||04-21-2013 04:59 PM
Four months and six thousand miles later, my 2013 SS automatic convertible was ready for its first modification. Research on Camaro5 forum pointed me to the “air intake” from CAI as a simple but helpful upgrade. But, wait! There’s more to it than just the cool looking intake. While I am at it, I might as well put in the Apex air scoop. And, oh yeah, the air scoop requires that I relocate the windshield washer bottle.
As I read through comments from forum members, my confidence was bolstered that this was a good decision. I ordered the parts. Worst case scenario, installation would give me a very impressive looking device in my engine bay. As luck would have it, I was immediately sent on a weeklong business trip. Parts arrived and a friend hauled them inside my home while I was away. The following weekend, I opened all the boxes and carefully laid out all the parts. I opened the hood of my car and began to study the instructions. I looked again at my engine. I looked over the parts. I closed the hood of my car. No way. Not going to happen if I had to install it.
The next several nights were fitful. I would open my garage after coming home from work and carefully park next to a table full of beautiful car parts. I glanced at them, I checked the instructions and each time I reaffirmed my decision. I would then sheepishly go inside for a well-deserved glass of wine. Several days later, a co-worker asked me what was wrong as my attitude at work began to sour. I explained to her the problem and she giggled at my exasperation. Women can be cruel sometimes. She told me that her husband is really good at mechanical work on cars and she was sure he would volunteer to get it done.
Sure enough, he would do it, and we set up a date. Still another long week at work waiting for my new best friend to be available for the task. Finally, this past Friday night, he took my car and all the parts. Agony! We text a few times as he wanted decisions from me. Then, another text that he needed a tool from his dad and it would be the next day before I got my car back. More agony! At noon on Saturday his long awaited text announced that the project was finished and I could come over to pick her up.
At this point, I have convinced myself that the money was well spent even if only to have a really good looking air intake installed. At the very least, I would now be worthy enough to open the hood of my car at the next Saturday morning “Cars & Coffee” meet up.
My wife and I arrived at his home and there it was, my beautiful Camaro, resting comfortably after surgery. I inspected the engine bay and felt some of the engine parts to make sure that the operation went well. We chatted a bit, as he explained the scope of the project. He was actually quite happy to do the work. He wanted to install one in his car. Now he knows exactly how it all goes together. My car and I just became an essential part of his “learning curve.”
Time to drive! I carefully backed out of his garage. It seems the computer has already figured out that the car has new lungs. No roughness. No hesitation. My wife followed me as I drove through the subdivision at less than 25 miles per hour. Nothing was different. I knew it was in there. I’d seen it. I’d touched it. Nothing! Already, I was rationalizing once again my purchase decision and in my mind practiced defending it to my wife. Surely, we would be having that discussion later this evening.
After an eternity, I turned on to Charleston Avenue. Just one more block and we’ll be on the highway home. Radio is off, top is down, and I’m intently listening to the engine purr. Turning left on to the 215 entrance ramp, I checked the gauges and all were “up and green!” My radar detector was silent. It was time. I floored it.
My car literally leapt in to action. Suddenly, a loud growl came out of my engine. I’ve never heard that before. Pushing through the gears the growl came back with each shift, time and time again. OMG! This was a new car. Racing on to the highway, we were mercifully given very light traffic and no police. I kept up my incessant demand for more. The V8 gladly gave it to me. We were passing through 100 miles per hour and it felt effortless. No drag, no hesitation, just pure raw power.
Air now flowed impressively through the scoop and up in to the air-box. The filter cleansed it and sent it on its way along the tube and in to my engine. Air is what my engine demanded. I never knew. I felt as if I had been suffocating her for four months. Now, I was rewarded with power and speed I had never known. Slowing. Speeding up. It was always the same as the growl came back every time. Even in the higher gears, no matter the speed, if I demanded it, she would growl out her approval and pin my head back to the head rest.
Once off the highway, we came to the inevitable stop lights at intersections. Idle was again a calm 500 rpm. Light turns green and I discover that I need to relearn driving. Yoda came in to my head screaming “calm down young Jedi.” Acceleration from a stop light is quick. Since, I had no desire to run down pedestrians, I quickly learned how to control myself and my car.
The garage door opened and I pulled inside. Again the engine returned to a calm 500 rpm. As I turned off the ignition, she gave me one last delight, the sound of “whoosh” as air evacuated the air-box. My wife, behind me the whole trip in her own Camaro, heard and saw it all. No defense of my decision would be needed this night. She simply turned to me and said, “I need one of those too.”