Author Topic: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a  (Read 16486 times)

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Offline flashno1

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6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« on: August 31, 2011, 06:43:56 PM »
The argument continues.  I have a stock/unmodified 1978 Trans Am with L78 Pontiac 400 CI engine and it came with 6.6 T/A on the shaker.  I have Pontiac documentation that refers to the W72 and L78 with only a slash between them and then refers to the L80 Olds Engine separately. We all know that all Trans Ams with Automatics had to come with the Olds Engine sold in California, and it was also the high altitude engine for the T/A.  When I come to the Nats, and see 6.6 Liter on the shaker you can bet your life savings that there is an Olds engine under the hood.  I think this debate was manufactured by W72 owners who wanted some reverence placed on that engine. Hey, you have chrome valve covers, be happy with that!

Offline Jimmys77

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 07:03:39 PM »
Not totally sure what your asking or saying but I do know that the 6.6 T/A shaker decal callouts were designed for the W72 engine since they were the "High performance engine".  The 403 and standard L78 400 got the 6.6 Litre shaker decal callouts.  If your's came with them from the factory then maybe it was ordered that way or a mistake.  I have the L78 400 and love sportiing the 6.6 Litre decals over the 6.6 T/A decals, but that's just me....

Also the W72 came with the auto or the 4 speed in 77 and 78 (I was informed recently) and only came with the 4 speed in 79.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 07:06:39 PM by Jimmys77 »

Offline Burd Turd

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 08:32:57 PM »
I got my 78 off a car lot in 1979, and it had the 6.6liter on it from the Van Nuys factory.( L78 400)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 08:34:58 PM by Burd Turd »
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Offline Squirrel

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 09:17:44 PM »
in 78 only the w72 was to get a shaker decal of TA-6.6, all others were to be blank.

from tran-zam site

For this year the only decal applied to the hood scoop was the TA-6.6 decal.  The 6.6 LITRE call out was dropped.  This means that unless you ordered a W72 equipped Trans Am in 1978 your hood scoop came blank. 
1978 Chesterfield Brown TA
1977 Camaro 4 speed with t tops
1977 Mustang Cobra II

Offline Hitman

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 10:02:24 AM »
See this page: http://www.78ta.com/66liter.php

And see this image:

Brett Campbell
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Offline SgtRock

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 09:47:24 PM »
I like the fact that this topic continues, as it demonstrates that the issue is not completely, and never may be solved, to everyone's satisfaction.  Here's what I've come across:  When it comes to things like decals and front Pontiac emblems, etc., MOST vehicles got was was the "correct" item as per the model and year standards.  SOME vehicles got odd mixes straight from the factory because of a variety of reasons (ran out of correct item -- they won't stop the production line for 3 inch sail birds on non-SEs, or, they made a mistake, it happened, etc.), and SOME others got non-correct items because either the dealer or the customer waned them that way.  I have a non-SE WS6 1979 Solar Gold T/A with six inch sail birds.  Everyone knows that they should be the 3 inch birds.  But I am the second owner and the previous owner said they wanted the larger bird because they looked cooler. Ditto for the gold Ponitac emblem up front. So, I am having it repainted, and went with what was on the car when I bought it, not what the "correct" item is.  I have the build sheet and I don't see anywhere where it designates what size sail birds were installed or the color of the emblem.

One other thing I found out in my discussions with the old dealer who sold the car and an issue that has been argued here too. And that is the Hurst Dual Gate shifter.  Although this was "not" a factory installed option as has been point out here, it WAS a dealer installed option.  Dealers in 1979 got a Performace Hurst deal directly from Hurst to sell their shifters on the 1979 403 Olds engines.  The dealer installed shifter had a custom Trans Am shifter plate, and the after market ones did not. 

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Offline RENOVATIONS

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 10:45:56 PM »
Really not that unusual for a dealer to install whatever (to a reasonable extent) a customer wants...which naturally makes them dealer-installed items, not factory. The information that has been provided so far is in regards to factory designations.
Jeff

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1978 Trans Am
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Offline SgtRock

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 11:06:30 PM »
I got it. That makes sense.  But sometimes even the factory installed non-correct items on cars due to shortages, mistakes, etc. They were building 140,000 or so of these vehicles in 1979.  They wouldn't stop production lines because they ran out of Gold 3 inch sail birds, or Red Pontiac emblems. And this might also explain why some Olds engines had T/A 6.6. Just saying.

