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95 or 96 C4 or 97 Camaro SS?

strokerdreams

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Ok, so here's the deal. Had a 96 z28 6 spd, mildly modified which I accidentally converted into a check from my insurance company. I'm ready to start again and my goal this time is a roughly 700hp (not sure if I'll choose an SC or a NA 550+ with NOS) fairly streetable, near daily driver that I plan to take to both drags and open tracks.

MY QUESTION IS THIS.
I have narrowed my platform down to 2 vehicles. A 97 SS 6 spd or a 95 (possibly ZR1) or 96 C4. I am leaning toward the 97 SS, probably for nostalgia, but I think both are awesome cars and they both are pretty darn decent platforms to start with. (I am aware of some of the differences in the LT1 motors and that the M6 vettes came with the LT4) That being said. I am basically looking for some Pros and Cons from the more experienced F-body and Vette owners here. I am a spec oriented decision maker. I assume the Vette is lighter with more power to start and I know is has the IRS = better for open track, worse for drags. The 97 SS will be slightly more afforable over all, is better for drag racing which I'll be doing more of.

I am trying to see some direct part comparisons here. For example I wonder which manual tranny is tougher the T-56 or ZF 6 spd? Basically I'm posting this thread on both Camaro and Corvette sights hoping each side will make a strong case for their respective vehicles helping me make my decision. Hoping some points will be made about things a relatively amatuer owner would not normally consider. Just trying to get my brian spinning on this decision. I know its pretty broad, but feel free to comment on any or all aspects. I thank you in advance for any and all help. Let the bedate begin.
 
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Staten Island, NY
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1999 Torch Red Coupe
From what your stated goals are, I would go with the 97 SS Camero. While the LT1 and LT4 are great engines, the LS1 is far better from the stand point of having massive after market support. Cameros are generally cheaper than LT4 equipped Corvettes.

Corvettes have better resale, but generally only if they are stock.

The T-56 or ZF will both have issues with 700hp as you no doubt know already.
 

Ripp 73

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1973 L82 Blue Coupe
The 97 Camaro is still on the LT-1 engine. The Camaro's did not get the LS1 engine until 1998. I'm still playing with this question in my head as far as where I would go. I just can't make up my mind. If I think of anything worth saying I will chime in later though.
 
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manchester tennessee
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92 coupe black rose
First off, Welcome to CAC!

I imagine others like myself will be thinking...sheesh, what a decision to have to make! lol Either way I think you'll be happy. If at all possible, I think I would really try to see if you can step up to just a bit newer to be working with an LS1 instead.

For what it's worth, I do think if I was you I would put some serious thought into how much I want it to work for both types of racing, a car set up for a road course can still go in a straight line easier than a car that's really set up for drag racing trying to handle curves. Which ever way you go, the other type of racing is going to lose out a bit.

Best of luck to you making your decision and I hope you end up coming out very happy by the time it's finished.
 

strokerdreams

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Thanks

Thanks for all the comments so far. It definately is a tough choice.

I prefer the Lt1 for the cast iron block. I hear the Lt1 stand up to monster power better than the aluminum LS1 motors. Although I do love the high max torque in the rpm band that the LS1 offers.

I know the Camaro will be cheaper to buy and modify, but I'm wondering if maybe the corvette comes with less parts I'll have to replace to get where I want to be. (Another trade off) And I sure the Corvette's handling is a world of difference better than the camaro.

Still a tough choice. so many things to consider.
 

Evolution1980

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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
It's gonna be cheaper in the Camaro no matter what. Since you aren't looking for a stock-vs-stock comparison, the end result and how much money it took to get there is the only question. "What is the total cost of ownership?" In this case it sounds like the Camaro is the way to go.
They don't call it the "Poor Man's Corvette" for nothing. (And that's not exactly an insult...) :upthumbs

+1 for the Camaro.

(I can turn this thread into a Poll if you want...)
 

strokerdreams

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Quality is what is most important

You can turn it into a poll, that's fine. But the issue is not which one is cheaper. you get what you pay for.
I know the Camaro will be cheaper. If i'm going to put a good deal of money into the car, I'm trying to figure out which one is a better platform to start with. This is what I got so far.

97 Camaro SS /// C4 Vette
LT1 305 hp 335 tq /// LT1 330 hp (LT4 ZR1 possible, I think 405 hp?
10.5/1 compression /// not sure, I assume same or similar
2 bolt main /// Pretty sure 4 bolt main
T-56 tranny /// ZF 6 speed
Torsion T2 solid axle diff /// IRS - Not sure about the diff
about 3500 lbs for coupe /// Not sure about the weight
Better for drag /// Better for track, better handling

I'm not sure, but I think there is more aftermarket support for the camaro, but since they both have Lt1s won't most engine upgrades be available for both.

I'm thinking about a 383 stroker kit, new heads, 62 cc combustion chamer, maybe bigger, a mild cam, blueprinting. I need to lower the compression ratio a bit for Forced induction or Nos.

I'd like ot put a full cage in the car, not sure which one is easier to rip apart for that. anybody have a cage in their car?
 

strokerdreams

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Mar 26, 2007
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Also, that is a beautiful C3. I'd like ot build one of those someday. Love the small cockpit with that long hood and pronounced fenders. Stingrays just look so sick. I wouldn't mind one of those but since my application will be driven frequently I want a newer car. Plus modern saftey design in case I turn this one into a insurance check also.
 

Evolution1980

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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
The ZR1 has the LT5 which was a limited production 32V DOHC engine. Not where you want to start, IMHO.
Thanks for the compliment on my car.
I'd probably shoot a PM to Mad-Mic. He's pretty well into the (drag) racing scene with his modded C4. Or Glensgages. Both have worthy experience at the strip, IMHO.
 
S

Sunstroked

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The 6 spd zf corvette transmission also gives you the dana 44 with a 3:43 gear set as standard equipt. Look around on the website www.zfdoc.com for more intense info on how well designed the zf6 tranny is. But 700 streetable hp? Dont know how well stock parts will hold up, probably not too well. Sounds like you're going to need to really bomb proof the driveline to me whichever car you choose. The corvette Lt 1 engine comes with 4 bolt main caps. The Lt4 engine was factory rated at 330 hp, but from what I understand was underrated because GM was going to be releasing the the new gen ls engine at 345 hp, and they didnt want to underscore that. I guess if it were me and the drag strip is where your heart lies, I'd probably stick with the camaro, tub it so you can put some tires on that will grab, roll cage for safety, and have some fun. I have owned a couple of camaros in my day, one of which was modded pretty good, I was running nitrous for awhile. Its a kick. But I wont do it again, bottle refills get expensive and go empty at the worse times. I would like to build a stroker motor myself for my 92 6 spd vette, it runs good but needs some more help to run with todays stock engines that are coming from the factory with 400+ hp. I think somewhere in the 400-450 hp range would keep me from breaking too many parts on the driveline and still have some get and go. I have considered the s/c route as well. Oh well, my thoughts and yours will vary.
 

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