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Old 11-13-2006, 06:41 PM   #1
hondaman
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A Hypothetical Situation

Ok, allow me to imagine for a minute...

Let's say that just for the thrill and enjoyment of the work and of the result that it would give me, I wanted to add a few horsepower to my LeSabre. (3800 Series II, 205 hp/230 tq.) However, I have a small budget because I want to save money for any unexpected repairs that may come up. So for right now, let's say my budget is $200, maybe $300 maximum.

I'm completely new to the area of car modification so all this might seem like common sense type stuff to some of you, but well...

My question is, for that amount of money what can I do to my car to increase horsepower? I have the basic amount of tools, no welders, or anything involved in metal work, but ratchet sets, blah blah etc., all that I do have.

The amount of work involved, the power gains, etc. would be helpful...

Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:29 PM   #2
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Assuming that you have allready done some extended maintanence on your car, as it is almost 10 years old, your best bet for the ammount of money you are willing to spend would be to buy K&N air filter. Go to an exhaust shop and they should be more than able to make you a cat-back exhaust for your vehicle. You could probably see as much as extra 8 ponies.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:19 PM   #3
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Great, thanks.

Yeah I've done some work on this car already. I'm still learning it's intricacies, but I probably know enough to install that K&N air filter. I'm assuming that will involve removing the current air filter box, and the end result will look like a cone? I've seen those before.

And a cat-back exhaust would be great, I didn't know they were that cheap. I've heard the 3.8 with a performance exhaust setup, they sound great. Question though, I've heard that sometimes after installing performance exhausts, trouble codes can be activated through the O2 sensor or some other exhaust-gas measurement. Will that occur with this setup?

8 horsepower is good, it's got enough to get me around well as it is but I'd be glad to have more.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:16 PM   #4
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Ok so, an update...

I went to a local exhaust shop, nice people. I got an estimate for a cat-back exhaust system for my car. This would consist of: stainless steel 2.75" pipes with a magnaflow flow-through muffler, and a stainless steel tip(s) of my choice. The total price he said would be between $225 and $250. I'm going to go ask more questions from him later, but is that a fair price? It didn't occur to me to ask whether that was dual or single tip. My current is single, and to save money I'd be willing to keep it that way. I may be able to get a student discount also, and maybe they'll do a payment plan. If so, I can get it done this Friday at that price, he said it would take about an hour and a half. If not, it'll probably be a bit later.

Anyway, do you all think that's a fair price? It's a bit more than my limit, but I'd be willing to work towards it.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaman
Ok so, an update...

I went to a local exhaust shop, nice people. I got an estimate for a cat-back exhaust system for my car. This would consist of: stainless steel 2.75" pipes with a magnaflow flow-through muffler, and a stainless steel tip(s) of my choice. The total price he said would be between $225 and $250. I'm going to go ask more questions from him later, but is that a fair price? It didn't occur to me to ask whether that was dual or single tip. My current is single, and to save money I'd be willing to keep it that way. I may be able to get a student discount also, and maybe they'll do a payment plan. If so, I can get it done this Friday at that price, he said it would take about an hour and a half. If not, it'll probably be a bit later.

Anyway, do you all think that's a fair price? It's a bit more than my limit, but I'd be willing to work towards it.
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That sounds like a more than fair price. I'm looking at catbacks for my car, and a Loudmouth catback is over $400 if I install it myself. As far as throwing codes, I don't know of any sensors that far back in the exhaust, but you should ask the exhaust shop. I'd limit the mods to the exhaust unless you plan to really spend some $ down the road. Like somebody said earlier, you're not going to gain a lot of power for the $, even with the K&N setup. An exhaust is always nice not only for the performance, but because a nice sounding engine makes day-to-day driving more fun. A K&N won't net you a huge seat-of-pants power gain, and will set you back $200-$300. It's a good idea if you plan on doing further modifications, but for somebody who has a limited bank account it doesn't make much sense to buy IMHO.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:04 PM   #6
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Awesome, thanks for the reply. In that case I'll plan on going with them to install my exhaust system. I can't wait, as you say just daily driving will be so much more exciting with it. I may even indulge myself and do it this Friday, even though it may stretch my funding a bit. We'll have to see...but either way I'm really liking this idea.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:01 AM   #7
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I could be wrong but for the catback alone no codes should be thrown. HOWEVER when you do full exhaust ie headers and a midpipe as well, with an off-road mid-pipe (no cats or 02 sensors) I believe this wuold throw some codes, there are ways to get the check engine light off I believe though. Of course you can get an aftermarket mid=pipe with cats, but whats the point really then? If you are going for all the little things going with an off-road mid-pipe would be most beneficial, but forget about emissions. Depends on many things. I have BBK long tube headers, off-road X-pipe and flowmasters on my car, sounds pretty nice. If I were ever doing an aftermarket mid-pipe though there would defn be no cats even high-flowing cats on it.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pythias
If I were ever doing an aftermarket mid-pipe though there would defn be no cats even high-flowing cats on it.
If you're still planning on getting an LS1, you may want to rethink the no-cats idea. LS1s can sound really raspy w/o out cats. It all depends on the application.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giant016
If you're still planning on getting an LS1, you may want to rethink the no-cats idea. LS1s can sound really raspy w/o out cats. It all depends on the application.

Thanks for the input but I kinda already have an exhaust planned out if it doesn't come with one. http://www.texas-speed.com/shop/item...d=196&catid=56 with the sweet thunder mufflers and of course long tubes
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:03 PM   #10
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Well, some new things.

I went back because I had a few more questions that I forgot to ask. For example, I wasn't sure if that quote was for a single or dual tip exhaust. Turns out it was for a dual, not wanting to have my bumper cut I was willing to go with a single tip, and also to save money, and they cut me a deal to $150! This is with the magnaflow muffler and the other components I mentioned earlier. So I am getting it done this Friday, I'll post an idling video after I've had a bit of fun driving around with the windows down.
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:16 PM   #11
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Weight reduction is always free. Break out the sawzall and get cuttin'.
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pythias
HOWEVER when you do full exhaust ie headers and a midpipe as well, with an off-road mid-pipe (no cats or 02 sensors) I believe this wuold throw some codes, there are ways to get the check engine light off I believe though.

Nay... Most aftermarket exhausts have the options for an o2 sesnor bung(dependant upon where its located). What would be the point of increasing performance if your fuel curve was thrown out of whack because of the lack of an o2 sensor reading?

Quote:
Weight reduction is always free. Break out the sawzall and get cuttin'.

Haha, in a Buick? You'd probably have better luck with a torch.
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:01 PM   #13
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Nay... Most aftermarket exhausts have the options for an o2 sesnor bung(dependant upon where its located). What would be the point of increasing performance if your fuel curve was thrown out of whack because of the lack of an o2 sensor reading?

Doesn't matter under WOT, doesn't read O2 sensors.
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSMer
Haha, in a Buick? You'd probably have better luck with a torch.
True, though this car is much lighter than I expected. It's not a featherweight by any means, but where I expected to find near 3700 lb heft I found only 3400 lbs.

This car has a lot of insulation.

EDIT: I may actually be getting the exhaust this afternoon. I don't know yet.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:55 PM   #15
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Doesn't matter under WOT, doesn't read O2 sensors.

And exactly how often are street cars driven under WOT? I think that bit of information is negligible for the time being.
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