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A few readers have been upset over my reservations of claimed Hp gains of their aftermarket parts. I would recommend not trusting the aftermarket company completely on their claims and actually taking your Sky to a dyno center before and after to show realistic gains. Some companies might be showing best-case results.

From second-hand experience through posted dyno charts I've discovered generally optimistic gains than actual, perhaps due to less-than ideal conditions before the aftermarket product is installed, and ideal conditions afterwards.

A popular modification, it seems, is the rather cool-looking conical oil-based dual-air-filter setup for a rather unusually expensive $500 with rumored 10 or 20Hp gains. I would urge everyone who installed this to actually go to a nearby dyno center and find out what actual gains were obtained by your OWN vehicle. By doing this we can better educate potential aftermarket purchases and seperate the chaff from the wheat in a world of Snake Oil salesmen.

Dyno centers generally charge $50 to $75 for several test-runs, and the printouts can be scanned and even framed, and shows what combination of parts are beneficial. Some combinations might yield poorer results, like long-tube headers in the 3000 to 4000 RPM range with a Ram Air system (some vehicles) or 3.5" exhaust pipes with muffler delete.

Please post your modifications with dyno-charts and once I finally get my Sky Redline I'll do the same. Thanks.
 

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A few readers have been upset over my reservations of claimed Hp gains of their aftermarket parts. I would recommend not trusting the aftermarket company completely on their claims and actually taking your Sky to a dyno center before and after to show realistic gains. Some companies might be showing best-case results.

From second-hand experience through posted dyno charts I've discovered generally optimistic gains than actual, perhaps due to less-than ideal conditions before the aftermarket product is installed, and ideal conditions afterwards.

A popular modification, it seems, is the rather cool-looking conical oil-based dual-air-filter setup for a rather unusually expensive $500 with rumored 10 or 20Hp gains. I would urge everyone who installed this to actually go to a nearby dyno center and find out what actual gains were obtained by your OWN vehicle. By doing this we can better educate potential aftermarket purchases and seperate the chaff from the wheat in a world of Snake Oil salesmen.

Dyno centers generally charge $50 to $75 for several test-runs, and the printouts can be scanned and even framed, and shows what combination of parts are beneficial. Some combinations might yield poorer results, like long-tube headers in the 3000 to 4000 RPM range with a Ram Air system (some vehicles) or 3.5" exhaust pipes with muffler delete.

Please post your modifications with dyno-charts and once I finally get my Sky Redline I'll do the same. Thanks.

I to have been sceptical of the CAI claims. I have a hard time believing anything from someone trying to make a buck from me. I intend to dyno my sky stock and then dyno after CAI install. I already had my CAI ordered but then someone decided to smash my passenger window so I had to cancel my order and divert the money to my deductible and possibly an alarm. (the dual cai is 400.00 not 500-- still to much but I think that much of their sales are based on how cool it looks)

anyway, hopefully I'll be able to get some extra $$ to run to the dyno. They are 100.00 for 3 pulls in my area.

but just an fyi for ya.... there are a few dynos posted over on the sol forum and it seems the average for a CAI is 2-3whp not 10 as advertised but I will let my own dyno results be the deciding factor for me. I am well aware that dyno results can be skewed about a million different ways.

If ya all want to send me 2.00 each, I could probably raise enough to get my dyno done this weekend!!! Is 2.00 to much to ask to see charts either supporting or disproving the claims of the products your spending your hard earned money on??? :jester:

(I have paypal :leaving: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice to see a fellow service member on the forum. Active duty or reserves? Active AF here with 13 years and some change. I'll keep sending the GPS signal if you keep poundin' the surf, how does that sound? [grin] That and never trust the Russians!

I suspected about a 5 to 10% increase as I have an LS1 Pontiac Firehawk and that's about what was gained with the RamAir setup. The Firehawk has a slightly better RamAir system than the lesser WS6 package of the TransAm. Stock T/A gets 5% less Hp than the WS6. Most cars also get about a 5% boost. On another thread, however, I've been growled-at by people choking-up $500 for the mod and using the aftermarket company's dyno chart as a comparison, some saying they get up to 20Hp!?!. I suggested that the charts may have been adjusted by not using the same conditions but a lot of more grumbling by the forum members so I requested a personal dyno reading.

It'd be great if you could set us up with one. I'll donate $5 via PayPal towards your test if you want!
 

