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Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 01:57 AM

With the launch of the 5th Gen Camaro, we naturally decided it was time.
  • Black (GBA Paint Code)
  • RS Appearance Package
  • Polished Wheels
  • 6 Speed Manual Transmission
  • 2SS Trim

Current List of Modifications
  • Revolution Styling Ram Air Hood
  • Painted ZL1 Fascia Converstion (Ofer Harness)
  • OEM GM ZL1 Decklid Spoiler
  • Painted ZL1 Grille with EmblemPros Southwest Speed SS Emblem
  • Painted Heritage Grille
  • Polished 21" Wheels
  • Painted to Match OEM Ground Effects Package
  • Painted Silver and JetStream Blue Metallic Stripes
  • Painted Silver Mailslot and LS7 Style Rear Panel
  • Painted JSBM Bowties
  • Painted Brembos with Brushed Logo - JSBM
  • Painted Intake Manifold Cover - JSBM
  • Defenderworks Brushed Locking door with JSBM "CAMARO" Lettering
  • LG Super Pro 1 7/8 Long Tube Headers - No Cats
  • DTH Catback with GMPP (Borla) Mufflers
  • MBRP GFX Tips
  • LG Adjustable Coilovers (3" drop)
  • Race Ready Performance Dual Electric Cutouts
  • BMR 4-Pt STB - Painted JSBM
  • AAC Ghosted Concept Sidemarkers
  • AAC 5050 colorSHIFT 2.0 Halos and Fogs
  • AAC Illuminated Rear Bowtie (polished plexiglas edges) - Blue
  • AAC 3 Chip License Plate Bulbs
  • AAC Interior Conversion Kit - ABL
  • AAC Footwell Kit - ABL
  • AAC Grille Lighting - Blue
  • Defenderworx Polished Cupholder Trim Surround
  • Rx Catch Can - Polished
  • VMax 90mm CNC TB - Polished
  • aFe Stage 2 Dry Cold Air Intake - Painted Gloss Black
  • Barton Short Throw Shifter - Polished Aluminum
  • Painted Steering Wheel - JetStream Blue Metallic
  • Painted Speedo and Console - Gloss Black
  • EmblemPros Underhood Bowtie - Mirror Blue with White "2SS/RS"
  • SRP Billet Pedals - Titanium
  • Nickey/Lloyds Custom Embroidered Floor Mats
  • Southwest Speed Custom Logo Speedo/Tach/Aux Gauges

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 01:57 AM

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The Camaro is a legend. This is the best one so far. Convenience, driveability, ergonomics, everything. Right. The wait for the car was so well worth it and it is a treat just to sit in the car. Taking the family for Sonic or to the local cruises is awesome. Everyone gives the thumbs up and appreciates seeing Camaro back and On Duty!

So after driving it all of about 500 miles, it was time to do something to it.

Having been the 6th Camaro we've owned we know what the LSx's have done in the past with Exhaust Upgrades.

Some Long Tube Headers were on tap. After reading up and talking to people in the industry, we decided to give the people at Doug Thorley a call and get ahold of their new "Tri-Y" 1 3/4" Long Tube Header System. The way in which Doug Thorley has engineered their design with these is truly a feat. The 1 3/4" would usually be considered small by others' standards but the flow charactoristics and dynamics under which the exhuast is channeled out of the heads create a paradigm where they actually "flow" just about as good as a 1 7/8" LT Header.

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Installation was a breeze as there was no cutting or welding. The removal of the dipstick was about the hardest thing to do and, even taking our time for pics and investigation into the Camaro and how everything went together in the assembly process at Oshawa, realized that it took just under 3 hours of actual labor to remove and reinstall these Long Tubes.

Since the Doug Thorley Catback System was still "in development," we continued with the OEM Catback so that we could see and feel exactly what the Long Tubes alone did to the car. Needless to say, installing Long Tube Headers has got to be one of, if not the best thing, that can be done to the LS3. SOTP and "hell yeah" meters were pegged immediately after installation and the sound was so much better than that stock, passenger car sound.

