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I just upgraded my 07 sky base to a 08 Sky Redline with 6k original miles. Looking to boost the performance but I am new to all this and not looking to completely go nuts or blow out my engine. I ordered the Turbo upgrade from GM and will have that installed next week. Was thinking of adding a REACT from Hypertech’s innovative throttle optimizer. And upgrading to a K&N High Flow panel air filter or possibly DDM Works cold air intake upgrade but I'm guessing that would be more cosmetic going from the K&N to the Air intake upgrade. Finally i was going to upgrade to the Ecotec High Flow CAT by SOLO Performance. I'm assuming I need to take it in to re tune everything once that is all done or is that done with the throttle optimizer? I know the turbo upgrade will switch me to premium fuel but not sure at that point if i should have it tuned. What are the thoughts from people who know far more than me. This is my first mod to a car and i want to keep this car for a long time investing into an 2008 with 6,000 miles. Just looking to sound good, and have an little extra pep in my step when I needed it without causing damage to the motor. Thoughts...…….Anything else i should be doing, anything I shouldn't be doing? Thanks
 

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The GM upgrade is a tune, the only physical alteration is higher-pressure MAP sensors.

I would skip the throttle optimizer.

Yes, the CAI is cosmetic (and sound increasing) only. Even the K&N element isn't significantly better than the stock filter.
 

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The car should be run on premium with or without the upgrade. The GMPP tune ( I assume you're having it done at a GM dealership and probably paying $900+) will allow for the added power when you add a HFC. However, if you added an aftermarket IC as well, then and only then, would I recommend a custom tune to get more out of it.

DO NOT drive the car if you put the MAP sensors in yourself without retuning the ECM!!!! You can blow your engine without a proper tune (tune is the air/fuel/etc program that lies within the ECM). The 3BAR sensors (actually 3.2BAR) will read past what the ECM is tuned for, so you should have also gotten a program to reflash the ECM with. IF you didn't, make sure to get a Trifecta or GMPP tune before driving the car after you put the 3BAR sensors in. Trifecta will ask you if you have the 3BAR sensors and a HFC. But, as I stated (I can't state it enough!!!) do not drive the car if you put the new MAP sensors in without a tune.

Stay away from any heavily "oiled" air filters (K&N) as oil will get all over your MAF and eventually cause you great pain. Light oil is okay, but will still cause issues down the road (our cars use a heated element in the MAF to determine airflow and the oil messes with that heated element).

No need for a throttle optimizer....just push the gas harder, it does the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok, trying to keep up with you guys. Sorry for being so green here. So if they are doing the tune at the dealership when installing the turbo upgrade (700 part, 266 labor) then should i install the High Flow CAT before i take it in so it would be tuned with that or would that matter if i installed that before or after? To clarify, the turbo upgrade from GM is as follows.
Product Details Part #19369111
  • Other Names: Power Upgrade K,
  • Description:
    For 2007-2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP, 2007-2009 Saturn Sky Redline, 2009-2010 HHR SS, 2008-2010 Cobalt SS. Increase horsepower up to 290 @ 5,200 rpm and torque up to 340lbs. Includes new calibration (flashed by your local dealer) and two new MAP sensors. Premium fuel required.
  • Manufacturer:
    This item is a Special Order Part. For parts availability questions please contact us at [email protected].
So this would address the MAP Sensors issues that were mentioned I'm assuming?
And your saying the air filter/ cold air intake upgrade will have no affect on anything with breathing better and performance?

Performance wise any other recommendation to get the biggest bang for my buck?
 

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The GMPP tune is a canned tune specific to your vin number as purchased as new. Adding performance parts prior or after will not change the values as installed by the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Should anything be tuned differently by adding a High Flow CAT or would i be fine with what they are tuning?
 

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Should anything be tuned differently by adding a High Flow CAT or would i be fine with what they are tuning?
I'll try to explain as best I can. A canned tune means that it's built for all cars in a specific group, not a specific individual vehicle. No add-ons will be realized in a canned tune, however, the GMPP tune does get rid of "learn-down" and its sets the parameters above what you would just get out of the GMPP tune. So while the ECM and engine won't get all of the hp it can from a HFC, it will allow some of it (5-20hp) and it won't matter if you install it before or after. If you want every single ounce of performance from mods, you must do the mods and then have a customer tune or dyno tune done. Mine is dyno tuned from ZZPerformance. I'm pushing just over 330bhp. Had I had an HFC and IC, I would have easily seen 360+bhp. But I had too much engine knock at the higher RPM because of heat soak.

Your CAI will give you very little noticable gains if any. It'll only give a major added gain with a bigger turbo or an e85 tune (which requires some major fuel system work).

One other side note, if the dealer is doing the MAP installation, please have them solder the wiring in unless they are using the adapter that crate engine sells. Crimping the wires together (plugs are different on the 3BAR) will only give you headaches down the road.
 
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