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Z28...or SS...which should I get?

This is a discussion on Z28...or SS...which should I get? within the Camaro / SS forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Originally Posted by sthdrider2000 Assuming we're talking about the 1st gen (ie 67-69), better check the numbers a little better ...

  1. #101
    Babies: 2 Girls, 5 FBods FBODYREDDEVIL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthdrider2000 View Post
    Assuming we're talking about the 1st gen (ie 67-69), better check the numbers a little better there bro. Your right ss cars had engine choices, but unless you had a copo 427 car, the big blocks couldn't touch a propperly tuned 302. Being rated at 290 HP was like saying your SS's are only pushin' around 150.
    What numbers am I checking here? Everything I said is a fact. And it applies to first and second gens (When both packages were available simultaniously). I was merely pointing out the differences.

    Ok here we go with some numbers. Don't get me wrong, the LT-1 was an amazing motor, but when somebody doesn't have the facts I have to correct them. The LT1 in 1970 was rated at 360 HP, the L-78 at 350 HP and the L-34 at 325 HP (They were called 396's but actually were 402's). Both the BB's had more torque than the Z. The Z's were balanced and had a better cam setup allowing them to rev into the stratosphere. A properly tuned BB could push 400 HP easily with a little port and polish, cam, and balance.

    Are you saying that you choose a Z28 from the end of the 20th century because 30 years earlier the Z's were better than an SS? That's fine...if that's what you tell yourself. I made no implication either way.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Actually redevil,,,,the L78 396 was rated at 375 hp from 1966 to 1970. In 1965 this very same motor was available in the corvette ,,,interestingly enough it was rated at 425 hp, (rated at 375 hp in the chevelle),,,in 1966 when it became more wide spread in the a-body chevelle it was still rated at 375 hp,,,but the motor was virtually unchanged from it's 425 hp rating in the vette in 1965.
    These motors were underrated, as were many of them back then. I used to spin my 375 hp 396 just as high as the little 302 Z-28 I had. Don't get me wrong, both were great cars but lets be honest,,,the little 302 was simply outclassed when it came to the L78 in straight line performance. I could never get the Z-28 to run as quick as my 396,,,even after 4.88 gears, headers and such. Larry.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Just to add, the 396/375 had a nice little solid cam from the factory, square port heads, aluminum intake, holley carb, 11:1 compression etc....and it would make over 400 hp easily without even getting inside the motor. It's drastically different from the 396/325 and 396/350 hp versions that you are referring to,,,those used oval port heads, small hydraulic camshaft, cast iron intake with Q-jets, and had about 10:1 compression,,,they would run out of steam much past 5,500 rpms. The L78 was a completely different animal. And you could even get the 375 hp engine with aluminum heads (RPO L89) but I was not lucky enough to own one of those,,,lol.

    Nowadays things have changed,,,Z-28 and/or SS doesn't mean the same thing to GM as it once did. Now they all come with the same motors,,,even the pontiacs have the same motors,,,,that was completely unheard of back in the 50's and through the 70's (some people are still upset over that) Don't ask me how I know,,,lol.

    There just really isn't much difference anymore in the makes and models. It seems as if the manufactures don't take much pride anymore in what they make,,,,I guess it's easier for them to just import it from Australia and stick a badge on it Sorry I'll get off my soap box now.

    Buy what you like and enjoy it though,,,Z28 or SS? It just comes down to what you like and what you plan to do with it. Larry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Actually redevil,,,,the L78 396 was rated at 375 hp from 1966 to 1970.
    You are correct, I tried to edit my post, but it said my message was too short!


    Z-28 350 360HP @ 6000 380 Ft/lbs @ 4000 11.011 4V
    L-34 396 350HP @ 5200 415 Ft/lbs @ 3400 10.25:1 4V
    L-78 396 375HP @ 5600 415 Ft/lbs @ 3600 11.0:1 4V
    Last edited by FBODYREDDEVIL; 03-26-2007 at 09:16 AM.
    My F-Body Page: http://www.freewebs.com/fbodyreddevil/
    70 RS/SS 396: 470 RWHP, 454, Merlin heads, TRW forged pistons, dual quads, TH400, 4.10's
    79 T/A: 310 HP 403, forged pistons, TH350, 3.73's
    79 Z28: Factory correct, Borg-Warner T-10, 3.73's
    96 WS6, 4L60
    99 SS: #284, T56

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    Quote Originally Posted by spookyz28 View Post
    both cars are at or around the same HP. The only difference is the looks and the slp badging. performance wise they are the same almost equal, but you end up paying a lot more for the ss. I would go for the z28 because when you see ss driving around, you don't know if it is a clone or the real thing!
    at and around don't mean exact. The SS is rated at more hp stock and thats a fact. Like it or don't like it, it doesn't matter. Performance wise they are not equal, that's why the SS has different sway bars, springs, shocks, and larger wheels with less sidewall on the tires for handling. We've also got the Stock ram air which counts for something at high speeds and will make some sort of a difference. The cost difference isn't much, it just depends on where you find it and your negotiating skills. Its pretty damn easy to tell if a SS is real when you see one driving around. First look for the badges, ask yourself if they're in the correct places. 2nd look at the wheels they should be 17s if they are stock. 3rd hood and spoiler. 4th sound of the car. 5th look inside and you may see more evidence. 6th check door jams for the stickers. 7th just stop hatin on the SS owners.