Made a quick video to demonstrate it with the OEM Catback still installed:
Doug Thorley LTs with OEM Catback

Loving how the car breaks loose around 4500 RPMS. The RPMSs fly up to Redline in a matter of milliseconds now.


Install Thread:
LT Install Thread


Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 01:58 AM

Time for a Cold Air Installation while I'm waiting....
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Since the R&D on the Catback was taking longer than expected, I decided that it was time for another Mod....

Cold Air systems were so touchy when I started looking at them. I've never been the blingy type so I was really searching more for function and overall power then anything else. The Air Flow Engineering Stage 2 Dry kit was calling my name everytime I read something about it. Seemed to be the performer among a slew of new release Cold Air kits.

I swapped the OEM intake out for the AFE Stage 2 Cold Air Intake. The unit is nice, sturdy, seals up very nicely up against the hood and I really appreciated the black wrinkle powdercoat. Right up my alley....

Installation was again, a breeze. Nothing in this car has yet to present a challenge like the previous 4th Gen cars did. Whoever built and designed this engine bay needs a lifetime supply of cold Dr Pepper sent to them. Modifications and the ability for Joe Dirt to do them by himself really comes into play when dealing with the new Camaro. Just way too easy to do stuff to it.

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 01:58 AM

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After rolling around one day without the Engine Cover, I decided to leave it off indefinitely. Like the looks of the motor...feels more natural without a cover on it. Perhaps one day I'll paint it to match, but for now, in a trashbag and into the Attic she goes....

Moving on, we downloaded a Diablo Custom Tune and installed it in the SS with the Diablo Predator. This most definitely woke it up and gave a little more SOTP feel to the CAI and Full Doug Thorley Exhuast. Probably more for the guys who want to use the Diablo to datalog and troubleshoot CEL codes, but this was better than paying out for a full Dyno Tune when we know a few more bolt ons/ins were just around the corner.

By now, we've met a few of the Locals here on and arranged a Meet and Greet.

Amazing how the 5th Gen owners are a little differrent than the average car enthousiast. Everyone was really cool on the first meeting and just talked up Camaros for a good couple hours. Took a couple shots of all the cars together, jotted down some emails and from there, the ABQ Chapter was born.

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Not long after that, Curt Jingle (one of the new friends I met here via the local Camaro5 Meet and Greets) got us all coordinated with his good friend (1997 IRL Rookie of the year and current Formula Drift Driver) Jim Guthrie, to take all our cars out on the Sandia Motor Speedway track. What a blast! Nothing like getting the cars loose and turning off all the traction control and stabilitrak settings. A great time, even more new friends and it seems like there are more Camaros showing up every week. :happyanim:

Hooked up a little video of the track (sorry fo the wind) so that y'all could see what fun it can be to do some turning!!! Fun @ Sandia Motorspeedway

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Got bored one night and really didn't want to paint the emblems so I took out some scrap pieces of Vinyl and decided to experiment with covering the Bowties on the front and rear of the car as well as attempt to fill in the SS's. I don't know where the confidence came from to try the small SS's but it took about 4 tries before I got one that I liked. Overall, the results were better than I expected. Got a few locals to give me the thumbs up so I made a DIY thread on how others could do the same and save a few bucks.

Vinyl Awesomeness

So now that we've done the Doug Thorley Long Tubes, Deleted the Cats, installed the AFE CAI Stage 2 system, installed the Diablo tune, and got some slick looking Blue Bowties and SS's it was time for the next mod.....

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 01:58 AM

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A friend of mine ordered up some of the Oracle "Cool White" SMD LED Fog Halos for his car and decided that he didn't want to install we brokered a heck of a deal and I took them off his hands.

Not the most easy mod to do and definitely not for those who aren't "crafty" and impatient. Took a couple hours to get the Fog housings out and cut open. I took a hand hack saw with a fine tooth metal black so that the heat from it wouldn't remelt the shavings back, sealing it up right behind my cut. Easy 2-3 hour job start to finish the first time. I've since done it twelve dozen more times for customers in under 1.5 hours. More to come on that part of the story.. ;/

I also decidied that it was time for something to set it off a little different from the rest of the Black Coupes....just some color for now. Contacted a vendor on Ebay Challenger Gary (who now sells these in any color) who had done work for us before but never on the new Camaro. He prototyped us a pair of hood spears with some "SS" Cutouts. Fantastic install, quality vinyl and something that anyone can do in less than an hour.

