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1988 Chevrolet Camaro - It Melts Clutches

Is that tire smoke or clutch smoke? Mike's '88 Camaro makes both.

By , Photography by ,

Tech Notes
Mike Bighley
What: '88 Chevrolet Camaro
Where: Vadnais heights, Minnesota. The wind chill was 10.4 degrees F there at the time this was written.

Engine: Mike runs a GM Performance Parts ZZ4 block. It's heavily reinforced to cope with more than 20 psi of boost. He uses billet main caps and ARP studs, a forged Scat crank and Carrillo rods, and Je extreme Duty 8.5:1 pistons. he ported his GMPP Fast Burn cylinder heads keeping the stock valves but adding Comp beehive springs and titanium retainers. Aaron's Machine in St. Paul did the block prep.

Turbochargers and plumbing: hours of research led Mike to Brazil's Master Power, prompting him to pick up a pair of T70 turbos. They blow a compressed intake charge through a pair of air-to-liquid intercoolers that Mike painted black and hid in the grille openings behind the foglights.

Intake: Air enters the engine via a Wilson 90mm throttle body and into an edelbrock Victor e manifold.

Exhaust: Willing to try anything once, Mike made his own exhaust system starting with a set of 13.4" headers. From the turbine side, Mike made the 3-inch downtubes leading to a single 4-inch exhaust through a Borla XR-1 muffler exiting at the rear of the car.

Fuel: Mike keeps his engine well fed with a steady flow of e85 sprayed by a set of Ford Racing 150-lb/hr injectors. To keep up with demand, he sumped the stock gas tank and installed four Walbro fuel pumps. The car normally runs on two pumps, but the computer switches on the extra two based on load and engine speed.

Engine Management: Originally, Mike was running a MegaSquirt computer, but recently switched to a FAST XFI box. Ignition: If you can take your eyes off Mike's cool turbo setup you'll eventually notice his MSD Pro Billet distributor and HVC II coil.

Transmission: The T56 Mike swapped in several years ago is still holding up despite the massive jump in power. He upgraded to a McLeod twin-disc clutch, though.

Rearend: Worried about broken housings and snapped axles, Mike installed a Moser 9-inch with 3.25:1 gears and 31-spline axles. Can you blame him?

Suspension: up front, you'll see a PA Racing K-frame and control arms. In back are a BMR torque arm, control arms, and a Panhard bar. eibach's and Koni's are at all four corners.

Chassis: Mike built his six-point 'cage from a weld-up kit purchased from Competition engineering, welding it in on a 95-degree day. he said he's never sweated so much in his life.

Brakes: All that power under the hood will easily overwhelm a stock braking system. Mike wisely upgraded to Baer's Track kit that included 13-inch rotors up front and 12-inchers out back.

Wheels/Tires: Five spokes are the way to go, and Mike's got a set of 17-inch V45s by Vintage Wheel Works. he rolls on Nitto tires, sizes 274/45R17 front and 315/35R17 rear.

Paint And Body: Mike sprayed the '69 hugger Orange himself, adding the cool rally stripes in the process.

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