4th Generation (1993 - Present)
4.1 General Information
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Q:What models are/were available?
Camaro - base model which comes with a Series II 3800 3.8L V6 engine rated at 200 HP. Prior to 1996, the standard engine was a 3.4L V6 with 160 HP with the 3.8L being an option in mid-1995. A 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic (4L60E) transmission is available. A performance package (Y87) is also available starting in 1996 which includes a posi rear, rear disc brakes, 3.42 gearing in the A4, exhaust pipes/tips on both sides, and sport steering ratio.
RS- appearance package available starting in 1996 for the base Camaro (V6) only. It includes ground effects and an up-level spoiler. "RS" badges are located on the front fenders and rear passenger bumper. In 1998 the RS was dropped, however the appearance package was still available as an option.
Z28- The high end model. From 1993 - 1995 it came with a 275HP 5.7L V8 (LT1) engine. In 1996 power was increased to 285HP by going to a 2 catalytic converter setup. In 1998 the Z28 went to the all new LS1 which was rated at 305 HP and 335 ft-lbs of torque. A black roof treatment was standard on all 1993 and 1994 Z28s, and 1995 models and later offered a roof that was the same color as the rest of the body as an option. A 6-speed (Borg-Warner T-56) or 4-speed automatic (4L60E) transmission is available. The suspension and brakes are enhanced for improved handling. Two available Preferred Equipment Groups make the car either moderately or fully loaded. "Z28" badges are located on the front fenders and rear passenger bumper. In 1993, an Indy 500 Pace Car version (with automatic transmission) was made with a black and white paint scheme and multi-colored paint stripes along each side of the car.
SS- available as an upgrade to the Z28 model starting in late-1995 (as a 1996 model). The package include a functional ram air hood scoop and reworked exhaust manifolds resulting in 305 HP and 335 ft-lbs of torque. An optional freer flowing exhaust system brings HP to 315 and torque to 342 ft-lbs. In 1998 with the introduction of the LS1 engine, power was boosted to 320HP, and with the optional SLP exhaust power was boosted to 327HP. The stock wheels and tires are replaced with 5-spoke 17" ZR-1 style wheels with 275/40ZR/17 tires. Hurst shifter and Torsen differential were available options. Bilstein shocks, stiffer rate springs/bushings, and a larger front sway bar make up the optional Level-II suspension. The stock spoiler is replaced with sleeker looking one. "SS" badges replace the "Z28" badges on the front fenders and rear passenger bumper. All cars were shipped as stock Z28s to Street Legal Performance (SLP) Engineering where the above modifications were made through 1997. After that, GM made the modifications on its own assembly line.
SS/LT4- available only in 1997 with all of the standard and optional SS equipment, but the LT1 was replaced by a balanced and blueprinted LT4 engine with 330 HP. Additionally, they got a new stainless steel exhaust system and exhaust manifolds, and a new Bilstein performance suspension set-up. The cars had to be special ordered as 30th Anniversary cars with a 6-speed transmission, and no T-tops or convertible, and they were then sent to SLP for modification. Production was limited to 100 cars.
30th Anniversary- appearance package upgrade available only in 1997. All white exterior (plus white 5-spoke 16" wheels) and two orange stripes (about 6" wide) running from nose to tail. The interior got white leather appointments and houndstooth seating surfaces with 30th Anniversary logos. A '96 Brickyard 400 Pace Car version got teal and gold decals on each door and rear quarter panel. 1000 of 30th Anniversary Z28 cars were sent to SLP for conversion into SS's (with 100 of the 1000 being SS/LT4's).
Convertibles- available on all models starting in 1994. The Z-rated tires are a must in order to avoid a speed governor.
Firebird- base model which comes with a Series II 3800 3.8L V6 engine rated at 200 HP. Prior to 1996, the standard engine was a 3.4L V6 with 160 HP with the 3.8L being an option in mid-1995. A 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic (4L60E) transmission is available. A performance package (Y87) is also available starting in 1996 which includes a posi rear, rear disc brakes, 3.42 gearing in the A4, exhaust pipes/tips on both sides, and sport steering ratio.
