Category Archives: 2. 2014 Camaro SS/RS

That Magic Moment…

IMG_3306I’ve had my 2014 Camaro SS (RedRock) for six months now and it has been everything and a bag of chips – today though, was that magic moment.

Slowly but surely, I’ve been testing the limits on RedRock.  Pulling at the tail of the beast if you will…  Today, driving home from work I decided to take a spirited drive.  I selected “sport” mode and switched the Range Device on.  For those of you that don’t know what that is, well…  That is the “on” switch that GM forgot to include.

The Range device enables the Active Fuel Management (AFM) to be disabled.  This means the L99 is in full 8 cylinder mode all the time.  With the Range device “on”, RedRock takes on a different personality.

So, there is this off-camber left-hander on the way home that if you catch “just right”, will put a perma-grin on your face of epic proportions.  I’ve taken this all wrong before in bowtie6 and the result was a nice loop:  I ended up facing the wrong way.  Well today was special…  I was able to get RedRock in most impressive oversteer drift.  Nothing stupid, mind you…  Just right!  Just the kind of stuff that makes you want more…  :mrgreen:

I just love this car!  400hp at your beck and call is just intoxicating.  That magic moment indeed!

Race Ramps Product Review

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67″ RaceRamps two-piece model

I finally bit the bullet and ordered a set of Race Ramps made by BruteTechnologies and I thought it might be helpful to write this product review…

I’ve owned RedRock for 6 months – traveling some 4200 miles – and this weekend I decided to do an oil change even though the “Oil Life” indicator showed 45% remaining.

When I purchased RedRock last December, the dealer had done an oil change.  However I had no idea what quality oil they used.  Ditto for the oil filter.  So I headed to the parts store and purchased 8 quarts of 5-30 Mobil1 oil with a matching K&N oil filter for the 2014 Camaro.

I quickly found out my trusty, home-made, wooden ramps were just not long enough and the slope was all wrong.  I did some research and found Race Ramps.  Race Ramps come in various sizes and slopes to fit just about any application; they also have all kinds of accessories.  After further reading, I selected the two-piece, 67″ long version (RR-XT-2).  The slope is very gentle and this allows proper clearance for the front overhang on my 2014 Camaro.  They will also work perfectly on my S2000 and with bowtie6.  A win-win on all counts!

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RaceRamps – the ramp is detachable…

The ramps arrived in a very large box, as shown (bought via Amazon Prime).  You can also see they are made like a jigsaw puzzle: the “ramp” part is detachable from the part the car rests on.  These ramps are also available in one-piece, but I selected the two-piece to make it easier to store.  I am glad I did!

The ramps are made from very dense plastic material.  The plastic material is lightweight and very easy to handle.  The ramps are rated to handle 1500lbs and are also “grippy” – they did not slide at all when I drove RedRock on them.  Working under the car while on the ramps was a good experience with enough room to place an oil pan.  I was able to reach the oil drain plug easily as well as the filter.  Finally, the ramps are wide enough to handle all but the widest of racing tires – in fact, I had no issues with the tires on RedRock.

The downside to all this awesomeness is the price:  the Race Ramps are quite expensive.  Unfortunately, these seem to be the only ones available that fit my needs and thus I suppose one must “pay the price”.  The alternative would be to build a set of home-made ramps, but quite frankly I just decided to deal with it and get them.  I’m glad I did and I must say, Race Ramps are made in the USA so I feel I am also helping the local economy.

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Gotta love the supplied sticker – LOL!

Finally, I during my research I found the folks at Brute Technologies have a special offer (expires soon) that requires printing a form and filling it out.  Then, attach the sales receipt and for this they will send a pair of wheel chocks made of the same material as the ramps.  The condition is that this applies only to certain ramp models – mine being one of them.  Hopefully soon, I’ll have a review of the chocks when the good folks at Brute Technologies receive my form…

2014 Camaro CoverCraft Sunshade Review

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Honda S2000 CoverCraft sunshade

UV and heat will destroy an automobile’s interior very quickly especially if it is leather in direct Southern sunshine.  In the case of my Honda S2000, not only is there plenty of leather but the interior dash, trim, door panels and carpet are all red.  So to prevent it all from eventually becoming “pink”, I purchased a rather pricey custom-fit sunshade from Covercraft called the UVS-100.

I’ve been very pleased with the material, workmanship and overall the sunshade has a been a very worthy investment.  The way I see it, I rather sacrifice a sunshade for the sake of preserving the interior.

As you can see in today’s featured image the sunshade fits the windshield opening of the Honda S2000 perfectly and the only cut-out is on the top edge and that is to allow room for the rear-view mirror.  All edges are perfectly hemmed with a very soft material and the stitching is flawless.  So far so good.

Well, when I purchased RedRock (my 2014 Camaro SS), the first thing I ordered was a custom-fit CoverCraft UVS-100 sunshade.  The sunshade arrived and as expected, it fit perfectly.  However, I soon discovered a problem.  You see, the Camaro’s dash has one of these little doo-hickies:

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Camaro light sensor dome

That is the dome over the light sensor the BCM uses to turn on the automatic headlights when the sun sets.  Unfortunately the good folks at CoverCraft did not account for this little device being in the way when deploying the UVS100 sunshade.  I had to be very diligent not to accidentally hit the little dome over the sensor with the sunshade.  Needless to say, it would be my luck that the entire dash would need to be pulled out to replace the dome if it became damaged by the sunshade.  And I am very convinced, to boot, the good folks at GM would immediately dismiss any warranty work on this kind of claim.  Since this is not something I would be looking forward to experience…

I decided to do a little surgery on my $60 CoverCraft UVS-100 sunshade.  I made a few measurements and with the aid of a fresh (and surgically sharp) X-Acto blade, did a little “alteration” as so:

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Sunshade cutout to allow for the light sensor dome on the 14 Camaro

I removed the excess material after cutting it, however this left the edges exposed and they needed a little dressing.  Since I did not want to leave them exposed to wear-and-tear (I don’t have a sewing machine like the one CoverCraft uses), I looked around and found some leftover scraps of headliner material used when I restored the hard top on bowtie6.  After fiddling with this for a while (damn, took longer to cut this than to alter the sunshade!), this is what it looks like now (I know, it is not perfect but it is better than the alternative)…

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Headliner material secured with a little contact glue so the edges won’t fray…

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View from the inside, after the alteration…

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And finally a view from the outside.

