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Old 09-15-2012, 11:20 PM  
VIR Specialist

JusticePete's Avatar
Drives: Camaro Justice
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 20,246
Public Track Test #1

Public Track Test #1

We have been talking with all of you about our R & D process on the Camaro, literally for years. It started back with the Aussie VZ chassis (Commodore, Ute, Statesman, Monaro and GTO) almost 25 years ago. That is roughly when Holden brought the Opel chassis to AU. That well regarded range of vehicles led GM to assign the Global Rear Wheel Drive Platform to Holden and created the opportunity for Chevrolet to bring back the Camaro. The first product out the gate for the revolutionary ZETA chassis was the Holden Commodore. It was followed by the Pontiac G8. Chevrolet started on the refinement of ZETA just a bit more than three years ago. While Chevy was tuning the ZETA II chassis for the Camaro Pedders was developing the finest suspension systems for the Pontiac G8. How good are the GTO and G8 when Pedderised -- they run this close to a Vette on a highly technical race track, on a track where the low center of gravity, the light weight, the great brakes should allow the American Performance Icon to destroy the much larger and heavier GTO and G8. It doesn't happen because Pedders has designed a complete system for these vehicles that allow them to perform as though they were 1,500 pounds lighter. We can't change the laws of physics, but we can cheat or bend them here and there or at least try to make the impossible possible. So where does that leave our 2010 Camaro? I suggest you ask Staci, Kim or Pedders.



You could also watch the video in HQ. The clarity is stunning.

Maximum Lateral Gs / Accelerometer
Pedders Camaro 1.3835
Pedders G8 1.1503
OEM Camaro 1.0928
Pedders GTO 1.0091
*Corvette -- The Press asked us not to tell you

Maximum Lateral Gs in a turn do not represent a single event. We look at the data collected and use the numbers that have been repeated across multiple runs. These are a bit lower than the peaks recorded by the DL1 as Max Lat.

Maximum Speed
Pedders Camaro 111.03
Pedders GTO 106.47
Pedders G8 105.82
OEM Camaro 103.77
*Corvette -- The Press asked us not to tell you

These are exactly what they say they are. These are the top speeds reached by the cars at Gingerman. There were a number of limiting factors at the track. It was cold. The hottest the track got was 54 degrees. Getting the tires to optimum range was a challenge. To make matters worse it had rained for almost two weeks. The track was washed clean. There was no residual rubber on the track making the track very slick. It is why we ran all the cars the same day to eliminate as many variables as possible. Even the temperature stayed consistent. When the sun was out it felt a bit warmer, but is was basically a 54 degree day all day track side.

Average Speed
Pedders Camaro 71.156
Pedders GTO 67.97
Pedders G8 67.83
OEM Camaro 66.635
*Corvette -- The Press asked us not to tell you

The GTO and G8 incurred technical issues out on the track. We found that both vehicles suffered from fuel starvation due to the high G loads in the turns. Chris Brannon would have to back off and wait to accelerate hard out of the turns because of the drop in fuel pressure. Compounding that were the OEM differentials in the GTO and G8. Both have wear from daily driving and general abuse. We don't think that is the issue. Pulling 1G at a high rate of speed is different from a skid pad. In many of the turns we are well into over steer, counter steering and applying power. This transfers enormous amounts of load to the outside rear drive wheel. The OEM differentials just give up and the unloaded inner wheel spins in a one wheel peel. Both Camaros and the Corvette did not demonstrate these issues and were virtually perfect at the limits of handling.

Maximum Power Output kW
Pedders Camaro 224.62
Pedders GTO 201.41
Pedders G8 196.72
OEM Camaro 174.14
*Corvette -- The Press asked us not to tell you

This is a calculation made using data from the accelerometers based on acceleration. Chris, our driver, will tell you he could not put down power due to the track conditions in ANY of the cars. What he is really saying in that he could have done better on a seasoned track on a warmer day with the same cars and setups. He is spot on. It is also a factor that he is accustomed to driving on full race tires. All of the cars we tested would have done far better on full race tires. The more powerful the car, the great the benefit would have been for this measurement. How much difference do we think full race tires would make for a test like this -- between 3 to 5 seconds. On the over powered Pedders Camaro, maybe more.

Front Tire Size Rear Tire Size

Camaro 245/45/20 275/40/20
Corvette 245/40/18 285/35/19
Pedders Camaro 305/30/19 305/30/19
Pedders G8 275/35/19 275/35/19
Pedders GTO 275/35/18 295/30/18

Tire Pressure Cold
Camaro 33 33 33 33
Corvette 33 33 33 33
Pedders Camaro 33 33 33 33
Pedders G8 33 33 33 33
Pedders GTO 33 33 33 33

Tire Pressure Hot
Camaro 40.9 40.2 39.9 39.1
Corvette 39.2 37.5 38.4 37.8
Pedders Camaro 44 44 41.7 41.3
Pedders G8 42 41.3 42 40.4
Pedders GTO 40.4 39.8 40.7 40.3

Yes we used a tire pressure gage that reads in tenths of a pound.

