A couple of years ago, standing out from the crowd in a fifth-gen Camaro simply meant owning one. If you were one of the lucky few to own an early ’10, you remember the long lines at gas stations, cruise-ins, or car shows of people fascinated with the new Camaro. Today, you’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the chance to check out a Camaro and that makes getting noticed just that much tougher. But fear not Camaro fans, because where the General’s luster may have worn, the aftermarket is just getting started. Today, there are modifications available for almost every single piece of a new Camaro, from the Chevrolet badge on the front grill to the exhaust tips out back.
Unfortunately, many modifications require extensive work to install at significant cost, which limits how much an enthusiast can do in their garage on a tight budget. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun, and create a personalized piece in the process, while still staying within budget. Enter Phastek Performance, a company that specializes in late model Camaro parts, both big and small. When the crew isn’t out working on extreme Camaro projects, they are selling parts, offering build advice, and helping the fifth-gen community acquire parts for their rides. Phastek carries a ton of quality parts, but what intrigued us for this particular story was its vast array of billet accessories – many of which simply drop in place – that can take a stock or modified Camaro to the next level. For the install, we teamed up with another Camaro builder, Greg Lovell of AntiVenom, to get our Camaro dressed up in billet for the big show.
1. GM engineers did a fantastic job designing the Camaro platform, but they definitely put function before form when it came to certain aspects of the design. While the engine compartment looks good in stock form, it’s certainly not going to win any shows that way, but that’s not a problem for the weekend warrior looking to make some stylish changes with just a couple hours worth of work.
2. For our engine bay dress up project, we teamed up with the crew at Phastek Performance to outfit our ’12 SS with a couple of key billet accessories for under the hood. A quick perusal of their site (www.phastekperformance.com) and a phone conversation with Jason Calzada was all it took to get our billet upgrades in the mail. Jason recommended the line of Inferno Orange Metallic (IOM) SS engraved billet accessories, which carry a genuine GM license and a better than OEM level fit and finish.
3. The factory shock towers on the fifth-gen chassis are left bare from the factory and the single bolt and rubber ring aren’t very attractive. This area also tends to get rather dirty (road debris, dust, etc.) and covering it immediately cleans up the bay. The billet caps simply slide over the tops and stay in place thanks to the rubber top.
4. The stock brake and clutch fluid reservoir is one of the only white plastic pieces in the bay and it sticks out like a sore thumb on any color bay. The billet cover slides right over the reservoir and clips in place using the factory clip. The cap goes over the stocker and is held in place with friction.
5. The passenger side of the bay is especially ugly in stock form, with wiring coming into the main fuse box and the brake lines running into the ABS block. On the right you can see the ABS cover, which could use some double-sided tape to hold it firmly in place. On the left is the main fuse block cover, which fits over top of the plastic base perfectly.
6. The main wiring is also covered by a billet cap, as is the coolant fill tube. As the billet starts to fill the bay, you can really get a good feel for how well it brightens the bay and takes the entire project to the next level. Be careful to line up all of the SS script or you’ll end up with a disjointed bay that looks amateur.
7. Unlike many of the other parts in the Phastek kit, both the main positive battery lug and the washer fluid cap replace (not cover) the stock pieces. No worries, the stock parts can simply be pulled off of the lug and reservoir and the new billet pieces just drop right in place.
8. The driver’s side is starting to look really good with the bright orange billet pieces, especially with the installation of the air conditioning service caps, the radiator cap, and the power steering cap. Inferno Orange Metallic may have sounded crazy over a black SS, but it sure does stand out!
9. Last but not least, Greg installed the billet tensioner pulley cover in place, using the supplied stainless hardware. You will need to remove the factory airbox to gain access to the pulley, as well as the stock belt, but it’s a simple job with a screwdriver and a ratchet.
10. Not only does the engine bay look great with all of the Phastek billet in place, but it’ll attract positive attention at the shows thanks to it’s quality construction. All of the billet pieces fit well and were machined perfectly. The IOM powdercoat was well applied and everything matched. No wonder these pieces carry a genuine GM license.
11. Of course, you can’t have a stylish engine bay without also sprucing up the interior, and Phastek didn’t waste any time sending us a couple of key billet interior accessories to match the engine bay pieces. Our stripped down 1SS could definitely use some help in the show department.
12. Most everything on the interior slides over the factory parts, which makes installing them a breeze. Both control stalks (left and right side of the wheel) get billet ends, which slide over the factory plastic for a quick and easy job.
13. The headlight switch, mirror control knob, and the trunk release button all get covered in orange billet and each piece easily snaps in place over the factory controls. The door lock mechanisms install in place of the factory units, which takes a little more effort. Unscrew the stock stalk, drop the button in place, and screw the new billet piece in place.
14. Greg left the best for last, installing the A/C control and radio knobs as the final touches in the interior. These IOM billet control knobs really set off the interior, taking it from mild to wild in one minute’s worth of work. If orange isn’t your color, these would look great in black or polished as well.
15. Stepping back, it’s plain to see how different the interior can look with a couple of well-placed accent pieces. Phastek offers all of these billet parts and much more for your fifth-gen project in a variety of finishes, which will allow you to customize your ride to your liking. For a couple hours worth of work, with no permanent modifications to the Camaro, this is a great way to make a show quality upgrade without any hassle at all.