It's true that modern muscle cars handle better than their predecessors. As each new generation Camaro has been released, its handling and braking prowess certainly outclassed the dated brother it replaced. That's not to say that GM has built anything perfect, but they have been getting very close. As technology and testing march forward, we can sit back and hope for continued progress in the near future.
To improve the performance of previous generation Camaros, we can turn to aftermarket companies like BMR Suspension to fill in the gaps GM left behind as it moved on to newer models. With a full gamut of parts available to fit all five generations of the Camaro, you are certain to locate the right parts, whether you want to run wheels-up in the quarter-mile or pull some high g's in the twisties on that secret backroad. After perusing their catalog, we felt like a kid at Christmas and checked off nearly every part on the BMR order form that fits our latest project: a '98 Camaro.
Dressed in Sport Gold Metallic, our first-year LS1 car was certainly a sight. Fully optioned as a Z28, it sat languishing away in a Southern California beach town, calling out to us for attention. As most of our loyal readers already know, we have a soft spot for these cars, so Project Goldmaro was born.
With the information we have ascertained for the '98 model year, Chevrolet built just 97 Z28 coupes in Sport Gold Metallic with the six-speed manual transmission. Being that our Z28 is a T-top car, the numbers would break down even further, but we couldn't find those numbers. To be sure, a Camaro in this color and with these options is not one you'd see on a regular basis, and the ones we have seen gave us mixed feelings about the color. But with our plans for Goldmaro to be less than subtle once it's completed, the color works for us.
01. Looking something like an oversized jigsaw puzzle, our BMR Suspension components were chosen to address every weakness under Goldmaro. The BMR parts will save weight and add strength. The adjustable front and rear arms will bring tunability to world-class levels compared to stock.
02. Installing the BMR front suspension system required dropping the engine, transmission, and K-member as a single unit, which is a story in itself. To save the A/C system, we kept the lines connected and simply hung the compressor from the framerail.
03. After draining the coolant, disconnecting the entire wiring harness, unbolting all of the brake lines, releasing the steering shaft, and removing the driveshaft and torque arm, Goldmaro was lifted into the air, leaving the drivetrain and front suspension safely on the ground.
04. Using some furniture dollies from Harbor Freight Tools allowed us to easily maneuver the engine and transmission out from under the car and to the awaiting engine hoist for removal from the stock K-member.
05. On the GM assembly line, the steering rack was installed before the engine, and as such, this bolt was inserted from the top. With the engine in place, it's normally impossible to remove this bolt because the oil pan sits just millimeters above it.
06. To ensure ease of serviceability down the road, the steering rack was mounted onto BMR's slick K-member with the driver-side bolt placed from the bottom up.
07. BMR offers its K-member with a number of engine mounting options to suit every flavor of available GM power offerings. We went with factory LS1 mounts to allow our engine to drop right into its new home.
08. Those same Harbor Freight dollies made it easy to align everything as we lowered the Goldmaro back down to meet its new parts.
09. Factory mounting locations and hardware made the installation of the BMR K-member a snap. Access in and around the new K-member was incredible thanks to the tubular design.