Everyone who has a 6th gen Camaro knows about the factory crush pipes in the exhaust. For those who don’t know, the stock exhaust has been crushed from the factory to create more clearance where the exhaust passes under the differential. It looks incredibly restrictive but we recently installed and tuned a supercharged 6th gen Camaro with stock exhaust so it gave us the opportunity to find out how restrictive the stock crush pipes really are. After tuning we made 657whp (wheel horsepower)through the stock crush pipes and it was holding!
Although best practices include replacing these crush pipes with full size tubing, our intent here is to show you what’s possible and what to expect when tuning your LT1 Camaro. We were surprised to see that our customer’s Whipple powered LT1 made good power in spite of the factory crush pipes. The shape of the power curve showed that the crush pipes weren’t a restriction, because power was still trending upwards at a similar rate to cars we’ve tuned with crush pipes removed.
Moral of the story is: Replace the crush pipes with full sized tubing if you can but don’t lose much sleep if it’s not in the cards. You’re not leaving much power (if any) on the table at this power level.