Trans Am Information > Trans Am Information

6.6 liter vs 6.6 t/a

<< < (3/14) > >>


--- Quote from: flashno1 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

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.

John Witzke:
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"


--- Quote from: John Witzke on September 08, 2011, 09:05:20 PM ---As far as reverence, between 1977 and 1979, the W72 was.... "King of the Hill"

--- End quote ---

well said john, good info

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.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version