Formula- The high end model. From 1993 - 1995 it came with a 275 HP 5.7L V8 (LT1) engine. In 1996 power was increased to 285 HP by going to a 2 catalytic converter setup. In 1998 the Formula went to the all new LS1 which was rated at 305 HP and 335 ft-lbs of torque. A black roof treatment was standard on all 1993 and 1994, and 1995 models and later offered a roof that was the same color as the rest of the body as an option. A 6-speed (Borg-Warner T-56) or 4-speed automatic (4L60E) transmission is available. The suspension and brakes are enhanced for improved handling. Two available option packages make the car either moderately or fully loaded. "Formula" badges are located on the front driver headlamp and rear passenger bumper. 1993 and 1994 car badges also had a "V8", and white cars with the white wheels for those same years got badges on the front-lower part of each door.
Trans Am- same setup as the Formula, but with specific nose (fog lights and air dam), tail (contoured lower valance), and side ground effects. It has the same rear spoiler as the Formula, although an "up-level" spoiler is an available option.
WS6 Option- Ram Air Performance Package (Formula Coupe/Trans Am Coupe) Includes Ram Air induction system, specific tuned suspension, high polished 17-inch aluminum wheels, P275/40ZR17 speed-rated tires, dual oval high polished exhaust outlets. WS6 was the option code was available on both the Formula and the Trans AM. This option boosted power to 305 HP and 330 ft-lbs torque on the 96 and 97 models. In 1998 the WS6 boosted power to 320HP and 345 ft-lbs torque.
Trans Am GT- available only in 1994, same as the regular Trans Am, but with all the options including "up-level" rear spoiler and GS-C tires coming standard on the car. All 1993 Trans Ams had the GT treatment as standard, but they were not referred to as GTs. In 1995 and after, the treatment got broken down into a number of options like on the Formula.
Firehawk- available as an upgrade to the Formula model starting in 1993. The package include a functional ram air hood scoop and reworked exhaust manifolds (starting in 1995) resulting in 305 HP and 335 ft-lbs of torque (300 HP and 325 ft-lbs prior to 1995). An optional freer flowing exhaust system brings HP to 315 and torque to 342 ft-lbs. The stock wheels and tires are replaced with 5-spoke 17" ZR-1 style wheels with 275/40ZR/17 tires. Hurst shifter and floor mats were available options starting in 1995. Bilstein shocks, stiffer rate springs/bushings, and a larger front sway bar make up the optional Level-II suspension which was an available option starting in 1996 along with a Torsen differential, up-level (Trans Am) spoiler, fog lamps, and car cover (all separate options). "Firehawk" badges replace the "Formula" badges on the front fenders and rear bumper. Badges are also added to the front-lower doors. Stickers showing the HP rating were placed on each side of the hood scoop from 1993 to 1995. All cars were shipped as stock Formulas to Street Legal Performance (SLP) Engineering where the above modifications were made through 1997. After that, GM made the modifications on its own assembly line. Production is limited: 1993 = 250, 1994 = 500, 1995 = 1,000, and 1996 = 500. Twelve 1994 Trans Am GTs were shipped to SLP as pilot cars and were equipped with the Firehawk setup, of which two are 25th Anniversary convertibles and three are 25th Anniversary hardtops. Some of these pilot cars also had headers installed bringing them up to 325 HP (although it's more like 340 HP). Because of late production (est. 7/98) the Firehawk was not available as a 1998 model, but as a 1999 model.
Firehawk/LT4- available only in 1997 with all of the standard and optional Firehawk equipment, but the LT1 was replaced by a balanced and blueprinted LT4 engine with 330 HP. Additionally, they got a new stainless steel exhaust and exhaust manifolds, and a new Bilstein performance suspension set-up. The cars had to be special ordered with a 6-speed transmission, and no T-tops or convertible, and they were then sent to SLP for modification. Production was limited to 100 cars.
Comp T/A- available only in 1995 and 1996 as a Trans Am with all of the standard and optional Firehawk equipment. Silver exterior (plus 5-spoke 17" x 9" wheels and BFG P275/40ZR/17 Comp T/A tires) and a gray stripe (about 6" side) running from nose to tail. The floor mats and headrests got Comp T/A logos stitched in to them. Logos were also painted below the Trans Am badges on the doors and on the front driver headlamp. Production was limited to 200 cars (72 in 1995 and 128 in 1996).
