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Old 12-15-2013, 02:40 AM   #1
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build journal - '13 2ss/1le

I’ve had the car a while and decided that I would finally join the club and start a thread.

The Car:
I knew I wanted an LE, but had not seen or driven one, but did drive an SS with the short throw shifter, nice to say at the least. I wanted a silver one, but they could not locate one with the options I wanted, they did have a Blue Ray Metallic on order without a sun roof. This is what I needed because otherwise my head rubbed the roof.
I put money down and this is what I got:
2SS/RS/1LE, Blue Ray Metallic, black interior, NPP Dual Mode Exhaust, Navigation, Heritage Grill, tint, extra cost front floor mats (nice really) and a trunk mat (heavy rubber ~ 30-40lbs, it makes a great standing pad in front of the workbench) and wheel locks. I also asked them not to mount the front license plate bracket.
Katherine and Ron picked it up 22May2013 (front and rear sub-frames show 10Apr build date), she was kind enough to send a couple of pictures from the dealership when she picked it up
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:48 AM   #2
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first time to lay eyes on it

Katherine put it in storage because we were staying in a hotel while waiting to close on a house. Here they are when I first saw the car 13Jun
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:52 AM   #3
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Mods

not sure if this is really a mod or not: installed the GM breather on the clean side of the PCV system
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:55 AM   #4
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Skip shift eliminator (had it purchased before the car was delivered). I had the car less than a week and installed it in the hotel parking lot. Backed up the handicap ramp in the afternoon (Houston in June……the car was HOT! Waited until the next morning, I did move the car so as not to block the handicap ramp. Barely enough room to get under the car, had to enter from the rear. Tight squeeze then could not get my arms up to the connector. Lots of squirming, a little bit of grumbling and I got it on. Scooted out from under the back of the car. Read the directions and figured out I had connected it to the backup solenoid, CRAP! Back under the car to remove and reinstall, it was much harder to get my hands and arms positioned so I could disconnect the skip solenoid, quite a bit more grumbling and a heck of a dent in my index finger later, it came off. Went on relatively easily, especially when compared to how the connector came off. Scooted out the back AGAIN, T-shirt rolling up my back. Brought back memories of working on cars when I was a few years younger (good memories), it has been a while since I fiddled with cars.

(Not really something I did, but I will count it): the front splitter did not fit very well, so took it to the dealer and they would remount/adjust it. Said it would take a couple of days. I said “a couple of days?!?!?!?”, he said yeah, he had to pull the front of the car off and lots of adjustments blah, blah, blah (my eyes glazed over). So I said “hey, can you give me a call when you get it off and I’ll come over and remove the front bow tie while you are there?”. He said he would get it done for me. Sweet, mod three done and I did not do anything except “smile and talk sweetly” (Thai saying of how to get things done). The dealer gave me a snazzy Malibu or Cobalt while I waited
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:00 AM   #5
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spare tire

I wanted a spare, mostly because when I get a flat, it is not the type you can repair with a can of fix-a-flat. So started researching the options and ended up getting two of them. 1st). I wanted to get the factory jack kit for a 2013 Camaro 1LT, this turned out to highlight a mistake in the GM documentation, although not a costly one (more on this later). Ordered the jack, wrench, handle, strap (what is that for?) and the tool container. I felt as though the 2013 factory kit would fit the trunk hole, not rattle, would fit the jack points and be able to lift the car…all good assumptions in my book. The parts to the kit started arriving to the hotel (still waiting to close on the house) and Katherine was starting to give me a bit of grief (good naturedly) about all of the boxes of car parts. I’d ordered mods for further ahead, but not able to install, so they do not get mentioned yet. Back to the jack kit, the wrench I received did not look like the picture. I did more research and found the owner’s manual on line (I did not look in the glove box) and it showed 2 jack kits for the car, coin/pierce and hex styles.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:03 AM   #6
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I had the coin/pierce jack, extension and the hex wrench……..crud.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:08 AM   #7
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The part numbers that were delivered all matched GM’s drawing, but did not work together as a “kit”. I went to my local dealer, asked to look in the trunk of a V6 that they had, salesperson looked at me a bit strange, but to his credit did not say anything. He asked what color, I said it did not matter (another strange look), got some keys and out to the lot we go. Popped the trunk and pulled out the spare and looked at the wrench. This one looked like the picture and I could see how it would work with the extension and the coin/pierce jack.
Took some pictures and put it all back into the trunk. Smiled and said “thx”, the whole story had been shared with the salesperson by this point. We had quite a laugh.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:12 AM   #8
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spare tire, sorted

