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Old 06-25-2018, 11:31 PM   #161
clyde
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I know I’m forgetting and missing stuff in the wall of text below. If you have questions, please ask. (hope the pics embed and Google Photos doesn't flake out on me)

A few updates that the car now has about 6500 miles. Might have mentioned a few of them before, but...

General driving, it’s fine. Good. Quite good, actually. If you can get past the claustrophobia, darkness and cheap feel and look of many of the interior bits, it’s a nice place to spend time. OTOH, many of the plastic bits have some really nice soft touch qualities. Time will tell in how they age, but for nearly new, they’re nice. But it’s not all like that. Higher than base level trim helps, too. But for the price, it’s not bad at all. And the driving is pretty nice.

It makes good power and it’s quite usable, but the turbo is laggy and comes on all at once. On the street, it’s fine and kinda fun. On autocross courses, you really need to anticipate it and plan for it. Otherwise, it hits mid corner and puts you into an instant understeer or oversteer condition depending on available traction. Plan for it and the car fucking flies. With the big ass competition tires on it (275/35-18 or 19, have a set of each) it develops a lot of mechanical grip and holds onto it pretty tenaciously.

We weighed the car at 3,274 pounds on SCCA scales in May. That’s with 3/8 tank, all the trunk junk (oops), the OE exhaust, and a wheel/tire combo that probably weighs about the same as OE, probably not more than two pounds lighter per corner.

I’ve since dropped 30 pounds by replacing the 55 pounds of exhaust from the flange at the end of the cat to the rear of the car with 25 pounds of welded pipes and a 16” Borla muffler. It sounds MUCH nicer now with a warm, mellow growl, but it’s still not very loud. Wanted to go with a 12” muffler (that also would have saved another pound), but there were availability issues. Wondering if I should have gone with just a straight pipe and then added the muffler only if it sounded like shit or droned. Oh well.



My best guess is that my best competition weight would be 3,210ish, which is good, but was really hoping to come in around 3,150.

I’m not wild about the shock damping. Not enough compression or rebound for my regular world taste. Feels just a little less taut than I’d like. A little too much luxury rather than sport feeling. I think this translates to a bit more sloppiness in transitions in competition circumstances than it could otherwise do, but real world isn’t bad for a satisfy everyone kind of compromise.

Third gear has been making a "whirrrrr" type type under light acceleration since nearly new. Think Jetsons:



The shifter moves around a lot while cruising. All gears. It's like the suspension has a direct connection to the transmission. Hit a bump or undulation and the shifter visibly moves. Never seen anything quite like it. Every time I try get video of it, everything smooths out. Sigh.

Before the weather got warm, the transmission would make a slight “thunk” noise and you could feel it faintly in the shifter when coming to a complete stop. Once the trans warmed to something around or over 70 degrees, it went away. I meant to, but didn’t, change transmission fluid before it got warm to see if that helped. Will do it this fall.

Changing oil is pretty simple and straightforward. Changing transmission fluid potentially creates a mess because the drain plug is right above a crossmember that interferes with the fluid flowing into a container. This is a primary reason why I didn’t get around to it.

Car will soak up miles like no one's business. Drove 1200+ miles to Lincoln Nebraska about a month ago with the car fully loaded and a passenger on 19" 275/35-19 Bridgestone RE-71Rs (not a "comfy" tire) and it was super quiet, smooth, relaxed and comfy. About 28 MPG (corrected for tire size) at 80ish MPH. Can also put a shockingly large amount of stuff in the trunk...if you can get in through the tiny opening. Big box of autocross crap, floor jack, toolbox, two helmets, two fold up chairs, four or five sets of footwear, two cubic foot boxes of junk, a small/medium sized cooler, lawn sprayer and more. Plus stuff in the back seat (although not a set of mounted 275/35-18 Bridgestone RE-71Rs (at least not when new, maybe when a little worn...it's that close) like suitcases/duffles, computer bags, etc.


(This isn't everything that was in the car, but a lot of it. Well, some of it. Upon further consideration, I'm not sure why I'm sharing this pic since it only shows a portion. Shrug.)