    I don't think I've seen a perfect clone of a 4th gen SS YET! I've seen many Z's and v6s trying to cop its style but not good enough to trick me.

    Also if you see a Z riding around how do you know if its real, huh? I've seen a v6 with z28 badges on it before and it sounded pretty good.

    Every v6 could have z badges and all but that changes nothing. Its still a 6. The z looks just like a 6 but with badges and possibly a lower stance.

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7camaro7 View Post
    at and around don't mean exact. The SS is rated at more hp stock and thats a fact. Like it or don't like it, it doesn't matter. Performance wise they are not equal, that's why the SS has different sway bars, springs, shocks, and larger wheels with less sidewall on the tires for handling. We've also got the Stock ram air which counts for something at high speeds and will make some sort of a difference. The cost difference isn't much, it just depends on where you find it and your negotiating skills. Its pretty damn easy to tell if a SS is real when you see one driving around. First look for the badges, ask yourself if they're in the correct places. 2nd look at the wheels they should be 17s if they are stock. 3rd hood and spoiler. 4th sound of the car. 5th look inside and you may see more evidence. 6th check door jams for the stickers. 7th just stop hatin on the SS owners.

    I don't think I've seen a perfect clone of a 4th gen SS YET! I've seen many Z's and v6s trying to cop its style but not good enough to trick me.

    Also if you see a Z riding around how do you know if its real, huh? I've seen a v6 with z28 badges on it before and it sounded pretty good.

    Every v6 could have z badges and all but that changes nothing. Its still a 6. The z looks just like a 6 but with badges and possibly a lower stance.

    Come on man. Like GM never markets a package to have "better performance" than a lower priced one. There are less SS's on the road. Fact. They will hold a higher value. Fact. They are more "collectable". Fact.
    Line up the same model year Z28 and SS and the SS will always be faster? Not a fact.

    Ford had a similar situation with the Mustang and Thunderbird around '94. Same 4.6 2V engine. The Thunderbird required a different intake due to lower hood clearance issues and a different exhaust. At least those differences were attributable to the vehicles slightly different shape.

    Take an LS1 out of a SS and put it in a Z28, or vis-versa. Same model year = no difference. For the same amount of money you would pay for the difference in initial money, you could personalize a Z28 for your own taste and BEAT any stock SS in performance.

    SS is a great car, but it ain't the final option. Once again, it's more about aesthetics than performance.

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    Junior Member sthdrider2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    You sure about that Sthrider? I have owned a couple of 396/375 hp SS camaros and they would run circles around the 302 Z I had. The little 302 Z-28 was a great car,,but they don't hold a candle to a properly tuned and driven solid lifter big block chevy. Been there done that. Cubes rule. Larry.
    Absolutly possitive!! Don't know who does your tuning, but they must be sippin nos or something. JK!! A DZ 302 with the air and exhaust and the ability to spin 7000 rpm, wouldn't try that with your big block, was over 400 HP. Add the dealer available race spec cam and better carburation, and 500 was possible! The 290 HP rating was for insurance and way off the mark!! Now while you would get a little better torque in big cubes, it still won't get you around that mouse at the end of the track. You don't have to take my word for it, although i am fortunate enough to have driven my buddy's '69 lemanns blue Z28, look at the old test and tune articles and even the new Muscle Car series. They have done a few of these tests and the 302 always wins the war.
    Last edited by sthdrider2000; 03-26-2007 at 10:20 AM. Reason: This is the old "my big block is better than your small block" arguement. Because there is no substitute for cubes. BULL.

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    Junior Member sthdrider2000's Avatar
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    The L78 was an awsome motor with a great lopey cam sound and as you said solid lifters. But on its best day this was a 14 second motor. You deffinately seem to know your numbers bro, but I have been around the seen a long time myself and there is no way in hell your gonna spin 6500 - 7000 in a stock L78 and have it last more than a couple runs, if you could even get it there. The 302 DZ could do this routinely day in and day out. The kicker is these cars, in stock form, can't touch the LS1's performance, again stock figures.

    Granted, in a racing world, there is no sub for cubes. If small blocks could run with big cubes, why don't we see them in top fuel?!? But we are talking what the factory put out here, right?
    To each their own, God Bless.
    Last edited by sthdrider2000; 03-26-2007 at 10:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jad628 View Post
    Come on man. Like GM never markets a package to have "better performance" than a lower priced one. There are less SS's on the road. Fact. They will hold a higher value. Fact. They are more "collectable". Fact.
    Line up the same model year Z28 and SS and the SS will always be faster? Not a fact.

    Ford had a similar situation with the Mustang and Thunderbird around '94. Same 4.6 2V engine. The Thunderbird required a different intake due to lower hood clearance issues and a different exhaust. At least those differences were attributable to the vehicles slightly different shape.

