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Old 07-02-2006, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Can I Get Some Performance Reccomendations?

Hey guys, I just bought a 2000 Bonneville SSE. I've been reading around the forums, and checking out other sites. What I'm looking to do is keep my spending limit under the $750 zone to maybe eek a few more horsepower out of my car. First of all, I'm looking at this cold air intake from 3800performance http://www.3800performance.com/Merch...roduct_Count=0
, and a 160 degree thermostat through INTENSE. Secondly, I had to replace the exhaust, and went with a higher-flow muffler, so that end is taken care of. A friend of mine has a turbocharged v-6 ('9 firebird, and he bought HPTuners for it, and he'* able to add my car onto his account. He has a very good understanding of the software, such as the fuel curves, trans line pressure, shift points, etc. Can I get any reccomendations as to how far to go with the trans line pressure, shift points, ignition timing etc (if anyone has gone down this road that is). My last question is what the best combination of reliable upgrades I should go with in order to best work with the PCM (which we can tune as needed). I was thinking an underdrive pulley, but besides the aforementioned any advice I could get would be fantastic. Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:08 PM   #2
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First of all, you're in pretty good shape if your friend has a reasonable understanding of the HP Tuners software package. I haven't personally operated the software, so I can't give you any specifics on tuning tips.

I would caution you against installing a 160 degree thermostat at this point. Most guys go with a 180 degree, and only venture to a 160 if they're supercharged and making a boatload of power. You are normally aspirated, and you'll only be lightly modded at this stage in the game. I have installed a mild cam and high compression heads on my L36, and I'm still only using a 180. I've heard that a 160 will keep your engine from warming to optimal operating temperature, thereby reducing potential output.

Aside from that, you've got your bases covered pretty well. Exhaust is done, and you're looking at an intake and colder thermostat. Those are the basic items that need to be addressed before doing any drastic PCM reprogramming. For your budget, I would look at getting a nice set of ported exhaust manifolds or used headers, or perhaps getting a set of 1.7 or 1.8 ratio rocker arms. Combine any one of these mods with a good PCM tune, and you'll be wearing a big smile in no time!
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can I Get Some Performance Reccomendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearxp
Hey guys, I just bought a 2000 Bonneville SSE.
That would be a truly rare car. There was no SSE in 2000. What model is it REALLY?
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:33 PM   #4
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My bad, I meant '99.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearxp
My bad, I meant '99.
So it'* normally aspirated (VIN code K), right? If not, my previous comments need to be slightly modified.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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Yeah, non-supercharged '99 SSE. I was thinkin of my friends car earlier while I was posting .Only thing done to it so far is aftermarket muffler.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Then my previous suggestions are still valid. However, the CAI you're considering is only for 2000+ Bonnevilles. There are a few options for the 92-99 body style, the cheapest of which may be to create your own intake from some commonly-available items at your local parts store. Check the Techinfo link at the top left of the webpage and browse the articles for more information.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:09 PM   #8
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I'm with Ben on the rockers and PEM'*
The best rockers would be the ZZP ER rockers (somewhere around 1.8-1.85 ratio). They are sopose to be coming back out soon. If you don't want to wait, 1.8'* or 1.84 rockers are about as far as you should go n/a. And you don't need to replace the valve springs either. You'll need new rocker arm bolts and valve cover gaskets.
And PEMs can be had from www.gtpowderworks.com. Make sure to specify that your a 99 H-body.
As far as the recomendations for HP tuners go, for ignition timing I know it'* been said by zoomer that anything past 28* WOT dosent gain any hp. I don't know if you'll be able to get up there without any knock though so be careful and advance it a little at a time. And with rockers and PEMs, 6k shifts would probably suit the powerband well.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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Really? I find it suprising that an initial upgrade would be rockers? Would therockersrequire the addition of aftermarket rods and springs? I'd personally like to stick with something less risky than opening up the valve covers and putting different rockers in, however I guess you guys have been around the block with these things. EDIT: How difficult have you found it to be to put the pem'* in? Does the rad or anything else need to be removed for clearence? What does anyone think about the INTENSE Stage 1 Kit? http://www.intense-racing.com/Mercha...ategory_Code=P
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Old 07-03-2006, 01:48 AM   #10
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Level 1, not Stage 1. I don't mean to nit-pick, but there is a difference. The different "Level" packages involve easier items like PCM, spark plugs, and rockers, while the "Stage" packages imply a cam and/or head swap. Using the correct terminology helps minimize confusion. However, it'* not that big of a deal .

So anyway, I would say you don't need to worry about getting the Level 1 package. You can get Autolite plugs anywhere for pretty cheap, as well as a 180 degree thermostat (by the way, when you go to a parts store you'll have to specifically ask for a 180* t-stat that will fit your application. They might look at you funny, but keep pressing until you find a parts store that will sell one to you). You don't need to pay for an Intense PCM if you already have a buddy who will give you a custom tune. If you want their cold air intake kit, order it separately, although there is a plethora of options for you to make your own intake. In fact, even if you order the Intense kit you'll have to do your own engineering to make a fender-well setup or create a custom heat shield.

I would like to see you go with a nice set of PEMs from GT Powderworks, as 95naSTA mentioned in his reply. If you're nervous about screwing with your valvetrain, don't even mess with it. PEMs do not require you to remove your radiator or any other major parts for installation, so they might be more up your alley. If you combine a cold air intake and 180* t-stat with PEMs and a custom PCM tune, you'll be in great shape. Once you have your exhaust flowing nicely with PEMs (or used headers, if you can find a good pair), you'll be set up for rockers or a cam somewhere down the road.

One last note: you may not even need spark plugs that are a heat range colder. I was using Autolite 605s (one range colder than stock) for my dyno tune, and upon inspecting the plugs I feel they were running a little too cold. Have your buddy with the HP Tuners software scan your car with stock heat range plugs in the car, and keep scanning it as you're making changes. If you get to the point where KR is popping up, try moving down a heat range. Don't just automatically assume you're going to need a certain heat range before you change stuff, because you might end up with plugs that are too cold, which would ultimately keep you from making all your potential power.

Alright, I'm done writing this novel
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