Cheap Ways to Increase the Horsepower of a Mustang V6

by William Zane

The Ford Mustang has been a hugely popular car for those looking for a distinctly American muscle car experience. It's also a model that is often modified, since it takes so well to additional performance. And that doesn't just apply to the V8-powered Mustang GT, but it also applies to the less-powerful V6 Mustang, which is powered by a 4.0-liter engine. This engine takes to tuning just as well as its V8 cousin.

Exhaust

To unleash more power from your Mustang V6's engine, replace the restrictive stock exhaust system with a more free-flowing one. You can start with a good quality Flowmaster muffler. A decent cat-back exhaust, which replaces the exhaust aft of the catalytic converter to retain emissions compliance, will unleash even more power. Another option is installing a tubular header in place of the restrictive stock manifold.

Cold Air Intake

The more fresh, cold air your Mustang V6 gets, the more powerful it will be. You can install a cold air intake that replaces the restrictive stock airbox, mass air sensor and stock filter. Expect anywhere from 8 to 15 horspower and a better sounding growl from the engine. For a little more money you can install a high quality K&N; filter.

Reprogrammed ECU

When it comes out of the factory, a Mustang has conservatively tuned fuel and ignition curves. Though it's one of the more expensive modifications, a re-tuned ECU can result in a dramatic performance improvement.

Underdrive Pulley

Another cheap and easy way to free up more power from your engine is to replace the large factory pulleys for components like the fan and power steering with a smaller underdrive pulley from a company like Steeda. The smaller pulleys reduce parasitic drag on the motor and can give your engine a gain of up to 10 horsepower. As an added bonus, smaller pulleys also improve your fuel mileage.

About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.