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Old 01-26-2015, 08:33 PM   #1
Hardymon
 
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Drives: 2010 2SS LS3 Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Florida Eglin AFB
Posts: 34
"Lucy" 2010 2SS RS "Imagine if she used 100%"

Lucy is currently my daily driver, I picked her up November 2014 with a little over 75k on the clock. The goal right now is to maximise the "stock" performance and driving experience as much as possible without going beyond bolt-ons.
The first thing I added was a Volant cai.
Also have an SCT x4 and gave her the canned 93 Oct tune.
Next came a New Era ported TB.
After that came the TWM Spectre shift knob and the Torque Solutions short throw.
This past weekend she got upgraded from stock FE3 to FE4 BMR sways.
Also hit the magic "I'm still 8 years old" milage last week.
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Life's a garden, dig it!

Mods to date: Volant cai, New Era Ported TB, TMW Spectre Shift Weighted knob, Canned SCT X4 93 oct tune, Torque Solutions short shifter, FE4 suspension with BMR Sway bars.
Down the road: Headers, dyno tune, poly bushings, subframe bush upgrade
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:45 PM   #2
Hardymon
 
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Drives: 2010 2SS LS3 Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Florida Eglin AFB
Posts: 34
Volant cai

So I know most people out there have a chub for the CAI cai, and I admit that it's a great looking unit and a demonstrated performer, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.

I plan to keep my engine cover, and I liked that the Volant was designed to match it. I managed to find a good line on a used one from another member who had upgraded it a little by adding a home-made 426 "badge". (As I understand its actually a painted gas cap cover, but I liked the way it looked, and it added a little flare without being obnoxious.)

No CEL, and with the canned 93 oct tune, made ol' Lucy a bit peppier

(the second picture, you'll notice my TB is missing, it was out so I could have it ported, more on that below)
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Life's a garden, dig it!

Mods to date: Volant cai, New Era Ported TB, TMW Spectre Shift Weighted knob, Canned SCT X4 93 oct tune, Torque Solutions short shifter, FE4 suspension with BMR Sway bars.
Down the road: Headers, dyno tune, poly bushings, subframe bush upgrade
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:58 PM   #3
Hardymon
 
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Drives: 2010 2SS LS3 Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Florida Eglin AFB
Posts: 34
New Era Ported TB

Had New Era port out my TB over the holidays. They were great, solid customer service and excellent (less than 24 hour) turnaround on my TB. (They happen to be located near my family, so I was able to drop off and pick it up). The price was excellent too, only about $80 after taxes. I did get a little static coming through airport security though, I guess a TB looks like a "device" on the Xray. Can't fault them for doing their job though, (thankfully I got to skip the cavity search).
This mod has to be one of the better performance/dollar mods out there. There was a noticeable improvement. It didn't turn her into a comparative rocket ship so much as it made acceleration feel smoother and more refined, (and just a little bit more powerful).

I would strongly recommend these guys if you're looking at getting a ported TB and you can drop it off or afford to be without it for a little while since they don't offer core exchange at this time.

Top pic is before, bottom is after, you can see how much material was removed and how much smoother the surface is now.
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Life's a garden, dig it!

Mods to date: Volant cai, New Era Ported TB, TMW Spectre Shift Weighted knob, Canned SCT X4 93 oct tune, Torque Solutions short shifter, FE4 suspension with BMR Sway bars.
Down the road: Headers, dyno tune, poly bushings, subframe bush upgrade
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
Hardymon
 
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Drives: 2010 2SS LS3 Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Florida Eglin AFB
Posts: 34
TWM shift knob

So this upgrade has been a little less successful. I received the TWM Spectre knob for Christmas. It's good and heavy, and the delrin feels nice in the hand. It looks sharp and as advertised, feels good in the hand under temperature extremes.
The bad news is it's currently rattling like crazy, even under mild low RPM acceleration.
To compound the issue, (and this isn't TWM's fault, but the short throw I installed is just the tiniest bit thicker than stock, and their adapter didn't want to fit without some creativity, more on that below).

Needless to say, I've been in touch with TWM and will be returning it, and possibly exchanging it for the Spooky as I like the white and prefer the spherical shape. I will update this as it develops.
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Life's a garden, dig it!

Mods to date: Volant cai, New Era Ported TB, TMW Spectre Shift Weighted knob, Canned SCT X4 93 oct tune, Torque Solutions short shifter, FE4 suspension with BMR Sway bars.
Down the road: Headers, dyno tune, poly bushings, subframe bush upgrade
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:35 PM   #5
Hardymon
 
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Drives: 2010 2SS LS3 Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Florida Eglin AFB
Posts: 34
Torque Solutions Short shifter (eBay shifter)

So most people are running Hurst or Barton, or the "god mode" MGW short shifters, but I read a positive review on the Torque Solutions unit and figured at the price it was offered at, I could afford to take a chance.

