TSSUNAMI's 2011 CGM 1SS/RS
TSSUNAMI'S 2011 CGM 1SS RS
After several years on these forums I think it's time that I took a few moments and started a build journal.
A little background. In late 2009 I had essentially reached a pretty terrible point in my life. I had just gotten divorced, I had let myself go pretty badly, my weight had risen to an astronomical 340 lbs. My finances were in shambles.
I was at a turning point. I worked hard, worked out even harder. By early 2010 I had lost about 60 lbs, started putting my finances back together and met an amazing woman who I have been happy with for almost 4 years now. As a reward to myself for turning everything around my girlfriend (at the time, we are now engaged) suggested that I purchase a new car. This was right about when I saw the new 5th Gen. A friend of mine 55SSRS, had sent me a few pictures of a yellow camaro that he had seen at a dealership, that planted the seed.
However, my finances were still making a comeback. I had some major setbacks due to my divorce, so I had to wait another year until I could buy my camaro without making a terrible decision. I didn't want to take a high interest rate, so I chose to save more money for a down payment while I rebuilt that almighty score!
Fast forward to Febuary 2011: I had gotten my weight down to 225 lbs that's right over 100lbs just by lifting weights and not eating so much garbage, my credit score to a reasonably high level, and I had the full support of my amazing, patient, mod friendly (haha) fiancee.
It was time to call Becky Doyle at Rodger's Chevrolet. I chose Becky because the local dealerships just wouldn't work with me on a price. They all wanted MSRP or higher. Fortunately through these forums I was able to PM Becky, and after many phone calls and emails, we ordered a 2011 1SS/RS with the BA sound system, Hurst shifter, in Cyber Grey Metallic!
^This was fresh off of the truck! It came in late on a friday, and I had to wait until Monday to take delivery. That, my friends was torture!!
I work late swing shift at a casino, so I got out of work that monday morning at about 5 am. I went home, changed clothes, and took my fiancee's car to East Syracuse Chevrolet (Where Becky arranged to have the car shipped) To pick up my baby. I left my fiancee's car there, and promptly drove to pick up my other baby! (my fiancee) From her shift at the same workplace. Rolling up in a brand new 5th gen to pick her up was such a great feeling. I finally had the girl, and now I had the car too!!! We drove back to East Syracuse to grab her car, and I finally went to bed once we arrived home.
About a month or so after owning the car, I decided that the exhaust was WAY too quiet. I didn't really have the budget for an aftermarket system at the time, so I had my local Cole muffler do a muffler delete on my car.
Next up was a cold air intake. I really loved the idea of an OTR system, and once I saw New Era's OTR I had to have it. I love the rough welds on it, and the concept of pulling fresh air from in front of the engine bay made sense to me. I picked one up used from a forum member for 250.00 (half off FTW!!!) A local UpstateC5 club member helped me install it. (Thank you Ironwill)
Now that I had the exhaust and intake tackled. I thought I was done for a while!! HAHAHAHA Who was I kidding???
Next up I gave Roger At Emblempros a call. I ordered the "Onyx" Camaro fender lettering, as well as the ZR1 Style LS3 badge for my trunk. (I have to find these pics... I have some new ones too that I will update later!)
Next up was a call to Apex Chase at Apex Motorsports!!!! I love the stance of a lowered Camaro, so I chose PFADT for their lowering spring kit. I had them installed at NYE GMC in Oneida NY.
^^You can see the Onyx camaro script in this picture also. To be very honest, pictures do NOT do these justice. On a CGM they literally blend in with the paint and from certain angles they look like they're "ghosted" on. This is exactly what I had wanted when I ordered them!!! Notice how low the car sits now in relation to the water bottle!! WHEEEEE> This is one of the best upgrades that one can make to this car. I was immediately impressed by the improved level of responsiveness from the car, plus much less wheel hop in the rear, and MUCH less lift and dive in the front. Not to mention the MEAN looking new stance.
Just when I thought I would be slowing down, my good friend Ron Robinson posted up a set of long tube headers on the Upstate C5 section. For the price he had posted, I couldn't pass these up, so once again, the wallet opened up... and so did the LS3 under my hood. Holy crap what a noticeable gain!
These are my Pacesetter LT's with HFC's (sitting behind Ron's white SS)
While many argue that I should have gotten TSP's or SP's or Kooks or ARH, hell even OBX: I wasnt' planning on doing headers anytime soon, and these were like-new. For the price I couldn't beat them with a stick. They're coated in pacesetter's "armor coat" and then topped with black VHT paint. I've had them on the car for about 3000 miles now and they are still flawless.
