2001 Chevy Camaro Z28 Heads, Headers & Exhaust Upgrade - Budget Badass

Thrifty Heads/Cam/Bolt-On Goodies Pick Up 81 Rear-Wheel Horses

Rick Jensen Feb 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)

At this point, my 2001 hardtop, nicknamed 1SC-YA thanks to its 1SC build code and lack of options, has a great swapped-in six-speed, an enhanced stock front- brake setup, and a killer street/track suspension compliant enough for New York City roads and potent enough to tear up a road course.

All the testing you've seen so far (and some that's still to come) has been done with stock power numbers. The 317 SAE ponies at the wheels, with 339 ft-lb of torque, have been a blast-and got better with synthetic Red Line fluids for a grand total of 329/349. But the potential of the LS1 is staggering, and since some of the best upgrades are heads/cam/bolt-on packages, it's time for more power.

I didn't want to just throw on one of several "go-to" packages and call it good; there are a ton of great combos out there, and GMHTP has covered its fair share f them. But for 1SC-YA, my plan was to assemble my own combo with an eye on price; replace worn parts with quality, costeffective pieces; dyno-test the new combo to show a solid power gain; and then comment on the fit, finish, and performance of the new goodies.

At the heart of this buildup are Patriot Performance cam and heads, Hooker headers, Y-pipe,exhaust system, and SLP airlid. Providing fuel is a set of FAST 60-pound injectors and a Racetronix fuel system.

Though the chosen parts will save big bucks, don't confuse this story with a dirt- heap build; an eye was kept on cost, but not at the expense of quality and longevity. The headers are a perfect example. I could have gone bottom dollar (and suffered the inevitable fit/finish problems), but I chose Hooker because they fit well, will last longer with the ceramic coating, and don't cost a bundle.

There are a few choices you might raise an eyebrow at, like the $500 fuel injectors. That's a big chunk, so no-buck guys might just say "keep the stockers in." This Z's 28-pounders, though right on the edge, would have worked in the short-term for low-400 wheel horsepower, but the duty cycle would have been maxed out. This is always a bad idea, as engines on the edge are much more likely to have problems. And as we were looking toward the future and bigger mods, these 60s (overkill, yes, but actually $10 cheaper than the 42-poundersfrom FAST), along with a solid new fuel pump and harness, meant wewon't have to replace this LS1's injectors again-saving money and time in the process.

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