Chevrolet Impala Performance Upgrades?

flyinlow35flyinlow35 Member Posts: 3
edited June 2014 in Chevrolet
Hey everyone! As of March 6 I am now a proud new owner of a 06 Laser Blue Metallic Impala ss. Doea anyone know if there will be performance chip uprades available? I like the deep sounds of the exhaust, is there a set of mufflers besides headers that will enhance this?


  • mymittiesmymitties Member Posts: 242
    Hi there flyinlow35..

    Welcome to the family and congratulations on your new arrival..!!
    You've definately got quite a beauty machine there.
    I know that we all have our personal tastes ,so I do have to be carefull here because the last thing I would want to do is hurt your feelings ..BUT, good grief man, WHAT IS YOUR THINKING HERE %%%%%%%%!!!!!
    The stock 5.3 SS exhaust note is one of the best sounding exhaust notes around in my opinion. Ya, sure there are louder Mufflers/ systems in various degrees i.e Dynomax, Magnaflow, Flowmaster, Borla, etc. etc. But remember , that sometimes louder can make it sound very cheap especially on an automatic. BE carefull here. My 2 cents...I would not go there at this point. Be content with the great rumble you currently have!! I'm quite sure that all the other SS guys (Ron, Bryan, Rob, etc.) will give you their input also once they read your post. As far as chips and headers are concerned..Ya there some around for the impalas..Look on ebay and some other impala sites. Some guys have changed their chips ,headers, and also intakes. Personally, I am just not confident that the so called perfomance chip gives the 25-35 horsepower gain as advertised. Anyway, keep us posted....
    Frank ;)
  • colchester47colchester47 Member Posts: 261
    Mornin everyone,....Flyinlow,....I'm Bryan and I own a 5.3 SS also...Congrats on your new SS......I can't see where you'd want to play around with these machines...I mean, 5.7 in 0-60....101 in a 1/4 mile and top speed of 154 not fast enough?....Plus you risk voiding out your warranty with modifications and upgrades!!...Be careful.......As it is , with your new SS you'll be changing your handle in here to...."Flyinhigh".......well, thats my 2 cents....Good Luck with your new machine....we'll talk soon.............bryan
  • mymittiesmymitties Member Posts: 242
    Hey flyinlow,
    You know, Bryan has made very excellent point here that I totally forgot about while making my emotional plea to you.. Thanks Bryan, and good morning to you to !! It's much warmer and sunny here in Toronto for a change. OH ,OH..carefull Frank. Flyinlow, Yes,..There would be absoleutely A HUGE warrantee issues here...!!!My experience with this is that you would be ok with only some changes after the cat. converter and sensors (i.e. ok to change mufflers, pipes, tips). But any mods ahead of that
    i.e performance headers, after market chips, intake manifolds etc. would be a BIG, BIG, issue with GM and warrantee coverage. Gee in some situations just the K & N filter can get you into trouble...Ya, be carefull

    Frank ;)
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    Aside from Frank's concern about ruining an already beautiful song by messing with the exhaust and all of our concerns over voiding a warranty, I would be careful because I believe the 5.3L has been detuned for use in the Impala because of drivetrain limitations. The same engine has a lot more power and torque in truck applications (RWD) so I think GM decided on the numbers we have based on long term reliability. My strong assumption is that if you do up the power, which I think can be done easily, you may cause problems with your tranny either sooner or more likely later.

    I like maxing out power as much as the next guy but don't want to give up reliability. Imagine going to a secluded stretch of road to test out your new enhancements and then being stranded when something breaks. Worse yet, you call OnStar to come to your rescue and after towing you home, they refuse to cover the cost because you've been tinkering under the hood. I don't know that it would go down like that (with my luck, it would) but it sure would suck.

    That said, it's your car and your decision. If you do go for it, we'll all be eagerly awaiting your report on your results. ;) Good luck whichever way you go.

  • cnwcnw Member Posts: 105
    Ron--You bring up an interesting point as you talk about OnStar and the monitoring capability. You also seem to have extensive understanding and knowledge of many issues. Here's a question, situation for clarification or verification. I've been told that Onboard Diagnostics III (OBDIII) gives the capability for manufacturer to not only diagnose on the fly, but also gives them the ability to disable the ignition; same capability as opening a locked car, tracking a stolen vehicle and disabling it, etc. My concern--if monitoring reveals performance capability, or speeds, or whatever else "big brother" doesn't like--doesn't that also give them the ability to disable the vehicle. (PS--I'm also a retired zoomie.) Clark
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    Well, they'd never advertise it but I'd guess they have those abilities although (hopefully) not set up to work in a hostile way. In other words, they probably have the capabilities they'd need to know if you'd installed a performance chip by getting readings of fuel/air ratio, speed through direct uplink or through GPS, and they've been reporting lately about the "black boxes" on newer cars that store the last 10 seconds or so of vehicle data. I say they aren't set up to use this in a hostile way, as in shutting your car down for speeding or because your spouse is mad at you, because I think the public backlash would really hurt GM and other OnStar equipped sales. But, the capability is almost certainly there. It's a little scary when you think about it in today's world.

    You got me thinking...I wonder why the cops haven't started using OnStar's capability to limit those high-speed car chases?

    How long have you been retired? I'm a newbie...only since 1 Jan. :D
  • cnwcnw Member Posts: 105
    Regarding OBDIII--someone told me they had capability of monitoring for emissions controls and it got me thinking about the extended possibilities. Scary thought if we lived in a police state; civil liberties grant us a lot of personal choices. Thankfully.

