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Author Topic: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car  (Read 1922 times)

79Noc4sp

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1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« on: May 04, 2019, 09:52:59 AM »
I did some searches here and Google as well, I'm posting this because I really couldn't find much info of a 79' equipped with this option. I read Hoghead's build sheet bingo and saw the additional Y96 but that left me with more questions than answer's  :-? My understanding is it's just stiffer springs and 4 row HD Radiator. I read one thing that said a bigger sway bar, then read that wasn't the case. If anyone wants to add on to this, I'd like to know any information about this car option, I bought it for parts (dash and seat belts) it was a 403 TA, None WS6, T-Top car with out the motor or trans.

winks79

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 05:42:11 PM »
VO2 has nothing to do with spring rate. WS7 on this car is the WS6 handling package without 4 wheel disc. You got bigger sway bar in rear, different steering box, different shocks and springs, and 4 wheel disc brakes with WS6.  VO2 is the 4 row radiator only, heavy duty cooling. Not very rare really. I've owned a few with this option over the years.
Chad

79Noc4sp

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 06:58:49 PM »
I'm aware of what a WS6 is as well as a WS7. The reason I made this post is everything I read about VO2 and the Y69 Firm Ride, related to 77' model year. This car I have is a 79'.  So I'm assuming the factory TA or Firebird didn't have the 4 row radiator, unless you bought the VO2 Y69 = V81 trailer package? I probably shouldn't have gone down this rabbit hole :)

Here's is where I'm drawing my info from: http://www.firebirdtransamparts.com/techinfo/bingo/illustrations/firmride.htm
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 07:03:28 PM by 79Noc4sp »

firebirdparts

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 07:56:20 PM »
Hd cooling was pretty common option on GM cars, not necessarily Firebirds.  That and heavy duty batteries.  I kinda think dealer stock was all ordered that way just to make a few extra bucks, but i don't know.  I don't really know that HD cooling was always a 4 row radiator, but that is how we normally think of it.

In any case, trailer packages would have definitely had both the heavy duty cooling and firm ride.  You don't really hear anything about firm ride after WS6 came out.  Did they even offer a trailer tow package?

I went back to the Hemmings article about the 1979 option booklet and they don't show a trailer towing package in there.  I learned something (maybe).  That booklet says that WS7 was not available on the Y84 (or Y89 or with W72).  I guess I knew 2 out of three.  Y84 might be wrong, I don't know.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 08:09:44 PM by firebirdparts »
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Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

79Noc4sp

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2019, 08:53:29 PM »
Thank you for expanding on the subject firebirdparts. I just happened upon the build sheet out of the parts car I picked up, in the short time I've been educating myself with the Firebird/Trans Am's I had never seen that option before. I'm guessing the radiator in the car is possibly a 4 row radiator? It will be interesting to see if there are any visible differences between my radiator and the one in the parts car

Just to be clear, I have NO intention of trying to change mine out :D, I just hadn't seen that RPO code before. I was just curious after the little bit of research as to what the VO2 was all about. Thanks again

Aus78Formula

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2019, 04:26:45 AM »
Here's some 1979 model Towing package info from official guides, but not for ordering.

Here's a Towing package booklet for the upcoming 1979 model range, no mention of the Firebird. (Printed June '78)

thumbnail_18112 by Aus78Formula, on Flickr

Here's a 1979 Accessories guide for Pontiac/GM and it mentions the Firebird and the option code. (Printed October '78)

thumbnail_18111 by Aus78Formula, on Flickr

roadking77

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2019, 08:10:23 AM »
That last pic shows the exact trailer hitch that was on my 77, I didn't realize it was factory or I would have not sent it to the scrap yard! Car was sold new in Corpus Christi, kinda makes sense, would've been good for pulling a small sailboat.
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Aus78Formula

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79Noc4sp

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 10:11:21 AM »
75Bird400, Thanks for the info. I was wondering if it might be an uncommon option for a 79' Trans Am/firebird. I appreciate you taking the time to post up the info. Unfortunately the hitch is gone from my parts car or I would have pulled it off just to have it around.

I know absolutely nothing about the parts car I just picked up except what I can see visually. I don't know how to do VIN look up on our cars. It is a Van Nuys car and build date of 5-19. I was under the impression that when they ran out of rear disc brakes and ending the WS6, you could order the WS7 and get everything the WS6 package offered just not the rear disc brakes. I noticed on this car that it has the 7" wheels. I'm not sure if the WS7 package didn't come with 8" wheels or not? I guess it's possible that someone took the 8" off and replaced them with the 7" but it's just something else that caught my eye.

roadking77, you've already helped me with learning how to use this website buy responding to some of my other questions/posts and I appreciate your input. Yeah I wish you could have saved your hitch as well, I know it has no real value but it's something that is just unique and I love that kind of stuff  :D

Warren Seale

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 10:20:41 AM »
V02 will get you the 4 row radiator.  I assume that TAs (all V8s??) without it got 3 row. 

