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Old 02-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #1
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 50
one from across the pond

Car - Camaro SS
Colour - Inferno Orange Metallic
Year - 2013, this means it came with the upgraded touch-screen stereo and rear parking camera
Transmission - A6
Engine - L99 Small Block Chevy (400hp)
Options - RS option package



I thought that I'd drop few lines about my most recent purchase in the hope that some may be interested.

I guess I should say that as long-term 'Yankophile' I do have 'form' when it comes to American iron having owned a number of examples of 'muscle', pertinent to this I have also owned a number of 3rd generation IROC Camaros (this isn't my actual car but is identical)


as well as a 4th generation SS (2000)


a 2005 Mustang GT



and a few pick-up trucks





I guess you could say that I have a problem! :rofl:


About 6 months ago I started getting itchy feet with regard to my SLK55



nothing at all wrong with it except it's too fast to fully appreciate on the roads I normally drive on (too crowded and full of cameras). It really is a wonderful place to be on a crisp day with the air-scarf and heated seats on but, and a lot of you on here know how it is, once you have a wandering eye nothing less than a rethink of your motoring needs will do. :hehe: In my case I was actually missing the quirkiness of a Yank car over here (I know, I know) and that had to be a place to start.

Sooooo what do you do and look at when your current car is too powerful? That's right - you look for something even more powerful! Though to be fair in this case it's also a little more lardy and as such not quite as quick (though in the 4.8/5.2 to 60 ballpark it's not exactly slow either).

My main criteria for the new toy were:

V8 - this was nailed on, quite frankly I really don't care if a twin turbo 4 or 6 is 'better', I just love an 8.
Auto - I'm a lazy driver and want a cruiser with decent performance rather than an out and out sports-car.
US import - what can I say? I just missed LH (or if you want to stereotype what is thought of this in the UK, I missed the line-dancing and Stetsons )
Good condition (naturally)

After this point I was a little more flexible:

I'd prefer a US spec (in the UK it's a lower tax-bracket which is always a nice thing to have!).
I'd prefer to have a non-'re-sale colour' (so no silver, white, black).
Low miles.
HuD.
Reversing sensors.
A plethora of options.

I'd had a lead on a nice sounding (no pun intended) red SS for sale ('interesting' factoid here - Euro versions of the SS/RS package are marked up as RS) and the plan was to go and see it whilst on my way back from a weekend away. Unfortunately, as is often the case, "the call" was received en-route that a prospective buyer had left a deposit and so was no longer available. At this point I'd not sold my SLK55 but a (VERY) understanding wife reasoned that, as Camaros were quite rare over here, if a good one were to come up I should jump on it and worry about selling the SLK later.

At this point I was looking at US as well as UK cars and while the choice of US examples was, obviously, vast the particular spec I wanted reduced the market considerably. The 'fun' with the exchange rates put a spanner in the works (had I bought from the US in feb 2018 I'd have saved an extra 3.5k minimum compared with sept 2018) as did my worries uying unseen (I do know that there are inspection services available) and shipping (mainly the wait, I'm impatient!). A further option was to look in Europe (mobile.de and autoscout24.de are quite useful here) but as well as there not being a large choice to start with there did seem to be a preponderance of high mileage vehicles and again the exchange rate didn't help. To compound matters at this point Mrs Waylander then started looking for Camaros as well - at a higher price level than I had in mind! I'd seen a lovely looking example the classifieds but hadn't gone any further as it was out of my price-range. No longer!

An initial enquiry via the website met with zero response and, to be quite honest, at this point I nearly thought **** it if they can't be bothered to respond to an e-mail I can't be bothered to chase them to give them my money. After a little more searching it quickly became apparent that there was no point in cutting off my nose to spite my face and so I picked up the phone - what a difference! The salesman was enthusiastic, friendly and actually helpful: conversation had and appointment made.

