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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to introduce this build and bring back the prestige of Cars Illustrated Magazine.

As the Cars Illustrated test editor I've already beat on some new cars like the Chrysler 300c - just a V6 car, but after slipping past tech with a hidden NOS system we pushing that turd from the 16s to the mid 14s -
if you wanna watch.

But Cars Illustrated has one thing that has always set it apart from the other magazine - the 12.99 Challenge. CHECK OUT THE STORY HERE

First attempted by the staff in 1987, see Cars Illustrated Vol 5 Nos 4 and 6, they took a well oxidized Roadrunner, and using nothing but junk and what little sense they had, set off for the goal of running 12.99 for a total investment of less than $1299 dollars...and failed.

But now I've re-fired the torch and will carry on tradition with my quest to run the fabled 12.99 for $1,299 dollars.

Here is what the car looked like when I went to pick it up...$450 was a deal.



The engine, trans, rear-end and basically the whole car is stock but the wheels...



Now I just need to put the right combo together of converter, gears, weight and as many new and old school tricks I can pull on this 20yr old F-Body and see just how fast I can go....and as of writing this post, I only have $774 bucks left to do it.

...all is good but the GIANT HOLE in the trunk, so I hope you will follow along because 12.99 is only the beginning...and for the love of god, somebody tell me how to load images direct to YB?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So here is where I'm at - and looking for feedback.

Have the tank/pump/tweaker hole covered...now I need to see what others think is the right combo or path to take.

By the way here is the hole the ex-owner cut in the truck - pretty epic.



I've got this in mind and would like to see what others think...should have it up and running Sunday, just time.

PLAN "A"
Used Late 80s C4 700R4 converter - 2200rpm vs. stock 2050
Used Mid 90s S10 gears - 3:73 vs. stock 3:42
Used set of '26 slicks

PLAN "B"
Have access to a used converter - 3500 vs. stock 2050
Used Mid 90s S10 gears - 4:10 vs. stock 3:42
Used set of '28 slicks

Found a Richmond 7.5 10-bolt rebuild kit off Craigslist already...so got that covered.

Both "A" and "B" have the following list of items to go with the hardware...
1. Weight - will remove everything from bumper/crash supports to door bars, interior ect.
2. Front Sway-bar removed
3. Used/Yard front struts - blown-out for some weight transfer.
4. "Home-made" fresh air box
5. AC removal - just the unit and condenser, not going so deep I rip the dash for the evaporator.
6. TPI "Dremel Port" work - the back plate ect. + runners.

I'm not a idiot - so the basics I understand, but I gotta do it ALL for the leftover $747 BUCKS!

Trust me when I say $1,299 does not go far....it's taking some planning and the right combo to do it - want to do it ON MOTOR - not just spray it and be done.
Spray will come, but want to see how far I can go without it.

So YellowBullet members, whats your feedback?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
FINALLY got two seconds to work on the Cars Illustrated 12.99/$1,299 Challenge Chevrolet Camaro Z28...
...took a few to cutout, work over and fit the replacement panel for the tweaker hole in the trunk.



Now just some final adjustments, a little RTV and screws - done.
 

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Don't go with 4:10 gears. It will put the car way out of it's power band. The 3:42 gears are the best match for the TPI motor, just leave them in and spend the money elsewhere.

The Corvette/S10 converter is a good cheap idea but the stall is closer to 1800 rpm and stock is about 1400-1500.

Free mods:

Gut the airbox underneath the air filters. Cut out the area underneath them so the filters are exposed to direct incoming air. You can even get some dryer hose and put it in the opening where the fog lights are for a cheap cold air setup.

Throttle body coolant bypass. There is a hose that runs underneath the throttle body that passes hot water through it for quicker warm up time in cold climates and also to keep the throttle body from sticking in cold air. Bypass this so the hot water does not pass through it anymore.

Take the plenum off and remove the divider wall between the openings for the runners, not too much though so that you create a vacuum leak. Maybe some cleanup port work on the intake as well

I would look around to find some aftermarket lower rear control arms and relocation brackets to help hooking up. Or you could just box them with some flat stock.

An adjustable fuel pressure regulator and bumping the timing will help with some extra power too.

The best place for more ideas would be to check out here http://www.thirdgen.org/forums/

And I'm really jealous that you found that car for that price. Good luck.
 

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draggin' ass
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How about some cheap long tube headers, they might be worth a thought.
 

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Shorty hedman headers are an improvement over stock manifolds for sure. Helped move my rpm range up also. Provided the rest of the exhaust is adequate.
Power window motors are the size of a snickers bar so not much weight to be lost if your thinking of tossing em. Try bypassing AC clutch and power steering pump with a shorter belt. Difficult with a serp belt I'm sure but will help.
 

