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Author Topic: Best bang for the buck  (Read 24635 times)
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Vonderbach
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« on: 10/25/06 06:39 AM »

I'm getting ready to spend some money on the lanche and I'm a bit conflicted as to what is going to be my best bang for the buck.  I am definitely getting a catback system from Gibson, this much is already decided.  I'm budgeting an extra $500 to spend on additional improvements, and I was thinking either headers or an induction system.  Another thought was a programmer, but i don't know if I should be messing with such things.

Can someone guide me to the most effective use of this money? 

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« Reply #1 on: 10/25/06 06:48 AM »

Programmer is best bang for buck...

intake exhaust do not really do much....

Forced induction is an even great bang but the bucks are kinda up there..
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« Reply #2 on: 10/25/06 06:56 AM »

Sorry about the thread placement, I don't know what I was thinking.  Tongue

Anyway, so would you suggest I go for the induction over the programmer? 
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« Reply #3 on: 10/25/06 07:02 AM »

Sorry about the thread placement, I don't know what I was thinking. Tongue

Anyway, so would you suggest I go for the induction over the programmer?
yeah but forced induction is not in the $500 ball park... it is in the YANKEE ballpark $3500 ish...

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« Reply #4 on: 10/25/06 07:12 AM »

Yeouch!  I love my avalanche, but not that much.  For some reason I was thinking those things ran a lot cheaper. 

Oh well, can you suggest a programmer?  And would I (an admitted amateur) be able to make a significant difference using such a tool?

Thanks in advance
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« Reply #5 on: 10/25/06 07:17 AM »

predator...
check the engine computer section for many threads on programmers as there are several brands...

some are easier to use then others but have less features...
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« Reply #6 on: 01/07/07 08:39 AM »

Instead of a programmer I would talk to “Justin” on the z71tahoe-suburban.com forum and have a custom tune done. What is great is now you have s tock PCM if you need warranty work done and a custom PCM for pedal to the metal performance or however you wish to have it tuned. Everyone talks highly of his tunes and performance. I am looking to have it done after the exhaust goes on.

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« Reply #7 on: 01/07/07 11:27 AM »

Here is what I am planning to do over the next year if all goes well.  Keep in mind I am only after off line start and a better dravabliity being a bit more sporty than stock.

Cat back- for obvious reasons.
Volant intake (not be be confused with forced induction-more on that later)
throttle body spacer
custom tune rather than a programmer

For me this is about it,  I am looking to wake the 07 up a bit and improve drivability, trottle response and milage if possible.  By improving air flow and exhaust letting it breath FREE-er and reprograming the different variables in the computers program will allow better use of these minor add ons and it will take off better and shift more agressivly.

Now on induction.  Make sure you are not confusing induction with a bolt on air intake like the K&N, Volant, Air Raid and others.  Yes those can be had for anywhere from about $150 to $700 most falling in the $300 range and yes they do make improvements but most dont really shine untill you add other items like the exhaust and the programming to take advantage of the extra air they provide. 

When most talk of induction we are talking superchargers and turbos and such.  Now we are talking big bucks and for the most part in my opinion, unless you plan on racing or towing or you have ego issues then you really dont need one.  And like air intakes almost all of these super power adders dont really come to life unless you make significant other changes and more money to your engine system.  You see claimes of 50% increases but if you read the small print expect only a 25%-30% out of this same supercharger in a stock form.  Thats unless you change spark plugs, fuel intakes and larger throttle body above exhaust and computer programming.

The programmers are nice but only make small changes in the stock program from stock which to most is fine but to get the most look at a good custom tune.  There are a few threads reagarding this issue and you will find they are sometimes similar in cost to a good hand held programmer.

Hope this helps.

