Clarke's 96 SS

Factory Options

Factory Specs


Photo Page

FBody Pictures


VIN Breakdown





All Info On This Page Is From CSSOA Website

Q. Can I use the K&N Filter on my SS?

Absolutely not! Contrary to adds run by Lingenfelter and others K&N specifically has told us that their filters cannot currently be used on the 96-97 Camaro SS. Although they may look like they fit, under pressure they leak air and dirt into the manifold and for this reason are NOT RECOMMENDED. List members who have tried them have since gone back to the standard air filters. The filter that they have claimed fit is the K&N # 33-2018 for the Jeep 2.5L, 4.0L F/I Panel Filter. Please folks don't use it.

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Q.What is the Standard Air Filter on the SS?

For the 98 SS it's stock filter is a AC Delco A917C or part number 33-2014 However that does not fit perfectly. Much better is part Number 33-2111 that fits the LS1 airbox better - same as the 1997 and 1998 Corvettes. The 1996 and 1997 use one of three different filters. Either the Purolator A24372, NAPA GOLD part #6077, or the AC Delco A1166C. The one in the 1997 Owners Supplement is incorrect.

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Q.How Are The SS Build Numbers Determined?

SLP numbers the cars in different ways for different countries for example in 1996 cars were numbered for both Canada and the U.S. and for 1997 Cars were numbered for the U.S. (#3152 was the last one), Canada (#C152 was the last one), and for the Middle East (new for '97), (ME52 was the last one). There were some numbering difficulties, for example, the GM carriers didn't bring the cars over to SLP's facility based on them coming off the assembly line at the GM plant. They went into a yard and were eventually picked up and brought over to SLP's plant. One car for some reason took 30 days to get to our plant as compared to the car VIN's. I'm sure wasn't the only one that that happened to. Matt Murphy's '97 LT4 SS was the very last '97 Camaro built and yet it showed up at SLP 3 days before the last '97 SS's did and was number 3148 with 3149, 3150, 3151, and 3152 numbered after his. So numbering by VIN doesn't work; although it is a way to classify or number these cars. While they could have been numbered when they left the SLP plant. Which would be considered the finished point for most cars, reliable sources have stated that they don't have time to be numbered and then logged into SLP's system. Near the end of the '96 production run (June) a conference call among 15 or so SLP employees was told that due to the numbered plaque problems, there would be no numbering of the cars for '97. It was argued that the cars should keep the numbers because they do give us a way to identify our cars as a special group. SLP recognized this and they decided for '97 that the cars would be numbered when they were dropped off by the carriers and driven into the building (SLP can store up to 500 or so cars inside). The important thing is that the cars are numbered in such a manner that no two cars are numbered the same (except for Canada, U.S. and Middle East cars all will have a car number starting with #C001, #0001, and #ME01). I was told that the 1996 SLP literature never stated Sequential Numbering although the magazines writers and we ourselves (the SS Buying public) probably assumed that they were. The 1998 cars are still numbered by SLP upon arrival. However, since no paperwork is send to the car owner the only way so far to determine your car's number is to call SLP's general information number at 1-248-288-3066 and ask one of the helpful people there for the number. You will of course have to provide your VIN. In retrospect we'd all like to believe that our cars are unique. SLP did the best they could given the circumstances. The circumstances being they probably didn't expect the cars to be so popular and sell so well. The SLP "Official Number" for each car is the one that came on the SLP window sticker. That number is equivalent to the 17 digit GM VIN number. It is the number we use for warranty purposes as well as documenting a real car. SLP can also pull up a car by the last 8 digits of the GM number. If someone was at the end of the GM assembly line, they would see that the cars coming off Those lines are not always in VIN sequence. The point is that you can't re-number them by VIN because that was Chevy's production schedule numbering system. All Camaro's and Firebird's are given a complete VIN before the car hits the assembly line. The GM VIN number is given to a car prior to it being built just like the SLP VIN (except for '96 cars that came with a numbered plaque). Chevy receives the parts and pieces (to build a car) a week or two before the car is built and a complete VIN is created at that point, then it is put into production. The VIN number is in reality a schedule number, not a final build sequence number. If there is a problem with a part, or the car is damaged and can't continue, or the trim shop doesn't have the right color of carpet or interior piece for the car, then it is pulled from the line and later put back on the line, and referred to, or called a "Through - In" by the guys on the line (thus, being out of sequence); however, the VIN stays with the car. SLP receives cars off the GM carriers, scans the bar coded VIN plate once they are taken off the trucks and inspected, then logged into the SLP computer, given a new SLP VIN number or receiving number (however you want to call it) and the hood and spoilers are removed and then put in line to get the SS content. Once they are completed they are put in another holding area and then put on the GM car carriers and sent back to the GM plant and on down to the dealership. The '93 - '96 Firehawks and SS's were numbered by VIN plates and the '97 SS and Firehawk and 1998 SS's are numbered when they were received from the GM carriers. Is this the best way to number cars, I think so; however, in a few years someone might come up with a different system for numbering these cars. The case in point here is that the 1996's and 1997's are already numbered and you, SLP or GM can't change those numbers.

