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Old 07-06-2011, 12:28 AM   #1
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Unhappy College Kid Trying to Make Smart Improvements to his Camaro

Parents put the money down on my Camaro at christmas '10, I know, i'm lucky, but I pick up full payments soon, and I'm trying to make it the best vehicle it can be. I don't have a much budget, or know much more than the basics as far as performance, So I'm open to any help and suggestions. Whatever changes I will make will be hard earned and take time.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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Just finished getting 15% Tint Installed All Around, Looks Nice. Hopefully no trouble with LEO's
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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I'm a college student too. I would say get an MRT exhaust 1 or 2, it's up to you. I have the version 2. And it's about $60-100 to install.

Enjoy your car and save up for upgrades. Do lots of window shopping so you know what you want when the money comes around.

I've had my car for two years and only changed the exhaust (about 5 months after I got mine) but come two years later I have been able to save quite a few pennies. Most of my things are in the mail and I'll be adding mine soon, my build thread is kinda empty at the moment.

But like I said already, the key is enjoying your car even if it's still stock.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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The Tint

Here is the Pictures of the 15% tint I got installed yesterday, Sorry the car is dirty, should have washed it before the Tint, now I have to wait.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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Those exhaust run about 4 to 500? because at this point that's out of my price range but could be something to save up for. What will they change as far as the car? how it runs, sound? etc.. And i'm glad I'm not the only one that can't just drop buckets of money into the car. Though each car i've seen has been awesome.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Tell your dealer to take that unsightly billboard off your Camaro's bumper. That shouldn't cost you anything, and it will greatly enhance the appearance of the car.

Nice color choice. CGM looks good with the black rally stripes.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
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On MRT's site its $430 for the V1 and $499 for the V2. You might get a little more hp out of it compared to stock but it won't be noticeable. It will totally make the car sound so much better and they'll make the rear of the car look better.

I like cruising around campus with my windows down. I love the sound. It's loud when you want to be but also quiet when you need to be.

I would just look at what you want to change and then make a list. Axle back Exhaust and CAI (around $320 depending on the type) are the most common beginner mods.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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And I agree with kmcd on the dealer tag, cleans up the look without that on there.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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You should be able to get it off with your fingernails, just use some goo gone to loosen it up.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:42 PM   #10
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Dude , you really need to keep youre car clean..

If are on a budget, get some LS3 mufflers. most people give them away or almost Free. this will save weight and give it a nice sound.

You can also add a lid spoiler, they sell them on ebay for about $150 painted.

And start saving for those wheels, you can get a used set of 20" RS rims with tires for about 600 bucs, this will be the most dramatic change you can do to youre LS.

Good luck
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #11
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Alright, that's a lot of good advice, I'll go out and get that Sticker off now, never really thought of that before. And Thanks, I like the color to, (of course)

And about LS3 mufflers, what will those do as far as the car? and a lid spoiler seems pretty cool, might have to check that out.

600 for the RS? is that my best bet as far as getting new rims? because I was thinking that when I upgrade that I would get some Black ones, though I know they would cost more. Any ideas there?

Sorry for all the questions guys, Thanks for the continued help. My dad drives a beamer and just takes it to the shop, so all mechanical in cars stuff I have to figure out on my own or pay someone.

And finally, I know, I know, I'm insulting the whole board with how dirty my car is, 4 Days till I can wash it :(
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:58 PM   #12
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Wheels.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #13
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Alright, that's a lot of good advice, I'll go out and get that Sticker off now, never really thought of that before. And Thanks, I like the color to, (of course)

And about LS3 mufflers, what will those do as far as the car? and a lid spoiler seems pretty cool, might have to check that out.
They will save weight, make the car sound a little louder, and the exhaust tips are larger (looks better IMO) Plus is the cheapest exhaust upgrade you can get.

600 for the RS? is that my best bet as far as getting new rims? because I was thinking that when I upgrade that I would get some Black ones, though I know they would cost more. Any ideas there?

Thats was just my suggestion because youre on a budget, You can also buy just the rims, have them powdercoated black and but the tires later when you get more $$

Sorry for all the questions guys, Thanks for the continued help. My dad drives a beamer and just takes it to the shop, so all mechanical in cars stuff I have to figure out on my own or pay someone.

And finally, I know, I know, I'm insulting the whole board with how dirty my car is, 4 Days till I can wash it :(
c
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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You won't be able to get a set of RS wheels new for $600, but you could get a used set that is in pretty good shape. If you want black wheels, the easiest thing to do would be to plasti dip the used RS wheel you get or paint them. I suggest plasti-dip only because it is easier and reversible.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:10 PM   #15
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Ya, I got ya. I meant new as in new to me. I was reading the other Boards and it the muffler change will void my muffler warranty? Though it's just muffler, my folks would flip if I void anything. So that might have to wait till it's all mine.