25th Anniversary T/A- appearance package upgrade to the Trans Am GT available only in 1994. All white exterior (plus white 5-spoke 16" wheels) and blue stripe (about 6" wide) running from nose to tail. The interior got white leather seats and appointments with 25th Anniversary logos. Logos were also painted below the Trans Am badges on the doors. Production was limited to 2000 cars (1750 coupes and 250 convertibles).
30th Anniversary T/A- once again, this is only an appearance package on the Trans Am WS6 available only in 1999. All white exterior and two blue racing stripes running from nose to tail. The interior got white leather seats with black dash and console appointments with 30th Anniversary logos on the headrests and floormats. The rims were a special blue tinted chrome 17 inch wheel. The convertibles had a blue top. There were 1600 made - 1065 coupes and 535 convertibles. All but 65 coupes and 35 convertibles were sold in the United States.
Convertibles- available on all models starting in 1994. The Z-rated tires are a must in order to avoid a speed governor.
Q:What's the difference between the '93s and '94s?
A:The Main mechanical differences included a change from Multi-port to Sequential Fuel Injection (including an upgrade from 22 lb. fuel injectors up to 24 lb. injectors), a change from Speed Density to Mass Air Flow (MAF) Control, the EPROM computer chip became soldered to the main computer board making it no longer removable, the 4 speed automatic (4L60) was upgraded hydraulic controls to electronic controls (4L60E), 6 speeds got a 3.42 rear (up from 3.23 in '93), the first gear ratio of the 6 speed was changed so that the overall ratio in first gear was almost identical for both years, a change from single wire O2 sensors to 3 wire heated ones, the air openings on the exhaust manifolds are in a different place, and a damper was added to the yoke assembly on the prop shaft (this actually went into production in the later '93 LT1 cars). Leather seats became an option on the Camaro's late in the model year. Additionally, the '94 Pontiac Formulas and Trans Ams with automatic transmissions had a switch added to the center console allowing the selection of "normal" or "performance" mode.
Q:What's the difference between the '94s and '95s?
A:No major changes were made to the '95 cars. Goodyear 245/50 16" RS-A All- Season tires became an available option on the LT1 cars. On the Formulas and Trans Ams, 5-spoke 16" polished aluminum wheels became standard (chrome option is set for next year). On Z28s. the black roof and side mirror treatments can be deleted such that they will be the same color as the body of the car. In mid-year '95, a version of the Buick 3800 3.8L V6 is being offered as an option in the base Camaro and Firebird (estimated at 200 hp). A power antenna was added to the hi-end stereo package and the Pontiac steering wheel was redesigned (which was actually taken from the Grand Prix). The Trans Am GT (name) was dropped and the wild wing and upgraded stereo/performance options, which made up the 94 GTs became an option to add to the base Trans Am. The Formula badges on driver headlamp and rear bumper only said "FORMULA" (whereas they had "FORMULA V8" in the past).
The camshaft, distributor, and drive mechanisms for the distributor and water pump are different. The changes were basically made to improve the distributor by adding a ventilation system that is connected to the air intake. This draws air through the distributor to eliminate moisture buildup in the optical mechanism. With the low distributor mounting, plus the water pump being directly overhead, there was a tendency for moisture and coolant to seep into the distributor leading to the infamous "optispark" problems. The drive mechanism between the cam, distributor, and water pump was also improved.
California, New York, and Mass. emission options add an extra catalytic converter connected at the end of the driver's side header pipe. This gives an estimated 10 HP extra. But such an increase was not advertised.
Q:What's the difference between the '95s and '96s?
A:Dual catalytic converters became standard on all Z28s, Formulas, and Trans Ams. This raised the advertised HP up to 285 from 275 for all such cars. The oil cooler (KC4) was dropped altogether. Recyclable cooper/lead bearings replace cadmium/lead bearings. Low-resistance ignition wires were designed to improve idle quality and cold-start performance. A redesigned ignition coil has half of the primary inductance as the previous coil allowing the primary current to "pour in" much quicker for much improved output at higher RPMs. Revised pistons used a new positive-twist top ring that improved the piston-to-cylinder seal and reduced blow-by emissions at high speeds. The pushrods were no longer hardened as they were in previous years. The exhaust manifolds got tri-layered stainless steel gaskets for improved durability and reduced leaks. The biggest change was that of the on-board computer. 1996 was the first year of OBD-II ECM technology to better diagnoses engine problems. This was good for reliability, but bad for some modifications in that some heavy modifications to the engine could result in a Service Engine Soon light. OBD-II also required oxygen sensors just before and after the catalytic converter for before and after measurements. Although the ones after the converter really only measure the performance of those before it.
