After taking a five-year break from modifying his T/A, he began planning to make it a more formidable match for the stock LS1 cars that were now out-pulling his LT1 at will. Starting in 2007 and over the next three years, in the confines of his garage and driveway, Chris upgraded every aspect of his 1-of-2,051 ’96 WS6 Trans Am and created an LT4-based Bird worthy of taking on even worked LS1 competition.
The present setup, completed in 2010, is as follows:
A Pioneer CD player and trio of A-pod mounted Auto Meter gauges (oil temp, fuel pressure,
A stock LT1 bottom-end block is now up-gunned with an LT4 top-end including the LT4 hot cam with a 219/228-degrees duration, 0.525/0.525 lift, and a 112-degree LSA. LT4 cylinder heads feature 195cc intake runners, 2.00/1.55 valves, and new valvesprings, and an LT4 intake was installed. GM replacement lifters, Comp Cams pushrods, and GM 1.6-ratio roller rockers complete the valvetrain. and a Chevrolet Performance extreme-duty timing chain and ARP head bolts add durability.
Feeding air to the new heads is a BBK 52mm throttle body and a Granatelli mass air sensor inhaling through a modified Ram Air open-element airbox with a K&N filter. Pumping go-go juice into the mix is the responsibility of a Racetronix LT1 fuel pump kit, a Walbro 255-lb/hr in-tank fuel pump, a TPIS adjustable fuel pressure regulator, and FAST 36-lb/hr injectors.
Firing-up this T/A is a Pro-Billet LT1 distributor, a Blaster LT1 ignition coil, a 6AL ignition box, Superconductor 8.5mm wires, and a three-step rev control module—all courtesy of MSD. ACDelco R43TS plugs provide the spark.
Expelling emissions through the 3-inch Borla catback is a set of Arizona Speed and Marine 1.75-inch, dual-cat to single-cat conversions and HPC-coated shorty headers with a QTP electric cut-out (for first impressions). Drivetrain mods include a Hurst Billet Plus shifter for the T56 and a Zexel Torsen differential, which houses the aforementioned GM 3.73 gears behind a TA cover.
With an LT4 top-end, headers, and upgraded fuel system, the factory 5.7-liter LT1 puts out
Enhancing the already impressive handling capabilities are Hyperco Hypercoil lowering springs front and rear and Bilstein shocks valved for lowered F-bodies, with black polyurethane bushings front/rear on the sway bars and front end-links. A Baer Tracker kit reduces bumpsteer up front. A BMR adjustable Panhard rod and chromoly adjustable lower rear control arms with bolt-on relocation brackets keep the T/A planted at all times and a BMR tunnel brace/driveshaft loop provides additional rigidity and piece of mind.
With the increased power and cornering abilities, Chris improved braking with a Corvette C5 front-brake conversion, Power Slot rotors front and rear, Hawk HPS pads, and RK Sport stainless lines all around. For the track outings an SJM Manufacturing LT1 F-body line-lock kit was installed.
Polished WS6 17x9 inch rims with 275/40ZR17 BFG g-Force T/As replace the factory silver-painted wheels, which are now allocated to drag-race duty only.
Once the wrenching was complete, Chris sought the tuning artistry of Enzo Racing in Bay Shore, New York, and everything came together. His LT4-upgraded LT1 is putting 344 hp to the rear wheels. Chris says, “I really enjoy the power and the handling of my Trans Am. I have always thought of it as a refined musclecar and even more so with the mods.”
Chris has accomplished what few Pontiac owners can claim. He is an original owner of a WS6 Ram Air T/A and he has improved its performance without sacrificing its driveability via a careful selection of modifications integrated over the last decade-and-a-half.
We can certainly consider this Ram Air to be revived and then some.