Need a little more guidance to achieve my goals - ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts
V8 Engine Discussion 6.2L LS3/L99 V8 | Exhaust | Ignition | Induction | Intakes

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-22-2016, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need a little more guidance to achieve my goals

Hello,

Just wanted to say - great forum here. Loads of good info which is what I like to see! I'm taking a different approach and I am looking into modifications before purchasing the vehicle; I want to hit the ground running so to speak and have all my research started / completed. In 2 weeks, I'll be looking to pick up a 2012 45th Anniversary edition A6 V8 w/ 19K miles on the clock. My plans for the vehicle are for it to be a daily driver (for now, due to change within a year) but make some runs at the strip. My goal is to reach about 425-500rwhp (if possible w/ the auto). I have NO interest in going FI. Keeping that in mind, I have composed the following list of modifications that I look to do to the vehicle:

1 7/8 Kooks Long tube headers w/ HF cats
SLP under-drive pulley
3600 Triple disk converter by Triple-D (need to know cam specs first)
Cold Air Intake (not disclosing, I have read how you all can get when disagreeing about these)
Ported Vmax TB for the L99
3.91 Gearing (this is what I have read as the "best" for the L99...please advise if I have misunderstood or it has changed)
ADM Transmission cooler
Cat Back Exhaust (undecided, whatever hooks up best with Kooks if that is known - please advise)
Ported Intake Mani (would do this later on and I have seen people go back and forth over it but figure if I did it after all performance mods it really couldnt hurt...right?)
Tune - down on the list but I understand the importance. I've read dyno tunes are the way to go hands down. If not, seems the Diablo Predator might be a good backup for receiving custom tunes? Please advise. I live in
Maryland so if anyone knows any tuners that are familiar with our emissions standards (PLAGUED me with my last car) in / around me and can deliver a good tune while allowing me to pass emissions I am all
ears. If not, who can I look to in order to have custom tunes sent to me; and if this is my only option could you provide recommendations and hand helds I should consider?

Where I really need help is in regards to the cam, oil pump, and suspension. I have seen information stretching across 6 years and a multitude of information. I need what is current and best suits my wants...

Cam: I've read both arguments that swapping heads is a must and that you should leave them alone and the L99 is more than capable. What would be my best course of action given what my end goals for the vehicle are?
: If a L99/LS3 conversion is needed - what all do I need to look into replacing? I have seen Vengeance (Night fury?) and TSP VVT delete with the 231/236 recommended.
: Those who have said a conversion is NOT needed have said the ADM Stage 2, TexasSpeed, or MastMotorSport with the 3600 Trans. cooler is all that is needed for an effective cam.

Oil Pump: What brand would you all recommend? Is there a ZL1 model that can be popped in? Whatever is best because I have limited info regarding this.

Suspension: I need a little guidance here. DD/drag what would be my best option? - Looking for what helps with better hook-up but allows the car to be handled for DD activities, not going through hairpins at 95 MPH...
: I've looked into strut towers as well as sway bars
:Strut towers: I've narrowed it down to the ZL1 or the BMR 4-point. Which would you all recommend keeping my goals in mind?
:Sway Bars: I've seen it mentioned that these aren't wanted if you are going to be dragging the vehicle since it messes with the hook-up...Need some opinions on this.

I apologize for the wall of text but I wanted to provide as much information as possible as well as what has been asked in past posts in regards to these questions in regards to cams. Appreciate any and all input!
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-24-2016, 10:34 AM
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I'll try to advise you as best as possible.

For a cai, literally they all will be pretty good especially once other mods are introduced. Everyone pretty much has their own personal favorite. So I would suggest sticking with the top brand. Good brands include Airaid, JLT, Roto-Fab, CAI, Vararam, and several other. I personally chose Vararam because it (and New Era) are the only ones for the 10-12 that offer and over the radiator ram-air style intake. But again, others have chosen differently based on their preferences.

As for IM porting, I chose BER (Bare Essentials Racing) because at the time they were the only company that sent in a ported IM to be tested against a FAST IM. Their results were pretty close to the FAST. Since then, in these past few years, other companies have dyno tested their ported IMs. And they're all close enough in gains. If money is no object then go with the FAST. A ported TB will give you a good boost so that is a good choice.

A tune is def important and you'll want to get one as soon as you go with either a ported IM or LT headers. There are lots of great custom tuners who remote tune. I use Diablew and have used them for a while now. A custom tune as far as I'm concerned is more important than a dyno tune. Mainly because with a custom tune you have to datalog the car while driving it on the street. This is real world tuning vs being tuned on rollers. On the street you are using the engine to propel the full body weight of a vehicle and tuning it accordingly. A dyno uses calculations but it will never be as spot on as road tuning. So keep that in mind. A dyno tune has the pros of being conducted in a more controlled environment. Plus you don't have to risk flying up the road at high speeds to get enough data for a tuner...however fun it may be, lol!! There are lots of options. I would say that a dyno tune is only necessary when a cam or maybe even forced induction is introduced.

