How to Get More Horsepower From a 360 Magnum

by Scott Eilers
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The 360 was a 5.7L V8 engine produced and designed by Chrysler from 1971 through 2002. The engine underwent several major design changes during its 31-year production run, and the Magnum edition of the engine in 1993 was a 5.9L V8 that produced 250 horsepower and 345 ft.-lbs. of torque. It was used in the Dodge Dakota RT, the high-performance version of Chrysler's mid-sized Dakota pickup truck. The power output of the 360 Magnum engine can be increased with performance aftermarket modifications.

Step 1

Install a performance aftermarket cold-air intake system. The cold-air intake system is responsible for pulling in air from outside of the engine bay, cooling it and diverting it into the engine itself where it mixes with fuel. Performance aftermarket cold-air intake systems can perform this process more efficiently, providing both more air and cooler air. This results in a moderate horsepower increase. Cold-air intake systems are widely considered to be the easiest performance modification to install, and they are also relatively inexpensive compared to other performance upgrades.

Step 2

Upgrade to performance aftermarket headers. Headers serve as an intermediary between the engine and the exhaust system. Performance aftermarket headers are wider than factory headers and allow for air to reach the exhaust system more quickly and efficiently, which results in a cooler engine and an overall boost in engine power. Performance headers will produce a greater increase in horsepower when they are paired with a performance exhaust system, but performance headers with a stock exhaust system will still increase the horsepower of the 360 Magnum engine.

Step 3

Install a performance aftermarket exhaust system. This exhaust system allows warm/hot air to leave the engine bay and be dispersed back into the environment. A wide-flow aftermarket exhaust system allows for greater airflow, which results in an overall cooler engine and a moderate boost in horsepower. Note that installing a wide-flow aftermarket exhaust system will increase engine noise and CO2 emissions. Aftermarket exhaust systems are illegal for road use in some states, such as California, so consult with your state regulations before performing this modification.

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