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General Information by Model Year

There have been many changes in the ten model years of the fourth generation V6 F-Body. Here are some of the more noteworthy ones.


1993

1993 marked the introduction of the all-new fourth generation of the F-Body.

The engine available was the L32 3.4L V6.

For these models, the standard transmission was the Borg-Warner T-5 5-speed manual, with the 4L60 4-speed automatic available as an option.

Final drive ratio was 3.23. 1993 models came with 10.7"single-piston caliper front discs (the same as their V8 counterparts) but came with 9.5" rear drum brakes, a steel two piece driveshaft, a 16.9:1 ratio steering rack, 30mm front sway bar, and a 17 mm rear sway bar.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
1LE suspension components include a 32/21 mm front/rear sway bar combination in lieu of the normal FE2 suspension 30/19 mm. The front spring rate was 51 N/mm as on a normal V8 Formula/Trans Am. Rear spring stiffness was 19.9 N/mm also as on a normal V8 Formula/Trans Am. This Package also included different shock valving, stiffer transmission mount, panhard rod, front and rear control arm bushings, and engine oil cooler.


1994

In 1994 the 4L60 automatic transmission was overhauled and re-designated as the 4L60-E. The major difference was that the new transmission was computer controlled.

There were no other significant changes for the 1994 model year.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
1LE Package is the same as 1993, except the suspension components include a 32/19 mm front/rear sway bar combination in lieu of the normal FE2 suspension 30/19 mm. The front spring rate increased from 51 N/mm on a normal V8 Formula/Trans Am to 63. Rear spring stiffness carries a variable rate of 23 to 30 N/mm compared to 19.9 on a normal V8 Formula/Trans Am.


1995

In 1995 there were two engines available. Initially the L32 3.4L was standard, with these being almost identical to 1994 models. Halfway through the year a few F-Bodies in California were sold equipped with the new L36 3800 Series II V6 engine. These cars only came with automatic transmissions, 3.42 rear gears, and an open differential.

The 95 L36 marked the debut of OBD-II (On Board Diagnostic system, second generation) in the V6 F-Body. The OBD-II system included 4 oxygen sensors: one in each exhaust manifold, one in the Y-pipe before the catalytic converter, and one in the intermediate pipe just after the catalytic converter.

Brakes, driveshaft, steering rack, and sway bars were identical to models of earlier years.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
1LE Package same as 1994.


1996

In 1996 the L36 became the only available engine.

The standard transmission was the Borg-Warner T-5 5-speed manual, with the 4L60-E 4-speed automatic available as an option.

The final drive ratio for the manual was 3.23, with 3.08 being standard for cars with the automatic.

New 5 spoke alloy wheels were made available.

Brakes, driveshaft, steering rack, and sway bars were identical to models of earlier years.

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
The Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package upgraded the vehicle with Auburn limited slip differential (same differential used on V8 models), 11.4" single-piston caliper rear disc brakes (same rear brakes as V8 models), a dual outlet muffler, a quicker 14.4:1steering ratio (same ratio as V8 models), 235/55-16 tires. The Y87 package also gave automatic cars 3.42 rear gears, whereas the manual cars but kept the 3.23 rear gears.

Other Packages and Options
The Camaro RS was an appearance package that included chrome wheels, ground effects, and a 3-piece spoiler.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
WS6 Performance Package suspension components include a 32/19 mm front/rear sway bar combination in lieu of the normal FE2 suspension 30/19 mm. The front spring rate increased from 51 N/mm on a normal V8 Formula/Trans Am to 63 for the WS6. Rear spring stiffness on the WS6 suspension carries a variable rate of 23 to 30 N/mm compared to 19.9 on a normal V8 Formula/Trans Am. This Package also included different shock valving, 1LE transmission mount, 1LE panhard rod, Ram Air hood, and 275/40ZR17 tires.

1LE Package same as 1994.


1997

1997 models saw a revised interior that featured a flip-out cup holder.

Orange daytime running lights became standard.

Camaros were given redesigned tail lights.

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
All Y87 components for 1997 were identical to those on 1996 models.

Other Packages and Options
1997 was the last year the Camaro RS package was offered.

The Firebird W68 Appearance Package was introduced that included ground effects, fog lamps, and the Y87 package dual exhaust but with aluminum tips.

GM Performance Parts Firebird GT Components
1997 was the first year the Firebird GT components were offered. The components included for this year were the Extreme Sport Suspension package (1LE front 32 mm sway bar and panhard rod), Zexel-Torson LSD, stripe and badging, custom floormats, 17x9 wheels, ground effects, Hurst shifter, cat-back and CAI.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
In addition to the WS6 Performance Package, GM offered a new 1LE package, which included the WS6 Performance Package. This package also has Koni adjustable shocks, 6-speed manual ONLY, stiffer front and rear control arm bushings, NO power options available, and hardtop ONLY.


1998

1998 saw the F-Body's most dramatic redesign since the introduction of the fourth generation in 1993.

Both the Firebird and the Camaro were given freshly redesigned front ends.

The Firebird's two pop-up headlights were eliminated and quad lights were introduced.

The Camaro saw its headlights dramatically redesigned as well.

The Firebird was given new graphics and new "honeycomb" taillights.

