When people think about sports cars, the Camaro comes to mind. Even though the Camaro has undergone significant changes during the past few decades, the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS remains one of the most popular vehicles ever to be made by this automobile manufacturer. Overall, the platform of the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS is fantastic and continues to serve as a model upon which automobiles are built even to this day. Between the years 1998 and 2002, Chevrolet made changes to the Camaro that can still be seen in more recent models that are still on the road today.
In 1998, the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS underwent significant changes. In particular, it received a new front clip. As a result, the quartet where inset headlights were replaced as well. The biggest change to take place in the Camaro this year was the replacement of the older LT1 engine, which was stopped. For the 5.7 L LS1 V8 engine, which was rated at 305 horsepower. This engine had been introduced during the prior year in the Corvette C5 with great success.
Overall, the new engine featured an aluminum cylinder block containing iron sleeves. In addition, this also reduced the overall weight of the engine by close to 100 pounds, improving the performance of the vehicle. This specific engine would undergo multiple improvements during the next few years, increasing its horsepower to 350. This engine would remain in the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS from 1998 to 2002.
In 1999, F-Body Camaro Z28 SS underwent a few minor changes. For example, new colors were introduced for the Camaro this year, such a “Hugger Orange.” The fuel tanks were stopped out for a plastic variety, increasing the capacity to 16.8 gallons from the 15.5 gallon capacity of the metal units.
In addition, the valve covers on the Ls1 were switched, featuring a new center bolt. Traction control was also installed on the Camaro V6 models. General Motors also introduced a new oil monitoring system and an oil change light was added to the dashboard.
The 1999 F-Body Camaro Z28 SS stuck with the 4L60-E transmission that had been installed in the Camaro back in 1994. The 4L60-E transmission is long known to be a derivative or “child” of the original Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 transmission which was first produced in 1982. Later on the 700R4 transmission was renamed the 4L60-E as we know it today in 1994. There is a lot more information on the 700R4 transmission and even more rebuilt 700R4 transmissions for sale in the aftermarket. This specific transmission had two separate shift solenoids, which were called Shift Solenoid A and B (they would later change names). The solenoids can be activated and deactivated in a specific pattern, leading to four distinct gear ratios. This specific transmission would be used in the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS until 2001.
In 2000, most of the changes that were made to the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS were largely cosmetic. For example, another optional color, Monterey maroon metallic, was added. This color is similar to Medium Patriot Red. A new steering wheel was introduced containing Stokes, which was common in numerous other GM models at the time. This steering wheel was a replacement for the older two-spoke steering wheel that has been used in the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS since 1993.
In addition, new 16-inch wheels with 10 spokes are made available. 5 spoke wheels were still available. The 5.7 L LS1 V8 engine continued in the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS without any changes being made to it.
In 2001, fewer Camaro units were produced than usual because work was begun on the 35th-anniversary models. The SS and Z28 models adopted the intake manifold in use by the LS6 engine, which was used in the Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V. In addition, the camshaft profile was revived. The EGR system was removed.
A new slave cylinder was introduced for the assembly of the clutch. Overall, the 2001 F-Body Camaro Z28 SS still used the Borg-Warner T-56 manual transmission, which was employed in the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS from 1993 to 2002. This six-speed transmission was also used in numerous Dodge and Ford vehicles. The T-56 has been one of the most reliable transmissions used in motor vehicles and provided significant shifting strength for the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS.
2002 marked the final year of the fourth-generation F-Body Camaro Z28 SS. The vehicle was designed to mark the 35th anniversary of the Camaro and represented the best the fourth-generation Camaro had to offer. This vehicle featured the top upgrades from the prior years including an outstanding transmission, a strong engine, and exceptional durability. It made strong use of the LS1 and the 4L60-E. There was a unique package made available for the specific 35th-anniversary vehicle.
Overall, the 2002 F-Body Camaro Z28 SS was designed to emulate the Penske-Sunoco stock TransAm race team vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s. With more than 42,000 units of the 2002 F-Body Camaro Z28 SS sold, it represents one of the top accomplishments in automobile manufacturing.
Between the years 1998 and 2002, the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS underwent numerous changes and upgrades. One of the biggest changes was the adoption of the LS1 engine, which provided a significant power upgrade and performance boost for the vehicle as a whole. Numerous new engines, such as the LS6, are built from the platform of the LS1.
In addition, the transmission of the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS was also exceptional. Using an automatic 4L60-E transmission, the Camaro developed a strong reputation for reliability. Many of the mechanisms of this automatic transmission can still be seen in newer models to this day.
In the end, the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS remains a shining pinnacle of achievement in the automotive world. Even though the last fourth-generation Camaro was built in 2002, its legacy can still be seen in newer vehicles that remain on the road today. It will be interesting to see what type of impact the F-Body Camaro Z28 SS has in the future.