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  1. #1

    Default Questions regarding initial upgrades to a brand new engine.

    First off, I'd like to say that I don't know as much about the intricacies of my engine or the performance upgrades as I'd like to. However, I'm working on spinning myself up as quickly as possible.

    I've been the proud owner of my 2009 Silverado LTZ for exactly a week now. It's the crew cab, 4x4, 5.3L. I plan to have this beautiful truck for a while and fixing it up quite a bit, but I'm looking to start relatively easy. I want to squeeze out some performance without going crazy financially right off the bat. The primary things I'm looking at for the moment are the intake, some headers, exhaust and a chip. I'm looking for recommendations on each of these items. I have a friend who's very knowledgeable on the topic, but his specialty is tricking out little VW engines, so he can't really help in regard to a chevy. That being said, he looked at the pipes coming off the exhaust manifold and said they looked like decent pipes so I might be able to get away with a cat back system and skip the headers. I've been looking at getting some nice headers, but I'd hate to spend the money and see little to no gain. The truck is also a single exhaust. Therefore, is there a benefit to going dual-exit exhaust beyond just the aesthetics?

    I've looked at a fair number of programmers. Some are plug n play and others much more involved. I'm not comfortable enough personally to go in and begin adjusting the settings manually. Does anyone have any recommendations on programmers to use, or should I have it done at a shop?

    Lastly, I'm curious what type of realistic gains the community thinks I might be able to expect from the above-mentioned adjustments and if there are any additional relatively simple performance upgrades I might be able to make.

    Thank you for any insight anyone can provide.


    To Be Completed (Eventually):
    6" BDS Suspension lift | KingShocks Front and Rear Coil Overs | 4.56 Gears | 35" A/Ts (TBD) | Cervinis 07-12 Silverado Ram Air Hood | Fab Fours Front Winch Bumper (CS07-H2051-1) | Fab Fours Full Size Rear Bumper (CS07-W1850-1) | RX-2 Series Main Grille (Black) | Line-x Bed and wheel wells | Skid Plates | Rizor Automated Tonneau Cover | Custom Bed Insert | RBP RX-3 Series Nerf Bars | Kenwood Excelon DNX9990HD | JL Audio Stealthbox (2x500RMS) | JL Audio HD 1200/1 Class D Mono Amp | JL Audio C5-653 Components (Front) | JL Audio C5-650 Components (Rear) | JL Audio Slash v2 300/4v2 Class A/B Amp

  2. #2


    The Performance mods you are wanting to do,CAI and Catback Exhaust.There are many to choose from.It comes down to what you are wanting to spends.IMO there is No one best CAI and Catback Exhaust.They all will give you some Amount of H.P.and M.P.G. Gains.Have you looked into during a Custom Tune?They are a Better upgrade over the Handheld ones,They will give you a Better Buck for your $$$.As far as Realistic gains will Vary from Truck to Truck,But These 3 Mods are a Big improvement over your stock setup.


    5.3 l 3.73 l G80

  3. #3


    After reading some of the other threads on here I'm looking at contacting blackbear performance for a custom tune as tht certainly seems the way to go and much more complete than the handheld. I'm definitely looking at getting a CAI and exhaust. I plan to get some headers as well. I was playing with the idea of an edelbrock intake mani as well just to finish off the whole intake and exhaust system. I just want to make sure it's all done well. I'd never have even thought of the custom tune without this site, so that's a uge help already.

  4. #4


    Blackbear is 1 of the most well known.Good luck and BTW Any Pics of your Ride?

  5. #5


    I have some pictures on my camera, but haven't uploaded them yet. In addition to gettinga new truck last week, I've also been moving. I should have them this week. =)

  6. #6


    A New Truck and Moving,I would said your a little busy.

  7. #7


    Gratz on your new truck. I picked mine up 2 and a half weeks ago and I am in the same boat; looking to see where I start with the upgrades.

    I got a 2009 GMC Sierra 5.3L Crew Cab, 2WD, Stealth Gray, Ebonay Interior, with the Convenience and Preferred packages.

    I am loving it too!

  8. #8


    Check into wait4meperformance. They do custom tuned hand held from sct. This is what I have and they are great. There are many more people on the site that have the wait4me tune and they are happy as well. As far as your hp gains i would say you could squeeze at least 55 hp from all of the stuff you are talking about doing. If you are gonna go headers make sure you get the good ones you dont want em rusting on you. As far as exhaust go with cherry bomb they sound nice and mean. Dual will help you with the performance mods you want to do. You dont want to try and shoot a rockett throu a 22 barrel. talk to jesse or hannah they are great and will get you what you need. They can also help you with what additions you want to add. You can go to to hear what the exhaust sound like or check out cherrybombs on youtube. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.
    08 silverado
    K&N cai
    single in dual out cherry bomb pro
    leveling kit
    custom painted bow ties
    Bed liner
    Tinted windows
    20inch Cruser Alloy Switchblades
    Goodyear Eagle GT2 285/50/20
    1 truly heavy foot + Wait4meperformance SCT Handheld
    100 shot of Nitrous Dyno tune system
    SS front bumper
    Matching painted front grill and bow ties

  9. #9
    Legend 2ToNe04's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Fresno California
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    cold air intake
    exhaust they have mail in tunes, justin (tuner) is great to work with.

    2004 4.8| Custom Paint| Tint| De-badged| Shaved Tailgate| Rollpan| Smoked Tails| Color Matched| Lowered 5/8| Suede Interior| Color Matched Interior| Indash & TVs| Mids-Lows & 2 12" CVRs| 500 & 1100 Interfires| Soundeadener| Outlaw CAI| Magnaflow|
    Future Mods: 6.0 LQ4/9| Bags|

  10. #10


    Thanks for the suggestions. Sadly, blackbearperformance can't help me yet. I've been in contact with Justin and he doesn't have all of the equipment for the 2009 yet as it hasn't been released. I'm finding this issue with many of the manufacturers.

    That being said, it looks like for the moment I'm going to be looking at a CAI, headers and exhaust. I was looking into some long tube headers and high flow cats to turn it into a true dual, but two different shops (both of which were recommended to me by friends in the area) told me there wouldn't be much, if any advantage over the 3" pipe on the single I have now so I'm thinking of just doing a dual exit. Though I haven't fully decided yet.

    Once I get this stuff done I'll be getting back in touch with Justin at blackbear to see what he might have at that time. But, I have a little time.

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