Did you have any problems fitting the wheels on the rear of the car??
I had no problems fitting the wheels when I had a stock ride height.
When I lowered the car with Eibach's, I started to have rubbing issues
on the rear. To solve that I beat in the inner fenders where
there were rub marks. You can buy rubber undercoating to cover up the
areas that flake off. Then to keep the tires from hitting the fenders
when the suspension bottoms out, I spaced out the jounce bumpers about
an inch. I bought longer bolts and put washers in between the spacer
and frame. The SLP spacers weren't enough of a space. It works great
now. I had also rolled the fenders in, but I think if I would have
spaced the jounce bumpers out first, I wouldn't have had to roll them.
With a lowered car, it's a little work to keep them from rubbing. In
the end, the benefits far out way the trouble. I had been working on the
rubbing issues for about 3 months. Every few weeks I'd pull the wheel,
pound a little, spray under coating, and put the wheels back on. I just
keep doing that until I wasn't rubbing. You will also have to jack the
car up from the differential with 11 inch wheels. Other wise the wheel
will contact the jounce bumper and prevent removal or installation.
It's real easy to make them fit. Just takes a little time.
If you are thinking about buying Fikse wheels, I recommend getting the
optional clear coat on the outer rim half. It will protect them and save you
having to polish them. Itís a big time saver. It costs about a $100 to do
all four when you order the option from Fikse.
Why didn't you get the WS6 package??
After having the WS6 package on my 1997 Trans Am, I decided I didn't want to order it again. I was never able to tell any performance increase for the $3000 plus package. It is a great looking car, but I didn't feel like it was worth the money. There is also the fact that you couldn't order the WS6 package on a Formula after the 2000 model year. I wanted a car I could personalize more like with a unique hood and wheels. The WS6 package includes those items. I have always loved the way that 17x11 inch wheels looked on the rear of a Firebird, and I choose to spend the WS6 package money on wheels and tires to achieve the look I wanted. The WS6 package was fairly exclusive in 1997 because they only made around 3,000 of them. Now they make about 3 times that amount every year. The package is very common as a result. In the end, I want my Formula to be a unique car to me.
Why did you get a Formula over a Trans Am??
I like the Formula over the Trans Am for several reasons. One is that with the Formula, you can get a cloth interior. Leather is standard on the Trans Am. I became sick of leather due to the maintanence. It was also incredibly hot in the summer, and cold in the winter. Pontiac also doesn't use the greatest leather, so it feels a little on the cheap side. I also wanted a Formula because it is a little lighter than the Trans Am. The Formula doesn't have the body kit and big rear spoiler like the Trans Am. I still love the way the Trans Am's look, but now I prefer the subtle muscular look of the Formula.
Why did you choose an automatic transmission after owning 6-speed cars??
I felt like my goals for the car required it to be an automatic. My plans are for the Formula to be a fast drag strip car in the next couple of years. After being around F-bodies for several years, the quickest cars at the drag strip all shared the fact that they were automatics. An automatic with a high stall torque converter is hard to beat off the line. I have seen numerous auto cars run incredible times because they can leave the line so hard and quick. An equally modified 6-speed will usually run a higher MPH than an auto car at the drag strip, but the auto is usually quicker. In the end, the winner isn't the one with the higher MPH, it the one that gets to the end first. The auto is also great for sitting in Dallas traffic.
Why did you pick a red car over black??
I simply became tired of the maintenance that black required. Every rock chip, scratch, water spot, and piece of dust was very obvious. I am very picky about my cars finish, and black drove me crazy. It looked fantastic when it was cleaned up, but a few minutes later it would be covered in dust. I am probably the only one who noticed all these things though. The red is so much easier to detail. It always looks great. It turns heads and does well at car shows. I'm more than happy with the red paint.
How did you polish your brake calipers?
Check out my High Polished Caliper Procedure Here for complete instructions and pictures. They look ten times better in person. Digital pictures can't do them justice.