Offline Burd Turd

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 11:41:53 PM »
Good drugs back in the 70's too.
Born and Raised in South Detroit Bitches

Offline flashno1

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 04:36:05 PM »
I agree with the idea that "things" happen on the assembly line, and yes, I have worked a Pontiac assembly line and I had seen some of those things happen.  Anybody care if you got a car delivered with 2 differnt colored fenders or wheels?!   LOL   And they certainly weren't going to stop a line for decals that could be installed later.  Dealers wanted to sell cars, and if it was possible they would make changes the customer desired.  There were also changes made during the model run.  For Example, someone in high management could just wonder why are we spending money buying 2 different decals and just drop one on a suggestion to lower management.  It's only pennies per car, but when you make 10s of thousands of them per year, it adds up to dollars pretty quickly.  We must remember that there were 2 assembly plants that made the same models which means that we had 2 different Plant Managers which means we had 2 different philosophies of doing things.  We could have the Van Nuys plant putting TA 6.6 on W78s and 6.6 litre on L80s and nothing on the L78a and Norwood putting TA 6.6 on W72s and L78s and 6,6 litre on L80s.  I have read documentation that the Pontiac Engine which is the L78 originally and later another engine was developed, which was later identifiled as a W72 were both identified as a L78 engine by Pontiac Motor Division.  They are both Pontiac built engines and we were proud of both.   My build sheet lists the engine as L78 V-8 400 4-BBL.  The shaker is identified as WX3 R/A Shaker HD.  There is no designation of liters on the build sheet.  The build sheet is the map that they follow to build the car.  So that means it was an added as a task somewhere else.   We may never know who was responsible for the decals.  I guess this TA/Litre thing will never be resolved.

Offline Hitman

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 04:57:59 PM »
I agree with the idea that "things" happen on the assembly line, and yes, I have worked a Pontiac assembly line and I had seen some of those things happen.  Anybody care if you got a car delivered with 2 differnt colored fenders or wheels?!   LOL   And they certainly weren't going to stop a line for decals that could be installed later.  Dealers wanted to sell cars, and if it was possible they would make changes the customer desired.  There were also changes made during the model run.  For Example, someone in high management could just wonder why are we spending money buying 2 different decals and just drop one on a suggestion to lower management.  It's only pennies per car, but when you make 10s of thousands of them per year, it adds up to dollars pretty quickly.  We must remember that there were 2 assembly plants that made the same models which means that we had 2 different Plant Managers which means we had 2 different philosophies of doing things.  We could have the Van Nuys plant putting TA 6.6 on W78s and 6.6 litre on L80s and nothing on the L78a and Norwood putting TA 6.6 on W72s and L78s and 6,6 litre on L80s.  I have read documentation that the Pontiac Engine which is the L78 originally and later another engine was developed, which was later identifiled as a W72 were both identified as a L78 engine by Pontiac Motor Division.  They are both Pontiac built engines and we were proud of both.   My build sheet lists the engine as L78 V-8 400 4-BBL.  The shaker is identified as WX3 R/A Shaker HD.  There is no designation of liters on the build sheet.  The build sheet is the map that they follow to build the car.  So that means it was an added as a task somewhere else.   We may never know who was responsible for the decals.  I guess this TA/Litre thing will never be resolved.

I have to disagree here a little I guess. You make it sound like the plant managers could do what they want and at somepoint during 1978, they just decided to throw T/A 6.6 on all the shakers. I agree that "Things Happen" but I think those "things" were few and far between. As far as no "liters" anywhere on the build sheet... no build sheet had "liters" anywhere on it, not even the Olds 403 cars. Yes, there were two different Pontiac engines used in the cars, the L78 and the W72. But the W72 was an upgrade to the L78 so both show on the build sheet. So they were both L78 engines, but the W72 was an upgrade. So I am not sure what you are saying about the W72 or your shaker designation. Also, on the build sheet it shows "2FS" for Firebird and then also "WS4" for Trans Am, because the Trans Am was an upgrade to the Firebird.
I mean at the begining of this post you say you have a "stock/unmodified 1978 Trans Am"....... how do you know it has been unmodified? I think this topic has be resolved, but yes, there are som "oddities" out there that no one can explain, but I think for the most part this one has been resolved.
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Offline SgtRock

