[Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Meet Our Expert

Gary Bohanick of Detroit Speed 

Common Failure Points: Stock rear toe links are the first weak link of the rear suspension. Spend the money and purchase aftermarket toe links to fix this problem.

Next problem area: the rear cradle bushings, which allow excessive body movement. Same solution here: Buy aftermarket bushings to reduce compliance and eliminate the squirm under hard acceleration.

After that, consider upgrading the rear differential. The stock SS unit will not take the punishment of extended track use.

Must-Do Upgrades: Coil-over setup, front and rear; front and rear anti-roll bars (the car typically needs more rear spring rate and roll rate); front upper camber plates to achieve more camber.

Ideal Track Wheels: ZL1 or Z/28 wheel and tire sizes. For the ZL1, that’s 20×10-inch front wheels with 285/35ZR20 tires and 20×11-inch rear wheels with 305/35ZR20 tires. The Z28 came with 305/30ZR19 tires all around mounted on 19×11-inch front wheels and 19×11.5-inch rears. How big can you go out back? 315/35ZR20 rear tires can be used with minimal modifications.

Spend your money on the basic needs mentioned above. Then, go spend money on fuel and tires to get seat time rather than on glowing halo headlights.

Meet Our Expert

The Chevrolet Performance crew 

Aero Upgrades:

Our Z/28 Aero Component Kit includes select bolt-on pieces from the Z/28 Camaro’s downforce-enhancing exterior. It includes a front splitter and wheel flare moldings that fit a rear spoiler with a wicker bill.

The wheel flare moldings are designed to cover wide tires and feature deflectors at the bottom-front corners that contribute to downforce-producing aerodynamics. The unique rear spoiler’s wicker bill is a small, vertical tab at the top edge that adds approximately 28 counts of drag, improving rear lift performance by 70 counts. That allows the Z/28 to handle turns at higher speeds and delivers greater overall stability at high speeds.

Suspension Improvements:

The Camaro 1LE Suspension Track Pack will get you improved body control and on-track performance. This fully SCCA Touring 2-approved kit features bigger 1LE solid stabilizer bars: 27mm up front and 28mm at the rear. It comes with ZL1 toe links and rear shock mounts, too.

Our unique Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers are the center of a comprehensive suspension package that also includes higher-rate coil springs, smaller-diameter solid stabilizer bars, and higher-rate suspension bushings. The dampers are matched with optimized stiff spring rates and stabilizer bars in both the front and rear to reduce body movement in hard cornering and acceleration.

Also included in the package are front ride-and-handling links, rear upper control arms, rear trailing links, and toe links with stiffer bushings designed to reduce cornering compliance and increase durability on track. The proof is in the multiple championships and podium finishes in the World Challenge GTS Class and IMSA road racing series.

Better Braking:

Owners looking to upgrade their brakes can get the same setup from the supercharged Camaro ZL1, including race-proven two-piece, 14.6-inch front rotors and six-piston Brembo aluminum calipers. The ZL1rotors are lighter, more resistant to warping and fading, and potentially longer-lasting.

We also have a rear brake system with the ZL kit that includes 14.4-inch rotors and four-piston aluminum rear calipers in red with the ZL1 logo. This setup provides more surface area than the 12.4-inch rotors and single-piston calipers fitted to the Camaro V6 models at the factory. Camaro SS models feature the same 14.4-inch rotors and similar four-piston aluminum calipers, but without the ZL1 logo.

Another way Camaro V6 owners can get in on enhanced braking performance is with the four-corner SS Brake Upgrade System: 14-inch rotors with four-piston Brembo brake calipers.

Perfecting the Powertrain:

Our LS3 Head and Cam Kit includes CNC-ported heads and a high-lift camshaft that, with tuning, can add at least 40 horsepower to the LS3. That’s a total of 470-plus horsepower and 440 ft.-lbs. of torque. Chevrolet Performance engineers developed the kit as a direct replacement for the factory parts, with 276cc intake runners and 2.165-inch/1.590-inch valves.

The camshaft makes the most of the heads’ generous airflow attributes, with 0.591-inch/0.591-inch lift and 211-degree/230-degree duration at 0.05 inch and a 121-degree lobe separation angle. This kit also fits other LS-family engines with at least 4-inch bores.

The Z/28 Air Intake features a unique open-air box intake system for the Z/28’s LS7 engine. The air cleaner seals around the bottom of the hood, reducing the chance that recirculated hot air will be drawn into the engine. The intake provides a 51-percent reduction in air restriction when compared to a standard LS3-equipped Camaro. When Gen 5 owners are ready for even more robust off-the-line acceleration, they can turn to our 3.91:1 ring-and-pinion package that comes out of the 1LE. The drive gear increases effective rear-wheel torque multiplication by 13 percent in a manual-transmission Camaro SS, and by a whopping 20 percent in automatic cars. This upgrade has an added benefit: Since it requires a recalibration performed at a GM dealership, the package will be truly integrated into your Gen 5’s drivetrain system.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here