I don't know if the water pump, shroud, fan with VO2 is different than on any of the engines available.


Warren

79 T/A,WS6,403,A3
96 T/A,WS6(#1344),M6
72 442,W30,A3
96 Vette Grand Sport convertible,F45,LT4,M6
06 Vette convertible,Z51,M6

winks79

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 06:03:05 PM »
If you did not have V02 option, you indeed got a 3 row radiator. V02 could have been ordered as a stand alone option on any Firebird, (base all the way to T/A with any engine or tranny), according to my information. You mostly see it on the automatic 403's and 400's with a/c. It is an upgrade in radiator, (4 row), and fan/clutch is different. Either more blades or pitch is different, or both, (my information does not specify exactly, but I do remember them being different. It does not change the shroud or the water pump. I know nothing about a trailering package option ever being offered on a Firebird. I do know of the firm ride suspension you speak of, but it really has nothing to do with the V02 option at all.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 06:10:42 PM by winks79 »
Chad

Aus78Formula

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2019, 05:19:34 PM »
I have a few more saved pics of towbar kits but appear non-genuine. Even a V6 Esprit that had bracing and supports running further up to the chassis, and being the V6 also came with the longer 'WS6' braces up front, an unusual requirement when regular V8 went without.

Maxthe222

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2019, 09:41:03 PM »
Hey since you were using this car for parts, did you need the radiator? I've been looking for a 4 core V02 radiator for a '79, are the radiators the same for 403s and 400s?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Maxthe222

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2019, 05:18:26 PM »
Thought instead of making a new topic i'd just use this, but I thought the V02 wasn't available on L80 403 Oldsmobile cars? I've read on some option breakdown sites and a dealer form that there was an incompatibility with the two and that you couldn't get the 4-core with the 403? Yet this build sheet clearly shows otherwise, was it changed at some point? Does being a Canadian car have anything to do with it (i.e would the cooler radiators not be available in colder climates for any reason?)
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Wallington

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2019, 05:24:44 PM »
Not sure what would make a 4-core incompatible, it simply changes the rubber mounts inside the shroud, just like any upgraded since then using all stock setup.

Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2019, 05:24:44 PM »


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langss

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2019, 08:21:36 PM »
Hd cooling was pretty common option on GM cars, not necessarily Firebirds.  That and heavy duty batteries.  I kinda think dealer stock was all ordered that way just to make a few extra bucks, but i don't know.  I don't really know that HD cooling was always a 4 row radiator, but that is how we normally think of it.

In any case, trailer packages would have definitely had both the heavy duty cooling and firm ride.  You don't really hear anything about firm ride after WS6 came out.  Did they even offer a trailer tow package?

I went back to the Hemmings article about the 1979 option booklet and they don't show a trailer towing package in there.  I learned something (maybe).  That booklet says that WS7 was not available on the Y84 (or Y89 or with W72).  I guess I knew 2 out of three.  Y84 might be wrong, I don't know.
You are Correct....When I went to buy my 78,(not the one I have now) the dealer I went to had 10 black TA's in the back. The sales person took me back there and let me pick out which one I wanted. Some had the "Gold" wheels, some were the plain aluminum ones, some had hood birds some did not. He said they ordered 20 at a time, 2 in each configuration all black. Other colors were not moving....They could not keep black one's on the lot. That was toward the end of July. I sent a friend to them a couple of weeks later....all the black cars were gone or spoken for......Smokey was a big seller for TA's. 

another10th

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2019, 08:24:50 PM »
Thought instead of making a new topic i'd just use this, but I thought the V02 wasn't available on L80 403 Oldsmobile cars? I've read on some option breakdown sites and a dealer form that there was an incompatibility with the two and that you couldn't get the 4-core with the 403? Yet this build sheet clearly shows otherwise, was it changed at some point? Does being a Canadian car have anything to do with it (i.e would the cooler radiators not be available in colder climates for any reason?)

According to my "1979 Pontiac Selling Facts" pocket booklet dated January 1979:
   V02 Radiator, Super Cooling (N/A T/W L80 V8 Engine T/W WS6 Special Performance Pkg. or NA6 High Altitude Emissions)
   W/O C60 Air Conditioning ............$59.00
   T/W C60 Air Conditioning.............$ 32.00

Same source, but dated April 1979, deleted all of the above restrictions. Prices remained the same.