Visibility isn't even an issue any more. And I'm finally getting comfortable with the back up camera.

It's an interesting place to watch a hockey game on TV while someone else drives.


Still not happy with the stereo, but have learned to live with it. Sounds like shit, but can make enough volume to hear it without ugly distortion.

Not happy with CarPlay or Android Auto. Intend to try switching to Bluetooth full time, but something weird happens to audio that makes music sound like there’s added static that doesn’t exist with CarPlay.

The chrome trim around the gauge pod requires "Camaro pasties" to block the sun from being reflected into my eyes during much of the day. My codriver, Kevin, sits in a position where the steering wheel blocks his view of the chrome, so it's not an issue for him. Kind of a big deal for me. (I have some matte black vinyl wrap in my Amazon cart to fix this in a more visually appealing style than blue painter tape on the chrome.)




The driver’s right side knee pad pops off on the first left corner on course.

There's some odd wear on the driver seat back above my left shoulder. It's not a contact point for my shoulder, the seat belt, or anything else I can think of.

Seats themselves are comfy and supportive. Not as nice as the Recaros in the 1LE cars, but plenty fine

The glove box is kind of small. The console storage bin is small, oddly shaped, and a PITA to open and make use of while driving. The map pockets in the doors are tiny. See a pattern?

It’s the first manual transmission car I’ve driven that allows you to shift without canceling cruise control. Or so I’ve been told. Haven’t tested yet, but Kevin said it works after driving it back from Lincoln.

No-lift-shift is a really cool trick once you train yourself to keep the throttle matted while shifting.

The metal of the body is very thin. I got some kind of door ding looking thing on my way home from the dealer that I think was actually from a salt clump as I passed a spreader truck. There’s a little ding next to the fuel filler door. A garden tool in the garage fell on it putting a nice nick and ding in the driver side quarter panel that I can’t unsee now and is annoying me to no end.

It’s next to impossible to clean the inside of the rear window, particularly near the parcel shelf because of the angle. The front windshield isn’t too bad. Much easier than the Focus.

The front license plate blocks a little airflow to the radiator and intercooler. Some people have logged and said they find a slight reduction in intake air temps with the tag removed, so we remove. There are a couple options for alternative location mounting that keeps it out of the airflow, but they all look like ass.

I’m still comparing the car to the Focus ST a lot. They make similar power, but deliver in such different ways. The FoST is smooth and linear. The Camaro is more brutal with soft edges (relatively speaking, not brutal in reality). Fuel mileage is similar. The car is not happy in sixth gear until it’s going 75 mph or so…enough so RPMs are over 2,250. It’s kinda weird. The FoST was infinitely more practical and useful. It can serve as a one car to do it all without problem. The Camaro can’t. The FoST with the ST3 package (full leather, power everything, etc) was a lot nicer on the inside. I also paid a good bit more for the FoST 5 years ealier than I paid for the Camaro.

Over and over again, whenever there’s something I find that I don’t really like, if I look at it through the “I paid $19k for it new” lens, I’m totally okay with whatever it is. Most of the things I’m not happy about are fixed or much improved on more expensive versions, too.

On the whole, I’m a lot happier with the car than I thought I would be. For competition, fuck. Good chance it will not be competitive in its regular stock-equivalent class beyond this year and that’s a shame. It super fun, it’s super cheap for a new car, and it’s super competitive where it is now. If I’d had any idea, I would have bought it a year earlier (although probably had to pay a little more) and enjoyed two years with it. I anticipate some tough choices for next year and beyond.

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Old 06-26-2018, 07:31 AM   #162
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My best guess is that my best competition weight would be 3,210ish
I didn't realize that the car was that light. Relatively. Honestly, I would've pegged the Camaro at somewhere north of 4000.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:40 AM   #163
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That is very light. Great write-up, Clyde!
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:54 AM   #164
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Nice writeup. That is lighter than I expected. Would like to find a time to drive it!
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:55 AM   #165
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Nice writeup. That is lighter than I expected.
Thanks!

