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Old 09-08-2011, 05:17 PM   #29
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Bumble Bee Stripes

I added stripes to my very plain black SS.

I would not have done this if they were not so cheap.

Under $200 installed.







The local Sign A Rama did the install. The stripes are not a perfect fit over the spoiler. And the gills look a little too large for the indentations. Was it the stripes or the installer? Not sure. Quite a few little bubbles. The installer said these would disappear once the car sees some sun. The stripes are well aligned and the price was right.

If I tire of this look I can always take them off. But for now it looks good from a distance. Tons of likes and comments on my Facebook page. The bright orange was a scary choice.

Next, IOM door and dash panels?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:44 PM   #30
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For several months now I have been running LTs and high flow cats on my LS3 with the stock catback. At first I was very happy. But over time a few things bothered me:
  • At high RPMs there was a very loud slapping sound.
  • The LS3 deacceleration pops were very loud
  • Overall the sound was raspy and somewhat high pitched.
After listening to many sound clips and other Camaros and Corvettes I decided to make a change. I would add an axle back system and get rid of the giant cans.

I did not want my exhaust to be overly loud and definitely no drone. With LTs you have to be careful if you want to keep the volume low. I enjoy long trips and not waking up the neighbors and my dogs late at night.

So i researched and listened to more clips. At the end I chose the MagnaFlow Street series Axle back. This system is reasonably priced and came highly recommended. The other axle back I considered was the Borla Touring which is also the street GMMP axle back. I chose the Magnaflow because I could find it cheaper than the Borla.

So I ordered it. Several days later the box arrived. The installation went smoothly. I was afraid to cut my mid-pipes too short so I made the first cut with the Sawzall close to the mufflers. Then I mounted the muffler with the extra connector pipe so I could mark the exact spot to cut on each side.

I used lithium spray grease on those pesky rubber connectors to make things easier. Then I made the last two final cuts and put on both mufflers and connector pipes. After that I went to the back of the car and made sure both tips were in the right spot and evenly matched. Finally I tightened down all the bolts.

Fitment was perfect and all the parts looked high quality. The only tight spot was on the drivers side where the pipe came pretty close to the BMR sway bar grease fitting.

After starting up the car I loved the improved sound. Much deeper and less raspy. THen I took the SS out for a long drive to visit my aunt and uncle out by the Mullica river.

My thoughts:
  • The MagnaFlow Street is perfect for me with the LTs.
  • Great sound all through the rev range. The slapping sound is gone. The MagnaFlows are a bit quieter at full throttle.
  • The deaccelertion popping is still there but very muted. Quieter than the stock exhaust without the cats.
  • My gas milage seemed to improve a little. I was seeing a 33 mpg average going 55 on a flat road. I never saw numbers like that before. Is this possible? (Edit: Now that the computer has adjusted to the change the milage is back to normal LS3)
  • The car seems a little slower. Maybe this is just beacuse the MagnaFlows are a bit quieter than the stock catback at full throttle. Hopefully this is just an impression. (Edit: After a few drives the fun is back!)
I recommend the Magnaflow Street series for anyone who wants a great sound with LTs while not making big noise.






Last edited by Fraxum; 10-22-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:13 PM   #31
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The Drone is here

To follow up on this install....

After driving around for a bit I found the Magnaflow install has pulled the exhaust lower and it was up against the rear edge of the tunnel brace. So I went to Lowes and bought longer bolts and a couple boxes of washers. I think it took seven washers on each bolt to get it low enough.


There may be better solutions, but this was simple and cheap.

As far as gas milage goes over time I have seen no real change. I have not replicated that first trip. My car must have been running a bit lean and now the computer has things right back to where they were before the install.

Also the performance is back too. Power shifting into second now brings on the traction control big time. I should really get out to the track to see what it will do.

Now the bad. Drone. It is there. My first rides were with the windows were down and I did not notice the dreaded drone. Now that the weather is cooler and the windows are up the drone is noticeable. The other day I was out with three passengers and the drone was pretty bad. in sixth gear from 50-70 and especially bad going uphill.

Shifting down to fifth is better. With just me in the car it is not quite as bad, but still there.

So what next? Maybe the Helmholtz solution. Or maybe some gears. I still have the LS3 resonators on, maybe they are the culprit.

Last edited by Fraxum; 01-03-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:00 AM   #32
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Hey - what's up? Was wondering if you already installed the Resonated X-pipe to eliminate the drone?
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:01 PM   #33
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A quiet exhaust solution

Lately I have seen a few posts here about having long tubes with a semi-quiet exhaust system. So i want to share my experience with my LS3 and a similar quest.

