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Old 01-24-2009, 02:36 AM   #1
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Tips for First Timer

Hello Everyone,
In a few months I might get my drivers license, and to my delight my dad told me he would pass on to me his 1994 Camaro Z28. It has a lot of miles on it 200,XXX something miles, so it's not new or fancy and it was a DD. But I'm a huge Camaro fan so I'm definitely not complaining at ALL.

The question being, have any tips or any Do's and Dont's for a first timer on routine maintenance and stuff you guys would generously to pass on? I joined hoping I could get advice so I wouldn't screw up the car in the future.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to the best Camaro site, I have a few basic tips

DO - check the oil level(make sure its full) and change it every 3,000 miles or 3 months
DO - Check the spare tire every other month and make sure it has air(bad experience for me...)
DO NOT - use Fix A Flat - will rot rims
DO NOT - Overfill the oil(can break seals and other problems)
DO NOT - Go offroading
DO NOT - Drive into trees
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
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Check your oil and transmission fluid. With a car with that many miles you need to stay on top of it because many things can go wrong. Just baby it and don't drive like an idiot.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
Congrats!
And it's a Z28 none-the-less!

Here's A major for the don't list.
DO NOT take corners in that car. And do not accelerate heavily while turning. The back end of that car will literally kick out from behind you before you know what happened.
My friends have lost alot of amazing machines that way.
that happened to me in my second gen
Luckily I got it under control before crashing into the curb and the bus infront of me.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:01 AM   #5
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I like this site better by far than the rest. I prefer the organization by Generations, others sort it out by sections of the car, if I recall correctly.

That makes perfect sence, I didn't know that "Fix a flat" will rot rims. That is definatly a thing to know. I can only imagine what would happen if you are going 70+ on a highway and all of the sudden your rims act up. :(
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:03 AM   #6
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A Z28 none the less!

Plus, most of my friends have 4 and 6 cylinder BMW's. So it'll be nice to rev my engine while they're trying to show off their new paint job!
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:05 AM   #7
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How did that happen? The car just turned the other way?
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCool View Post
I like this site better by far than the rest. I prefer the organization by Generations, others sort it out by sections of the car, if I recall correctly.

That makes perfect sence, I didn't know that "Fix a flat" will rot rims. That is definatly a thing to know. I can only imagine what would happen if you are going 70+ on a highway and all of the sudden your rims act up. :(
yeah my boss told me that today(head manager at a Chevy dealer)
and be careful when you show off to BMW's, Honda's ,and V6s Mustangs
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:20 AM   #9
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Conflict: Why's that?
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:27 AM   #10
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Sandman: I definitely agree, young people often times don't understand the consequences of things sometimes. Good advice.

Thanks a lot, I actually told my dad about Seafoam, and he said he heard good things about it. Hopefully, with the help of this website , I'll be able to keep it and enjoy it for a long while.

Wow, I guess calling that a "blonde" moment is an understatement?
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:30 AM   #11
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I'm assuming he meant don't do something stupid and wreck your car in front of them...
Remember, you have a Z28, you're way above them, so it wont take too much to beat them.
I'll have to remember that, and save my gas for something worth the gas money.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:38 AM   #12
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Wow, that really sucks. One bad decision practically ruined his life/future and that of innocent others...amazing how things can change in milliseconds.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:51 AM   #13
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Also, if I recall correctly, synthetic oil is better for cars w/high miles?
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Also, if I recall correctly, synthetic oil is better for cars w/high miles?
Once you go synthetic, don't go back. Use the high-mileage oils. Pick a brand with a good reputation.

It is good to have another new member. I wish my first car were half as fast as yours. Treat it well and don't let anyone hit you or you'll end up driving something you wish you weren't. I wish I never let that Accord hit my Cobalt. There wasn't much I could do about him running a red light, but I still wish I had that car.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dbotsfordtat View Post
Wear a condom and don't give her your real number.
That wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I guess that works too.

BTW, changing the spark plugs is supposed to be a pain right? Everytime I go to change them I get some serial numbe imprinted on my arm for about an hour... :P
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:31 PM   #16
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Mine was getting 4.848~MPG consistently before I got a cam tune and PCM tune. I'm sitting at around 10-14MPG
Are you sure that your gas mileage isn't because of your 4.10 rear end, your high stall, and your other mods?
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:45 PM   #17
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Do not drive like an idiot, and crash your damn car. That is all I can say. Higher speeds, the higher the risk. Blow a tire at high speed, and its over. Comprende!
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #18
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To the OP. Just enjoy it and be careful. Just because you have a fast car doesn't mean you have to drive fast everywhere. I've learned that over the past couple years since I've had my Z.

