1992 CHEVROLET CAMARO
1992 was the final year for the 3rd-generation Camaro & Firebird, and as pretty much carried over mechanically from 1991. It also marked 25 years since the Camaro’s launch in 1967. Therefore all 1992 Chevrolet Camaros were badged as 25th Anniversary’s. However, there was a 1992-only optional package called the Heritage Package (RPO Z03) that included color-keyed 16″ wheels, a bold stripe package, a body-colored grille, blacked-out headlight buckets, and a special decklid badge. Heritage editions were limited to just 4 colors: Arctic White, Black, Bright Red, or Purple Haze. 4 new colors were offered for the 3rd-gen Camaro’s final year: Purple Haze Metallic, Dark Green-Gray Metallic, Polo Green II Metallic and Medium Quasar Blue Metallic. For the first time in the 3rd-generation, the convertible became available with a V8 only (the TBI 305), no more V6 convertibles.
1992 CHEVROLET CAMARO Z28
’92 Z28s were in short supply. Only 5,197 Z28 coupes and 1,254 convertibles were built. Roughly half, 3,038, received the top engine choice, the 230hp 5.7 TPI at a cost of just $300 over the base 305 TPI that came in the Z28. For a little more, you could get the G92 package, which kicked the 5.7’s output up to 245hp, the same as the ’92 Corvette. Here’s where it gets tricky. If you ordered the G92 package with Air Conditioning, you got an engine oil cooler, 4-wheel disk brakes, a limited slip rear differential, and a dual-cat exhaust system. If you ordered the G92 package without AC, you got all the above PLUS larger Corvette front brakes, aluminum driveshaft, aluminum spare wheel, HD shocks and special fuel pickup and fuel tank baffles. This was serious stuff.
ABOVE: This 1992 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 looks just like the ’91 Z28, with their 16-inch ’25th Anniversary’ rims, faux brake cooling scoops front and rear, and tall stand-up rear spoiler.
BELOW: This is an example of the new-for-’92 color Purple Haze Metallic. Some people called it ‘eggplant’.
A WORD ABOUT CHIN SPOILERS ON THE 1992 CHEVROLET CAMARO Z28
If you own a 3rd-gen (1982-92) Camaro or Firebird, you need to know about this. The 3rd-generation F-body cars have a dirty little secret: They’re ‘bottom-breathers’. That means the radiator doesn’t draw its air from the front of the car. The grille you see in the nose only feeds air to the engine intake. There is a large open space in the bottom of the car just behind the nose and in front of the radiator. This is where all the air for the radiator is supposed to come from. One problem though, the air wants to just slip right by and go under the car. So the smart guys at Chevy placed an ‘air diverter’ under the radiator support to direct the air upwards and through the radiator. We always called them a “Chin Spoiler”, and they are about 3 feet wide, are made of black ABS plastic, and mount onto the bottom of the radiator support with 6 or 8 sheetmetal screws. So far so good. The problem is that these Chin Spoilers hang pretty low and tend to scrape on things like speed bumps and driveways. So over the years, many people have removed them, or they got knocked off. Some people even thought they would improve the car’s aerodynamics if they removed it (like the engineers didn’t realize that!). But as soon as you remove it, the problems start. Now the radiator can’t get enough air and it starts to run hot all the time. The computer will kick the electric fan on at about 210 degrees, but it will still run hot. So many people hotwire the fan so it runs all the time. It still runs hot, and it gets worse on the freeway, which is sort of counter-intuitive. What’s going on here? Wouldn’t the higher airflow at freeway speeds help cool it down? Not in this case. Because, in the absence of a Chin Spoiler the air slips right by the radiator compartment at lower speeds, but at higher velocities, the fast-moving air creates a low-pressure area in front of the radiator, making it nearly impossible for the electric fans to overcome it and pull enough air through. If you’ve been having cooling problems with your 3rd-generation Camaro or Firebird, go out into your garage right now, get on all fours with a flashlight and see if you have a Chin Spoiler or not. Again it’s black plastic, hangs down about 4 inches by about 3 feet wide, runs side-to-side along the bottom of the radiator support. Pretty hard to miss. If you don’t have one, I can virtually guarantee you that this is the source of your overheating problems. Try to find one in a wrecking yard if you can. They’re all the same for all Camaros and Firebirds from 1982 through 1992.