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I suspected about a 5 to 10% increase as I have an LS1 Pontiac Firehawk and that's about what was gained with the RamAir setup. The Firehawk has a slightly better RamAir system than the lesser WS6 package of the TransAm. Stock T/A gets 5% less Hp than the WS6. Most cars also get about a 5% boost.
First you say (in another thread) that 10 HP gain from a CAI is an outrageous and totally dishonest claim. Now you say that most cars get about a 5% boost. By my calculator, a 5% boost is 8.85 HP... pretty much in line with what the CAI vendors are claiming.
 

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Nice to see a fellow service member on the forum. Active duty or reserves? Active AF here with 13 years and some change. I'll keep sending the GPS signal if you keep poundin' the surf, how does that sound? [grin] That and never trust the Russians!

I suspected about a 5 to 10% increase as I have an LS1 Pontiac Firehawk and that's about what was gained with the RamAir setup. The Firehawk has a slightly better RamAir system than the lesser WS6 package of the TransAm. Stock T/A gets 5% less Hp than the WS6. Most cars also get about a 5% boost. On another thread, however, I've been growled-at by people choking-up $500 for the mod and using the aftermarket company's dyno chart as a comparison, some saying they get up to 20Hp!?!. I suggested that the charts may have been adjusted by not using the same conditions but a lot of more grumbling by the forum members so I requested a personal dyno reading.

It'd be great if you could set us up with one. I'll donate $5 via PayPal towards your test if you want!
Ya, I've been following that thread... was keepin my mouth shut :D

one thing I have learned is that most (not all) of the people on the sky forum are very new to modding and just new to anything performance related. people here tend to know less about this sort of thing than the people over at the sol forum. You should check it out, lots of tech over there, lots of experience and even a few independent dynos and opinions from people who are very familiar with performance mods.

over here the big craze is adding CAI, over there its tuning and turbos. Kinda shows you the experience difference. anyway, now I'm probably gonna get flamed for this post, but oh well.

I have yet to see a dyno from over there that shows a 10hp increase from cai alone. I just looked at the results of one sol member and he pulled 3whp from a cai and that was with a tune. I'm not shooting down cai's, I'll be getting one, but first I have to get a new passenger window :banghead:

I was active 92-96, no more wave jumpin for me!


Semper Fi
 

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On another thread, however, I've been growled-at by people choking-up $500 for the mod and using the aftermarket company's dyno chart as a comparison, some saying they get up to 20Hp!?!.
I don't see anywhere on the other thread where anybody claimed a 20HP gain. I pointed out that on the vendors dyno chart, there is one point around 6500 RPM that shows an 18HP gain, but rest of the chart supports the vendors claim of 10HP gain at max power for the engine.

What people are growling at you about is your totally unsubstantiated claim that performance gains documented by vendors are somehow rigged and that their products are of next to no value. Called upon to back up your claims, all you can say is that your only experience is 2nd hand and raise the spectre of totally discredited products like Rocky Mountain Radar's "passive jammer" for one, and the Tornado air-intake system.

The best argument that the originator of the vendor bashing could come up with was:

"I think everyone missed the vendor's remarks: 'I can tell you from personal experience that while you may not notice the 10hp gain with our Fujita Intake, we have certainly noticed the improved throttle response when combined with the exhaust.' OK, so even a CAI vendor will admit that "feeling" a CAI by itself is extremely unlikely."

The point isn't whether or not the average driver can "feel" a 5-6% increase in HP, but whether or not the device actually delivers. So far, only the vendor has provided documentation. To reject it out of hand and publicly proclaim that it's fraudulent is not anyplace I'm prepared to go.
 

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Supporting the methodology.........

I concurr with the thought process going on here with you guys and 'airing' out the topic in general for those new to modifications. Before someone makes a modification, it's good to have an overall plan of where you are trying to go with the changes. The positive and the negative ramifications of the changes need to be understood on their own and then together as an integrated package. What are the trade offs? Comparison testing is fairly easy to understand but the test variables need to be well controlled to ensure accurate and consistant results. Comparing apples to oranges doesn't tell you much unless all your interested in is knowing that they are both round and will fit into your lunch bag. Thanks again for the discussion thread. :thumbs:

An Engineering Motto: In God we trust. All others bring accurate, reliable data.
 

