Review of Alpha CAI and Side Exit Exhaust with 1320 Header

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    • Review of Alpha CAI and Side Exit Exhaust with 1320 Header

      OK, just to get the N/A side going I thought I would add my thoughts on some of my latest mods that relate to power gains.

      After spending last summer completely stock as far as the engine is concerned I had to do something. Turbo had to be put on hold for another year so I decided to do CAI, exhaust and tune. Unfortunately they were all installed at the same time so I cannot give details of how each effected the power individually. Installation was easy. The CAI had clear instructions and went together very easily. The hardest part was re-routing the wires for the throttle body and that was quite simple. I would say it took about 30-45 minutes to complete.

      The exhaust took a little more time. I installed the exhaust onto the stock manifold first as my header had not arrived yet. Body panel removal was a little time consuming but was easy as I had it off before. Finding all the screws can be a little difficult at first. Once the panel was off, removal of the stock exhaust as a complete unit was a snap. A few springs followed by a few bolts and it was off. Installation of the new exhaust was straight forward thanks to the Alpha instructions. The only problem I had was mounting the tailpipe. That clamp was a bit of trouble by myself but once I had another set of hands it surrendered. Cutting the hole for the plastic is simple. Harbor Freight has a cheap set of hole saws that worked fine. It was under $20. IF anyone is in the central Illinois area and wants to borrow it, give me a shout. Overall, it may have taken about 2 hours but that was with a few breaks to yack with neighbors.

      So with the parts installed, off the computer went to get a new flashed with a new tune from Bob at MEFIburn. Sent it out on Saturday, had it back by Thursday. While that was away, my 1320 header showed up. Swapping that out was simple. It only took about 20 minutes. Stock bolts came out easy. I had already purchased a new exhaust to head gasket from O'Reily's I had to loosen one bold where the exhaust bolts to the transmission just to get it to move a little to get the header in. All the bolts went in easily and with no grinding as others have reported. It did take a combination of sockets, extensions and open and boxed end wrenches to get it tightened up. Start in the middle and work your way out to tighten will give you a leak free fit.

      The computer came back right as the weather got cold again. So after a brief shake down ride, the Sling went back in the garage. Now that it has warmed up, I have gotten a chance to put some miles on it. Wow. is all I can say. The performance gains are minimal, probably in the neighborhood of 20-25 HP, if that much. But the drive-ability is awesome. The throttle response is right there. The motor didn't have to think "hey, he is hitting the gas now, I guess i better rev up" like the stock tune. Tap it and it responds. And it is still learning! At first it was good, after about 300 miles, it is great. The seat of the pants feel is much better. I told the better half last night that this thing is gonna get me in trouble. It is almost impossible to keep my foot out of it.

      So overall, the investment is well worth it to perform these mods. It makes the Slingshot the driving machine that Polaris claims it is. Make no mistake, it won't keep up with a turbo, but it still is a heck of a lot of fun. Thanks much to Henry at Alpha, Josh at Slingmods and Bob at MEFIburn. Enough for now, gotta go ride.
    • I'll jump in here and give my thoughts on my setup. I have been running the VI Engineered CAI, VI Engineered header & exhaust. For about a year. I can tell you this setup helped dramatically in my opinion. As fast as turbo no, faster than stock definitely yes. This motor needs to breath & exhale. Couple of stock slings last year at the SSITS commented that I was able to rail thru the gears much faster than they were able too. With this setup and controlled launch 1st gear was almost useless just about always smoked tire until shift then second was always a short spin with it stepping out to the side. Really fun to drive. Ran with a couple turbo's last year. The big difference is at the end of 3rd gear and on up. 1st & 2nd & beginning of 3rd Not much difference traction issue for them.

      This year same setup. Sent ECU off to Bob in Cali, sent intake manifold, throttle body, and my whole CAI to Rist Rocket Racing and had them port & polished. I then did a little clean up work on the exhaust ports.

      After you drive something for awhile the quickness tends to diminish. You tend to get used to it. But upon installing this all I can say is you know it. Drove it around letting ECU get its bearings. Upon 1st start up it jumped straight to 3500 rpm and held for approximately 4-5 seconds then came down then fluctuated a few times up to 2000 rpm. Did this on first 3 start ups. Drove around a little and seemed to settle down to 900 rpm.