Physically there's not much different. The exhaust tips on the Pontiacs changed from the dual-circles to single oval outlets on each side. The year brought a number of new packages. The Buick 3800 3.8L V6 was the only engine in the base Camaro and Firebird. There was also the return of the Ram-Air Pontiac (originally debuted on the late '60s GTOs). This was part of the WS6 performance package. It's just like the Firehawk except the openings on the hood are a little more forward. The package had a freer-flowing exhaust, tighter suspension (32mm front sway bar, 62 Nm front springs, 23-30 Nm variable-rate rear springs, and new valved shocks), and 17" 5-spoke wheels. HP was rated 305. SLP made the WS6 modifications at their plant after the cars left GM's factory.
Other new options included a remote, factory installed, 12-disc compact disc changer (U1S), content theft alarm requiring keyless entry (UA6), 5-spoke chrome wheels (P05). The base Firebird and Camaro models could get a sport package (Y87) with a posi rear, rear discs, 3.42 gearing in the A4, exhaust pipes/tips on both sides, and sport steering ratio. It required the 235/55 16 inch tires (QBC) though. Interior colors available on all cars were graphite, taupe (tan), and red (leather only). A new exterior color of red-orange metallic replaced medium red. As for the 1LE option, it came with A/C for the first time, which was standard on all Z28s and Formulas.
Q:What's the difference between the '96s and '97s?
A:No major mechanical changes. The Chevy's got a moderate facelift in the interior with a new instrument panel and dash more like that of the Pontiac. The Chevy's rear taillights were sectioned differently with the outer half as the brake light (red, of course) and the inner half being split (top and bottom) as the turn signal (amber) and reverse light (white). Additional cup holders were integrated with the redesigned console on Chevys and Pontiacs. An auxiliary power outlet was added. The vent and climate controls were all backlit and the instrument cluster was redesigned with new 3-D graphics. The high-end stereo systems were also upgraded. The Pontiacs could get the new 500-watt, 10-speaker Monsoon system and the Chevys could get the new 200- watt, 6-speaker system (plus a 12-disc CD changer was available for each. Daytime running lamps arrived (using the parking/turn signal lights on the Pontiacs due to the pop-up headlamps).
As for colors, bright green metallic replaced teal/aqua and bright purple replaced dark purple. A new dark pewter interior replaced the graphite interior, and the medium gray interior color was revised. Also the wipers were redesigned having a lower profile than previously.
Engines remain the same, but the 3800 in the base Firebird and Camaro get a vibration damper. The automatic became the standard transmission in all cars. A manual had to be specifically ordered (like the automatic used to be). This also meant the price of the automatic was built into the base price of the car and thus owner's opting for the manual transmission didn't get any type of price break.
Q:What's the difference between the 97's and 98's?
A:1998 was the biggest change since the 4'th gen f-Body was introduced in 1993. 1998 brought the new LS1 V-8 power plant. The LS1 in the Z28 and T/A was rated at 305 HP @ 5,200 RPM, while torque is 335 ft-lbs @ 4,000 RPM. The front and rear brakes on the 98 F-Body's were also improved using larger rotors. The front brakes now use a 2-piston configuration instead of the previous single piston. Cosmetically the Pontiacs received a new front-fascia and a new 'honey comb' rear-brake light configuration. The Chevy's retained the 97 brake light configuration, while the front-fascia was totally redone. Camaro's received composite headlamps and a new grill. Fog lights on the Camaro's were moved further out. As for color availability, both the Camaro and Firebird received 2 new colors : Gold Sport Metallic and Navy Blue Metallic.
Q:What's the difference between the 98's and 99's?