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I have about three hours worth of free dyno time that I'll use after I finish dynoing my Grand Prix. That beast takes precedence in the whole Dyno thing (hoping for 400+ WHP...New compressor + heads should get me there) but if I have some time left over I'll throw my Sky on there and see how close it is to when Magnaflow tested it.
 

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I have about three hours worth of free dyno time that I'll use after I finish dynoing my Grand Prix. That beast takes precedence in the whole Dyno thing (hoping for 400+ WHP...New compressor + heads should get me there) but if I have some time left over I'll throw my Sky on there and see how close it is to when Magnaflow tested it.
I'll try and find those dyno results from the sol forum after work today. (if they're still up) and post the links over here. I saw them... noone got 10whp with just a cai.
 

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http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9339&highlight=intake+dyno

Post #28 shows dyno results after CAI & Exhaust. They are in post #1 too, but they are rotated, and are kinda hard to read.

This cannot be considered very scientific, as there is not a before and after, so it is possible that the dyno runs are in error. And, of course, they could be faked, as there was no "official" oversight of the testing.

That said, the results show a 20hp gain over the "generally accepted" (by the Sol community) stock WHP of 145hp.

Even assuming that the results are off by a significant margin, they do lend credence to the 10hp gain from the CAI. I'm not saying that they prove it, but it is an independent result that supports it.
 

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http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9339&highlight=intake+dyno

Post #28 shows dyno results after CAI & Exhaust. They are in post #1 too, but they are rotated, and are kinda hard to read.

This cannot be considered very scientific, as there is not a before and after, so it is possible that the dyno runs are in error. And, of course, they could be faked, as there was no "official" oversight of the testing.

That said, the results show a 20hp gain over the "generally accepted" (by the Sol community) stock WHP of 145hp.

Even assuming that the results are off by a significant margin, they do lend credence to the 10hp gain from the CAI. I'm not saying that they prove it, but it is an independent result that supports it.
I read that post long ago and pretty much left it out of the equation. If you read all the posts you will see that many question the claim of 20whp with cai/catback. Reason being that he was dyno'd on a Dynapack. You can't really compare the results of a dynapack dyno with any other dyno. The generally accepted dyno is the dynojet. Thats what I'll be using.

a dynapack measures with the wheels off the car. They bolt up the dyno to the hubs and measure it that way. A dynojet or mustang leave the wheels on as it sits on rollers which in most peoples opinion is much more "real world".

you are correct in saying that any of the results can be off due to operator error, humidity, temp... even 10 degrees in the temp of the room can make a big difference.

so theres always gonna be a little room for error but a dynopack is so different that one can't rely on those numbers for comparison unless the majority of people use a dynopack. I believe dynojets are what most people use if they can find one in their area. I'm open to the idea of leaving room for error (lets say, +-2-3whp) if was within that range, I would be satisfied.

if I dyno mine and it comes out to an +8whp with cai.... I will accept a vendors claim of 10. close enough.
but if I get 3 hp gain over 3 runs... then I'm gonna have to throw the BS flag. Thats to far off from 10 to account for.




also in the thread you posted---- and this is from a knowledgeable poster--

One thing to remember is that this infact is a axle dyno and does not take into consideration losses incurred with heavier wheels/tires and different rolling daimeters and contact patch. It also looks as if the dyno was running is inertia mode ... I don't see any load values plugged in or really even if GM has published the [email protected] numbers yet for the Sol.

Here is some good reading on this type of dyno: http://www.dynapack.com/dynapack.html

The DynaPack is a good tuning tool and shows excellent repeatability BUT because of its "wheels off" interface make its number hard to compare to any other dyno ... As I have show in another post the wheel and tire weight along can attribute to substantial chages in measured HP.

Here is the thread to entertain more details regarding just how much power is lost in wheels and tires:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/s...ead.php?t=9296

Now if that much is lost with adding 10-15 lbs / wheel .. imagine how much is gained but removing 45-55 lbs of wheel and tire ... Just something to think about...

Again .. congradulations on the dynos, I just wanted to put somethings into perspective for those who may not be as dyno literate.
 

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Let me add something else to USMC's post. You cannot take a dyno of a car after it has mods and draw any firm conclusions unless you have a "before" dyno.

Reason being is that from car to car and from dyno to dyno you'll get different numbers. The most accurate way of dynoing a car is to do a few runs before the mod and then a few runs after on the same day. If not on the same day, at least on days that have similar weather conditions and at the same dyno shop.