Some of us like to hear our motors but in a subdued way. While we like speed we also want to take our cars on long trips with our families and be able to listen to and enjoy music and books on tape. And there is a special kind of fun in having a fast car that doesn't sound fast or attract attention.

My car is an LS3 and i was looking to add long tubes and high flow cats while avoiding a loud exhaust and hopefully not spending a lot of money.

For starters I found a great deal on a set of used 1 7/8 Bigflow stainless LTs with a pair of high flow cats. I installed these myself in my garage. I started out by keeping the stock catback. I was hoping that this combination would keep things quiet while spending the least dollars.

One strange thing about the BFE cats is they are longer than most and require you to cut your stock sized cutback to install. But since I would only be cutting the stock pipes, I did not see this as a problem.

My results with the LTs and stock cutback:
The Good -
  • Almost as quiet as stock at lower RPM with a nice little growl.
  • No drone.
The Bad -
  • De-accel popping is very loud
  • Wide open at higher rpm is very loud with a very annoying slapping sound
Since it was quiet at lower speeds I did not mind it being loud at high rpm. But the high speed sound was awful to my ears. It had to be fixed.

I did not want to buy an expensive cat back and then cut it to install. So I looked around and decided to install one of the quieter axle-backs, the Magnaflow Street. This seem to be ideal. It would keep the car quiet, while saving some weight replacing the huge stock muffler cans.

My results with the Magnaflow axle-back:
The Good -
  • The tone was deeper than stock
  • The sound was much better at high rpm
  • De-accel popping was much quieter than before
The Bad -
  • Drone.
At speeds between 55-75 the thrumming, while not overly loud was very tiring on a long trip. And with 4 people in the car the drone was especially bad. More had to be done.

I put up a post talking about the drone and a vendor suggested I try the Magnaflow X-Pipe. This pipe (which looks like a muffler) replaces the stock LS3 H pipe and is also part of the Street Series cutback.

So I bought the pipe and had it installed in a local muffler shop today. It replaces the stock H-pipe and leaves the stock LS3 resonators. While they were at it they fixed a couple of exhaust leaks and let me know one of my sway bar brackets fell off. They also moved things around to give me a little more clearance over the rear tunnel cross brace.


My results with the X-pipe:
The good -
  • Quiet at low speeds
  • A nice deep tone at idle
  • De-Accel popping is almost imperceptible.
  • Quieter at high RPM
  • No drone.
The bad -
  • Some might think it too quiet (but not me).
Overall I would say my car sounds about 10 percent louder than stock at low speeds and 25 percent louder at speed.

For anyone looking for a quiet LT set up I can recommend LTs with the Magnaflow Street Series products. With the X-Pipe install cost I ended up spending almost as much as a full cat-back. If i were to do it over I would probably just buy the Street series cat-back and then cut it to fit the BFE cats. However then I would lose the LS3 resonators which may be the things that makes my setup work for me. Then again they may be contributing to the drone.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike.nite View Post
Hey - what's up? Was wondering if you already installed the Resonated X-pipe to eliminate the drone?
I finally got around to it. I am liking the result. But not everyone will.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #35
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Nice build and great detail to perfection! Nothing at all wrong with doing it the right way!! That means not having to do it over......
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:10 AM   #36
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congrats! According to your older posts the Magnaflow resonated X-Pipe seems to be the perfect fix!

Looking forward to hear your feedback after some more miles.
(Setups tend to get a lil louder with some more miles).
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:50 AM   #37
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1LE is coming! But continuing to enjoy my SS.

I am really excited about the 1LE. If you have not heard about it yet see here:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212140

I hope to be ordering one once I get our RAV4 paid off. This is exactly what I was trying to build. I know some who are waiting for the next Z28 are disappointed, but to me the 1LE is the next Z28 minus some extra HP. And that is easy to fix with the LS3.

The 1LE has a more long term track history than the Z28 since for years the Z28 was just the V8 Camaro. In in those years the 1LE was the track version of the Z28. So for those years Z28 < 1LE. But the Z28 is a much cooler name and in the Camaro Gen 1 days it was a legend. The 1LE never got a rep mostly because no one knew about it. And the racing it participated in never was as popular as the old Trans Am series.

But none of this is the fault of the Z28. Dragging the Z28 name through the mud was the fault of the "old" GM. The new GM is much more serious about building cars for the enthusiast. Us! So when a new Z28 comes out I am sure it will be worthy of the name.

So while I am looking forward to my next Camaro, I will keep enjoying the Camaro I have. Happiness is planning for the future, but living in the moment. This took me years to learn, but learning is what life is is all about.

Back the the moment.

