Power is everything when it comes to performance. Whether it’s braking power, acceleration power, or even horsepower, many of us are on a path to find as much as we can, wherever we can. Sometimes it’s a simple adjustment, and other times it requires a little effort and elbow grease.
Automedia has compiled a list of Ten Fast-Quick Ways to Increase Engine Performance, including some that might only take a couple of hours in the afternoon. We know that we can find lots of power in rebuilding the engine or power adders, like turbocharging, but sometimes some of the simplest gains can be found in replacing simple components, or completing a maintenance item.
Horsepower can be tricky, because you have to take into consideration that your engine is just one big air pump. Air comes in, and air goes out, but the combustion process is needed to pump that air. You can’t just remove your mufflers and expect more power, nor can you just throw on a bigger carburetor and expect power. Everything has to be in moderation and these improvements need to be reasonable. If you can’t afford a complete rebuild, there are a few things you can do to free up power, and Automedia has listed them out for us.
Starting off their list, you’ll find synthetic lubricants at the top. Synthetic lubricants reduce friction, which can do two things to your engine: increase heat and reduce power. Friction is caused by the many parts inside the engine working against each other, and synthetic lubricants will help reduce the friction.
Number two on the list: ignition system. The ignition includes everything from the coil to the spark plugs, and sometimes a simple replacement of the plugs can help your engine to run smoother. An aftermarket ignition system can help increase performance because of a higher energy that comes with aftermarket systems. It also helps to check ignition timing, one of the biggest performance robbers. Ever hear a ping or knock when you press the gas? That comes from your ignition, and making sure your timing is can eliminate the extra noise, of course using a better grade of fuel will help, too.
Number three is something that can increase performance if done properly, and decrease if done improperly: increase throttlebody and injectors. More air in, requires more fuel, and that means more air out… which can give you a slight gain in power. Go too big, however, and you might see you performance and economy suffer.
Numbers four and five require a little bit more effort, they are increasing compression and adding a roller rockers and a roller camshaft. The compression increase gives the potential for a better burn inside the combustion chamber, and the roller rockers can reduce the friction that a standard cam and rockers produce.
Numbers six and seven are a little simpler. A stub stack, like that from K&N can increase the velocity of the air entering your carburetor and reduce the turbulence. Increasing fuel hose size on a performance engine will help the fuel flow a little better, with less restriction. More airflow and more fuel can help increase performance, that’s an easy one to figure out.
Number eight, a better flowing intake manifold can help, and number nine, jetting your carburetor for better performance. And while you’re at it, might as well pick up a set of cylinder heads that flow a little better numbers and can increase your power, too. But like everything else, it must be done in moderation. Many cylinder heads are labelled in stages, a stage five cylinder head on a stock block will probably hurt performance, but a stage one set of heads can help the air to flow better, thus increasing power.
Some tips require more effort, and some require a little money, but each will require something on your part to increase power. Some are less expensive, and some are more time consuming, but all ten of these tips, if performed properly can help increase performance. How much depends on how much you want to spend, because the old saying still holds true: speed costs money, how fast do you want to go? Check out the article on Automedia’s website for more detailed information on increasing power.