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Q.How Many SS's Were Built In 1996?

As best as can be determined. Total cars = 2410
The total of 2263 is for U.S. cars only and the total 2410 is for both U.S. and Canada.
147 were built for Canada.

White = 370 or 16.35 %
Teal = 77 or 3.40 %
Black = 818 or 36.15 %
Polo Green = 167 or 7.38 %
Red = 831 or 36.72 %
T-Tops = 1309 or 57.84 %
Coupe = 690 or 30.49 %
Convertible = 264 or 11.67 %
Automatic = 767 or 33.89 %
6-Speed = 1496 or 66.11 %
Exhaust = 2072 or 91.56 %
Torsen = 1263 or 55.81 %
Suspension = 905 or 39.99 %
Hurst Shifter = 1354 or 90.51 % (of 6-spd cars)
Oil Cooler = 286 or 12.64 % (option became available late in year around march)
Floor Mats = 1947 or 86.03 %
Car Cover = 1221 or 53.95 %
R1 Tires = 93 or 4.11 %
Syn. Lubes = 321 or 14.18 % (remember, this was included at no charge with the Torsen)

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Q.How Many SS's Were Built In 1997?

From All The Sources I can Find
Standard LT1 1997 SS
This is broken into two parts (Regular SS and 30th Anniversary SS's)
Total Production 1997 SS's: 3038 -
Regular Production 2081 - 30th 957
White - 306
Silver - 368
Black - 734
Polo Green - 121
Red - 552T-Tops - 1390
Coupe - 454
Convertible - 237


White - 82 - (32 Auto - 50 6spds.)
Silver - 67 - (27 Auto - 40 6spds.)
Black - 156 - (47 Auto - 109 6spds.)
Polo Green - 23 - (5 Auto - 18 6spds.)
Red - 126 - (33 Auto - 93 6spds.)


White - 182 - (58 Auto - 124 6spds.)
Silver - 257 - (74 Auto - 183 6spds.)
Black - 497 - (126 Auto - 371 6spds.)
Polo Green - 87 - (32 Auto - 55 6spds.)
Red - 367 - (124 Auto - 243 6spds.)


White - 42 - (19 Auto - 23 6spds.)
Silver - 44 - (16 Auto - 28 6spds.)
Black - 81 - (31 Auto - 50 6spds.)
Polo Green - 11 - (5 Auto - 6 6spds.)
Red - 59 - (28 Auto - 31 6spds.)

Exhaust - 871
Torsen - 545
Lubes - 99
Hurst - 577
Level 2 Suspension - 312
Level 3 Suspension - 100
Engine Oil Cooler - 642
R1 Tires - 34
Mats - 821

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Q.How Can I get An Exact Copy of My Manifest (Build Sheet)

If you can't find it in the glove box, under the back seats or on top of the gas tank than getting the exact manifest can be a hard thing to do. One thing that you CAN get that is similar is called a VEHICLE OPTION PRINTOUT. This is a printout similar to the build sheet. Ask your service writer at your dealership to pull up the manifest on your car by VIN. (This information is as of yet unconfirmed. MCC) Another option is to get what is called a Vintage package from GM Production records at (905) 644-5000 for forty dollars.