My car dynoed 145 to the wheels before the Magnaflow exhaust and 152 afterwards...a 7 hp gain over my stock configuration. Same dyno, same car, same day.

When I dyno again I'm going to dyno the car as it sits then after I make a couple modifications to it to see what the difference are...mainly a different air filter (GMPP CAI uses a paper...and very restrictive...filter) and ECM reflash...so I can see EXACTLY what I gained out of them.
 

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Let me add something else to USMC's post. You cannot take a dyno of a car after it has mods and draw any firm conclusions unless you have a "before" dyno.

Reason being is that from car to car and from dyno to dyno you'll get different numbers. The most accurate way of dynoing a car is to do a few runs before the mod and then a few runs after on the same day. If not on the same day, at least on days that have similar weather conditions and at the same dyno shop.

My car dynoed 145 to the wheels before the Magnaflow exhaust and 152 afterwards...a 7 hp gain over my stock configuration. Same dyno, same car, same day.

When I dyno again I'm going to dyno the car as it sits then after I make a couple modifications to it to see what the difference are...mainly a different air filter (GMPP CAI uses a paper...and very restrictive...filter) and ECM reflash...so I can see EXACTLY what I gained out of them.

:agree: I will be doing the same... base dyno.. install part... dyno again. probably the next day and at the same time of day to get the weather as close as it was the day before. Then when I do my next mod.... I will try to dyno on a day with similiar weather. All sounds a little fanatical but its the only way to get a true idea of what increases your gaining from your mods.

robo- was your dyno with just the exhaust or did you also have the CAI at that time?
 

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I've done a bit of searching, and found the post that I think you referred to from the Sol forum:

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=238247

You'll see that the first mod he did was ECM tune, but the rest should still give correct incremental values. Or not.

He got, incrementally, 1-2 whp from the CAI, and 2-3 whp from the exhaust. I guess I'll stop defending the published 10hp CAI gains, until there is more evidence.

Why do you dislike the Dynapak ? I've recently read the operational details of it and the Dynojet, and don't understand. I will agree that the Dynojet may more accurately simulate real world performance of the car, since it calculates hp from acceleration of a known mass, using the car's wheels and tires. But, if we are looking for changes in performance based on mods, the direct drive of the Dynapak has to be more accurate, or at least more precise, when measuring the performance of the engine. It directly measures torque and RPM, so hp can be directly calculated. No variations from tires or their pressures, or from the way the car is strapped to the machine.

Since we can't reliably compare data from different dynos, or different days, or different anything (yes, you taught me my lesson) isn't the most precise measurement of incremental changes what we should be looking for ?

By the way, thanks for opening my eyes about this, and giving me a whole new thing to think about.
 

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I've done a bit of searching, and found the post that I think you referred to from the Sol forum:

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=238247

You'll see that the first mod he did was ECM tune, but the rest should still give correct incremental values. Or not.

He got, incrementally, 1-2 whp from the CAI, and 2-3 whp from the exhaust. I guess I'll stop defending the published 10hp CAI gains, until there is more evidence.
Interesting... those numbers are AMAZINGLY LOW for a retune. I have corresponded with Vector Motorsports and they insist that with CAI, MagnaFlow muffler, Big Bore Throttle Body and Shorty Headers, their re-tune will put out around 220HP.
 

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Interesting... those numbers are AMAZINGLY LOW for a retune. I have corresponded with Vector Motorsports and they insist that with CAI, MagnaFlow muffler, Big Bore Throttle Body and Shorty Headers, their re-tune will put out around 220HP.
well the guy in the post says 211-216 with all those mods except the throttle body... so thats close. I'm not one to be "exact" with this sort of thing expecially when there are so many variables that we can argue about all day. to me 216... close enough to 220. I would be happy with that.

Remember, this is a "canned" tune. If you take your car in to get a custom tune, I'm sure you will be able to pull more out of it. The canned tune is easy for most and gives them what they want without having to worry about taking their car in to a custom tune shop.
 

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I've done a bit of searching, and found the post that I think you referred to from the Sol forum:

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=238247

You'll see that the first mod he did was ECM tune, but the rest should still give correct incremental values. Or not.

He got, incrementally, 1-2 whp from the CAI, and 2-3 whp from the exhaust. I guess I'll stop defending the published 10hp CAI gains, until there is more evidence.

