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Last Post 19 May 2001 06:57 AM by  Keith
Is a Third Gen F-Body Competitive?
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Keith
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05 Jan 2001 02:40 PM
    My father let me drive his prepared 'Vette in an autox in April and I was hooked. I spent the following months looking for a decent third gen IROC Camaro to run myself (I'm partial to the 3rd gen's looks over the 4th gens). I bought an '88 IROC with the 5.7TPI in Novmber. The car also came with a host of "adders" according to the RPO codes (aluminum driveshaft, special-order springs, "handling suspension", etc.)

    I bought the car on a Saturday and ran it on Sunday. I did OK, but it's obvious that I wasn't using all of the car - the driver is currently the weak link.

    However, all of the other cars that I saw in F-stock were 4th generation Z28 Camaros and V8 Mustangs.

    Will a 3rd Gen IROC be competitive in this class? I know that the 4th gen Z28s have better weight distribution and drivetrain. However, would an accomplished driver in both cars show a significant time difference in the 4th gen compared to the 3rd gen?

    Looking for opinions.
    NBM LS1 M6
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    05 Jan 2001 03:08 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Keith:
    [b]My father let me drive his prepared 'Vette in an autox in April and I was hooked. . . . However, all of the other cars that I saw in F-stock were 4th generation Z28 Camaros and V8 Mustangs. Will a 3rd Gen IROC be competitive in this class? I know that the 4th gen Z28s have better weight distribution and drivetrain. However, would an accomplished driver in both cars show a significant time difference in the 4th gen compared to the 3rd gen? Looking for opinions.[/b]


    A 3rd Generation F-body is positively absolutely very competitive in FS against 4th Generation F-bodies.

    In fact, if you are interested enough, I know of a national class driver who has his beautiful setup blue '91 Formula A4 for sale. It is all set up to win in FS. It comes with a little tire trailer, three spare sets of wheels, and a winning record. The person who is selling it bought an '89 Corvette from the person who won ASL in a Honda S2000 at Topeka last September.

    The only drawback is. . . the car is located in Los Angeles. He is asking $7K for the car, the trailer, and the extra wheels. I assure you if I had the spare money laying around, this car would be in my garage now.

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    Bob Hempy
    SoPac CSCC GRA
    SM #27
    NBM 1998 Z28 M6
    PGM 1995 Z28 A4

    [This message has been edited by NBM LS1 M6 (edited January 05, 2001).]
    Shaman
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    05 Jan 2001 03:21 PM
    Well, a 4th gen will have from 80hp to 130hp more at the flywheel. That's a lot. SCCAForums Image

    However, a lot of "stock" 3rd gens have done reasonably in the lower Solo-1 classes, and excellent in the Solo-2 classes where torque is better to the car than horsepower.

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    [url="http://www.rumour.com/"]http://www.rumour.com/[/URL]
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    Solo-1 Record holder, Mosport DDT
    slowSER
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    05 Jan 2001 03:41 PM
    If you look at results in F Stock from national SCCA events over the past few years, there are several 3rd-gen F bodies that have done well. Kevin Youngers, Sam Strano, Brian Goodner, etc. Heck, Chris Ramey won the FS national championship in '97 in a 305 RS! While they may be down a bit on power compared to the 4th generation cars, they handle better (I've driven both).



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    Pat
    '93 Sentra SE-R, DSP/Tracktoy
    '96 Z-28, FS <-- mine occasionaly for 3 mins a week
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    NBM LS1 M6
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    05 Jan 2001 05:34 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by slowSER:
    [b]If you look at results in F Stock from national SCCA events over the past few years, there are several 3rd-gen F bodies that have done well. . . . While they may be down a bit on power compared to the 4th generation cars, they handle better (I've driven both). [/b]


    I would think a lot of the testimony of a top national class F Stock driver who has driven both recently, and listen to his preference. I am sure there are comparison strengths/weaknesses advantages/disadvantages built into both generations.

    For that matter, there are subtle differences in the response of 4th Gen LT1 cars compared to 4th Gen LS1 cars.

    Then there are the subtle differences inherent in different types of courses and how a particular car will attack that course.

    But the bottom line is. . . the 3rd Generation L98 F-body is still a competitive car in F Stock. I have seen someone in action behind the wheel of the '91 Formula A4 mentioned above, and it is art in action.