I then went to the parts department and talked to the expert behind the counter, he really was and expert, and gave him the equivalent of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacree. He said “hey, let’s look at another year, he picked 2010 and low and behold, there was the same picture/drawing, but a different part number for the wrench. I said “sold” for $20 (cheaper than shipping back to the internet company and the difference in the wrenches). So, if you have a hex jack without a wrench, I’ll let you have mine.
Still no tire, just a jack kit, the kit did fit in the spare hole, with the compressor (I did have to trim the foam of the compressor holder to clear the jack, but a nice no rattle fit). Back to the tire. I ordered a replica wheel, 10x20, and ordered the GY super gummy 285/35-20 to go on it. The tire ended up being backordered for 6 to 8 weeks, that is a long time but with my job schedule it would work out. Once the wheel arrived, I got to thinking that the 10x20 with a tire on it is BIG and the trunk is small. I pulled one of the front tires off and tried it in the trunk, tight, but it fit through the hole. Once it was secured with the strap (found this in the owner’s manual too) made the trunk fairly useless for anything more than a soft bag or two. SO, I looked at a temp spare and spacer for everyday use, found them and got ordered. I went with the Camaro set rather than the CTS-V, 100% because of the $$$ for the CTS-V wheel, it looked nice, but I could not justify it.

Three things of importance. First, the donut had to go in the hole, this means the compressor, can’t. Second, the GY super gummy was still on a 6 to 8 week backorder, even after 6 weeks. So, I switched to a DWS 275/40-20 that they had in stock to carry on road trips. Third, I needed a spacer to get the donut spare to work with the roller skate front brakes, ended up with a 2 ½ inch spacer. Easy
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:11 AM   #9
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Congrats man!!
Keep the mods coming...
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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Congrats man!!
Keep the mods coming...
thx mate
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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cai

This kinda happened during the spare tire adventure. We were still in the hotel and I didn’t have any tools. Seeing the CAI sitting there was driving me crazy, I wanted to put it on. So I put the CAI box in the car (passenger front seat as it would not fit in the trunk) and went to Home Depot. Parked under a tree, w a y far away from the entrance and went in to buy a nut driver and an allen wrench set. Got the CAI installed in the shade of the tree, more nice memories.
When I first fired up the car, it stumbled and then settled down. But I got the dreaded CEL (check engine light), crud! Got online and emailed the manufacturer and learned that with the added airflow the computer had to “relearn” air fuel combinations. So I should disconnect the battery, just like the instructions said to do. Now, I read the directions thoroughly and carefully, I did notice that they included the step to disconnect the battery. I thought, why???? I am not going to do anything with the electrical system and I don’t want to have to reprogram the radio channels. So I left the battery hooked up. WRONG. I disconnected the battery, let it sit for a bit and then reconnected it. Set the clock and cycled the windows and all good! The radio did not have to be reset

RELATED ITEM: I lucked out because the car came with one of the “good” MAF sensors!

before and after:
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:58 PM   #12
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Somewhere in here I put on the front plate, because we got stopped one evening coming back from dinner. Apparently putting it in the front window is not good enough in Texas. The bracket I bought attaches under the splitter, so it is REALLY LOW and the plate gets dinged a lot.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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speaking of dinged

Wrecked 12Jul2013, a young kid on his cell phone pulled out in front of me (~2200mi on the car). Needless to say I was a bit irritated, but I did maintain my cool and no one was hurt. That is radiator fluid on the ground. It turned out to be only a broken overflow reservoir
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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out of the car hospital

We picked up the car from the body shop when I got back 22Aug2013. Repair bill was $5500, gotta love insurance!
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #15
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catch can

Our storage delivery arrived at the new house, so now I had tools again.
I had planned to do a lot of mods myself over the next couple of weeks
Well. As life sometimes is……………things did not go according to plan.

