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2014 Chevrolet SS
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Discussion Starter #1
What did everyone use? Were you happy with it and would you recommend it? This is my first time actually modifying a vehicle I have purchased so I am just looking to essentially spend my money the best way I can.

It is a daily driver and will more than likely hit the drag strip sporadically since I am literally 10 minutes from Bradenton Motorsports Park.
I am currently looking into the Livernois stage one bundle with a tuner, rotofab intake, and an even flo thermostat.
If I don't go that route I will more than likely dive into some headers.

Thank you all in advance!
 

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I've got a K&N CAI on my car and to be honest, I hate it because it prevents the windshield washer fluid bottle cap from being able to close. It's a real PITA to get it to close with that thing on there. I'm sure the other CAIs aren't like that. I may replace mine with a rotofab or something similar at some point. I didn't actually install it. I bought the car with it already installed along with a DiabloSport handheld tuner, which I have yet to use and probably won't. I'm going more for longevity than performance since it is my daily driver and already has close to 80k on the clock.
 

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2017 Chevrolet SS; RH2, 6M, Sunroof, Full-size spare, #53 of 58 built in 2017
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I've got a K&N CAI on my car and to be honest, I hate it because it prevents the windshield washer fluid bottle cap from being able to close. It's a real PITA to get it to close with that thing on there. I'm sure the other CAIs aren't like that. I may replace mine with a rotofab or something similar at some point.
Trust me in this. I HAD a Rotofab. I now have a VCM.


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I have a Roto-Fab...
 
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You . . . and quite a few others. :unsure:
I recall a @LivernoisMotorsports post showing a graph of various flow rates of the various CAI's and showed the RF performing as well or better than the rest of the lot. In speaking with them about my build it was suggested that airflow with the Roto-Fab did not come from behind a hot radiator or by cutting hood seals, and was the most effective at eliminating any possible water intrusion. Besides, I have one of the first ten Roto-Fab's made for the SS, a pre-production offering, so it's a collector's item. ;)
 
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I recall a @LivernoisMotorsports post showing a graph of various flow rates of the various CAI's and showed the RF performing as well or better than the rest of the lot. In speaking with them about my build it was suggested that airflow with the Roto-Fab did not come from behind a hot radiator or by cutting hood seals, and was the most effective at eliminating any possible water intrusion. Besides, I have one of the first ten Roto-Fab's made for the SS, a pre-production offering, so it's a collector's item. ;)
That is what would really scare me. I've dealt with enough water ingestion with boat engines to last me a lifetime!
 

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im running vengeance tune rotofab intake headers no catts and full kooks exhaust connected to stock mufflers and car runs like stock untill u get in to the throttle
Best mods in my opinion but if u want more power add a supercharger lsa
 

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Dangerous question. You're going to get primarily "Go this route because that's what I did", and very little "Learn from my mistakes and don't do this...". And you'll learn that performance mods can be like lining up dominoes, it leads to a chain of event$ that may co$t more $$ than you'd planned. Be sure to have reserve cash if something break$, which it can and does. Some of us have gotten unpleasant and costly performance awards looking for that improved E/T at the strip.

I'd suggest the staged approach.
First, get a cold air intake and tune. If you've an AT, be cautious with your transmission tune...you may not want your (or your passenger's) head bouncing off the headrest with every shift. CAI and tune should be good for perhaps an extra 10 - 15 whp, IIRC.
Consideration: Livernois is highly regarded here and has a lot of experience with our cars. I prefered the idea of a local tuner that could actually dyno test and drive the car. I've now tried three different tuners, first one did a good job but I wasn't happy with their work installing my Stage 2 headers. Second tuner couldn't get it right and then became a jerk. Third shop, that I'd avoided because they were the most expensive, did an amazing job and I'm very happy with their work.

Second, help it breath better: Headers, LT exhaust, you'll need a new tune. Some recommend a cat delete, other's say their car smelled bad after the delete. I kept mine, and kept the stock mufflers. The car is plenty loud and the SS doesn't have such great cabin sound insulation. Add an aftermarket axle-back and in-cabin conversations can become more challenging.
Gains will be ~40-50whp.

If you believe that Too Much Horsepower is Just About Enough, then look at Stage 3 options.
Quickest and easiest way is go forced induction, a blower will give you an additional 150-200whp...goodbye traction. You're gonna need to relearn the go-peddle. SC will keep your car as streetable as stock and you'll have more power on tap than your tires will hold (unless you've got drag radials). Whipple and Maggie probably come closest to complete kits, LSA will require a bit more scavenging to get all the parts and pieces you need. Bring on the inevitable Pro-charger vs roots debate starting in 5, 4, 3, 2,...

If you want to stay NA and need more than the ~390whp you'll get with CAI/headers then you're going to need a cam. If you want more than 450whp, your car will sound great but it may have worse street manners around town. Personally, I didn't want to crack open my engine to drop in a cam.

YMMV, and others here may think I'm FoS with my suggestions, I tried to summarize some of what I've learned here.
 

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This is my first time actually modifying a vehicle I have purchased so I am just looking to essentially spend my money the best way I can.
Oh my, I forgot to mention the modification that gives the most bang for the buck: Driver mod.
Sure, you drive for a living and know how to drive, but do you know the limits of your SS in its current setup as well as your own limits in the car? Before you start throwing money into performance modifications, take your SS to an HPDE school at a road course. You may have underestimated the capabillities of the SS performance sedan. Most folks want to mod their SS for the strip, this car is really in its natural environment on a road course, where it will outrun very many other cars that are (supposedly) higher performance.