Sure, the first couple months after I got it I would 'get on it' and have a little fun with it, but that's just because it is the fastest car I've owned, and my first v8.

I still goose it every once in awhile when I feel a need for a rush, or want to hear the beautiful sound of my 346ci LS1 through my Flowmaster Super 40. But, I do this when no cars are near-by.

Just be careful and enjoy it.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:10 PM   #19
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My advice would be instead of being scared of the performance vehicle, take your time to learn its limits of traction and cornering etc. Once you learn how to handle a vehicle with moderate power you will learn to decicively control it in most situations.

This is an LT1 Z28 people, not some 1000hp race car. You have to be a real idiot to lose one. I think most people overestimate their driving ability.

At any rate in your case with 200k on the clock, just do maintenance and drive reasonably until you can afford a built motor..
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #20
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From what I've learned about Camaro motors, they are strong motors even stock, right?

My plan for this car is to keep it in good working order, put some extra kick into it (on top of the muscle it already has ) for work and daily driving.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milk 1027 View Post
Check your oil and transmission fluid. With a car with that many miles you need to stay on top of it because many things can go wrong. Just baby it and don't drive like an idiot.
baby it? its an LT1. dont worry about "babying it" just keep the revs under 6k



Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCool View Post
BTW, changing the spark plugs is supposed to be a pain right? Everytime I go to change them I get some serial numbe imprinted on my arm for about an hour... :P
yes, spark plugs on LT1s are a PITA. you have to go from underneath for a couple of them. some people remove the starter for extra room. others do the "superman" across the engine to get the angle needed to get the #6 and 8 out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
And Yeah. Optispark may be the worst idea in automotive history... You might have a better time dropping your engine to change the damned plugs, I have to bend a crescent with a torch to get to them.

For all the people who think the opti is the worst idea in the world, ill let you know that stock opti's have powered 1000hp+ LT1s. its actually a decent design, its just mounted in the worst place possible on the motor. under the water pump, on the front of the motor and open to the elements.

I would go with full synthetic oil, I use Castrol but my friends use Mobile 1.
I would go to Royal Purple full synth with a Wix filter. I just got back today from my local car club's tuning shop and they swapped the oil to M1 and lost 7hp and 11ft lbs.


And I kinda wish some one would run into me very gently... on both sides, so I could get a nice new coat of paint.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCool View Post
From what I've learned about Camaro motors, they are strong motors even stock, right?

My plan for this car is to keep it in good working order, put some extra kick into it (on top of the muscle it already has ) for work and daily driving.
yes, LT1s have a very flat, broad powerband starting at around 1800rpms and dropping off around 5500. stock they are around 285 to the wheels.

as said before, learn the vehicles capabilities but moreso, learn your own.

now.... for some things for power...


LT1 “Free Mods” for Horsepower
De-screening the MAF sensor.

****WARNING!!!.THE MAF IS EXTREMELY SENSITIVE BE CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING IT! NEVER TOUCH THE WIRES EITHER! *****

Start by removing the MAF from the car and finding a clean area to work. There?s many ways to remove the screen, but probably the safest way is to use a Torx head socket and unbolt the 2 metal halves from the actual sensor. This will prevent you from accidentally damaging the wires. Set the sensor aside where it won?t get damaged.

Some people have had some negative effects from removing the MAF screen, so I would suggest trying not to damage it while removing it. There is a small snap ring that can be removed with a pick or small screwdriver, and the screen will come out, in one piece. I?d do this just incase you need to reinstall it.

If you don?t care about the screen. Grab a screwdriver and go wild.

Throttle body bypass.

Start by removing the intake elbow so you can easily see the underside of the throttle body. Locate the hose that leads from the radiator to the drivers side of the TB. Have plenty of rags ready and loosen the clamp. Some coolant will drain out, it?s not much, but try to keep it from spilling on the Opti. Next, find the hose that leads from the TB to the steam pipe. (it?s the other hose on the bottom of the TB). Remove the hose from the TB and from the steam pipe. Now take the first hose and connect it directly to the steam pipe. Clamp it down and you?re finished. Some people use caps to cover the ports on the TB, but it?s not necessary.