I am still having problems with wheel hop and the more knowledgable than me crowd has suggested Trailing Arm Outer bushings and a wheel alignment. that thread is here:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=198752

I bought the BMR OTA bushing and also the BMR front bushing kit all of which I plan to do myself when I can find the time. A shout out to Apex Chase, great Service. I already made one attempt at installation here:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178013

I will try again.

Anyway I also bought the BMR Tunnel Brace to replace my stock brace with all the washers:



Since the local muffler shop tidied up my exhaust kludge and raised the cat-back I can now use the BMR brace with only a few washers. The BMR brace does provide a little additional clearance.

Last edited by Fraxum; 02-13-2015 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:56 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike.nite View Post
congrats! According to your older posts the Magnaflow resonated X-Pipe seems to be the perfect fix!

Looking forward to hear your feedback after some more miles.
(Setups tend to get a lil louder with some more miles).
Still enjoying the sound. Yes, you are right it is a little louder. But still within reason and no drone!

It has a nice deep idle and wide open the car sings. I can hear some intake noise (a deep breathing sound) and the exhaust sounds sweet with none of that stock can blattiness. (New word, blat is the stock cat-back sound I was trying to describe earlier)

Now I am wondering, if I buy a 1LE do I use the same cat-back and LT system I have now or order the optional SS exhaust flaps? Option 1 will be at least $1,000 cheaper. I need to hear the new exhaust with LTs.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:40 AM   #39
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I think the underlying isshue is still the weight problem. And I havent heard very much about how to solve it, other then carbon fiber, or lighter wheels. If some creative minds can come up with a sallution for the weight problem, I think the Gen5 camaro would handel better then the mustang. With the camaro haveing an independent rear and the mustang having a solid, loosing the weight would make the comaro quicker and better handeling Imo.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #40
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Upgraded BMR suspension creaks (Install Issue?)

Edit: I am just about certain the creaks were due to the sway bars. Once I took them off the the car the creaks disappeared. Some well place lube would have cured.

Last weekend I added outer Trailing Arm Bushings to my suspension build. While doing that I found the source of the creaking sound I have been hearing. So I recorded a video:


The squeaking was there before I did the Trailing Arm outer bushings.

Any theories? The rides seems a bit stiffer after all the bushings.

Could it be they were not "timed"? (I did not do the install.)

Could it be they were not lubed?

Also after my test drive it seemed to me the suspension compliance suffered a little. I wonder about binding....

As to the outer Trailing arm bushings I did this:

1. I Loosely tightened the 4 outer through bolts on the jackstands. I needed to also unbolt the Lower Control Arm on both side and raise the trailing arm to pull out the TA bolts.

2. I put the wheels back on and drove the back end up a set of ramps.

3. Since I could not get my prehistoric torque wrench in there I pulled on an 8 inch box end pretty hard. Think I could over shoot 80 lbs? I do hit the gym on a regular basis.

4. Even if i did overshoot a little doesn't the outer link bushing design preclude binding?

Loving the handling and the overall neutral feel of the car. And no more wheelhop or step-out with the outer TA bushings.

But creaking and worring baout binding? :(

Last edited by Fraxum; 07-24-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistolgripcopo1 View Post
I think the underlying isshue is still the weight problem. And I havent heard very much about how to solve it, other then carbon fiber, or lighter wheels. If some creative minds can come up with a sallution for the weight problem, I think the Gen5 camaro would handel better then the mustang. With the camaro haveing an independent rear and the mustang having a solid, loosing the weight would make the comaro quicker and better handeling Imo.
Check out this build thread. Doc has his SS pretty close to Mustang GT weight.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45165

A very informative thread and a very cool car. But Doc has invested big $$.

I can tell you this, while lighter is better, the the Camaro can be built to out handle the Mustang as you said. IRS and a very stiff chassis gives the Camaro advantage. Case in point, the very heavy ZL1 carries more speed though the corners at VIR than a Boss LS.

When I took my car to the track last year my biggest problem was me. When my instructor took my car over she was running down a base C6 Vette (looked stock, perhaps an auto) and a 2010 Roush Mustang. She was grinning the whole time and remarked the car was an aircraft carrier compared to her track Miata, but she was very impressed. Big speed, composure, and good brakes.

Now my car has more power, almost no understeer (I adjusted my rear sway bar to the max setting), and installed more bushings to get rid of wheelhop and the little bit of step out that was left. Looking forward to going back to the track.

Last edited by Fraxum; 09-16-2012 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:22 PM   #42
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New pics. These were before I put the car on jack stands for two days.






Last edited by Fraxum; 02-13-2015 at 05:58 PM.
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