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HELP ME, Where do I go....

This is a discussion on HELP ME, Where do I go.... within the Camaro / SS forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I was wondering if anyone could help. I live in Northern Virginia in Leesburg. I wanted to know of any ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member Griffs98Z's Avatar
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    HELP ME, Where do I go....

    I was wondering if anyone could help. I live in Northern Virginia in Leesburg. I wanted to know of any reputable shops in the area. I bought my Z in Georgia where there are no Safety or emission test so it needs some good ole TLC. I bought the car in 2003, I blew the transmission in 2005 and it hasn't ran since. I bought the car and didn't even know that the previous owner cut the cats out and welded on straight pipe. The synopsis was that in doing this the Check Engine light came on and stayed on and eventually burnt out. I ordered some MAC LT Headers w/ matching Cats and y-pipe. I replaced the Knock sensor, had to extend one ot the wires going to the left rear o2 sensor and now the last time I had it inspected (2005) it failed for 02 sensor. I'm guessing that was it. I did have the trans rebuilt once and the guy doing the work (friend of the family), told me that it was obviously messed with before. Soon after, it blew on me. I haven't spoken to the "FRIEND" since then. Also the wiring going to the ECU under the hood looks very exposed. It needs new brakes (calipers, disc and pads) all the way around. New Emergency brakes, and the rear end needs to be rebuilt. Also it has 150,000 miles and has been sitting for 3 years. To me the car is definitly worth saving. But, I don't want to spend every dime I have getting it were I want it.
    I guess I really want to know if the 1998 LS1 engine is worth rebuilding, I eventually want to add a power adder (turbo or SC), or should I go with an LS6 and start from there or a complete new block from the ground up rebuild. I'm thinking LS6 rebuild, is this a good choice. Also, I need the transmission to be able to handle what I eventually want do to the engine. The transmission, will be first since I'm deperate to get her back on the road. Then I'm thinking rearend. Where to go around here for the best rearend work and then Engine.

    I know this book is pretty long, but I really need some help and motivation. For enyone whom has taken their time to read this, I really do appreciate it. I really do love my Camaro. Anyone else who wasn't really a big F-body fan would have dumped her off by now, but I really don't want to. My resto will basically be part by part, that's why I need the motivation from anyone who is willing to listen and give advice. Thanks again.....

  2. #2
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    2001 3.8 Black - sold
    2000 SS Black M6

    An LS6 upgrade isnt too hard....i think...pretty much just a new intake manifold.....feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. The 4l60E can handle a lot of power, so can the T56. A4/M6 respectively. but in autos the 4L80E, and 700R are popular choices. The rear end def needs to be swapped, but youll have to look elsewhere for advise on that, I dont have any. Moser 12 bolt maybe? and again, gear ratio depends on tranny. i personally have 3.42's. other options are 2.73, 3.73, and 4.10 or 4.11. i think ive heard of guys running 3.90?

    as far as mileage, i think it depends on how its been treated. I know 150k on an LSX isnt anything insanely high

  3. #3
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    150xxx isnt anything for a well cared for engine. Transmissions and rear ends tend to go out tho.. I suggest a 12 bolt and a built 4l60e. 98s have some issues but a good rebuild on the engine will get rid of them(rod bolts)

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    Junior Member Griffs98Z's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Thanks guys, I'm pretty sure that the LS1 needs a little more than just an intake manifold to make it an LS6. I believe there is some head work and probably some internal work. But thanks, I also believe than an LS6 upgrade is the way to go. Maybe eventually turn it into a 402 possibly lower, and then add a power adder.

    Ok, thanks. Good luck with whatever you guys want to do....

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    Member jeremy_m70's Avatar
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    Here is my 2 cents.

    1st. Design a budget (how much money will you spend and over what time frame)

    2nd. What are your goals. (HP, street, drag, etc!!)

    3rd. Following steps 1 and 2 will solve your problem.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In other words this hobby is anything but cheap. You play, You pay.

    IF you do decide to go for it, you will first need a transmission (I did not see if you indicated if manual or auto trans.) HOWEVER, your budget and goals will determine what type of trans and your the next step(s). Without this information, no one can help you much.

