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Old 06-29-2017, 02:09 PM   #1
Balr14
 
Drives: Lexus 430SC
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Performance upgrades?

Hello all,

I am new to these forums and I am looking for some honest opinions. I found a very nice, low mileage, 2011 Camaro SS convertible with 6 speed manual transmission, at a decent price. However, I found the performance was not quite what I would like. To be honest, I want something that can run high 12 second quarter miles with 0 - 60 times of around 4.0 - 4.2 seconds.

Is it relatively easy to improve the performance of this model or would I be better off looking for a 1LE or ZL1 model? Your thoughts would be appreciated. I must have a convertible with a useful back seat. If I wanted a closed car, I'd probably buy a Charger Hellcat.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:28 PM   #2
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You'll want to do some reading because this is definitely an "asked and answered" type of question. But, in short, high 12's are a piece of cake for this car. Long tube headers, high flow/no cats, and a tune will take you there. Low 12's with some drag radials.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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Thank you for your response. I apologize for not doing more searching, but there are so many sub-forums on this web site, that I didn't know where to start. I'm sure there are many topics about mods for this model. But, are they as cost effective as simply looking for a higher performance model? If I need to spend $10K for upgrades, I can find a newer ZL1 for $15k and it will hold it's value better.

It seems mods like those you have would get me what I want. I'll guess those mods cost less than $5000?
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
Thank you for your response. I apologize for not doing more searching, but there are so many sub-forums on this web site, that I didn't know where to start. I'm sure there are many topics about mods for this model. But, are they as cost effective as simply looking for a higher performance model? If I need to spend $10K for upgrades, I can find a newer ZL1 for $15k and it will hold it's value better.

It seems mods like those you have would get me what I want. I'll guess those mods cost less than $5000?
Yea, more like $1000-$1,500 bucks. SS vs. ZL1 really depends on your ultimate goals for the car. High 12's are cake, a stock SS will do that with drag radials, or headers/tune.

If you're really gonna want to run deep into the 11's, starting with a ZL1 is probably a good bet. 5th gen prices are great right now for either - it's a buyers market for sure.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:06 PM   #5
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1LE is still the stock V8 engine. ZL1 is a whole different creature (supercharged)... so SS/1LE or ZL1.. if you want performance out of the box, ZL1 is gonna be your best bet. You can mod your SS to get it to the ZL1 or just start there..

joe...
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:07 PM   #6
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Thanks again.

I don't need an 11 second car. It would just be a weekend driver and cruiser. My grandkids love to ride in a convertible, but there is little room for them in my Lexus. I have to admit, the 2013 ZL1 convertible I found definitely has my attention. But, if I can get the performance I want from the 2011 SS convertible I found, it would avoid conflicts with the "boss".

I have had supercharged cars in the past and I DO miss the sound and response. But I am probably too old (73) to really take advantage of them.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
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The SS convertible runs 13.1 bone stock per several magazine reviews in 2011. With $500-1,000...you can get to your magic number. My mods are in my sig and the car flat-out runs. It's a completely different animal from stock.
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Old 06-29-2017, 04:53 PM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tests I've read which give the 1LE a significant acceleration advantage over the regular engine are due to 3.91 gears instead of 3.45?

Otherwise an intake, headers, mufflers, cats and a tune should get me what I want. I will have to research what is needed for a Hypertech tune.
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Old 06-29-2017, 04:56 PM   #9
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Get the 2013 ZL1. The top material and mechanism was redesigned and the tops are more reliable on late 2012-2015 5th gen convertibles. The ZL1 has magnetic ride, better suspension, stronger rear end, trans and engine. Forged wheels, vented hood, etc. Faster and better handling than a SS. IMO, a better choice that you won't be disappointed with.
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tests I've read which give the 1LE a significant acceleration advantage over the regular engine are due to 3.91 gears instead of 3.45?

Otherwise an intake, headers, mufflers, cats and a tune should get me what I want. I will have to research what is needed for a Hypertech tune.
You're correct about the ratios, but wrong about the result. The trans in an 1LE has a "longer" first and second gear. The overall effect ratio is the same in first and second. Third and fourth are shorter, and then 5th and 6th are almost exactly the same as well.

1LE cars have to make a shift to 4th in the quarter mile, a regular SS makes it in 3rd. If anything, that makes the 1LE a bit slower, but nothing significant.
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tests I've read which give the 1LE a significant acceleration advantage over the regular engine are due to 3.91 gears instead of 3.45?

Otherwise an intake, headers, mufflers, cats and a tune should get me what I want. I will have to research what is needed for a Hypertech tune.
Yes the 3.91's make a difference and the trans have some different ratios. Also, the 1LE has better suspension, tires and wheels. However, there is not a 1LE convertible.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:09 AM   #12
Balr14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS PANTHER View Post
Get the 2013 ZL1. The top material and mechanism was redesigned and the tops are more reliable on late 2012-2015 5th gen convertibles. The ZL1 has magnetic ride, better suspension, stronger rear end, trans and engine. Forged wheels, vented hood, etc. Faster and better handling than a SS. IMO, a better choice that you won't be disappointed with.
How can the top be unreliable on the 2011?

Anyway, thanks for the ZL1 suggestion. I have not driven one yet as the one I'm interested in would have to shipped from Texas. I think I will try to find one closer to drive.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:58 AM   #13
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The zl1 is the better choice for performance, features, and overall quality. It will cost you a bit more initially but you wont have to mod it.
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
How can the top be unreliable on the 2011?
The design was flawed and many 2011 and 2012 owners have had their tops replaced or fixed. You will see many threads on this subject in this forum. Check
it out.
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