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Author Topic: Chambered Exhaust Option - 69 Z  (Read 5305 times)
TX-302
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« on: March 27, 2012, 09:36:43 PM »

I have a 69 Z with a build date of 05A with the transverse muffler system. I'm considering switching to a gardner chambered exhaust system and was wondering if the car's build date was within the correct factory timeline for cars installed with that option? Can someone provide the actual date when the chambered exhaust option became available on the 69Z?

Thanks
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Steve
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lakeholme
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 09:54:03 PM »

Look under the NC8 option description on the CRG option list.
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Phillip
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jmcbeth
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 09:57:56 PM »

According to Jerry MacNeish's book, the chambered exhaust was deleted from standard production on November 25, 1968. The standard then became the cross flow muffler that you have. On approximately May 15, 1969, resonators were added to the cross flow system. My '69 Z with build date 09C, has the resonators.
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John
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 12:15:29 AM »

If anyone with an early '69 Z28 is interested, I have an NOS set of chambered pipes, stored indoors since purchase from GM in '76.   I found out my car is too late to have had them...  I'm open to any interesting trades for other parts, as it makes no sense for me to keep them longer.

Gary / 69Z28-RS
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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william
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 06:08:00 AM »

When chambered exhaust was dropped as standard equipment Nov '68 it became optional for Z/28, L34, L78.

05A would have just made the timeline for chambered. When chrome tailpipes were added as standard equipment mid-May '69, chambered was dropped as an option.
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Dave69x33
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 11:00:31 AM »

jmcbeth,

I have a 05A Norwood built '69Z.  My car had headers and "turbo" mufflers when I purchased it.  During the restoration (1995 - 2000), I replace the complete exhaust system with stock manifolds and a transverse muffler system based on my homework and the info from Jerry M's book.  At that time I did the restoration, I could not find resonators so I installed the supplied "resonator by-pass" pipes. 

Are your resonators original GM or NOS units?

Do they quite your exhaust note considerably?  Maybe you could post a video clip on You Tube and give us a heads up when you post it???

Could you post a couple of pictures?

Has anyone had their '69 Camaro built on or after May '69, judged at a Camaro Nationals, Carlisle, etc., and how did they judge your car based on the resonators?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Dave

PS: It interesting to read in Jerry M's book that GM increased the base price of the '69 Camaro as they made the muffler system changes and added chrome exhaust pipe tips.
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jmcbeth
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 12:31:42 PM »

Dave,

I purchased my exhaust system from Gardner Exhaust Systems. It is a factory correct reproduction, including the correct clamps and hangers. At the time, they sold two versions, one made of stainless steel for concours show purposes and a lower cost one. Based on advice from Jerry, I purchased the stainless one. After installing, I went through Legends Class judging at nationals and lost no points for the exhaust system. It looks fabulous!

With regard to sound, you do loose some decibels, but I was very committed to the correct system.

I will have my Z on the lift this weekend and will take some photos and maybe a video.

I really liked the guys at Gardner. They were very friendly and helpful on the phone and they did a fabulous job of packaging the system.
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John
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Steve Barndt
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 06:46:43 PM »

I think the option was available on a state by state basis. In Pa after the recall or end date or whatever if you took your chamber pipe car back to the dealer you would get it back with the crossover setup on it without notice and dealers that didnt want trouble with the garage inspectors never offered them again. I had 3 friends with chambered pipes cars 2 Z'z and a 396. The big block car is a barn car locally and still has the pipes. The Z's both had their systems removed when the cars were back for service. As an interesting aside the one Z was back for a blown engine. It had a 2 bolt main block in it.
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asm69
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 08:57:21 PM »

Was the owner of the 69z the original owner
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Steve Barndt
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 06:45:45 AM »

 I think the car was a showroom floor car at Heimbach & Sweat Chevy in Pennsburg Pa.  The guy who bought it beat the tar out of it and blew it up street racing the other Z I mentioned. (Z's werent too hot on the street unless you had 4.88's in them back in the day. They wouldnt touch a 350SS w 4.10's. It wasnt what they were built for). We towed it into the local GMC garage put it on a lift, slid the pan back, saw the busted rod and the 2 bolt mains. Took it back to Heimbach. It came back with a crate motor and crossover exhaust and it was the first we heard of the pipe issue. The Z that blew was dark green on black. The other one was the same with a white interior. That car just "popped" when you looked at it. Gorgeous.
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jmcbeth
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 09:05:13 AM »