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    Junior Member Griffs98Z's Avatar
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    My trans is a 4L60E. I understand these to be relatively week at more than stock level. I want to get it back on the road for now, no rush for the major upgrades. I plan on taking my time. Install by install. I'm thinking the trans upgrade at first, then the rear end upgrade. Why GM went with a 7.5 in. rear I don't know. I plan on doing some suspension and chasis work. Just unsure of what I want as far as power, 400 - 450 on the pavement I'm guessing. For Now???

    Like I mentioned before, no rush. I'm petty patient about this and plan on putting some time into it. I wouldn't mind doing alot of the work myself. Just don't have the space or Know how. I would take more pride in it if I could do some of the work, or at least help. I'm your regular driveway mek-a-nic. (oil change, brakes, filters). I don't want to be like alot of kids though, who just put their car in the shop and say, here give me the works. Know what I mean?!

    Just don't know of any place around here to go.

  7. #7
    Junior Member bigdaddy001's Avatar
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    I agree that you need to establish a budget and expectations. With the architecture of these engines, you really need to decide what you want to do before you spend any money. I would start with a good set of stainless steel longtubes, then have them juet hot coated, not really necessary with stainless, but looks great and will last forever, and y pipes, cats are your option. The rear will definitely need to be replaced. I went with a ford 9", I got from quick Performance for $2510 to the door. I went with 3.50 gears for driveability. You can do alot with these cars. If you're thinking 400 -450 to the ground, you are either buying a crate engine or head and cam at least. feel free to contact. I have a 2000 z28 that is making 442hp, and 445ft-lbs to the rear wheels with stock driveability.

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    Junior Member bigdaddy001's Avatar
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    I live in Stafford. I just moved here a few months ago from NJ which is where I make the trip to have my work done. If that's not too far for you let me know and I will give you the names of some good people, parts and tuning.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Griffs98Z's Avatar
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    How far from here? I've never been North of DC, lived here since Oct 2005. My car is undriveable right now, it's in a shop. Friend of my Fiance, (promised a good deal). Appreciate any information and help. I know these cars have alot of potential, just want it above stock level, but then again, not trying to run 9's or 10's, at least not anytime soon...

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Junior Member bigdaddy001's Avatar
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    The machine shop is in Atco NJ and the tuner is in Toms River. The tuner also does installs ao if you wanted to do a heads and cam, he can supply the parts and do the install and tune. I highly recommend him for the tune. I will post the info later. Or if you want you can email me directly and I'll give you my number and we can see what arrangements we can make.

  11. #11
    Member jeremy_m70's Avatar
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    My 2 cents Volume 2.

    (1) It is well known our 7.5 rear can be weak, however some do last up until the 500 RWHP mark, and if you are not lauching hard at the drag strip, I (personally) would wait until later in the build or until the rear has gone. Wheelhop and wheel spin followed by suddenly grabbing traction (drag tires) is what mostly breaks the rears IMO. But never put money into improving the 7.5, wait till you have the cash for a new 12 bolt or 9".

    (2) Lets face it, you have 150K on the bottom end and it has been sitting for at least 3 years, I do believe these cars can run for a long time in a slightly modded form, but the bottom end was not designed to handle FI (ex. turbo or supercharger). If I was planning to keep the car for many years, I would plan on rebuild or swap the engine at some point. If you are going FI, then a forged engine is a must for longivity. You can rebuild your own or swap it if you prefer. Some like the swap method b/c they can drive their car while they build the other engine. Or you can buy a completed engine.

    (3) Finally, based on the info you provided (400-450 RWHP, doing some of the work, already having LT and y pipe, and getting it running first) with possible more later, here is my idea.

    1. getting transmission going or replace (if you stay auto, good time to get a good stall.) = car will be running again +1.

    2. Along with LT and y pipe, get an exhaust package (if have not already), ls6 intake (IMO best < than 500 rwhp) or fast intake (best for > than 500 rwhp) (again your final goals will determine which to buy) intake lid and tune should yield 340 - 360+ rwhp. Add a cam with tune 400 +/- RWHP, add heads too 430 +/- RWHP with tune. **(IMO if you can do the cam and/or head install yourself, it would be good to do so but if you will have to pay someone to install them, then I would save up until I either rebuild or swap the engine to save $$$$ because a rebuild or exchange will be needed in the future and why pay someone twice??) Also Nitrous can be factored into the equation for even higher HP.**This will get you in the 400 -450+ rwhp range and more with nitrous.

