been VERY busy lately and would get it sent out to FedEx today. Which means I should be getting it Friday. In the mean time I tore that 3.4 spare motor apart to have a look inside. I found 1 bent rod and a cracked piston skirt. Otherwise the motor looks cherry. No visible signs of wear on the whole motor. According to the w-body homepage the 4T60-E and the revised 4T65-E transmissions have a torque rating only 5 pounds apart. The 4T60-E is rated for a maximum engine torque of 280 pounds. And the 4T65-E is rated at a maximum engine torque of 285 pounds. Gone are my worries that the 4T60-E won't hold up to major engine modifications. And gone are my plans to buy a 4T65-E to replace my 4T60-E for increased performance and reliability. It's simply not needed.
3\10\98: Last week I talked to a guy at the Chevy dealer about cars and the 3.4 DOHC motor. After about 10 minutes of conversation witch entailed his love for his Red 94 Z34 he told me he had a spare 3.4 motor laying in his garage. It seems that his wife drove their car through a huge puddle with the airbox off. (I have no clue why the airbox was off) Anyhow water got into the intake and it hydrolocked the motor causing a bent rod. The engine only had 800 miles on it and of course GM did not warranty it. So after he paid to have a new motor put in he had the old one just laying around. I drove to his house on Sunday to take a look at the motor. It has all the accessories off of it and no electronics. The motor looked super clean, I asked how much he wanted for it and he said $100.00. I thought to myself $100.00?!?!?!?! The aluminum heads alone are worth $500.00. Naturally I bought it on the spot and now it's sitting in my garage. When I get some spare time I will rebuild it with all hi performance parts. Also I hope to post pictures of the teardown.
3\6\98: My low temp thermostat arrived from JEGS today. I installed it in about an hour and so far the engine is running very cool. I am impressed with it. The heater still blows warm but it takes a little longer to warm up. Also.....I corrected the price on the Borla exhaust. It's $650.00. It's starting to sound allot better then the $800.00 they where originally selling for isn't it? I changed the whole upgrades section and added buttons to take you to separate areas. I did this because I will be adding pictures associated with each upgrade. If I did this on one page it would take forever to load and would be very long to scroll down.
3\5\98: I found that ALOT of heat from under the hood was coming from the exhaust crossover pipe. The crossover pipe is that pipe that connects the front manifold to the rear manifold. Not only is this manifold heating up the whole underhood area but also even worse is that it's heating up the airbox. I put a digital thermometer in that airbox and set it for "High range hold" then I drove the car around town for about a half hour. When I got home I pulled out the thermometer and it had a high temperature of 173 degree's Fahrenheit. That's insane....and the power loss associated with hot air going into the intake makes this a startling discovery. I removed the crossover pipe from my other Grand Prix (I love having spare cars) and inspected the pipe. Turns out the pipe has some sort of thermo guard paper underneath the stainless steel cover that surrounds it. This problem sounds like a perfect chance to try out Performance Coatings Inc Ceramachrome coating. With the exhaust pipe already off the other car I decided to send it to Performance Coatings to have it done. I just sent it today and should get it back next week hopefully. I took pictures of what the crossover pipe looks like now and when I get it back I will take pictures of it all polished up. I also recently ordered a computer chip and low temp thermostat and should be receiving them shortly.
3\4\98: I have worked out a deal with RKSport to get you guys the lowest price possible on the Borla exhaust. If you call and mention "Performance Z34" and talk to Julie you can get this exhaust for $650.00 plus shipping. Or if you live local to southern California you can pick it up. If you have any questions about the exhaust or would like to order via e-mail you can send e-mail to "RKSport@aol.com" and they will answer any questions you may have.
3\3\98: RAM-AIR Upgrade for your 91-96 Grand Prix for $20.00? Yes.......it's true. As soon as my testing phase is complete I will post the directions to install it. Right now I am estimating the HP increase of about 5-6 HP. Right now I am testing to make sure that no water will get into the airbox during driving in rain. I have already taken pictures of the modification and will be posting them hopefully by the end of the week.
3\2\98: I went to RKSport today to make sure the Borla Monte Carlo exhaust will fit. Everything is exactly the same on the Grand Prix GTP and the Lumina Z34. The only exeption is the muffler hangers. You have to go your local Chevy dealer and buy the metal muffler hangers and rubber insulators off a 95 Monte Carlo Z34. The frame on the Grand Prix and the Lumina already have the bolts right where the new hangers will go. It's a simple matter of unbolting the bolts and putting the new hanger on and retightening. My guess is these parts will cost $20.00 from the dealer. But rest assured the Borla exhaust WILL fit on the Grand Prix's and Luminas. I knew it would to begin with but I was getting requests for exactly what had to be changed, so there it is.
2\28\98: Added buttons and separate pages for everything. The sight is really coming along nicely. And thank you to everyone who have been e-mailing me saying the site is great.
2\10\98: This page was born.