There are few finer moments than the first time you wind out all the gears in your LS1-, LS6-, LS2-, LT1-, or TPI-powered ride. That glow can last a few weeks-even a couple of months-but fades once you wish you were a little quicker and faster. If you've been a rodder like me for 20 years, you can recall fondly and with some amusement how important it was to weld on some loud mufflers and immediately hit the local haunts. Now that I'm older and also more budget conscious (a few kids will do that to you), researching the best bolt-ons for the money is my number one priority when I start modifying a new car.
Now that the GM EFI scene is over 25 years old, the number of possible bolt-ons is in the hundreds. With the right combination of parts, the LS, LT, and even the TPI-powered cars have the potential to run 13s, 12s, 11s, and even 10s with internally stock engines. For our purposes, let's assume that LS1-, LS6-, and LS2-powered rides make between 290 and 350 rwhp stock, and run low- to mid-13s. Let's also assume that LT1-powered cars crank out around 245 rwhp stock and bust out high 13s at the track. And lastly, TPI cars make around 200 rwhp stock and run low- to mid-14s.
Let's start discussing the best-bang-for-the-buck mods under $100, $500, and $800 for LS1-, LS6-, LS2-, LT1-, and L98-powered cars. We'll note the price, average power gain, performance, and level of install difficulty. And after you pick up some of these goodies, make sure your ride is in a good state of tune before you start wrenching on it. We advise throwing in a new set of spark plugs, a fuel filter, and checking all your fluids. And of course, take all precautions when jacking up and working under your vehicle-always use jackstands and be safe! J
The author would like to thank Speed Inc., Thunder Racing, Carey's Custom Auto (Kyle Hiznay), and Sikora Precision (Chris Sikora) for their assistance with this article.
Best LS1-LS6-LS2 Bolt-Ons
Slp Air Box Lid
This bolt-on should take about five minutes, and that includes three minutes to get another cold one. Aftermarket lids don't have the restrictive baffles and resonators of the OEM stuff, and swapping the lid in most cases just requires removing the factory IAT grommet and popping it into the new part.