Below is my first 5th gen mild build.
Here is whats left of my 1LE Twin Turbo build:
Here is my ZL1 build:
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The 2011 Camaro 2SS/RS M6 in this thread is the culmination of years of research waiting for the release of both the Camaro SS and the Coyote 5.0 Mustang so I could compare them head to head. Luckily this event roughly coincided with the expiration of my BMW lease.
My first thread on this:
Turned in my 335i Today
And then finally:
Turned in my 335i Today - Conclusion
The end of the quest:
In retrospect even though I chose the Camaro over the Mustang car against car, I think the trade in value i received for my WS6 would have led me to this very car anyway. This dealer gave me $4,000 more for my cherry LT1 WS6 than anyone else. :)
I named this thread "Batmobile" after my first trip into Philadelphia. I was sitting at a light at 16th and Market and a man waiting to cross the street with his very young son said to him "Look, there is the Batmobile" pointing to my car. I quickly left the light so as not to disappoint the boy. Sadly, the driver was no Batman.
In my next post I will lay out my goals for the Batmobile.
Mod List (I will update here as I go):
ya know done the right way..the Camaro would be a great Batmobile. It has the lines I think Bruce Wayne would like.
I hope black rims are at the top of your list...
My two gripes with the Camaro are the low roof and the weight. Current owners said, "Ignore the view, you will get used to it." They were right, I did. But I still wish when sitting for a traffic light that I could actually see it. And I have already misjudged the corner of the car and scraped the SS against our own Rav4. :=(
But there is nothing that can be done about the roof height, so I will just let it go and enjoy the good looks.
The weight is another matter. I hope to keep my SS as light as possible. And where I can save weight I will. But saving weight is expensive. So I will attempt to save weight where practical and at least try not to increase weight. I have already broken this goal with my first mod, an amp and sub. I had this stuff left over from my previous car and I love music. Okay, so no more going backwards after this.
One thing I will avoid is going the FI supercharger or turbo route for three reasons.
1. FI adds weight.
2. You can have too much horsepower.
3. I can't afford FI anyway.
My number two reason needs some explanation. I love horsepower, like most everyone here. But on the street (and to some extent the track) there can be more power than is usable. A few years ago I got back into motorcycles. I was so amazed I could buy a 10 second bike for $5K. Then once I had it I set about making it even faster. I quickly found out that 10 second vehicles are not very usable on the street. I rarely could even use more than first gear and part of second wide open. One night my throttle stuck wide open and I learned what it means to see your life pass before your eyes.
So my horsepower goals will be moderate. I can get to 420 rwhp with bolt-ons and maybe later 450 rwhp with a mild cam. That should be enough to have fun on the street and on the track. And the costs are reasonable. If I ever decide to go for more after that it would be with a stroker with strengthened internals.
Another goal is enhanced handling. After driving both the Mustang 5.0 and the Camaro SS it was easy to determine that the Mustang was the better handing car. While both are comparable at the track when you look at times, the Mustang feels better. Can the Camaro approach the handling feeling you get in the Mustang?
Here is my thread on that topic:
Rename the Z28?
Apparently, the answer is yes! I will try.
So I am not a fan of the upcoming HPE Camaro and not in favor of calling it the Z28. I had hoped that Chevy would call the new FI car something other than Z28 and save that name for the Camaro Boss 302 competitor.
Edit: Glad to see Chevrolet took my suggestion to name the car ZL1!!!
My thread on that:
Can the Camaro Handling feel Be Improved?
I do think the new Camaro will be cool, but like the GT500 it will most likely be a focused straight-line car. Fun I am sure, but not for me. The spirit of the original Z28 is what I am shooting for.
I want to have fun with this car. I want to take it to Atco. While I have street raced many times in my distant past I have never run a car down a real track. I plan to start tracking the quarter mile this spring. I will post my times here.
I also want to try tracking with curves. The NJ Motorsports Park in Millville is not far from my house. I want to attend a driving course there and learn how to track my Camaro road race style too. Autocross may be a good place to start.
