: The Vagon is breathing better



Xaqtly
04-08-13, 01:49 PM
Took the Vagon and my gf and her 2008 C6 Vette down to RPM motorsports in Santa Clarita this weekend. Her Vette already had headers and a full exhaust on it when she bought it, but I don't think it had been tuned and it was running rich. My V was stock, but I had bought an Airraid intake and a stage 1 pulley kit for it from Presence Distribution.

I knew we were in the right place when we got there, because I counted no less than 5 CTS-Vs and 6 Vettes in the shop and parked outside it. We spoke to the guys there, talked about what we wanted, and they said they'd have both cars done by end of day. We met up with friends and left them to it.

We got back around 5, both cars were done and they were just backing my Vagon off the dyno to take it on a shakedown run. When he got back he said everything was perfect, and we went inside to get the dyno sheet printouts and to pay.

The gf's Vette was running rich, and they were able to lean that out and add 12 more rwhp for a total of 412 at the wheels. The V baseline was 475 rwhp, and after the intake, 2.55 upper pulley and tune it's now making 540 rwhp and 530 rwtq. Also because of the intake, now it sound like a banshee that's been kicked in the nuts at wot. I love that s/c whine.

Thanks to Presence Distribution for their excellent stage 1 pulley kit, which also includes a 160 t-stat.
Thanks to RPM (http://rpm-motors-inc.com), who did an outstanding job in every aspect. The install is clean and very well done, the tune is fantastic and they knew to change the radiator fan settings to accommodate the t-stat too. You can see from the dyno chart below how good the tune is, and it really woke the car up. Getting on the throttle now is like punching a puma in the ass, the power delivery is better all across the rev range regardless of peak power.

The RPM guys really know what they're doing, all they do is Vette/CTS-V/LSx stuff. Highly recommended if you need a good shop. Look at that picnic bench torque curve I have now, and you can see how they fixed where it was running rich around 4k rpm, and smoothed out the curves. I'm real happy with their tune. The sheet is the stock baseline dyno pull overlaid by the finished tune with the pulley and intake installed.

http://xaqtly.com/ctsv/ctsvdyno.jpg

tinman
04-08-13, 02:48 PM
Nice. And the ride home had to be a hoot.

Xaqtly
04-08-13, 03:13 PM
Well it had been a long day and we just set the cruise control for the ride home, for the most part. 300 mile trip each way. But we did get to wind them out a bit a couple times, and there is a definite, noticeable difference in power delivery now. It feels energized, more responsive. It's really nice.

tinman
04-08-13, 03:30 PM
I'm sufficiently jealous. :yup:

1997BlackETC
04-08-13, 03:31 PM
Sounds good, but I just can't get myself to do something like this on my 2013 because of the warrantee.

RaVeNous
04-08-13, 03:57 PM
What was the total price range for the parts, install and tune (approximately)?

I'm still a little warranty shy at this point to do anything to my car, particularly because its my daily driver and 560 hp is just a crazy amount of power to begin with, but in a couple years if I get bored....maybe I can start putting some money away!

Xaqtly
04-08-13, 04:07 PM
Yeah that's a very valid concern. I've talked with my dealer's service manager about it, and he's said basically what they all say - they don't care about minor bolt-ons for the most part, but they won't cover anything engine-related if you've had a tune done. I've got 33k miles on mine now and I feel like at this point it's been long enough that if something else were going to go, it would have done it by now. So yeah it is a risk getting something like this done before the warranty is up, but I'm pretty confident that something this relatively minor is not going to cause any engine problems.

But I don't blame anybody who would want to wait, I mean I've had at least $20k worth of warranty stuff inc. labor done to my car already. This may end up coming back to bite me, but I really don't think it will at this point, with the miles I have on it now. The tune is excellent, it idles smoothly, there are no noticeable dips or surges in the powerband, it's like stock just better. So for me at least, it's worth the risk.

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What was the total price range for the parts, install and tune (approximately)?

