Every stock vehicle has power hidden under the plastic beauty cover that is just waiting to be brought out some way. The key is how to unlock that power, and do it safely but without breaking the bank. The quickest and easiest pick-me-up for any truck is an intake and exhaust upgrade. Giving an engine some more breathing room will have a positive effect on both power and mileage. That is exactly what we did to our project '08 Chevy Tahoe.

Out with the stock intake and exhaust, and in with an AEM Brute Force polished intake and a Corsa cat-back exhaust that we picked up from www.autoanything.com. The AEM Brute Force intake features a Dry Flow air filter that doesn't require oil and with the hood popped, it looks show-ready. Providing the rumble, the Corsa exhaust is unlike any other on the market. Using their patented Reflective Sounds Cancelling Technology, the exhaust doesn't have the typical drone while cruising, but once the accelerator is applied, the 5.3L V-8 sounds like it means business. It's the best of both worlds.

We took the Tahoe's performance to a whole new level once we installed an Edge Evolution CTS programmer, also from www.autoanything.com. The Edge programmer really helped reclaim some of the mpg we lost once we bolted on the big lift and wheels and tires we showed you last month. By simply answering some quick questions on the programmer, our Tahoe was back to getting 19 mpg, but with more power than ever before.

To help us install the parts while we snapped the pics, we drove our Tahoe straight to the truck pros at Ekstensive Metalworks, in Houston, Texas. Known for their incredible truck suspensions, Ekstensive also sells truck accessories and can install them on site. We ordered our parts from Autoanything.com, as they have a huge selection of parts that can be searched via truck make and model.

Corsa Performance Cat-Back Exhaust System

AEM Brute Force Cold Air Intake System

Edge Evolution CTS Programmer

After the installation of the intake, exhaust, and programmer, we unlocked an extra 23 rear-wheel horsepower out of our engine and the owner reported an increase of four miles per gallon. That's worth every penny! The exhaust has added a nice rumble to go along with the power increase and the EDGE programmer lets us tweak the engine parameters easily and safely. The install was simple enough to do in a driveway with simple handtools and can be accomplished in an afternoon without any help at all.


Time Spent Working: Under 2 Hours
Degree Of Difficulty: Beginner

Tools Needed:
Assorted sockets, prybar, WD40, Sawzall, level for exhaust tips, impact gun (not necessary, but definitely helps)

Parts Used:
Corsa Performance cat-back exhaust system #14207 $889.95
AEM Brute Force cold air intake system #AEM-21-8023DC $277.44
Edge Evolution CTS programmer #85250 $589.00

Total: $1,756.39
(Prices do not include tax, labor, or shipping)

Corsa Performance Exhausts
140 Blaze Industrial Parkway
OH  44017
Edge Products
1080 South Depot Drive
UT  84404
Auto Anything
9210 Sky Park Court
Suite 100
San Diego
CA  92123
P.O. Box 1312
CA  90250
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