Adding Power To A New Silverado With Chevrolet Performance

A new truck is good, but a modified new truck is even better. The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado came off the factory assembly line with more technology than any Silverado previously and in our opinion any truck on the market. The new truck smell only does so much and adding horsepower will never get old.

We turned to Chevrolet Performance to look at getting more out of our 2019 Chevy Silverado LT. The factory 5.3-liter V8 was exactly what we wanted for the truck, but we knew we could get more power out of it with the addition of an intake and exhaust.

Our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado with a Baja Kits leveling kit sitting on Dirty Life 9303 DT-1 wheels, and Toyo Open Country M/T tires.

The truck aftermarket is loaded with intakes, exhausts, and anything else you would want for your truck, but who would know the vehicle better than the manufacturer. Not to mention, being able to keep the factory warranty that is so coveted on new vehicles. With that in mind, we ended up going with Chevrolet Performance’s 5.3-liter intake (PN 84789802) and the 5.3-liter single side exit exhaust (PN 84173601).

“With Chevrolet Performance parts for Silverado, you can customize it, protect it, and add horsepower to it all without voiding the New Vehicle Limited Warranty,” Adrienne Peters of Chevrolet Performance Parts explained. “The parts do come with their own warranty and, when installed by a dealer, the labor is covered too.”

“Accessories installed by an authorized GM Dealer will be covered, parts and labor, for the longer of the following: a) 12 months/12,000 miles (whichever comes first),” Peters continued. “b) the balance of the applicable portion of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Accessories (i) purchased at a dealership (but not installed by a dealer), (ii) shipped directly to a customer, or (iii) not requiring installation, will receive the standard GM Dealer Parts Warranty of 12 months from the date of purchase, parts only, regardless of miles.”

Who likes stock? We surely don't. Upon purchasing the truck we knew that an aftermarket intake and exhaust were needed.

Even though it may be Chevrolet Performance, that does not mean they neglected to take care of their GM family. The GMC Sierra also has performance kits with their own unique touch.

“All of the performance upgrades we have for 2019 and up Chevrolet Silverado are also available for the 2019 and up Sierra light-duty Pickup,” Peters said. “We wanted to as many of our new truck customers to be able to enjoy our factory-engineered Performance Exhaust Upgrade System, so we released eight total part numbers specific to Chevrolet and GMC with the 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter. We have a single exit, dual exit, short wheelbase, and long-wheelbase options.”

Knowing that we were in good hands we couldn’t wait to get the parts on. It did not take long before we were popping the hood and diving into the install.

Cold Air Intake System

Though we may not always see an aftermarket intake, as it sits under the hood, having one is on every truck owner’s list. One of the features that we liked most about Chevrolet Performance’s intake was the clear lid on the airbox. It was able to keep our filter out of the elements and provide a display case for the red filter.

“The air restriction in the intake is improved by up to 13-percent for 5.3-liter trucks and up to 17-percent on 6.2-liter trucks,” Peters said. “We have also invested the time to have all of our new intakes certified 50 State Legal. Our Performance Engineers developed the Silverado air intakes with a high-efficiency dry media filter, a 98-mm outer-diameter intake tube, and a matching dealer-installed MAF calibration. As with all Chevrolet Performance Parts and Accessories, these intakes are rigorously tested for durability, corrosion, and performance.”

Intake Part Numbers For Silverado And Sierra

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2019 Silverado & Sierra

5.3L – PN 84789802

6.2L – PN 84789804

2020 Silverado & Sierra

5.3L – PN 84789792

6.2L – PN 84789794

“The intakes for the 2019 and newer Silverado an Sierra are not backward compatible,” Peters added. “It is important to check that you are purchasing the right part number for your truck to ensure emissions compliance.”

Disconnecting the electrical connectors attached to the mass air flow sensor and airbox were the first steps of the install. Eventually, the factory air box will be removed and the mass air flow sensor moved to the new intake tube.

Installing the intake was going to be like any other aftermarket intake. We removed the factory air box, intake tube, and replaced it with the parts from the Chevrolet Performance kit.

Comparisons between all of the Chevrolet Performance intake parts and the factory parts. A great sense of detail was done to make all the parts appear factory while having a redefined purpose.

Upon removing all the factory components there was a noticeable size difference in the intake tube. We could see where the tube was changed to allow the reduction of air restriction. In addition to the performance benefits, it also meant we were going to have a cleaner look under the hood with the factory intake resonator box no longer there.

