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Adding Horsepower
Adding Horsepower

This is an extremely large topic. A car has so many parts and everyone of them can be modified to increase speed. Many people, however, look for a cheap and inexpensive way to increase horsepower. The two most common ways people increase power are by using a cold air intake and an exhaust.

After market intakes are less constricting, with larger filters and more manderally bent tubing. Specially designed intakes, known as cold air intakes, not only increase flow but they pull cold air from under the bumper or car. They move the intake charge further away from the hot engine. This simple concept is that colder air is denser and therefore more air leads to more power.

Now to exhausts. Cat-back exhaust systems usually have smoother bends then standard and they will have larger diameters. They increase flow and allow the engine to breath. The mufflers at the back are smaller and many have straight through designs. One side effect is that the faster the air moves the larger the exhaust note becomes.

Adding downpipes, a.k.a. headers, along with a performance catalitic converter can add power as well. Stock cars have an exhaust manifold much like an intake manifold. The exhaust manifold is simply a small air chamber, with as many pipes going into it as however many cylinders u have. These pipes are perpendicular to the air chamber. The chamber the empties into a small pipe out to the muffler. This if very constrictive. The small piping and 90 degree angles create alot of back pressure. Headers differ in that each cylinder has its own manderally bent pipe, usually 1 foot or longer, that joins in a collector that opens up into it the catalitic converter or straight to the muffler.

Back to the basics:
There is one basic way to increase horsepower. Make a larger more powerful explosion in the combustion chamber. There are many ways to do this, however, they all have the same concept and/or purpose. Most parts regulate the air coming and going through the cylinders. For example, the intake and exhaust I just talked about. When increasing the amount of air that goes into each cylinder, you can increase the amount of fuel. This results in a power gain.

In a stock vehicle the amount of additional horsepower you can create is limited due to the strength of the block and cylinder heads as well as other key engine components. It is costly and time consuming to replace these engine parts.

Without doing internal engine work here are a few examples of what you could do to increase horsepower:

If you are, however, willing to spend a lot of money (and time if you plan to do it yourself) internal engine modifications can be made to increase horsepower greatly. I will list a few examples:

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