Friday, February 26, 2021

1970-1973 Split Bumper Camaro RS

1970-1973 Split-Bumper Camaro

Split Bumper Camaro


To say the least, the split bumper Camaros are great-looking muscle cars that are sought-after by many car enthusiasts. But there has always been a lot of confusion about which Camaros came with the split bumper option.


Camaros with the RS trim package RPO Z22 option are the Camaros that were originally meant to come off the assembly line with the split bumper feature. There are a lot of split bumper replicas out there because of the high demand for the unique look the Z22 option produces.  



Since there are more original full bumper Camaros, there is a huge market for kits that can transfer a Z28 or an SS trim package into a split bumper look. If you're okay with a replica, then there's no problem, but if you want an original split bumper Camaro for investment purposes, then you need to know what you're looking for or you are sure to get duped. 



If you are looking for a Camaro with a legit Z22 option trim package, you will probably be making a smart move by doing some investigating on these Camaros before purchasing one. Taking someone's word for it is a fool's game. In fact, there are ways you can find out if the Camaro you are looking at is a real RS trim package or if it is a Z28 or an SS trim package with aftermarket Z22 parts.



Could it be a Z28 or an SS with a Legit Split Bumper Z22 Package?


Yes! It's important to know that just because a '70-'73 Camaro is a Z28 or an SS doesn't mean that it couldn't have been specially ordered from the factory with the Z22 option. You see that all the time, even in today's Camaros, Z28s ordered with RS stripes, ground effects, leather delete, etc.  



Don't get fooled. If you're looking to purchase a true split bumper Camaro, ask the owner if they have a build sheet. If they do, then the build sheet should specify if the Camaro was optioned with the Z22 package. If it wasn't, then the bumper most likely is aftermarket. 











If they don't have a build sheet, then specific features of the car should tell you what you are looking at. A true Z22 package should have most of these options: body-colored inserts on the door handles, bright chrome window and body trim, sill and hood panel moldings, hidden wipers (RPO C24) option, and bright accented parking lights, tail lights, and backup lights.  


There is one other way to find out the true identity of the car. Takedown the VIN# and call Chevrolet or use the Internet for the information you need. It may take a while, but it could be very well worth it. 



It also should be noted that an RS package is not worth more than a Z28 or an SS package. But if a Z28 or an SS came original with a full bumper and it was converted to a split bumper, that could decrease the value of the Camaro.


 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

2009 Corvette ZR1: The Era’s Most Pinnacle Corvette Built

2009 Corvette ZR-1


2009 Corvette ZR1 Comeback


When it comes to Chevrolet, nothing but the best engineering has always been used when the Corvette is involved, and this Corvette is absolutely no exception. 

Through the years, Corvette has always made a big splash with their Z-Series Vettes. Corvettes such as the ZO6, ZR1, and the ZL1 would receive just a little more power and torque, handling capabilities, and all-around upgrades for better track performance than anything else General Motors was pushing on the market. 

But around 2007, Corvette starting talking about this new ZR1 that would be introduced in 2009. This ZR1 would be so performance packed it would give it a supercar status that would have its name being mentioned in the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini. 


This first 2009 ZR1 was auctioned off for a Million bucks to a one, Dave Ressler. He is also the owner of the oldest known Corvette in existence, #003.

6.2-liter LS9


Motor and Transmission

The see-through Carbon Fiber hood allows anyone close enough to take a peek at the engine and see that this isn't just your average Corette. The ZR1 is powered by a 6.2-liter LS9 aluminum V8 with a Twin Vortices Series supercharger that forces air through an attached intercooler. 


Hand-built in Wixom, Mi. this powerhouse motor puts out 638 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 604-lb.ft. of torque at 3800 RPMs. 

Controlling all this power is easy with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and a high-capacity, high-performance clutch that makes anyone who is sitting in the driver's seat feel like they're driving a professional racecar. 


Sure, that may seem a little light in the power department now, but in 2009, that was as beastie as it gets


Performance Stats

This General Motors’ engine and transmission combination are responsible for the staggering numbers that it puts down while going in a straight line. This ZR1 gets from 0-60 in 3.4-seconds while reaching 100-mph in a matter of 7-seconds. The Corvette has no problem covering the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds at 131 mph. With a top speed of 200-mph. Without a doubt, the most capable, powerful Corvette put into production.  

Frame and Suspension

The ZR1 comes standard with an aluminum frame structure that weighs in at a mere 138 pounds. This frame is the exact frame that is used on the C6.R race car, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 5.2 pounds per horsepower. The aluminum frame rides on a Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension. The Magnetic Ride Control is the most sophisticated suspension of its kind. The ride control gives the driver two different driving modes to choose from: A Sport ride control which is ideal for the racetrack and a Touring mode which is ideal for everyday driving. These modes can be switched back-and-forth right at the driver seat with a push of a button. Doesn’t seem like so much of a wow factor now, but back in 2009, this convenience was just starting to become a top technology on American vehicles. 

Tires

Now with all that power and a great suspension, you have to have some way of keeping the tires and wheels in contact with the ground, and in this department, GM spares no expense. By replacing the stock Corvette tires with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, the ZR1 was able to shred off three seconds per lap at the Virginia International Raceway. And that’s when the decision was made, the Michelin’s that performed the best would come on the best Corvette ever produced.


