Project Camaro: Part 2 - Breathing Easier with a Borla Exhaust and AEM Air Intake System

By Merritt Morris

In the first installment of Project Camaro the vehicle experienced a thorough suspension component upgrade. Getting the tires more planted improved the sporty feel of the V6 powered RS Camaro, but appeasing only one of the senses at a time quickly left me clamoring for more. For the second installment it was time for more powa! Taking the path of least resistance, some easy bolt on modifications were the way to go. An exhaust system from Borla and an intake from AEM Air Induction Systems were sourced to clear up the airways of the naturally aspirated direct injection motor.

Many folks have love hate relationships with aftermarket exhaust systems. I say this because while in theory they offer performance gains, there are folks who cannot justify the significant expense and potential legal enforcement hassle. Also, the performance benefit of an aftermarket exhaust system is relative to the target market of the intended vehicle. A compact commuter has more potential to be choked down by its stock system than the exhaust system offered to consumers of vehicles with a sporty edge. Regardless of the design being replaced though, aftermarket exhaust systems generally offer gains over stock systems somewhere in the areas of durability, mass, reduced backpressure and (most importantly) sound.

When choosing an aftermarket exhaust system I pay close attention to the materials used. Stock systems are often thick wall mild steel tubing with coatings for some level of corrosion resistance. If there is money to be spent to go aftermarket, ideally one should look to at least improve upon the stock materials. That is why I like Borla Exhaust Systems. Borla uses all thin wall stainless steel tubing, T-304 alloy. Stainless steel tubing offers improved corrosion resistance which in turn allows for reduced wall thickness and therefore reduced weight of the system.

Thanks to the benefits of its all stainless steel design, the shipping weight (think all components shown above plus packaging) of the 3.6L V6 Camaro Borla Cat-Back Exhaust came in at 63 lbs. That was light enough that this 6 months pregnant lady could push around the box without physical strain.
Borla even uses stainless steel for the muffler canisters as well as the hangers. Many manufacturers will go with stainless tubing, but revert back to coated mild steel for other components.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:25 AM
On page 2 you stated that you used a Dynapack dyno, but clearly you used a Superflow.
Nick B
Nick Blink
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:40 AM
@Burninator - Good catch, all fixed.
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 12:40 PM
"......while I looked on with my future car geek absorbing through osmosis." I am super happy for you. Congratulations......
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:36 PM
I think it should be noted that 6 months preggers Merritt is still stronger than most of the MotoIQ team. Nice on the Borla being much lighter from the looks of it. Those stock mufflers look like anchors. And great gains on the intake. It looks like the snorkel the stock air box breathes through is pretty small.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:49 PM
It sounds much better now. I did take some video that we will eventually get uploaded.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:48 PM
Baby on the way.....yeah, project Camaro might be turning into project G8 soon! Congrats on the future gear head! Who says it's not genetic!? My 5yr old son is obsessed with Top Gear USA and Mighty Machines :-)
Friday, September 20, 2013 7:05 PM
I am bound and determined to prove that the Camaro makes fine baby transport. I have found the Jalopnik "Will It Baby?" post series to be interesting, so I will probably get into some of the technical details involved in fitting a car seat and stroller into the Camaro.
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