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« Reply #8 on: 01/07/07 12:13 PM »

When I got my Avy I was really disappointed with the "off the line" performance.  I spent $$$ on a Flowmaster American Thunder cat back, Pro Cold Intake and Hypertech programmer.  As far as I am concerned the off the line stayed pretty much the same.  At that time I had not done enough research to realize that our Arvy's have "Torque Management" programmed into them to protect the transmission and rear end.  Basically holds back timing = less power/ torque on that bottom end.  Don't get me wrong, these mods do make a pretty good difference when passing say 55-60mph to 90mph, for such a heavy hauler,  I think they also make a difference from say the far side of an intersection.  I really love the way the exhaust sounds and looks as well.
Having said all of that, if you look for a programmer look for one that you can adjust the torque management, or a custom tune.  Predator programmers can change the torque management.  If you look around the site you will see some other mods that others have found to be quite helpful as well. One I have been considering is a new Torque converter, many have used one from an I-6 (in line six) from the trailblazers.  In our heavier trucks they will stall much higher 2600-2800 or so.  Putting our trucks much better in the power curve off the line....
Or like many just save up or hit your CC and get Forced Induction....  I've been looking to do this for a while and am getting closer every day.

No matter what you decide enjoy, it becomes addictive, stay with this site and you will love your new ride and spend, spend, spend.................

Hope this helps,

Danv
P.S.  the Hypertech does do it's job for what it does, the shifts are firmer, did compensate for my new rim/tire size.  Many have been happy with it as well.  Just don't expect tons of power from an off the rack programmer on a gas rig, I think you will be disappointed....
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« Reply #9 on: 01/07/07 12:39 PM »

When I got my Avy I was really disappointed with the "off the line" performance.  I spent $$$ on a Flowmaster American Thunder cat back, Pro Cold Intake and Hypertech programmer.  As far as I am concerned the off the line stayed pretty much the same.  At that time I had not done enough research to realize that our Arvy's have "Torque Management" programmed into them to protect the transmission and rear end.  Basically holds back timing = less power/ torque on that bottom end.  Don't get me wrong, these mods do make a pretty good difference when passing say 55-60mph to 90mph, for such a heavy hauler,  I think they also make a difference from say the far side of an intersection.  I really love the way the exhaust sounds and looks as well.
Having said all of that, if you look for a programmer look for one that you can adjust the torque management, or a custom tune.  Predator programmers can change the torque management.  If you look around the site you will see some other mods that others have found to be quite helpful as well. One I have been considering is a new Torque converter, many have used one from an I-6 (in line six) from the trailblazers.  In our heavier trucks they will stall much higher 2600-2800 or so.  Putting our trucks much better in the power curve off the line....
Or like many just save up or hit your CC and get Forced Induction....  I've been looking to do this for a while and am getting closer every day.

No matter what you decide enjoy, it becomes addictive, stay with this site and you will love your new ride and spend, spend, spend.................

Hope this helps,

Danv
P.S.  the Hypertech does do it's job for what it does, the shifts are firmer, did compensate for my new rim/tire size.  Many have been happy with it as well.  Just don't expect tons of power from an off the rack programmer on a gas rig, I think you will be disappointed....

Dan, you are 100% dead on with what a converter can do.  I had a Trailblazer converter before I went FI and the AV went from barely squeaking the tires to doing this in my driveway.

(this pic was shot prior to the blower)

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« Reply #10 on: 01/07/07 12:45 PM »

I went from a 16.4 to 15.6 in the 1/4 mile just by adding the torque converter. Its a good bang for the buck. As far as programming, the handhelds ar ok but limited. They don't get rid of torque management. Some of the other tunes(Jesse Bubb, PCM"S for less, Nelson Performance, etc...) get rid of some and are a better bang for the buck. The best way is HP tuners then you can do it yourself . I can't wait till I get mine.
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« Reply #11 on: 01/08/07 02:41 AM »

Far be it from me too agree with the tards above me, but I have to agree that the exhaust/CAI/ handheld route is popular, but rarely accomplishes what you are searching for.....
they are only the foundation laid for a serious power adder or a test in male testoterome by buying into the "my truck is louder than yours" syndrome...

the stall conveter will give you instant gratification on the low end, but be forwarned... you will need a tune to add the stall... Most guys will buy a handheld to get started... I did... then sell it, once they find out how limited the handhelds are to gaining power.. I did...

