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

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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