Here at Camaro Performers magazine we love bolt-on performance parts. Maybe it's the nearly instant gratification they provide, or it could be that they're easy enough for a caveman or magazine editor to install. In any event, they are the backbone of our hobby. Up until this point we've been careful to keep our '10 SS California smog legal. But in reality, our ride lives back East and, as such, we can get a bit more creative in the bolt-on horsepower department.
As it is, our 2010 Camaro SS project car isn't a performance slouch. With its Magnuson supercharged LS3, it put nearly 480 hp to the rear wheels but, at over 4,000 pounds, every one of those ponies are needed to get this hunk of modern muscle in motion.
What we really needed was more air in our engine. After all, more air means more fuel and that equates to more power. Given the 91-octane swill that passes for "high octane" here in the Golden State, more boost was out of the question, so we decided to bolt on a couple parts to help move atmosphere through our mill more efficiently and in greater volume. We figured a set of high-flow headers, combined with the right intake, would help our blown LS3 breathe easier and hence make more power.
Feeding The Beast
•Since engines, especially supercharged, are just big air pumps, it seemed logical to address the intake side of the equation, since we freed up the other end so much. We wanted a system that looked good, was easy to install, flowed tons of atmosphere, and would mate to our blower. After looking around, we kept finding systems that met three out of our four requirements. Eventually, we came across Andy Mages at ADM Performance. Turns out they have a sweet-looking, high-flowing air intake system that would accommodate our supercharged LS3.
On The Dyno
Sure, the new parts look killer, but the real goal here is more power. So after the install, we hit the dyno. Also, big changes like the long tube headers require the computer's programming be massaged a bit to get the full benefit. Our friend and LS tuning guru Mike Norris, of Norris Motorsports, was in town, so we shanghaied him into working his magic on our modified SS. Mike's shop is located in Indianapolis, so if you're in the area and have an EFI car in need of some work, especially tuning, then do yourself a favor and check him out.
Adding more power to your ride is the quickest way to find out what other areas are lacking. In our case, putting nearly 550 hp to the rear wheels was overtaxing our GM fuel pump. It's nothing you would notice cruising around, but after tracking the car, we found the pump was overheating and dropping fuel pressure down to as low as 45 psi. In short, it's just not capable of delivering the fuel needed to support this much power. The drop in fuel pressure was causing a lean condition, and as everyone knows, that's a bad thing, especially in a boosted engine. We're busy researching ways to fix our Camaro's fuel dilemma and will keep you updated on what we find out.
Since Mike Norris was here helping us install the ADM Performance air induction system, we also figured it was a good time to install his baffled PCV catch can. LS engines are notorious for allowing oil vapors into the intake tract. Over time this tends to muck up engines and cause power loss. Typically they mount on the engine, but our ADM airbox left us a prime spot on the driver-side strut tower. We simply used some hose to plumb it from the valve cover back to the engine. If you have an LS-equipped ride, check out his website for more details.