I would still do exhaust, coupled with stall and tune with HP Tuners.... enough people have it now within these forums that you can work your way through it... that will fix low end torque issues... btw, since no one else mentioned it, get a good tranny cooler with that stall and add the 4L60E-HD2 shift kit and at least a vette servo, if not Billet servo's.. Mo has a pretty good price on her's right now in the for sale section.... that combination should set you up pretty well for any furture power mods.....

Hope this helps...
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« Reply #12 on: 01/08/07 02:58 AM »



When most talk of induction we are talking superchargers and turbos and such.  Now we are talking big bucks and for the most part in my opinion, unless you plan on racing or towing or you have ego issues then you really dont need one.  And like air intakes almost all of these super power adders dont really come to life unless you make significant other changes and more money to your engine system.  You see claimes of 50% increases but if you read the small print expect only a 25%-30% out of this same supercharger in a stock form.  Thats unless you change spark plugs, fuel intakes and larger throttle body above exhaust and computer programming.




No offense but that entire statement is false... every single word....

Most guys with blowers on these forums, including me, have added turbos or superchargers to stock motors... no cam, no heads, no intakes, etc... stock motors with dual exhaust and CAI's... and for as for your % gains... a stock 5.3L Avalanche dyno's between 235-245hp to the rear wheels from the factory. The motor is rated at 295 hp, but due to tuning and drivetrain losses you see about 240 ponies on the ground.... a typical stock blower will put you in the 380 - 400 rwhp range.... no additional parts needed... except a $25 set of TR6's.....

A stock supercharger, whether it be a Radix, Vortech, Procharger, Whipple, etc.. comes with everything needed to run the blower in stock trim... my Vortech came with larger injectors and tune... I installed the blower on my stock motor with a cheap Flowmaster exhaust system and Volant CAI that had been installed previously.....

My dyno sheet showed an improvement from 235 rwhp to 383 rwhp with the standard Superchips tune that came with the blower kit.... With additional tuning and an $80.00 pulley, the final dyno was 403 rwhp... that was on a stock motor and tranny with just the blower addition..... I have run 15 months with that blower and still maintain the stock drivetrain.... I recently added a head and cam package to get me above 500+ rwhp....and still run a stock drivetrain....

BTW, my blower was non-intercooled... it is the cheap one.... had I went with the intercooled setup, those numbers would have increased..... and my truck has never been on a dragstrip, as most of these guys will attest to.... so I guess that leaves me in the towing or ego group.... I probably fit both rather nicely...
« Last Edit: 01/08/07 03:01 AM by FlaBouy » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: 01/08/07 06:48 PM »

FlaBouy,  what Vortech model are you running.  I am unaware of any that TRULEY produce those 50%+ gaines without adding this or coupling it with that.

Plus my statement is to differentiate between the run of the mill K&N type INTAKES and the mechanical blowers/turbos/superchargers.  He is on a budget and I am sure you really cant find ANY blowers/turbos/superchargers that is going to fall into his $500 remainding budget.

I too though may fall in any of those groups, be it towing, racing or more than likely EGO Cool!.  As far as the items I listed, I too am on a budget and would more than likely limit myself to those items (that is untill my wallet lets me do otherwise ).
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« Reply #14 on: 01/09/07 05:26 AM »

FlaBouy,  what Vortech model are you running.  I am unaware of any that TRULEY produce those 50%+ gaines without adding this or coupling it with that.

Plus my statement is to differentiate between the run of the mill K&N type INTAKES and the mechanical blowers/turbos/superchargers.  He is on a budget and I am sure you really cant find ANY blowers/turbos/superchargers that is going to fall into his $500 remainding budget.

I too though may fall in any of those groups, be it towing, racing or more than likely EGO Cool!.  As far as the items I listed, I too am on a budget and would more than likely limit myself to those items (that is untill my wallet lets me do otherwise ).

Every single blower out there Vortech, Procharger, Radix, Whipple etc.. provides these results.... as documented on this board, performance trucks, LS1trucks, etc... again, I suggest you go do research on blowers before you pass invalid advice on what blowers are capable of.... I know of no one that does not see at least 370-380 rwhp with any type of blower on a 5.3L... it is simple math....

I did not indicate that your budget numbers were false... just your stated belief and subsequent false statements about the gains to be had with FI.... use the search button on the top of the thread...you will find all kinds of dyno sheets posted here and on all the other boards listed.... the other premise you stated about needing all kinds of support for a blower is false also... as I stated before, most people start out with blowers on stock motors and see these numbers... these are baseline, minimal levels to be expected with 6 to 7 psi of boost

The original poster did not bring up blowers.. you did.. and everything you said about them was false... no hating here...just correcting the facts

and so you don't have to search far....
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« Reply #15 on: 01/09/07 07:07 AM »

...just to add to what he said, that dyno pull was done with his stock blower pulley, cam heads, exhaust manifolds and the tune supplied by Vortech.


Yes, they do make that much difference.

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« Reply #16 on: 01/09/07 07:30 AM »

...just to add to what he said, that dyno pull was done with his stock blower pulley, cam heads, exhaust manifolds and the tune supplied by Vortech.


Yes, they do make that much difference.



To correct what is confusing about that statement in my mind.... stock blower pulley, stock heads, stock cam, stock exhaust manifolds, stock block, stock fan, stock torque converter, and crap tune supplied by Vortech.....

With crap tune and an $80.00 pulley you get this....
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« Reply #17 on: 01/09/07 07:35 AM »

and with your implied "extra" necessities..... and a crap tune.. and 93* heat.....

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« Reply #18 on: 01/09/07 07:52 AM »

Sorry for the rant... not intended to be harsh.... I sometimes get frustrated with misconceptions that are presented as fact... I have spent the better part of 15 months building power in this truck as well as working on the suspension and stance.... Probably have spent more money than I should have, but, in the end I enjoy this thing every day, which is what counts....

What I am trying to convey here, is for the greatest impact to the rear wheels, the exhaust and CAI route will not cut the mustard.  There are very few things you can do on a limited budget to move this 6000# shoebox off the line.... the only way you will "feel" power from this pig is by old school increased compression (heads, cam, rockers, exhaust, stall, etc) or by FI.... both routes are expensive to the tune of about 3 grand on up.... I know guys with 3 or 4 thousand dollars in their setup turning 13.5 second 1/4 mile passes in these trucks... I know others with substantially more, who are running substantially faster..... it takes money.... but money can easily be wasted with bad advice....

So I apologize if this came off harsh... just hate to see people trying to learn spending money on bad advice.... Wave
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« Reply #19 on: 01/09/07 11:07 AM »

Sorry for the rant... not intended to be harsh.... I sometimes get frustrated with misconceptions that are presented as fact... I have spent the better part of 15 months building power in this truck as well as working on the suspension and stance.... Probably have spent more money than I should have, but, in the end I enjoy this thing every day, which is what counts....

What I am trying to convey here, is for the greatest impact to the rear wheels, the exhaust and CAI route will not cut the mustard.  There are very few things you can do on a limited budget to move this 6000# shoebox off the line.... the only way you will "feel" power from this pig is by old school increased compression (heads, cam, rockers, exhaust, stall, etc) or by FI.... both routes are expensive to the tune of about 3 grand on up.... I know guys with 3 or 4 thousand dollars in their setup turning 13.5 second 1/4 mile passes in these trucks... I know others with substantially more, who are running substantially faster..... it takes money.... but money can easily be wasted with bad advice....

So I apologize if this came off harsh... just hate to see people trying to learn spending money on bad advice.... Wave

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« Reply #20 on: 01/09/07 12:07 PM »

I know guys with 3 or 4 thousand dollars in their setup turning 13.5 second 1/4 mile passes in these trucks...

Hey THATS me Wave
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I have nothing to add.............................................. ........

