What do you get when you add one part exhaust, one part air intake, and one part programmer to a brand-new Chevy truck? You get better mileage, more power, and a truck that will walk away from your next-door neighbor's stock rig. The new Chevy truck features redesigned sheetmetal and new interior goodies, and under the hood you'll find a 4.8L, 5.3L, or 6.0L powerplant. In stock trim, the truck has good power on tap but not nearly enough to keep our heavy right foot happy.
With the way gas prices keep going up, we were a little hesitant to modify the truck and lower the fuel efficiency, but luckily the aftermarket industry has that in mind and does its best to not mess up the mpg. In fact, once all of the parts were installed on our '08 5.3L-equipped Silverado, we netted a 2.2 gain in the mpg area on the 87-octane tune and a 1.5 gain on the 91 tune. Not bad considering we got added horsepower, a better exhaust note, and a tool to adjust all kinds of stuff on the truck as well.
Now we didn't just take a shot in the dark and get lucky, we picked up parts from companies we know produce power. We have used K&N, Hypertech, and Gibson before with great results, and this time was no different. To make getting the parts simpler, we logged on to Stylin' Trucks' website and entered the year, make, and model of our ride, and every available part Stylin' offers for it popped up. After narrowing it down to the companies we wanted, we were given the part numbers we needed. At the time, Stylin' was running a special on the Gibson exhaust system so we saved some money. It just goes to show that a computer can be a great money-saving tool. After we waited a few days, a couple of boxes showed up on our doorstep that we tore into like a kid at Christmas.
Because we ordered a Gibson system and the company happens to be in our backyard, we drove over to have one of the company's technicians install the parts and run the Chevy on the dyno to see the results. Every part that was bolted on is covered by a manufacturer's warranty and netted us more power and better mileage.
Our Guinea Pig:'08 Chevy Silverado
After the parts were installed, our Chevy Silverado showed a gain of 15 hp right off the bat. After we left Gibson, we topped off the tank and wrote down the mileage on the OD. After burning almost the whole tank, we filled it back up and did the math and found we went from getting 15.5 to 17 mpg on the 91-octane tune and even more on the 87 tune!