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Hi all, this is my first post. I have had my sky for about 3 weeks now and it has been fantastic. I have a couple of questions in regards to after market parts. Also a problem I have that may or may not be anything. And some general questions.

I have been lurking here, the solstice site, and another sky forum site for about 2 months now. I have read nearly all of the posts that had sparked some interest since April, I just never really felt like posting :) Also enjoy hearing what others have to say I guess.

1) What to do first? ECM, CAI, Cat-Back, headers....
I know quite a few people say ECM, My main concern is this option is the most expensive and along with some extra performance increases I would really love to hear a nice growl with my first add-on that I have heard many people raving about, I don't think the ECM does anything to the sound of the car. I believe GTPrix said that it would be virtually impossible for the ECM to be reset even by the dealer during service....is this still correct? I would hate to have the ECM be sent in every 3-4 months and leave me without a car for a couple of days. Do you really see THAT big of a difference? I have read the info about the ECM changes, i sort of picture it as that I am currently riding a bike with training wheels. Sure it is fun but I am constrained, with the ECM re-tune I would be taking the training wheels off and have free reign and not be constrained to "nanny controls" and ontop of that - better gas mileage :)

2) I was looking at the CAI, first the dual intake which looked pretty sweet, I could install it myself, eventhough I know nothing about cars :) But that would be a fun project. Along with performance increases I would hear a nicer sound to the car. Which would be an added bonus. Does the dual CAI provide that much more benefit over the single filter CAI? It's $100 bucks more, is the only real difference a very very minimal performance increase and a nicer look under the hood?

3) cat-back. I understand the options to these, But I also read about the flowmaster, which offers a very nice sound and is incredibly cheaper. Is the flowmaster the same thing as the cat-back...do they perform the same function? Is there any reason to go with the cat-back over the flowmaster? I would probably get this after the CAI...I remember reading that the 2 together don't offer much more in the way of performance, but any extra knowledge on this would be great.

4) Short headers...I honestly don't know much about these, and the hi-flow converter. If someone could offer some knowledge about these and what price they go for that would be great. I understand that you can't put the cover back on when you install these, that doesn't matter to me much but does heat factor in when this occurs?

5) Coming from my perspective of wanting performance as well as a really nice sounding car, which options would you rank first to last? I am sort of leaning towards a CAI, cat-back (probably flowmaster), ECM, and then short headers. This would be over quite a long time length since I am right out of college and this is the first car I have ever bought :)

6) Just so I can make my post even longer than it already is lol, I find when I shift gears (I have a manual) from 1st to 2nd and then to 3rd I get a little whisp or noise coming from the engine, I have owned 2 manual cars before and don't recall this noise. A similar problem was discussed briefly on the solstice forum and if it is the same problem I guess there is nothing really wrong with the car, but if anyone has a similar experience or knows more info about this please let me know. Other than that I love the car :) The noise isn't loud at all, passengers wouldn't notice it, and I didn't notice it except for the stereo off.

I love this forum though, has a great deal of knowledge and is very fun to read, all of you seem to have created some great friendships with eachother and I hope I can draw away from lurking to actually spark a conversation with you all.

And geez, sorry if my grammar is poor, long day, plus I wasn't an english major in college. Quite the opposite really!
 

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I would go witht he CAI first, no question. The better your car can breath, the better it can take advantage of any other upgrades you do later (ECM, Cat-back). As far as what system to go with, I doubt the dual horn provides much of a performance benefit over single filter intake systems, so if you choose that system you are going for looks or sound, which is okay too. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for replying cya. Sounds like I will go with the CAI first, my gf actually still owes me a present so I know what I am going to make her get me :) Now lets talk about the cat-back. Is the flowmaster considered a cat-back also or just a muffler?

Do people get a cat-back AND a flowmaster put on? Or is that just nonsense talk? The reason I would lean more towards the flowmaster is because it is quite alot cheaper than the cat-back.

I also recall hearing alot of times that the CAI + cat-back doesn't show much difference in performance, they sort of cancel eachother out and you may gain 2-3 hp. Is there a significant sound difference? Because I know the flowmaster offers a pretty nice sound. Not ricey at all, a nice mellow growl....that's what I am looking for.

Also, what about that sound when I am shifting, has anyone experienced that with a manual transmission?
 

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I agree. First thing to do is the CAI.

I got the Fujita Dual Intake CAI from SaturnMotorSports and like it a lot. They claim 11 Wheel HP increase just from the CAI.

After that I replaced the stock muffler with a MagnaFlow dual outlet. Not a Cat-back, but it is definately a freer-flowing muffler than stock and looks and sounds very cool with the quad tips. Probably a 3-5 HP gain there.

Next on my list is the SaturnMotorsports Big Bore Throttle Body. They claim around 3HP increase.