      Now for seat of the pants. 1st hard launch bringing it out spinning, immediate 2nd gear shift right into full on spin then Rev limiter, hard 3rd shift right back into full on smoke, 4th gear shift with wheel still spinning with hard step out to the side. Now that is all with stock Kenda tire so need to keep that in mind.
      Next controlled launch. Still tire spin with almost immediate 2nd gear shift with tire spin throughout most of second gear to grab just before 3rd shift and hard step out. 3rd is much more spirited with a nice hard push to 4th. Then 4th is a little more lively but nothing to be impressed about.

      Very happy with results but not as happy as I would be with a turbo!
    • I don't have the header but did the Alpha CAI w/side exhaust at SSITR last year. Major difference in throttle response, 100% solved my dutch oven glove box and passenger floor board heat problem. Also I did the JRI 2 way adjustable shocks, highly recommended. This tune sounds like a possibility for me since I do not plan to turbo. Thanks for the info.
    • I've got a similar setup, Alpha CAI & 1320 header. Only diff is that I've got the Alpha Variable exhaust. I wrapped the headers and used the shield from the shroud kit on the muff. Getting the under hood temps down is good for accessories, further reduces heat to firewall and improves cool air induction. Night and day from stock, can definitely feel added power, much smoother and no throttle or idle issues.
    • bookmd wrote:

      I'm sure they all do...and you need to sell your setup to me...

      bookmd wrote:

      I'm sure they all do...and you need to sell your setup to me...
      Too late! They are getting installed as we speak! Going to pick it up Tuesday. Then it's going straight to Suncoast Sound.
      Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing.
      Moderation is for cowards.
    • So I am looking at dressing up my SS this route. Turbo has me a bit hesitant as I really can't afford the motor if I manage to pop it, lol. (Let's face it, with the Turbo, we would be tempted to play harder, lol)

      So I am going to spend my time & money slowly getting the addons as I can afford them. Starting with the Cold Air intake. Next will be the headers & exhaust.

      My question is this. The ECU, should I be sending this in for the tune right away, or wait until I actually have these mods on? Playing with motors is a bit new territory to me as I've never owned something I wanted to play with before. (kids are finally grown and out of the house. It's Dad's time to be a kid now!!) That said, sending in the ECU over the winter months seemed the smart way to go.

      Ultimately I will be looking hard at the LS3 in about 5 years after both warranty & payments are done. Until that time, this seems like the best way to go.

      Thoughts......advice? All welcome
      :BLACKSS: 2016 Black Pearl 8)
    • @MBMedic I did the CAI first and didn't notice much of a performance change. After adding the Alpha Header to the CAI I noticed I nice increase. Then I did an exhaust and again a nice bump.

      Could you do me a favor and go header first? I'm wondering if that may be the best bang. If you notice a nice bump with the Header alone, that would tell me that the stock manifold is the most restrictive stock item. As for getting the time first, I think you should wait until you are done with the CAI, header and exhaust. If you do the time first you will notice a difference, but will have to get a reflash after you add the other things to get the best performance.
    • WOLF wrote:

      @MBMedic I did the CAI first and didn't notice much of a performance change. After adding the Alpha Header to the CAI I noticed I nice increase. Then I did an exhaust and again a nice bump.

      Could you do me a favor and go header first? I'm wondering if that may be the best bang. If you notice a nice bump with the Header alone, that would tell me that the stock manifold is the most restrictive stock item. As for getting the time first, I think you should wait until you are done with the CAI, header and exhaust. If you do the time first you will notice a difference, but will have to get a reflash after you add the other things to get the best performance.
      Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I have set aside the funds I have for the Brake mount, LED Grill and the CAI. I suppose I could re-allocate the grill to include the headers, but that puts me with the stock muffler at this time, and leaves me without the extra lighting that I was hoping to get into as I do a lot of night driving.

      I am not so much looking for the instant bang for the buck, as much as I am looking at my SS as "A work in progress".

      However, thanks for the info on the ECU. It makes sense to simply wait until the work is all done. Just means I will be waiting until next winter for the ECU tune. Which is fine, because I can look forward to the headers & side exhaust next summer. :thumbup:
      :BLACKSS: 2016 Black Pearl 8)

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