Thursday, March 24, 2016

Taking A Look Back At The IROC-Z Camaro

Camaro IROC-Z History 
Back in 1984, Chevrolet wanted to produce a Camaro that would closely mimic the Camaros that were being used to race in the IROC (International Racing of Championship) series. So to help promote their new business idea, Chevrolet signed on to be the official sponsor of the IROC racing series. This move gave them permission to use the name IROC, which in turn spawned the birth of the road course king "IROC-Z Camaro".

Starting in 1985, the new IROC-Z became available to the public and would be produced as a Camaro performance option until 1990. The turn of the decade brought up the end of the licensing agreement with the IROC Racing Series. Chevrolet had other plans for the future of the Camaro and decided not to renew the sponsorship of the race series and dropped the IROC-Z from production.

For those years that the IROC-Z was in production, they became such a staple in the Camaro lineup that Camaro would drop the Z-28 from production for the years of '88, '89 and '90 and made the IROC-Z your primary high-performance option. Eventually, the Z-28 would come back into play in 1991 when Chevrolet halted the IROC-Z's production because without the licensing agreement they were no longer aloud to use the IROC name.

The IROC-Z: A Better Camaro
What mostly stood out about the IROC-Z is its 5.7-liter (350-cu.-in.) Tune-Port Injection (TPI) engine which was bigger than its sister motor, the 5.0-liter.

The 350 TPI came with a four-speed 700R4 automatic transmission and a special suspension package better known as the 1LE package that included: 4 wheel disk brakes, a 3.42 posi-traction rear-end, an aluminum drive shaft, large 12" front rotors, aluminum calipers, engine oil cooler, larger anti-roll bars, gas tank baffles and more aggressive springs that lowed the Camaro by .05 inches.

The special Camaro would also get 16-inch rims, an upgrade from the smaller 15-inch rims, more aggressive side-skirts on the body-kit, large IROC-Z decals on the doors and special trim.

Although throughout the years the IROC-Z was released from the factory with a few different trim options and setups like t-tops, controvertible, and even a 5-speed transmission, the most common options are mentioned above. It also should be noted that even though the 5.7-liter IROC Camaro was the most common and sought-after Camaro of the IROCs, if you are looking to buy an '85, you should know that you can find them with the bigger 5.7-liter engines, but they will not be original because in '85 they only came available with the smaller 5.0-liter TPI engine.

Unfortunately for the IROC-Z, it was produced in a time when power was not a priority and the horsepower and torque numbers it boasted back in the mid-to-late '80s, in a nut shell, sucked in comparison to today's sports cars. But the reason why the IROC-Z is a collector car and will stay a collector car is not because of its power outputs, but because of its limited production and its ties to the IROC racing series - plus the fact that when it was produced their competition had about the same lack of performance problems.

If you're searching for an IROC-Z, you must be careful for there are a lot of impostors out there. A lot of the exterior IROC-Z options such as the vented hood, front spoiler and ground effect options were available for order on regular Camaros and Z28s as well. So check the VIN numbers and do some research via. some reputable sources so you don't get screwed.

If you already own one, I would suggest saving it and passing it on to someone in your family, because in time they will be just as valuable as a Camaro from the Muscle Car era.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

GMC Syclone and Typhoon: '90s Collector Vehicles

Back in 1991, the dogs days of the sad, slow, so-called economy efficient sports cars were starting to come to an end. The days of the poorly performing 350-cu.-in. Tuned-Port Injection (TPI) engine setups that General Motors was using for their unimpressive performing sports cars were about to be replaced by a much more stout performing LT1 350-cu.-in. engine.

But before the switch would be made, the GMC truck division of General Motors made an interesting move to get involved in some of the performance making hype that GM was encouraging at the time. GMC made a move and signed a contract with a company called Production Automotive Systems (PAS) which in-turn would create the fastest production trucks of its time: the '91 GMC Syclone pickup truck and '92-'93 GMC Typhoon SUV.

The Pass Company was no stranger to this type of work as Pontiac called upon them to help them build the very famous 1989 Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary Edition.

PAS engineered a 4.3-liter Vortec engine that came equipped with a turbocharger and an intercooler to fit in both the Syclone and the Typhoon. To efficiently transfer engine power, both models would receive the four-speed 700R4 automatic transmission, the same trans that the Corvette was using at the time.