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Q.Do I have Extruded Honed Manifolds?

Not unless you are one of the lucky first (again numbers are not accurate) 250 or so 1996 Owners who got these. (We are still trying to determine the first and last of these).

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Q.Why Are Some SS's Called Z/28SS?

In 1996 the vehicle was marketed as a Z/28 SS. Even the Air Filter carried this logo. It was dropped for 1997 (along with the numbered interior plaques). Although, a few leftover units may have been installed in 1997 cars.

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Q.What is the CONE OF SILENCE?

The "CONE" is a device that was inserted into the exhaust system on all 97 Camaro SS's built before April 1st 1997. The cone is in there to cut down on ambient noise. Some late 96's cars may have gotten this as well. No cars built after April 1st 1997 with the dual dual exhaust received this. None of the 98 cars received it. For details on how to disable this device please see.

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Q.What is a Torsen Rear End?

The regular differential used in most vehicles is an OPEN differential. An OPEN differential distributes power (torque) equally to both rear wheels. Even though the power is distributed equally the wheels are allowed to spin at different speeds. A locked differential (or Spooler) is one that distributes its power (torque) unequally while the wheels rotate at the same speed. The problem is that requiring wheels to rotate at the same speed is not possible in tight turns when the inside wheels must rotate more slowly than the outside wheels. The problem with the open differential is when one wheel has traction problems. (i.e. picture one wheel stuck in a snow drift while one is on the street.) The tire that is slipping gets just as much power as the one not moving, it continues to spin while you just sit there unmoving. So much for the class on Open and Closed Differentials. The "Torque Sensing" Torsen behaves like both differentials. It acts as an open differential until one tire is spinning twice the speed of the other. I've been unable to confirm that they use a gearing system. But, I believe that they use the worm gear to drive two crown gears at the ends of the half shaft. At that point, the torque distribution becomes unequal and the non spinning tire gets more torque. Why is this so wonderful compared to a viscous LSD (Limited Slip Differential) or clutch type LSD? A vicious coupling is one that uses a fluid that becomes thicker as things move through it. The clutch type suffers from non-linear operation. At some pre-determined slip rate, the clutch engages. This can result in a sudden transition to understeer or oversteer especially if the car is cornering to begin with). The viscous LSD is linear, but limited in the amount of torque that can be transferred to the non spinning wheel. The Torsen should also be more maintenance free and more efficient than the VLSD. The following portion of this is from Ward Bowerman of Zexel-Torsen. The Torsen uses parallel axis helical gearing which is different form the bevel gears used in the GM open differential. Under a torque load, our helical gears develop radial and axial thrust against the inside of the case. This thrust creates friction which provides the torque bias or locking effect. We design the helix angle and pressure angle of the Torsen gearing to develop the desired restriction for the specific application. Since these gears do not wear, there is no need (or availability) of replacements. Use of friction modifier is not required, and will not improve performance of the differential. However, when using non-friction modified oil, you may notice a slight "rusty screw" squeaking noise in a tight turn under light to moderate throttle. There is no harm done to the differential when this noise occurs. Friction within the differential sets up a vibration in the axle which may be heard as an audible noise. GM Friction Modifier will eliminate this noise if it becomes objectionable. The Torsen is compatible with any synthetic or mineral based gear oil which is adequate for the ring and pinion. There is no special maintenance required on the Torsen differential. It retains its bias ratio (ratio of high axle torque to low axle torque) for the life of the vehicle since there are no clutches to wear out. Reading your web site page on Torsen, you did a fine job of noting differences between various differentials. There are a few things you may want to add: The open differential is limited by the torque of the spinning wheel. A typical open has a 1.1 to 1 bias ratio due to some small internal friction. The non spinning wheel gets 1.1 times as much torque (10% more) than the spinning wheel. The Torsen differential for Camaro SS has a 2.2 to 1 bias ratio, therefore, the non spinning wheel gets 2.2 times as much torque as the spinning wheel. The Torsen will support up to a 2.2:1 torque imbalance before it differentiates (unlike the open), and then will differentiate at the 2.2:1 ratio. With the spool, there is actually a negative torque on the outside wheel in a turn making it difficult to turn in the intended path. This can also occur with spring preloaded limited slip differential under low torque. The Torsen applies a positive torque to both drive wheels in a turn. Another benefit of Torsen: in an aggressive turn, the inside rear wheel loses some traction and the Torsen then biases torque to the outside wheel which tends to pull the car through the turn. If the rear loses traction and the driver releases the throttle, Torsen biases the engine braking torque to the outside wheel which helps to lessen the severity of a spin-out.

