Modification Guide for your V8 VE-VF HSV or Commodore
Performance Upgrade Information VE-VF Holden Commodore or HSV V8
For LS1 see our Guide to Enhancing LS1 Performance & Economy
The suggested modifications depend on what the customer wants from the car, the model of the car and of course the budget for the car/project. This article is about VF Performance upgrades and VE Performance upgrades.
VE Tuning - VF Tuning
On most models, the pcm tune will make the biggest difference of all the activities, regardless of what modifications have already been done. Some cars only change the tune and they perform far better than with the stock tune. eg. A stock standard VE-VF with no mods will usually gain 15-20 kw at the wheels from just a tune. The HSV gain similarly our HSV Grange gained 30 rear wheel kw solely from a tune and over radiator intake (OTR).
We can perform a normal tune on your vehicle from $550 or we can also perform a remote custom tune using a device to suit your VE-VF from $799 including postage.
See more detailed explanation of VE Tuning & VF Tuning methods HERE
There are numerous brands of over radiator intakes (OTR) on the market. All of them provide gains in performance. This is due to them posing less of a restriction to the intake system and providing volumes of cold air via a more direct route. In well designed systems they are not able to induce any hot engine bay heat, this is important because every degree the induced air changes correlates with around a one rear wheel kw gain or loss in power. Some intake systems are able to induce a lot of hot air from the engine bay and this cancelled out any benefits of them being able to induce more air.
For VE-VF Commodore and HSV we recommend using an OTR, combined with a tune the prices are from $1200 at our store, or from $1399 posted with a remote tuning device/ with remote tuning. See our Remote tuning section of the shop.
The first step for many owners is to get the car sounding more like a V8 should. Any catback exhaust system that sounds the way you want will provide gains in performance. There are many exhaust systems on the market and we have a large amount of experience, having tuned many cars with almost every configuration, we can offer the best advice as to which system to purchase. We have our preferred configurations in stock all year round and can help you achieve the sound you want for your application.
Extractors and Catalytic Converter
We favor the sound from 1"3/4 or 1"7/8 primary pipe 4 into 1s with long tubes and a large collector. The large long tube 4 into 1s often have a "beat" sound like an old school V8 and this is evidence of good flow scavenging happening. We would typically suggest using a 200 cell metal catalytic converter (or Cat) as these provide good flow and sound, while still filtering out more pollutants than a 100cell cat. Standard ceramic cats easily degrade over time, are often destroyed from one small hit from a speed bump and never offer good flow dynamics or sound. Metal cats are also more resilient and last longer than ceramic cats.
Many aftermarket cams are available that can totally change the power spread of the engine and the personality of the car.
Some small cams are available that drastically change the low rpm power and improve economy over the stock cam without any loss of idle quality. The other extreme are cams that give a big increase in power at 6000+ and have a lumpy race car like idle with a loss of fuel economy. We can help you choose the right cam for you. We have a variety of cams, we have designed in-house, to suit any application. Our LSV, HPA and HPS cams have both excelled in their applications. LSV cam is stronger right through the rpm range than the stock cam. We recently had a Oztrack LSV make 330 rwkw and with its superior torque to the larger cams this car felt great.
Usually people take the opportunity to fit a 25% underdriven balancer at the same time since the stock one has to come off to fit the cam - these also gain a little more power, maybe in the vicinity of 5rwkw.
We also often use a special bearing replacement kit on the factory rockers, this improves their stability and further improves valve train reliability.
Improved heads can provide gains in torque right through the range and even an increase in fuel economy. We can assist you in choosing the right heads to suit your application and also have competitive pricing. Our heads are built in the USA. Strong gains are proven and well worth the money. We do not recommend heads that we know don't provide solid gains for the money. Recently one of our 6L VE Customers had an engine that made 387 rear wheel kw with our heads and HPS cam. This is about 30 rear wheel kw above what we would have expected with stock heads with everything else the same.
There are many options for forced induction setups. Unfortunately many of these aren’t worth the money. Many of the cheaper kits found can be outperformed by a mild cam and head upgrade. We have a vast amount of experience and offer only the best kits at competitive drive-in drive-out pricing. Call us to discuss the best option for your application and a free quote.