What made the Syclone and the Typhoon so unique to other trucks is that they used a very performance efficient all-wheel drive system. That technology helped these trucks that had an underrated, unofficial horsepower rating of 280 get down the quarter-mile with times that could stop the clocks somewhere in the high-13-second range. And since these trucks were so well-liked, there were a lot of upgrades promoting even faster quarter-mile times, in fact, some that were darn right amazing (10 and 9 second passes).

With great gas mileage, great performance and the fact that they were limited production, the GMC Syclone and Typhoon were and are still great car collector items for all car enthusiast alike. With a limited production of only 2,998 '91 Syclone's, 2,500 '92 Typhoons and 2,200 '93 Typhoons built, the price tags on these rare trucks still stay up in the $15,000 to $25,000 range for the ones that are still in good condition.

Unfortunately, the PAS company based in Troy, Mi., that was responsible for the GMC Syclone and Typhoons engineering and design would go out of business after GM decided not to go forward with any more specialized GMC vehicles at the time. This decision was mostly due to the progression of the Corvettes, Camaros, Trans Ams and the need to focus on the new technology of eclectic vehicles.

Type:             V6
Disp.:            262 C.I. (4.3L)
Horsepower:       280 BHP @ 4400 (Syclone) 285 BHP @4400 (Typhoon)
Torque:           350 lb-ft @ 3600 (Syclone) 350 lb-ft @ 3600 (Typhoon)
RPO:              LB4
Bore:             4.00
Stroke:           3.48
Comp. Ratio:      8.35:1
Firing Order:     1-6-5-4-3-2
Oil Pres. (Min)   6 psi@ 1000 RPM, 18 psi@ 2000 RPM, 24 psi@ 4000 RPM

Diameter:         3.9995-40025
Out of
Round:            .001 (production) .002 (service)
Taper:            .001

Clearance: .0015-.0030
PISTON RING: Compression: Groove Clearance: .0012-.0032 Gap: .010-.020 (top) .010-.025 (2nd) Oil: GC: .002-.007 Gap: .015-.055 PISTON PIN: Diam: .9270-.9273 Piston Clearance: .0002-.0007 Rod Fit: .0008-.0016 Interference

MAIN JOURNAL: Diam: #1 2.4484-2.4493
#2 #3 2.4481-2.4490
#4 2.4479-2.4488
Taper: .001 max
Out of Round: .001 max
MAIN BRG. CLEARANCE: #1 .0010-.0015 #2#3 .0010-.0025 #4 .0025-.0035
CRANK END PLAY: .002-.006
CRANKPIN: Diam: 2.2487-2.2497
Taper: .001 max
OOR: .001 max
ROD CLEARANCE: .0013-0030

LIFT +- .002 Intake .357 Exhaust .390 Journal Diam: 1.8682-1.8692 End Play .004 -.012

Lifter Hydraulic Rocker ratio 1.5:1
Lash Adj. One turn down from zero Face Angle 45 deg.
Seat Angle 46 deg.
Runout .002 max
Seat Width 1/16 to 1/32 Stem clearance .0010-.0028 Spring length 2.03 Valve Spring Pres. 76-84 lbs @ 1.70 in Closed 194-206 lbs @ 1.25 in
Open Installed height 1 23/32"
Valve Spring Damper: Free Length 1.86 # coils 4

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Camaro's Most Powerful Muscle Car: The 2017 Camaro ZL1

Later this year, Camaro will be adding a new ZL1 performance package to their 2017 lineup. Being held out of the lineup for 2016, Camaro plans on making up for its absence with a 2017 Camaro ZL1 that can take care of business on every level - from power and performance to style and comfort.

The 2017 Camaro ZL1 will come equipped with the supercharged motor that the Corvette ZO6 is currently using. This will boost the horsepower from the 580 horses the 2016 Camaro ZL1 produced to 640 horses for 2017. The badass 6.2-liter motor will come connected to either a six-speed manual transmission or a ten-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifting abilities.

No need to worry about peeling out before fishtailing into a tree as the Camaro's power is converted back to an electronic limited-slip differential with an adjustable performance traction management system. Although if it is a burnout that you are out looking to do you can always turn that bad boy off and go crazy. But if you are just looking to sprint forward in a straight line with virtually no steering responsibilities, the Camaro ZL1 traction management system will help you do just that.