Finishing up the install of the intake requires the performance intake tube to be installed along with the new breather hose. The filter and the cover were the last steps to completed before closing the hood on the install.

Make sure everything that is taken out isn’t tossed in the trash, there are some rubber grommets on the factory air box that will be reused. The kit also comes with a new valve cover breather hose that has the factory style connector.

With the last couple of pieces installed we were able to stand back and look at the performance intake completely installed. As we expected, the clear top on the airbox added plenty of style to a bland engine bay with the pop of red from the filter making all the difference.

Under the hood shown before (left) and after (right) the Chevrolet Performance intake install. The new intake not only cleans up the look under the hood but adds a stylish touch as well.

Cat-Back Single Exit Exhaust

An exhaust swap is as straight forward as it comes nowadays. Remove the factory part and install the new part in the same place. The Chevrolet Performance exhaust for our 2019 Silverado was no different.

“With Chevrolet Performance’s cat-back single exit exhaust, you get increased horsepower, reduced back pressure, and a sound that is unmistakably Chevrolet Performance,” Peters explained. “The system you have is our 5.3-liter single exit with polished tip, which offers up to a seven horsepower improvement at 5,600 rpm and up to four additional pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm.”

“It is constructed with three-inch outer diameter 304 stainless steel pipes,” Peters continued. “In terms of backpressure, this system provides a 35-percent reduction at 300g/s at 600-degrees C. Our single exit system is the only one that doesn’t run through the bezels in the production bumper, so you also get a nice 4.5-inch outer diameter dual wall, angle cut, high-polished exhaust tip.”

No mud! One of the benefits of doing an install on a new truck.

Having a new truck meant that we did not have to worry about rusted or seized bolts on the exhaust. Best of all since the truck hasn’t seen much time in the dirt yet, we did not have to worry about mud falling into our eyes as things come undone.

Before we started to pull the OEM exhaust off the truck we went to every rubber hanger and sprayed WD-40 to help the metal hangers slide out. Once we felt the hangers sat long enough we grabbed our wrenches and slid under the truck.

To make removal of the factory exhaust easier, we went ahead and used a Sawzall to cut it behind the muffler. As a new two-piece exhaust, it came out without a fight.

First, we unbolted the collector to allow the exhaust to move, then we started to pull the hangers off. Before long the exhaust was resting on the cross members under the truck. Instead of trying to find a way to slide the entire exhaust out in one piece we decided to cut the exhaust tube after the muffler.

All of the rubber hangers and the collector clamp were reused when it came time to install the Chevrolet Performance exhaust. We started at the front and worked our way to the rear of the truck making sure to not fully tighten the collector or clamps until the end. At the end of each piece, we used the supplied exhaust clamp to attach the next piece.

The performance exhaust utilizes all the factory hangers to make install a breeze.

Once everything was connected and the performance exhaust was hanging on its own we started at the front tightening all the clamps. At the exhaust tip, we made sure that the tip was an inch from the bottom of the bumper.

“The polished exhaust tip that comes with our single exit kits is branded,” Peters explained. “So, of course, you’ve got Bowtie branding on yours, while a Sierra customer would have GMC on theirs.”

Our Silverado did come with the factory optional three-inch dual-wall angle-cut exhaust tip (left), but the new five-inch tip (right) that came with our performance exhaust looks even better. It lines up great with the bumper for a clean looking side exit exhaust.

All together the install on the exhaust was straight forward, didn’t require anything special, and nothing was overly complicated to be able to install in the driveway.

Making It All Work

Our 2019 Silverado was sounding better already, but we needed one last thing for the air intake. The products may have been designed to work together with all of the vehicle systems, but we would need help from the dealership to finalize that.

“The performance intake and exhaust are designed to be used together, but we definitely recommend pairing them up because of the combined horsepower increase,” Peters said. “For future truck buyers, you can actually look for the Performance Upgrade Package when ordering your new truck and tick the box to have both added to your build.”

The required trip to the dealership is not what you think it is. At the dealer, the techs are able to allow the vehicle to know that there is a new performance part installed and to account for it. All that is needed is just a little bit of time in the service lounge.

