Performance Upgrades for a 1995 5.7 GM

by Dr. Samuel Helms
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Some performance upgrades for a 1995 5.7L GMC can be done at home and others will likely have to be performed by a mechanic in a shop. In either case, upgrading the vehicle can improve gas mileage, horsepower, torque and safety. Before performing any upgrades, particularly upgrades to the engine, check your state's emissions laws to make sure the upgrades are legal where you live.

Performance Air Intake

One way to upgrade the performance of a 1995 GM 5.7L is to improve the air intake to the engine. Most standard intakes pull air through a fiber filter that needs to be changed routinely. High-flow filters and intakes allow the engine to breathe easier which boosts horsepower and torque without using more fuel. Often these high-flow air filters can be regurally cleaned instead of disposed of. One example for a 1995 GMC 5.7L is K&N model 57-3026 performance air intake system. According to K&N, this model air intake system can boost horsepower by about 10.


Improving horsepower and acceleration is useful but this extra power and speed puts more friction on the brakes. Super heated brakes will not wear evenly and will not stop the vehicle as well. A perfromance improvement for the GM 5.7 is to use slotted or drilled brake rotors and high-friction brake pads. EBC Brakes makes a series of slotted rotors, which, according to EBC, helps pads wear evenly, removes water and grime, and helps cool the brakes. For suburbans and trucks, EBC also offers improved brake pads called "yellow stuff" that have a higher friction coefficient than regular brakes.


Improved headers allow the engine to exhaust waste gasses more easily. This reduces the force needed from the piston to force out the gasses, which means more power. Many different headers for a 5.7L GMC from 1995 are offered, including model numbers GP100S-C, GP100 and GP100S. As of 2010, the headers range between $600 and $800.

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