Final bolt on item... shorty headers. Probably the ClearImage ones.

Then the ECU retune, although it could be done at any stage as long as you tell the tuner what upgrades you intend to do.
 

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I agree

I agree. First thing to do is the CAI.

I got the Fujita Dual Intake CAI from SaturnMotorSports and like it a lot. They claim 11 Wheel HP increase just from the CAI.

After that I replaced the stock muffler with a MagnaFlow dual outlet. Not a Cat-back, but it is definately a freer-flowing muffler than stock and looks and sounds very cool with the quad tips. Probably a 3-5 HP gain there.

Next on my list is the SaturnMotorsports Big Bore Throttle Body. They claim around 3HP increase.

Final bolt on item... shorty headers. Probably the ClearImage ones.


Then the ECU retune, although it could be done at any stage as long as you tell the tuner what upgrades you intend to do.
:D I agree 100% this is the order in which I am doing mine, the twin CAI is on and the TB comes in on Friday and then the headers and finally the ECM...
 

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I would do the retune last as well .. i have the GM CAI and love it along with the TB and shorty header and retune.. i one step away from the high flow cat and catback.. to help with ur Qs ill try n Xplain in small words
1. from my knowlage the dealer cant erase the retune once its in there

2. CAI i dont think the dual is That much more improvement dont know tho.. i also dont know if they are recharge able filters on it.. just somthing to keep in mind if they are not you will be buying 2 filters when it comes time to replace..

3. the catback has pipe with smoother bends it in so the air flows better the factory pipe is like kinked @ the bends. Catback is Xatly what it says catalitic converter back as to just a "flowmaster" is a muffler

4. Shorty header is a header that keeps all OEM mounting points to your CAT they are the fastest to install. the heat sheild is not needed anymore they are made of steal instead of cast cast holds heat longer then steal plus the manifold is one giant chunk of metal so more surface area to cool then 4 pipes..

5. CAI,TB Shorty,catback, retune
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds good, thanks for the advice.

I will do a search for throttle body and see what that is all about. As far as the cat-back since you only see a 3-4hp improvement I will probably just go with a flowmaster since it would be quite alot cheaper and will improve the sound. I couldn't justify paying 300 bucks more just for 3-4 hp difference.

Guess nobody knows what's up with my problem with shifting. I'll assume the solstice forum was correct and it is nothing to worry about. It isn't loud at all, and may just be paranoia.
 

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I did the CAI, dual exhaust and then the big bore throttle. Next is the TRI-Y and SS CAT from Clear and finally the ECM. Every step of the install produces better results:thumbs: I love this car:D !!!
 

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I'm wondering, after all I bought my Sky for my wife mainly, and she loves it like it is. I to will be doing some modifications and upgrades, but since my wife is, will be the primary driver, many of these mods will never happen (She won't let me spend the money on it). I will do the single CAI and the spalsh guards, but going beyond that, all these different mods, exhaust, etc- I don't believe will either improve fuel economy much more, nor I beleive in rare cases performance. I mean if you think about it, instead of buying/paying $300 here, 400 there, 800 here, 100 there, another 300, 300-400 for ecm tune, man thats a lot of doe, add it up, why not purchase an R/L like someone else posted, if you think about it, it might be cheaper. Granted smaller engine, but it comes with all the goodies already installed---from the factory--:D Am I missing something here??:confused: Can we ever with no matter how many mods ever catch the R/L in power?
 

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2. CAI i dont think the dual is That much more improvement dont know tho.. i also dont know if they are recharge able filters on it.. just somthing to keep in mind if they are not you will be buying 2 filters when it comes time to replace..
The Fujita filters don't need to be replaced. You just clean them.
 

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thats good then cause that would get $$$
 

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I'm wondering, after all I bought my Sky for my wife mainly, and she loves it like it is. I to will be doing some modifications and upgrades, but since my wife is, will be the primary driver, many of these mods will never happen (She won't let me spend the money on it). I will do the single CAI and the spalsh guards, but going beyond that, all these different mods, exhaust, etc- I don't believe will either improve fuel economy much more, nor I beleive in rare cases performance. I mean if you think about it, instead of buying/paying $300 here, 400 there, 800 here, 100 there, another 300, 300-400 for ecm tune, man thats a lot of doe, add it up, why not purchase an R/L like someone else posted, if you think about it, it might be cheaper. Granted smaller engine, but it comes with all the goodies already installed---from the factory--:D Am I missing something here??:confused: Can we ever with no matter how many mods ever catch the R/L in power?
To paraphrase the Water Rat from Wind in the Willows...

There is nothing, my friend, half as much worth doing as messing around with cars...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After looking at all the options I think a single filter CAI and a flowmaster would be the best options. Relatively inexpensive, may offer a gain of about 10hp. And will really make the car sound great.

