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Old 10-07-2014, 08:46 PM   #1
Apex Paul

 
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It's About Time This Car Became A Project

Because I work for Apex Motorsports, I have received a ton of grief from friends, customers and others around Apex that I have been driving this Camaro for a couple of years, and it doesn't have a single thing done to make it custom in any way.

But Mexican food and fate have changed all that.

This is my personal car, not an Apex Motorsports project. However, I do intend to put a few details into the car to show some love to the shop.

Here's a picture of the car. It's a (SIM) Silver Ice Metallic SS, equipped with the A6 transmission (L99).



At least that's what it looked like when it was purchased. It was already 2 years old, but had just 1700 miles put on it in those two years. I have since turned it into my daily driver, and have packed on considerably more miles since that time. Right now it has about 47,500 on the clock.

A couple of weeks ago, a lunchtime trip to a local Mexican restaurant to meet with some Apex coworkers for delicious fajitas, turned into something a little harder to swallow; CRASH. While moving through the parking lot of the restaurant, a Ford F250 backed out of a parking space and allowed it's rear bumper to attempt to mate with the nose of the Camaro. The result was no Chevrolet/Ford offspring in the shape of a Camaro with an El Camino bed. Nope, the only thing that came of this was a whole lot of OUCH.



The F250 had nary a scratch. It looked no worse than it did just seconds before. But the Camaro looked like it just got hit in the front with a cannonball. The repair bill came to just under five grand.

With the front end now demolished, I thought I might take the opportunity to make a few changes. So I sat down and thought about what I might want to do. Once I had some ideas, I sat down at the ol' Mac computer and broke out the Illustrator to draw up a "concept".

One of the first things I knew I would do is to change the front end of the car. I really liked the look of the ZL1 much more than the SS. I had been thinking about trading out the SS for that reason, even though there are a ton more reasons to get a ZL1 anyway. But I do like the SS, and I made a promise that I would no longer get rid of any car that I liked ever again. I have a list a half page long of cars that I wish I never sold; 67 RS Camaro, 70 Satellite Convertible, 70 Chevelle, etc., etc., etc.

I had an idea for a color scheme, but I couldn't decide on which way to go. So, I made a post with a poll asking for opinions. Go over and cast a vote. Here are the two set ups. The actual colors will be done in the form of vinyl wrap, the colors being matte black and green apple matte metallic.




In the pictures you can see the idea I have in mind for wheels. One of the wheels that we carry in the store is the Stance SC-5. I've been a huge fan of this wheel since the first time I saw it on one of our great customer's cars, Justin Adams. Here's a better look at the wheel. It's not set in stone, because I also have a lot of love for D2 Forged wheels and several others. But this one is one of my favorites.



I went ahead and had the ZL1 front end installed since the paint was going to be left SIM, and went with a ZL1 hood as well, since the original had to be replaced and the difference in cost was minimal. Here's how she sits today, with the exception of the ZL1 insert. This picture was taken with the insert in place, but it doesn't fit with a stock air intake once the water deflector was installed.



As you can see, I also decided to go with the GM Heritage Grille. Since the car is not a ZL1, and I don't intend to make a "clone" or "tribute" car, I thought I would change the look a bit with the different grille. Originally, the paint shop was supposed to do the grille in SIM paint to match the hood and fascia. But they didn't paint it at all. After seeing it, I decided I liked the look and would just keep it that way as I could always paint it later if I choose.

So, here is where I start. I plan to take my time with the project, and see where it goes. Right now there is no more than a color concept, and I have no idea where this will take me. Let the fun (and misery) begin! I will try to keep track of what things cost as I go through the process, because I am sure I will get asked.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:53 PM   #2
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Sorry to here about ur incident. Looking forward to following ur project.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:42 PM   #3
Apex Paul

 
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I'll use this space to link to the specific posts as they are made. I plan to put up videos, DIY info, etc. as the project moves along.

