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0311 08-19-2017 05:55 PM

03's 2014 Camaro Build - From Stock to.. Not.
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Hey all. I've been in the Camaro world for about a year now, and love every minute. I've been wanting to make a build thread for awhile now, just haven't had the time. But now, here it is. I just wish I had taken more pictures along the way.

A little background on my story.. About 5 years ago I went to buy my first 'higher end' car after my military service ended, and having numerous beater cars and trucks during that time. I checked out a few dealerships with nothing really in mind. I saw, and test drove a 2013 Camaro, and I immediately loved it. But, the girlfriend at the time, did not. So I ended up picking up a 2009 CTS at the end of the day. It was actually a super great car, and I ran it well over 125k miles until the heads finally blew on the way home from a trip to Vegas. I had it towed to a dealer, and found out the damage the next day. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy. I decided trading it in would be the better option, and the Cadillac dealer just so happened to have a couple Camaros on the lot. After a day of mulling around the idea of maybe spending a little more and getting a new or slightly used ATS or CTS, I thought better of it, and went with the 2014 Camaro LT they had. I just moved from Chicago to California on my own dime, and didn't want to spend too much. I've also always wanted one since the 5th Gens came out, and no girlfriend to tell me otherwise this time, so I was pretty much sold.

Pictured here is my old CTS, and my new Camaro the day I did the trade. At the time, I really had no plans to do any modifications.. I was always the guy that had other priorties, and just paid the dealer for even simple things like an oil change. The only thing I ever did to my CTS was have the rims powdercoated. Little did I know what I was about to get myseld into..

Some may say that the car is still 'stock', and considering I used all OEM parts (other than the performance upgrades, of course), that is true. But to look at what the car started from all the way to now, it's such a dramatic change that it doesn't even look like the same car anymore. And even though it may not be anything super special, I'm proud to say I've personally done all the work to make this happen, and at the end of the day isn't that what matters most in a hobby?

Current/Completed Mods:

K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake
Vmax Ported Throttle Body
MRT v2 Axle-Back Exhaust
4 Piston SS Brembo Calipers
Ceramic Brake Pads
Drilled & Slotted Brake Rotors
StopTech Braided Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Goodyear F1 Supercar Tires
DOT4 Brake Fluid
Mobil1 Full Synthetic Engine Oil

OEM ZL1 Black Alcantara/Leather Seats
OEM ZL1 Door Panels
OEM ZL1 Dash Inserts
OEM ZL1 Wheels
OEM SS Spoiler
OEM SS Front Fascia
OEM 2014 SS Vented Hood
Weathertech Floor Liners
Red BMR Strut Tower Bar
5% Window Tint
Gloss Black Bowties
U-Bar Halo Headlights
OEM LED RS Taillights
Red Interior LED dome, trunk, & footwell lighting

0311 08-19-2017 05:56 PM

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My first 'mod' was one I had already done on my previous car. I had the stock wheels powdercoated gloss black, and 5% tint all the way around. I've always liked the blacked out look (not to be confused with the murder look, I like a least a little color contrast), so that was a given. Shortly after that I did some research and purchased a CAI. I went with K&N at the time, and they gave me a decent veteran's discount. Installing the CAI was literally the most work under the hood I've ever done on any car. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but my interest in it just wasn't there until I bought a Camaro.

0311 08-19-2017 06:00 PM

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Few weeks later, after more research, I bought an exhaust. I went with the MRT v2, and this is actually where I discovered Camaro5. A lot of folks here recommended it, and after watching numerous videos of different brands, I made the purchase. I put it on in a few hours in my garage. It was fairly simple, and I was happy with the results.

Around this time, I also added a strut tower bar, and did a little decal work on the engine cover to make it a little less bland.

0311 08-19-2017 06:08 PM

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Next up I tackled the seats. While cloth may be more comfortable in the hot CA sun, I wanted leather. I was back and forth between the gray or the black, and ultimately went gray to compliment the stock accents on the interior already.