    Bob
    CamaroFS34
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    05 Jan 2001 06:59 PM
    In a word, [b]yes[/b], the third gen is competitive. Like Pat said, there are quite a few F Stockers running third gens Nationally, and quite succesfully. I also have driven both, and while I wouldn't go as far as to say the third gen handles better [i]overall[/i], it definitely does [i]certain[/i] key things better, such as 180s. While it is down on power, comparatively, it more than makes up for it most of the time with the handling.

    BTW, I didn't know Scott McHugh was getting rid of his car! I knew he'd been thinking about it off and on... we'll miss him in FS!

    Karen Kraus
    1996 Camaro Z28 1LE (FS34) [url="http://www.erols.com/kiirenza/camaro"]http://www.erols.com/kiirenza/camaro[/URL]

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    "You never get away, you only get someplace else" -- Lovka's Dilemma
    NBM LS1 M6
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    05 Jan 2001 08:06 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by CamaroFS34:
    [b] BTW, I didn't know Scott McHugh was getting rid of his car! I knew he'd been thinking about it off and on... we'll miss him in FS!
    [/b]


    I'm not sure whether I'd want to use the phrase "getting rid of". . .BTW, at the last event, everyone was watching the artistic way one of the top local drivers was taking his new Z06 around the course on Hoosiers during X runs. Then Scott hops into a borrowed ZR1 and runs a faster time on GSCs. That is art (as well as much skill).

    Bob
    Keith
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    06 Jan 2001 04:02 AM
    Everyone -

    Thanks. I suppose what I was trying to understand is what wil happen this spring when I start running. I have to believe that I will improve in leaps and bounds with "dead time" of improvements between. During these plateaus of improvement, I'll probably still be beaten soundly and get discouraged from time to time. Based on the above responses, I know I can't blame the car.

    Hmmm. No excuses. Thanks for putting the pressure back on me. I think.
    jmon92
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    06 Jan 2001 07:52 PM
    Don't feel bad. I am in the same boat with a 92 Z conv. Try tossing this heavy thing around a track. I learned real quick to just have fun and things will catch on, at least that is what I keep telling myself SCCAForums Image

    Jeremy
    NBM LS1 M6
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    06 Jan 2001 08:42 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by jmon92:
    [b] I learned real quick to just have fun and things will catch on, at least that is what I keep telling myself SCCAForums Image[/b]


    Speaking as an amateur, as someone new to the sport, and as someone with family priorities that demand my attention, and all on a public school teacher's salary. . . SCCAForums Image

    I have come to the realization I need to temper my enthusiasum as well. While all the time claiming to myself and others that I'm just out there trying to have fun, my passions tell another story about the feelings inside.

    I fell into the trap, and here I am trying to dispense advice to others I have not followed myself. I should have a car legally prepared for stock class, e.g., F Stock. . . SCCAForums Image

    But, it is so much FUN SCCAForums Image . . . to be driving a modified Z28. It sounds good. It feels good. It feeds my ego in the latter stages of my mid-life now entering senior citizenship crisis. SCCAForums Image But, as a result of the tradeoff, I have a car with modifications and capabilities way beyond my present driving skills.

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    Bob Hempy
    SoPac CSCC GRA
    SM #27
    NBM 1998 Z28 M6
    PGM 1995 Z28 A4
    Keith
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    07 Jan 2001 06:24 AM
    NBM LS1 M6 -

    I know where you are coming from. Part of the reason that I bought the 88 IROC was the price. If I were looking for 100% confidence in being competitive, I would have bought a new Z28/Trans Am, even though I'm still partial to the looks of the third-gens. I understand that my family must come first, so I've opt-ed for an inexpensive, older car.

    I just hope my competitive nature and lack of patience with myself doesn't overtake what is right...