Speaking of cams, this is the only thing where I'll assert my choice and beliefs, lol!! Do not get a cam. I have been in the car game for a long time and have followed (and own) all kinds of performance oriented vehicles. If you ask me, the 5th Gen Camaro SS has more engine failures due to a cam swap than any other car I have come across. Seriously. I would strongly suggest keeping the stock cam. If you do get one, then make sure it is a mild cam. Not a moderate and definitely not an aggressive one. Make sure you upgrade everything needed (lifters, springs, trunions, oil pump, etc) and do not skimp out on any parts. It will be costly. And the gains might not be worth the price. You might be looking at about $4000 after all is said and done. And you might pick up about 30 hp. But trust me, safe is the best way to go. Because a blown engine will end up costing way more. Again, I would suggest leaving the stock cam in.

A better alternative is forced induction. You said you are not planning to go that route so I won't harp on it. But if you change your mind then we can discuss that as well.

For suspension you are right on the money. I would start with a strut tower brace and a sway bar for now. And then you can always do more. Or that might be enough for you. Make that your first step and we'll go from there.

Other little things out there can help your performance goals. I would say for now to do it piece by piece instead of buying all these parts and then throwing them on once you get the car. Buy the car first, drive it for at least a week (or less if you have the itch, lol), and then start upgrading and seeing how it responds to each addition. If you're planning to keep the car for a while then there really is no need to rush. I feel that it is better to see how it responds to each individual mod than to throw everything at it at once. Start off with simple boltons...sway bar, strut tower brace, maybe some DRs, cai, catback, tune, etc. Work your way up. Plus those are all things that you can do yourself with hand tools.

Hopefully I've been of some help. Feel free to reply back and I'll help you out with your choices based on what direction you want to go.

2017 Camaro ZL-1 A10

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi 5.7 - Tuned!!

Proud to be the March 2013 Member Of The Month!
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-25-2016, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response! Was about to post in another forum since this appeared a dead thread before it started . Suspension mods would be the first thing I take care of. I always regretted going the performance route first with my last car. Is it safe to say BMR is a good choice in brand? What about the ZL1 products?

For the cold air intake I am debating between CAI and Vararam. They seem to be the two most popular and I like the way CAI's product looks. That being said, I saw one member (can't remember their name so I apologize for not being able to give credit) who took the Vararam, sanded it then painted satin black for a great stock finish. At this point I am leaning more towards Vararam.

The intake mani I would probably do later. Seen some people saying you wouldn't notice anything until higher HP numbers are achieved. What was your experience? What kind of gains are we looking at?

As for tuning, I'm really unsure how it all works...Do you just get a hand held, log data, send data to tuner, they make a tune, send back, upload and done? I see in you sig you have the predator system. Did you send data to Diablew then they sent the custom tune back? This is an area I am really in the dark on. I also live in MD which can be a PITA state when it comes to emissions. I've seen you mention in previous posts about the ECU status remaining ready for emissions testing. Which tuners would you recommend in order for me to avoid running my car into emissions every two months due to it failing over and over?

Lastly cams....I've done a ton of research and found the thread where people posted their Cam, mileage, brand, upgrades, etc and that kind of put the first bit of doubt. A mild cam would be the ONLY route I would take. At the same time, If I did it I would upgrade everything just to be safe. I saw TSP offered a full replacement and I reached out in an email to see what that all included. I'd really like to keep my VVT rather than doing an LS3 swap. I believe TSP offers that as well as GPI's SS1. Both seem to be VVT / L99 cams that work the best without a lot of failures noted like Comp cams. Could be just more people had that brand and didn't upgrade but I don't recall seeing any TSP or GPI failures and people seem to love them. I found .660 BMR springs in steel and titanium - I'm assuming titanium is the route to go here? I'm trying to make a complete list so does BMR make lifters and trunions as well? For the oil pump, I have seen so much back and forth about this it isn't funny. A member posted the breakdown of each pump Melling makes and basically stated that the L99 pump is more than good enough to handle what I'm looking to do. Is that still fact or is the high volume (velocity?) the way to go here? Thanks for taking the time to respond, It is much appreciated!
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-28-2016, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb5190 View Post
Thank you for the response! Was about to post in another forum since this appeared a dead thread before it started . Suspension mods would be the first thing I take care of. I always regretted going the performance route first with my last car. Is it safe to say BMR is a good choice in brand? What about the ZL1 products?

For the cold air intake I am debating between CAI and Vararam. They seem to be the two most popular and I like the way CAI's product looks. That being said, I saw one member (can't remember their name so I apologize for not being able to give credit) who took the Vararam, sanded it then painted satin black for a great stock finish. At this point I am leaning more towards Vararam.