Apart from all this I have some appearance goals. I do like the clean look. While I like other colors, black is by far my favorite car color. To me the stock grill is hideous. And the gold bow-ties are an eyesore. They have to go.
Right now my SS has no stripes. But lately I have been looking at the stripe threads and thinking maybe.
Also I would love the IOM interior. I really wanted this on my car but I could not find one locally. Would you want to sell me yours? I would be happy to trade interiors and give you the cost of the option. I do like the black interior, but the IOM raises the excitement level for me.
So to summarize my goals for the Batmobile:
1. Modest Horsepower goals
2. Upgrade the suspension
3. Track the quarter
4. Track the curves
5. Make it more mine
6. Keep spending under control
7. Have fun
What do you think? Blackout for the taillights?
Dump the SS emblem? (it's the only one on the except for the steering wheel)
edit: 1LE rims. Or perhaps the whole 1LE.
I started small. I really wanted GPS but no factory one is offered other than OnStar. I am reluctant to buy aftermarket in dash since it is a thief magnet. Maybe I will change my mind later once there are more options. Maybe Chevy will put out a factory GPS that fits the 2010-11 dash. Let's hope.
So for now the bracket will allow me to use any old GPS. Most of the time I know where I am going. My wife would not agree. :)
Later on I make even better use of this little mod.
GPS Bracket $65
I really did not want to drill my bumper for a license plate holder. I always regretted drilling my last 4th gen WS6. I found a solution. Search is your friend!
No drill front license plate holder < $1
My sub install. Steve @ ******** figured out what I needed like a BA harness with a LOC for the MB Quart amp I had.
My wiring is a bit messy. I did not cut anything and just rolled up the leftovers. There is so much room around the battery.
The 10 inch hits just fine for me. And sounds great even with the seat up. The sub is upside down. Oops. :iono:
Also in that last pic is the PAC Bass knob I bought. I ran the RCA jacked wires coming out of the LOC through the bass controller and then back to the amp.
I made good use of my NaV bracket for the sub mound.
There is a bass controller for that Discus Amp, but it is super expensive although it supports all of the Amp controls.
Some songs need bass reduction and other need more bass. I wonder if this is due to the sampling rate of my MP3 collection?
I added no additional sound insulation. The install is rattle free although I can make the rear view mirror fuzzy.
Nice fit with the ******** panels and the custom connector is a real time saver. The trunk install is a snap.
Now if I can just come to terms with adding 30 lbs to the car.
Edit: Steve @ ******** has a new plug coming to replace the stock BA Amp with no wire cutting. Can't wait. I already have a nice Discus 4ch Amp but it is too big for the stock location. I will have to get creative. How about the underside of the trunk lid?
looks great, go with Chrome wheels if you change them, looks much better.
Yes I like chrome with black too. But the lightweight wheels probably will not be chrome.
Here is the Bass Knob mounted on the GPS Bracket. No holes in the SS. Also I was able to run the wires for the knob hidden without taking anything apart. Nice.
The down side is my Discus Amp required a LOC from the ******** BA harness. Along with that I had to run my Amp signal to the front of the car and back through the knob. So the bass is a little muddy, but plenty loud.
Here is the knob mounting:
Looking forward to the Z28 if it happens. My ideas on the Z28.
The Z28 does not need a ton more HP.
Edit: Chevy is doing this, but a high perf V6 will come later and no mention of a race series (yet).
I am going to mod and enjoy my SS now and not worry about the future.
I am not a big fan of the standard grill. I suppose they were going for a 1969 look but overdid the grate size to my eyes. But grill preferences are an individual thing. The Heritage grill is a major improvement to me. I looked around and found that with a black car an unpainted Heritage grill looks good.
For the lighter colors a painted grill looks awesome. I have a compressor and paint guns but decided for now at least to leave the grill unpainted. I also wanted to get rid of the giant gold chevy insignia front and rear. So the end result here is a cleaner looking car and the only badging that remains is the rear SS and the CAMARO on both fenders. I might move the rear SS to the center later once I decide on striping.