Intake silencer delete

This one requires a bit of creativity, but it?s pretty straight forward. Start by removing the intake elbow. You?re probably going to need to cut the clamp off the silencer, then remove it. Now you just need to find something to plug the whole with. I?ve heard some shampoo bottle caps and deodorant caps work or you can trace the shape on to some wood or aluminum and cut it out. Then simply insert the cap into the hole and use a new hose clamp to clamp it down. When inserting the cap, try to position it so it is flush with the surface on the inside of the elbow.

50 Cent Skip shift eliminator.

Another one that?s not pretty but it will work. Go to Radio Shack and buy a 2200 Ohm ? Watt resistor. Disconnect the wire harness on the CAGS solenoid and insert one end of the resistor into each of the 2 ports on the harness (wire side, not the solenoid side) tape up the harness and resistor so water can?t get to it. Then tape up the solenoid connector for the same reason. Ziptie the wire harness somewhere out of the way so it doesn?t fall out and drag on the ground.

This will disable the Skip shift solenoid, however the light on the dash will still light up when it?s trying to activate.

Gutting the catalytic converter

DISCLAIMER: FOR OFF ROAD USE ONLY

This isn't technically free, but its usually cheap. WARNING.you will fail visual inspection during emissions testing and most people fail the smog test without a cat. The easiest thing to do is find a muffler shop and ask if they will cut out the CAT and weld in a straight pipe. It is illegal for them to do this, but most places don?t really care. Try to avoid the chain muffler shops, use an independently owned shop. They're more likely to say yes.




Basic LT1 Bolt-ons
Intake Components
Colt Air Intake (CAI) (brands: Moroso, K&N, SLP, IRS, Hypertech(Air Foil), etc.) - $150 to $300 - Replaces the stock Air Box and Filter with larger filter(K&N Usually) and better flowing intake tract that connects to the MAF Sensor.

Mass Air Flow Sensor Ends (MAF Ends) - $50 to ? - Replaces stock MAF ends and Maf screen with a ported set of MAF Ends that still utilize the original MAF Sensor. Please note that ported MAFs can respond unpredictably and have caused driveability problems in some cars. The stock MAF flows enough for 400+ hp so most bolt-on cars won’t need MAF upgrades.

1LE Elbow - Approx $70 - Replaces the stock unit with a smoother unit that does away with the silencer(the donkey dong on the bottom of the stock elbow).

Air Foil- $30 to $60 - Bolts to the front of the Stock Throttle Body to smooth out the airflow going into the intake.

Throttle Body (aka a “TB”) - Starting around $320 for a 52MM or 58MM BBK which is the most often purchased TB, or you can port them yourself free of charge if you have a dremel at your disposal.

Exhaust Components
Catback Exhaust (Brands: Hooker, Mac, BBK, SLP, Borla, Flowmaster, FLP, Edlebrock, Magnaflow) - $250 to Custom - A performance exhaust system that starts after the catalytic converter and generally includes all pipes, the mufller, and tips.

Headers - $300 to Custom - Shorties include Hooker, Mac, Edlebrock, BBK, etc. and Longtubes include Hooker, FLP, etc. and custom setups from Kooks and other manufacturers.

Y-Pipes - $250 to Custom - Y-Pipes are generally included in Shorty Header systems but not always and are rarely included in Longtube Header systems. Y-Pipes are shaped like a “Y” and connect both header collectors to the I-Pipe which connects to the Muffler System.

Cutout/Electric Cut-Out - $30/$200 - Exhaust dump best placed in front of the cats or as far down the I-Pipe as possible if you wish to stay emissions legal.

Misc.
160 Degree Thermostat - $20 - A thermostat which opens at a lower temperature allowing the car to run cooler, usually used in conjunction with a Hypertech Power Programmer or a Fan Switch that allows you to turn the fans on earler as well.

Underdrive Pullies (Crank and Alternator) - $60 to $100 - These pullies are resized and replace the stock pullies allowing the motor to free up some lost HP that was formerly used to turn the accessories. The pullies free up HP by turning the accessories slower requiring less effort from the motor.
Manual Fan Switch - Free to $75- Used to manualy turn the radiator fans on and off when needed. TO do so for free, all you need is an automotive relay, switch, and some wire….10bucks at radioshack

Weight Loss - FREE!!! - Any thing that you can do without on the car and are willing to yank out. Weight is the ultimate name of the game and you will see the most gains from weight loss..weight is 90% of racing. The general rule of thumb is 100 lbs off the car equals one tenth reduction in 1/4 mile ET.