Tire Temperatures Hot

LF Outer LF Center LF Inner
Camaro 123 114 103
Corvette 108 102 96
Pedders Camaro 109 104 121
Pedders G8 102 108 106
Pedders GTO 97 97 99

RF Outer RF Center RF Inner
Camaro 131 120 115
Corvette 110 109 108
Pedders Camaro 167 169 152
Pedders G8 109 116 120
Pedders GTO 101 99 100

LR Outer LR Center LR Inner
Camaro 113 105 116
Corvette 93 90 89
Pedders Camaro 109 106 142
Pedders G8 97 98 108
Pedders GTO 76 86 101

RR Outer RR Center RR Inner
Camaro 107 106 112
Corvette 96 110 105
Pedders Camaro 120 120 163
Pedders G8 106 116 123
Pedders GTO 85 90 98

It would appear that the aggressive driving style of Chris Brannon and the exceptional balance of the Pedderised Camaro combined to heat up the tires. Of all the cars on the track, the most neutral, the car with the least under steer was the Camaro. The transition from neutral to over steer was complete predictable regardless of the track conditions or Chris aggressively jumping the corners. Nothing unsettled the car all day. My driving skills (Pete Basica) are better than many but nothing near the excellence of Chris. I was able to steer through corners, use a bit of over steer to slip through corners and flat out drift an entire corner. The Camaro makes me a far better driver because it is such a competent and complete car.

Brake Temperatures Hot

LF Rotor RF Rotor LR Rotor RR Rotor
Camaro 494 440 335 296
Corvette 370 348 411 391
Pedders Camaro 738 644 361 335
Pedders G8 607 518 476 407
Pedders GTO 448 336 462 416

LF Caliper RF Caliper LR Caliper RR Caliper
Camaro 228 210 159 147
Corvette 192 165 185 174
Pedders Camaro 372 366 207 178
Pedders G8 370 364 322 293
Pedders GTO 253 236 176 162

Our Pedderised Camaro brakes were clearly the hottest. There is good reason for that. We had to Black Flag Chris to get him off the track or he would have run until the tank was empty. Our Pedderised Camaro is that much fun to drive. You never want to slow down or stop driving. Each car was prepared carefully for the track with the exception of the Corvette and OEM Camaro. We ran only enough hot laps on those two cars to get good data. They are not our cars and we promised to return them in once piece. That doesn't mean they were not run hard. They were wrung out, just not repeatedly like the GTO, G8 but especially our Pedderised Camaro. Even with the rotors smoking we had no brake fade -- none thanks to Cobalt Friction ZX1 and ZX3 pads. Our custom made lines are braided stainless with red vinyl coating and OEM ends with strain relief. We even used the OEM mounts.

Justice Pete & Chris Brannon Driver Extraordinaire

The tale of the tape is complete. What is know where near complete is how we got here and how the Camaro really drives. It all starts with tires and wheels. You need to address the front and rear track of the Camaro with LIGHTWEIGHT 19" wheels. We use Dave at Forgeline where we feel we get the absolute best service and best quality product. Forgeline designed a set of wheel with a proprietary offset to add 2" of front track and 1/2 inch of rear track creating a net increase up front on 1.5 inches. Bridgestone makes the RE-11 and we consider it the king of street tires. We run 305/30 19s all the way around on our 19 x 10.5" Forgeline rims. We pulled just under 40 pounds out of the four corners while dramatically increasing the tire contact patch. This was a killer first step in the process.

Next up we added power. Our longtime business partners ProCharger came through again. They installed a QUIET blower and bypass that are undetectable with the hood closed. We are making 480 Torque and 530 RWHP through our American Racing Headers and QTP cutouts. The American Racing headers offered a weight savings that was more important to us than RWHP. Anything we can do to reduce weight is desirable. Our Camaro has enough power to literally scare you on the street or track, A byproduct of the 305/30/19s is a gear ration change by tire diameter from a 3.45 to a 3.77. That is one more reason we had issues getting power down at the track.

What is last in this discussion should be first on your list if you own a Camaro -- PEDDERS SUSPENSION. Changing out the radius arm and sub-frame bushes are the two most critical modifications that should be made to EVERY Camaro that is built and sold. Our bushes remove the terminal bush squish squirm that creates instabilities in handling from a foundational level. It all starts with these two parts. We already addressed unsprung rate with our Forgeline lightweight wheels and Bridgestone RE-11 tires. These same modifications do double duty in correcting the narrow front track that is the OEM specification. The track correction addresses under steer as do all our suspension modifications as we strive to bring a finely honed edge to a well made Chevrolet knife.