The intake mani I would probably do later. Seen some people saying you wouldn't notice anything until higher HP numbers are achieved. What was your experience? What kind of gains are we looking at?

As for tuning, I'm really unsure how it all works...Do you just get a hand held, log data, send data to tuner, they make a tune, send back, upload and done? I see in you sig you have the predator system. Did you send data to Diablew then they sent the custom tune back? This is an area I am really in the dark on. I also live in MD which can be a PITA state when it comes to emissions. I've seen you mention in previous posts about the ECU status remaining ready for emissions testing. Which tuners would you recommend in order for me to avoid running my car into emissions every two months due to it failing over and over?

Lastly cams....I've done a ton of research and found the thread where people posted their Cam, mileage, brand, upgrades, etc and that kind of put the first bit of doubt. A mild cam would be the ONLY route I would take. At the same time, If I did it I would upgrade everything just to be safe. I saw TSP offered a full replacement and I reached out in an email to see what that all included. I'd really like to keep my VVT rather than doing an LS3 swap. I believe TSP offers that as well as GPI's SS1. Both seem to be VVT / L99 cams that work the best without a lot of failures noted like Comp cams. Could be just more people had that brand and didn't upgrade but I don't recall seeing any TSP or GPI failures and people seem to love them. I found .660 BMR springs in steel and titanium - I'm assuming titanium is the route to go here? I'm trying to make a complete list so does BMR make lifters and trunions as well? For the oil pump, I have seen so much back and forth about this it isn't funny. A member posted the breakdown of each pump Melling makes and basically stated that the L99 pump is more than good enough to handle what I'm looking to do. Is that still fact or is the high volume (velocity?) the way to go here? Thanks for taking the time to respond, It is much appreciated!
Yea we don't get as much traffic thru here as other forums. But we still try. And we're hanging in there, lol!! So, yes BMR has great products. And you also can't go wrong with some of the other top companies out there. Suspension mods are important. But I gotta say, even the regular SS (without the 1LE stuff) does handle the power of the engine pretty good. I would say start off light and see where it takes you. I have not yet touched my suspension so that is pretty much all I got, lol, sorry.

CAI and Vararam are the top two I think. But there are a few other brands that make quality stuff. Like Roto-Fab and Airaid. I chose Vararam because of the "Ram Air" style intake. But you really can't go wrong with either of them. Just stay away from K&N and any open filter style. Get one that either has a box for the filter or a really really good seal so you don't suck up engine bay heat. Between CAI and Vararam, the pricing will be about the same. The non-tune Vararam might be cheaper.

The ported IM, yea you would need at least full bolt-ons to notice. But if you're planning on custom tunes, headers, and a cam, then go ahead and do it. I felt that mine gave me minimal differences on the bottom end but it pulled much harder at higher speeds. And I have seen dynos where the ported IMs were pretty much on par with the FAST which kinda made spending $900 on a FAST IM not worthwhile. So I would say that something like that can be done last or with headers. If you're planning to stay NA then a UDP would also give you a bit more power along with other mods.

With tunes, you simply contact your tuner and they'll tell you what to do. Most of them have tune files that are ready to go. So they'll send you a safe tune, you load it up, datalog, send them the file, and they revise it. Or some of them might have you datatlog first and then they'll write the tune. With Diablew, he had to write me a custom tune when I got headers. So there was no way I could datalog for him without an initial tune.So he sent me the initial tune and we went from there. His prices are really good. He uses Diablosport. It doesn't matter if you have the Predator or the InTune or the Trinity. All you're using it for is to load the tunes and datalog. So go for the cheapest one you can find, lol!!

With cams, again, I gotta say that even with a mild cam, the cost of it vs the gains is not really worthwhile. Mild is the safest way to go. But you're only getting maybe about 20-30 hp from that. And after all is said and done you will have spent at least $3000 for all parts, labor, and dyno tuning. If you're planning to stay NA then you'll reach a point where you'll have to do a cam to make more power. And ported or aftermarket heads. But if you have any doubt that you'll stay NA, if you think for a second that forced induction is in your future, then leave the stock cam in there. That is just my advice. I feel that an aggressive cam is way too risky and a mild cam is not worth the money. But if you're absolutely certain that you want a cam, then do a lot of research and talk to a few different shops. If it sounds sketchy or if you are skeptical, then don't go thru with it.

2017 Camaro ZL-1 A10

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi 5.7 - Tuned!!

Proud to be the March 2013 Member Of The Month!
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-02-2016, 09:53 AM
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Heads/cam/longtubes and tune will bring you over 500 whp if done correctly. Do NOT keep VVT to do this correctly.

Good advice from Chapel. NO handhelds for the tune!!
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