Performance Upgrades

Dale Chapman

Asked by Mar 08, 2014 at 06:42 PM about the Chevrolet Camaro

Question type: Car Customization

I a 02 Camaro with the 3.8l, and it's currently down for new head gaskets and I figured that while I'm at it I could throw in some go fast goodies. I'd like to throw in a Cam and headers. The question I have is what Cam should I get and any other cost effective mods should I go for?

10 Answers


? on the cam I run SBC and 60degv-6's. But you should budget money for a tuner and or a custom tune if the programmer cannot handle your cam and breathing mods. The more you stray from the stock air flow of the motor the leaner you will run. The O2 can trim to an extent but modifying your fuel tables will compliment the other mods you do.

Dale Chapman

I planned on later installing tt's on it as well as getting a custom tune and upping the fuel system. What I mean by cam is that I'm new to working with internals and just trying to gather info on if there's any different kinds of cams or something like that. I've mainly tinkered with bolt ons on friends cars. I come to be learned


That is a 3.8 series 2. There will be tons of options for engine mods cams. If your going for boost the best bet would be to call into one of the larger cam companies. They have dedicated staff that will walk through your motor and mods to help you choose the right cam. I would size one now to work the best with the target boost pressure but still give you decent gains with the current mods until you make that step. Is the lower intake manifold the same as the FWD cars, if it is the eaton blower would bolt on? A junkyard/rebuilt s/c would be cheap and get you into the boost game before the TT plunge. (The tune would be cheaper for this step because the guy can just use the fuel and timing tables from the L67 GS, GTP, etc motor)


The average "max power" of the stock L67 with the stock supercharger pulley'd and the car tuned with only after market parts being exhaust, intake, larger TB and injectors is 360 hp at the wheels (thats with the stock cam). I can't remember what these cars are runnin for boost pressure. What was your target HP.

Yeah, while you're at it go online & shop around for a performance chip, a cold air intake with a K & N cone type filter, and a performance exhaust system to go with those header's like a Flowmaster dual set up. That 3.8 six will run like a V8. Mind you "superchargers" & "turbos" are different. A supercharger is driven off the crankshaft & a turbocharge runs off exhaust pressure, in that case you can't use tube type header's. If turbocharged you can opt for a "cat back" system. Cam mfg's will advise you on lift & duration. Many factors like street or strip, engine size, tire size, trans & rear end ratio, etc.A performance head & valve job is a good place to start. Ask them to take a few thou' of the deck to up the compression, port & polish too if you can afford it (match to intake gasket & intake manifold too). & use high quality head gaskets, high octane gas & performance spark plugs.

Dale Chapman

End hp goal is I would like to get 400-500. S/C would fit on the block but the throttle body would be up against the firewall so that's a no go and why I'm going with a TT setup with one turbo smaller than the other to help eliminate some of the lag.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

JIMZ. If he is going to boost he doesn't need to up the compression the turbo will take care of that.


Dale. Wow 500 is a decent target. For street or street/strip. Twin or compound turbo setups are usually less efficent and less reliable than a good single turbo setup but cheaper. On a good setup just run one larger turbo to meet your peak air flow @ max boost pressure and spend your money on a new ECU with anti lag to get that thing spooling. In the mean time to your turbo fun how far away is the back of the s/c from the firewall with the throttle body off, could you get a "bent" adaptor built to kick the TB out one side or the other. If it would work you could run headers and have boost untill you ready to commit to the turbo's. I'm sure once you don't need the s/c and custom pieces someone would buy those pretty quickley. Lots of 3.8's around.

Dale Chapman

Yep friend of mine has a 02 STi putting close to if not 400hp. I have considered doing a single turbo set up and I found a kit and the shop that sells them is based where the car currently is. From the research I've done lately i see that there's at least 3 options if I was to supercharge it now. Option 1: Modify the firewall and the cowl to fit the supercharger and intake piping to the TB. Option 2: Modify supercharger to have the TB out on the side. Option 3: I found that there was a Holden Commodore fitted with a 3.8 S/C. Only problem is tracking down a s/c and then relocating the coil pack, which wouldn't be a problem just be extra work. Also the only thing I wouldn't like about a single turbo setup would be the placement of it. I'd like to be able to have easy access to anything on the engine. With the tt setup I was thinking about I got the idea of how where to place them from inline engines and a kit I saw that was for the LS1 which has the turbos down below and out of the way of every thing. turbo manifold pretty much look just like the factory exhaust manifolds which is nice cause it won't draw any attention. BTW what cam manufacture would you recommend?


STI with 400 at the wheels or crank. Guy I work with has his Impreza wagon up to 303 at the wheels and is looking to upgrade to a STI so he can control the center diff. ? on the 3.8. No offence but I stopped being a 3.8 fan when they added the balance shaft. There is a slightly beat '87 GN close that was tempting me but I have enough projects on the go. I've used crane and comp on my sbc's. The 383 stroker in my prof pic has the meanest cam that I wanted to go with and keep vacuum (brothers truck). IMO the 3.8 forums would be you best bet for ideas. What ever you want there is going to be someone with a similar setup that will have a build thread, injectors, cam, head work, tuning info (maybe), etc. Thats how I'm adquiring my database of info for when my projects get boost. But I have a few spare motors to help dial in my timing for detonation and max boost. Some 3.1's and 3.4 DOHC will be sacrificed during my R & D phase.

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