LS swaps needn’t be expensive. Randy pulled a low-mileage 6.0L LQ4 small-block out of a salvage yard and kept the changes to a minimum before dropping it in. To keep costs down while bumping up performance a hair, the short-block has been fitted with a Chevrolet Performance 219/228-at-0.050 hot cam, and a fresh set of factory GM lifters. The rotating assembly and cylinder heads remain stock, but Randy bolted up a Mast Motorsports oil pan to maximize chassis clearance. Up top, the ugly truck intake manifold has been replaced with a Chevrolet Performance single-plane unit that’s fed by a ProForm 750-cfm carburetor. An Aeromotive pump provides the fuel supply, and the exhaust exits through Hedman headers and dual 2.5-inch Flowmaster mufflers. The LQ4 has never seen the dyno, but similar combos put out 475 or so horsepower with ease. At this power level, a built TH350 makes for a logical choice of transmission. It routes torque back to a stock 10-bolt rearend fitted with 3.73:1 gears and a limited-slip differential.
Wheels, Tires, Brakes
The second-gen rides on American Racing Torq-Thrusts wheels that keep the flash factor to a minimum. The 18x8 fronts wear 245/35-18 Sumitomo tires, and the 18x9.5 rears are wrapped in 275/35-18s.
Compared to the Mustangs he’s used to, Randy was shocked by how well his second-gen handled the first time he drove it on the autocross. As such, he’s kept the suspension mods simple. Up front, QA1 coilovers drop ride height by 2 inches, and in the rear Hotchkis leaf springs matched with QA1 shocks lower the posterior by the same amount. Unibody reinforcement comes by way of Hotchkis subframe connectors.
In an era when high-dollar custom interiors are becoming the norm, Randy’s Camaro serves as a reminder of just how ahead of its time the stock second-gen cockpit was for its day. Updates are limited to a set of Corbeau seats, a JVC stereo, and the factory LQ4 A/C system. Nevertheless, the interior still looks plenty handsome and modern with improved functionality to boot.
As the Camaro’s harshest critic, Randy is quick to point out the flaws in his car’s bodywork. It looks pretty darn clean to most onlookers, however, with super-straight panels and tight gaps. The car was already painted in a fresh coat of GM Medium Blue when Randy bought it, saving him a ton of time and money.