There is no denying the fact that the '10 Camaro is a great car. It's also a rather portly one, unfortunately. Considering the new Camaro SS will have a test weight (car with a 200-pound driver) of over 4,000 pounds, a reduction in mass will definitely help lower your elapsed times at the track. In an effort to improve performance at the strip, Matt Hauffe, the owner of Tune Time Performance (Toms River, New Jersey) has assembled some trick parts that significantly reduce the Camaro's weight.
The Camaro on these pages should be familiar. This '10 SS automatic has undergone a series of progressive mods on the pages of Super Chevy. The October 2009 issue was day-one baseline dyno (328 rwhp, 335 lb-ft torque on a Mustang chassis dyno) and strip testing. Brand-new, bone-stock, it ran a strong 13.25 at 106.25 mph before Hauffe plugged in his laptop and tuned his Camaro to an elapsed time of 12.94 at 108.39 mph.
Next, it was treated to a set SLP headers/exhaust, Mast Motorsports VVT (variable valve timing) cam and tuning that shot the power up to 406 rwhp at 6,300 rpm with 378 lb-ft at 4,600 rpm. Those modifications lowered the ET to 12.27 at 114.54 mph.
In the next episode (February 2010), we tested a set of a Mast Motorsports CNC'd Black Label cylinder heads (PN 510-201). The MM heads outflow and outperform the great LS3/L99/L92 heads they are designed to replace.
On the L99, we witnessed a major power increase to 452 rwhp at 6,500 rpm and torque climbed to 400 lb-ft at 4,600 rpm. With those great gains (46 hp and 22 lb-ft) the new F-body posted an 11.81 at 119.27 mph. Running a string of high 11s is impressive considering the test weight of 4,060 pounds and the stock torque converter and gearing (3.25:1).
The next fix for that need-for-speed addiction was to put the heavy Camaro on a diet. Matt wanted to shoot for mid 11s through the use of lighter wheel, tire, and brake components (front and rear). He wanted smaller diameter rear wheels (17- versus 20-inch stock) to have a tire (slick or drag radial) with at least 2 inches or more sidewall to absorb lots of power and plant the tire for a better contact patch.
To fit 17-inch wheels on the new Camaro SS, it's necessary to use the smaller diameter rear brakes (12 inches) from the new six-cylinder model and the front brake components from a '98-02 F-body. The six-cylinder rear brake components were ordered from the local Chevy dealer, while the '98-02 F-body front brakes came from a customer's '01 Z28 who wanted bigger brakes and wheels. The smaller front brakes allowed us to use a set of Bogart skinny front wheels. Once the lighter/smaller diameter brakes and wheels/tires where in place, the Camaro would be brought back for strip testing. The total weight savings for the rear brakes, wheels and tires was 82 pounds (wheels/tires 64 pounds, brakes 18 pounds). Up front a total of 100 pounds was saved (wheels/tires 82 pounds, brakes 18 pounds). All in all, the total weight reduction was 182 pounds-that was enough to get the race weight under the two-ton (4,000-pound) mark down to roughly 3,880-3,900 pounds with driver.
South Jersey's Atco Raceway was able to schedule us (along with some of the Tune Time Performance customers) for a test and tune day. It was December and we had with temps in the mid 50s, humidity at 60-65 percent and the barometric pressure was a steady 30.05.
With only a half-hour cool-down after the one-hour drive to Atco the new Camaro blasted its way to an 11.70 at 120.73mph. A two-minute later backup pass showed us an 11.73 at 120.56 mph. The 60-foot time was now down to 1.83 from our previous best of 1.86.
So far traction is not an issue but could become one as power increases-and if we replace the stock low-stall converter or step up the gearing from the stock 3.25s to the newly available (Richmond Gear) 3.73 or 4.10s. For now, the 275/40R-17 Hoosier drag radials (25.2 diameter, 10-inch tread width) were hooking well. Down the road we plan to use a 27- to 28-inch diameter tire with more sidewall to absorb the shock of the added power along with the advantage of a larger contact patch.
After a one-hour cool-down Matt hit the Atco tarmac again. This time the 60-foot dropped to a 1.81 and the 1,320 was covered in 11.65 at 121.02 mph. Another backup pass showed us an 11.69 at 120.78 mph.
With only 18psi in the rear drag radials, we decided to pump up the pressure to 24psi for less rolling resistance. The front skinnies were already at 40 psi so we were good there. Following another one-hour cool-down the Camaro flew down the track to its best ever e.t., an 11.62 at 121.33 mph.
We'll find out in an upcoming issue if the 17s can still hook when a power adder becomes a part of this '10 Camaro's package.