What he said
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« Reply #21 on: 01/09/07 01:56 PM »

Yeah whatever, anybody can photoshop thier own dyno sheets!   Just kidding

Wow those are impressive #'s.  My wallet feels lighter already as my EGO tends to get the best of me at times.  My statments referring to these mechanical devices was based on helping friends back in the day (I never had the $$ so my 86 Iroc never got that far).  unlike our newer vehicles and the computers they posess we did have to do new ignitions, cams, and such that we spent an additional $1000 on top of the Paxton we put on my buddy's 90 chevy truck to get the 50% Paxton claimed.  I must admit though things have changed and I guess I am suck on past experiences from over 10 years ago.  Which I feel is kinda dumb on my part, so I guess I should say sorry.

Just for note he did mention an INDUCTION SYSTEM, which I have never thought of or been told of as anything different that something like blowers/turbos/superchargers.  But an intake beit an air intake or a manifold are rather different.

But back to todays tech.  WOW 400+ ponies.   What would you suggest?  Keep in mind I have an 07 and am not up to date as to what changes have been made compared to yours.
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« Reply #22 on: 01/09/07 02:26 PM »

Yeah whatever, anybody can photoshop thier own dyno sheets!   Just kidding

Wow those are impressive #'s.  My wallet feels lighter already as my EGO tends to get the best of me at times.  My statments referring to these mechanical devices was based on helping friends back in the day (I never had the $$ so my 86 Iroc never got that far).  unlike our newer vehicles and the computers they posess we did have to do new ignitions, cams, and such that we spent an additional $1000 on top of the Paxton we put on my buddy's 90 chevy truck to get the 50% Paxton claimed.  I must admit though things have changed and I guess I am suck on past experiences from over 10 years ago.  Which I feel is kinda dumb on my part, so I guess I should say sorry.

Just for note he did mention an INDUCTION SYSTEM, which I have never thought of or been told of as anything different that something like blowers/turbos/superchargers.  But an intake beit an air intake or a manifold are rather different.

But back to todays tech.  WOW 400+ ponies.   What would you suggest?  Keep in mind I have an 07 and am not up to date as to what changes have been made compared to yours.

No need to apologize my friend...and many people refer to cold air boxes as "Cold Air Induction" systems... another one of those misnomers.... Wave

and if I were gonna photoshop dyno sheets, I think I would add about another hundred to the bottom line.... .......... it's an ego thing..... Big laughter with tears
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« Reply #23 on: 01/09/07 07:03 PM »

To correct what is confusing about that statement in my mind.... stock blower pulley, stock heads, stock cam, stock exhaust manifolds, stock block, stock fan, stock torque converter, and crap tune supplied by Vortech.....

With crap tune and an $80.00 pulley you get this....

Thanks for the clearing that up.  I typed that in a hurry to head out the door to meeting and this is the first time I've been able to get back on here.

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02 Z-71  Vortech supercharged 3.12 pulley 10psi, 212/218 .558/.563 comp cam, LS6 valve springs, SMC meth injection, 42# injectors, Flex-a-lite Efans, 3"body lift, 33 12.50-17 procomp AT, 17x9 procomp wheels, AVIC-N2 NAV, 4.56 gears, 2500 stall converter, transgo HD2 shift kit, Vette servos, 80mm BBK throttle body, Edelbrock headers, custom exhaust, Cold Fusion nitrous, and too many more mods to list.

Tuned with HPTuners
8.86@77.87mph in the 1/8th
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« Reply #24 on: 01/09/07 08:55 PM »

I'd have to agree with the others - a higher-stall torque converter would give you the most instant bang for the buck.

You could also go to lower gears like 4.10s if you don't already have them. They would provide a noticeable overall difference if you have 3.42s and even provide a noticeable off-the-line acceleration difference over 3.73s.
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2002 LPM Z71 - Magnacharger w/3" pulley, TOG's headers, 216/224-.551/.551-115 cam/pushrods/dual springs/titanium retainers, built tranny, Yank TT2600 converter, 24K GVW Tru-Cool tranny cooler, Flex-A-Lites, ProCold intake, MSD wires & TR6 plugs, 20" Panther Juice 6's, 2.8" rear lowering springs, J&J Enterprises stainless grille, body-color taillight covers, custom metal rear step bumper. Self-tuned with HP Tuners software.

Daily driver: 2013 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5i w/Special Appearance Pkg
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