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Discussion Starter #1
The LS3 is rated in the 420's for horsepower. We all assume that this number is underated for insurance purposes.

I am not that much of a grease monkey, but I know what I want - a car with 500 hp at the wheels. I am looking for advice on how to get there, and get there smartly with some $$ left to pay for the munchkin's college (in 15 years). I am looking for any/all suggestions.

Note - Mods, if this is not the right section, feel free to place it accordingly!

Thanks in Advance!
 

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Cam, heads, headers/exhaust, intake, Throttlebody. You could probably get there, but I'd expect that a Cam set would be $300+, heads are going to be a K or two, headers probably about $800, intake probably about $500, and a throttle body will be a few hundred and of course, a custom tune ($450 or so). Of course, then you'll have to pay labor if you're not going to do it yourself (best to do the cam, heads, and intake all at once).
 

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Nicly said DEVRYN

As you stated, I too believe the LS3 is under-rated for insurance, like many many cars and trucks.

Now to get power and save money.....DO IT RIGHT. Just dont add on anything. You may damage something, or you may not, but why take the chance of wasting your money. there are pleanty of great performance shops or weekend hot rodders that work at dealerships that can help. My advice is......

1. CAM and Lifters is first!!!
2. getting air into the motor..CAI, heads, ect.
3. getting air out of the motor...headers, aftermarket exhaust
4. Tune it.

I am not saying you will get 500 to the rear end. But it may be less expensive than Turbo or supercharger, then again, it may not. Its your preference and choice. I dont like the sound of a supercharger or turbo, I like normal asperation with a big cam.

Just my opinion.

Hope you get lost of feedback cause I want to know too!!
 

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Easiest and most reliable way to do so will be a Maggie. Not exactly cheap, but nothing is really when it comes with this motor. It's a simple bolt on, not need to tear up the engine and worry about parts compatibility and tuning the heck out of it. Just slap it on and enjoy.

A h/c/i bolt-ons setup *might* be cheaper, but how it drives depends greatly on the specs of the stuff you pick, and it will be much more of a process to put together the setup safely and getting your power goal.
 

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I would wait to boost it until you know how well the bottoms are going to hold out. I'm sure there's someone on corvette forum that has boosted a LS3 Vette, but I would wait until someone has 25K+ trouble free miles on the LS3 before I chose to boost.
 

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I'd say a good cam, headers and tune should put you there or very close without heads. With the cam you will need springs and push rods. The lifters aren't that big of an issue stock LS7's should do fine though if you want, at less than 200$. The cam kit will be close to a grand. My cam kit (cam/dual springs/hardened seats/seals and titanium retainers) was right at 900 something. Cams alone generally run about 370ish for LS engines. Headers probably around $450-500 the market settles, right now they are high (based on G8 prices). Tune around $500. If I am not mistaken most can C6's put close to 450 to the wheels with just headers/CAI/ and tune. Vengence advertises a cam that produces up to 485 RWHP without heads. Add heads and 500 easy NA. There lies the money though. LS3 heads will outflow LS1 (cathedral port) AFR heads. So plan at least 1500 to 2500. The LS3 intake should be able to handle 500 RWHP so I would spend the money elsewhere.

Of course you could always spray it to 500 RWHP cheap too.
 

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I totally agree with Devryn and Slims.

You could drop around $5000 on the car and I think you would be right where you would need to be.

Whatever you do on the intake side, definitely needs to be done on the exhaust side at the same time.

The way the LS engines respond to the smallest of modifications will really help get you there.

A small step in cam profile, intake, throttle body will really unleash the power that is just sitting on the table.

A new full exhaust will compliment that and be a definite as stated above.

If this does not get you where you need to be, then heads.

Then again, why not add head while you have the top end off! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I totally agree with Devryn and Slims.

You could drop around $5000 on the car and I think you would be right where you would need to be.

Whatever you do on the intake side, definitely needs to be done on the exhaust side at the same time.

The way the LS engines respond to the smallest of modifications will really help get you there.

A small step in cam profile, intake, throttle body will really unleash the power that is just sitting on the table.

A new full exhaust will compliment that and be a definite as stated above.

If this does not get you where you need to be, then heads.

Then again, why not add head while you have the top end off! :)
5 Grand will not break the bank!