Here are a couple finished pics!

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 01:59 AM

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Finally....Doug Thorley finishes up my Catback system!

Get to dump the OEM Catback and trash cans under my rear bumper in favor of some sweet sounding rumble. :headbang: Install was about 1.5 hours with removing the entire OEM system out and lining up the tips on the new system. Lining up the tips was the hardes thing to do. Best recommendation to anyone doing a Catback install is to start with everything loosely connected and work from the rear forward. :thumbsup:

Heres a short Video of the Full DT System so you can see the total system working together. Much better to say the least, and no hollow popping or drone at all. A great complete system and I'm sure that we'll start seeing more of these on the streets. :drool:

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-16-2010 04:27 AM

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Eventually Turn 11 at Sandia Motor Speedway caught up with me. I've done dozens of laps on it, been on rides with the Track President in his prepped ZO6 and my car, but Karma caught up.

More like fatigue, hot brakes, hot brake fluid, hot tires, and testosterone. :)

Looks like "Bad Karma's" run is over.

Time to turn the page and start another chapter.......

camarowa 07-16-2010 01:56 PM

looks good Ivan, congrats and enjoy in good health. :thumbsup:

2010 BADSS 07-16-2010 09:19 PM


I know a lot of this story, but I can't help myself. Please tell us some more!

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-17-2010 02:32 AM

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After catching a break, it was decided that we'd do something a little different....

One of my close friends said I couldn't call my Camaro "Bad Karma" since the name had brought the unfortunate luck. He mentioned that the new 5th Gen Camaros "Sizzled" and kept referring to ours as "The Sizz" so I decided to take the advice and rename her....

The Sizzle

With a name like that, it was time to start making it look as good as it ran.

Here we go....

Boxes and loads of parts arriving, we decided that OEM Ground Effects would have to go on the car this time. So we procured a full new setup from New Mexico's Best Chevy Dealership and had them painted to match the Black on the car. :w00t:

A Heritage grill that was two-toned black was also called up to duty. The outside painted to match while the inside, horizontal surfaces were all painted Matte Black to match the Matte Black lower grill on the front fascia. Chevy now sells them painted to match just like this but a bunch of us did em up and painted them long before it was an option....thought it made it look more like a true custom grille with an insert.

We left the SS's and Camaro emblems off the grill and fenders. Perhaps something will surface on her soon, but it won't be off the shelf. ;)

After roughing out an idea in our heads that the wife had after seeing multiple stripe threads, vinyl stickers gone wrong, and just ideas that weren't in the Camaro's Heritage, we found some older, retro themed ideas that we thought we'd like to see on the car.

Using the body lines and creating what we thought would be something classy, we took the idea to the folks at Car Crafters and started the process of getting some colors together for the new stripe design that we wanted painted on the car.

Days went by before stripe colors were finally selected, and while I won't say exactly what color they are, I can tell you that the White/Pearl/Silver was based off a Ford :yikes: color found on the Saleen cars and the Blue, well, you can figure that much out. ;)

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-21-2010 02:49 AM

Back on Track...well the road for now..
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29 days after the rubber tire wall at SMS, the car came out of CC and was ready for the streets of the 505 again.....

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-24-2010 01:40 AM

Been gettin asked about the Doug Thorley Catback system and how it sounds....

Here's a snappy video of too dark on me to get some "in action" shots. But this gives you an idea of just how badass it sounds!!

Doug Thorley Full System

Static outside the Car

Static inside the Car

Shakedown Run

Hope you enjoy!!
Ivan :thumbsup:

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-25-2010 11:35 PM

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Finally got a couple minutes to reinstall the AAC/Oracle Blue LED Foglight rings......

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 07-26-2010 12:22 AM

Foglight Hardwire Diagram.
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Been getting a bunch of PM's reguarding how to "keep the foglights on while the Halos or Headlights are on" so I figured I'd share the info with everyone with my ugly paint version diagram...:D

Try this!

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