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Q.How Do I Change Gears On A Torsen Differential?

The following information is direct from Ward Bowerman of Zexel Torsen The first Torsen units manufactured for SLP used a two piece "paddle" or thrust block as we call it. Later in production, we switched to a one piece block which was acceptable for all 3.42 and lower numeric axle ratios. During assembly of the axle, the thrust block must be removed for insertion of C-Clips which retain the axle shafts. The distance from the face of our ring gear flange to the thrust block is 35.8 millimeters. The height of the ring gear for the 3.42 ratio is 34.7 mm allowing removal of the thrust block past the highest point of the ring gear. We are not aware of the height of ring gears for 3.73, 4.10 and 4.56 ratios. Obviously, the ring gear becomes higher as the numeric ratio increases, and for the highest ratios, the one piece thrust block will not pass by the ring gear. To allow for these higher ratios, I believe SLP has the two piece block available for sale. At assembly, the block half farthest from the ring gear is removed first, then the second half can be removed. To determine whether a two piece block is needed, you will have to find the height of the higher ratio ring gears. As long as the height is 35.8 mm or less, the one piece block will fit. This applies to both 96 and 97 model years. The thrust block is the only upgrade which may be required when changing ratios. This upgrade is called a paddle kit and it is available under part number 64002 for \\$165 (as of 6/24/98) from SLP Performance Parts at 732-349-2109

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Q.What is !CAG?

!CAG is a symbol used to denote that a vehicle has had it's Computer Assisted Gear Selector disabled. CAGS is on 1996 through 1998 SS's with 6 speed transmissions. CAGS comes into play when you're in 1st gear and you're at 35% throttle or less, you're between 15 and 21 mph, engine coolant temperature is greater than 171 F (77 C). There are several ways to disable CAGS. The easiest is to simply go underneath your car where you will see several electrical connectors going into the transmission. There are three 2-wire connections on the drivers side of the tranny. Two of them are hooked up to large, brass colored protrusions which are solenoids. The third connection is to a small black box on the tailshaft of the tranny. This is the speed sensor (no speedometer cable on the LT1). Disconnecting this will stop CAGS, but your speedo will also not work and the check engine light will come on. Of the other 2 connections, one is up on the tailshaft. This is the reverse lockout solenoid, although it's really a reverse enable solenoid since when it is not powered on, you are locked out of reverse. The final connection is the CAGS solenoid, the farthest forward of the three in the center of the tranny. Unplug it, tape it, and forget it. Of course this will set an engine code of 84 (Open circuit in the CAGS wiring). You can go to Radio Shack and get a simple resistor, The resistance of the CAGS solenoid is 15 ohms. Assuming 13.5 V, that means about 12 W are dissipated. Pick up a 15 ohms, 10 W resistor (about \\$0.50). 10 W should should be fine as it will be mounted to the tranny which will work as a heat sink and the skip shift is only active a few seconds at a time, so there won't be much time for any extensive heat build up. But in hotter environments, you might want to use a resistor of 2200 ohms rated at only a 1/4 to 1/2 W. Simply put the resistor in place of the CAGS solenoid thereby closing the circuit and making the computer think CAGS is still connected. You can also buy some heat shrink tubing to put around the resistor to protect it. Then take a tie wrap and fasten the "eye" of the wire connector to the tranny so everything is nice and tight. The connection be returned to stock form in less than 5 minutes if needed and easily be duplicated again for \\$1. For anyone who feels this is too difficult LG Motorsports and RK SPorts make units for \\$29 to $59 dollars that do the same thing.