    The original post was an attempt to better understand the situation when I lose patience with myself. ...no, I can't blame the car.
    NBM LS1 M6
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    07 Jan 2001 08:07 AM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Keith:
    [b]NBM LS1 M6 --- I know where you are coming from. Part of the reason that I bought the 88 IROC was the price. If I were looking for 100% confidence in being competitive, I would have bought a new Z28/Trans Am, even though I'm still partial to the looks of the third-gens. I understand that my family must come first, so I've opt-ed for an inexpensive, older car. [/b]


    I hope your don't think my comments about "family priorities" were directed as a criticism of you or anyone else. I was just venting/self-actualizing a bit about my own internal struggle. SCCAForums Image

    Like many others, I am sure, our limited budgets demand that our cars serve a multiple role. My car is a street car and autox car running in a class competing against trailered cars. I am fortunate enough to have a second Z28 as a commuter car, and I still feel a gap. If I had my way, I would have a car for commuting, a car for drag racing, a car for autox, a car for road racing, a car with the child seats, a trailer vehicle. . . need I go on? Frustration, frustration. SCCAForums Image

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    Bob Hempy
    SoPac CSCC GRA
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    NBM 1998 Z28 M6
    PGM 1995 Z28 A4
    Keith
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    07 Jan 2001 12:25 PM
    Bob, I think I read your comments exactly as they were meant. I think we're on the same wavelength.

    As far as my car goes, it is truly a duel purpose machine - I drive to it work every day.

    I look at it this way - if I am competitve in my class against guys with deeper pockets, it will be so much sweeter.
    Redbird
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    07 Jan 2001 05:57 PM
    I've raced my 87 Firebird for 5 years now, 3 in FS and 2 in ESP, and have gotten more competitive each year. The car has a 305, an automatic tranny and I always ran on my street tires(couldn't afford 'real' tires). There have been many times I outdrove a superior car, and many more times I was within a couple of seconds from them(on street tires), but not at first. Seat time accounts for alot.
    My Firebird was/is a daily driver also. Due to money and family constraints, mods were few and far between. So I was generally underpowered and under engineered most of the time. But I had a great time everytime I raced. And I stuck with it knowing that the more I raced, the better I would be.
    Winning is cool.... no, winning is an [i]AWSOME RUSH[/i], especially when you do it in an underdog car. But don't lose sight of the 'fun factor'. Consider your IROC a learning toy and have a blast in it SCCAForums Image
    I'm moving up into CP with a 84 Z28 this year, and expect nothing less than to have a blast......
    Atleast until I start getting competitve in it SCCAForums Image

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    [b]Redbird[/b]
    [i][b]Bayou Motorsports[/b][/i]
    87 Firebird- [i]Daily Driver/Autocrosser[/i]
    84 Z28- [i]Race Only CP car[/i]
    Delta Region SCCA
    Keith
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    09 Jan 2001 04:24 PM
    Redbird -

    Thanks for the encouragement. I think I can stand losing for a while. However, my dad wins everything in his 'Vette in his class. Living it down over holiday dinners is another issue altogether...

    I look forward to the spring. Alot!
    01 FS Z28
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    11 Jan 2001 10:59 AM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Keith:
    [b]I bought an '88 IROC with the 5.7TPI in Novmber.
    However, all of the other cars that I saw in F-stock were 4th generation Z28 Camaros and V8 Mustangs.

    Will a 3rd Gen IROC be competitive in this class? I know that the 4th gen Z28s have better weight distribution and drivetrain. However, would an accomplished driver in both cars show a significant time difference in the 4th gen compared to the 3rd gen?
    [/b]


    Keith,

    A 3rd gen car is very competitive with a 4th generation car (I have run, and own both). The biggest concern with your '88 that I have is what differential it has (the 9 or 10-bolt), and what rear gears it has. If you have the 3.27 gear (if 9-bolt) or the 3.23 (10-bolt) you will be good to go with only a good, and stock limited slip and a set of good shocks and struts.

    I ran a '91 with much success for a while in F-Stock. I am also only 80 miles from you (Brookville, PA) and can give you all the info you need to set up the car, or I can even set up your car if you wish. I have a very good alignment shop I deal with and carry all the parts you'll need (shocks, sway bars, bushings, everything).

    Most everyone in Pittsburgh (I'm assuming you went to North Hills) knows me, and will tell you that I would be the guy to talk to about your car.

