Author Topic: 81 Turbo Trans Am recent tranny rebuild but takes off sluggishly. Common?  (Read 1461 times)


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Hello friends. I am new to 81 Turbo Trans Ams and wondered if mine is working properly. Bought it recently from someone who said their Dad had it rebuilt and had less than 1000 miles on it before it was stored away for quite a few years. I had the transmission rebuilt last week and noticed that it was quite sluggish on take off. I took it back to the shop where it was rebuilt and thought something might be wrong with the torque converter or something. They called me after re checking it and said that it seems my horsepower seems quite low and that might catalytic converter might be clogged or my timing off. I brought it home and cut off my cat. con. it was definitely toast. My "check engine" light went off finally but reared its ugly head again after I revved the engine several times. I took the car for a test drive and it seemed to have pretty good power for a 200hp engine but when you first take off it still seemed to be sluggish. The guy at the transmission shop who is quite good by the way told me that he had to order a special torque converter for this car and he was sure that it was correct. I think he also said it was a lock up style converter .  I can hear the turbo working on this car when the rpms increase but the lights on the boost indicator don't increase no matter how fast down the road I go.  I was just wondering if this is the way these turbos are supposed to act on take off or should I be able to floor the gas pedal on take off and maybe not smoke the tires but get jerked back a little bit. I think these have a posi rear in them so I'm not expecting to squeel the tires with such little hp. Any help will be extremely appreciated. Many thanks in advance for you knowledge. 


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When you get a chance go over to this site. They have all the info on these cars.
See you there.


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I'd do all of the simple stuff first, make sure timing is good and that it's making proper boost pressure.  Make sure plugs and wires are good, along with having fresh fuel.  Depending on the rear ratio you have it might just not be that quick at all.