The SCCA scales in the Solo trailer are not known for repeatable 100% accuracy. I worked impound the day I weighed. I asked a lot of them if the weights we took were expected and everyone said they were within a few pounds.

Kevin and I both saw 3274 on the readout, but by the time I took a pic, it lost the right rear scale (and I didn't realize it until the car was back in paddock). The corner weights in the pic were (full trunk junk and 3/8 tank):

LF: 841 FLR: 847
LR: 758 RR: XXX

Scroggs' scale pic last year of his car fully stock with all trunk junk, etc and 1/8 tank was 3237 with splits:

LF: 829 RF: 867
LR: 764 RR: 777

Anything seem funny?

Scroggs' car has a pretty even L/R split in its F/R balance with about 0.7% spread. If I fill in 838 pounds for my RR to get a total of 3274, it jacks the weight in a way that makes my L/R split for F/R balance jump to a 2.3% spread, which seems huge. It also makes my LF and RR heavier (RR significantly so) than his and RF and LR lighter.

Maybe if the extra 3-4 gallons of fuel are all held on the right side of the tank? Maybe the scale positioning biased towards the RR? Maybe a little of both?

I want to put the car on another set of scales

Quote:
Would like to find a time to drive it!
Happy to set up a time.
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:02 PM   #166
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My best guess is that my best competition weight would be 3,210ish, which is good, but was really hoping to come in around 3,150.
Weighed it again in Oscoda, MI a couple weekends ago. Exhaust, 18" TR Motorsports wheels with worn 275/35-18 RE71Rs, most of the trunk junk out, and sevenish gallons of gas. 3223 pounds.

The car on the scales before mine was an identically optioned 2017 Camaro 2.0t. Differences: Exhaust, 18" Konig Hypergram wheels, all trunk junk out, twoish gallons of gas. He has a pic showing 3179. My pic of the scale with his car shows 3201. His wheels (including spacers) are about 3 pounds lighter per corner and I was carrying about 30 pounds more fuel and that would account for the difference.
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:26 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by clyde View Post
Weighed it again in Oscoda, MI a couple weekends ago. Exhaust, 18" TR Motorsports wheels with worn 275/35-18 RE71Rs, most of the trunk junk out, and sevenish gallons of gas. 3223 pounds.

The car on the scales before mine was an identically optioned 2017 Camaro 2.0t. Differences: Exhaust, 18" Konig Hypergram wheels, all trunk junk out, twoish gallons of gas. He has a pic showing 3179. My pic of the scale with his car shows 3201. His wheels (including spacers) are about 3 pounds lighter per corner and I was carrying about 30 pounds more fuel and that would account for the difference.
wow that is impressive. Thought the stock ones were around 3800 pounds
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:43 PM   #168
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wow that is impressive. Thought the stock ones were around 3800 pounds
Chevrolet's listed curb weight for my car is 3,354 (2.0t manual) and the manual V8 coupe starts at 3,685.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:29 PM   #169
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Sometimes, it's a lot easier than you think it will be.

The car has produced an annoying rattle/buzz since new at mid to high RPM under moderate throttle. It sounded plasticy and like it was coming from the console, not meaningfully mechanical. I put off tracking it down because I thought it would be a pain in the ass.

Reality: Took about five minutes of interneting, three minutes in garage (mostly spent looking for the right size torx driver), and just two minutes of test driving to confirm the problem. After that, it was tweaking until right.

Set screw for the shift knob. Too loose or too tight leads to the noise.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:30 AM   #170
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Sometimes, it's a lot easier than you think it will be.

The car has produced an annoying rattle/buzz since new at mid to high RPM under moderate throttle. It sounded plasticy and like it was coming from the console, not meaningfully mechanical. I put off tracking it down because I thought it would be a pain in the ass.

Reality: Took about five minutes of interneting, three minutes in garage (mostly spent looking for the right size torx driver), and just two minutes of test driving to confirm the problem. After that, it was tweaking until right.

Set screw for the shift knob. Too loose or too tight leads to the noise.
And then the washer pump died.

Debating buying a new one ($22 shipped) and doing it myself or getting it done under warranty when I take the car in next month to get the driver's seat recovered.
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