I have a 99 ls and right now I have AEM CAI,dc 4-1 header,Apexi cat back exhaust and I was wondering what would be the next bolt on item I could get to increase HP before getting turbo,supercharging,or NOS? I was thinking maybe a skunk2 intake manifold?Eventually I do want to superhcarge it or go turbo.
Quote: from the first page of the Engine Package 1 Article:
Many people ask me what I mean by the term "engine combination" or "engine package".
Beginner enthusiasts purchase a new aftermarket part and think that by adding it, this virtually guarantees a gain in horsepower. This mentality probably got started because their first modification (likely an intake )gave them a big gain in hp. It does NOT always work that way though. A person can add a new aftermarket part with the wrong design characteristics and lose power.
The whole engine package is only as good as how the individual parts work together. I call these systems. For example, the "intake system" is made up of several individual parts: the intake, TB, IM, cylinder head ports, cylinder head bowl shape, and cams. The "combustion system" is determined by the piston dome shape, cylinder head bowl shape, rod ratio, bore/stroke of the block, ignition, and fuel delivery parts. The "exhaust system" includes the header, cat, and exhaust. etc. Each system has several parts that work with one another. You cannot get one part within a system and not think about how it will affect the others first, before you buy it. For example, the size of your TB is determined by the IM plenum size. You shouldn't assume a bigger TB is always better. Buying a header without considering the diameter of the cat and exhaust downstream relative to the header's collector diameter can result in a lower than expected gain in power.
To make life even more complicated, each system can affect another system. For instance, the rod ratio from the "combustion system" can effect the port shape, port size, and IM runner length in the "intake system". The specs for an upgraded aftermarket cam for the "intake system" can determine the choice of piston dome height (compression ratio) in the "combustion system".
Thinking in terms of "engine package" means before purchasing a new aftermarket part, you want to consider how it works or "talks" with the other parts in your engine: are it's design characteristics (dimensions & layout) going to work well with the the rest of the engine or will the design cancel out a gain from another part because it is incompatible?
Most beginners don't know what these features are when they get "the next part" after an intake. We want to start with some basics and what features to look for.