View Full Version : I want an extra 25 HP out of my SC, what is the best "bang for the buck?

10-28-2002, 07:36 PM
By Bill Evanoff

Two items should be considered. New rear gears and/or a free flowing exhaust system.

<b>GEARS:</b> Of course, lower gears (numerically higher) do not make HP, but they do help to multiply the torque that is currently available to your advantage better and make it more useable for the type of driving most of us do. Going up two or possibly even three ratios will make your car feel 500 pounds lighter. You can expect a .3 to .5 second drop in quarter mile times assuming you can maintain good traction. Ratios I recommend: 3.27s on manual trans. cars, and 3.73s on automatics. Your driving style and priorities may dictate other ratios, but these recommendations should suit the objective of most SC owners without going overboard.

<b>EXHAUST:</b> The stock system, to put it bluntly, is really bad from a performance standpoint. The most restrictive piece of the SC exhaust system is the center resonator located just behind the catalytic converters and its exit pipe that is necked down for some unknown reason. Replacing this with a free flowing resonator will help the system substantially. It should be noted here that a resonator should NOT be deleted from your system unless you like a buzzy/blatty/droning exhaust note. The resonator really keeps the exhaust note sounding good yet is not restrictive. The cast iron exhaust manifolds are the next most restrictive items. The only help here is to go with shorty or long tube headers. The rest of the system is marginally effective on stock SCs and down right bad on a modified car. Several aftermarket companies offer several larger sized complete exhaust systems depending your HP levels or goals. Once the exhaust has been opened up, you should definitely consider going to a raised/enlarged supercharger outlet adapter (or top, as they are often called). With a free flowing exhaust, the enlarged adapter really becomes beneficial and also becomes a great "bang for the buck" bolt on. Replacing your exhaust (less the headers) should improve HP approximately 25 HP. Headers and exhaust improves this to 50 HP. Headers, exhaust and a raised/enlarged adapter should bring a total of 75 additional HP.