A:Not a whole lot changed between these two years because of the major changes of the 98s. The horsepower and torque remained the same. All F-bodies got a 16.8 gallon gas tank instead of the 15.5 that had been used since 1982. They also received a low fuel indicator that would warn people when they were low on gas. There is also an oil life monitor that tells you when you should change the oil in the car. The engine received smaller fuel injectors and a bracket, which mounted the ignition coils together, rather than having them all latched on separately. The cars also received a black box which records data up to 5 seconds before an accident for use in analyzing air bag, ABS, and other data during a collision. The Sport Gold Metallic was dropped, and for Camaros, Hugger Orange was brought back, and for the Pontiacs, a Pewter Metallic color was added. There was also a 30th Anniversary Trans Am WS6 available, which included all the regular WS6 options, but came only in white with blue racing stripes, with white and black interior and 30th Anniversary logos embroidered into the headrests and floormats. The convertible anniversary cars had a blue top. All Anniversary cars had a special blue tinted chrome 17" wheel. There were no performance differences between a regular WS6.
Q:What's the difference between the 99's and 00's?
A:As of this writing, the 00s aren't officially available to be seen, so there may be more changes, but there's still no major changes to the cars. Power and torque should be the same. The Federal LEV Emissions standards are implemented into the LS1. Camaros received a steering wheel with volume controls on the wheel just like the Trans Ams, and they also received a 500 watt Monsoon package. New rims and wheels were available for all lines of the F-body. The Trans Ams got baby seat holders attached to the rear seats. Ebony black leather interior is available for both Chevy and Pontiac. Pontiac added a Red Maple Metallic color.
Q:What's included in the B4C police package?
A:According to "The Genuine Camaro White Book" by Michael Antonick, on a 93 Camaro, the B4C "special service" option included:
The term "performance suspension" refers to the suspension, which normally comes on a Z28, as opposed to the suspension, which comes on the base non-Z28 Camaro or on the 1LE Z28. One other enticing thing is the package is cheaper than the regular Z28 options in order to give law enforcement and local government a break. Good luck trying to order one though. First, you have to find a dealer who will do a fleet order for you. The B4C is a "special services package" that is only orderable under a fleet number. It has no "stated" restrictions in the order book, but currently Chevy will not build one for a non-police department. And that means providing documentation indicating delivery to a police station.
Q:What's included in the 1LE performance package?
A:The package required these options (Z28/Formula, respectively):
and it consisted of:
The 1993 1LE cars had the same springs and deCarbon shocks (but with much stiffer valving) as on the stock Z28s and Formulas. Initial 1994 1LE cars received the same set-up, but sometime during model year (between Dec 94 and Mar 95), the 1LEs received stiffer (higher/variable rate) springs and the shock valving was slightly reduced (but still considerably stiffer than the stock deCarbon valving). Due to the stiffer springs and modified valving, the 21mm rear sway bar was dropped in favor of the 19mm bar (which was the same as on the stock Z28s and Formulas). In 1996, the Koni double adjustable shocks became standard on the 1LE cars. Increased cooling on 1995 and after models was accomplished by the addition of an air conditioning radiator baffle even though no AC was available in 1995. Also, after 1995, in order to get the 1LE on the Firebird or Trans Am you had to order the WS6 package. According to the 1997 Pontiac brochure, the 1LE package could not be ordered with the automatic transmission.
Here's a list of suspension parts and prices for 1994 models:
Part No. Description Wholesale / List Price --------------------------------------------------------------- 22145653 Left front upper control arm $109.50 $146.00 22145654 Right front upper control arm $109.50 $146.00 22145389 Left front lower control arm $111.75 $149.00 22156436 Right front lower control arm $111.75 $149.00 26032907 Front stabilizer bar $67.37 $89.70 26039956 Stabilizer bar insulator (2) $7.20 $10.00 10262147 Rear axle tie rod $33.94 $45.25 10164151 Rear lower control arm (2) $49.31 $65.75 10021221 Rear stabilizer bar $45.94 $61.25 22124790 Rear shock absorber (2) $57.75 $77.00 22132561 Front springs (2) $80.00 $100+ 22132562 Rear springs (2) $80.00 $100+
The Lou Fusz automotive network of dealers have items at the wholesale price.
Q:What's included in the WS6 performance package?
A:The package was available starting in 1996 on Formulas Trans Ams only. Included in the package were:
Q:What's included in the F1-Camaro/Firebird-GT package?