I had contacted a few shops and talked about what I wanted along with how realistic my goals were. It turns out I’m not as unique as I’d like to think. My focus was on drivability and torque as measured by the butt dyno, not big numbers on a piece of paper. I settled on a shop and a plan. They would do quite a bit of what I had planned to do myself while putting in a cam and performing a tune (it’s there & i had time constraints).
I put the catch can on the evening before taking the car to the shop
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #16
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To the Shop: Cam, trunion bearing kit, pushrods, springs (retainers…..etc), ported throttle body & high flow oil pump. While there they also installed some parts I had: headers, hi flow cats, magnetic engine drain plug and the scoop/washer bottle. Then they did a longevity tune
Here are some of the goodies in the trunk the night before, ready to be installed
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:46 PM   #17
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Very nice ... looking forward to your updates!
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:53 AM   #18
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Very nice ... looking forward to your updates!
thx, i like the 45th
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:55 AM   #19
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Picked it up a few VERY LONG days later.
When they fired it up and backed it out of the shop, I was amazed how bad *ssed and how loud it was. All I could think of was “oh man, I went too far”. Took it home and drove it around a bit, *amn! I had to relearn how to drive the car……….again. Nice power, but loud and it had a drone at 1500RPM. The car has NPP exhaust, so the flaps are supposed to be open at idle and closed by 1500. Soon after I got it home I discovered that the vacuum line was disconnected, so the flaps were open all the time. Connected the vacuum line and the NPP worked as designed. This knocked the drone down a bit.
The next day I got a check engine light, called the shop and they said “bring it in and we’ll take a look”. It turned out to be a loose header flange. While they tightened the bolts, I got a chance to talk to the tuner, he then made some adjustments that made it MUCH more well-mannered and changed the second fuel table to run on lower grade fuel (not in the plan, but I travel and 93 is not always available). We talked about the possibility to tune the NPP to be closed at idle (it was AWESOME, I mean loud backing out of the garage at 0530). I am the newbie in the neighborhood and I do not want to start things off being the obnoxious neighbor. Besides, there is a constable two houses down from me and I don’t want to attract undue attention.
Back to the tuner, he said “nope, not possible for them to tune the NPP”. A good shop, by the way. I’m quite happy with their interest in me and the car after the sale. AND I got two T shirts………..worth the money for that alone, haha

once i figure out how to post a video, i'll put up how it sounds
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:06 AM   #20
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Eighth mod: I got with my son Jason over lunch one day and we came up with a plan to add a relay to make the NPP either quiet all the time or run with the factory settings. One day’s labor and I could remove the safety wire holding the flaps closed. i do need to put in a nicer looking switch............

Details of the mod here: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318683
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:12 AM   #21
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Ninth thru fifteenth mods: I wanted to change the fluid in the trans and differential, so I added a magnetic plug to the trans, the diff already had two. Then added the separate clutch reservoir and upgraded to clear DOT4 for the clutch. While there I also swapped out the brake fluid for DOT4.

Here it is after a little over a month. I am glad that is no longer going into the brake system
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:14 AM   #22
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Next I pulled off the front fascia and installed a front tow hook (why is it called a hook? it is an eye). It was not as easy as I had imagined, but after some fiddling, no bad words mind you, I got it back together with all the lights working. It is not real obvious, because I painted it black
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:18 AM   #23
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Sixteenth thru eighteenth mods: I have never really cared for the rear bow tie nor the chrome bezels around the rear tail lights. I got some fishing line, a heat gun and some 3M adhesive remover………… 5 min later and the bow tie was off. Then I sanded the bezels with 220 grit sand paper to give the paint something to hang on to. They looked a lot like stainless pieces after sanding, I kinda wish I would have not painted them right away to see how they looked for a while. Too late now, they are flat black.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:21 AM   #24
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rear tow hook

While the paint was drying, the rear fascia was removed and I started looking at how the rear tow point was to be installed. I have to be truthful here, I was not looking forward to cutting the fascia for the hook to go through. That is an expensive piece and I’m not a fine cabinet maker. To say I was apprehensive would be putting it mildly. The cut was going to be close to one of the backup sensors, this made me even more nervous……… as things can occasionally turn out, when I stare at something for a while sometimes, not always, a different solution presents itself. I was fortunate this day.
The low risk solution was to put the hook/eye on the passenger side on the bottom of the bumper. Two advantages, 1) the hook was not near the backup sensor and 2) I did not have to cut the fascia! The cut point was moved to the diffuser, right in the crease………………which made the cutting even easier.

DIY here: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=329205
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:28 AM   #25
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the stable

Not a car mod, but it sure makes my life easier: Jason and Steph came over one Sunday and we wired the garage for lights (8 of them), outlets and added 240 power for the air compressor. Turned out to be a full day (glad I had hung the lights the previous day).


Right after we moved in I was talking about the garage with my brother-in-law, Rich, he had installed a nice rack system in his garage and I really liked it. I went to the store, they helped me to design it, took the bits home and now that it is installed, it has really helped keep stuff off of the floor and makes it easy to be organized.

We plugged in the air compressor and as it was building up pressure………………BANG and a loud rushing of air. It blew a hole in the bottom of the tank. I got the compressor used many years ago and it had been in storage for 10 years. Prior to storage, I drained the tank and dumped some oil in the tank on the hope that it would not corrode. I was wrong on that.
I solicited and got lots of good advice from folks online regarding decent compressors. I went with a 60gal, single stage model (that’s it in the corner).
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