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Looking to Upgrade to a V8

This is a discussion on Looking to Upgrade to a V8 within the Camaro / SS forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; OK, so I currently have a 1996 Camaro 3.8L which I have had for about 6 years now and I ...

  1. #1
    LE #2823 CamaroDMD's Avatar
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    Looking to Upgrade to a V8

    OK, so I currently have a 1996 Camaro 3.8L which I have had for about 6 years now and I want something with a little more kick. I don't need a real firebreather (thats what my '69 Camaro 396 is for)...but I want something that will be a fast daily driver that I can tinker with and add some bolt on mods to along the way.

    So, I'm thinking of getting a 6 speed LS1 Camaro...either a Z-28 or an SS. I guess my first question is...is an SS really worth the extra cost? Don't get me wrong, I would much prefer an SS because I love the hood, but they seem to be quite a bit more expensive than the Z-28 and only have a few hp more. Are they really worth the extra cost?

    Also, what kind of performance upgrades are the best for an LS1. For example, I have read that the LT1s had very restricted air flow from the factory and a new intake and exhaust made a world of difference. Is the LS1 the same deal?

    My plan at the moment is, once I get the car, eventually is a cold air intake (K&N, SLP, or something), cat back exhaust, performance chip, and MAYBE headers eventually...depending on header installation cost (as by the looks of it, I don't want to do that myself). Does that sound like a good plan...or is there something else that an LS1 needs?

    I know I'm asking a wide range of questions here...so bare with me. With the headers, I was under the impression (wrongly) that only shorties were avilable for 4th gen Camaro's but I found some full length on summit. What kind of clearence issues are there with full length headers in Camaro's and what kind of power can I expect to pick up? I guess the main question is, for a street car...what headers are the best choice?

    Also, with the exhaust system, I have never done a custom exhaust on a newer car. Is putting high flow catalytic converters worth the cost or is it a waste?

    Again, I'm sorry to be so all over the place here, but I recently got my classic Camaro back up and running and now I'm turning my sights toward an upgraded daily driver and I am looking for information.

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    Rice Killa JwMonE99's Avatar
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    Ok first of all I the 4th gen LS1 is faster then the 1st gen SS with the 396, I think the 1st gens ran low 14s to high 13s basicly be running with the LT1, the LS1 averages about 13.4 to low 13s.
    If you want a DD for good gas mileage with some go maybe just upgrade the V6 that you have, they arent that bad stock mid 15s, with those mods you could hit 14s but don't get the chip from ebay becasue those things are a waste.

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    UberTapping Friction Pimp Anthracis's Avatar
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    Use the search function, you will get answers to all your questions.
    "I am the executioner. When a crime is committed and the exalted state does not take vengeance nor move to punish, then comes time for the executioner to declare himself. I have waited long enough. The criminals are hereby sentenced to death. By fire. By earth. By water."

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    Junior Member Neenjah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JwMonE99 View Post
    Ok first of all I the 4th gen LS1 is faster then the 1st gen SS with the 396, I think the 1st gens ran low 14s to high 13swaste.
    Yeah because you cant soup up engines anymore..

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    I think the SS is worth the extra cost if you like the look of the SS, and plan on upgrading a standard Z with the SS wing and hood anyway.

    I'm in that boat. I recently saw two Camaros advertised that I was interested in. One is a 68 K '00 SS for 10,500. Other is a 69k '98 Z for 7,995.

    I really like the look of the SS, so I would want to upgrade to the look.

    I found the wheels for 600 a set, the wing is about 250, and the SLP hood is on SALE for 968 right now. So that's about 1,800 bucks before paint, plus the cost of four 17" tires to go on the SS wheels.

    So that's more than the price difference right there, plus I get a REAL SS.

    It really depends on the miles/prices of the cars you're looking at though.

  6. #6
    Rice Killa JwMonE99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neenjah View Post
    Yeah because you cant soup up engines anymore..
    I meant in the stock point of view, you have to let DD cars and $$$ come into play, but of course I would still love to have a mint 1st gen over a mint 4th gen

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    LE #2823 CamaroDMD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JwMonE99 View Post
    I meant in the stock point of view, you have to let DD cars and $$$ come into play, but of course I would still love to have a mint 1st gen over a mint 4th gen
    My 396 isn't stock by any means but isn't a monster either. It makes a little over 400hp right now and thats all I need out of that car for now. I'm just happy to have it on the road...and after driving it, it makes my '96 3.8L feel pathetic and I want something faster for everyday driving.

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    Senior Member 02ultraZ's Avatar
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    Get an 01 or 02 Z28 or SS. Just wait till you see one that looks good. Take it for a spin and whether it's an SS or a Z you'll love the ride.

  9. #9
    LE #2823 CamaroDMD's Avatar
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    I guess the first question then is an SS worth the extra cost. It seems like an SS caries about a $2000 premium over a Z28 and only a few more hp stock. Now, I love the hood...it makes the car look MUCH meaner, but is the performance gain really worth it?

  10. #10
    Senior Member 02ultraZ's Avatar
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    I have an 02 Z28 with an ultra Z hood. I like it a lot. I don't know if i like it better than the SS hood but it def. sets my car apart from other Z28's. Not to mention that i will get a better hp gain with my hood than a ss hood gets. Only by a like 3 or 4 horses tho. Google "Ultra Z" under images and see what pops up. You'll probably see a silver Z that looks identical to mine.

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    ruff ruff rotwiler's Avatar
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    Z28 or SS both dyno the same #'s, so don't let the extra hp that is claimed on the SS make your choice. Every Ls1 dyno's a little different and doesn't matter if it is a SS or not, many Z28's dyno more than the SS's. With the Z28 you can pick the catback for the sound you like. The hood looks much better, but the ram air does not really help at all.

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