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The following information is off the F-BODY.ORG FAQ:

Q.How do disable the Skip Shift light as well?

The following procedure requires a 10 mm socket, extension, ratchet, and awl (or similar tool with a pointed tip): 1.Disconnect the battery. 2.Remove the two bolts holding the PCM to the inner fender well. (The PCM is the cigar box sized unit located near the passenger side hood hinge.) 3.Pull the PCM from its lower retaining slot and position the unit so that the connectors are accessible. 4.To disable CAGS, remove the 32-Way F Micro-Pack connector marked "Blue" on the PCM. There is a red retaining clip that needs to be removed first. (Once the connector is removed you will be able to see a blue connector pin guide.) 5.Use the awl to open the gray connector back shell (3 snap latches). 6.Use the awl again to remove the blue connector/pin guide located on the front of the connector (2 snap latches). 7.Find the white wire in location 15. The pins are marked on the back of the connector where the wires go in to it. 8.Gently lift the pin retainer for slot 15 while gently pulling the wire from the back of the connector. Once the wire end is clear of the retaining latches, release the pin retainer. Continue to pull the wire until it is free of the connector body. (There is a seal near the back of the connector that will add a little resistance to the pulling.) 9.Tape off the wire end. 10.Reinstall the connector/pin guide. (It only goes on one way.) 11.Snap the back shell in place. 12.Reinstall the connector on the PCM. 13.Reinstall the PCM by reversing the first two steps. 14.Reconnect the battery. Even though the procedure looks complicated and intimidating, it should only take about 15 minutes to complete. This will cause error code 91 to be set and stored in the PCM in addition to code 84 set by removing the solenoid.

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Q.What is the Recommended Alignment Spec?

To understand the recommended we have to first look at the factory specs which are: Caster +3 degrees +/- .5 degree Camber +1 degree +/- .5 degree Toe in .15 degree +/- .5 degree What some people have been running (including me) is: Caster +4 (L&R) Camber -.8 (L&R) Toe Total 0 Inches

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Q.How do I repair the LT1 Intake Leak?

RECOMMENDED PROACTIVE FOR REPAIRING THE LT-1 INTAKE OIL LEAK The problem with the LT1 oil leak seems to be two fold. First it appears that the machining on the LT1 between the intake and the manifold is not all that great. Under heat and pressure the left rear corner appears to expand and "lift" a little bit. The oil under pressure can then push out through the sealant used. Second the EGR tube runs right along the back of the engine on long trips this can become very hot which can add to the problem. So lets talk about fixing it. The Cure The best way to fix it seems to be the simplest. Once the intake is removed make sure that all the old RTV sealant is cleaned away and the surface is as clean as possible. Once this is done apply a bead of sealant and let it cure for a few moments. Several manuals (Helms/Chiltons/etc.) give the correct procedure for this. But, it's under warranty so let the dealer do it - with you watching carefully. Next, make sure the manifold is placed correctly on without moving the intake around on the RTV sealant. At this point insist that the dealership (or you) let it cure overnight after the heads are torqued down properly. It is really best to make sure they follow this procedure. After it is done and before your next trip you may want to consider adding a breather to your passenger side valve cover. RK Sports carries a nice K&N breather that is a snap (actually a push) to put on. Voila! no more problem. WARNING Some people have recommended putting heat tape around the EGR tube. DON'T DO IT! The back of the block tends to collect oil and gets pretty warm. This is a good receipe for a fire. You can get some thin aluminum heat shielding if you really want to but I found it easier just to move the EGR pipe back a little bit and I've never had a repeat in almost 22K miles of very hard, high speed distance driving.

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SS #1593