By taking a non-descript 2013 Camaro SS and adding some budget-friendly performance and appearance products, Summit Racing is aiming to illustrate the hot rodding potential of the fifth-generation Camaro. We summed up the idea behind the build in the first installment of our Fifth-Gen. Frenzy series:

With the introduction of the new generation Camaro and six model years of Gen 5 supply available, you may see selling prices drop significantly on fifth-generation models. Many of these vehicles will be coming out of warranty, making them perfect new candidates for aftermarket upgrades. Combine that with the growing amount of aftermarket products available for the car, and you just may have the perfect platform for a future budget build. 

Summit Racing started the project like so many others — with an aftermarket exhaust system and air intake. These upgrades are affordable, fairly easy to complete, and allow the Camaro’s LS V8 to breathe just a little easier. They deliver a nice little performance bump immediately and also set the stage for later upgrades if you’re working on a month-to-month or paycheck-to-paycheck budget.

Of course, if a little more airflow means a little more power, then a lot more airflow can yield lots more horsepower. That was the exact premise behind the second stage of the Summit Racing Camaro project as the Summit guys swapped out the stock cylinder heads and intake manifold to help the 6.2L inhale more power-building air. They also removed and replaced the restrictive stock exhaust manifolds with better-flowing aftermarket headers.

We’ll share the stock dyno numbers and post-upgrade numbers later. For now, follow along for the step-by-step installation below:

Trick Flow GenX 255 Cylinder Heads

For increased airflow, it’s hard to beat a set of ported cylinder heads.

Trick Flow GenX 255 heads feature what Trick Flow calls “CNC Competition Ported” intake runners, which offer superior flow capabilities. Trick Flow also changed the valve angles from 15 to 12 degrees to enhance airflow and allow for greater piston-to-valve clearance. Like all the upgrades being made to the 2013 Camaro, the heads are CARB-legal for use in all 50 states.

You can watch the installation of the heads in the video below:

FAST LSXR Intake Manifold

Summit Racing opted to swap out the factory intake manifold to bridge the gap between the high-flow air intake (installed in Part 1) and the Trick Flow ported heads. The Summit team went with a FAST LSXR intake manifold, which is a three-piece polymer design. The advantage here is the polymer’s superior heat dissipating abilities and lighter weight compared to aluminum versions.

Although the manifold is made to bolt right on and accept factory accessories, its three-piece design allows it to be easily disassembled for future porting. It also accepts larger aftermarket throttle bodies, although Summit Racing decided to keep the stock throttle body to maintain the Camaro’s 50-state legality.

Installation is relatively simple — watch the video below for the details.

JBA Headers Cat4ward Headers

To make way for the additional airflow from the aftermarket heads and intake manifold, Summit Racing installed a set of JBA Cat4ward Headers. Any time you consider aftermarket headers, it’s important to consider any past or planned upgrades to make sure the headers will bolt up. In this case, the JBA shorty-style headers work well with the Trick Flow heads and aftermarket exhaust installed in the first installment of this series

Cat4ward headers feature mandrel-bent, 409 stainless tubing for reduce exhaust restriction. They also have thick 3/8-inch flanges and JBA’s Fircone merge collectors, which reduce air turbulence and maintain exhaust gas velocity from the primaries to the collector. The result is increased horsepower and torque.

You can watch the installation here:

With our engine upgrades complete, we’ll tune and dyno the engine in a later post. Next up, though, is some new suspension goodies to improve the Camaro’s handling.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.