One of the draws of owning a truck is that it boasts more engine strength than an average sedan. This characteristic can help you get through tough terrain and inclines without trouble, and for many, it’s simply satisfying to know that their truck’s performance capabilities are high. That being said, the settings and parts that your truck comes from the manufacturer with usually don’t optimize it to its fullest potential. Consequently, you have some room to make modifications to gain even more power than you initially started with. Read on to discover several ways to bolster the horsepower of your truck.
Lighten Your Truck’s Load
This first piece of advice doesn’t involve any fancy upgrades, but it can still make a difference. If you usually carry around a large load in your truck that is unnecessary, you should get rid of it. Whether you’ve been hauling around tools, materials, or random household possessions in the bed or backseat, the extra weight will lower your truck’s free power since it must use a portion of it to move those heavy objects. Sometimes, you may intentionally place a hefty sandbag or something similar for increased traction on slippery surfaces, especially in the winter when it snows and rains often. For a time, this load makes sense, but you should take it out as soon as you don’t need it anymore. Store your items where they belong in your home or throw away and donate them if that’s what you had in mind. By doing so, your engine will be able to devote all its horsepower to performance.
Use a Performance Programmer
Performance programmers, which are also known as engine tuners, are devices that you connect to your truck that allow you to adjust its computer programming. Your engine’s default settings place more importance on meeting certain factory regulations and providing a smooth and unobtrusive ride. In other words, manufacturers think mostly about balancing power and fuel economy and keeping the engine quiet. With a performance programmer, you can change the turbo boost, the ignition timing, and the ratio of fuel relative to air that your engine combusts to increase the horsepower that your truck can output. Most programmers are small rectangular devices with a screen and a cable that is compatible with your truck’s OBD2 port, making them easy to use as well. Just be careful not to tamper with your emissions controls, since it is usually unlawful to do so.
Increase Exhaust System Efficiency
Switching out parts of your truck’s exhaust system can be a way to bolster the horsepower of your truck as well. Again, manufacturers are more concerned with minimizing noise and keeping the cost of fabricating their vehicles low, so the stock exhaust system will not be as effective as it could be. You can take out your engine exhaust manifolds (not to be confused with inlet manifolds) and put in aftermarket headers to increase your truck’s efficiency as it gathers exhaust from the engine cylinders and transports this to the exhaust. The headers will remove the fumes more quickly, which can work to boost your horsepower.
Along with this change, you can replace the catback exhaust, which includes intermediate exhaust pipes, the tailpipe, and muffler. Doing this can open up a clearer path for air to leave your truck. Together with the headers, this has the potential to raise your engine’s capabilities by about five to twenty horsepower.
Put in a Wider Throttle Body
The throttle body is the component responsible for regulating how much air enters your engine. Getting a wider one will allow more air to come in as you press down on the accelerator, and this in turn can up the magnitude of the combustion reaction that your engine creates. Your engine strength can rise by as much as twenty-five horsepower with this one upgrade. Furthermore, it will take less time for your truck to accelerate.
To support the throttle body and deepen its impact even more, you can also affix a throttle body spacer to it. The spacer often looks like a rectangular piece with a hole in the center that matches the opening of the throttle body. Once you bolt it on, it acts to add a bit more distance for air to travel as it enters its corresponding inlet manifold. This has the effect of pushing power further and making the engine more fuel-efficient as well.
Add a Cold Air Intake
Cold air intakes are popular among truck modifying enthusiasts everywhere, and it’s easy to see why. As with throttle bodies, the goal of cold air intakes is to bring more air into the engine for combustion. A cold air intake achieves this by different means, though. Its main function is to move the air intake pipe away from the inner area of the engine compartment and more towards the edge. This allows it to pull in cooler air, which is denser than warm air, and thus contains more oxygen for the combustion reaction. Its pipe is moreover less winding than that of the default intake, so that air meets less resistance as it enters. In addition, a cold air intake does not have sound baffling as a factory intake does. The baffling’s only purpose is to quiet the engine, and with it gone, the intake passage will have less getting in the way of air flow.
Install a Supercharger
Even a complete novice in the world of trucks can tell that a supercharger is built for enhancing engine power simply by looking at its name. A supercharger works by compressing air beyond its normal atmospheric pressure and then pushing this into the engine’s cylinders. This process is called forced induction and a part that utilizes it can often intensify horsepower more than any other singular upgrade. Superchargers have a belt piece that attaches to the engine so that as you apply the throttle and let fuel enter, the supercharger also activates in tandem to compress air. As a result, you’ll feel an immediate difference in acceleration as your drive.
To find reliable superchargers to bolster your Ford F-150 or Raptor horsepower with, check out the range that we offer here at Specialty Performance Parts. You can find all the Ford Raptor accessories and supplies you might need to customize your truck on our website.