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Camaro V8 LS3 / L99 Engine, Exhaust, and Bolt-Ons Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
c-dub
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To tune, or not to tune?

Ok I've read several forums discussing long tube headers and all but ONE post say that a tune is needed. However I just read a post where a person claims to have had LT's on and NO tune yet the check engine light comes on..

I really want the beasty sound, but I don't want to void the warranty so is there anybody else that has knowledge of this amazing circumstance?

If I were to get LT's and NOT tune the engine would I be harming the car?
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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With the extra air flow from the headers it will cause your A/F to go a little leaner but your ECM will compensate. It was argued before whether the ECM could compensate enough but most say it can.

A lot of the sound and power typically associated with LT's actually comes from the downpipes (whether they be high flow cats or catless) You could look into just some high flow cats since some of them are not supposed to throw codes.

Moral of the story, LT's will throw a code without a tune but will most likely not damage your engine extremely. A good tune will only help though. A lot of power and sound can be freed up by just replacing the stock cats and this won't necessarily throw a code.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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oh ok, thanks for breaking it down for me like that I appreciate the input!
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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What you could do is just get some high flow cats, as mentioned before, as well as shorty headers. I don't think that typically throws any codes, but I think if you add a CAI after that a code will be thrown. I'm not really sure if that last part's true though.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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don't waste money on shorties. the stock LS manifolds flow almost as well as a shorty.
typically, to get the best gains out of a set of headers, you'd be best-off to get a tune.

personally, i wouldn't trust a stock tune with LTs for a lot of WOT action. i don't know if it'll add enough fuel. i've actually been driving untuned for the LTs on my 5.3 for 4 days now & haven't had a problem (or even a CEL for the missing cats which kinda intrigues me...), but i've been babying the throttle - typically no more than 30-40% and i've been driving down a gear to keep the cruise rpms up (so as not to bog) just to be safe until i get it tuned.

so that's just my 3 cents
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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I see all of those points and once again I appreciate the knowledge. I am not so much wanting the LT's for the straight performance and HP gains, I really just want the sound. I don't race my camaro but I do want it to sound as beasty as it looks.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:28 PM   #7
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Seems that shorties are a no-go lol.

High-flow cats and a CAI might be your best option if all you want is the sound. Maybe add lower gears for extra "oomph" lol.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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Lol I like that idea, the hidden reason for my thinking that shorties/high flow cats would be a better option is because if the LT's need a tune, that voids my warranty..And I'm not rich enough to be comfortable with that.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:51 PM   #9
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yeah like said before, shorties are more for looks. you won't get anything out of them more than the stock manifolds so I wouldn't get them unless you really want the looks.

and like I said in my first post, even high flow cats will add a decent amount of sound and so will a CAI
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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The way I figure it, with the fairly light mods I'm doing soon, a catastrophic failure most likely isn't going to happen. I mean the LS based engines are pretty rugged... the only thing I would expect to break is maybe the rear axle or driveline. I don't race and have no intention too, like you I really just want the badass sound lol. I mean if something breaks after I get my mods done, it'd probably be something small... and if I grenade my transmission, well, shit.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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yeah that's my fear synyster that as soon as I get the good sound then my tranny is gonna just explode because...isn't the tranny on the M6 camaro's suceptible to breaking? MileMAN402 thanks once again for your advice, the high flow cats are definetely on my list. But for reference I have seen videos of vehicles with axleback exhaust (like I'm about to install) with and without shorty headers and the sound with the shorties is a little bit deeper and nicer sounding IMHO.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #12
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I have the A6 so I'm really not sure lol. I honestly don't know of any Camaro that's had drivetrain and powertrain issues, except for the unfortunate few that got lemons from the factory. I'd really like some statistics or something of how many have had serious issues out of the 180k+ built though lol.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:23 PM   #13
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Headers without a tune will not damage your engine in anyway, the only thing is you wont get the MOST power out of the headers but still a nice gain and all the sound. I would do the headers!
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
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Alot of members here have said the shorties will have little or no gain in hp but will sound very nice requiring no tune. This sounds like the way to go with hiflow cats because he doesnt really care about the horsepower, just wants the sound. Maybe somebody who has shorties will chime in to confirm.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:59 PM   #15
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Question is: How much power do you gain when you tune with the headers? In other words, how much more power do you expect to have with headers and a tune versus headers and no tune?
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:18 PM   #16
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I don't recall ever seeing dyno results for a non tuned car with LT headers, I would be curious though because it seems like there is alot of speculation. lol maybe I'll luck out and some smarty pants will chime in for us :P
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-dub View Post
I don't recall ever seeing dyno results for a non tuned car with LT headers, I would be curious though because it seems like there is alot of speculation. lol maybe I'll luck out and some smarty pants will chime in for us :P
For real, I'm very curious on how much would be gained.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:01 PM   #18
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american racing did a run without a tune and gained 32rwhp then gained 50rwhp with a tune, with stock intake and mufflers
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:39 PM   #19
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you probably won't hurt the car by not having one, but the car won't run 100% right either and a tune makes enough power to be worth it even if the car ran perfectly. Don't quote me here but I believe its worth right around 20 hp plus or minus a bit, which seems to go along with post above me. Of course that number will vary wildly when other mods are introduced into the equation.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:19 PM   #20
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From what I have seen, about 28-32rwhp without a tune... so yes a very good gain. There have been a few members that I recall that showed there before and after tune numbers.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:25 PM   #21
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As far as shortys, I dont have them but know of a car that has shortys and highflow cats that I heard in person and they do make the car sound alot better. As far as power, I did drive the car ( was a test drive )and did not notice to much more power over the stocker other then better throttle response. But like I said, the car did sound a hell of alot better then the stock car I drove, even though I did buy the stocker still ABM is so pretty!
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:29 PM   #22
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I have the Doug Thorley shorty headers and didn't throw codes. I bought them for the looks since I was more into show than go although it goes right now! snort....I also added the "S" type Borla cat-back exhaust and it sounds great!...Want more sound? Drop the back seat. 100% louder. Remember the car is today technology with a bit of a sound barrier for the occupants. I also wanted to keep my engine warranty. My2
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
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I have the Doug Thorley shorty headers and didn't throw codes. ...
i just added catless LTs to my GMC & ain't thrown a code yet after driving 4 days. that don't necessarily mean anything...
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:47 PM   #24
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also if you're looking for a deeper tone from your exhaust, then look into a 3inch system. The larger diameter will produce a deeper tone than the 2.5in
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:52 PM   #25
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My car made 400 rwhp/405 rwtq with a A/F of ~12.6 iirc with kooks 1 7/8 headers, kooks 3" exhaust, and cold air inductions CAI, NO TUNE.
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