In the rear we replaced every OEM suspension bush with the exception of the specialty Hiem joints. We went deeper into the car and upgraded the OEM voided rubber differential bushes with Pedders street friendly urethane to increase the vehicle's ability to handle the increase in RWHP and Torque. Then we moved to the dampers. Pedders Xa eXtreme coilovers are 46mm high pressure monotube units. You'll see them on every GM owned Camaros at SEMA and on most of the GM sponsored Camaros at SEMA. They are height adjustable by screwing down into or out of the mounting brackets. Raising or lowering the car does not alter the jounce travel (a GM term describing the distance of suspensions travel before contact with the bump stop). This preserves ride quality at all ride heights. The Pedders Camaro was destined for some serious track time. We have it riding very very low. I do drive it as my daily driver. We drive the kids to school and go any where the mood moves us in our super low Camaro. There are certainly speed bumps that we drag on, but it is really no different than driving a Corvette. You know it is low and approach at a 45 degree angle to reduce points of contact. I have been doing this for years and it is second nature to me. many of you would find my car undrivable because it is almost on the ground. No problem the Xa coilover are height adjustable. They are also have 30 preset damping adjustments. You have full control over both the high and low speed cycles. They are easy to adjust as long as you can count to 30.

With the full suspension in place including wheels and tires our Pedderised Camaro was almost track ready. What was required next were the right diameter sway bars. You'll see many options in the market. I can tell you from my testing that we feel Pedders has the best solutions available in the market. For the typical Camaro owner a single front 27mm bar will steady your Camaro under most daily driving conditions and make sweepers your favorite turn or twist of the day. A single front bar solution does nothing to address under steer and when you reach under steer it will be worse than it was from the factory. Most Camaro drivers will never reach that level and that is why we offer this practical solution that reduces lean and roll to make your driving experience better than stock.

For the more aggressive driver we have a second set of bar that offer three positions of adjustment. These are a matched set of 27mm bars for the enthusiast. These bars are a huge step up and bring more balance to your Camaro. If you occasionally hit the track or auto-cross these bars are for you. You will know the first time you enter a turn.

For the serious track person. For those with extensive SCCA or NASA experience. For those that understand that lifting off the throttle when you are in over steer is a really bad idea and won't make a mistake worse by hitting the brake we offer Pedders Solution C. The C stands for COMPETITION. These bars on your Pedderised Camaro will allow you to choose how to traverse a corner -- STEER, OVER STEER or DRIFT. If you know how to drive your FULLY Pedderised Camaro will not under steer again. These are made for serious drives and come with a disclaimer. When matched with a full Pedders system your Camaro will over steer. ONLY DRIVERS that know how to handle this should purchase this COMPETITION set of bars. That is why we made them -- so Camaro owners can watch the race from the front row in their rear view mirror.

All of Pedders sway bars are sold complete with HD endlinks. The studs on the endlinks are larger than the OEM studs. This means it is one of the very few Pedders products that requires you to use a drill on your car. The front strut endlink bracket must be drilled to fit as well as the rear endlink bracket. The are HD double ball joint endlinks. They are also adjustable. For those of you with Pedders coilovers you Pedders sway bar endlinks can be cut to fit making corner weighting more accurate. It is all part of any sway bar solution you purchase from Pedders for your Camaro.

Spring rate, damping rate, stable foundation through bushes and finally sway bars. Sway bars are a TUNING ELEMENT and not a solution. You can use an oversize bar to mask a deficiency in the vehicle, but only to a point. A rear sub-frame that steps out from NVH voided bushes will still step out with the best sway bar in the world. The cause wasn't a too small OEM sway bar. The cause was the NVH voided sub-frame bush that is fine for the more mild mannered Camaro driver, but completely unacceptable to the more demanding enthusiast driver. The Camaro is one of the best cars to ever be built in volume production. The monocoque is exceptionally strong. It doesn't need all the Band-Aid braces that are so deeply ingrained into the Muscle Car community. Let me say this one more time -- DON'T BUY A BRACE FOR YOUR CAMARO -- IT DOESN'T NEED THEM. Now if you are building a full on race car with a cage and no interior, brace away. Street Camaro's don't need any Band-Aids. They need foundational street friendly urethane bushes. Bushes that will not beat you up on your daily drive. A fully Pedderised Camaro has a ride quality equal to an Audi RS series. It is taut, but not harsh. We will return to Gingerman for a piece of unfinished business next spring / summer. With one item left to accomplish we left Gingerman with the knowledge that our fully Pedderised Camaro is not a wannabe. It is the real deal and in the hands of Chris Brannon it is off the charts. Watch the video again and again. See how stable it is no matter how hard he jumps the corner. Nothing unsettles it and he is running it at 10/10ths.

7 Seconds is an eternity on one lap. If you want your Camaro to be among the best on the road it will have to be Pedderised.
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