2010 Chevy Camaro - 25 Proven Tips And Tricks

Take Your Fifth-Gen From Stock As A Rock To Large And In Charge

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If you have purchased a fifth-generation Camaro, or this magazine, then no doubt you have come to love the styling inherent in the General's most refined pony car yet. However, the down side to owning a wildly successful and popular car is that it is difficult to separate yourself from the Jones'. The many different factory color and stripe options certainly help, but not like a new set of wheels or a supercharger kit that will put car lengths between you and your neighbor. Whether subtle or screaming, whistling or purring, there are many avenues to explore, which will separate your Camaro from the 100,000 others on the road. Here is a list of helpful tips and tricks to help aid your journey.

[1] Exhaust
Just like any other LS motor, the LS3 and L99 love long-tube headers. If you are looking for a complete system from the headers to the tail pipes then check out Kooks Custom Headers and American Racing. Both make a complete 304 stainless steel system with several primary and collector size options. Dynotech makes a nice set, which will bolt up to a stock or aftermarket crossover. BBK and JBA's headers, however, require its own X-pipe-both of which also offer V-6 headers and exhaust. Stainless Works and SLP are two more to check out, both offer full systems as well as headers that bolt to the stock crossover. Those looking for a different exhaust note and minimal labor will like the ease of an axle-back from Dynomax, GM Performance Parts, SLP, Magnaflow, Borla or Corsa. However, a few ponies may be had from an X-pipe that is available from Corsa, MBRP, Flowmaster, Magnaflow, Pypes, Borla, etc. Volume and tone will vary between manufacturers and types of muffler.

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[2] Cold Air Intake Like mufflers, OEM air boxes have become quite good, so the gains from an aftermarket cold air kit might not be night and day. However, they do offer a unique look and one less restriction in the intake tract that may prove problematic as your build progresses. Many also offer a washable and reusuable filter that comes with a warranty. VaraRam, Airaid, K&N, Spectre Performance, and Cold Air Inductions (CAI) are just a few options on the market.

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[3] Tune
With increased modifications computer tuning will become a necessity, but for a stock or bolt-on car tuning can be a means of squeezing a little more power and fuel economy out of your Camaro. Again, the gains through ECM tuning are not nearly what they were on the fourth-gen or other earlier models, but it is still a viable way of improving performance-especially on automatics, where trans tuning also comes into play. For those already equipped with a laptop, and not afraid of virtual VE tables, HP Tuners has a software suite to suit your needs. Of course you can always seek out a quality tuner locally to do the dirty work for you, or go the mail order route-PCMforLess is a great example. The third option is to go with a handheld tuner such as SCT, which is the most user-friendly way of tuning yourself. Take comfort in knowing that over a 1,000 rwhp is possible with the stock ECM, so unless you are building a full-on race car, it is just a matter of tuning.

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[4] Ported Heads
The stock LS3/L99 heads flow over 330cfm as cast, however, quality cylinder head porter can up the ante to 349 to 360-plus cfm. Advanced Induction, West Coast Cylinder Heads, Livernois and Total Engine Airflow have impressive CNC programs, however, Mast Motorsports has its own casting that takes the stock 15-degree valve angle to 12 degrees (among many other improvements). A bump in compression for naturally aspirated setups is highly recommended where 93-octane pump gas or race gas is used. Other LS heads such as the traditional cathedral port stuff from Trick Flow and Air Flow Research will bolt up to the LS3/L99, but require a different intake and rockers. The highly coveted LS7 heads will not, without ET Performance/Performance Induction's casting, due to its extra large valves. The LS9 heads have larger head bolt-holes, which prevent its use on the LS3/L99 block, but are cost-effective, CNC ported and stronger than the Camaro's casting (making it more appropriate for boost applications).

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