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How to Increase HP on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles Neon Vehicles is a compact sports car that boasts quick times from its four cylinder engine thanks to its attached turbocharger. If a stock Vehicles isn't quick enough already, plenty of modifications can bring the car up to your liking.

Under The Hood:

 How to Increase HP on SRT-4

Figure out how much you want to invest and how much HP you are realistically looking to gain. With a budget and expectations in mind, start the parts search.

Upgrade the intake system. This is possibly the cheapest and easiest upgrade with fair results. K&N is a popular brand to look into.

Upgrade the exhaust. Go for the real thing, all the way from the exhaust manifold at the engine all the way back to the rear of the car. With this purchase, be conscious of who will be riding with you. Noise tolerance varies from person to person, and this upgrade will make the most difference with noise.

Consider a boost controller. Boost controllers monitor the performance and timing of the turbocharger and help find optimal gains.

Look into Mopar's Stage One, Stage Two or Stage Three upgrade kits. These will be the priciest options, but they are proven to work when looking to increase HP.

Spend the money on a professional tuning. A tuning session will help you get the most out of each of your new parts as well as keep you up to date on the performance.

 How to Increase the HP on a Camaro

Retrofit newer small block Chevy heads onto older engines for an increase in power. Chevrolet's basic small block remained in continuous production for nearly 50 years, so some of the best and cheapest upgrades come from GM itself. L31 (Vortec 5700) heads were the last and most advanced ever produced that are a direct bolt-on for the traditional small block, and are capable of supporting over 450 horsepower in stock form (about 550 after porting).

Consider L98 (1985-1991 Corvette) heads if you want high horsepower with factory heads but don't want to deal with using a Vortec-specific manifold and headers; they'll support about 400 horsepower in stock form and over 450 when ported.

Supercharge or turbocharge the engine. Small block Chevy engines are indisputably the most popular V8 on Earth, and GM has made over a million of them since 1955. You'd have a difficult time finding a domestic aftermarket parts supplier that doesn't make something for small block applications, which means the market is rife with cheap, comprehensive, well-engineered and easily-available bolt-on turbo and supercharger kits.

You'll need to install stronger pistons and an upgraded fuel system for really high horsepower levels, but almost any small block can withstand about five pounds of boost without internal modifications. Considering that one pound of boost is worth about eight (supercharger) to ten (turbo) percent more power, that's an easy 100 to 150 horsepower boost without ever removing the valve covers.

Install a wet-flow plate or direct port nitrous system with propane fuel enrichment and "colder" heat range plugs. Again, the small-block Chevrolet is a well-researched entity; you won't have a hard time discovering how much nitrous your particular engine can take and not self-immolate. Using propane instead of gasoline for your nitrous injection will require a little more research and tuning to get the air/fuel ratio and jetting right, but the propane's 110 octane and latent heat of vaporization (drop in gas temperature upon injection) will help to increase power and reduce the likelihood of engine-killing detonation.

Bolt-on plate systems (which sandwich between the carburetor/throttle body and manifold) and direct port injection systems (which use one injector for each port, like standard fuel injection) are common and selection is fairly vast for all generations of small block engine. Plate systems usually work best with carbureted or throttle-body-injected manifolds (which carry both air and fuel); direct port systems are better for later multi-port fuel injected engines that use plastic manifolds.

 How to Increase HP on a 996

Replace the intake, headers and exhaust. The three aforementioned components constitute the air flow system in the vehicle. Air flow (both in and out,) more specifically unrestricted air flow, are at the heart of engine performance. There are many after-market company's that specialize in Porsche performance parts and the first thing a driver should do to increase power is replace the intake, headers and exhaust with performance ones. This will help the engine receive more air in and help it expel the air more efficiently. The result is increased horsepower.

Adjust the computer or ECM (Engine Control Unit/Module, sometimes called ECU) on the 996. The on board computer controls a number of different functions for the car. The default settings are setup for the daily drive and not tuned for maximum performance (which will decrease fuel efficiency.) Purchase a 996 ECM control unit. This will plug into the 996's ECM and the driver can tune the car to the optimal settings for maximum horse power.

Add a turbo. The base model 996s do not come with a turbocharger. Obviously the 911 Turbo does. Still the base 996s can easily accommodate a turbo. A turbocharger is a form of a supercharger. It increases the amount of air pressure entering the engine; which results in more power. Turbos can be expensive but they can dramatically increase the amount of horse power the car generates.

Items you will need

  • Intake

  • Headers

  • Exhaust

  • ECM control module

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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