After driving for about 4 months with no tune, and suffering through a heater core replacement, as well as a drive belt replacement (all under warranty) It was now time to give Ted Jannettey a call and let him work some magic on my LS3.
I can say one thing for certain: This man is freaking AMAZING. Prior to the tune, the car felt powerful, but it just felt like something was off. It felt pretty raggged, decel pop was unbearable, and I felt as though I had lost a LOT of power from the lower RPM ranges. Once I had my x3 set up properly I loaded ted's tune into my car. Immediately I could tell that things had changed. The idle was smooth and stable, the car acellerated smoothly tons of grunt from the top to the bottom. The decel pop returned to "normal" levels. Not to mention that I gained an extra MPG with spirited driving.
That's it for mods for now. Car is going into storage in a few weeks and no sense in dumping money into it when I can't enjoy it. New wheels and tires, and a new spoiler are next!!!!
Here are some current pictures. Enjoy!
Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my "other woman" as my lady calls it! I love this vehicle. Thank you to GM for making it, and thank's to all of the incredible people that I have met on Camaro5 for making this car's ownership more of a lifestyle than a car that gets me from point A to point B.
Current Performance Mods:
New Era OTR CAI (Pics Page1)
Pacesetter LT headers. (Pics Page1)
Muffler Delete. (Pics Page1)
PFADT Lowering springs.
JRE Performance LS3 Tune.
"Strong" MAF sensor.
Current Cosmetic Mods:
20x9.5FR, 20x11 Forgestar F14's in textured gunmetal (pics page 4)
Nitto Invo 275-40-20 FR 315-35-20 R tires. (pics page 4)
Big Worm COPO style rear fender stripes and hood spears in red. (pics and DIY write up, Page 1/2)
Emblempro's Onyx Fender script, ZR1 Style trunk "LS3" badge. SS grille emblem. (Pics pages 1, and 4)
Gary's Custom CGM bowties front and rear. (they're in almost every pic, pages 1-4)
Ofer's DRL Harness, P13W 4300 DRL bulbs
Red LED interior footwell and dome lights with custom switch from Ofer (Gen5diy)
Upstate C5 club sticker. (good for at least 20 hp)
ACS Mailslot Scanner
Anvil CF Spoiler gloss finish.
RX Catch Can.
Roto-Fab Engine covers.
ACC LED sidemarker lamps, interior lighting, pre bent scanner.
ACS T2 Ports with LED lamps.
PFADT FE4 conversion + Zl1 Spec Sways.
Blackout Taillight Bezels
Weather Tech Floormats (Car is a DD from spring to fall, and it rains a LOT in CNY)
Painted interior panels
4 pack guage cluster
Raptor shift light
A whipple and cam when I finally pay this beast off :)
A few of my impressions of some of my mods here:
My New Era OTR Review
CGM Bowties from Gary's Customs (they came from Darth Emma's MONSTER car. I regard them as a peice of Camaro5 History!!!)
Thank You Joebot8484 for posting this video for me!!!!
Here is a fairly current clip of idle, and a 1st through the top of 2nd gear pull leaving a car show.
You can see in this photo how the Emblempro's camaro lettering looks in contrast against bright sunlight. They look black in this pic.
Looks like I'm not done for this season.
Just ordered a set of COPO stripes from Dave@BigWorm Graphics. Victory red rear quarter stripes and matching hood spears. Stay Tuned!
Also did the datalogging for Ted Jannettey so that he could refine my tune. Turns out he had it pretty close to perfect on the first go. (Which I had suspected since the car transformed into a flat out rocketship.)
Without a doubt he is one of the best people to work with. He is incredibly fast, doesn't bullshit you or try to sell you things that you don't need. He is also, in my opinion one of the most knowledgeable vendors on this forum. I'm very happy with his product!!!
Pics of the new stripes will be coming next week once they're on the car. Then sadly, it's time to put her away for the winter.
Great story! You def deserve a bad ass car :) Def gonna be following this good luck!
Thanks bro! I actually made this thread after reading your story! For a lot of us these cars mean much more to us than an form of transportation, or something to show off
Really appreciated how you showed us a little bit about yourself in your thread so I thought I would try something similar.
Your car is also very well done! So much of the work done by yourself I don't have the DIY skills yet but I'm working on it :-)
Thanks for the feedback!
For the most part a lot of it seems pretty simple if you take your time.
