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Hey all,
I've read so many threads and gotten so much info from a lot of great posts that I have done a complete 180 in what I thought may be worth doing to my SS.
I saved up for a really long time for the SS I wanted and couldn't be happier with the car. It's everything I imagined and whatever else is going on in life I feel centered and happy when I'm behind the wheel. It is my daily driver and I do not plan on making this a track car. However, I do like the opportunity to work on the car and am not opposed to doing some modifications.

Not long after getting the SS and seeing you crazy folks at the track on youtube, and reading the forums, I considered getting some bolt-ons like headers and connectors. The more I read about it, now I'm not sure that it would be worth it for me. Costs aside, it seems if I get Kooks headers and catted connectors, the high flow cats could fail before long. If I get catless connectors I risk having the fuel smell and a raspy exhaust note, not to mention I cannot pass inspections.

For a guy like me, who heavily invested into this as my daily driver, what modifications would you recommend? At this point, I'm set on a CAI and getting it tuned up, but I am torn on if anything else would be worth it for a non-track SS.

Thanks in advance,
J

P.S. I hope to see some of you at the Holden Winter Nationals this weekend, I live just 45 minutes from Fayetteville so I plan on stopping by just to chat and spectate. Can't wait to see some of the awesome builds out there!
 

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Hi there. First of congratulations on your exquisite taste, down to year, equipment and color ("very good choice, Sir"). 😜

To your question - I've lurked here long enough to see the full spectrum of preferences, tastes and approaches, and as they say, to each their own. I'm also not sure from your post whether you are more of a muscle car guy or a road course guy.
I will share with you my $0.02, the same ones I've shared here before.

Assuming you have not owned the car for long, I would not do anything for a few months, just enjoy the car (which you obviously already do). Get to know and appreciate it and form some conclusions based on seat time what you prefer changing and how.
This car has straight out of the box remarkable finesse in its handling balance, steering and braking response and carefully dialed ride height and suspension tuning to make the best use of the available suspension travel and geometry.
It also has plenty of power and torque and great engine management in stock form. In my view it is a lot easier to screw up any or most of these good things than to improve on them by tweaking and bolting stuff on. This car has more track (road course) capability in stock form than almost any 4 door regardless of price, and than 99.99% of the driving population will ever know how to use.
Of course, if you enjoy more working on the car and modifying it than the original driving experience, then it's another story.

So in my narrow mind, unless you are interested in pure straight line acceleration or wrenching for its own sake, I see absolutely nothing this car needs changed to be very very quick, very entertaining and very safe.

But remember, these are just my little $0.02... Cheers.
 

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^^^^
What he said. This car is terrific as is. You can do the occasional track day without having to change a thing; you'll have a dumb grin on your face for a week or more and learn a lot about your car and your own skills.
Unless you're a certified 'too-much-horsepower-is-just-about-enough' type you'll do fine without modding your SS. If it's your DD, there's lots stories to be found here of experienced wrenches whose modifications turned into a much more challenging project than they imagined.

CAI and tune will make a noticeable difference but there's a danger beyond a tune that's never gonna be quite right: you're tipping over the first domino and it could be very tough to finish with just CAI. The fantasy of having a killer build is often better than the reality. Reading your post your gut is telling you to leave it alone...go with your gut.
 

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I agree with the above except....I would not even do a CAI....I'm a keep it stock kind of guy though, especially with this car. I'm not sure why but this car doesn't seem to be the kind of car to mod to me, it's to unique, special as is.....
A Camaro sure, but SS?? No!

To each his own though. Just my opine.
 

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The only thing on my car that is not original equipment is the drivers sun visor and engine oil dipstick.

However I was able to get the hot rodding fever out of my system in the 40 years before I purchased my SS.
 

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I started with mods to enhance the SS while not affecting the engine and transmission, and I call them 'soft mods' vs. 'hard mods.' I still managed to spend a $ fortune on aftermarket seats, lots of insulation, custom off-set wheels, selective trim, and more. As for the wild-hair race block that's sitting in my office, I have no idea if it will end up in the SS or something else.

