Tommy Abdal, San Jose, CA
1990 Black IROC-Z
Notice the 18" wheels on this photo!
1990 Camaro IROC-Z
305 TPI-5 Speed
I had always wanted a convertible Z-28, but did not have the cash flow to obtain one. Finally after graduating college two years ago, I got a decent paying job and started to look for my dream car. The car had to be a 1990 (last year of the IROC-Z) generally clean, had to have less than 50,000 miles, and it had to be a 5-speed. After searching for almost 2 years, I was beginning to think my dream car was not out there. I gave up more than once and almost bought a new 1996 SS Camaro. I was also beginning to settle for cars that were under my standards! After 2 agonizing years of searching used car lots and traveling to other cities to look at prospective cars, I finally found my dream Z-28 less than 10 miles from my house!!! It was love at first sight. The car was in mint condition. It had been kept in storage for a couple of months after the owner had passed away. Seizing the opportunity, I bought the car immediately. As the saying goes, "Good things come to those that wait".
*Ported and Polished TPI Plenum
*Performance Pulley Set
*Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator and Gauge
*Edelbrock Headers with Jet Hot Coating
*Full 3 inch exhaust to Flowmaster Muffler
*Early Fan turn on switch/160 degree thermostat
Although I have much more planned for my engine, I want to give you my thoughts on which products have thus helped my car so far:
* Porting Plenum: I definitely did see some more power at top end. Removing the walls at the opening of the plenum increases airflow. The correct way to so this is to port match the plenum with the runners/gaskets. This takes more time, but the results will be worth it.
*Underdrive Pulley Set: If you don't have this, then get it. I have noticed more lower end torque. By reducing the size of the crank shaft pulley, accessory items such as the AC pulley spin slower, thus reducing "parasitic horse power loss".
*Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator: This is a must if you want to tailor your car's fuel characteristics. The acceptable range of Fuel Pressure is 40-47psi for general street applications. By increasing my psi from 40 to 45, I again noticed a little more kick from my engine.
*Headers: This was the biggest performance characteristic on my car. I don't have numbers to prove it, but I could definitely tell the difference from before I had to
*Koni Adjustable Race Struts and Shocks
*Eibach Pro-Kit springs (Modified)
*Edelbrock Strut Tower brace
*Polished and Painted IROC-Z rims on Z-rated radials
*Mac Subframe connectors
SUSPENSION DO'S AND DONT'S:
As you may tell by the pictures, the car is low to the ground. It is lowered 2.5 inches in the front and 1.5 inches in the back. Considered controversial by some, I decided that the only way to get the look I wanted was to cut the springs. Cutting springs is ok if you know how to do it and how much to cut. DON'T CUT SPRINGS WITH A TORCH!! The heat generated will ruin the handling capabilities of the spring. The correct way to cut is with a high speed cutter.
Use only HIGH QUALITY shocks when you want to lower more than standard. Prior to the Koni's, I had KYB shocks and struts. These shocks are a definite improvement over stock. Their price and performance cannot be beat. However, once I lowered my car more than what is recommended, it was bottoming out on even the smallest bump. The KYB's are not meant to handle this much pressure. After doing some research I decided to go for the KONI race shocks. Even though one KONI strut cost as much as all four KYB shocks, it had to be done. These shocks are made for lowered cars, and can be adjusted to a hard as "rock" ride. These shocks definitely solved my suspension woe's so that my car sits at a very aggressive angle and it doesn't bottom out any more.
ALSO, MAKE SURE TO USE THE CORRECT SIZE SNUBBER! Snubbers are the rubber pieces that are on the A-Arm. They are there to cushion the impact between the body and the A-Arm when the car goes over bumps. I have seen some lowered Camaro's with snubbers that are too small. Small snubbers will lead to constant bottoming out. When people take their cars to be lowered at shops, the mechanic will install the small snubbers that come with the springs. The original snubbers that come on the car are too big and will rub in normal driving when the car is lowered. I use a cone shaped snubber that is about 1.5 inches tall. Try to use as big of a snubber as you can fit. They definitely do help!
*definitely use aftermarket shocks and struts after you lower your car.
*If you choose to cut your springs, NEVER use a flame torch, use a high speed cutter
*You need only cut less than half a coil to see great results
*Fit the tallest snubber possible
*Watch out for those crazy bumps!