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Performance Upgrades for 95 Suburban?

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Corkwheats, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Corkwheats

    Corkwheats New Member

    Hi Guys,
    I am now the proud owner of a 1995 Suburban K1500 LS, and she is a dandy! It has 190K highway miles, and is in very good condition. I'm used to messin' with old school vehicles, but the idea of a computer enhanced ride is new for me.

    I have a '71 Ford Truck with a "warm" 390 (approx. 350 H.P.). The performance upgrades on that bad boy were fairly easy (even a caveman could do it).

    So, while I definitely don't want to make a "race car" out of this beauty, I will be doing quite a bit of heavy towing and am interested in a little more "oomph" out of this 5.7 (TBI) under the hood. Since it needs a new exhaust system anyway, I was considering Headers, and a more free flowing exhaust. I don't intend to yank the Cats, and will, of course have a bung for the O2 Sensor (there's only 1 as far as I can tell).

    My question: If I do this "bolt on" upgrade, and run these Headers & new exhaust, will it totally whack out the Computer? I've heard several different takes on this. I'd like to hear from some of you who have done this on your Burbs (from this era -OBD1).

    I don't intend on swapping out the Cam. I may not even want to go with an Edelbrock Performer Intake, or anything else at this point. But, from an old school perspective, these items were "no brainers" for a guy wanting to boost H.P. & Torque on his car/truck. But, in this more modern age (1995?) of technology, I am on new turf, and would like to hear from those who have "been there....done that".

    Is it safe to put on headers on my Suburban? Would I need a whole new "tune" afterwards? I've read on here where just about everyone has done this upgrade. What's the deal?

    Also, what are some other (fairly inexpensive) bolt on performance mods I can do? I'm here to learn.

    Thanks,
    Bob
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  2. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Welcome to the club!!

    While I do not have a suburban, I have experience in performance for both obd1 and obd2 systems.

    In my opinion OBD1 is easier to modify without freaking the computer out, I put long tube headers on my 94 firebird with no tuning and it runs great.

    On my 04 Colorado I put long tube headers on it, and the computer went crazy literally. I'm still working the bugs out of it, so to answer your question you should be fine.
  3. Corkwheats

    Corkwheats New Member

    Thanks a lot.
    This is the type of info I'm looking for.
    I bought a Haynes Manual for this Suburban (Manual covers several years/models) and saw
    That mine only has the one O2 sensor.
    The subsequent years/models have several.
    I would like to do the header upgrade at some point.
    Right now, I'm installing a 3" Cat Back system that will match up nicely with the Headers
    I've selected.
    Here a little.....there a little (as time & money allow).
    Bob
  4. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member 1 Year 500 Posts

    Headers and 2.5" dual exhaust from the headers back WILL NOT affect the computer or the way the vehicle runs (in a negative manner) as long as the O2 sensor gets put back in. My buddy removed his cats even and still has 0 issues. TBI spacer and a custom chip will go a long way with towing capability
  5. Corkwheats

    Corkwheats New Member

    Thanks, BurbanMan (love that name!)
    I'm really glad to hear this from you guys. Mine just has the One Cat, and One O2 Sensor - way up at the start of the exhaust (none near, or behind the Cat).
    I'm looking into the Flowtech "Afterburner" Headers that have a matching Y-Pipe that goes with them for easy install. The Headers have an O2 bung already on them.
    I'm very interested in hearing about what TBI Spacers people have had success with. Also, which Chips may be good for my '95 Burb. These would be fairly inexpensive mods, and maybe give me a little bit more "oomph". And, yes, I will be trying to focus mainly on Low to Mid Range Power. Maybe (hopefully) get a small bump in mileage - although I didn't buy this puppy for the mileage.

    Thanks,
    Bob
  6. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member 1 Year 500 Posts

    not to burst your bubble, but putting a y pipe on with headers is going to do little to no good. You can get a true dual exhaust system from summit for about $450 headers and all.
  7. Corkwheats

    Corkwheats New Member

    Never worry about bursting my bubble - I wanna know the straight skinny. I appreciate your info. I am so very new to these bad boys, I'll take all the good info I can get. I didn't realize that there was such a system. I will look again.

    So, then, the Cat would be on one side of the true dual exhaust? If you wanna share what the Header brand & style are, feel free. I'm gonna go look now.

    Thank You!
    Bob
  8. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member 1 Year 500 Posts

  9. Corkwheats

    Corkwheats New Member

    Thanks anyway. In fact, here is the kit that I'm getting: http://m.summitracing.com/parts/wlk-17386

    The Burb currently has no muffler/tailpipe, so I'm getting this 3" Cat Back system.

    This will set me up to get the Flowtech Afterburner Headers: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/big-49156flt/overview/

    .....And this matching Y-Pipe: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/big-49156yflt/overview/

    This 3" Slip On System is about as good as I can get for this model Suburban. It will definitely breath a lot better after this is done!

    Bob

    - - - Updated - - -

    What would be a good TBI Spacer, and Custom Chip for me to look at for good towing capability?
    (This is the main reason we got this Burb).
    Thanks,
    Bob
  10. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member 1 Year 500 Posts

    There's a few companies that do custom chips. Several come up when you google search "GM TBI performance chip"

    As for the spacer, I prefer aluminum. You can pick one of those up on eBay pretty cheap

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