Aside from the fun you'll have at an HPDE school, (took me over two weeks for my stupid grin to go away), you'll gain a much better understanding of how much more power you really need to satisfy your requirements of a DD. What these skills won't get you is the ability to embarrass a Euro-snobmobile off the light, what the track lesson will gain you is the ability to easily drop just about any of them when you hit the first curve. I have a lot of fun with other performance cars that want to get a bit sassy just before a freeway interchange or short tight curve, it really torques their nads and that becomes obvious when they eventually catch up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dangerous question. You're going to get primarily "Go this route because that's what I did", and very little "Learn from my mistakes and don't do this...". And you'll learn that performance mods can be like lining up dominoes, it leads to a chain of event$ that may co$t more $$ than you'd planned. Be sure to have reserve cash if something break$, which it can and does. Some of us have gotten unpleasant and costly performance awards looking for that improved E/T at the strip.

I'd suggest the staged approach.
First, get a cold air intake and tune. If you've an AT, be cautious with your transmission tune...you may not want your (or your passenger's) head bouncing off the headrest with every shift. CAI and tune should be good for perhaps an extra 10 - 15 whp, IIRC.
Consideration: Livernois is highly regarded here and has a lot of experience with our cars. I prefered the idea of a local tuner that could actually dyno test and drive the car. I've now tried three different tuners, first one did a good job but I wasn't happy with their work installing my Stage 2 headers. Second tuner couldn't get it right and then became a jerk. Third shop, that I'd avoided because they were the most expensive, did an amazing job and I'm very happy with their work.

Second, help it breath better: Headers, LT exhaust, you'll need a new tune. Some recommend a cat delete, other's say their car smelled bad after the delete. I kept mine, and kept the stock mufflers. The car is plenty loud and the SS doesn't have such great cabin sound insulation. Add an aftermarket axle-back and in-cabin conversations can become more challenging.
Gains will be ~40-50whp.

If you believe that Too Much Horsepower is Just About Enough, then look at Stage 3 options.
Quickest and easiest way is go forced induction, a blower will give you an additional 150-200whp...goodbye traction. You're gonna need to relearn the go-peddle. SC will keep your car as streetable as stock and you'll have more power on tap than your tires will hold (unless you've got drag radials). Whipple and Maggie probably come closest to complete kits, LSA will require a bit more scavenging to get all the parts and pieces you need. Bring on the inevitable Pro-charger vs roots debate starting in 5, 4, 3, 2,...

If you want to stay NA and need more than the ~390whp you'll get with CAI/headers then you're going to need a cam. If you want more than 450whp, your car will sound great but it may have worse street manners around town. Personally, I didn't want to crack open my engine to drop in a cam.

YMMV, and others here may think I'm FoS with my suggestions, I tried to summarize some of what I've learned here.
Thank you for all of this. Basically I am just looking for a little more oomph more than anything, and yes the car already has quite a lot of it as it is. In all reality I’m not going to be diving into and opening the motor up for cams and a blower as much as I wish I could. I guess the hardest thing to find is a shop around me that I trust and have faith in to help with things. I’m going to be starting with a CAI for sure but the biggest hold up I’m having is the tune and tuner. The more local the better that way if there is anything that needs to be addressed it can be at only a mild inconvenience at worst.
All in all I will probably stick with the CAI for starters and start looking into headers and LT exhaust systems. I really appreciate the level of detail you have provided, so a sincere thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh my, I forgot to mention the modification that gives the most bang for the buck: Driver mod.
Sure, you drive for a living and know how to drive, but do you know the limits of your SS in its current setup as well as your own limits in the car? Before you start throwing money into performance modifications, take your SS to an HPDE school at a road course. You may have underestimated the capabillities of the SS performance sedan. Most folks want to mod their SS for the strip, this car is really in its natural environment on a road course, where it will outrun very many other cars that are (supposedly) higher performance.

Aside from the fun you'll have at an HPDE school, (took me over two weeks for my stupid grin to go away), you'll gain a much better understanding of how much more power you really need to satisfy your requirements of a DD. What these skills won't get you is the ability to embarrass a Euro-snobmobile off the light, what the track lesson will gain you is the ability to easily drop just about any of them when you hit the first curve. I have a lot of fun with other performance cars that want to get a bit sassy just before a freeway interchange or short tight curve, it really torques their nads and that becomes obvious when they eventually catch up.
I am about an hour and a half away from Sebring if I’m not mistaken, so that may actually be a very feasible option and would only help me in the long run as well. And you are absolutely correct about the limits of myself and the car together and that would be a huge advantage. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've got a K&N CAI on my car and to be honest, I hate it because it prevents the windshield washer fluid bottle cap from being able to close. It's a real PITA to get it to close with that thing on there. I'm sure the other CAIs aren't like that. I may replace mine with a rotofab or something similar at some point. I didn't actually install it. I bought the car with it already installed along with a DiabloSport handheld tuner, which I have yet to use and probably won't. I'm going more for longevity than performance since it is my daily driver and already has close to 80k on the clock.
I am creeping up to 75k so I understand exactly!
 

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Headers are always great for the sound and performance gain. I’ve had cats fail on a couple cars unless you’d get expensive high flows I’d go catless
 

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I understand the concern with high flow cats, but unless going forced induction it is usually of little concern. The trade off is the smell, the emissions and the burning eyes in your garage. Been there, done that. Checked mine at 12K on the build, still operating as expected.
 
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