I've been looking at a few mods to get a little more hp but everything, so far, seems to only add about 8-12hp. Does anyone know of anything (besides a stage 3 turbo kit ) that would provide some significant improvement?
I can't speak to the Element aftermarket in particular, but by and large simple bolt-ons and significant power improvements do not go hand in hand.
And it's not like you can add up all the manufacturer's claims and come up with a realistic total either. Eg (and the real claims are probably higher): Intake 5hp, exhaust 5hp, header 5hp, cam 5hp. Your real net gain would not be 20hp like you would expect.
I think you've probably already figured out that your standard bolt ons provide moderate power gains at best.
I know you were joking, but dollar for dollar, if you're looking for real gains, then forced induction is the way to go. And just because you go turbo, nitrous, or S/C does not mean you necessarily have to get radical. A nice low-boost (5-6psi) system would make for a noticeable (50hp probably), reliable improvement.
Seems like the largest "bolt on" gain I've heard about is the injen cold air injection mod which appears to be a tube to get the air intake into the slip stream vs. protected by the engine bay... if you could get 8 hp there and then another 5-8 with a free flow exhaust I suspect you would feel it (or at least hear it)... anyone tried both?