I think I would have been extremely unhappy if I went back to pick up my car after service to learn that my exhaust system had been changed out. Wouldn't you?
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John
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Steve Barndt
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2012, 05:29:09 PM »

whether you were happy or not had nothing to do with it at the time. Pa had had a governor named Lawrence who had 2 sons killed in a car wreck that he blamed on the car. He instituted a twice a year inspection system in Pa with stingent details on how equipment was supposed to be. These werent the drive thrus some states had. Cars on lifts, wheels pulled. The chambered pipes did not meet the requirements and the dept of motor vehicles declared them illegal. However it was real tough to enforce unless you were a dealer. Tire size regs, rocker panel height regs, exhaust regs . To street race back then in pa you needed a real friendly inspection station, midnight inspections, hot stickers, or you had to swap parts twice a year. It was controlled by the garage inspectors who were members of the Pa State Police. If you were an inspection station you didnt want a hot car with a fresh sticker on it in your parking lot when the garage inspector showed up.

I could never quite figure out how vette side pipes made the cut because chambered pipes is what they were too.
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jmcbeth
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2012, 09:12:23 PM »

Steve,

Incredbile story! Thanks for sharing. I now understand.

John
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John
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Dave69x33
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 11:46:00 AM »

Steve,

Your story is interesting.  The pervious owner of my '69 Z28 purchased the car in his home state of Connecticut in 1989.  He has lived in Indianapolis for many years where I live.  I purchased the Camaro from him in 1995 and started the restoration, which at that time, the car only had 44,851 miles.  The 1989 emission decal from Connecticut was in the front windshield with a "FAIL SEP 18 89" stamp.  The car had headers and an aftermarket exhaust system, and the carb was jetted rich.  So, now wonder it failed the emission check! For fun, I attached a picture of this decal. The document in the background was my title search and attempts to fine the owner history which came back “No record of ownership exists for the follow described motor vehicle..."

During the late 1990s, I attended the Camaro Nationals in Pigeon Forge, TN to look at well restored cars, and studied two ’69 SS Camaros side-by-side.  One was a survivor with its original GM chambered system and the other car with a repro system.  The difference in sound between these chambered systems was remarkable.  The repro system sound much more poppy and did not have the same deep tone as the original system.  The original system obviously has many years and miles on which may have been a factor.  Gardner’s system should be a good system and should sound very close to an original GM system.  So anyone wishing to purchase a chambered system, I highly recommend the system from Gardner versus a cheaper alternative system.

Back to the resonators: at the time I resorted my car, Gardner Exhaust was either not in business or not well known.  I purchased my complete transverse muffler exhaust system (again, my car is a 05A car) from the former Rick's First Gen. It was a nice system but does not compare to the Gardner systems available today.  I searched for a long time for resonators but none were available, so I had to install the resonator by-pass pipes.

A year ago, I contacted Gardner to ask about purchasing resonators but they only sell complete systems.  Heartbeat City Camaro Parts currently has a set of NOS resonators, G/M #3909959, for $1,750.  Here is link to the website and item: http://www.heartbeatcitycamaro.com/store/product/22785/Camaro-NOS-Exhaust-resonators-3909959-69/.  If my car was a #s matching rare car that was never driven, this might be a good investment.  I attempted to verify the #3909959 part number but the ’69 assembly manual shows them in the illustration, but does not call out the resonator part numbers on page 388, for the dual exhaust N10 option.

Jmcbeth,

I look forward to seeing pictures of your exhaust system and hopefully some details shots of your resonators.  I have several sound bites of my car’s exhaust sound w/o the resonators and would like to hear yours with the resonators in a side-by-side comparison.  Gardner’s website provides a number of sound bites, but I am not sure if the “1969 Camaro Z28 Deep Tone” sound bite includes the resonators.  I intend to call them to ask.
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tmodel66
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2012, 01:31:40 PM »

I recently put the Gardner "Deep Tone""system on my '69 L48 and I couldn't ask for a better sound. It has a nice rumble with the small cam I put in but is quiet on the inside. All the noise goes out the back. One other thing it don't have that drone sound that is normally associated with dual exhaust. 
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Daniel  
'69 SS 350/4 speed  Fathom Green--POP
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