Why do you dislike the Dynapak ? I've recently read the operational details of it and the Dynojet, and don't understand. I will agree that the Dynojet may more accurately simulate real world performance of the car, since it calculates hp from acceleration of a known mass, using the car's wheels and tires. But, if we are looking for changes in performance based on mods, the direct drive of the Dynapak has to be more accurate, or at least more precise, when measuring the performance of the engine. It directly measures torque and RPM, so hp can be directly calculated. No variations from tires or their pressures, or from the way the car is strapped to the machine.

Since we can't reliably compare data from different dynos, or different days, or different anything (yes, you taught me my lesson) isn't the most precise measurement of incremental changes what we should be looking for ?

By the way, thanks for opening my eyes about this, and giving me a whole new thing to think about.

I can't argue with that. I expect you are right as far as getting more accurate info, problem is.... that the majority of people (at least that I hang out with) don't use dynapack. So if you want to compare your output to others you kinda gotta use the same type of dyno to at least get rid of that variable. Otherwise you get people like the people on that thread stating that dynapacks ratings are to different to compare to a dynojets. I understand that mustang dynos are know to rate higher but have the ability to adjust the output to what a dynojet would be. so people will ask (if you use a mustang) "is that hp rating adjusted?" if you say no, then they know that your rating is inflated.

I guess there are pros and cons to each. I'm sticking with dynojet just because it seems to be the accepted standard and I want to conform so that I can compare my results with others as accurately as I can. And have others see my ratings on not doubt them because of the type of dyno I used.

I wish I had the money to try the 3 types of dynos with the same car on the same day just to see what variances I would get but not gonna do that...
well, unless my paypal idea works out :D

lets remind all our readers--- 2.00 from each of you, sent to my paypal... will help USMC get the dyno results you all desire!!! :jester:


forgot to add my disclaimer--
I am no way a professional mechanic, tuner or anything. Messing with cars has always just been a hobby but I do try to do my homework and research before spending my hard earned $$$. Just thought I'd throw that out there just in case I'm way off about anything.
 

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Interesting... those numbers are AMAZINGLY LOW for a retune. I have corresponded with Vector Motorsports and they insist that with CAI, MagnaFlow muffler, Big Bore Throttle Body and Shorty Headers, their re-tune will put out around 220HP.
I just re-read--- he meant 220 at the flywheel, not at the wheels.
 

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Interesting... those numbers are AMAZINGLY LOW for a retune. I have corresponded with Vector Motorsports and they insist that with CAI, MagnaFlow muffler, Big Bore Throttle Body and Shorty Headers, their re-tune will put out around 220HP.
There's something else to consider too...and this is why a dyno reading from someone else is ONLY good to you IF you're going to do the EXACT same mods...

Different mods will give you different numbers when combined with different mods. For instance, USMC asked me if my dyno run was with or without the CAI. That run was just the exhaust with stock intake. Now, Magnaflow did do a dyno run with the new exhaust and CAI...guess what...I LOST 4 HP!!!!!!! That's right, Magnaflow exhaust with the GMPP CAI only gained me 3 hp!!!!!!

Now, I'm chaulking it up to their poor filter and hence why I'm mentioning that I'm giong to switch out that filter with a nice K&N job then go dyno the car before the K&N and after the K&N.

So if you put on a CAI and get 7 hp out of it then put on a Cat Back and the hp only goes up by 3 that doesn't necessarily mean that a Cat Back on it's own will only give you 3 hp...maybe it will also give you 7 by itself and then if you add the CAI you get 3 more. LOL I know, like it wasn't confusing enough. This is why you need to do a dyno run before you do your next round of modification and then another one afterwards.

BUT, THERE'S MORE!!!

Your tune will also affect what you get out of your other modifications. I've seen cars free up six-tenths at the dragstrip (which is a huge gain for those that don't know) just from adjusting their tune to their modifications. It's something this community is just starting to get into but there is a lot of power to be had from tunning as Vector's ECM upgrade has proven...and that's just a canned tune...a custom tune will yeild even better results. But going back to our example of the CAI and Exhaust combo that netted a total gain of 10 hp...you could then retune the ECM to take advantage of those upgrades and now you may gain another 4-5 hp over stock.

Remember, no one part of your entire powertrain works alone. It must work in conjuction with the other parts and more often than not a change in one area will affect many other areas of your powertrain. This is why tunning will become more and more important as the aftermarket for the Kappa platform grows.
 
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