LIST OF MODIFICATIONS

ZL1 Front End Conversion w/ ZL1 Harness
ZL1 Hood
ACS Composite Hood Insert
P13W LED Driving Lights
H11 LED Fog Lights

COSTS OF MODIFICATIONS

ZL1 Front End & Hood Conversion
  • ZL1 Front Conversion $1200
  • ZL1 Harness $69.50
  • ZL1 Fender Liners $136.54
  • ZL1 Hood $700
  • ACS Composite ZL1 Hood Insert $549
  • P13W DRL Bulbs $54
  • H11 80 Watt LED Fog Lamp Bulbs $91
TOTAL - $2800.04

RUNNING TOTAL FOR ALL MODIFICATIONS - $2800.04

ADDITIONAL COSTS NOT MENTIONED
Painting of fascia, hood and insert
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:28 PM   #4
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I need your old wheels. Ray Charles must have had my car before me, because I have curb rash from hell lol. Your car is going to look sick!
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:30 AM   #5
Apex Paul

 
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Removing Rally Stripes

The car had black vinyl rally stripes before the accident. Once back from paint and wearing the new ZL1 hood, there was no need to have the rally stripes on the deck lid.

With the help of Victoria (or Apex Victoria as some of you know her), the rally stripes were a breeze to remove. Victoria's assistance was much needed, because she had the requisite finger nail length to start peeling an edge of the vinyl from the deck lid.

The stripes came off the flat surfaces of the car very well, leaving only a slight residue of the vinyl adhesive, and only at the edges of the vinyl. This light residue was cleaned with some GooGone and a microfiber cloth, followed by an Adam's Polish orange foam cutting pad and some Adam's Paint Correcting Polish.

The vinyl on the spoiler wrapped underneath, so we decided to remove the spoiler from the deckled. After removing the trunk lid trim (The grey carpet-like thing on the underside of the trunk lid) the spoiler comes off easily. There are 5 spoiler bolts and 1 plastic spoiler retainer that hold the spoiler to the deck lid.

The vinyl left a lot more residue on the spoiler than it did the deck lid. They are the same SIM paint, so I assume it must have to do with the underlying material having different heat soaking properties. In any case, the residue came off with some GooGone and elbow grease.

As you can see, Victoria is quite good at multi-tasking. Here she is cleaning the spoiler while holding the cordless phone to her ear and answering customer's questions.

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Old 10-08-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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ZL1 Front Fascia Conversion

I don't have any pictures taken during the installation, because this was done at the repair shop. But, all of the parts used are listed here. They are all GM parts. All of the parts listed for the swap were about $1200, not including paint or installation, nor the inner fender liners or LED bulb conversions.

Front Fascia, GM part no. 22831868 (#1 in image 1)

Left and right bezel, GM part no. 22895338 (right) and 22895339 (left) (#3 in image 3)

The lower grille is GM part no. 22894223 (#5 in image 2)

Beneath the fascia, the support and absorber are not the same as the SS, so they are also needed. The support is GM part no 20952857 (#22 in image 1) and the absorber (#21 in image 1) is GM part no. 20952853

You will need two DRL retainers, GM part no. 20957334
You will need two fog lights, GM part no. 10335108 You will re-use your SS driving lights (#2 in image 3), so those are not needed, just the lower fog lamps are required. (#1 in image 4) I did not need the GM factory bulb (#2 in image 4) because I am planning to use H11 80 watt LED bulbs instead.

Additionally, you will need some miscellaneous nuts and bolts. Those GM part numbers are 11610157 (10 nuts), 11570637 (20 bolts), 92231490 (10 rivets)

I also opted to change my fender liners to the ZL1 version. GM part no 20952838 and 20952837. This added $136.54 to the cost of the conversion. This isn't totally necessary, but the ZL1 liner has a small portion that goes forward at the bottom, unlike the SS. (#9 in image 5)

The other piece of magic that was needed for the conversion was a harness for the new front end. The SS harness does not work, nor will an actual ZL1 harness, without modifications to the car that are beyond the scope of what I wanted to do. One of our suppliers makes a harness for just this sort of conversion. The harness (part no FZ1, $69.50) could also be had with an optional switch, but I opted to go with the non switch version. When the car is running during daylight hours, the DRLs are on, while the halos, headlamps and fog lights are off. This is in "auto" mode. When turned to the first position past "auto", the DRLs go off and the halos and fog lights are on. In the full on position or when in auto at dark the fog lights, halos and headlamps are all on.

Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
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Looks great with the ZL1 front end
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
Apex Paul

 
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ZL1 Hood and ACS Composite Hood Insert

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWMP View Post
Looks great with the ZL1 front end
Thanks! To complete the front conversion, I decided to also swap to the ZL1 hood. If I were doing a fascia swap on an undamaged car, I would have just gone with either the stock SS hood or an SS aftermarket hood and had the cowl lines on the ZL1 fascia changed to match the SS type hood. But, since the hood was damaged I went ahead and swapped to the actual ZL1 hood.

The hood is GM part no. 22824393 and comes unpainted. The retail cost for the hood is around $620-750 depending on where you get one.

I think everyone is aware that the ZL1 insert is ridiculously expensive. So, I decided to go with an aftermarket ACS Composite insert instead. The hood insert (part no. 33-4-093) is $549, and comes in primer. It required a considerable amount of sanding and prep before it was ready to paint. It was sprayed with a satin black finish. I was fortunate enough to have the paint shop spray it for free, so there was no cost there, but I would expect to pay from $60-100 to get it painted if you are thinking of doing the same insert.

Now since this is not a ZL1, and still has the SS (L99) engine in the bay, the insert is not able to close. The insert has a water deflector on the underside to move water that comes through the vents off to one side.



Without the insert in place, you can see that the stock SS intake air baffles are in the way of the hood closing when the insert is in place. (The air baffle is outlined in red)

Try not to notice all the dirt and debris on the car, it was just painted and had yet to be washed.


Th solution is simple; change to an aftermarket air intake. I plan to do that, but not for a few days, so in the interim I used the age old technique of HACKSAW and DREMEL to remove the baffles, then wrapped the intake tube with tape. I had a choice of black or Mickey Mouse tape, and I went with the black.



Since I was chopping off baffles, I went ahead and removed the baffle on the driver's side as well, even though it and no interference with the insert. I will run a piece of tubing to connect the PCV line to the intake.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:28 PM   #9
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Time for a CAI Inc! And might as well get you a washer bottle relocation & scoop...................oh, yeah and a ported throttle body while you are into it. Sorry you had to have a fender-bender to get you started on mods, but glad you are getting busy now! Have fun.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyCamaro View Post
Time for a CAI Inc! And might as well get you a washer bottle relocation & scoop...................oh, yeah and a ported throttle body while you are into it. Sorry you had to have a fender-bender to get you started on mods, but glad you are getting busy now! Have fun.
The funny thing is that we have a warehouse full of these things, literally within feet of where he is working and taking these pictures, and you see what he is doing. Some people.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #11
Apex Paul

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex Motorsports View Post
The funny thing is that we have a warehouse full of these things, literally within feet of where he is working and taking these pictures, and you see what he is doing. Some people.
Hey, sometimes you just don't have time to strap on a CAI. Duct tape is a time saver.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:20 PM   #12
Apex Paul

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyCamaro View Post
Time for a CAI Inc! And might as well get you a washer bottle relocation & scoop...................oh, yeah and a ported throttle body while you are into it. Sorry you had to have a fender-bender to get you started on mods, but glad you are getting busy now! Have fun.
It's going to take a while to catch up with RubyCamaro
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex Paul View Post
Hey, sometimes you just don't have time to strap on a CAI. Duct tape is a time saver.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:27 PM   #14
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a good way to solve the intake tube issue would be to install a twin-turbo so that the intake tube doesn't interfere with the drain-tray. oh and there might be some other effects like more power and stuff like that.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jake2212 View Post
a good way to solve the intake tube issue would be to install a twin-turbo so that the intake tube doesn't interfere with the drain-tray. oh and there might be some other effects like more power and stuff like that.
I like where your head's at.
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