LS1 Camaro CMC Build

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JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

LS1 Camaro CMC Build

Postby JJKJ » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:35 pm

A quick reintroduction since I haven't posted in quite a while: I've had interest in CMC back in the early 2000's when I raced a 94 Camaro in a regional production class. Unfortunately, I didn't live in a region that CMC was active and life got busy so I sold the car. My goal was to get back to racing when life settled down.

Fast forward to last year. I owned a 5th Gen Camaro 1LE and took it to Blackhawk Farms for a trackday. As expected, the next day I was researching how to get back to wheel-to-wheel racing. I was very excited to discover that CMC was now a thriving class in the midwest.

I went on the hunt for a 4th gen Camaro to either build or buy as an existing race car. This car was perfect and fell right in my lap. An '01 Z28 6spd manual with rear window defog, Hurst shifter and Monsoon radio as it's only options. It was a 1-owner and had only been in Iowa for a year. It was stored over winter so it was clean inside, outside and underside. I felt bad about tearing into the car, but it just seemed born to be a race car. It was all stock except for a K&N filter, skip shift and Flowmaster muffler. Here are the before pics (I had already added the wheels and brakes):

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I went back to Blackhawk Farms shod with a fresh set of RA1's, a semi-stripped interior, and Wilwood brakes. Had a great time, brought it home and promptly started tearing the car apart.
John
'01 LS1 Camaro
#45 MW Region CMC

JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

Postby JJKJ » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:38 pm

Started with interior removal including all complete wiring harnesses.

Drivetrain was the next to come out.

The not-so-fun stuff started next: drilling more spot welds than I cared to count. Then removal of seam sealer--I left a small amount in the back of the hatch area.

Gutted the doors but left the crash bar. I know most remove this but decided I wanted it left in place.

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John

'01 LS1 Camaro

#45 MW Region CMC

JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

Postby JJKJ » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:52 pm

Next up was getting the cage installed. I had to wait a bit to get a spot with a local fabricator with a great reputation. While waiting, I picked up a used set of Koni SA's with a GW coil over kit. Also installed Strano offset upper control arm bushings and GW spherical lower control arm kit.

After talking with fabricator and Alan Blaine, we decided the best way to get the project moving was to purchase one of Alan's pre-bent cage kits. Alan supplied the main hoop, A-pillar bars, and top windshield bar.

Work was slow on the cage because the fabricator is a 1-man operation with numerous projects in his shop. It took almost a full year, but the cage was finally completed a couple weeks ago. The long shop time was fine because I had a very busy year with a job change and wouldn't have had much time to work on the car.

I did have the opportunity to attend a NASA event at Autobahn in September. I met quite a few of the MW/GL CMC racers and was very impressed with the camaraderie of the group. Attending the race made me very anxious for my car to be complete.

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Getting closer:

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John

'01 LS1 Camaro

#45 MW Region CMC

JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

Postby JJKJ » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:06 pm

My fabricator supplied me with a lead to a local racer who is a painter by day. He was excited to get the opportunity to paint the interior. Overall he did a pretty good job. The big news is that the car is now ready for reassembly. Wiring will be next, then brake lines, dash, and driveline. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that is a Ground Control rear adjustable perch kit on the bench waiting for installation. Also previously installed rod-end LCA's and PHR before the car left for the shop.

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Also accomplished some required mods to the engine while waiting for the cage. Installed Improved Racing pan baffle and oil cooler adapter. Currently redoing the PCV system with an LS6 valley pan and plumbing both clean and dirty sides into a dual catch can system. Many will say the clean side can isn't necessary but I've had oil in the intake with a single catch can, and found it was interesting that even GM felt it was of benefit as they included a clean side catch can with my 5th gen 1LE for track use.

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John

'01 LS1 Camaro

#45 MW Region CMC

JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

Postby JJKJ » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:18 pm

In a couple of the previous pics, you can see three shock mounts the fabricator installed for me to attach tow hooks to. Two on the front bumper and one bolted with a backing plate to the rear. I'm either going to attach a tow strap similar to this:

http://cdn.racerpartswholesale.com/imag ... _large.jpg

or an anchor shackle like this for the hook:

http://www.suncorstainless.com/sites/de ... hackle.jpg

Also forgot to mention in previous posts, had the fabricator weld in tubular subframe connectors. With the cage design, probably not necessary but I had already bought them and bolted them in so I figured they were weight in the right spot.

A few more engine items I forgot to mention before:

Turn 1 PS pump. Also installed a frame cooler to the lower rad support.

Purchased a set of AIR block off plates from WS6project.