For $60 shipped, about 1/4 the cost of a Barton, and 1/6 the cost of a MGW, I feel like this is something people should take note of. I'll admit that it's "only" a 27% reduction, compared to the 46 and 33% of Barton and MGW, but again, the price!

The unit itself is solid 1 piece construction with delrin bushings, (just make sure that they're fully seated, see my review for details there)

You don't get any instructions, but if you watch any of the other companies install videos, you'll see it's not exactly rocket science and you should be able to make the jump. The only thing I will say to anyone considering this, is pay attention to how the plastic cage and washers are oriented on the stock unit as you will be reusing them, and there is an up and a down.

I did do a full write up/review of my install, it was a bit hellacious, but I think that was particular to me. In hindsight, I think it was because I tightened things down prematurely which prevented the slack needed to connect to the linkage, and anyone else doing this should realistically see the 30 minute install time.

The only part that still grinds me just a little, is that the shaft is about a 1/64th bigger than stock which required a bunch of shenanigans with heat guns and eventually slap hammers to deal with the TWM adapter. I'll probably end up hitting it with some emery cloth to shave off that difference if I need to to install the TWM knob once it gets back to me.

Other than my personal install issues, the shifter is great, (especially now with the stock knob back on it)! The shifts are much crisper and more positive, and importantly to me, I have yet to encounter any rattle even under vigorous acceleration

In short, if you're on a budget, you want a short shifter and you are planning to use the stock knob, I don't think it's possible to do better than the Torque Solutions unit.
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Life's a garden, dig it!

Mods to date: Volant cai, New Era Ported TB, TMW Spectre Shift Weighted knob, Canned SCT X4 93 oct tune, Torque Solutions short shifter, FE4 suspension with BMR Sway bars.
Down the road: Headers, dyno tune, poly bushings, subframe bush upgrade
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:11 PM   #6
Hardymon
 
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Drives: 2010 2SS LS3 Yellow
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Florida Eglin AFB
Posts: 34
FE4 BMR sway upgrade

I took advantage of the Holiday sale that BMR was running and ordered a set of FE4 sway bars through Tyler at JDP Motorsports. There is a reason that members with BMR bars are legion on this site, they're great. Enough other people have written mountains about these bars, so I'll skip that.

I will say that Tyler was extremely helpful through all steps of the process, from helping me decide to join the BMR legion, (I was also looking at Spohn and LG bars). He helped me realize that I could upgrade to the more robust and efficient FE4 setup for about the same price as doing FE3 bars and stronger links.

He also cleared up several misconceptions and some confusion that I had, and did so professionally and promptly. I will definitely be going back to JDP first for my future upgrades.

But enough gushing about JDP. The install went very well. I did it at the base hobby shop on a lift, and while the entire rear is probably doable from jackstands, I'm not so sure you could do the front, only because of how the bar needs to be twisted out. I would also STRONGLY recommend a second set of hands for the LCA install. The bars however are easily done solo.

For some reason I got a little hung up on the passenger side LCA. For some reason it was just stiffer and I had a mother of a time trying to get all the bolts back in, even with everything I could loosen up loosened as far as it would go. (As a note here, I used BMR's instructions to install their LCAs, and I put factory LCAs on, so maybe that was the difference, but if you're doing this, I would recommend also unbolting one side of the trailing arm as it give you just a little extra bit of flex to put everything back together).

In any event, after the passenger side took me about an hour and a half of straight up struggling, I started to worry that this whole project was going to go like my shifter and be a straight nightmare Thankfully, everything else went according to plan and I got the drivers LCA installed in under 1/2 an hour and without having to loosen the strut, (I did still do the trailing arm, just because it's 1 bolt and it's too easy not to do it).

As for the rear bar, that took maybe 20 minutes, went super smooth.

Front took a little over an hour, mostly because I had to enlarge the holes on the strut to 12mm, (or 15/32 since apparently metric drill bits aren't a thing...who knew). I've heard that you don't have to lift the engine to get the front bar out/in, but they say you should do it in the instructions, and if you do, it makes life super easy. Physically removing the bar with the engine lifted only took about a minute, same with putting it back in. If you can, lift the engine, seriously.

Because I did new LCAs, I had to get an alignment, which bumps the final cost of the install up a little, but all said and done, it is very worth it.

Lucy is so much smoother in the turns, she feels much lighter and more agile, a shadow of her old fat self wallowing through the turns. Plus those big red bars look great, especially when they're on the outside of the strut like they should have been all along!
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__________________
Life's a garden, dig it!

Mods to date: Volant cai, New Era Ported TB, TMW Spectre Shift Weighted knob, Canned SCT X4 93 oct tune, Torque Solutions short shifter, FE4 suspension with BMR Sway bars.
Down the road: Headers, dyno tune, poly bushings, subframe bush upgrade
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