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 05:05:20 PM »
Thanks Flashn01.  Actually, I think that helps a lot.  I think there is room for both philosophies.  There is the one philosohpy that wants a car to be the way the "regs" call for them in the book, and there is another philosohpy that wants the car either the way the buyer picked it up at the dealer, or the way they like it as long as it was an option that might have come from the factory.  I belong to the latter group.  My car was a one car owner before I got it.  I want my car the way it was when it was sold, as it's personality began there.  So I have left in the Dual Gate shifter, the six inch sail birds, and the gold Pontiac emplem, because that is the way the customer got it at delivery.  To me, chaning it back to the way the standards say will be changing it back to a car that never existed.  Related to this, I think judging at shows should take this into account when considering what is the "right" decal or emblem.  While there is only one "right" book answer, we all know that cars rolled off the assembly line with items not consistent with the regs.  That doesn't make them "wrong" in my book.  It makes them more "rare" and unique.

Offline John Witzke

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 09:05:20 PM »
If I may add, for the 1978 model year T/A 6.6 decals were used on Trans Ams with the W72 Performance Package, whereas, the base L78 400's and L80 403 Trans Am had blank shakers, meaning no decals.  Factory documntation shows no part number for a 6.6 LITRE decal for the 1978 model year.  With that said, mistakes did happen and the T/A 6.6 shaker decals could have been added to either base L78 and/or L80 cars.  This however would be a very rare occurrence.  Stories about factory line mistakes have a tendency to get blown out of proportion, meaning many more mistakes are perceived to have happen than actually happened.  If I may coin a phrase from the movie "Stripes"..."it's the stories they tell"

As far as how the W72 engine was recorded on factory documents and build sheets, I have researched this too.  
Pontiac Car Distribution Bulletin 77- F-1, June 25, 1976 introduced a new 400-cid engine called T/A 6.6 and available on Trans Am and Formula at extra cost.  The new engine was originally to carry UPC code LS7, but for reasons unknown around August 5, 1976 just before the release, code LS7 was changed to code W72.  All of the original Pontiac build bulletins and memos identify the T/A 6.6 engine as W72 or T/A 400 in 1977-78 and L78 or T/A 400 in 1979. The T/A 6.6 engine carried UPC code W72 and identified as T/A 6.6 Litre on the 1977-78 Firebird dealer order forms and was available only on Firebird Trans Am and Formula models, except for the 1977 Can Am.  All Pontiac bulletins and memos for the 1979 model year list the T/A 6.6 engine in the dealer order guide under UPC code L78.  

All 1977-79 Firebirds produced with the T/A 6.6 engine option list UPC code W72 PERF PACKAGE (NORWOOD, OH) or W72 PERFORM PKG (VAN NUYS, CA) on the factory build sheet.

As far as reverence, between 1977 and 1979, the W72 was.... "King of the Hill"
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 09:13:41 PM by John Witzke »
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Offline hada76

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 11:21:32 PM »
As far as reverence, between 1977 and 1979, the W72 was.... "King of the Hill"

well said john, good info
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Offline flashno1

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Re: 6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2011, 03:32:02 AM »
Well, John sure told us all off!  He may be technically right, but as I said many times before, things happen.  I have seen it again and again and again.   I worked for GM 42 years and the first 23 years for Pontiac Motor Division.  Plant Managers have tremendous power, and they actually run the production business.  What they say goes!  I have seen many things that I can't discuss in this forum.  Badging on the shaker can happen, right or wrong according to the experts that pay attention to the technical end. The L78, W72, and L80 are all TA engines. The L78 and the L80 were 'standard engines' and the W72 was an option.  The TA 6.6 would be correct on any combination, technically.  I don't factually know if the first owner of my L78 TA slapped those decals on the shaker or the dealer or was delivered that way.  All I know is that there are many owners of L78 Trans Ams that have that designation on their shaker and they didn't add it.  John says there was no part number for the decal, so I guess they couldn't have ordered it. That would make the likely culprit the assembly plant, right or wrong it is there.  I prefer to believe that they were all TA 6.6s.