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Looking for a new SS

  #1  
Old 08-16-2018, 02:37 PM
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Default Looking for a new SS

My 02 SS is getting up there in miles and I'm looking at some used ones. Wondering what you guys think would be the better choice, mileage not considered. A supercharged 3.8 or a 5.3 V8? I see a few 07s that look great and the miles aren't bad, but there is a nice silver 05 supercharged that is in great shape with decent miles.

What would be your choice?

Which would be better for mods?

I've heard good and bad about the 5.3 but a V8 is preferable for me.
 
  #2  
Old 08-17-2018, 07:45 AM
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Obviously, I'm a little biased, but V8 is the way to go. I've had an '03 SS 3800V6, and currently the '07 SS 5.3L V8. No contest, especially after killing the AFM. You just can't replace that V8 rumble...... It is an absolute pleasure to drive.

For what it's worth, My car has not been modified, other than mufflers. It's perfect the way it is, in my opinion....
 
  #3  
Old 08-17-2018, 08:56 AM
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I'm in the same boat - I used to have an 03 SS 3800 V6 and currently have the 06 SS 5.3 V8. Both great cars. The 04-05 supercharged 3800 is probably more fun than the 00-03 NA 3800 but I still don't think you can compare to the V8. Nothing V6 will match the V8 sound. Transmission and significant oil consumption are the common issues with the 5.3 (trans is more of when not if) - I'm at 95k miles and haven't encountered either *knock on wood*. I've seen original trans fails all across the board - both lower mileage (<100K) and higher mileage (150k +) cars. I think it depends more on the specific car and how it has been treated/maintained over the course of it's life.

My 06 mostly appears stock but has some subtle performance and appearance mods including the MagnaFlow exhaust and it's been lowered (1.5" drop in front, 1.8" back). Mostly original paint, original interior, original wheels and original engine/trans and drivetrain.





 

Last edited by 06mistreSS; 08-17-2018 at 09:03 AM.
  #4  
Old 08-17-2018, 12:56 PM
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Thanks guys. I do want the V8 but the oil consumption issues have me concerned. I have not driven an SS with the 5.3, but all the reviews are positive. Matt, I LOVE your SS! That car looks so sweet.

Chifan, how do you kill the AFM. Do you have to have it programmed out or can you do it yourself?
 
  #5  
Old 08-17-2018, 01:51 PM
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I have a 2004 Supercharged and love it. It is definitely not a V8 feel or sound but holds its owe when needed. I like the way it holds itself up hills and enough to get on the interstate without overdoing it. All of this and still get over 24 mpg.

I had a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP with the same set up as the 06-07 MC SS's and it was very powerful but the transmission was the same beefed up one that was in the Supercharged V6 motors and the Pontiac started slipping when taking off. It wasn't meant for 300 horsepower.

Either way they are awesome sounding when driving and you have to get what you want. Good luck!
 
  #6  
Old 08-17-2018, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
What would be your choice?
I'll start off by saying, I've not had the exact car you're looking at, I've only had the Grand Prix equivalents (99 GTP with the supercharged 3800 and 07 GXP with the v8). My thoughts:

Supercharged 3800:
Pros:
-Blower whine was sweet
-Easy to mod, lots of options for paths to take
-Gas mileage seemed a bit better
Cons:
-Exhaust sound is awful regardless what you do
-Part throttle power (out of boost) was definitely weaker, it's a much smaller engine and very low compression
-Stock power is honestly pretty poor nowadays. It doesn't feel that bad as torque is fairly high, but 240 hp is fairly low compared to modern sedans. The upside is that their lower price tag means you'll have some spare budget to bump those numbers up.

V8:
Pros:
-Exhaust sound is better (still not great IMO, mostly due to the single exhaust)
-Power is linear and great at part throttle
Cons:
-Bolt on mod options suck, poor bang for the buck
-Trans doesn't seem to hold up nearly as well - it's pushed much closer to its limits, even bone stock.

With that said, for a daily, I still prefer the v8. Blower whine is awesome, but you're only at WOT a small amount of the time you're driving. I loved the strong low end torque and decent exhaust note for daily driving as you enjoy it all the time.

​​​​​​
Which would be better for mods?
That's a tough question as it depends how far you want to go.

For basic bolt ons, the 3800 easily wins in bang for the buck bolt on mods. However, it needs 60 hp in bolt ons just to match the v8 so take that with a grain of salt.

For moderate modding, I think the 3800 takes it again. For the v8, theres only one option beyond bolt ons - heads/cam. For the 3800, there are cheap turbo kits or multiple paths with the M90 - heads/cam, intercooler, e85, etc. Some of those are much easier to do than a v8 cam swap.

For all out modding, it doesn't matter which you pick as either has more than enough power to turn the best built trans into a consumable replacement item. If you went really crazy, you could certainly get the v8 to higher peak power, but if you can't put that to the ground and you can't keep the trans together, it's not going to matter anyways m.
 

Last edited by bumpin96monte; 08-17-2018 at 09:33 PM.
  #7  
Old 08-19-2018, 04:52 AM
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2007 MCSS w/32k on the clock. Since the pictures the Grill has been replaced & a new GM OE rug was installed. Resonator deleted.

Adult owned

Make an offer



















 

Last edited by tmirisola; 08-19-2018 at 04:58 AM.
  #8  
Old 08-20-2018, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
Thanks guys. I do want the V8 but the oil consumption issues have me concerned. I have not driven an SS with the 5.3, but all the reviews are positive. Matt, I LOVE your SS! That car looks so sweet.

Chifan, how do you kill the AFM. Do you have to have it programmed out or can you do it yourself?

I purchased a handheld programmer and tuned it out. Easy to do and makes driving that car much more pleasurable....

Superchips F5 GM Flashpaq 2845



 
  #9  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:09 PM
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I'd go for the 5.3 myself. Also - your cars look great guys!
 
  #10  
Old 10-16-2018, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
Matt, I LOVE your SS! That car looks so sweet.
Originally Posted by Bobbo2112 View Post
Also - your cars look great guys!
Thank you guys! Lots of time, effort and dedication keeping it up. Most of my detailing is done at shows now because I don't have nearly as much free time as I used to.

@ coolhand - Any updates on your search and decision?
 

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