    Take an LS1 out of a SS and put it in a Z28, or vis-versa. Same model year = no difference. For the same amount of money you would pay for the difference in initial money, you could personalize a Z28 for your own taste and BEAT any stock SS in performance.

    SS is a great car, but it ain't the final option. Once again, it's more about aesthetics than performance.
    I always say that on average the SS IS faster. I bet if you find an SS and a Z with the same options except for wheels hood and spoiler and let the z be the z, the SS will have better take off due to the extra grip and a slightly higher top end due to the ram air. simple as that. if the SS has power everything and the z is a stripper its a little different.

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    I was talking to a friend who has a Z28 (hes gonna let me test drive it this weekend to see how I like it), he said performance wise, it can easily be done to match the performance and pass the SS's. He just told me to by a Z and ad stuff to id. He has Exhaust with electronic bypass, headers, SLP lid, and I think thats it. He said he has no problems beating GT's and Lightnings

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    SS#430 1 of 74 7camaro7's Avatar
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    I've got the same mods on my SS and them some.

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    Sorry sthdrider, but I have been tuning on these cars for years and know a thing or two in my old age. Currently have a 4,100 lbs. chevelle SS 454 that runs 11.40's at 118 mph,,built and tuned by yours truly and yes I shift it at 6,500 all the time, short block has been together and untouched going over 11 years now. I don't mean to frown on 302's but I have owned both a 302 Z-28 and a pair of 69 L78 396 camaros,,,the little 396 loved rpm contrary to what you have been told. I ran 4.56 gears in both of the L78 cars, and 4.88's in the Z-28. Those 396's would spin 6-7,000 all the time. Never had one scatter and they both ran their best times shifting at those rpms.. They have a short stroke compared to other big blocks at 3.76 inches. 2 close friends of mine currently own COPO camaros,,,factory 427 cars. One ran 5.13 gears in it for years before switching to his current 4.56,,,and I can't tell you how many times that motor has seen 7,000 rpms. The other still runs factory 4.10's and I have ridden and driven this car just last summer,,,he is not afraid to bounce that motor off the rev limiter (7,200) and does it all the time.
    Don't get me wrong, I like high strung small blocks and currently run a 327 in my 56 nomad,,,but the myth of big blocks not being able to turn rpm's is simply that,,,a myth. Larry.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Getting back on subject though, I never really thought that owning a 4th gen SS or Z-28 was about speed. Thats not why I bought mine anyway. I wasn't out there comparing 1/4 mile and 0-60 times when I was looking at them.
    There is so much more to the SS, I think people miss what it's about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Getting back on subject though, I never really thought that owning a 4th gen SS or Z-28 was about speed. Thats not why I bought mine anyway. I wasn't out there comparing 1/4 mile and 0-60 times when I was looking at them.
    There is so much more to the SS, I think people miss what it's about.
    I guess the reason why I have been leaning more towards the Z is because down here (in Pensacola) they are WAY easier to find than the SS.

    Of course if I wanted to get the same performance out of an SS I could always buy a WS6 T/A....I heard those things have the same performance as an SS....not only that but i love the way they look also. I dont know, its the same car, just a different shell. They both have the LS1. I just wouldnt mind having that pride of driving a Chevrolet.

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    Babies: 2 Girls, 5 FBods FBODYREDDEVIL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brodband View Post
    I could always buy a WS6 T/A....I heard those things have the same performance as an SS....not only that but i love the way they look also. I dont know, its the same car, just a different shell. They both have the LS1. I just wouldnt mind having that pride of driving a Chevrolet.

    I hear another can of worms being opened. SS vs. Z round one...Chev vs. Pontiac round two. Ding ding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    As far as the front license plate dilema goes. My 02 SS came with the SS front grille as well,,,since it was a factory option I wasn't about to take it off for a front plate (it's required here in ohio) so I mount the plate on the lower air damn. I also have my other Z-28 this way as well.
    Once in a blue moon I get pulled over but never have gotten tickets. Cops usually just tell me thats a grey area but the don't have a severe problem with it. As long as you stand back from the car about 10 feet it's easy to see,,,and most cops see it just fine when they are driving towards you so it's not a problem. Just an option for ya.

    As far as fake SS's go,,,,it's easy to stick a hood and wing on,,,but the wheels are a dead giveaway as most people won't go through the trouble to purchase them and stick them on. But all you have to do is open the door and look for the SLP sticker and the correct RPO codes on the GM sticker,,,it's easy to tell a real one.
    And anyone that seriously thinks an SS is a 6 cylinder car doesn't know what they are lookin at,,,lol. Larry.
    ya i still do not run with a front tag.. i just dont like it up there

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    Once all bolt one are done, suspension, exhaust, wheels/tire all F-bodys are the same power & handling wise. SS=Z28=WS6=T/A=Formula. The only difference is in weight and aerodynamics which isn't really much. The main thing would be looks. Chevy=Pontiac for pride. these days they both=GM with only different skin.

    I've been running no front plate on any of my T/A's. They are required, but not usually stopped for unless your doing something else.

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    I've been stopped for no tags before. Some times cops just like the cars.

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