    It really doesn't take much to make your car Nationally competitive in F-Stock. All you have to do it learn to drive it. SCCAForums Image



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    Sam Strano Jr.
    Strano Performance Parts
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    al8apex
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    14 Jan 2001 09:58 AM
    Sam stated:
    "The biggest concern with your '88 that I have is what differential it has (the 9 or 10-bolt), and what rear gears it has."

    uhhhh, not quite so butterfly ... ALL 88-mid 90 cars had the "Australian" Borg Warner rear axle (Z-28/IROC/Formula/Trans Am). If you had a L-98 Camaro with G-92 (I'll assume you do, since you have the aluminum driveshaft), you got the 3.27 ratio. Mid '90 production went to the Auburn rear axle. ALL 91-up 3rd gens carried the Auburn.

    Ask about the Beater Racing patented 50-second front end alignment, the only other things you need are tires and shocks like Sam says. BTW, I happen to have "THE" Koni shocks and struts for your car avail new in the box and cheeep ....

    Sam then states:
    It really doesn't take much to make your car Nationally competitive in F-Stock. All you have to do it learn to drive it. SCCAForums Image

    All so true .... seat time, seat time and more seat time

    Jim Rohn
    Scottsdale, AZ
    f-body driver/owner since the dawn of time
    Keith
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    15 Jan 2001 08:48 AM
    Sam - yes, I ran at the NHSCC events. Since you've been around, you probably know my dad - Rudy (his personality makes him hard to miss). Also, will I see you at Hoss's Wednesday night? I'd be glad to see you there...

    Sam and John

    Rear end -
    According to the information that I have, the "standard" rear end on the '88 IROC L98/G92 was the 2.77 with limited slip. A shorter rear end gear required an additional RPO code that my car does not have. Again, this is according to the information that I have. I hope I am wrong. I would prefer the 3.27.

    Setup -
    My goals are as follows:
    a) Listen to anyone willing to talk to me
    b) Observe and learn
    c) Listen some more
    d) Decide which mods to do

    I am of the opinion that if I setup the car up with all of the toys to begin with, I'll never appreciate them. What I am thinking is that I drive some events and improve, make some mods to the car, then iteratively try to improve the driver and the equipment in steps. This will allow me to appreciate the money invested and spread the investment over time.

    Seat Time -
    I'm dying to get started.

    As I say above, it sounds like I have no excuses - the third gen is just fine. It's the driver.
    01 FS Z28
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    15 Jan 2001 09:37 AM
    I didn't know exactly when they changed the rears from 9 to 10 bolt. Never cared, didn't effect me. SCCAForums Image

    Keith, you bet I know Rudy. Good guy, always have a good chuckle with him.

    As for the car..... The 2.77 is not the hot ticket. You'd definitely want the 3.27's eventually..... In the meantime, you can live with the 2.77's. Luckily, the thing has a boat load of torque. SCCAForums Image

    Other than that, you have a car that's fully capable (once it has a 3.27) with very little work.

    One thing that you should keep in mind.... North hills is a place where pony-cars (stock anyway) will struggle. Being on the side of the hill makes applying power with a stock diff an exercise in frustation. Now, 9-bolts have better diff's (hopefully yours is tight) than 10-bolts, and that will help. But, it is a bad place for stock car.

    For seat time, unfortunately that ain't the place. Too many cars, and the way the heats work is screwy. We run in State College, and you can normally get between 4-5 runs a heat, and we will allow a non-comp heat to be run as well. So, it's not uncommon to get 10 runs at an event. That's more than 3 NHSCC events in one day. Just an FYI.

    All in all I think you are going about it in exactly the right way. The only other thing I'd add is to think about a Evolution School (you'll see them up in the banners). Worth every penny.

    And don't hesitate to call me if you have some questions.



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    Sam Strano Jr.
    Strano Performance Parts
    tech line: 814-849-3417
    order line: 800-729-1831
    Keith
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    16 Jan 2001 03:41 AM
    A final note on the rear end. I again checked my notes and learned that 1988 was te first year that the 2.77 rear end was standard and the 3.27 had to be ordered as an option. I thought the car had a G92 code but it does not. It does have GH3 (2.77 rear) and G80 (limited slip). Based on the above response, this is not the best rear on autocrossing.

    Sam -
    I would definitely like the option of contacting you after an event or two. I also plan to attend the driver's school (tentatively) scheduled for March 25th. Also, the state college runs sound interesting. NHSCC has so many participants that there aren't may runs (3 at the two events that I went to) and one fun run at each.
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