    I retired in July '94. Just short of 27 years.

  • martin22martin22 Member Posts: 53
    Your talk regarding exhaust mods reminds me of the disappointment my stepson experienced when he modified his Dodge Charger R/T. The standard set up was very quiet and his aim was to get a good V8 rumble. He succeeded in that respect.
    He was not so pleased though with the sound when it switched to 4 cyl mode. Yuck!
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    Yeah, loud isn't always good. Some would argue it's never really good. When the Impala switches to 4 cylinder mode, it kind of sounds like two Japanese V-twin motorcycles are riding alongside. Of course, the Impala only goes to 4 cylinders when you are on light throttle so you really have to be listening for it. Strangely, the only time it remained in 4 cyl under moderate throttle was when I was driving uphill through the mountains between NC and TN. It isn't that sweet V-8 sound but it wasn't a bad sound either. GM really put their time in when they were tuning this exhaust. I really have no complaints. It's loud enough to hear it when you want and still not so loud that you can drive through the neighborhood without annoying the neighbors.

    I may have to drive a Charger again now so that I can compare the two.
  • martin22martin22 Member Posts: 53
    I must admit I don't hear the exhaust in 4 cyl mode, rather I sense it through the seat of my pants - just a very mild vibration. We, too have been enjoying those mountains, around Ashville. The Blue Ridge Parkway was blocked so we took off into some lesser roads. The SS purred all the way - I just wish it had some decent engine braking in 3 and 2. That drive was towards the end of a marathon 5,400 mile road trip to escape the Illinois winter. We travelled all the way down to Key West, pausing to stay with friends in Naples then up the east coast into NC to stay with some more friends. Average gas mileage for the whole trip: 22.8, average speed: 40mph (courtesy of the DIC) Only problem was the screeching driver's window although that seems to have fixed itself now we are back home in cooler weather.
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    That's odd, I thought the 5.3L's engine braking was very good. I hardly touched the brakes on the descent to Pigeon Forge, TN.

    That screeching window should be fixed by some silicone lubricant or even Armor All sprayed onto the window seal and glass.

  • flyinlow35flyinlow35 Member Posts: 3
    Hey guys! Thanks for the wram welcoming. I have an Avalanche and love it! Takes getting used to now driving a car. With all your guys advice, I will leave it as is. Not worth messing with warranties, and so on. Besides, I smoked a guy driving a modified Honda civic earlier today anyway. Damn I love this car!!! I really appreciate everyone's input and look forward to chatting with all you guys at some point or another. Thanks for all the input guys and making me feel at home here on the site! Chat with you guys later!!


    P.S. Is there a way I can post a pic of the car on here anywhere?
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    P.S. Is there a way I can post a pic of the car on here anywhere?

    Yes you can and please do. It's a little complicated but not that bad once you give it a try. As part of your profile here, you're given space to post pictures. You post the pic to your profile and then link to it here. At the top left, look for "My CarSpace" and click it. That will get you to your profile where you can upload your pics.

    Here's proof that it works:
    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    That's my girl sitting in the hot SC sun. :)

  • mymittiesmymitties Member Posts: 242
    Hi Ron...

    Real nice shot here....!!!
    Hey, whats with SC as mentioned ,I though you
    were in WV....??? :surprise:

    Frank ;)
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    Born and raised in WV, 20.5 yrs in the Air Force, came to a landing in SC where I am now. WV will always be home, though.

  • link69link69 Member Posts: 2
    Go to, join the group and you will find what you looking for and more! Tell'em link sent you.
  • pocke59pocke59 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 07 Impala 3.9. Weekend Mechanic on DIY played a segment recently on fuel economy upgrades that improved their truck by supposedly almost 10mpg. Got me thinking, " Is there similar improvements for my Impala?" and if so, what are they, where can I get them? Their make over included new intake, air filer, headers and exhaust system from catalytic converter back. Need advice so I don't waste money, or throw it away on usless products. Thanks for your advice.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Member Posts: 872
    They improved mileage by 10 MPG, or 10%? Not sure what kind of truck they were starting with, but a 10 MPG improvement would be impressive on any vehicle...but 10% seems more than doable (though more realistic). And was this a new truck, or maybe an older non-fuel-injected vehicle? I had an '82 Ford F350 with a 390-V8 for was getting 8 MPG when I bought it, but through repairing things like the fuel pump, giving it a tune up and rebuilding the carb I got it up to 11 MPG...only a 3 MPG improvement, but a 40% increase made a big difference in my gasoline purchases (just glad I sold it before gas prices spiked a few years ago). Anyway, my point is to increase the gas mileage of ANY vehicle by 10 MPG would be a pretty major feat, especially if they were starting with a newer vehicle.
  • bonehedbonehed Member Posts: 1
    Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading some of the components on my 2001 3.8 Impala. I've run into some problems finding things like headers, exhaust, catalytic converters etc. that I can put on the car. Some of the issues i'm facing are the fact that I am in California and have to deal with Ca. emissions and want to avoid parts that will ultimately cost as much as a new car anyways. Has anybody on here dealt with this and have any suggestions?
  • disfunionalguydisfunionalguy Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Impala LT with the 3500 moter in it. I am looking to put some upgrades on it but they are far and few. One of the things i want to do is upgrade the computer in it. Does anyone know where i can get one or where i can send it to? The other is cat back but the only one i found was like 800 bucks. I am in the process of getting the stuff for a homemade cold air intake. If anyone has any websites that have stuff for this power plant please let me know.
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