Performance Tips for a 4.3L V6 Engineby Alexis Writing
The 4.3 liter V-6 engine is produced by General Motors. The 4.3L V-6 is made on the same production line as larger V8 engines and uses many of the same parts. Because the V-6 is a 90 degree horizontally opposed engine, like V-8s, it can take power upgrading without damaging the internals. Even the pistons on this engine are the same as a 350 V-8, the hallowed small block Chevy engine of lore.
Changing out the stock factory pistons is one performance upgrade to consider. By switching the pistons to higher performance balanced and forged pistons with the proper cut outs for valve relief and a slightly oversize boring to allow you to properly hone and polish the cylinder walls, you will see an almost immediate increase in power to your 4.3L V-6, as well as a decrease in the amount of shaking and vibration under load that the engine is known for. Replacing the pistons should always be done along with a proper camshaft replacement, which will help maximize the valve lift and allow optimum air and fuel flow to your new pistons.
A camshaft replacement is another thing that you can do to improve performance in the Vortec V-6 engine. By replacing the factory camshaft with one that has been properly ground and specially tuned, you'll find that you are able to see a much more even distribution of power across the engine's power band, as well as a better low end torque and top end maximum RPM than you will find with the factory camshaft. The camshaft is responsible for lifting the valves and making sure that intake and exhaust timing is optimized, so you may even see an increase in fuel mileage with the camshaft replacement.
Valve and Valve Springs
Replace the factory valves and valve springs with polished, heavy duty valves and valve springs that will hold up to the increase in power and torque that you will see from your new camshaft and piston assemblies.
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- "How to Build Max Performance 4.6 Liter Ford Engines":; Sean Hyland. 2004
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