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gears/then headers. 4:10 only for T56 cars. got cai yet? forget about the throttle body/foil until you go into the engine. wont make SHIZNIT difference till then. even then, its arguable if its worth the cost or not.
Headers first. Induction mods don't do much good until you can get the extra air out of the engine. Exhaust, then induction. I learned the hard way. Then 2800 rpm stall if it's an auto. I got my 1994 convertible to run 12.85 @ 105.x with just bolt ons and no weight reduction.
Im also running out of gear in the quarter as if I have a 4.10 though. (this is a mystery ive been trying to solve about my car).
but definitely headers before gears. I wont change my gears because I think if i run anything but stock ill bust the thing. I think my 10 bolt is on borrowed time as it is. my spec 3 beats the hell out of it.
I wouldn't do a gear swap, just because the 10 bolt is weak and as said it won't hook anyways. Then you'll be looking for a set of sticky tires ultimately breaking the rear end.
Go with cold air, exhaust, headers and a good tune.
well you cant really compare my car, cause its stalled auto. which will launch easier and not kill rear ends as quick. BUT, my 3:73 lasted 5K miles behind my Iroc (swaped in a 4 gen rear axle) and around 40 1/4mi. runs. most mid to high 12's. 2 runs on nitrous that were 1/8mi runs would have been high 11's. then 6K miles behind my 383 LT1 and around 20 track pass's. in my 95 with the 3:83, it went lots of `1.8's before I got my 3800 stall and since saw 1.6's and one 1.56 sixty foot. did I mention that I got this rear axle/gears USED? and I know the guy I bought it from beat his car. he was parting it out cause he blew the engine. your car is NOT goin to put anywhere near the kind of power mine has, so thats why I think you'll be fine. and, you can reap the bene's of 4.10's ANYWHERE in the rpm band except from a dead stop. where yes, it will make it harder to hook up.
but you werent talking about making the car a drag car. or serious street racing. Im ASSuming fun street driving is all you'll be doin with it?
if so I still say 4.10's first, headers/ypipe/catback all at once second.