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looking to add some hp and not spend alot of money. notice most people assume dropping the cats will increase hp. is it not true that in some cases it actually decreases hp? i am currently stock w/o mufflers and figure maybe leaving some backpressure is good... about cams, i was wondering people's opinions on which cam would give the most performance gain with a stock vehicle...is there one available that would not require other mods and/or a tune? what could you expect as far as rwhp?
 

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Well, if you're wanting to spend as little money as possible, but gain maximum horsepower, I'd recommend long-tube headers (or shorties if you're concerned about emissions) and a relatively small cam (nothing too aggressive). Those can net you about 100 horsepower. The LTs are the expensive part, at $800-1200, depending on the brand and with/without cats. You could get the cam and everything else you need to install (minus installation itself) for around $500-600.
A lot of people, myself included, like the Thunder Racing 224/224 cam. It's a decent power-maker and doesn't kill your low-end torque or make your car undriveable. Lots of people have that installed in their LS1/LS2 vehicles.
I will go ahead and give you the usual legal disclaimer, like I do with everyone else...removing the cats is illegal in all 50 states. That said, you'll net anywhere from 9-19hp by removing them.
If you want to go even cheaper than the cam/LTs, you can put on a CAI (Cold Air Intake), then maybe get headers (shorties are cheaper than long tubes). Those were the first two mods I did to my goat and it certainly woke up. I added tuning shortly thereafter, which gave it even MORE oomph. I'd recommend tuning either way, it's a quick way to pick up 15-40 horses, depending on your mods. Tuning with ANY cam is something that you'll want to get done, some just actually REQUIRE it due to idle characteristics and such.
There's a great article this month in GM High Tech Performance about cams/heads and the horsepower gains you can get with them. I find that's an excellent magazine to learn from, they usually have something about the LS1/LS2 in there.
Others will have different ideas about the cam. Cam specs are as varied as GTO owners themselves are. Lots of people like different cams. I'm not saying the TR224 is the absolute BEST, it's one of the better ones in my opinion, so it may be something you want to look into.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
-Scott
 
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