I also upgraded to SS Brembos, braided stainless steel brake lines, and swapped to the bigger SS rotors, the same drilled/slotted rotors I put on the V6 prior. This is the only mod I did to my car with help. I had never bled brakes before, and read that it was much more beneficial to have an assist.. So I called up a friend that had experience and we did them together in his driveway. We flushed the whole system and replaced it with DOT4 fluid. I ran into an unexpected inconvenience right before this upgrade.. I never stopped to think about caliper clearance, as it never occured to me. I scrambled to buy some stock SS wheels, and luckily found a set off a 2017. Even better, this purchase led to a pretty good friendship with another Camaro fan. Later picked up the unique carbon fiber appearance 6th Gen badge center caps.

Added the pictured carbon fiber apperance door sill decal on both sides as well.

0311 08-19-2017 06:35 PM

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Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of the next modifications, other than the stock parts I took off. I swapped my original cloth dash parts with the gloss silver ones, and did the door panel accents too. The doors were actually fairly complicated, removing the heat sealed rivets and then replacing the new part with 1/4' screws and washers. The accents weren't made to be removed from the door panels, so a little DIY was done here. But I was impressed with the turn out. Originally bought ABL ones, but the seller shipped regular ones. Instead of dealing with the hassle of shipping them back, I just kept the normal ones and was refunded the price difference.

Purchased and installed an SS upper grille, U Bar Halo headlights, and removed the old carbon fiber apperance bowtie deacls to paint them both gloss black.

Also added an OEM SS spoiler.

0311 08-19-2017 07:06 PM

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Lack of pictures again, but I removed the rear bumper and added the RS package LED taillights. I lack knowledge in electrical, so I purchased the required harness from GEN5DIY. Install was pretty easy, and gave the car a changed look.

Also detailed the engine bay, and picked up a VMax Ported Throttle Body from a fellow C5 member. Another easy bolt on. Cleaned up the MAF and intake tubes while I was at it.

0311 08-19-2017 07:32 PM

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Front bumper removal again, as well as the hood. I swapped both to OEM SS ones. More DIY here, as the bumper I purchased didn't come with the mounting point plastics. I had to pop them off the metal rivets from the old bumper and work them into the holes on the new bumper. Ended up using some epoxy too, for a more secure fit. The fog lights were also a pain to remove from the old bumper. Ended up breaking one of the clips (oops) and 'fixing' it with a mix of epoxy and tape. Overall I was super happy with this upgrade, and it came out great.

0311 08-19-2017 07:43 PM

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Said goodbye to the 2017 SS wheels, and picked up some OEM ZL1s. I was considering powdercoating the '17s, but now I much prefer the aggressive look the ZL1s give the car.

0311 08-19-2017 09:37 PM

I think that's it so far guys. Of course I still have plans.. Next up I'd like to lower the car and work on suspension components. I want to do all the work myself, and have a new job coming up, so finding the time may be difficult. Stay posted and thanks for reading!

0311 08-21-2017 11:55 PM

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Picked up some ZL1 seats and console lid tonight in sort of an impulse buy. I was getting a little bored with my originally planned black/gray interior theme. Also ordered up some ZL1 door panels, and the black dash trim. I tried to stay away from the red/black simpily because it's fairly common.. Though I guess the saying goes tried and true. My wife much prefers the look too, and that's always a bonus when they approve, am I right?

0311 08-29-2017 01:25 PM

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Door panels off again, in preperation of the new ones arriving tomorrow.

0311 08-31-2017 12:36 PM

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New interior fully operational. Installed the ZL1 panels and dash inserts. Red LED lights also put in, and just need to find a little more time to wire up the red footwell lighting as well.

0311 09-07-2017 12:23 PM

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Wired up the LED footwell lighting kit from Phastek today. Also installed red LED dome and trunk lights. Quite happy with the turn out, espeically for my first electrical install.

SSEssence 09-07-2017 12:25 PM

looking good bud!

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