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Old 05-17-2010, 06:23 PM   #1
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Interesting article on LSA powered 2010 Camaro

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“Uncle Robin” Lawrence has spent his life entrenched in the high performance automotive world. For more than a decade, he has been a mainstay and one of the most well-known names in street legal drag racing with the NMCA and NMRA series, first competing in the EFI index class before competing in Factory Stock, Real Street, and most recently, Nostalgia Pro Street. Along the way, his cars have been testbeds for several manufacturers, and his expertise in the automotive aftermarket industry has graced the pages of many publications over the years.

In 2008, Robin, at the insisting of his good friend and former race announcer Dr. Jamie Mayer, embarked on a project in conjunction with Hot Rod Magazine involving a new 2010 Camaro in which he would replace the stock LS3 engine with a Cadillac CTS-V LSA mill.

Lawrence spent much of 2009 tweaking on the new GM muscle car, swapping out aftermarket bolt-on parts and trying to find the right combination, all while working closely with Hot Rod editorially as a “Test Car” of sorts. After making some more adjustments over the winter, he made a stop at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky this past weekend. There he ripped off the cars’ first sub 11-second pass, a 10.92 at 125.95 MPH.

PowerTV spoke with Robin about his racing endeavours and the Camaro project car.

PowerTV: We haven’t seen you on the NMCA or NMRA trail in some time. What have you been up to?

Robin Lawrence: Actually, on the NMRA trail, I was at the Bradenton race, and had worked with Dan Baumann on his combination, and he qualified #1 in Real Street and runner-up’ed, and also with Crag Baldwin on his Real Street combination. With Craig more of a consulting role and with Dan more of a crew chief and consultant so to speak.

We had the Camaro at Memphis last year, at the Finals. We really ran out of time and the availability on components really hurt us, but we really didn’t have the combination sorted out and that kept us from showing our real potentional.

PowerTV: Do you plan on returning to competitive, heads-up racing?

Robin Lawrence: Yeah. This Camaro project that we talked about this weekend, was basically tying up some loose ends from when I was sponsored by GM Performance Parts. That Camaro is actually going to be put back to 99% stock. So my priority, once we wrap up that Camaro, which we’re doing now, is to race the LSX Nova. I’ve been doing some dyno testing with the Nova with another engine, and we just received another intake manifold from Hughes Racing Enterprises, and we’re converting that car over to the new Holley Dominator EFI Fuel Injection system. The car has been in and we’ve run it before in Nostalgia Pro Street, so we’re going to stay in that class. We’re going to try to hit some of the True Street series events, and then whatever NMCA races are within an eight hour driving distance.

PowerTV: Tell us a little about your 2010 Camaro project.

Robin Lawrence: Originally, with the Camaro project, what we wanted to do was take a brand new Camaro and do some performance enhancements in what a typical average guy might install on his Camaro. And we wanted to discuss that and share in some of the passion and excitement that the new Camaro is bringing about, and just showcase those modifications editorially at different events to try to share with other people what we’re doing and what the possibilities are with the new Camaro.

We ordered the car in October of 2008, and our car was produced on the second day of production…it's VIN number 219. It was originally ordered as a yellow car, and at the SEMA show, Hot Rod Magazine decided they wanted to follow or cover some of those modifications in several parts.

If you remember the Hot Rod test car back in 1967, they had a '67 Camaro they did all kinds of modifications to. Well, Hot Rod wanted to model that, and so they basically said we’ll layout a plan of normal, typical components and modifications, and dyno’ing and track testing. Drag Radials, cold air intake, headers, catback exhaust, and things like that.

We ran the car with various stages of nitrous, header configurations, two different camshafts, cylinder heads, different intakes, different exhaust systems, an by the time we got done with the naturally aspirated side of it, we were about 464 horsepower at the wheels, and when we sprayed it, around 515 horsepower at the wheels.