So yes, it appears to have been changed at some point.
JEFF

'79 TATA
'02 CETA #436

Maxthe222

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2019, 11:15:56 PM »
Interesting that it was specifically with the WS6 package, I saw that as well, why would that be the case?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

firebirdparts

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2019, 07:25:39 AM »
That is strange, especially the and/or stuff.  I take that to mean you had to have a combination of 2 options, got example a 403 AND WS6, and then it wasn't available.  It makes more sense to me that those applications already had the biggest radiator they had available, but usually they call that "no charge" in this book rather than "not available".

There aren't any restrictions in the 78 either.  I don't know.
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

winks79

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2019, 08:23:15 AM »
I've owned three 403, 79's over the years. All three were WS6 cars, two with a/c, and one without. The two a/c cars had the V02 option. along with just about every option available on a T/A, and the standard WS6 2.73 gears. The one non a/c car, did not have the V02 option, but it was ordered with 3.23 gears, which you could get in a 403, but only if ordered without a/c, and had the WS6 option. Wish I had kept it, as I have only seen one other stock 403, 3.23 geared car. I had build sheets with all of these cars that confirmed these options. All of these cars had build dates between March and June of 79'. I don't think being built for Canada has any bearing on the radiator in this case.


As Jeff stated, the option book was changed, but I do not know exactly when they allowed the change to take place. I know it was before April of 79', because the last 79' 403 I had with the V02 option was built in March of 79'.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 08:34:35 AM by winks79 »
Chad

Warren Seale

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2019, 10:35:57 AM »
Original owner here.  I ordered my 79 with the V02 option in July of 78.  It was built in early March of 79 with 403 and WS6 (long wait time due to W72 that never came through).  V02 came through with no issues.

Warren
79 T/A,WS6,403,A3
96 T/A,WS6(#1344),M6
72 442,W30,A3
96 Vette Grand Sport convertible,F45,LT4,M6
06 Vette convertible,Z51,M6

Maxthe222

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2019, 04:04:21 PM »
Original owner here.  I ordered my 79 with the V02 option in July of 78.  It was built in early March of 79 with 403 and WS6 (long wait time due to W72 that never came through).  V02 came through with no issues.

Warren

I heard some dealers or orders wouldn't let you get the W72 without getting the V02. Was it maybe because the car was originally ordered to get the W72 not the L80
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Warren Seale

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2019, 10:34:27 AM »
Original owner here.  I ordered my 79 with the V02 option in July of 78.  It was built in early March of 79 with 403 and WS6 (long wait time due to W72 that never came through).  V02 came through with no issues.

Warren

I heard some dealers or orders wouldn't let you get the W72 without getting the V02. Was it maybe because the car was originally ordered to get the W72 not the L80

I suppose it is possible but by March of 79 it appears that the V02 was being offered with the 403 so as a result of not having the earlier restriction, it came through.
79 T/A,WS6,403,A3
96 T/A,WS6(#1344),M6
72 442,W30,A3
96 Vette Grand Sport convertible,F45,LT4,M6
06 Vette convertible,Z51,M6

roadking77

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2019, 02:40:43 PM »
Dumb question, but how do I know if I have a 4 row radiator or not?
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
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Maxthe222

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2019, 03:04:30 PM »
Dumb question, but how do I know if I have a 4 row radiator or not?

If it doesn't say on the buildsheet or if it's just a random radiator you have lying around, on the hull of the radiator near the bottom there are part codes and a little metal tab that has a date code and 2 digit code that corresponds to a year and core configuration, wether it be 2 core, 3 core or 4 core, I have a pic on my phone somewhere, since they were down the bottom they often rusted away
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

winks79

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2019, 03:59:34 PM »
Dumb question, but how do I know if I have a 4 row radiator or not?
If you want to know if you car has one in it now, the # on the radiator will tell you. But, in older radiators the 4 row will be physically wider in depth than a 2 or 3 row just because it has more rows or tubes. You can also open the cap and look in and count the rows if the coolant is low enough for you to be able to see the rows of tubes.
Chad

roadking77

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2019, 05:37:17 PM »
Thanks for the info, I will have to check on that. Being that I had what appeared to be a GM trailer hitch, I am now curious to see if I have the larger radiator as well, unfortunately no build sheet.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
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Maxthe222

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Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2019, 09:18:11 PM »
It should come up on the PHS too. If it had both the radiator and the trailer hitch it probably had the bundle thing that included the Y96 Firm Ride Package. I've only ever seen one car with the Y96 firm ride package and it was a Y82 I wish I bought. I don't think it had a V02 though....
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Re: 1979 VO2 Trans Am Optioned Car
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2019, 09:18:11 PM »
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