One of the benefits of purchasing the intake through Chevrolet Performance is that included in the price of the intake is a mass air flow (MAF) sensor update. This update allows the sensor to be configured to the new intake allowing the truck to run properly. The intake basically comes with its own “tune” to make everything work properly and it is hard to beat the price of this system with that feature.

One big benefit of having an enclosed airbox is the fact that it keeps dust away from the filter.

“The MAF measures the incoming airflow through the air intake system,” TJ Walsh, Chevrolet Performance Engineer explained. “The measurement from the MAF is output to the engine control module (ECM). The MAF calibration is the mathematical relationship between the output and measured airflow, which is called the Transfer Function.

“With our Performance Intake, the reduced restriction creates a different transfer function when compared to the production system,” Walsh continued. “A new calibration is required to ensure that the correct airflow measurement values are provided to the ECM. Accurate airflow measurement allows the ECM to determine the quantity of fuel to inject into the combustion chamber. An accurate air-fuel ratio (AFR) is critical for optimal engine performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions.”

“This exclusive dealer-installed MAF calibration developed by our Performance Engineering and Engine Calibration teams is included with the purchase of our Performance Air Intake for Silverado and Sierra light-duty pickups,” Walsh finished explaining. “This allows customers to get the best performance and efficiency from their vehicle.”

The service lounge at Anderson Chevrolet was second to none. From the top of the line coffee machine, fully stocked fridge, and freezer with ice cream in it, we had everything we needed for our time at the dealership.

To get our Silverado running right we headed to Anderson Chevrolet in Lake Elsinore, California. Michael Rodriguez, our service advisor, made sure we would be taken care of and that everything would be done in a timely manner.

Anderson Chevrolet’s service lounge was like something we had never seen before. They had a fully stocked fridge with snacks, fresh donuts, and a coffee machine that would rival the baristas at Starbucks. It made the time spent at the dealership more enjoyable and comfortable.

Near the service lounge, there was a large wall with plenty of Chevrolet Performance accessories to check out while we waited. It did not take Anderson Chevrolet long before we had our truck back and were able to take it for a spin.

Feeling The Power

If you know your truck then you can feel if it is running rough or wrong as soon as you get in. On the other side of the spectrum, it is also easy to get in and feel the difference when everything is working right.

Leaving the dealership we noticed an increase in throttle response, acceleration, and overall power in our Silverado. Even without the MAF update completed we could feel a difference in how the truck drove, but it was a night and day difference with the update complete.

The exhaust and intake worked in unison to create more airflow in and out of the truck’s engine. Not to mention that now our truck also sounded like a real truck thanks to the upgraded exhaust.

The exhaust tone at idle was just enough to let everyone know you are there and stays that way at cruising speeds. Upon heavy acceleration, the truck has a nice deep tone with no cab drone noise. It is enjoyable to drive at any speed and does not make your head rattle on long drives.

Overall we are completely impressed with the Chevrolet Performance parts that were added to our 2019 Silverado. It goes to show that the manufacturer knows these trucks better than anyone in the game. After all, they did develop them.

Power Numbers With Exhaust And Intake Combined

  • Installing the 5.3-liter Cat-Back Single Exit Performance Exhaust System and the 5.3-liter Cold Air Intake results in a combined increase of up to 9 horsepower and up to 5 lb-ft of torque on the 2019 and newer Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500
  • Installing the 5.3-liter Cat-Back Dual Exit Performance Exhaust System and the 5.3-liter Cold Air Intake results in a combined increase of up to 12 horsepower and up to 6 lb-ft of torque on the 2019 and newer Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500
  • Installing 6.2-liter Cat-Back Dual Exit Performance Exhaust System and the 6.2-liter Cold Air Intake results in a combined increase of up to 15 horsepower and up to 9 lb-ft of torque on the 2019 and newer Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500
“Chevrolet Performance parts and accessories can be purchased two ways,” Peters said. “For current owners, punch in your VIN number at the Chevrolet Accessories’ website to see all compatible accessories for your truck. If you’re planning to buy a new truck, you can add these and many more upgrades as options when ordering, plus those upgrades will roll right into your lease or finance payment.”

For more information on Chevrolet Performance and to find parts for your vehicle, be sure to visit their website. What will you be adding to your vehicle?

Article Sources

About the author

Steven Olsewski

Steven Olsewski grew up with a true passion for anything with a motor. He loves his wife and kids, and during the year can be found enjoying quality time together. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.
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