Any specific suggestions as to brands?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd say a good cam, headers and tune should put you there or very close without heads. With the cam you will need springs and push rods. The lifters aren't that big of an issue stock LS7's should do fine though if you want, at less than 200$. The cam kit will be close to a grand. My cam kit (cam/dual springs/hardened seats/seals and titanium retainers) was right at 900 something. Cams alone generally run about 370ish for LS engines. Headers probably around $450-500 the market settles, right now they are high (based on G8 prices). Tune around $500. If I am not mistaken most can C6's put close to 450 to the wheels with just headers/CAI/ and tune. Vengence advertises a cam that produces up to 485 RWHP without heads. Add heads and 500 easy NA. There lies the money though. LS3 heads will outflow LS1 (cathedral port) AFR heads. So plan at least 1500 to 2500. The LS3 intake should be able to handle 500 RWHP so I would spend the money elsewhere.

Of course you could always spray it to 500 RWHP cheap too.
I am a little leery about the spray. I am not sure I have the budget to keep the bottle filled! :lol:

What brand cam (and kit) did you use? I want to spend the $$ the right way - once, not multiple times!

Thanks and keep the suggestions coming!
 

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Air FLow Research for Heads
I like flowmaster exhaust but a ton of people will go with BORLA.

I am sure the big suppliers for the LS engines will continue to develop products as with the past.

FAST made some good products.
 

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I got a texas speed "shelf" grind, the Magic stick 3. It's a big one. But as with most shops the cams are Competition Cams Brand. Many people prefer custom grinds based on the car's specifics. But that requires someone who knows cam dynamics much better than I do. AFR's are excellent heads.
 

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How are the SB2/LS AFR Heads?

I know the SBC Heads my Brother had on his 383 were amazing!
 

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whoa, whoa, whoa. why do people post when they don't know what they are talking about???

AFR does not make LS3 heads!!! AFR makes LS1/2 heads, swapping to that would be a waste of money. There is also NO aftermarket LS3 intake. There really isn't any need for one at this point anyway. You can have your stock intake ported for about $250. Also, DON'T buy an off the shelf LS1/2 cam. the LS3 heads are completely different and should get their own grind.

You also dont' have to do everything at once.

a more reasonable order would be...

CAI/ported TB
Under drive pulley
Headers/exhaust.
cam/pushrods
heads
ported intake

DO NOT do the cam first. that would be a nightmare. you also will not need lifters. stock LS3 lifters are just fine. Doing the heads and cam at the same time is also an option. Heads are by far the most money and most labor intensive. You may not even want to port them. I'm sure you'd be happy with the ~475rwhp you'd get without them. On a street car that is going to be plenty.

I would find a shop that will do a tune initially and then check it for proper a/f after each mod.
 

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whoa, whoa, whoa. why do people post when they don't know what they are talking about???

AFR does not make LS3 heads!!! AFR makes LS1/2 heads, swapping to that would be a waste of money. There is also NO aftermarket LS3 intake. There really isn't any need for one at this point anyway. You can have your stock intake ported for about $250. Also, DON'T buy an off the shelf LS1/2 cam. the LS3 heads are completely different and should get their own grind.

You also dont' have to do everything at once.

a more reasonable order would be...

CAI/ported TB
Under drive pulley
Headers/exhaust.
cam/pushrods
heads
ported intake

DO NOT do the cam first. that would be a nightmare. you also will not need lifters. stock LS3 lifters are just fine. Doing the heads and cam at the same time is also an option. Heads are by far the most money and most labor intensive. You may not even want to port them. I'm sure you'd be happy with the ~475rwhp you'd get without them. On a street car that is going to be plenty.

I would find a shop that will do a tune initially and then check it for proper a/f after each mod.
We are bench racing and talking about future offerings.

Thanks for reading.:rolleyes:
 

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Yeah, what he said.

Whatcha got on my 40 homey?

How you like me now?

Jonz, you are going to need two more legs on that horse to out run me......
 

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The LS3 is rated in the 420's for horsepower. We all assume that this number is underated for insurance purposes.

I am not that much of a grease monkey, but I know what I want - a car with 500 hp at the wheels. I am looking for advice on how to get there, and get there smartly with some $$ left to pay for the munchkin's college (in 15 years). I am looking for any/all suggestions.

Note - Mods, if this is not the right section, feel free to place it accordingly!

Thanks in Advance!
Ask yourself this question first.

-Is this a daily driver?
-NA, FI or Spray? NA is the most difficult and will be the least streetable. FI streetable, but gonna give you issues with climate change. Spray is a piece of cake.
-NA is gonna be the most expensive way to go. You're not gonna see headers of any type cheap for the first few years, same with CAT backs. IF production numbers go way up then parts pricing will fall, if not then everything Camaro specific will remain expensive.

Enjoy you modding and don't forget you really should be doing brakes and suspension work along with increasing your HP/TQ numbers. Also, you will need to account for breakage and forget about your warranty.
 
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