The air intake system for the L36 engine was radically changed to accommodate the new hoods on both the Firebird and the Camaro.

The airbox changed to a lid type, with the lower airbox being the same plastic piece as the upper radiator support. It uses a larger panel filter than the previous design.

The exhaust hangars were changed, while the pipe routing is the same as in previous years.

1998+ cars no longer have an oxygen sensor just before the catalytic converter.

Automatic cars get a one-piece steel driveshaft to replace the two piece steel unit used in earlier years.

The suspension was revised with stiffer springs (front spring rates were increased from 39 N/mm to 45 N/mm while rear spring rates increased from 16.9 N/mm to 19.9 N/mm) and "softer" sway bars (28 mm front, 15 mm rear as compared to the 30mm front and 17 mm rear in earlier years). The end result was to make the ride smoother while maintaining handling.

Completely new, considerably larger brakes were introduced on 98's, and for the first time four-wheel disc brakes were standard on all F-body models. The front discs were upgraded to use 11.9" rotors and dual piston PBR calipers (from the 10.7" discs and single-piston calipers of earlier years), while the rear discs consisted of 12" single-piston calipers.

Additionally, shocks for both V6 and V8 Firebirds were revalved for enhanced ride.

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
For 1998 the Y87 package includes the same upgrades as previous years with the exception of the rear discs, which are now standard on all 98 cars.

Other Packages and Options
The Sport Appearance Package (W68 on Firebirds) was available on both the Firebird and the Camaro. On the Firebird the package was unchanged except that fog lamps were now standard, while on the Camaro the package included all of the components of the Camaro RS of earlier years, though it did not come with RS badges.

GMPP Firebird GT Components
The components included for this year were the Extreme Sport Suspension package, Zexel-Torson LSD, stripe and badging, custom floormats, 17x9 wheels, ground effects, and Hurst shifter.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
WS6 and 1LE packages unchanged from 1997.


1999

In 1999 the L36 saw its first redesign since its introduction in late1995.

A new intake manifold was introduced that was straight, not angled slightly as in earlier years. The cable-controlled throttle was replaced with an electronic "drive by wire" system. The new throttle plate opens and closes by way of an electric motor based on inputs from the TAC module, which reads pedal position and movement with three different sensors.

For Y87 automatics, there is a PCM update from GM that will "correct throttle lag during heavy acceleration". For non-Y87 automatics and all manuals there is no correction because GM decided that there is no need for one.

All V6 cars get a one-piece steel driveshaft to replace the two piece steel unit used in earlier years. There is a bulletin out warning that excessive speeds (excess of 125 mph) can cause the tail shaft extension seal to vibrate out and allow all of the transmission fluid to leak out. The fix as recommended by GM is to replace the steel one piece driveshaft with the steel two piece version from earlier years; the fix recommended by many automotive enthusiasts is to replace the steel one piece driveshaft with an aluminum one.

SGS (Second Gear Start) became standard on all automatic cars as a type of traction-control-like system. It starts the transmission in second gear instead of first to help prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces. It does hurt the transmission (it heats the fluid more because the torque converter is slipping more) and offers no benefit during everyday driving.

The old disc-type limited slip differential (Auburn) was replaced with a Zexel-Torsen torque sensing limited slip differential. The new differential requires the use of synthetic differential fluid because of its design. The slip-limiting uses metal-to-metal contact inside the case and thus requires the use of the more "slippery" synthetic lubricant.

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
For 1999 the Y87 package includes the same upgrades as 1998 with the exception of the differential, which is now the Zexel-Torsen rather than the old Auburn unit.

Other Packages and Options
Options and packages remained unchanged from 1998 models.

GMPP Firebird GT Components
The components available for this year remained unchanged from 1998 models.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
WS6 package unchanged from 1997, 1LE package added power steering cooler.


2000

The most significant change for year 2000 models was new tubular exhaust manifolds.

The throttle opening map was revised to prevent any throttle lag.

It is reported that many automatic cars (but not all) received the limited slip differential and 3.42 gears standard, although official GM documents state that these come only with theY87 performance package.

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
For 2000 the Y87 package remained unchanged from 1999 models.

Other Packages and Options
Options and packages remained unchanged from 1999 models.

GMPP Firebird GT Components
The components included for this year were the Extreme Sport Suspension package, Zexel-Torson LSD, stripe and badging, custom floormats, 17x9 wheels, and ground effects.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
WS6 package unchanged from 1997, 1LE package dropped.


2001

2001 saw a few minor changes from 2000 models.

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
For 2001 the Y87 package remained unchanged from 2000 models.

Other Packages and Options
Options and packages remained unchanged from 2000 models.

GMPP Firebird GT Components
The components included for this year were the Extreme Sport Suspension package, Zexel-Torson LSD, stripe and badging, custom floormats, and ground effects.

The wheels were dropped from the available components as they were now the "new" WS6 wheels (with different wheel caps).

SLP Firebird GT Package
In 2001 SLP introduced their Firebird GT as a factory available option package.

SLP Camaro RS Package
In 2001 SLP re-introduced the Camaro RS as a factory available option package.

Noteworthy V8 Parts
WS6 package same as 1997, except for new 17x9 wheels.



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