So would plasti-dip or powdercoat be better? is that the same thing etc.. and alright. That will most likely be what I do with the tires and rims in the future, I'm always on a budget but I don't want to be cheap.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:17 PM   #16
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If you do the muffler swap then you void your warranty on your muffler. Basically, whatever you change/swap out on the car you lose the warranty for that part. The only way you can lose your whole power-train warranty is if you tune the car.

Plasti-dipping is not the same as powder coating. Plasti-dip is basically a rubber/plastic spray paint. To do your wheels you would maybe spend like $30. Powder coating, is the wheels are painted and then baked at ~450 degrees to set the paint. They will not chip or anything, basically it is more durable than regular paint. Though you'd look to spend about $450 or more to powder coat the wheels.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:41 PM   #17
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What stieger said.

Obviously they won't warranty you mufflers anymore, but it won't affect your overall warranty.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:51 PM   #18
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My first mod was to have the front & back bowties painted. You could do a gray or a black. Inexpensive and makes the car stand out. I had mine done at a dealer's for $75 plus they detailed it. You could probably have it done for less, or, if you're handy with paint at all, just for the cost of the paint.

Nice ride.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:56 PM   #19
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Those exhaust run about 4 to 500? because at this point that's out of my price range but could be something to save up for. What will they change as far as the car? how it runs, sound? etc.. And i'm glad I'm not the only one that can't just drop buckets of money into the car. Though each car i've seen has been awesome.
I have the MRT V2 and was about 420 shipped then 60 install and welded...However there was another Camaro LS in the shop where I go at the same time who got a "custom" really just a Flowmaster 40series for around 120 plus about 60 install....so there are options, I would go to the V6 exhaust thread and find something on there to your liking. There are DEFINATELY some affordable options out there...also look in the marketplace, there is always someone selling there used exhaust which is perferctly fine and alot cheaper!
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #20
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If you do the muffler swap then you void your warranty on your muffler. Basically, whatever you change/swap out on the car you lose the warranty for that part. The only way you can lose your whole power-train warranty is if you tune the car.

Plasti-dipping is not the same as powder coating. Plasti-dip is basically a rubber/plastic spray paint. To do your wheels you would maybe spend like $30. Powder coating, is the wheels are painted and then baked at ~450 degrees to set the paint. They will not chip or anything, basically it is more durable than regular paint. Though you'd look to spend about $450 or more to powder coat the wheels.
450 is a VERY high guesstimation for Powdercoating....Average for PC is around 50.$ a wheel...On the high side MAYBE 65 a wheel...If you pay more you did not shop around.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:28 PM   #21
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450 is a VERY high guesstimation for Powdercoating....Average for PC is around 50.$ a wheel...On the high side MAYBE 65 a wheel...If you pay more you did not shop around.
Maybe where you are. But here, just outside of DC you'd be lucky to get under $100 a wheel.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #22
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Maybe where you are. But here, just outside of DC you'd be lucky to get under $100 a wheel.
my brother got the wheels on his rsx pc and I think he paid 375 for all 4.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:59 PM   #23
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I'll definitely look into those things, got the dealer tag off, it was hot enough that it just came right off with some fingernail help.

So the consensus is that I can get the wheels powdercoated for between 375-450$ but could Plasti- Dip for 30$, I checked out some videos on Plasti-dipping, look pretty easy, since I've worked with paint before. Definitely think buying and painting the Rims black is a better option than paying a crap load for already black ones.

If I'm swapping the muffler out who would have to do that? because i read that most professional body shops won't do that.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:41 PM   #24
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Yes they will, its basically just cut the old one and weld the new one, all of the hangers will be on the same spot, when i did mine, it was like a 15 minute job, and it made a ton of difference in sound
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #25
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LS3 mufflers are 22 pounds each. I can't see the LS mufflers being heavier than that. If you want to improve the sound that is one thing, just don't expect to save any weight with them. Most of them get tossed in the trash once they come off.

Easiest way to improve your car on a budget is hit the for sale threads and get second hand parts. It may not be the most glamourous way to do it, but most of the time they will work just fine and they still accomplish your goal, improving your car. Besides, nobody else needs to know what you paid or who you paid for them do they?

You can find take off 20" rims for $400-600, you can find take off mufflers for less than 50% of new cost all over the place. Same thing with CAI's.

I took my fast food budget and gas budget and cut them in half and added that to the car fund. You would be amazed how fast you can save a couple of bucks that way.

I don't miss those days.

Good luck with your build.
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