Corvette ZR-1 Wheels

Braking

You can't have a vehicle with all that power and ability without having an effective way of stopping it. So massive Brembo Carbon Ceramic 15-inch front and 15.5-inch rear vented cross-drilled rotors were added. These rotors can withstand 1000-degrees celsius before warping. The brake system includes six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. When this system all works together it is capable of the type of stopping power that you would need for a 200 mph supercar.


Corvettes First Super Car


The Looks of a Supercar

With a wider stance than the average Vette, the ZR1 is designed to take corners better and get around the track faster. Sporting 19-inch diameter wheels in the front and 20-inch diameter wheels in the back, the look of the ZR1 says nothing but supercar.

All buyers would have had the option to choose the color of the wheels which include a bright silver coated finish, a deep black coated finish, or a chrome finish. All three colors look great depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Corvette offered nine different exterior colors, all of which are in an exotic tint helping give the ZR1 the supercar look that Corvette is ultimately after. The bigger spoiler on the back is both functional and awesome looking, and the see-through Carbon Fiber hood really makes a supercar statement. 

Interior Options for the ZR1

Corvette ZR-1 Cockpit
When it comes to the interior, the ZR1 came with an abundance of options and colors. The buyer was able to request almost everything from the steering wheel to the door panels to be wrapped in rich leather. They would also have the option of different model-specific badges to be placed about the inside of the vehicle. Power adjustable heated leather seats with microfiber inserts could be purchased for a better day-to-day driving experience. Corvette also offers a package called the 3ZR. This package included a nine-speaker Bose system, Bluetooth wireless technology, a head-up display, and a SiriusXM satellite radio, all designed for a more convenient and exciting driving experience.

Price Tag and Gas mileage

With supercar looks and supercar power and track times to match, an MSRP price tag of $112,000.00 makes this ZR1 one of the best-priced supercars of its kind. The ZR1 also rated very high in gas mileage for a 2009 sports car - EPA-Estimated 14 city/20 highway mpg. For a V-8 powerhouse, this type of gas mileage is extremely good and should be extremely satisfying for consumers.

The best thing about the ZR1 was for the first time ever, Americans that were in the market for a supercar cloud finally choose an American-built supercar that is placed in a class with some of the best supercars in the world.
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Friday, February 5, 2021

First All-Wheel-Drive Drag Racing Performance Success: GMC Syclone and Typhoon



GMC Syclone and Typhoon Era: The Dog Days of Sports Cars

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 were using for their unimpressive performing sports cars were about to be replaced by a much more stout performing LT1 350-cu.-in. engine.

'91 GMC Syclone

But before the change, the GMC truck division of General Motors made an interesting move to get involved in some of the performance hype 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 started the creation of 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. Pontiac called upon them to help build the very famous
20th Anniversary 1989 Pontiac Trans AM

1989 Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary Edition. Oddly enough, they just went with a drive train that was already tormenting all of the sports cars on the streets, the V6 3.8-liter Buick turbo intercooler setup.  

Originally Buick's Idea

Originally, Buick came up with the idea for the turbocharged truck, but not to cause any conflict with the GMC truck production branch, they handed the idea over to them. GMC was hesitant to take on the project at first since they already had a similar black regular cab pick-up truck on the market with a 454 cu.-in. engine. 

But some forward-looking engineers and designers saw the potential in smaller engines. Assuming Buick could make it work in a G-Body grocery-getter car with much success, doing the same in a truck and an SUV should work just as well, and to nobody's surprise, it did.  

Different Turbo Setup For The Syclone and Typhoon

The PAS company engineered a 4.3-liter Vortec engine equipped with a turbocharger and an intercooler to fit in both the Syclone and the Typhoon.

To efficiently transfer engine
'91 GMC Typhoon
power, both models would receive the four-speed 700R4 automatic transmission, the same trans the Corvette and the Buick turbos were using at the time.

The First All-Wheel-Drive Technology Used For Racing Performance

What made the Syclone and the Typhoon so unique from 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-to-mid 13-second range. 

Since the technology was so similar to the successful 3.8-liter turbos, aftermarket part dealers and car enthusiasts knew exactly what easy upgrades could be made to make these trucks amazingly performance efficient. I've personally seen Typhoons run in the high 10-second range and Syclones being lighter in weight, stop the clocks in the 9s. 





GMC Syclone and Typhoon: Unbeatable Deal

With great gas mileage, great performance, and the fact that they were limited production, the GMC Syclone and Typhoon were and are still collector items for all car enthusiasts alike. 

With production numbers of only 2,998 '91 Syclones, 2,500 in '92, 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 Typhoon's engineering and design would go out of business after GM decided not to go forward with any more specialized GMC vehicles at the time. 

The 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. That may have sounded silly then, but now, all auto companies have moved into the electric vehicle direction, and GM predicts by 2035, the only vehicles they will be producing are going to be all-electric vehicles. 
             

Syclones and Typhoon GENERAL SPEC

4.3-liter turbocharged intercooled











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

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


PISTONS:
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

CRANKSHAFT:
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
SIDE CLEARANCE: .006-.014


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

VALVE SYSTEM:
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