Third Generation Chevy Camaro 1982 - 1992: Street Performance and Race Mods


Chevrolet Engine Performance Parts:

There is no shortage of performance upgrade options for the Chevy small block internal combustion engine in the 1982 to 1992 Camaro. The performance engine parts covered here are for the General Motors Chevrolet four stroke cycle engine. The four engine cycles are:
  • Intake: a fuel-air mixture is drawn in as the piston moves downward
  • Compression: the fuel-air mixture is compressed with the valves closed
  • Combustion: the spark plug is fed a burst of high voltage electricity to cause a spark and ignite the compressed fuel-air mixture. This pushes the piston down generating the power of the engine.
  • Exhaust: The burnt fuel is removed from the system as the piston once again moves up

Engine performance is improved by stuffing as much combustible air-fuel mixture into the engine as possible and scavenging it through the exhaust and supporting this as fast as physics will allow. This performance story begins with the intake of air which should be cool. Cool air from outside the engine compartment is more dense than hot air from around the engine compartment. The air must then be mixed with fuel in an optimum ratio for good mileage at lower RPM and high power at peak RPM. This is the job of the carburetor or electronic fuel injection. Superchargers and turbochargers can be used to stuff more of the fuel-air mixture into the engine. The fuel-air mixture passes along the intake manifold runner to the cylinder heads which carries this fuel-air mixture to the intake valve which opens by a precisely timed mechanical system made of of a camshaft, lifters, push-rods, rocker arms and ultimately the intake valve. Each of these components can be had as a performance component designed to allow more of the fuel-air mixture into the engine. The combustion cycle will impose a significant force on the piston and crankshaft. Performance pistons can be designed for optimum burning patterns, higher compression ratios and outright strength to support the additional horsepower as well as low weight to reduce reciprocating loads. The exhaust is allowed to pass out of the engine through the exhaust valve which is actuated by the very same system which actuates the intake valve. The exhaust cycle is optimized to allow as much of the exhaust to escape as easily as possible

The performance parts and manufacturers covered here seek to optimize all four cycles of the gasoline internal combustion engine and provide the strength so that the system integrity is maintained while delivering this increase in horsepower.

After Market Performance Part Manufacturers:

