Car Corner
Plans for modifying my Camaro

April 1, 1998
By Scott Lewis

As luck would have it, I will not have much money left over from daycare to modify my Camaro Z28. If you read last month's column you are aware that I paid off my Camaro, and was hoping to use the extra cash toward my Z. Well the daycare we use decided to stop part time enrollment. So now we will be hit with an extra $200 a month for daycare that we did not plan for.

This blows almost any chance I had to get speed parts for my Z. I am still going to try and convince my wife to let me spend some money. As promised last month, here are the firm plans I have for my Camaro. I may slightly modify the order due to the tighter money situation, but this is close to what I plan to get.

Cold Air Induction

This is the induction package that Lingenfelter helped design. It is also sold under the Accel name. I thought about getting K&N own, but Lingenfelter has a huge reputation for building very fast Camaros and Corvettes.

Underdrive Pulleys

Another Lingenfelter item. Let me put it this way... If I had the money, I would have this guy build me a killer engine.

Cat-back Exhaust

Although I linked to Lingenfelter for this item, I am really interested in the Borla setup. Hot Rod TV got nearly 20 rear wheel horsepower from this system in a recent episode. Edelbrock has actual performance numbers listed on their web site for their cat-back system. I will have to think hard on this one. Cost will be a big concern here as the Borla is a $600+ expense. I have not priced the Edelbrock system yet.

Throttle Body

This item was part of a joint development with Edelbrock and BBK. It costs around $300 give or take a few bucks. I would stick with the 52mm version, since I am not planning radical engine modifications.


Edelbrock's T.E.S. series look very promising. I will have to do more research in this department. I don't want to do any welding or cutting to install a set of headers. Also, I am concerned with heat build-up.

I am hoping to get at least 50 rear wheel horsepower from these modifications. If anyone has installed any of these parts, please contact me, and let me know about your experiences with them.

That's it for now. I hope to start putting some of these parts on my car soon, however that is unlikely. At least the plan is set. I will tell you about them as I get them.

For those that have not read this column from the beginning, I have a 350 Chevy engine sitting on an engine stand. I built this engine... on second thought, this will be the subject of next month's column.

Editor's Note: as this issue went to press, my Camaro developed a strange buckling feeling/noise during hard shifts from first to second. It progressed and now does it with mildly hard launches. The kind you would get pulling out into traffic from a parking lot. The car is being driven very gently until the problem is found. I have jacked the car up and looked for obvious problems. The only thing I discovered was a loose panhard bar. Tightening it had no effect on the problem.

It feels like the rear end is going to fall out. I looked for loose or damaged transmission mounts, and all the read end mounting points, but everything seems tight. It might be internal to the rear end, or even the transmission. The universal joints look fine, but it is difficult to tell. I will check the engine mounts next, but don't think it will reveal anything new. I'll keep you informed.

By the way, this is the first problem I have had with the car since the warranty ran out two years ago. This has been the most reliable car I have ever had, and I have owned a Toyota and a Honda for you import lovers..

One more thing... The right front tire has a screw in it. I just discovered this yesterday. Since the screw is on the edge of the tire, and the tire is over 42,000 miles old, I will be replacing it. I may replace the other 42,000 mile old tire with it. These will be major set backs to getting performance parts. I am going to try and hold out until payday to replace the tire(s).