As with just about all of General Motors high-end vehicles, you will receive the Magnetic Ride Control active suspension. This will without a doubt let you carve corners effortlessly on your Good Year F1 Eagle tires while comfortably seated on the inside secured to deep leather and sued-upholstery racing Recaro seats. And comfortably is always an understatement when it comes to Camaro or any GM vehicle for that matter, as all the interior creature comforts that come with all other Camaro trim models are also standard here.

Outside of obvious power, the next biggest difference you will see between the 2017 Camaro ZL1 and the other Camaros in the lineup is the appearance package. A huge front grille lets in much-needed air as a vented hood helps release the air keeping the front-end of the Camaro down at high speeds. Wider side skirts and a bigger front spliter are easily noticed along with a rear spoiler that is definitely needed to help keep the vehicle planted when hitting corners at the road course.

No price tag has been yet announced for the 2017 Camaro ZL1, but one would have to imagine it will be a little bit more than the original price tag on the 2015 Camaro ZL1 which came in at $57,000.00.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Introducing the 2017 50th Anniversary Camaro

Way back in September of 1966, Chevrolet introduced what would soon become one of the most iconic American sports cars of all time - the Camaro. It was Chevrolet's answer to the Ford Mustang and their foot in the door to the poor man's sports car market.

With September 2016 right around the corner, Camaro recognizes the importance of the date and the need for a 50th Anniversary Edition Camaro. To celebrate 50 years of the sports car, a 2017 50th Anniversary Camaro Edition will be available for order as soon as this summer.

So what will be so special about this 50th Anniversary Camaro, as far as performance goes it does not sound like there will be any upgrades in that department. But you will have your choice of having any of the three engines placed in them that Camaro already offers: the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the 3.6-liter V-6 and the 6.2-liter monster V-8. Each engine setup will come available to you with the option of a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching technology or the eight-speed automatic with the excitement of steering wheel paddle shifting.

Some other great things that Camaro leaves up to you as options are all of the 50th Anniversary Camaros can be ordered as a coupe or in convertible version and in the 2LT trim or SS trim package. Each Camaro will come with a Night Fall Grey Metallic paint job with two orange and black stripes that will break up the paint job by running down the hood and trunk lid. Added to the appearance of the Camaro will be the very famous and iconic RS visual package that adds on many cool looking upgrades. Some of those upgrades included are a new front splitter with a mesh front grille and chrome accents, 20-inch alloy rims with “50th Anniversary” center caps, HID headlights, LED tail lamps and rear trunk-lid spoiler. Along with that comes painted brake calipers that match the stripes (only in front on 2LT models) and added special "50th Anniversary" badges on the front fenders and rear bumpers. 

The interior, although no photos have been produced of it yet is said to be just as nice. Black leather with orange contrast stitching is what will surround you and what you will be seated on. The seatbacks, steering wheel, instrumental panels and illuminated sill plates will all get special “50th Anniversary” treatment. Add that in with the suede inserts and all of the other creature comforts the Camaro offers its drivers and you have a 50th Anniversary Camaro that will not only be fun to drive, but also fun to take around to all of the local car shows. 

Prices have yet to be talked about but will probably be soon mentioned as summer is quickly approaching. In my opinion, since there is no power upgrades and no limited edition numbered models to be mentioned, I can't see them being priced much more than an average Camaro.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 Autorama Exits of Some of the Most Beautiful Vehicles

The Autorama in Detroit is always a great place and time for Michigan auto enthusiast. After a few months of cold weather and a few more to go, the huge indoor car show in February is a refreshing break in the action for car, truck and bike lovers to see some awesome pieces of automotive machinery come out of hibernation.

One of the best parts of the event is the leaving of the vehicles. Brand new high-end sports cars to classic restorations and everything in between take their final stroll out of Cobo hall and probably back into their garages for at least another month.

Take some time to take a look at the exits of some of the most beautiful vehicles that came to Detroit for this year's Autorama.

Another part of the action that came along with the 2016 Detroit Autorama was the star of "Counting Cars", Danny, from on A&E, performed with his band "Count 77".