A:This is a package available through most dealerships. It offers a variety of performance and cosmetic parts from the GM Performance Group. The following is a list of the parts for the F1-Camaro (and for the Firebird-GT) and can be ordered for your Z28 or Formula through your dealership:
Part No. Description ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12363906 32mm front stab. bar, bushings, link kit, and track bar 12364002 17"x9"x50mm ZR-1 style wheels with P275/40ZR-17 Comp T/A tires 12363998 16"x8"x66mm ZR-1 style wheels with P245/50ZR-16 Comp T/A tires 12363902 6-speed Hurst shifter (leather wrapped shift knob) 12363925 cat-back performance exhaust (dual single-side outlet) 12363940 3 piece rear spoiler (primed) 12363915 4 piece ground effects package (primed) 12363978 cold air induction package (1993, for use with MAP) 12363979 cold air induction package (1994 and up, for use with MAF) 12363910 F1 Specialty Vehicle Package - everything above (1993) 12363911 F1 Specialty Vehicle Package - everything above (1994 and up) 123638xx coup floor mats (xx is 94-graphite, 95-gray, 96-beige, 97-neutral) 123638xx conv floor mats (xx is 98-graphite, 99-gray, 00-beige, 01-neutral)
Q:What special aftermarket cars were available?
A:In 1996, the Harley Davidson Edition Trans Am was available. Harley took a black Trans Am equipped with the WS6 Ram Air package (without the interior from the factory) and added leather/fabric seats, which are embroidered with the Harley Davidson logo. The car also has Harley Davidson decals on the front quarter panels just behind the tires. Only 40 are known to have been made with most of them being distributed in Southern California.
In 1997, the Lingenfelter Hurst Firebird was available. Lingenfelter took a black Firebird Formula with the WS6 Ram Air package and added a 58mm throttle body, LPE intake manifold, LPE CNC ported LT4 heads with hardened pushrods and guideplates, Competition Cams 1.6:1 roller rocker arms and heavy duty dual valve springs with titanium retainers, aluminum driveshaft, Hurst shifter, shorty headers and Borla cat-back exhaust. Power was set at 350 HP. The exterior has a wide gold stripe running the length of the car with Lingenfelter Hurst/Firebird decals and ground effects package. Inside, the head rests and floor mats we embroidered with logos and the car came with a dash plaque, alarm, and custom car cover. The price tag was $44,458.
In 1997, Dennis and Kyle Mecham, of 2nd and 3rd gen Macho Trans Am fame, came back to of produce a 20th Anniversary MACHO Trans Am. The new Macho T/A was available in three stages: Basic, HO, and SD packages. The Basic package included a Mecham-designed rear wing, new fiberglass hood, and painted on Macho graphics. Power modifications include the same bolt-on parts as the Firehawks (315 HP) and was priced around $30,000. The HO package included the Basic upgrades in addition to a cam and head upgrade, raising power to around 400 HP and was priced around $42,000. The SD package included the Basic and HO upgrades in addition to larger/wider wheels, upgraded brakes, and a bored and stroked engine producing up to 500 HP. A wide choice of options was available for the SD and was priced around $60,000 (depending on options). The Macho T/A's were produced at the same location (Glendale, AZ) as the originals of the late-70's and early 80's, although the name had changed from Mecham Pontiac to Biddulph Pontiac. The first three prototypes of the above packages were built, with up to 20 being built in total.
The Pro-Am III Firebird was done by a company in Chattanooga, TN. The cars are base V6 Firebirds with large "Pro-Am III" lettering on the doors. The stock hood got a fiberglass ram air scoop attached to the top (looking the Firehawk/WS6 hood), but it's not functional. It also got side skirts, a dual outlet muffler, a numbered plaque, two-tone paint, chrome 5-spoke 16" wheels (with the original base tires), and different bumper covers.
Q:Why pay more for the Firehawk/SS option than a supercharger would cost?
A:If your only goal is to go fast, don't buy a Firehawk; get a crotch rocket, 454 Vega, or any number of fast vehicles. Different people have different priorities. To some, the Firehawk package offers the perfect balance of performance, good looks, ability to hold its value in the long term, FULL warranty, and price. The same goes for the SS.