  • Performance Marketplace - Racing and High Performance directory
  • GM: - [2007 catalog (pdf)]
  • Mr Gasket: ACCEL: Ignition wires, coils, rev limiters, distributors, filters, crank triggers, spark plugs, alternators, voltage regulators, battery isolators, cables, starters, and fuel injection systems, TPI and components.
  • AirFlow Research - Aluminum Cylinder heads (CARB certified). Modular "SBC Titan" composite fiber intake manifolds.
    (818)890-0616, 10490 llex Ave, Pacoima CA 91331
  • ARE: Dry sump oil pans for LSx small block
  • ARP (Automotive Racing Products): Automotive engine fasteners/bolts, stud kits
    (805)278-7223, (800)826-3045, 531 Spectrum Circle, Oxnard CA 93030
  • BG: Bary Grant Fuel Systems - carbs, plumbing, parts
  • Billet Specialties - Billet Aluminum brackets, pulleys, valve covers, air cleaners, components. Under hood and interior billet dress-up
  • Bill Mitchel Hardcore Parts
  • BJH Dynamics - Harmonic dampers
  • BMF Racing - Aluminum racing heads, CNC ported
  • Brodix - Aluminum heads, blocks, intake manifolds, carb adapters/spacers, valves, stud girdles, valve covers, reverse cooling kits, ...
    (479)394-1996, 301 Maple Ave., Mena AR 71953
  • Brzezinski Racing Products - Cast iron cylinder heads, intake manifolds, carb adapters/spacers, intake baffles, flow bench equipment, exhaust manifolds, ...
    (414)246-8577, N50 W23001 Betker Dr., Pewaukee WI 53072
  • Canton - Accusump accumulators and pre-oilers (Reduces engine wear which occurs during start-up), oil pressure stabilizers (hydraulic dampening and maintains reserve for when pick-up goes dry under high cornering G's, high RPM or other anomalies), turbo oilers (maintains oil pressure after engine is turned off and turbo is still spinning), heavy duty high flow oil filters (with no bypass). Dry sump systems, oil pans, catch and expansion tanks, oil pumps, oil coolers, engine oil system components, pulleys, ...
    14 Commerce Drive, North Branford CT 06471 (203)484-4900
  • CFE Racing - billet small block and big block engine blocks, billet manifolds
  • Childs and Albert - cranks, rods, pistons, rings, ...
  • - fuel lines, braided hoses, ...
  • Cloyes - Timing chains, gears (billet steel), gear drives (adjustable cam timing)
    (501)963-2105, Paris Arkansas 72855
  • Competition Cams - cam shafts, lifters, shaft mounted rockers, stud girdles, pushrods, guides, connecting rods, valve covers, timing chain covers, drive gears, valve train components, tools and gauges
    (800)999-0853, (901)795-2400, 3406 Democrat Rd., Memphis TN 38118
  • Crane Cams - cam shafts, lifters, rockers, valve train components
    (305)457-8888, 100 Northwest Ninth Terrace, Hallandale FL 33009
  • Crower Cams - cam shafts, valve train components, stud girdles, rockers, retainers, connecting rods, crankshafts, multi-disk clutches
    (619)422-1191, 3333 Main St., Chula Vista CA 91911-5899
  • CV Products: Race engine components
  • Dana/Clevite Engine Parts: Cams, lifters, bearings, ...
  • Dart Heads - Aluminum heads (oval and rectangular port), blocks, intake manifolds, blower manifolds, valve covers. Stock and racing designs.
    (810)362-1188, 353 Oliver St., Troy MI 48084
  • Donovan - Aluminum Cylinder heads, blocks, components, gear drives. Racing, street and marine.
    (310)320-3772, 2305 Border Ave., Torrance CA 90501
  • Eagle Specialty Products - Connecting rods
  • Erl Performance - 500cid LS2 short block.
  • Edelbrock: Race and smog legal aluminum intake manifolds, aluminum heads, cams, QJet carbs, EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection), ECM (Electronic Control Module), air fuel ration monitors, fuel pumps, fuel filters, smog legal matched kits (EFI, heads, headers), Nitrous, valve covers, aluminum water pumps (polished), data acquisition systems, headers (stainless and chrome), ...
  • Federal Mogul: (Felpro,Sealed Power, Speed Pro piston rings, Sterling pistons, Carter) Bearings, gaskets, ... etc
    • Felpro: Gaskets - copper core, steel core, lock wire
    • Carter: carbs, fuel pumps, pressure regulators, water pumps
  • - Grips to outside of filter to trap metal contaminants.
  • Fluidampr: Harmonic balancers. Non rubber elastomer.
    (716)937-3603, 11980 Walden Ave., Alden NY 14004-9790
  • TD Performance: oil pans, oil pick-ups, dry sump systems, oil tanks, blow-by testers, harmonic balancers.
    (562)921-0404, 1501 Industrial Way N., Toms River NJ 08755
  • Granatelli Motorsports - Mass airflow sensors for LSx series small block.
  • Holley: Carburetors, etc
  • Intake Elbows: re-routes or lowers induction path
  • Isky Cams
  • JE Pistons - forged pistons
    (714)898-9763, Huntington Beach CA 92649
  • Jones Racing Products - Belt cam drives, cog tooth belt drives, serpentine pulleys, blower drives, power steering belt drives, engine oiling belt drives, ...
    (215)847-2028, Route 611 and Annawanda Road, Ottsville PA 18942
  • K & N - Performance Air Filters, air-fuel mixture monitor gauges (gas, alcohol, propane. Feeds from Oxygen sensor)
  • Keith Black/KB pistons
  • [Holley] Lunati Cams - cams, valve train components, connecting rods, pistons, crankshafts.
    • Lunati - Cams, valve train components, pistons, crankshafts, connecting rods
      (901)365-0950, Memphis TN 38181-0021
  • Manley: Valves, valve guides, push rods, cams, cam drives, roller thrust button, oil pumps, pistons, connecting rods, 3 piece timing covers, rear oil seal carrier, stud girdles, rocker arm kits, tools, etc
    (908)905-3366, 1960 Swarthmore Ave., Lakewood NJ 08701
  • March: Pulleys
  • Melling: Oil pumps, cams, lifters, valves, internal components
  • Milodon: Oil pumps, oil pans, oil pick-ups, baffles, windage trays, remote filter kits, cam gear drives and covers, valve covers, stud kits, valve covers, water filler necks (bolt to block), main bearing caps, internal components
    (818)407-1211, 20716 Plummer St., Chatsworth CA 91311
  • Mr Gasket - Parent corporation of Accel, Rodware, Ultra Seal (gaskets and fasteners), Daytona, Hays, Lakewood, Hurst, etc.
  • Moroso - dry sump systems, oil pans, oil pick-ups, pumps, windage trays, crank wipers, baffles, filters, oil accumulators (holds pressure for start), pilot bearings, baffles, coolers, plugs, transmission fluid pans, solid engine and transmission mounts, coolant level sensor, water pumps (electric and mechanical), brackets, valve covers, air filters, ignition wires (Blue Max), distributors, coils, hood pins, fasteners, brake line locks, front drag tires, tools, etc...
    (203)453-6906, 80 Carter Dr., Guilford CT 06437-0570
  • Mr Gasket: Parent company of Accel, Hays, Erson Cams, Gspot, Hurst, Jacobs, Lakewood, Mallory
  • Paxton: Superchargers
  • PerformanceSST: Stainless Steel fittings
  • Probe Industries - LSx forged pistons
  • RamAirBox: Air intake/inlet systems.
  • Carbon fiber valve covers - small block Chevy, LSx series, ...
  • Soffseal
  • Stef's: Oil tanks, oil pans, oil windage screens, dry sump pumps, dry sump tanks, oil pick-ups, crank case vacuum systems, valve covers, billet main bearing caps, rear seal adapter kits, etc
    (908)367-8700, 699 Cross St., Lakewood NJ 08701
  • SLP - Camaro performance parts
  • Spectre - engine dress up, aluminum air filter housings and intakes
  • Street and Performance - Lots of polished billet aluminum brackets, covers, pulleys, etc
  • Stage 8 - locking bolts and fasteners
  • Swain Tech Coatings - Engine coatings: ceramic thermal barriers, dry film lubricants, oil shedding coatings, cylinder head and piston coatings.
  • Tilton
  • Trick Flow - CNC ported LS1 heads
  • Trick Titanium: titanium valve spring retainers, fasteners, valve stems, king pins, blower drive nose/hub, bell housings, distributor clamp, axles, rear differential housings, clutch forks, bolts, etc
    (810)588-9430, 321 Elmwood, Troy MI 48083-2782
  • Vortech Superchargers
  • Weaver Brothers: Dry sump oil systems, oil pumps, pans, tanks, pulleys (water, alternator and dry sump pump)
    1980 Boeing Way, Carson NV 89706 (775)833-7677
  • Holley: Weiand: Superchargers and intake manifolds
  • World Casting: Aluminum blocks, heads, components
    (810)244-9822, 353 Oliver St., Troy MI 48084
    (516)737-0450, 35 Trade Zone Drive, Ronkonkoma NY 11779