It was about $600 in parts total, and $1000 for the tune and the labor for the installs. A good dyno tune is $400-$500 by itself, so it was roughly $500 for labor to put the intake and upper pulley (and thermostat) in. I believe it was $500 total for the gf's Vette, she just had a dyno tune done. Both cars included a baseline pull, the tune and the subsequent pulls to fine tune it.

It is kind of a tricky decision in terms of voiding your warranty, but as long as you're ok with that part I think it's totally worth it. Really wakes the car up.

neuronbob
04-08-13, 04:16 PM
neuronbob approves of this thread. :thumbsup:

Waiting for 15k miles to show up on the odo before modding. If my engine is going to blow up from being bad from the factory, it'll be long before then. 4k miles down, 11 more to go.

And tinman, get a V wagon already! ;) You know we'd welcome you on this side of the forum.

RaVeNous
04-08-13, 04:18 PM
That really is amazing from a cost vs gain benifit, of course assuming you don't blow up your transmission. If I may ask, PM me some of the warranty work you have had done, just so I can have a heads up on what to expect.

I'd be pretty happy with an intake and some exhaust work to just open the car up slightly and avoid warranty issues. I'd say I might risk the Diablo Trinity tunes, but it remains to be seen as to if they leave a trace or not, and from what I have seen in my own research, they do in an indirect sense if a dealer is required by GM to look deeper.....

tinman
04-08-13, 04:30 PM
neuronbob approves of this thread. :thumbsup:

Waiting for 15k miles to show up on the odo before modding. If my engine is going to blow up from being bad from the factory, it'll be long before then. 4k miles down, 11 more to go.

And tinman, get a V wagon already! ;) You know we'd welcome you on this side of the forum.

Thanks, I would love to. Sigh, I spent way too much money on a machine at work instead. No fun for the Tinman.

Xaqtly
04-08-13, 05:18 PM
I took some video when I went out to lunch about an hour ago. For people who have stock Vs, this is how the Airraid intake changes the sound. First pull is in the cabin with the windows closed. Second pull is with the windows and sunroof open.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86oLkxAoCLU

neuronbob
04-08-13, 05:22 PM
Absolutely sick. That sound is sweet. I would like to add that the smaller pulley ADDs to the supercharger whine. I have a KPE/Airaid intake and I get more SC whine, but not as much as you are getting with a smaller upper pulley.

pat2t2f
04-08-13, 05:42 PM
Does an intake and an exhaust alone add much power or does it just make the car sound better?
BTW, that car sounds great!!

Xaqtly
04-08-13, 07:05 PM
They add some power, the Airraid can add up to 25 HP, I don't think it added quite that much on mine, and if you just get an axle-back exhaust I don't think it adds much HP on its own. My next mod will probably be headers + x-pipe out to stock mufflers which I hope will add maybe another 25 or so, maybe 30.

pat2t2f
04-08-13, 07:47 PM
I don't want headers or anything else. The car is under warranty and I don't want any inspection issues. An intake and exhaust is all I'm looking for right now

yaymitch
04-08-13, 08:38 PM
Corsa exhaust and Airaid CAI video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIwuW1ovkW4

Jinx
04-08-13, 11:02 PM
Thanks for sharing, Xaqtly -- nice mod nicely done. That is a Serious Business sound :)

Xaqtly
04-09-13, 08:17 PM
I don't want headers or anything else. The car is under warranty and I don't want any inspection issues. An intake and exhaust is all I'm looking for right now


Corsa exhaust and Airaid CAI video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIwuW1ovkW4

Yep, so the only question is what kind of exhaust you want - the axle-back mufflers like the ones shown in the video only add 5-6 hp, but you can also get a catback system that includes high flow cats plus the x-pipe and mufflers like this. (http://www.stainlessworks.net/products/exhausts-catbacks/cadillac-cts-v-2009-11-exhaust-3-dual-turbo-system.html) That will get you more HP than the axle-backs, but you'll still have the stock headers.

pat2t2f
04-10-13, 08:30 AM
Thanks X. I will have to look into this.