In the last installment of our Daily Camaro project series, we installed a host of bolt-on performance parts from Flowmaster, MSD, and Hurst. Our aging fifth-generation Camaro SS/RS surely picked up some added performance due to the Scavenger Elite Series shorty headers, Amerian Thunder catback exhaust, and MSD ignition components. Still, we weren’t exactly sure just how much of an improvement all of that work would afford us. We are working within the confines of the California Air Resources Board, after all. So, with our stock catalytic converters in place, and no cold air intake or intake manifold to speak of (stay tuned for that CARB-legal blower), we were eager to extract the most out of what we did have.
Calling On The Little Red Devil
Naturally, we called up our friends at DiabloSport. You know, the house of tuning that has broken records and launched Hellcat Redeyes and Trackhawks into nine-second quarter-mile times with little more than some fancy tuning and smaller supercharger pulleys. We actually did a write-up on just how the team created that tire-punishing formula, here.
We spoke with Matt Barker, the company’s Marketing Brand Manager, and he knew exactly what we were looking for. After explaining the challenges we were facing in the Golden State, Matt explained that they knew all about it, and had a couple of options for the fifth-gen Camaro.
The options cater to two segments – the first being enthusiasts who reside in 49 free states, and the second being those who live in California (the 50-state legal option.)
After speaking with Matt some more, we found out about several other features. For starters, he mentioned, “the Trinity tuner comes pre-loaded with high-performance tunes. It brightly displays gauges on a full-color, high-definition five-inch touch screen, easy menu navigation, and it even allows users to customize the gauge screen to personal preferences with five different gauge screens per layout. Users can toggle between those gauge screens by swiping left or right to cycle through. The unit also runs comprehensive data logging and performance tests. For people who are worried about brightness for nighttime driving, there is a sensitivity meter that adjusts the screen’s day and night modes.”
Matt continued to explain the company’s stance “we understand that there is an increasing number of counties and states that are requiring emissions testing. In addition to investing in research and development, to deliver a meaningful power and overall performance improvement, DiabloSport recognizes the need for 50-state legal products. We’ve developed the T2 to include 50-state legal tuning covered by a CARB Executive Order number. Now there is no need to fear your smog testing center as you can pass those tests while tuned with power you can feel. You can run equipped with tunes for daily driving, towing, and performance all while maintaining emissions compliance.”
The particular features outside of the gauges, data logging, and screen are numerous. The Trinity 2 tuner also doubles as a diagnostic code reader and sports a “racing mode” with programmable LED lights. What is specific to the 2010-2015 Camaro equipped with either the LS3 or L99 engine and manual or auto transmissions, is the adjustment of several parameters. Such as gear ratio, tire size, fan control, rich/lean adjustments, timing – advance/retard, idle RPM, shift points, shift firmness, DOD/AFM deactivation, and fuel injector calibration.
When it came time to install the Trinity 2 Tuner, there was little preparation required. We started by installing the latest firmware from DiabloSport’s website. From years of experience, we knew that if and when issues arise, it is because the latest firmware wasn’t downloaded onto the supplied chip from the get-go.
After that, the installation went about as smoothly as you may imagine. There isn’t much to it after all. It’s a tablet-sized handheld, a single OBDII-to-HDMI wire, and a mounting base.
The Trinity 2 tuner does come with a pretty handy suction cup mounting system. We’re sure it’s made to attach to the front windscreen, but as the visibility from the cockpit of a 5th Gen Camaro is already notoriously narrow, we elected to attach it to the radios display. From there, we simply plugged the tuner into the Camaro’s obd11 port. Once plugged in, the system prompted us to cycle the car’s acc key switch and download the factory tune as a backup, in the event we want to put things back to stock. We then proceeded to upload our new tune optimized for 87 octane fuel. This was one of the concessions we made to adhere to California’s stringent emissions standards. Diablo sport does offer a tuner that’s optimized for 91 octane, but that was off the table for us.
As we mentioned previously, the trinity tuner serves many more functions than simply optimizing our fuel, air, and spark mixture. It hosts many features widely common on the most modern performance automobiles, such as quarter-mile timer, 0-60 measurements, a whole battery of gauges not readily available on our factory dash, and much more. Of course, if we were ever going to turn out Camaro into a track-only car, much as the EPA would like to stop us, we could send our specs out to Diablosport and they could make us a custom tune to load in the Trinity. So, there is much more to be gained with this system…given it is in the very capable hands of a tuner.
Okay, so it comes down to the nitty-gritty of what we really wanted to know – how much added power did our new bolt-on parts and the Diablo tune afford us. Well, if we look at our Daily Camaro’s baseline dyno graph, pictured above, we see a peak horsepower figure of 379.29 at 5,900 RPM. Not bad at all for a bone-stock LS3. After our modifications, we see a peak horsepower figure of 388.57 at 5,900 RPM.
So, our modifications netted us a total gain of 9.28 peak horsepower. Just under ten horsepower isn’t anything to sneeze at. Of course, that gain would be substantially greater if we had modified our intake, but there’s more to come on that once we explore the world of forced induction. The overall horsepower curve of the two sets of numbers is pretty close together.
It’s when we look at the torque metrics that things get really interesting. Our baseline dyno graph indicates our maximum torque output was 377.72 ft-lb at 4,690 RPM. After our modifications, that figure jumped up to 394.78 ft-lb at 4,590 RPM. That’s an increase of 17.06 ft-lb of torque! What’s more, is the fact that the torque curve is much more linear and comes in much earlier near the 3,500 RPM mark.
In the end, our Camaro started out making about 1 hp per cubic inch. After installing a host of bolt-on parts, including a full catback exhaust system, short-length headers, new ignition components, and of course, the Diablo sport handheld tuner, we were able to coax almost 10 more horsepower and nearly 20 foot-pounds of torque out of the 6.2 liter LS3.
The future installments of the daily Camaro project series will include preparation for a substantial amount of boost pressure. By way of a new performance clutch, and new rear end gears, and some stout axle shafts, which are a known weak point for our fifth GEN Camaro.