Of course the mail slot in the front tells those in the know that this is an SS or at least a V6 with the V8 front fascia. Works for me.
I put the grill in when the temps were below freezing. My foyer made a great grill workshop. The boot made a great prop.
This whole operation made my huge hyper-active dog very nervous.
Clean front view:
Clean rear view:
I left the rear SS there so Mustangs will know what this is.
Next I added some performance.
Although pricey the C.A.I. CAI is a nice piece. I went with the silver to brighten up things under the hood.
The CAI install is easy and should only take a few minutes. But the Scoop is harder. The best way to do this is peel back the fender liner. And since the Scoop needs the space where the washer bottle is, this has to be moved.
Also be aware you to trim a plastic plate to allow cold air in. This is easy with a dremel. Other methods not so easy. Use this project as an excuse to buy a dremel if you do not already have one.
Great thread on this here:
I did not want to cut any metal. So I built a bracket to let me mount my new tiny washer bottle on the now exposed stock intake post:
Here is the relocated washer bottle. Since it hold a lot less liquid than the stock one this is a weight saver!
You can really feel this mod. The car now makes a deep howl at high RPMs. You can hear the deep breathing. But it is not an annoying sucking sound I have heard on other cars with a CAI. Great mod and 15+ RWHP.
Barton Shifter and CAGS Bypass
My next mod is to improve the shifting of my manual SS.
This comes in two parts. First eliminate the mechanism that forces you into 4th gear at certain speeds. That mechanism is called CAGS. You can buy a CAGS bypass from many sources and they are very inexpensive. I bought the one from SLP and it ties both ends together the best with no wires hanging off.
This installs from under the car on the drivers side in the middle of the transmission. This is tight squeeze.
The first time I installed it I plugged it into the wrong place (doh!) on the passenger side. I was rewarded with a CEL which pointed out my stupdiity.
To diagnose that CEL I bought a code reader/editor from Amazon. The code told me what was wrong and I turned off the code and then reinstalled the CAGS bypass.
Now it is great! The shift pattern light comes comes on but I can pick any gear I want.
Next I wanted to improve the actual shifting. I looked at all the shifters and the install of each. I picked the Barton Shifter. The shifter works as well or better than most of the others at a very low price with exceptional customer service.
The install is a bit of a pain. You have to go under the car (why?) and lowering the transmission is helpful. This also makes the CAGS bypass easier.
I bought the shifter with the steel SS ball and also the stick that lets you install the stock shift knob. I installed the SS knob at first:
I don't have a pic, I borrowed the one above. This is the only pic I have which is really my bass knob pic
This setup is beautiful, but not very practical. The metal knob is freezing in the winter and it rattles to high RPM. There are fixes.
So I went back to the stock knob:
Much quieter, and warmer. But the big knob is noticeably harder to shift.
Also I went back to the stock knob because I have the 2nd gear synchro crunch problem. So when I take it back to the dealer I don't want it to look like i modded the shifter. This has been used in the past to deny warranty claims. :(
Long term I will go back to the pretty SS knob and fix the rattle or i may use the other Barton knob i have which is a composite black 6 speed pattern in the winter and the SS knob in the summer.
It is cool to have choices. Thanks to Barton. Just like ********, you cannot got wrong with Barton!
My Audio Build Phase 2
After I bought my 5th Gen i picked up ********'s X3 harness, sub box, and amp board to go with some equipment I had laying around.
Thread is here:
At the time Steve told me he was working on another harness to replace the BA amp. And he delivered. I picked up his BA amp harness kit to take my build one step further. I would keep the factory head Unit for now and upgrade my primary amp.
I had a new Discus 4 channel DSC480 in the box lying around. So I decided to use that. But one problem. It is huge. It would never fit in the factory amp location. So i could use ********'s harness, but I would need to find a mounting spot for this big amp.