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Maybe you can find a deal on 1.6 roller rocker arms.

Also when I did a cam swap on my 96 Camaro I had people wanting my stock cam for their TPI motors. Don't know about that but maybe you could do a cheap cam swap if it is an upgrade and you can find an old LT1 cam laying around.

Bigger throttle body

Electric water pump
 

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You'll kill the budget on the prom for the computer! Maybe swap to a carb?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Make sure to check these links to see what I grabbed on my Intagram page...it was funny, sad and exciting all on the same day.


https://instagram.com/p/7oehFqlFUJ/
When did the interior of the 3rd-Gen Camaro shrink...of did I become a giant?


https://instagram.com/p/7ompSoFFRI/
This is NOT GOOD, but if you can believe it...it proved to not be as bad as we thought.


https://instagram.com/p/7otlKrFFaT/
And here is why....it LIVES!

Don't tell me how - don't tell me why, but that little 350 in the Z28 decided to run and run good. Praise to the strength of the small-block-chevy!

PLUS - BIG Thanks to all of you that have giving me your take, input, opinion. Love it all and now that we dodged (for now) this bullet I can focus on the next steps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got to a couple things to day that are not all that exciting.

In my searches for free stuff, I found a yard sale with with some hood and decklid struts - guy did not even know what they were for and I offered to help him clean his mess up....always go to yard sales when people have all but called it a day and BAMBO - free struts.

And now the Z28 will not try to kill me....



..plus the decklid is not fitted and closing minus that broken power latch, I just did some re-engineering of the latch and it closes perfect, but with out the power latch part....who need that anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Got to a couple things yesterday that are not all that exciting...I feel like all I did was "carry a watermelon"

In my searches for free stuff, I found a yard sale with with some hood and decklid struts - guy did not even know what they were for and I offered to help him clean his mess up....always go to yard sales when people have all but called it a day and BAMBO - free struts.

And now the Z28 will not try to kill me....



..plus the decklid is not fitted and closing minus that broken power latch, I just did some re-engineering of the latch and it closes perfect, but with out the power latch part....who need that anyways.

 

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Cool stuff, but $1299 in 1987 is about $2760 in 2015. That'll give you more to play with... good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Let's go over the checklist of tasks completed on the Cars Illustrated 12.99/$1,299 Challenge 1991 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 last night.

A: Fuel Tank/Delivery System/Fuel Filter/Pump & Guage - Done.

B: Rear Panhard Bar/Support Bar/Sway Bar and End-Links - Done.

C: Swapped out the Oil-Filter - I was under there so why not.

Now onto the injectors and pressure regulator...but we ran out of time this evening so had to hang it up for the night.
But don't worry we will be back at it soon.
 

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:smt097 Hit the newbie thread phuckstik :smt097

Covering for Big T Racer
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And now the fun begins…



As if Tony Defeo, myself and the whole Cars Illustrated staff are not busy enough with our 12.99 Challenge cars….heck, why not add to the pile?

Say hello to the Cars Illustrated project 1967 Chevrolet Camaro….no, we don’t have a cool name for it.

It started life as a pretty basic car, straight six, automatic transmission, power steering and brakes and that’s about it…and also why it’s the perfect Camaro for us to get our hands on.

So what’s the plan?

Well, we thought about several ideas….maybe a tribute car ala “Old Reliable” maybe turn in into something Tony would have been driving in ‘78 complete with side pipes, air jackers and a mural?

Nope….as you most likely already guessed it, it’s going to be the nastiest, meanest grudge racer we can assemble with the best parts we can get our hands on.

No, it’s not going to be high-tech, no it’s not going to challenge Lutz or Larson for the fastest street can in ‘Merica….it’s just simple going to be the Camaro most of us living in the real world would and could build if they set out on their own journey to build a real car for the real street.

Like the motto goes…street - race - life.

NOTE: A huge tanks you to Pilot Transport for getting the new Cars Illustrated Project Camaro from one coast to the other…. thanks guys. Make sure and check out their website http://www.pilottransport.com/ for information on how to get your ride where it needs to be anytime, anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oh TPI how I hate you … let me count the ways.

Okay, I really don’t hate Chevrolet’s Tuned Port Injection, but let me tell you it would be nice to not be messing around with fuel delivery problems and instead be wondering how to cut time off baseline time slips and headed to a 12.99 second ET.

CHECK OUT THE STORY HERE
 

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Just hit it with a 175 shot.
 
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