PowerTV: Why the decision to put an LSA-based motor in the Camaro?

Robin Lawrence: The rumors after the bankruptcy were that they had discussed a Z28 prior to the bankruptcy. When all the stuff was coming down, from what I was told, that whole project was canceled, it was gone. Later on, there were more rumors that that project may get revived, and some of them that we were hearing was that the serious contender to be installed in a Z28 would be the LSA, Cadillac CTS-V engine. And so, the thought process was, hey, let’s put one of these engines in the car and show people what the potential of the LSA engine is.

It was funny, in the original conversations. Dr. Jamie Meyer wanted me to turn the earth, with three stages of nitrous and compound superchargers…whatever it took the haul ass. So we really never got a baseline with a stock CTS-V engine. I was going right for what the average guy would bolt onto his Z28 engine…heads, cam, pulleys, cylinder heads, fuel system.

PowerTV: What challenges did you encounter with the LSA swap and trying to put the car into the 10’s?

Robin Lawrence: The big thing with any heavy car - and we fought this problem with the six-speed manual from the factory – if the car is 4000-plus pounds and has a 3.45 gear, getting the car to launch with that heavy of a car and use the clutch was extremely stressful on the clutch. Automatic cars fair just a little bit better because they have a stiffer first gear ratio plus you have the potential slippage of the torque converter to get the car out of the hole. The big problem with that is the 6L80 is not a performance transmission. So, we decided that what we would do is put a 4L80E transmission in the car. Putting that in the car probably solved 50% of our problems.

The biggest physical issue with putting the LSA engine in the Camaro is the upper intercooler top hits the cowl section, and so that needed to be modified, sectioned, re-welded, move the intercooler, and relocate the inlet and outlet lines for the water for the intercooler.


Other than that, the CTS-V, the stack on the pulley system is like a Corvette, so its very close-lock, whereas the Camaro is like a truck, which is [the] furthest away from the block of all three. And so the only issue I had was not being able to reinstall either one of my air conditioning compressors from the LS3 or the CTS-V. Otherwise, the alternator plugged in, I had to fabricate some couplers for the power steering, but other than that, everything was pretty elementary.

PowerTV: What role has your relationship with GMPP played in this project?

Robin Lawrence: It was a project that was brainstormed by Dr. Jamie Meyer [of GMPP]. Really, other than providing the engine, their role was mainly a parts and components supplier. As far as technical advice, there was little or none.

Current car specifications:

• GMPP CTS-V LSA Crate engine
• Kooks headers and full exhaust system
• Lunati cam
• GMPP CNC cylinder heads
• Performance Transmissions 4L80E transmission
• ProTorque converter with 4000 RPM stall
• Lingenfelter pulley system, 63-pound injectors, fuel pump, blower coupler, and intercooler
• ATI balancer with 10% overdrive
• Bosch intercooler pump
• 100% stock rearend
• One piece Jerry Bickel-built driveshaft
• Stock starter
• Abaco Mass air meter
• Mickey Thompson 305/45/18 ET Drag Radial tires
• VP 100 unleaded fuel
• Tuned with HP Tuners tuning software
http://www.lsxtv.com/forum/robin-law...lsa-2576.html#

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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very interesting.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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little video of Uncle Robin's LSA camaro at C5F

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Old 05-18-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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Robin rocks, I spent some time talking to him and looking at the car at the Fest.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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Cool read. Has there been any articles on this car in Hot Rod besides the one article where they used shorties and a couple other smaller bolt-ons? I'm interested in ordering those back issues, if so. Thanks in advance to anyone who knows
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:02 AM   #6
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Cool read. Has there been any articles on this car in Hot Rod besides the one article where they used shorties and a couple other smaller bolt-ons? I'm interested in ordering those back issues, if so. Thanks in advance to anyone who knows
I dont recall any that were published yet. I know they were holding out on it until Robin got things locked down and made enough passes in the car to put in print. which happened in Bowling Green and at the fest. so I would imagine that the story will be hitting the shelves rather soon.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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I dont recall any that were published yet. I know they were holding out on it until Robin got things locked down and made enough passes in the car to put in print. which happened in Bowling Green and at the fest. so I would imagine that the story will be hitting the shelves rather soon.
Cool. Were you working on anything still, or am I thinking of something else?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:27 AM   #8
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Cool. Were you working on anything still, or am I thinking of something else?

I'm working (if you can call it that) on a few things. This one included. but, like a lot of the "other" stuff, things have been put on hold or slowed down due to moving and fixing up the new house. that and getting info/pics from a certain someone. and waiting till the legalities clear up so that I can post certain pics and info.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
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Robin is one of the nicest and most knowledgeable men I have ever had the pleasure to meet and spend some time with. We had conversed over the Camaro5 web links and had given me a lot of of information about the LSA powered Camaro because he knew I was waiting to the possible LSA powered Z28. He was gracious enough to give me a ride in the LSA Camaro at Camaro Fest. The car is everything that I had hoped for and a lot more. GM really needs to build the Z28 with the LSA engine. Thanks Robin for all of your help and the patience to listen to all of my questions.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:24 AM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words guys. I enjoyed meeting everyone at the fest. It came and went way too fast. I wish I had more time to hang out with everyone.

Scott's and my car are like cousins since they are 12 vin numbers apart.

As far as articles there were a couple out last year. They were the November and December issues of Hot Rod Magazine.

In those stories we did some bolt on parts such as shorty headers and a Holley/NOS Nitrous System. In the second story we did some cam and heads along with a complete Kooks exhaust system.

I think that the idea behind those stories was good but they lacked the enthusiasm that we feel with the new Camaro. The writer was on the east coast, Hot Rod is on the west coast and I am in the middle of the country.

Hot Rod pulled the plug on any other stories on our modifications. (As I expected LOL).

Once the Hot Rod deal was done GMPP wanted us to install the LSA for the LSX Shootout in October. Well easier said than done.

We managed to get the car running under its own power but that was about it. We had issues with the transmission calibration as well as several new combinations bugs.

On the dyno later we found we had a big problem with fuel supply. I had tried finding a solution from several vendors. Aeromotive had sent me a complete Stealth fuel system to install. In the end I wanted an in tank upgrade.

Jason at Lingenfelter a huge aid in getting through many of the hurdles involved with the LSA. The LSA was good to go but I wasn't going to run it in stock form. Jason also came through with the Controller and Twin in tank pump a couple of weeks prior to the Fest.

The story on the LSA install will probably show up in GM High Tech Magazine. Justin Cessler was at the Fest shooting some additional pictures of the car. Last I heard they didn't have a time frame for the story.

I am working with Spike on a write up for Camaro 5 on the car.

After the Fest we made a couple of hits to get Video of some passes.

The 10.82 video is poor but the 10.98 is much better. The car slows down almost 2 tenths when the heat exchanger is heat soaked. The 10.82 was off the trailer.

10.82 pass

http://s395.photobucket.com/albums/p...camaro1082.flv


10.98 Pass


http://s395.photobucket.com/albums/p...camaro1098.flv
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:19 PM   #11
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The car slows down almost 2 tenths when the heat exchanger is heat soaked. The 10.82 was off the trailer.

Are you using the stock LSA heat exchanger?
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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Are you using the stock LSA heat exchanger?
The heat exchanger is a Setrab unit that I recieved from Lingenfelter. It's the same unit they install an ZR1's and CTS-V's.

I don't have a tank in the system so that hurts me a little. Driving down the road it drops the temps but after sitting in the lanes or slow driving it is heat soaked.

If I keep the car for much longer I might try a meth injection to cool the intake air charge.

Robin
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:15 AM   #13
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nice read!
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:23 PM   #14
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OOO!!! More to look forward to in GMHTP!!!
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