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Induction Upgrades and then a tune?

This is a discussion on Induction Upgrades and then a tune? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; As I search for bargains on exhaust components, the reality that I may never be able to financially justify headers ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Induction Upgrades and then a tune?

    As I search for bargains on exhaust components, the reality that I may never be able to financially justify headers and a mid pipe sets ever more firmly into my mind. So, even though it will still be a goal of mine to get the exhaust upgraded, I will have to put it off indefinitely. That being said, I was thinking about just finishing up my induction system and then getting a tune.

    As I understand it, a tune will maximize the performance of the motor by adjusting the timing/air-fuel ratio etc. Does this actually result in horsepower gains? And will it result in greater horsepower gains if the induction system is optimized?

    I received an SLP CAI as a gift, and I just bought the FTP ram air upgrade for it. I am also shopping for throttle bodies right now. After that, I will find the best deal I can on an intake manifold and then get a tune.

    Will I see a difference in performance after the tune? If so, how much should I expect? I anticipate that with a full induction system upgrade, I should see about 20-30 whp before the tune (or am I dreaming?). Would the tune improve this number?

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    ebay headers are cheap and work jsut as well as expensive ones... intake and a tuen will get you maybe 10 - 15 rwhp...

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    By "intake" do you mean everything from the CAI all the way to the combustion chamber, or do you just mean the intake manifold? It's my understanding that an LS6 alone is worth about 15 rwhp.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    From what I've read on previous threads is if you stick with just the stock Cam or go with a modest Cam and heads the LS6 is the best bank for the buck. If you are going to radical with a Cam & Heads then a FAST is the way to go.

    LS6 Intake go for about $300 on Ebay and craiglist
    FAST go for $800 new $500-$600 used


    CAI are a waste of time/money and are really bad for our cars IMHO. reason = Very easy to hydrolock. You get minimal gains.

    SLP Airlid, P&P TB, LS6 Intake, LT Headers, ORY, and Magnaflow/Flowmasters etc.. muffler will give you really good gains with a tune.

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    By "intake" do you mean everything from the CAI all the way to the combustion chamber, or do you just mean the intake manifold? It's my understanding that an LS6 alone is worth about 15 rwhp.
    maybe a f.a.s.t. would give that much but i doubt a LS6 would... probably more along the lines of 6-8 rwhp...

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    i've seen cars with 290 rwhp go to 330 with full exhaust, lid and a tune...

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post

    LS6 Intake go for about $300 on Ebay and craiglist
    FAST go for $800 new $500-$600 used

    CAI are a waste of time/money and are really bad for our cars IMHO. reason = Very easy to hydrolock. You get minimal gains.
    Well, the SLP is going on for sure, which is why I bought the FTP. It has the block off that can be put on to keep the water out.

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    Senior Member Z28_Driver's Avatar
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    If you have not looked at BBK headers take a look before you give up on headers. $370 for chrome headers and y pipe. Comes with gaskets and wire to extend the harnesses for the 02s. If your careful about the harnesses you can even split them up and retape without having to splice anything.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Spaz View Post
    maybe a f.a.s.t. would give that much but i doubt a LS6 would... probably more along the lines of 6-8 rwhp...
    I will be doing an LS6 swap soon and I am expecting to gain around 5-10. I think the Fast is better for heads/cammed cars over 440rwh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spaz View Post
    i've seen cars with 290 rwhp go to 330 with full exhaust, lid and a tune...
    That seems to be the norm on m6 cars.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28_Driver View Post
    If you have not looked at BBK headers take a look before you give up on headers. $370 for chrome headers and y pipe. Comes with gaskets and wire to extend the harnesses for the 02s. If your careful about the harnesses you can even split them up and retape without having to splice anything.
    $379 for the long tubes... that's pretty sweet. What's the reason for the difference in cost between chrome and ceramic? Is ceramic more durable/longer lasting? That looks like something doable. What about the 2.5" Y-pipe that comes with it? Is a 3" more worth the cost? And would it make a difference if the back end of the headers are not at least 3"?
    Last edited by Naaman; 04-03-2011 at 10:40 PM.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Ceramic lowers the engine temps and protects longer then painted headers. Chrome looks pretty and and last longer but can raised engine bay temps higher longer because the chroming helps retain the heat from the exhaust.