The day of the viewing was pretty shitty in all honesty - but I guess if you're going to find fault with a high power, RWD car those are the conditions to do it in right? Errrm not so much. The initial test-drive went reasonably well

The drive itself was pleasant, albeit there was a fair bit of drone from the (modified) exhaust but the irritating thing was that the check engine light was on. In previous years this would not have been an issue however from now onwards it is a straight fail - not that I'd be happy with a permanently lit CEL potentially masking other problems. Anywho, long story short a deal was agreed subject to the CEL issue being resolved and that's where the fun started (I was a little nervous at this point since I had heard a few unpleasant stories of experiences with dealer in question - but, thankfully, my experience turned out to be a good one in the end).

The CEL issue had been 'resolved' prior to them putting the car up for sale so it went back to the same 'specialists' to check it out and put it right, the problem is that this Camaro had been treated to a cold air induction system, full length headers, 'race cats' and a free flow system. What had not been properly done is the re-map so the cats constantly read as not operating to full efficiency; this being due to the cats being positioned further back than standard because of the headers.

Finally the day came and the dealer delivered my new toy (all part of their service). Wow, sitting on my drive it did look good; the problem arose when it came to driving it. The drone I noticed on the test drive was not only still present but, at some points, nearly unbearable along with wayward steering and the CEL popped back up - AGAIN! It is at this point where I suspect that many dealers would have tried to wash their hands of any problem especially since there was no written guarantee. They didn't bat an eye but collected straight away to resolve the CEL issue when I was on holiday (I decided that the drone and steering were minor issues which were not warranty worthy - a wise move as it turned out later). Upon the car's return the CEL was gone - for about a week/200miles! At this point a long discussion was had with the dealer as to the ability of their chosen tuning specialist and a decision was made that I would find an appropriate garage and they would pay for the work, step forward a great guy in the UK. Trevor, the proprietor, has a supercharged 5th generation Camaro and has a good reputation within the UK Camaro community - a reputation that is well deserved!

The idea was that the Hypetech aftermarket tune on the Camaro would be removed and the car returned to standard tune and then each specific item (headers, CAI) up-loaded to give a custom tune for my car, this would be paid for by the dealer. At the same time the tracking would be looked at to ensure that the car wouldn't try and pitch me into the countryside if I wasn't paying attention, this would be paid by me. After a couple of weeks with Trevor I everything was done, the dealrt (to their credit) paid their part of the bill at once, and off I went to collect.

Talk about night and day - there were a couple of quirks/niggles when I first drove the Camaro which I thought were part of the car's character. It turns out that this wasn't the case:
The drone which I thought was intolerable - vastly reduced. It transpired that the tracking had been so far out it was causing most of the resonance I was experiencing so messing with the exhaust wouldn't have helped.
Some of the hunting I felt the auto-box suffered from - gone.
Pick-up - a lot sharper.
Above all that sodding CEL - GONE!

The Camaro has now done 500+ miles with the new set-up and I couldn't be happier - I have to credit the dealer for standing by their word and Trevor at TJ Motors for being every bit as good as his reputation said.


So, future plans? In no particular order:

I don't see the point of adding in extra power - I'm already north of 400hp and I've got no intention of going drag-racing, so that's off the menu.


DAB - although the standard radio is rather good there is no DAB so this is a priority (thinking of an Alpine unit). We don't get the US satellite services in the UK so in the end I opted for the cheaper idea of just getting a DAB add on - this has now been fitted.


I want to get the stripes taken off at some point (they're starting to fade a little) and then painted on in anthracite or bronze rather than the flat black there at present. Given the costs involved though I may well end-up getting vinyl again.