Whether it's worth modding,' that's been a moving target for me. I still enjoy my SS, and I have no thoughts of letting her go. I'll likely continue with a few more mods when I can justify it. My advice is to keep it simple and look at mods that have a two-way street.
 

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I said it before and I will say it again. The best part of this car is that it does not have a million horse power and can be driven at its limits.
I have done no performance modifications to my car. The only thing I did install is the MGW shifter which is worth every penny.
 

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If you are hesitant and leaning towards leaving it stock, do yourself a big favor and do not go to the Winter Nationals this weekend. The things you will witness will only fuel your desire to step on to the extremely slippery slope of modding. It is truly more addictive (and more expensive) than meth. I (along with many others) have quit counting the amount of money that I have spent on this car.
 

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I've got most bolt-ons done and am mostly pleased with all of them. All of the intake mods (Roto-Fab, ported throttle body and ported/modded intake) are excellent and have given me telepathic throttle response with no delay from foot touching pedal to car actually going. Exhaust is good, but I'm still a little pissed at Kooks for their early run of mid-pipes not fitting and then charging a discounted $300 or so to replace it. For tuning, I'd go with HP Tuners next time and skip Livernois. I also want to do the shifter at some point because of the rave reviews.

Overall though, I'm coming up on 50k miles on the car as a daily driver and enjoy every minute of it. Mods aren't so extreme that I've sacrificed any driveability. Lighter wheels and stickier tires have improved handling while the engine mods back up the extra grip so that I'm back to a stock-like balance of power to grip.

I'm not a drag racing kind of guy, I'm more about the twisties. I am a naturally-aspirated kind of guy though. If I weren't, for the money I've spent, I would've just done a supercharger while leaving the exhaust stock otherwise.
 

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Some great advise above.
The car is great, is modding needed? What is your goal? If you don't have a goal then you will continuously be modding with no target.
For me the low end torq was lacking so I have some mods but not at the sake of drivability. If you will be modding: talk in people and hear the mods you will be making before making them.

Exhaust ride in someones's care who had the exhaust you are looking at replacing with. Some one's perfect exhaust might make you crazy listening to it from inside the car.
CAI will have a different sound and might whistle some.

It's your car only you can say what you want and what you are willing to deal with.
 

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It's an LS, so the sky's the limit and it's hard NOT to mod, particularly when minor investment gets some decent returns.

That said I think there's a cliff after the intake/headers/tune bolt ons. Those will get you an easy 50 more hp at the wheels which is not insignificant, but really not negatively impact the driveability nor reliability. You start diving into the motor whether it be heads/cam or forced induction, now you're making more serious power but dealing with some of the headaches. And yes a H/C car, or an LSA car CAN go 100K miles. Could also let go at 10k miles. I got into the heavy modding bug with the TA and it never stopped. With the SS I've promised myself the bolt ons is it.
 

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Similar to What most on here have already said, I purchased my SS as my daily driver (fun car is my LS swapped 87 Suburban). My original plan was to leave it stock, but like everyone on here I am a "car guy", and I started looking into mods. Like the original poster, I don't want to mod my SS to the point I'm starting to make severe trade-offs. I do like wrenching on my cars however and decided on a Livernois Stage 1 tune. It adds about 40HP to the wheels that would make it faster than a stock SS and no real trade off's. Even noticed a slight MPG increase.
 

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With an intake, a mild cam, and tune you can easily make 50 whp without the sort of harshness and tradeoff you don't like about headers and cats. If you catch the power adder bug, that might be a good combo for you.
 

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I drove my car for the first 5 years, dead stock, and enjoyed it thoroughly. After it dropped out of warranty, I added a Livernois tune and an OTR air induction and subframe connectors and I couldn't be happier!

