About my Camaro
Well, it all started back in 8th grade when my uncle needed to sell his 1968 Camaro convertible…
I thought the car was pretty cool, didn’t know much about cars at that point though. So after having my father “co-sign” a loan for me I was able to slowly pay off my first car using a vending machine route.
I spent most of my high school years modifying my Camaro like any other high school kid would, subs, stereo, loud exhaust, etc. Most of my automotive knowledge started with changing one component or another on my car. Throughout my high school years I changed the motor, transmission, exhaust, front brakes, rear axle, leaf springs, head lights, alternator, gauges, carpet, seats, rear view mirror, etc.
- Engine: Originally my car came with a 327 cubic inch engine with 202 camel hump heads. After a few years of driving my car I took the 327 apart in shop class to see why it didn’t seem to have the power it used to. I found out that one of the exhaust lobes had worn off the cam shaft causing the motor to fight itself internally. Plans for a 350 soon entered the picture as a friend of mine knew a “good” engine guy who built motors for a few local circle track racers. Needless to say after just a couple of years the 350 was shot (many internal assembly errors) and plans of a 383 stroker we in play. This time I wanted to do it right and fuel injected. So, currently my Camaro is awaiting for a 383 stroker heart transplant. A well know local engine builder with a great reputation put my 383 together taking what parts he could from my 350. A new high nickel content 4 bold block was used with World products heads off of my 350. The addition of an Edelbrock Pro-Flo EFI system should improve long-term drivability and fuel economy.
- Transmission: Originally my car came with a 2 Speed Powerglide which I changed to a Turbo 350, then a 700-R4 with fuel economy in mind.
- Exhaust: I’m not sure what my car had on it when I first got it, the only thing I knew is that it wasn’t loud enough. After trading out my 327 for a 350 I took my car to a local exhaust shop to get exhaust run from my newly installed Headman headers. After two 40 series Flowmaster mufflers and some 2.5 ” exhaust pipe, life was good. Future plans are to quiet the exhaust a bit but to install a set of electronic exhaust cutouts.
- Brakes: Originally my car came with drum brakes all around. After almost having one of my friends wreck my car I figured it was time for new brakes. This was also when I realized I shouldn’t let anyone drive my car but me. After searching and calling around to a few junk yards I found a set of front disk brakes off of a 1972 Nova. After installing the new brakes, a power break booster, distribution block, line lock and some new lines my car stopped dramatically better! Future plans include 4 wheel disks. On a side note, my friend TC and I learned from watching Steve to NEVER put your hand inside the brake housing while using air to remove the caliper…
- Rear Axle: Originally my car came with a stock 10 bolt rear axle with 2.73 gears (no posi). After some more searching and running an add in the local paper I got a phone call from a guy who had a stock 68 Camaro 12 bolt rear axle with 4.10 gears and a posi. After installing the new rear axle and new multi-leaf spring the car sat a bit taller in the back and left two black marks on the pavement instead of one.
- Head Lights: Montana is full of wildlife, especially deer. Headlight bulb and housing upgrades where a must! But, after driving a few vehicles with HID lights, there’s another future mod to think about.
- Alternator: The stock wasn’t quite cutting it with the addition of the stereo, amps, subs and other electrical gadgets so I updated to a higher 200 amp one wire alternator with the help of my father-in-law. Adding a capacitor to the stereo amplifiers help quite a bit with the charging system.
- Gauges: Originally my car came without many gauges, just dummy lights. With the addition of a new engine I wanted to monitor temp & pressure a little more closely and instead of cutting new holes for gauges I chose a blue set from Dakota Digital. The new gauges also made it easier to calibrate my speedometer as it didn’t require new gears (I had a hard time trying to find a compatible speedo gear for the 700-R4).
The next big plans are to: