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“You got to pay to play.” That’s a term I’ve heard my entire life, and boy is it true. Normally, when you set out to build your dream car, you come up with a budget, start adding up everything you need and then start ordering parts. Roughly halfway through, you realize your budget has been spent and the craziness begins. If you’re able to push through and actually get the thing finished, you realize it’s only the beginning, as this sweet little race car costs money to keep up.

That’s where this latest Turbo Trans Am video comes in. I went a solid 6 years and 11,000 miles at 900 horsepower to the tires before my last track visit ended with a broken lifter, loss of oil pressure and destroyed bearings on my 6.0 liter forged LS engine. I was depressed, but my 2001 WS6 Trans Am ran a 9.7 @141 mph, I enjoyed the hell out of the car and it was justly due for some love. This love cost a bunch of money and I break down exactly what it cost to fix the blown up engine, plus the cost of what I like to call the “While you’re in there” upgrades. There’s also some awesome sound clips of the new cam, some full throttle runs, and a sneak peak to a new build.


Tony at AES in Elk Grove Village, Illinois took care of my entire rebuild and this is exactly what $3,140 got me.

Align hone Mains-$190
Square Deck block-$190
Grind Crankshaft-$240
Polish Crankshaft-$60
Hone Cylinder w/Stress plate-$200
Disassemble Piston & Rods-$80
Pin Fit Rod/Piston-$112
Resize Rod-$160
Install pistons on Rods-$80
Cut Down Top of Pistons-$120
Prep Block for Assembly-$140
Competition assembly of short block-$465
Disassemble Cylinder Heads-$60
Competition Valve job-$265
Surface cylinder heads-$140
Assemble heads & measure spring height-$115
Labor Total-$2465
Rod bearings-22.69
Main bearings-$65.99
Advanced profiling,Chromium Nitride Piston rings-275.97
Performance Valve seals-39.95
9 Keyway adjustable billet timing set-$157.97
Parts total-$618.74
Shipping -$56.17
Tax-$56.26
Discount for being awesome -$152
Grand total-$3,140
Three weeks later and right on time, I picked it up and started putting it all back together. I installed a few other parts already mentioned in the video including basically an entire new valve train, gaskets, bolts, sensors and fluids/filters. Below are links and part numbers to bigger items, clink the links for current pricing. ย The total with all this included, just in case you don’t have a calculator, was $5,140. If you add in the the ” while you’re in there” upgrades, it was $5,680. This hurt my wallet for sure, but now that it’s back together and I get to feel that addictive boost kick in again, it’s all a distant memory.
Martin Smallwood spec’d cam, 232/228,.621/.612 lift,114 LSA-$450
Morel drop in lifters, part number 6504-Brian Tooley Racing0-$230
BTR Platinum .660 lift dual valve springs-Brian Tooley Racing -160
Mellings high pressure, high volume oil pump,Part number 10296-Brian Tooley Racing-180
Custom length pushrods from Manton 7.340 lenght 11/32 diameter-Manton-$215
AEM X-Series wideband part number 30-0300-Amazon-$170
Professional Products balancer part number 90032-Amazon-175
Black heat wrap-Jegs-$50
Polyurethane Motor mounts #7-512- Amazon-$75
Steel braided Power Steering hoses-CBR Performance-$100
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