I wish I had a garage for the winter months. The place I'm storing my car doesn't allow access during the storage period.
I'd like to pull my bezels and paint them, have my brembos powdercoated etc. while the car is put up.
Oh well LOL maybe I should stop modding and build a garage!!!
Stripes should be in tuesday, hopefully I can get an appointment quickly to have them installed so I can have that all set before I put it away for the winter.
Yikes! That's far man. Hopefully I will get to meet y next year
I'm always on the lookout for your iom when I'm in the cuse!
Oh man between the heater core meltdown, the drive belt failure and my bald ass tires ESTA just didn't work this year :-(
I really want to know how I run with the LT's and tune.
And when u see my winter beater... you'll think I'm the college kid! Hahaha
It's all about the summer fun in these Camaros anyway!
As much as I'd like to go the 28th, the tires are still really bad for the track, and I took some time off mid november for the holidays and to go watch my Buffalo Bills get the shit beat out of them. (yep. pessimistic, jaded, lifelong "fan" here)
Good luck in cracking the 13's! Let me know how it goes.
Great story! I'm glad things are working out for you! It's really cool that you were able to rebound and reward yourself for your hard work with a new Camaro! It's also really cool that you found a "mod friendly" woman! Woo hoo! I love the stance with the lowering springs and F14's will look killer! Happy modding my friend!
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Thanks for shooting me the info on the wheels Mike! I'll be contacting them in the springtime
Thanks bro! I've been reading DIY's and watching vids all night. I think I'm going to tackle this one today from the safety of my buddy's garage! WHeeeee. Just looks too simple to justify spending 150+ to have a shop do it.
Either gonna be a good day or a really bad day LOL.
My plan of attack is prep the surface by washing the area, and doing several passes with alcohol and a lint free towel.
Use the rear bodylines (where the rear quarters meet the rear bumper cover will work, along with the fuel door on the pass. side) as a guide. Dry fit the stripes and make markings/measurements with auto. painter's tape.
Apply the stripes wet, use a spray bottle to keep things moist.
Squeegee slowly fromt he inside out.
Take my time.
I'll keep yas posted :popcorn:
Good luck you got this!
I'm at work so can't post pics but bigworm put my car on their website.
Here's a link if u want to take a look:
Spent a good 3.5 hours in my good friend SSRS55's garage today applying my COPO stripe kit from Big Worm.
About a month or so ago I PM'ed Dave from Big Worm, asking why they didn't sell a COPO stripe kit. I'd heard such good things about their products, and really wanted to give them my business. (Nothing against some of the other vendors, just my personal preference.)
I was told that basically it was in the pipeline, and that they'd let me know when they had something ready. They also mentioned that they were waiting on a car to test fit it on. I mentioned off hand that they could use MY car. (I didn't think they would LOL) Well, turns out they had already lined up a car to test the product on, but it was a dealer vehicle, and that they were interested in sending me their first production set of stripes at a discount in exchange for pictures of my car with the stripes installed. (WOOHOOO)
About a week ago I was told that they were ready to order, so I placed an order for a set of red copo stripes and hood spears to match. 5 days later my product arrived, carefully packed. Not one stripe was creased or bent, every thing was packed just so that it would be compact without damaging the product. Two thumbs up there for big worm.
I called a few custom shops that work with Vinyl locally. I was apprehensive about installing these myself because my track record with vinyl is pretty atrocious. However after being quoted 150-200.00 from one place, and being blown off by two other places (No return call from one, and the other not willing to even give me a ballpark price) I started searching for DIY videos and threads here on the forums.
I found a TREASURE TROVE of information. Between Big Worm's youtube channel, the DIY threads here on camaro5, and a thread of my own that I started looking for advice and support, I felt more than ready to tackle this project. After a few Emails with Big Worm for a few final questions that I had, I was ready to go. I just needed a place to do it since I don't have a garage at my home.
My good friend, Camaro5 member SSRS55 ( A long time friend who is a recent convert from ford to chevrolet ) Was gracious enough to let me use his garage.
So I got to work.
I began by using windex to clean the surface of the car where the stripes would cover. I then mixed a capful of Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle of water. I used this mixture on a separate, clean microfiber cloth to clean the same area again.
I started at the front of the car since I read that hood spears are easiest.
First I dry fitted the stripes. I left the backing paper on, and lined up the stripes exactly where I wanted them. I used automotive masking tape to "outline" the stripes. These waren't quite exact measurements, but being that my car is so dark in certain lights, I just wanted a baseline to go off of in case things went awry.