Cylinder Heads:

The cylinder heads are an important component to consider when upgrading your engine performance. It delivers the fuel air mixture from the intake manifold, through the engine intake valves to the combustion chamber to burn. The cylinder head then vents the exhaust through the exhaust valve to the exhaust manifold/header. There are multiple features to consider when improving their efficiency:
  • The intake and exhaust runners: These can be port matched to the gasket so that there are no "steps" or edges to interrupt flow between the manifolds (both intake and exhaust) and the cylinder head. The intake and exhaust runners cal also be ported to make them larger to flow a greater volume. The more volume of fuel and air that can be delivered to the combustion chamber, the more power that can be developed at peak RPM. Smooth runners will have less turbulence and thus potentially flow more with less restriction.
  • Intake and exhaust valves: Cylinder heads can be replaced with units which have larger ports and valves. This will increase the flow capability of the head. Typically the intake valve is larger than the exhaust valve as this valve influences power more than the exhaust valve. Exhaust also tends to flow more easily as it is under greater pressure.
  • Materials: Most performance heads tend to be made of aluminum due to its reduced weight and better heat transfer capability.
  • Combustion chamber design and spark plug placement: The "hemi" is often considered the optimal design with the spark plug mounted in the middle. The hemispherical design also provides the optimum geometry for the smallest surface area without bends or edges. Bends and corners tend to be hot spots during fuel burn. The drawback is the larger volume which is mitigated by a piston design which is raised. Wedge shaped designs reduce volume for a higher compression ratio and simpler valve orientation and geometry.

Cylinder head design can be complex. Modern tools like Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) help engineer a design for maximum flow with a minimal amount of turbulence. These images show the design and CFD analysis of an Edelbrock cylinder head:

Edelbrock cylinder heads: CAD Design
The engineering design of a cylinder head for an LS1 is shown here as a shaded CAD model

Edelbrock cylinder heads: CFD analysis
CFD pressure plot indicate flow pressures in the intake runner

Edelbrock cylinder heads: CFD analysis
The arrows show intake flow velocities past the valve

Edelbrock cylinder heads: CFD analysis
A view showing arrows indicating intake flow velocities in the intake runner going past the valve

Edelbrock cylinder heads: CFD analysis

AirFlow Research Chevy racing heads for the small block, big block and LS series engines.

Oil Systems:

  • FilterMag: Magnet which attaches to outside of oil filter
    13260 W. Foxfire Dr. #7, Surprise AZ 85374 (623)556-4201
  • Magnetic drain plugs
  • Oil Coolers:

Oil and Lubricants:

Spark Plug Manufacturers:

Performance Computer Chips:

Super Charger Manufacturers:

Superchargers are a tried and proven technology to compress the intake fuel-air mixture to gain significant performance improvement. The more fuel-air mixture packed into the engine, the more power the engine is able to produce.

Turbo Charger Manufacturers:

Affectionately called Turbos, these systems utilize the pressurized exhaust gasses to drive a compressor to pack in more fuel-air mixture into the engine. One must remember that compression ratios have to be managed so that realistic operation can take place with the available gasoline octane ration.

Nitrous Oxide:

Once considered cheating, nitrous is now an integral part of the performance story. Ambient air provides the oxidizer with which fuel is burned. The air of our dear planet Earth only has 20% oxygen. If you want to burn more fuel in each combustion stroke, one either has to compress the air-fuel mixture using a supercharger or turbocharger, cool the air so it is more dense (typically limited to ambient air outside the vehicle) or use an oxidizer which has more oxygen than air. This is where nitrous (N2O) comes in as it is 33% oxygen. Nitrous is added to the air-fuel mixture to improve the concentration and density of oxygen in the combustible air-fuel mixture. More gasoline is added when nitrous is added making for a higher concentration energy being sent to the engine. Errors occur when the ration is out of balance and too much oxidizer is used and the combustion temperatures soar to piston melting levels.

  • NOS: Nitrous Oxide Systems Inc. - for carburated, EFI, turbo and super charged. Single and two stage. Visible and cheater systems. Kits and components.
    2970 Airway, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (714)545-0580
  • NX: Nitrous Express
    4923 Lake Park Dr., Wichita Falls, TX 76302 (940)767-9694
  • Top Gun Nitrous Oxide Systems - Kits and components
    5111 Troup Highway, Tyler TX 75707 (903)581-4878 (800)466-7667
NX: Nitrous Express
NX Nitrous kit for the Chevy LSX series motors. Red rails supply fuel, black rails supply nitrous. Typical installation would include the two stage nitrous system at the throttle body inlet or the rails and port injected fuel and nitrous but not both.
Nitrous Express Nitrous Express


Intake CARB/EFI sizing: CFM

CID2500 rpm3000 rpm3500 rpm4000 rpm4500 rpm5000 rpm5500 rpm6000 rpm6500 rpm

Carburetor CFM required = (CID x max RPM) / 3456


  • CID: Cubic Inch Displacement
  • CFM: Airflow in Cubic Feet per Minute at wide open throttle

TPI: Tuned Port Injection

TPI was introduced by GM in 1985 for the Third Generation Camaro.

Aftermarket TPI systems:

EFI (Basic Electronic Fuel Injection) and Throttle Bodies: These systems typically use carburetor like bodies with electronic fuel injection.

Performance Design Carbon fiber intake for an LS series motor
Performance Design Carbon XR: carbon fiber cross ram, dual plenum, dual throttle intake manifold (Chevy LS3/LS7 series engine). Available in 75mm and 90mm throttles.
Carbon fiber valve covers and other intake options available.

Links: Engine Links:

Automotive Supplier Associations:

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