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Camaro Question: 3rd vs 4th Generations


WillE

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I'm new to the board, but have been thinking of getting into competitive action for some time (a year or so from now perhaps).

 

I currently own a 94 Z28, which would have to be de-modded pretty heavily, but am curious if I am to do this should I just pickup a 3rd gen car.

 

It seems that some people are totally convinced that a 4th gen FBody cannot possibly match a 3rd gen in handling, even with aftermarket help. I have never really understood a solid reasoning of this, other than perhaps a weight issue.

 

I know the rules are currently 3200#s and 3500#s for the two generations. 300 pounds and 20 HP difference seems to tell me the 4th gen car would be at a disadvantage, I also believe the 3rd gen car has about an inch or so lesser roofline.

 

Anyhow, I'd like to hear some feedback if anyone has an idea on this. I see that there is one 4th gen car amongst you folks so far.

 

Another thing I can think of, is the sway bar ruling. I know that the 1LE option on the 3rd gen gave something like a 36mm front/25mm rear combo, where the 4th gen 1LE option is 32mm/21mm (19mm also). Does this play a role at all?

 

Since springs are also limited, what is the 1LE rate on the 3rd gen car? I know the 4th gen cam with 360# fronts...

 

Thanks!

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A 4th Gen Camaro ran in the top 5 all weekend at Buttonwillow and had a great qualifying time on Sunday (and it was way over the minimum weight). You can run any spring rate you want you want but must run the stock sway bar.

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Currently I have the stock bars with poly endlinks/bushings (is that ok?).

 

I have 600# fronts, and 140-160# rears with koni doubles, but my understanding is relocation brackets are not legal, so I'd probably have to swap out the rear springs or something to avoid incorrect geometry. Relocation brackets are not legal right?

 

I've gone over the rules list a couple times, I'll take a read through it again tonight.

 

Thanks!

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Will -

 

Correct - you can poly swaybar bushings and endlinks. The LCA brackets are not legal. You should be OK just putting the LCA's back to their stock mounting spot and then sawsalling off the lower mounts (or somehow making the lowerholes unuseable).

 

 

- N

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8.36.12 (3) seems to imply I can 'update/backdate within the years' including SS, which is the 1LE sway bar package for the 4th gen, 32mm hollow and 19/21mm rear.

 

8.19 Catch Tanks

 

What about the EGR from passenger valve cover, to the TB? This is a closed system, not an open breather, is this then OK without adding in a catch tank system? My guess is yes, but don't want to end up building up the wrong car here.

 

The 4.5" ride height minimum would mean my springs are a no go, this is at the lowest point of the car yes? Sounds like this means custom springs, or 1LE non-lowering type.

 

8.9.3 "Any shift knob can be used"

Does this mean aftermarket SHIFTER is a no go? The stock Z28 shifter, blech

 

8.6.2 'Stay rod'

I'm running a Hotchkis strut tower brace, this isn't exactly a single rod setup. Does this make a BMR part legal and not other? The BMR setup is roll cage tubing.

 

6.11 T-Top cars

"...must have an additional support bar running along the roofline, from front to back located in the center line of the car."

 

Forgive my ignorance, but does this mean a short tube litterally along the roofline, say about 3 foot long? Or does this imply what I've seen from the rear window area at the top of the cage, to the passenger seat front. (feel free to insert laughter here).

 

Think that covers it for now, everything else seems pretty plain english so far (bushings, braks, etc)

 

Thanks!

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Will -

 

8.36.12(3) reads:

3) 1993-97 Chevy Camaro/Pontiac Firebird

(including SS models)

 

That, to me, means you can use the 32mm front and 21mm or 19mm rear bars off of the 1LE's that came in 93 - 97. I suspect the reason the "inclding SS models" was added was the SS models are specifically excluded in the list of eligible cars.

 

You can leave the EGR in place the way it is. The catch tank rule is for the valve covers. You can either just leave the PCV system in place and feed back into the throttlebody or put a catch tank in.

 

Aftermarket shifters are OK.

 

If I understand the the 4.5" ride height rule properly, its from the lower point of the rocker panel, that's right behind the front wheel and in front of the door. That pretty much covers all of the aftermarket springs out there for these cars. What springs are you looking at using?

 

Stay Rod - That's a good question. *My* Interpretation of that would that that its one stay rod because there's only one point of attachment on the shock towers.

 

T-Top cars -

Its litterally a bar that runs horizontally, downt he middle of the roof line from the main hoop forward to the cross bar at the top of the windshield.

 

The other bar you are talking about I think is called a Petty Bar.

 

Hope that helps

 

- Nick

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On 2002-04-14 23:24, Nick Steel wrote:

Will -

 

If I understand the the 4.5" ride height rule properly, its from the lower point of the rocker panel, that's right behind the front wheel and in front of the door. That pretty much covers all of the aftermarket springs out there for these cars. What springs are you looking at using?

 

- Nick

 

 

I have 600# and 140-160# springs, but they are VERY low. I am assuming I am close to 4.5" because I can JUST squeeze a small jack there, which I think is 4.5"-17" jack (tiny $29 unit). Basically my ground clearance is very doggon low, if I clear the rule its just barely. I know that my 3 1/8" jack will not get under the cross member without raising the car a tad with this small jack in the area you specified, or rolling up on something.

 

I worry though that leaving it so low in front, then raising the rear of the car with different springs to avoid bad rear LCA geometry, would cause me another problem, like funky weight distro. I guess I'll try to find out what springs the 1/2 4th gen cars are running.

 

Whew, good thing about the shifter!

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Nick/3rd gen folks-

 

What spring rates are you running in the front?

 

So far I am not aware, nor can find anything above 360# for the front, and thought I saw somewhere 1000# springs for you guys?

 

I did meet up with Alan monday, and he suggests that I definately need to raise the car more, but going from 600# springs to 360# doesn't sound too fabulous.

 

Strano can't do custom wound springs, but perhaps I could find that. Or another possibility, and perhaps cheaper, is to give up and get a 3rd gen Thats looking like a good idea at this point, but we'll see. I know camber/caster plates are available for the 3rd gen too, and that might be nifty.

 

Thanks!

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Will...a few thoughts on your suspension setups...I ran a 1998 Camaro in SCCA for my 18 year old son...he won the SSA Regional Championship in it...now this was a V-6 but we ran the 1LE stock shocks, springs (cut 1 coil), sway bars and rear control arms and Jay Morris bushings in the front control arms...this car handled dead neutral after a few minor dial ins...don't make the mistake of going too crazy...you're better off with these cars starting with a baseline, or buying an engineered complete suspension from Jay Morris or Matt Adams VSE...the important thing is to get on the track and learn to drive and enjoy the class...you'll learn more this way than spending time and $$ in a garage and not at the track...get in NASA's group 3 and 4 and get comfortable...get some input from the guys currently racing the 4th gen...Perry Kincy, Don Trask and one new car making a debut this summer in CMC...have fun, Richard

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  • 3 weeks later...

Will,

 

Use the upper spring perch for the Koni's. It quite often is hidden when delivered, but is 5/8ths of an inch higher than the lower perch. And the 4th gen front geometry will raise the front of the car 1/2 inch when it is utilized. That is the only way that I have ever seen any of the avail springs result in too low of a ride ht.

 

Perry

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Oops, I meant it is 3/8ths of an inch higher than the lower perch.

 

The 4th gen front geometry gives a 1.7x multiplier on spring perch height. i.e., 3/8ths of an inch up the shock will raise the car 1/2 inch. And if you don't have a second perch get one cut by a machine shop.'

 

Perry

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