    3. Suspension upgrades like subframe connectors, etc based on your long term goals.

    The real deal is this, you do not want to buy something only to upgrade it again later, therefor a plan will save you money and time. A safe and reliable FI setup will cost $$$$. When you figure engine and fuel mods, supercharger or turbo, suspension and drivetrain 20k is a benchmark for new parts. 8k for FI kit, 6k for engine, 5k for drive and suspension for ruff examples for high RWHP goals. Ofcourse you can do this in steps.

    I can never stress a plan enough, for example you go full bolt-ons, cam and heads but later go nitrous, it is important you get a good nitrous cam when you upgrade to save money and/or to get the best results.

    I am in a similar situation as your are in I have a 98 with 125k and have pondered many different possibilities. I love the idea of FI but worry about dropping 7-8k into a system only to have a blown motor and 7-8k worth of investment useless. You can allows buy used but you may not know what you are getting.

    My Plan.....

    IMO the best bang for the buck is a bolt-on car with mild cam (224-230) and mild head package, with 50-100 shot of nitrous to boot for extra hp if desired, for a nice street setup. True you can get a bigger cam and head package for more HP but DD will be most likely not be possible. If or should I say when the bottom end fails you will have the option to rebuild or swap the engine for a newer forged short block application and reuse the parts you already have if not damaged. At some point you may have to upgrade the rear, then once you have a forged bottom end and supporting mods to handle the higher HP, then you can go FI if you want too. The point of modding is to have fun. If you race from a dig then the true factor is how much of your HP is usable and put to the ground. If you run from a roll then more HP will be more useful and hooking less of a problem.

    I chose the bolt-on, mild cam and head kit, with nitrous for my setup for a budget friendly street DD car.

    You can do the bolt-ons yourself with some tools, time, and blood. If you have the ability you can do the cam and head swap but will need someone to do the tune. You can find great information here to help you do the mods yourself. Good Luck!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by jeremy_m70; 08-16-2008 at 01:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Junior Member bigdaddy001's Avatar
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    Jeremy is on point. With these cars and their engine architecture, not to mention tight clearances in the engine compartment, it is definitely a must that you figure what you want and draft a plan to reach that goal. These cars can makes gobs of power, yet remain street friendly. Like I said, when you are ready let me know. If you're not happy or satisfied with your family mechanic, give me a ring. I can put you in touch with some people that can take care of you and not advantage of you.

    There are lots of options for you. If you are trying to amke 450rwhp though, I recommend that you upgrade your bottom end, just to be safe. I think the bottom end can handle it, but you already have 150K, which is not a lot for these engines, but definitely something to be considered when making mods to the engine. I would consider a forged bottom end with heads and cam, intake and the rest. A good way to start this is to get your headers and exhaust on the car. This will give you more power now, and already be in palce when you do your engine mods. If it will last, do your transmission when you do your engine, that way they can be bolted in together, ensuring everything is tight. Again, what you can do yourself do, why pay someone to do what you can do yourself. That will help you learn your car, and appreciate the changes more. The rears in these cars are weak from the factory, so eventually you will have to replace it, but I would wait until it breaks. You should be alright with an automatic for a while. They won't take a whole lot of drag racing with sticky tires though. Again, figure out your budget and timeframe and git er dun. Like I said earlier, I'll help you if I can.

  13. #13
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    Draw up and stick to the plan, first you don't need an ls6 just the intake. The ls6 block just has larger oil passages but is virtually the same as an ls1. same displacement, internals, and basic design the intake and heads just flow better. So scratch the ls6 swap just get the intake and save money. Get a good head /cam package for about 3000 installed. The h/c/I should give you at least 420 horse with good tune. When the tranny blows then upgrade along with the rearend and your good. But with 3years sitting up and 150,000 plus miles you'll probably need a rebuild to make sure everything is tight.

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