After crawling around in my trunk with the amp I found out I had just enough room to mount the amp on the end of my drivers side 10-12 inch sub box. The amp was too large to just screw on so I built a little platform for it:
I then ripped the trunk apart and worked though all the wiring. This took a while, but that was the easy part. I tested the new amp and all was well. Then I mounted the new amp on the sub box and quickly realized this monster was almost too big to fit into the trunk. After several aborted tries I finally got it into the trunk, but only after scratching the amp a little.
Then I pulled all the new wiring around and hooked up the amp. Then I tried to get it into position. It turned out my new amp board was a little too long to fit easily. It is a bit difficult to get the big sub box into position. With my extension it was almost impossible. After a number of tries and repositioning I finally shoved it into place. Phew.
At least it works!
While I had everything apart I decided to anchor the amp board. I want to try autocross and I think the G forces would start the amp board flopping around. That strap is anchored under the PIA plastic cap on the post you see in the pic. Not pretty but solid.
I fiddled around with my head unit tone and the settings on the amp to see how everything fit together. Okay, now on to my review of the upgrade. First eliminating the center channel did improve the sound a little. And the highs and mid range are a bit cleaner at any volume. But the difference is not night and day.
To take full advantage of the amp I think I need to upgrade the speakers. One other thing, the new amp really improved the stock system's bass (as Steve said it would). So much so now my 10 inch high end Kicker hits only slightly harder than the stock (jumpered) 6x9s. Probably I can bump the gain on the sub amp, but really there is no need. Therse is more than enough bass for the music I listen to. Usually I run my bass knob at 1/2 volume.
The end result here does sound really good. But my chimes are a little loud. :)
I did learn something. I think I can buy a 5 channel mini class D amp like the Alpine PDX-5 and get the same sounding results. Perhaps I can fit it into the stock location. So if I go this way I can return my sub box to its original size and save about 30+ pounds with getting rid of the two big amps and the amp board.
For those of you who do not have ********'s 10-12 inch sub box already buy this:
The Infinity is a great amp for the $$ and this setup will sound great and save you a lot of trouble. If I was starting over this would be my choice.
Getting excited about the upcoming Z28. Especially in light of the success of the Boss 302. Ford really upped the ante in the Muscle Track Car race.
My Dream Z28.
Keep it real. Keep it simple. No gingerbread on the car. Start with a 1SS. Keep it light. Keep it affordable. Build as many as we want.
* LS3 with 25-45 HP bump (Head, intake, and cam package)
* Manual six speed only
* Tighter Transmission gear ratios (only 1 O/D gear needed)
* At least a 3.73 rear ratio
* Better shifter
* Stronger clutch
* Stronger axles
* FE4 Suspension + a few improvements if possible
* ZL1 front brakes
* Less flexible brakes lines
* No rubber bushings
* No wheel hop
* Neutral handing
* Lighter Wheels (18 inch)
* Sticky tires
* Lower car 1 inch
* Lighter mufflers, battery, and a few other select parts (get creative)
* Keep the soundproofing (I do not want to drive in a tin can)
* Bluetooth + ipod
* Real cloth sport seats (Z28 motif perhaps)
* Z28 interior dash emblem
* Z28 Sill plates
* Z28 on the front of each fender (no other exterior emblems)
* Smaller front and rear color coordinated Chevy bow-ties
* No mail slot
* More effective front and rear spoilers
* No useless side cladding
* Improve underbelly air flow where possible
* Functional brake cooling scoops
* Distinctive Z28 exterior stripes/graphics (Can be wild or tribute)
* Offer true Sunoco blue as a color (Also, red, black, white, and silver)
* Option #1: Rear seat delete with roll bar/brace replacement
* Option #2: Delete graphics
* Option #3: Racetrack delivery (see below)
That is it, just 3 options. No automatic, sunroof, or upgraded stereo. If a Z28 owner wants more bling they are perfectly capable of adding it themselves.
Optionally Allow owners to take delivery at a race track. Include a morning of a driving class with some individual track time with a professional driver.
Chevy can sell all Z28 parts to existing SS owners who want to build their own Z28 to help mitigate the cost of building the Z28.
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