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    Senior Member Z28_Driver's Avatar
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    The chrome looks good. So does the ceramic. Ceramic might get you a hp or 2 more due to lower underhood temps. Not worth the extra $$ if you ask me.

    I can't see where the 2.5" y will be a problem on a street driven vehicle. You can always get a bigger y later (or true duals) if you feel you need it.

    The headers fit great. The y hugs the floor without any rattle. I have no complaints with the BBK longtubes or the y.

    Only wish I could afford a new catback since im still running the stock one.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Ceramic lowers the engine temps and protects longer then painted headers. Chrome looks pretty and and last longer but can raised engine bay temps higher longer because the chroming helps retain the heat from the exhaust.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z28_Driver View Post
    The chrome looks good. So does the ceramic. Ceramic might get you a hp or 2 more due to lower underhood temps. Not worth the extra $$ if you ask me.

    I can't see where the 2.5" y will be a problem on a street driven vehicle. You can always get a bigger y later (or true duals) if you feel you need it.

    The headers fit great. The y hugs the floor without any rattle. I have no complaints with the BBK longtubes or the y.

    Only wish I could afford a new catback since im still running the stock one.
    Based on this input, it would seem that a cold air intake would be more beneficial if I went with the chrome rather than the ceramic. Also, would a 160-thermostat offset the extra heat from chrome (or would the chrome force the thermostat to work harder), or does the thermostat only deal with the temps of the cooling system?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    My only problem with CAI of SLP design are that they make it easy to hydro-lock if caught in the rain and you drive through a puddle.

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Based on this input, it would seem that a cold air intake would be more beneficial if I went with the chrome rather than the ceramic. Also, would a 160-thermostat offset the extra heat from chrome (or would the chrome force the thermostat to work harder), or does the thermostat only deal with the temps of the cooling system?
    are you getting a tune done??? with the 160 stat you'll need the fans tuned for that...

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    My only problem with CAI of SLP design are that they make it easy to hydro-lock if caught in the rain and you drive through a puddle.
    Yeah, that's why I ordered the FTP ram-air with block off. It can be put on when it's wet outside to prevent the induction of water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spaz View Post
    are you getting a tune done??? with the 160 stat you'll need the fans tuned for that...
    Yes, I will be getting a tune done. The 160 thermo was a consideration with regards to a chrome vs ceramic header set up.

    Quick question: 85mm throttle body... will it fit on an otherwise stock car?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Yeah, that's why I ordered the FTP ram-air with block off. It can be put on when it's wet outside to prevent the induction of water.



    Yes, I will be getting a tune done. The 160 thermo was a consideration with regards to a chrome vs ceramic header set up.

    Quick question: 85mm throttle body... will it fit on an otherwise stock car?
    A P&P TB from S2 Performance will give you about the same Hp gains as a 85mm. Now if you are going with a FAST setup I would then step up to the 85mm.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Yes, I was considering going with an intake manifold with an 85mm opening. But, I don't have the money to buy both TB and Manifold together, so I figured I could get the TB now-ish and the manifold sometime down the road. Will the TB bolt up to my stock manifold in the meantime?

  19. #19
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    The one I mention takes a stock TB and does the P&P (cost about $150) so yes it would. I also know the BBK 85mm (cost about $350) will also fit on LS1/6 and FAST 90/90 Intakes.


    You can get a used LS6 intake on craiglist or ebay for about $300

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    "Yeah, that's why I ordered the FTP ram-air with block off. It can be put on when it's wet outside to prevent the induction of water."

    I did the free ram air mod right after I bought my SS in Wa. Never have had a water injestion problem.
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