Once I was satisfied with the placement, I pulled the stripe off of the car. Made one more pass with the alcohol/water solution with the MF towel. I then saturated the area with the very same water/alcohol solution using the spray bottle. I peeled the backing paper from the stripe, and saturated the sticky side of the vinyl with the solution as well.
Surprisingly the vinyl was VERY easy to manipulate once placed on the car.
I took my time to squeegee thoroughly removing any traces of water/air from beneath the vinyl. One thing to note here is that when wet, the thinnest part of the stripes really love to move around when you squeegee. I had to make several small adjustments with the frontmost part of the stripe, due to movement, and this was when I was VERY thankful for the tape markings that I had laid down.
After I had one stripe laid down and squeegied, I let it sit with the backing paper still attatched to the visible side, and repeated the process on the other side of the car.
Once I had laid that stripe down it was the moment of truth: Time to peel this top layer back and see if I did things right. I used a blow dryer on high heat, kept it about 6" away from the vinyl and gave the stripe a few good passes to make sure that they were dry, this helped the adhesive to bond a little quicker as well. I started from the top of the cowl near the windshield. This is very important: Do NOT pull directly up, on the backing paper, your vinyl will likely pull right off of the car if you do this. What I did was pull straight back, basically peeling the backing paper against the car, while pressing down on the vinyl that had yet to be uncovered.
They came off without incident, and I was VERY pleased with the result.
(Sorry the picture is grainey, my camera phone isn't the best)
There were a few VERY small bubbles present when the paper came off, I didn't even use the squeegee to remove them. I moved them gently out to the edges of the stripe with my index finger. Overall, very easy so far.
While waiting for the other side of the cowl to dry, I started marking off the rear section on the passenger side first. This side had a cutout for the fuel door, so I figured that it would be easier to line up. I asked SSRS55's very steady handed wife to separate the precut section of the fuel door from the backing paper. (It comes pre-cut but it was in once peice and I decided that to get the cleanest, most accurate look, that separating them was a good idea.)
I used a measuring tape to make a few notes, using the top of the fender and the line where the rear quarter panel meets the rear bumper section. Again, I used my painter's tape to make some reference points.
I essentially repeated the process that I used for the front stripes, and started to lay down these quarter panel peices.
They went on very easy for their size. The only real difference here was that I used a blow dryer to heat them up a bit before removing the backing paper from the sticky side. It was about 60 degrees out and the stripes were fairly stiff. Warming them up made them more pliable.
I had a bit of vinyl sticking over the fuel door hole, as you may be able to see in one of the pics above. I corrected this after the top paper was removed, I used a blow dryer and made a curling motion to get the vinyl to "suck itself" into the fuel door opening. It made for a very flush, clean install. I applied the fuel door piece last, and again used marking tape along the bottom of the stripe to line it up perfectly with the stripes that I had just laid down.
That's really about it. I can't stress enough how important it is to TAKE YOUR TIME. Unless you've done this a thousand times before, TAKE YOUR F***ing TIME. Especially when peeling off the top layer of paper. This was where I had a few issues with the Vinyl peeling from the body. If you botch it up at that point, just take a deep breath, get everything super wet and try to recover.
I would definitely recommend this type of project to someone as a first time DIY job. If you're going to do this on your own, dedicate an afternoon or morning to do it right. If you take your time you'll end up with some great looking stripes without paying someone to do it. Nothing beats being able to do something to your car and when someone asks where you had it done, you can say "I did it."
Here's everything all done. There's probably an imperfection here and there, but unless you have a microscope: you aren't going to find an air bubble on this bad boy. I almost doubt that a professional would have acheived much better results. After all, they don't love this car as much as I do.
Hope you like! I think the color really sets off agains the grey, and even better, Red(scarlett) and Grey, are my College's team colors!! (GO UNLV!)
Thanks for reading!!!
^^ the dots you may see on the stripe aren't bubbles, it had just started to sprinkle outside. (Yes, I know there are streaks on my hood!! Definitely need a good wash and rewax after this job)
And finally, a night shot, again in the rain (Yep I drive mine in the rain)
Not the best pic, but I LOVE the way these hood spears look from the front. reminds me of a stealth fighter with blood red markings.
Man I'm fuc*ing pissed right now. Wrote a great post/reply and my g*d dam computer just shuts the f**k off, what the f**k george...so pissed right now,,,ugghghghghhhh...
I'll have to re do another dam day, going to bed....motha f**k , s*8t.*7&9
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