In Summary

I really like the way this looks now.  I wish there were an option from CoverCraft to allow for this, especially since they do such a nice job at dressing all the edges on the sunshade.  I suppose this would not take much effort, especially since they accounted for the opening for the rear view mirror.

And so, a couple of advantages from the alteration I made:

  • The little dome will not become damaged in case I forgot to hold the edge up.
  • The automatic headlights won’t turn “on” during daylight hours due to the sunshade covering the sensor preventing wear and tear on the electrical system.

Overall, the CoverCraft sunshades are a good value.  I have not financial gain from this review, but I just wanted to post this in the hope it might be of interest to anyone using these shades.

The alteration I made, does solve the problem of a possible costly damage to the light sensor dome.

2014 Chevy Camaro

2014-chevrolet-camaro-ss-photo-509814-s-986x603It it has been 4 months into the stewardship of RedRock – my 2014 Chevy Camaro SS – and I could not be happier!  This thing is a real ground-pounder.

Going full retro here, but this bad boy is the “Heartbeat of America” and “Chevy Runs Deep” all balled up into one, bigtime.  There is nothing like having 400hp on tap at your beck and call and I just love it – Michael, if you are reading this, that crate LS3 you have is going to amaze the living daylights out of you and put a perma-grin of epic proportions on your face!!!

Since the first fuel-up, I’ve been tracking mileage on an online website that deals with this kind of stats.  Not that I give a shit (after all, if you own a muscle car, MPG’s should be the last thing on your mind), but I like data…  At any rate, so far RedRock has averaged 17.1 miles to the glorious gallon.  How about them apples?

So while on the subject I found some interesting photos from the folks at Gee-emm.  So with all sorts of disclaimers and due respect, I figured it might be nice to add the following photo gallery in the interest of posterity.  And I say that because the C6’s are becoming more visible on the streets.  I’ve spotted 3 so far:  two back ones and one red.  IMHO, the jury is still deliberating about their looks…

And while on the subject of keeping things for reference…  The 2014/2015 Camaro had a bit of a facelift:  there improvements to the nose, the headlights and the back.  Oh dat ass… There was also the addition of a fully functional heat extractor on the hood.  I’ve read on the InterWebz folks like and folks dis-like the facelift.  Personally, I could not be happier especially since my 2SS is also an RS, it has the halo headlights.

So back to pictures – this time the following collection shows some cool aero diagrams of what the bodywork does, including the hood heat extractor.

Camaro Strut Tower Brace

IMG_3316For RedRock‘s first modification, I ordered a OEM Camaro strut tower brace.  The strut tower brace comes standard on the 1LE and Z28 versions of the Camaro, installed at the factory.  Since this is an easy non intrusive bolt on, I thought why not.

The brace is all aluminum.  The two ends are rough cast and the brace is hallow aluminum stock bent in a curvature clearing the engine cover.  The kit comes with all necessary mounting hardware.  A quick trial fit revealed everything lined up perfectly.

IMG_3312aAs nice as the strut tower brace looks though, it needed some extra work.  The cast aluminum mount pads needed attention.  Each pad has three bolt holes (see picture on the left) and each bolt hole is machined on the back side so the pad fits flat against the strut tower on the body.

Around each bolt hole though, were many burrs and sharp shavings left from the machining process.  This would cut into the paint on the strut tower and lead to corrosion.  Easy fix:  I grabbed my Dremel tool and used one of the metal brush wheels to remove the burrs.  Problem solved.

Next, the curved brace showed some scratching from shipping and machining as well as light staining.  I’ve learned from my cousin Jim that ScotchBrite can be used to give aluminum a nice finish.  The trick is to slide the ScotchBrite pad in the same direction so the pad polishes the surface.  The result is a laid down “matte” finish that complements the silver finish on the engine cover.

After polishing, I masked a few inches on either side with tape.  Then cleaned the cast mounting pads free of any oils and used some semi-gloss black paint from a rattle can of High Temp Engine Enamel.  Quite a number of coats later, the cast surface looked much nicer.  In the meantime while paint dried, I punched some spacers out of a sheet of flat rubber I obtained from my cousin Jim’s machine shop.  I decided to do this to prevent damaging the paint on the strut towers on the car.

IMG_3314I used the tool on the right to punch the discs out of a sheet of rubber.  They are about 1/8 inch thick.  The punch to the left was used to take out the center hole.  The result is a rubber washer made to fit the spot on the mounts where they contact the struts on the car.

I realize the benefits of the strut tower brace might be questionable.  However, I like the way it looks and given it is OEM, why not?  When the weather turns a bit warmer, I’m thinking about getting a custom rattle can of paint in Red Rock Metallic and paint the black ends so they match body color.  But, for the time being this looks nice enough for me.  The mounted strut tower brace turned out very nice!  :mrgreen: