Preparing a Camaro ZL1 1LE for a Track Event

The 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE is designed for closed-course track events. (Fig. 10) But before hitting the race course, several preparations should be made in order to get the ZL1 1LE ready to perform in a competitive driving environment. Owners should be aware that these specifications are for the track only and should not be used during normal, everyday driving.

 

Fig. 10

 

TIP: High-performance features are intended for use only on closed tracks by experienced and qualified drivers and should not be used on public roads. High-speed driving, aggressive cornering, hard braking, and other high-performance driving actions can be dangerous.

 

Engine Oil

 

For track events and competitive driving, change the engine oil to MOBIL 1 15W-50. Do not use 0W-40 engine oil or another viscosity. After four hours of accumulative track use, change the engine oil. After a track event, change the oil back to the engine oil listed in the Owner’s Manual.

 

When checking the engine oil level, 30 minutes of run time is considered warm to make sure all oil drains back into the pan in order to get an accurate reading.

 

Brake Fluid

 

Brake fluid should be changed to DOT 4 fluid for a track event.

 

Rear Axle Fluid

 

The rear axle fluid must have accumulated 1,500 miles (2,414 km) of break-in before being used in track driving.

 

Front Struts

 

The front struts can be adjusted for track events. The original position is the street position. The front strut top mount can be turned 180 degrees for the track position, which provides additional negative camber.

 

In the track position, the TRACK CAMBER text will be visible and a second set of top mount holes will align with the strut tower holes. (Fig. 11) Verify and adjust the vehicle alignment per track alignment specifications to optimize vehicle performance for the track event.

 

Fig. 11

 

The front struts also have a threaded spring seat that allows adjustment of the preload on the front springs. The vehicle corner weights and front trim heights can be adjusted. The spring seat can be adjusted approximately 0.4 inch (10 mm) up or down from the nominal position. Each complete turn of the spring perch will change the vehicle height approximately 0.06 inch (1.4 mm).

 

Wheel Alignment

 

Track wheel alignment specifications are for a vehicle at curb weight conditions, meaning a full tank of fuel and zero ballast. Racing and competitive driving wheel alignment settings may cause excessive tire wear.

 

Verify and re-adjust the vehicle alignment as needed following the track event.

 

Rear Stabilizer Bar

 

The rear stabilizer bar ends have three attachment positions that allow the rear roll stiffness of the vehicle to be adjusted. (Fig. 12) The stabilizer bar stiffness increases approximately 15% using the rearward holes or decreases approximately 10% using the forward holes.

 

Fig. 12

 

Tire Pressure

 

Tire pressure specifications will vary based on driving style, track, temperature, and weather conditions. Limit the vehicle weight to a maximum of the driver and one passenger, with no additional cargo. The Driver Information Center on the instrument cluster can be used to show the current tire temperature status and tire pressures.

 

Before leaving the track event, reset tire pressures to the recommended inflation pressures on the Tire and Loading Information Label.

 

Underbody Air Deflector

 

The underbody air deflector tire dam kit (Fig. 13) provided with the ZL1 1LE reduces the amount of aerodynamic lift on the front axle for better handling on a closed course. The original tire dams must be reinstalled after a track event.

 

Fig. 13

 

Water Deflector

 

When operating the ZL1 1LE on a closed course in hot temperatures, remove the underhood water deflector to increase airflow and improve cooling. The deflector is secured by three bolts. Replace the water deflector immediately after track use to protect the engine compartment from water intrusion.

 

Safety Belt

 

The lap shoulder belt has an Automatic Locking Retractor feature, which is useful in performance driving when the driver wants to be held in the seat more tightly to take advantage of the aggressive bolstering of the seat. When the retractor lock is set, the belt can be tightened but not pulled out of the retractor. After locking the belt, adjusting the position of the seat allows for the safety belt to be tighter across the driver’s body.

 

For more information on the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE, refer to Bulletin #17-NA-251.

 

– Thanks to Sherman Dixon and Ann Briedis

 

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