Down the road if I get an influx of money I may invest in more things, by then products may have gotten cheaper, new items will be available, and maybe I would just upgrade to a RL.

Just installed my wind restrictor, I am COMPLETELY stupid when it comes to cars, I had Robert walk me through it, other than the trunk not closing very well I finally got the thing installed. I may have to wait to get the illumination setup because of my stupidity to wiring. I located the brown wire, but am not completely sure how to make the connection. If you asked me to build you a computer from scratch I could have it ready in an hour, but when it comes to cars I am too scared to break something I don't like to dive right in lol.
 

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After looking at all the options I think a single filter CAI and a flowmaster would be the best options. Relatively inexpensive, may offer a gain of about 10hp. And will really make the car sound great.

Down the road if I get an influx of money I may invest in more things, by then products may have gotten cheaper, new items will be available, and maybe I would just upgrade to a RL.

Just installed my wind restrictor, I am COMPLETELY stupid when it comes to cars, I had Robert walk me through it, other than the trunk not closing very well I finally got the thing installed. I may have to wait to get the illumination setup because of my stupidity to wiring. I located the brown wire, but am not completely sure how to make the connection. If you asked me to build you a computer from scratch I could have it ready in an hour, but when it comes to cars I am too scared to break something I don't like to dive right in lol.
Huh? The dual intake Fujita CAI alone will give you 11 HP AND makes the car sound great. I went with the dual outlet exhaust just for the looks (althought it probably added a few HP).
 

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Huh? The dual intake Fujita CAI alone will give you 11 HP AND makes the car sound great. I went with the dual outlet exhaust just for the looks (althought it probably added a few HP).
I highly doubt the cai will give 11 HP gain. I assume your talking gain at the crank (BHP) and not at the wheels. I would venture to say you be lucky to get 3-4 WHP.

I will know for sure in the next few weeks. I'll be going in for a base dyno and then dynoing after every mod. My mods will be slow as I don't have the funds to go out and buy them all at once. First up will be the dual cai, I just ordered this week.

Watch for my threads.

someone on the sol forum did the same thing awhile back. He gained about 2hp after CAI install. Even with room for error, thats no where near 11.

he had the largest gain from the ECM tune.

just my 2cents
 

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I highly doubt the cai will give 11 HP gain. I assume your talking gain at the crank (BHP) and not at the wheels. I would venture to say you be lucky to get 3-4 WHP.

I will know for sure in the next few weeks. I'll be going in for a base dyno and then dynoing after every mod. My mods will be slow as I don't have the funds to go out and buy them all at once. First up will be the dual cai, I just ordered this week.

Watch for my threads.

someone on the sol forum did the same thing awhile back. He gained about 2hp after CAI install. Even with room for error, thats no where near 11.

he had the largest gain from the ECM tune.

just my 2cents
Take it up with SaturnMotorSports. Here's what they have to say:

"Saturn Sky Dual Filter Intake system. With an 11HP increase in wheel horse power the dual filter technology out performed the competition. "
 

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Take it up with SaturnMotorSports. Here's what they have to say:

"Saturn Sky Dual Filter Intake system. With an 11HP increase in wheel horse power the dual filter technology out performed the competition. "

ya, I know.
I'm not trying to attack you. I just for one don't believe everything a salesman tells me. I could be wrong, I'm just going on what I have seen of the people who've dynoed over on the sol forum.

I'll be doing my own dynos here hopefully in the next few weeks... will post results.

all is good :cheers:
 

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I agree 11 hp is too much for an intake pipe swap...way too much. I believe a there will ne a 3-5 hp gain, I am anxious for the dyno charts.

:cheers:
 

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ya, I know.
I'm not trying to attack you. I just for one don't believe everything a salesman tells me. I could be wrong, I'm just going on what I have seen of the people who've dynoed over on the sol forum.

I'll be doing my own dynos here hopefully in the next few weeks... will post results.

all is good :cheers:
Looking forward to seeing your charts. Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well what does the single filter CAI give you as a gain in HP? If the dual gives you 11 I assume the single would yield around 8 or so? For those that may have heard both of them is there a noticeable sound difference between the dual and single CAI?

If the dual yields that much of a greater HP gain and sounds better, then sure I would rather get that. Since I don't plan on racing the car very much, I enjoy it for cruises and the enjoyment of the car, the sound means alot to me :)

Also, all of the pricing I have seen on dual exhaust cat-backs seem to be atleast $600+ are there any out there that are alot more reasonable? Thing I like about the flowmaster is that it sounds great, and you can get one for 60 bucks new, plus install you are looking at 180-200 bucks top for a nice sound improvement and possibly 1-2 more hp which doesn't make much difference.

Would be nice to tell people the car is over 200hp though (give or take) lol.
 
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