The most often asked question is “what are the first mods I should do to increase my car’s performance?”. Basically, all a car wants/needs to make more power is air. Increase the amount of air going into and out of the motor and you will increase the power output. Best way to do this is to increase the volume of air going into the motor while also maintaining a high air velocity. The first few mods installed on the car should be purchased to accomplish this. First and foremost, the most productive component you can install to get the most power from your stock car is the CAI. From there, most people move on to installing the Catback exhaust. Don’t buy a complete longtube exhaust system with custom piping, no cats, and cutout expecting to see maximum gains when you haven’t touched the intake system yet. You always want to try and balance out the intake and exhaust system so that you have an equally balanced motor, otherwise you are leaving power out on the table. First few power mods should be a complete intake system and complete exhaust system.



a friend of mine has created a website dedicated to the LT1 Camaro
http://shbox.com/1/4th_gen_tech1.html
its got all sorts of info about the LT1, things to do for routine maintenance, how-to's for troubleshooting and repair, torque specs, part numbers, etc.



Seafoam was mentioned before and I highly recommend it.
http://www.lt1engine.com/tech/how-to...arbon-buildup/
follow the directions to a "T" and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

also as mentioned before, switching to synthetic motor oil is always good. I recommend Royal Purple 5w-30 with a Wix filter. I first switched my 94Z to synthetic at 135k and she's been going strong (save for my busted transmission)


speaking of transmissions, A4 or M6? if A4, change the fluid and filter. DO NOT FLUSH the trans. with the miles that are on the car, a simple filter and fluid swap is all you should do. reason being is that with the miles on the car, what can happen is some of the sludge and gunk build up inside the trans will actually keep things together longer. but when you flush it and clean all that stuff out, it can wear more on the trans parts. if M6, change the fluid.
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Read that link that Spike posted, it'll tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:56 PM   #22
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also, feel free to ask for help/advice/etc. ive also got some friends who can get you parts and whatnot cheaper than most anywhere else.
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Read that link that Spike posted, it'll tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 01-24-2009, 05:23 PM   #23
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Thanks CamaroSpike, this will keep me busy for a while and help me know what I should pinch my pennies for.

Also, Seafoaming your car only applies to the engine and gas tank, right? You wouldn't seaform your tansmission or something of the sort?

For awhile I was debating with myself if I should join or not, but now I'm glad I did. Some of this stuff I've been told before, but it's easy to forget sometimes. There's always something new to learn.

Right now I'm looking for a distributor cap and rotor. Autozone wants $160 for a kit with both, and that's the cheapest I'm finding right now. Some other guy wanted $460, saying it was a kit too with both Cap and rotor. :( I'll probably go with autozone.

It had a few problems that we have cut in half now:
1.)It wouldn't downshift when you wanted to punch it after crusing, which we solved with a new computer.
2.)But it starts rough and idles bad, and starts to make a certain noise and shakes above 60 MPH or so. So we think it's that.

Thanks for the website CamaroSpike, it'll also be alot of fun doing some of the mods mentioned.
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Old 01-24-2009, 05:41 PM   #24
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Everyone gave some great advice. Try your best not to show off. That always gets you in trouble. Something that has always been helpful to me (even to this day) is to "practice" driving. What I mean by that is find an empty lot somewhere where you can get the car squirrely and learn how to get yourself out of it. I love doing this in the snow or the rain. It helps you to make things automatic in the event that it happens to you when you are actually driving. I used this a few years ago when my truck started to hydroplane right into oncoming traffic, then got traction and threw me into the gravel median. Also, if you get the chance, find a place that offers defensive driving courses. They are usually not that expensive and are very helpful. They might even save you money on car insurance. Welcome to the site. Good luck and stay safe!
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:18 PM   #25
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hey man, congrats on the car! i myself just got my license a couple of months ago, and i bought this beat up '86 camaro berlinetta for $550. it runs great, just looks like crap on the exterior. its only got 87xxx but its also 23 years old lol. anyways, you shud post some pics of this z28 u got. like you, im a BIG camaro fan, so its kool to see what other members have!
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