The Fourth-Generation Camaro has become one of the most performance-oriented vehicles of the last 20 years, if not all time. Not only has this F-Body elicited driving excitement amongst its owners, it has generated an entire cottage industry dedicated to producing go-fast parts to help bring out the best in the beast.
In its stock form, the LS1-powered Camaro is a thrill ride. Add a few more ponies and you've got a bona fide musclecar. But what you've also got is a moody handler, as well. Over the last few years, we've explored various enhancements in both power and handling, with mixed results. Currently, thanks to Chevrolet's Scott Settlemire, we have a '99 SS to "play" with. The first upgrade we commissioned came at Vortech Engineering, where the supercharger gurus added enough extra power to spin the dyno needle to around 430 rear-wheel horses. With more intake going in, we figured that now more than ever the SS was is in need of a serious exhaust system.
We all know the benefits of a finely tuned set of pipes, whether your ride's motor is bone stock or built to the hilt. So the big question is, where can you find not only a system to handle heavy horsepower, as well as the ease of bolt-in installation? In this case a little searching turned up a firm called Mac Products, based out of Temecula, California. These guys have hit the proverbial "nail on the head" when it comes to squeezing the maximum horsepower while making their exhaust system utilize the factory mounts. Mac can provide you with a complete smog-legal performance system from headers, to high-flow catalytic converters, to their very own aluminized "Flow Path" muffler. All exhaust systems are built from heavy 16-gauge tubing, then treated to a non-corrosive HTS coating, and come with all the necessary hardware to install yourself. Mac's exhaust systems need no clamps, slip joints, welding, or gaskets because of there True Fit design. As you can see in the following photos, everything fit easily under our Camaro. The sound, look, fit, and performance produced from this system definitely complement the power and style of this popular performer.
With the added power of the Mac exhaust, we felt that the Camaro was also in need of some suspension tuning. No problem, as Mac recently completed its line of tubular lower control arms, Panhard rod and subframe connectors for the Fourth-Gen
The "Chassis Masters" Panhard rod, rear control arms, and subframe connectors have been engineered to keep the body stiff and the tires firmly planted to the ground. All of Mac's suspension parts come completely powdercoated and ready to install. They'll also arrive at your door equipped with polyurethane bushings that will last longer than their factory rubber counterparts. Mac Products designed their parts with straightforward installations in mind. The company does, however, provide a helpful tech line to answer any questions you might have while undertaking the installation.
Mac's tech crew, who fit and tests all of the products they sell before they are placed on the market, handled the labor-intensive part of our project. Everything installed on our pewter-hued SS was done with normal hand tools, with the exception of the subframe connectors that will require an experienced welder to install.
With all of the power and handling enhancements accomplished during our visit at Mac's, we were chomping at the bit to get in the car for the ride home, knowing that in addition to a cooler rumble coming from the new pipes, the traction controls added would certainly help us harness the Vortech's power to the pavement. You, too, can witness how well these upgrades worked by following the installation photos that follow, as well as ordering a set of parts for your own F-Body canyon carver.