Came across a nice custom coolant loop that worked perfectly for a heater bypass. I know many just cap the heater bungs but this works perfectly and allows the coolant to circulate through the water pump as it was designed.
John

'01 LS1 Camaro

#45 MW Region CMC

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rleng1
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: Lone Tree, CO

Postby rleng1 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:09 am

John, very nice and looks great. I built a 2000 ls1 5 years ago, and love racing it. Another item you want is to box in your radiator. While racing Texas, this is essential. With it, I ran a stock radiator without issues. Also had radiator fans.
One of the single best items I did to the car was install a Blaine's Fab rear spoiler. Made handling so much better, especially through high speed corners.
You will need to tube your setup and there are a lot of posts out there from some very good 4th gen drivers, when that time comes.
Good luck, enjoy, and keep the updates coming.
Randy English
RM Region CMC #77

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cozog
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:14 am
Location: Avon, IN

Postby cozog » Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:52 am

For your rad, you might want to consider this:Speedcooling.com
$258 shipped. Seems to be good quality too. Fixed my cooling problems.

Also, before you reinstall the tranny, consider doing a helicoil on the bolt hole that holds the trq arm mount to the tranny. I had one come loose at road america and partially strip the threads.

Really nice write up. Thanks for sharing with the group. Looking forward to seeing the car on track next season.
Todd Johnston, #59

JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

Postby JJKJ » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:22 am

Thanks for the replies.

One of the actions I took over the last year was to watch for sales and good deals on used parts to build my parts pile. Last year many vendors had great sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. During one of those sales, I picked up a Griffin LS1 drop-in radiator for not much more than the cost of a universal radiator. The advantage of the drop-in radiator is that it will fit perfectly and has the clips installed for the factory fan shroud. It also had one of the largest cores of the rads I considered. Normally I would've opted for a universal fit and made it work, but the cost difference was small enough to make it the right choice. Needless to say, I've got a good parts list going for this year's sales.

Thanks for the tip Todd on the torque arm Todd, hadn't heard that issue before.
John

'01 LS1 Camaro

#45 MW Region CMC

DAlgozine
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:19 am
Location: Crown Point, IN

Postby DAlgozine » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:54 am

John,
Car looks fantastic !!! It appears that you have done the research and are putting together a great car.
Don't hesitate to contact any of the group if you have any questions.
Dave Algozine
CMC #12

JJKJ
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: IA

Postby JJKJ » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:10 pm

Thanks Dave. It was very helpful to come out and see all of the CMC cars at the Sept event. I appreciate the patience everyone had with my multitude of questions. :)
John

'01 LS1 Camaro

#45 MW Region CMC

D. Francis
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 11:53 am
Location: Pearland, TX

Postby D. Francis » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:36 am

cozog wrote:Also, before you reinstall the tranny, consider doing a helicoil on the bolt hole that holds the trq arm mount to the tranny. I had one come loose at road america and partially strip the threads.
And consider putting a stud in that hole so you don't have to fight getting a bolt in and can just double or lock nut the clamshell bracket. I had lost that bolt twice before I went to the stud setup.

That's a lot of red... and welcome to the group.
David Francis
#39 CMC Camaro
Orange is FAST!

Pranav
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:49 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Pranav » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:11 pm

D. Francis wrote:
cozog wrote:Also, before you reinstall the tranny, consider doing a helicoil on the bolt hole that holds the trq arm mount to the tranny. I had one come loose at road america and partially strip the threads.
And consider putting a stud in that hole so you don't have to fight getting a bolt in and can just double or lock nut the clamshell bracket. I had lost that bolt twice before I went to the stud setup.

That's a lot of red... and welcome to the group.


^^^This

I took a 60mm long metric bolt, cut the head off then cut a slot in it (for a screwdriver) and threaded it in all the way, and then put on two nuts. Hasn't budged since.

I would also consider going ahead and cutting a fuel access panel for the fuel pump at some point.

Other than that it looks great! Alan's pre bent cage looks great! You did all the right stuff with the brackets and seam filler! Wish I had a pro paint my interior, my rattle can job came out terrible...

Pranav
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:49 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Pranav » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:16 pm

What front brake package is on there now?

Supercharged111
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:18 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Postby Supercharged111 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:46 pm

It kills me every time I see a clean red catfish Camaro. Mine doesn't look nearly that nice!
Rocky Mountain CMC Director
#45 Camaro Challenge Race Car

D. Francis
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 11:53 am
Location: Pearland, TX

Postby D. Francis » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:27 am

John, one more thing I thought of looking at that glossy red...

Get it out into whatever sun you can find this time of year and from the driver's seat observe if you have any glare from internal reflections. I painted the A-pillars and area around the front glass flat black and have found it very beneficial.

Now, how far are you from Hallett? Dr. Supercharged wants to see your car next June...
David Francis

#39 CMC Camaro

Orange is FAST!


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