All of my life I have modded cars, but it's always a matter of "where do you stop?".
If you do a cam, then you'll want to get headers, you'll have to get a tune, then you may want a converter, then you might want to go back though it and get heads, etc...where will it stop?

Or supercharger? Just turn up the boost, but wait!...To do that you'll need more cooling. So then you start cobbling the car to make room for all of that stuff. Then, you'll brobaly still want a cam, converter, heads and headers. Now, don't forget about stonger gears, axles and driveshaft. Two of the cars that I have owned got modded and morphed right into race cars!
So, to me, the SS is fine, just the way it is, with few mods, if any!(IMHO)
 

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Rotofab worked for me, for me it improved the engine compartment and provided better airflow.
Didnt really do much else besides cosmetics.

uncertain if its your daily. but you may hear "dont mod your daily" so keep that in mind there are reason for it.

enjoy the car, run it a few years, when you start getting bored, look into a Cam or something to bump up the
fun factor. please keep all stock parts though.

i have ZERO and i mean zero plans to mod my car, 5 grand for an exhaust the stock one is good enough.
and regards to my x-2017 SS stock exhaust. loved that too !.

the SS continues to go up in value 2% from KKB for me occasionally. its a sleepy car that will NEVER EVER
come around again. "oh you have a malibu".... yeah. and then step on the loud pedal. and look at their jaw drop.

so NO gets my vote (besides a rotofab and fuse box plaque)

ppp
 

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I drove my car for the first 5 years, dead stock, and enjoyed it thoroughly. After it dropped out of warranty, I added a Livernois tune and an OTR air induction and subframe connectors and I couldn't be happier!

All of my life I have modded cars, but it's always a matter of "where do you stop?".
If you do a cam, then you'll want to get headers, you'll have to get a tune, then you may want a converter, then you might want to go back though it and get heads, etc...where will it stop?

Or supercharger? Just turn up the boost, but wait!...To do that you'll need more cooling. So then you start cobbling the car to make room for all of that stuff. Then, you'll brobaly still want a cam, converter, heads and headers. Now, don't forget about stonger gears, axles and driveshaft. Two of the cars that I have owned got modded and morphed right into race cars!
So, to me, the SS is fine, just the way it is, with few mods, if any!(IMHO)
 

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Your only DD=Stock
Warranty=Stock
Plan to sell in the future=Stock
Owe money on the car = Stock

If you answer yes to any of the above, then I'd keep it stock.

I've broken my own rule with DD's but they were on cars that were already fully or near fully depreciated, so I could write off the car both mentally and financially.
 

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Twice a year I do a rental. Long truck infested roads. Every time I get back in
the SS I'm reminded there is plenty of power without blower. I did just recently
return tune back to stock for some debugging CEL and she feels, well anyway
a tune will help
 

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On top of what others have said, it's really your choice - what do you want your SS to be and how fast ?

My 2014 SS is the first car I have not over modded, it was my 50th B-day present and before even buying I had decided to keep it more/less mechanically stock with exception of CAI, catch can, and axle back mufflers. Everything else I did was appearance, comfort items, or because of the Jones' on this forum.

Why ?

In Kooky-fore-knee, aka: land of most who can't drive worth a dog poop, the SS is plenty fast enough for nearly any road we have. It's quite rare to find a nearly deserted road where I can open her up and have some fun. Secondly my dear wife warned me if I turned it into another racer on the street she wasn't going to ride in it. She had enough of my lowered to the ground, hard riding, ultra loud, and ultra fast cars in our near 30 years of wedded bliss. That all said, she loves the SS 99% of the time, that 1% is the rare open road made for triple digit acceleration and putting a smile on my face.
 

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You are right, let's face it, any 4 door sedan that can hit triple digits within the city limits(don't ask me how I know that), is fast enough. Especially since I'm not going to track it.
I especially like the way it handles curves, off/on ramps, freeway exchanges and curvy roads!
 
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