A bulk of performance questions.

Discussion in 'Performance' started by bajchi, Jun 14, 2018.

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  1. bajchi

    bajchi TYF Newbie

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    I have a 09 Tahoe 130xxx miles 5.3 4x4 stock everything except rims/tires

    i want to get performance parts and basically just mess around
    i also don't want to spend buckets of money (i dont really have a limit on spending just dont like the idea of dropping a few grand on a single thing)
    everyone i see says intake, exhaust, and then tune
    things i want to know

    is there a intake exhaust tune combo that works best?
    what is the difference between intakes? is there one that is better than the rest and which i should aim for?
    i have seen k&n, volant, and cold air inductions mentioned but not many others do all these perform the same?

    same thing with the exhaust setup
    is there a header/exhaust combo that is good and won't break the bank?
    i have seen $300 long tube headers and $1300 ones

    could e85 be an option since mine is flex fuel

    i have read about getting a cam or different gear ratios
    i dont know anything about those really

    is there other mostly diy mods i can do and get more power without sacrificing too much reliability?
    are there things i should look into first before i think about more power?
    are there basic maintenance things i should look for to get more performance out of a high mileage engine?
    are there things i should outright avoid?
    any info or pointing me to info would be great
    i would love to see before and after numbers on a lot of these mods but can't find anything really.
     
  2. bajchi

    bajchi TYF Newbie

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    a lot of info i look at is mostly dead links since most of it is old as well
     
  3. 08HoeCD

    08HoeCD Resto-mod aficionado

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    Others will chime in but here's my 2 cents.

    Forget the intake unless you like different sound and maybe a cool look in the engine bay. The stock intake is fine and a cold air intake won't do anything for performance other than maybe 1-2 extra hp.

    Same with exhaust unless you go long-tube headers with a custom tune. By all means, change the exhaust for better sound, but it won't do anything for performance increase.

    Best bang-for-the-buck steps for noticeable power/performance increase are installing a custom tune and changing your camshaft. Next would be adding long tube headers and next is adding a blower. But those steps are often a big jump up in cost.
     
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  4. bajchi

    bajchi TYF Newbie

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    are there supercharger options that dont cost 5k?
     
  5. Jaytizzle

    Jaytizzle Full Access Member

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    Unless you find a used kit, No!
     
  6. bajchi

    bajchi TYF Newbie

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    that price just doesnt seem feasible for me
     
  7. HiHoeSilver

    HiHoeSilver Away!

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    But it will sound faster.... :driver:

    http://www.tahoeyukonforum.com/threads/bbp-independent-intake-test-results.41254/
     
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  8. bajchi

    bajchi TYF Newbie

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    it looks like some of the options in that thread gave up to 19/20 more hp from the intake alone?
    that seems too good to be true
     
  9. iamdub

    iamdub We need a new plague.

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    Stock setup is already a "cold air intake". The flashy cone filters and metal pipes that everyone calls a "cold air intake" is most certainly NOT a CAI. NO "cold" air of any kind can be had by opening the filter element to the engine bay. They're for show and likely not as efficient at filtering out dirt so not only are you sucking in hot air (loss of power), you're sucking in dirty air which contaminates the oil and reduces engine life. "But they sure do look purty and sound kewl!"

    About the only improvement that can be made is to smooth the flow of air from the filter box to the throttle body, so the Airaid MIT is ideal. You can spend big bucks on an aftermarket setup with a fully-enclosed filter box that ducts it's air from outside the engine bay. Or, you can keep the OEM setup that you already have that does that already. Still, any gains will likely be unnoticeable.

    Longtubes or stay stock. I highly recommend having headers coated since they radiate so much more heat into the engine bay than the stock cast iron manifolds. As far as the exhaust itself is concerned, the gases flowing from the exhaust port on the cylinder head, through a 2" primary tube, then though a 3" collector and into the 2.75" stock piping don't care what company made those pipes or even the metallurgy of the metal. So, aside from the minor brand design differences, a $300 set of headers will flow essentially the same as a $1,300 set. What you're paying for is the quality of stainless they are constructed of (metal thickness and rust resistance) and the quality of the design (fitment). If you don't live in a salted area, you should be fine with the cheaper headers. Yes, some alloys of stainless can and do rust. Just because something is made of "stainless" doesn't mean it won't rust.

    Pretty much any free-flow muffler can help. There are countless options and you're gonna have to decide based on what you want and can research. Again, any gains just from the muffler will likely be unnoticeable.


    You can run it. Whether-or-not it's worth running depends on the cost per mile. E85 returns worse fuel economy, but it still may be the better value if it's cheap enough per gallon. Some report slightly more power when running it, though. You can get a tune to optimize running it, but then you'd always have to look for the stations that have it and this may not be so convenient in your area.

    Speaking of fuel, these engines have consistently shown to run better on 89 octane or higher. I've noticed less or no detonation when running 89+ which surely should mean better performance since the PCM isn't retarding the timing to mitigate the detonation. If you insist on 87, just don't romp on it.


    Deleting AFM is advised nearly 100% of the time by nearly 100% of those concerned. You can disable AFM by having it turned off in a tune or with a plug-in module (Range device). But, actually removing the components is the only surefire way to avoid potentially catastrophic engine damage from an AFM lifter failing. One of the AFM components is the cam. So, when you're deleting the AFM system, it's a perfect time to install a performance cam.

    Lower (numerically higher) gears can help with off-the-line performance which is where these engines lack grunt. But, it means the engine will be turning higher RPMs at any speed which, in most instances, means more fuel consumption.


    Depends on what you consider "DIY". Take the aforementioned AFM delete for example. Swapping in a performance cam will get more power while INCREASING reliability. But, is a cam swap a DIY task for you?

    Other than that, pretty much everything "DIY" are "bolt-ons": Intake, exhaust, tune, etc. and they won't sacrifice reliability if done properly.


    Make sure all the basic maintenance/tune-up items are up-to-par: Fluids, filters, spark plugs, no leaking gaskets, belts, hoses, etc. Don't forget the transmission, transfer case, and differentials. Address any existing drivability/performance and maybe even emissions issues.

    Check your engine mounts, particularly the driver's side one.


    See above. 130,xxx miles is hardly "high mileage" on an LS-series engine. Although it IS in the "DANGER" territory for the AFM lifters. If yours ticks for a few seconds on startup after it's been sitting overnight, it's likely a worn lifter losing it's prime and even more likely that it's an AFM lifter. A small exhaust leak usually makes the same sound as a lifter and often subsides after a few seconds or minutes, so rule that out if you have ticking. The exhaust manifold bolts are notorious for breaking.

    Check your tire pressures.


    Hot air intakes, gimmicky spark plugs with multiple electrodes and/or made of unobtanium metals, throttle body spacer (unless it has nitrous and fuel nozzles in it :thumbsup:)...


    I've seen plenty of before and after dyno numbers on longtube headers to know they are a worthy investment. All the other bolt-ons are pretty much supporting mods. Cam gains vary wildly between grinds and tune gains vary wildly between tuning companies. Decide how far you wanna go with it based on your needs and proceed accordingly.

    One thing's for sure, you don't have to spend thousands to get the most out of a naturally-aspirated Gen4. A few hundred on headers, a couple hundred on the MIT and muffler and a few hundred on a good tune (Black Bear;)) to optimize everything and it'll be as good as it can be and even set up for the bigger mods (cam, boost, etc.) if you want more later.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  10. 08HoeCD

    08HoeCD Resto-mod aficionado

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