Remove the 'X'-pipe and fit an 'H' pipe instead (there would apparently be a small loss of c.4 hp - who cares?), the 'H' gives a slightly different exhaust note more in keeping with a muscle/pony-car. Change the silencers. With the system on there at the moment you'd think it was loud enough to drown out Joshua's horns at Jericho, in fact it is remarkably quiet until you hit about 3500 rpm, at which point it is truly amazing. BUT at that point you're normally in serious danger of loss of freedom, let alone licence! After a discussion with the local exhaust specialist the 'X'/'H' pipe swap isn't going to happen, but the Borla silencers will be removed in the next few weeks and I'll see what it sounds like un-corked.



Lowering - likely to get it lowered 1" - 1.25" (likely the slightly larger drop at the front).


Maybe get some new alloys. Other Camaro choices would be 20*10 ZL1 wheels or 21*9.5 'Dusk' package wheels, alternatively there is the aftermarket, though there is obviously a (considerable!) financial implication.


Duck-tail rear spoiler


Custom badges - in the UK the SS/RS package is just RS rather than SS on US models (apparently due to sensitivity regarding the SS nomenclature). I'd like to get some badges to reflect the SS/RS package as well as have the headrests embroidered (again as per US spec cars).













hopefully that wasn't too long and boring

Last edited by waylander; 07-10-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:20 PM   #2
SkunkJunk420

 
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This is awesome
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:34 PM   #3
Deputy347k9

 
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Very enjoyable read! You have a beautiful set of wheels, enjoy.
Larry
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:16 PM   #4
CamaroFred


 
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Good story.
Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:11 PM   #5
StreetRage320
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Nice ride..love that IROC
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:04 AM   #6
pat_t
 
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Beautiful car! Whereabouts in the UK are you? Hopefully see you at a UK meet sometime
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:15 PM   #7
bertie
 
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That's a good read. Awesome Camaro.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:57 AM   #8
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat_t View Post
Beautiful car! Whereabouts in the UK are you? Hopefully see you at a UK meet sometime
I'm in Essex generally at the Cars and Coffee meet at the Maldon Museum of Power on a monthly basis and will be at the American Speedfest in June
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:35 PM   #9
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 50
well quick up-date time....

Car's been booked in for a little visual up-grade (should've been done AGES ago but that's a, very, sore point!) still toying with the idea of painted stripes while it's away; although the price is more than vinyl it doesn't seem to be massively more - plus I can then get a (semi)custom colour. I have decided against white since I just can't stop seeing a clown fish

The exhaust may well be whipped off while the paint is being done and I'll be running on open pipes for a couple of weeks to see/hear/feel what it's like, currently too quiet - my SLK55 is louder which won't do

Turns out that I already have remote start, I'd just been using the spare rather than main key which I guess I should've been using RTFM! Oh well, one less thing to cost me money.

I went ahead and had a DAB module fully fitted - bloody thing doesn't work on the Camaro , too much interference, oh well was fully refunded so it's not all bad, though I do miss my internet radio stations.
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:36 PM   #10
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 50
well time for a little update:

- Went for a 'personalised plate' for the car.

- I managed to snag a duck-tail spoiler, was yellow but even if I'd found a new one I'd have had to have it re-sprayed so that was all good and then I wanted to get rid of the vinyl stripes (they had faded and were needing to be replaced at some point) and replaced with paint along with a few extra painted highlights. So with this in mind...




















the Chevy badge (suitably modded) will be going back on as will new SS badges front and rear (the Euro-spec SS Camaro is badged up as an RS)
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:25 PM   #11
Deputy347k9

 
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You have done an amazing job. Love the stripes. Are you going to install some OEM splash guards to help protect the quarters from getting chipped?

I put a set on my 2014 and they blend in nice, not awkward looking at all.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:08 AM   #12
CamaroFred


 
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That spoiler really changed the look for the better!
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:14 PM   #13
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputy347k9 View Post
You have done an amazing job. Love the stripes. Are you going to install some OEM splash guards to help protect the quarters from getting chipped?

I put a set on my 2014 and they blend in nice, not awkward looking at all.

not sure about the splash-guards at this point (weekend only car so not needed as much) but I'll monitor the necessity!
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