Just like you’re protective about your car’s external looks, concentrating on its engine’s performance is also an important aspect. You might look to extend the life of your car so that it runs smoothly for the years to come, but you’ve got to consider your engine’s health as well.
In simple terms, your engine acts as the lungs of your car which needs a series of deliberately-timed combustions that pull in and push out the ever-essential air. The supply of fuel is not enough for the engine as it requires sufficient amount of oxygen from the air for combustions.
Generally, the process of air intake is done when a piston moves, creating a vacuum and allowing the air at atmospheric pressure to be drawn into the combustion chamber. When combined with fuel the air forms a unit of energy, which is turned into horsepower via combustion through an ignition from the spark plug.
For car enthusiasts, rolling off the assembly line of the car isn’t just adding more speed. They love to tinker with their car’s engine to add more power or to improve fuel-efficiency. To improve an engine’s performance or, in other words to make it go faster, it is required to be more powerful or at least more efficient combustion. Modifying your car’s engine to accept more air and fuel is the key to make that happen.
Here are some ways through which you can do those modifications
- Intake of Cold Air
Taking in cold air is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to increase horsepower while upgrading the engine’s performance. Air coming into the engine gets colder as well as denser and if the air is denser it will create more power because engine operates by taking in air, mixing it with the fuel and then burning the mixture to produce power.
Cold air intake offers increased surface area to pull air through, as it is featured as an innovatively shaped filter. It is also designed to reduce air flow resistance and unwanted turbulence within the pipes, which would otherwise reduce the airflow in your engine.
- Throttle Body Having Large Diameter
The throttle body regulates the air flow in conjunction with your fuel injection system that goes into your engine. This system is an important asset for your vehicle just like air, which is required in combustion for your engine to fire up properly.
A large-diameter throttle body with bigger flaps allows more airflow in the engine at a higher rate and you will feel faster acceleration and a surge in engine power.
Additionally, to further enhance your fuel economy and increase engine torque, you can install a throttle body spacer.
- Exhaust Headers
The ability of your stock manifolds to move air as efficiently as possible can be limited by meeting both emissions requirements and maintaining low production costs. To increase the torque and find extra horsepower, exhaust headers is a good option.
Both long tubes and short headers move the air faster and boost your vehicle’s performance. Long tube headers are ideal for heavy-reviving rides as they build torque and HP from mid-range to top-end RPMs while shorty headers deliver more HP and torque in lower RPM range, making them perfect for your daily drive.
- Programmers and Performance Chips
A system that can control your engine is factory-programmed to comply with certain emissions and fuel octane requirements that leave a lot of performance capabilities on the table. You can easily increase the engine power and torque, and adjust your vehicle’s settings such as fuel-to-air ratio, turbo boost and ignition timing by utilising power programmers and performance chips.
- Turbochargers and Superchargers
Superchargers and turbochargers work as forced induction systems that are used to compress the air flowing into your engine and offer the greatest performance. Forced induction usually increases HP and torque by over 50%.
The engine can also mix in more fuel by adding more air in it, so a charged engine produces more power which significantly improves acceleration. A turbocharger gets its power from the exhaust system while a supercharger is powered by a belt that connects directly to the engine.
Superchargers offer almost instant power when you step on the gas and are usually easier to install. On the other hand, turbochargers are considered to be more efficient since they use wasted energy from the exhaust system.
Engine is basically about physics, maths and the process of turning heat energy into mechanical motion. To get more twist from this heat energy and rotary motion, here are certain other quick and smart ways to increase your car’s engine performance.
- Synthetic lubricants
Synthetic lubricants help engines to stay longer, as they reduce friction between internal parts of the engine and create better lubrication between moving parts than conventional oils. They perform very well at high temperatures and high-stress situations, and that is why they are used a lot in performance applications.
These oils are engineered to be more robust in terms of low-temperature pumping ability, high-temperature stability and provide protection against dust deposits.
- Spark Plugs for Better Ignition
Spark plugs need to be changed periodically as it can create distortions in the ignition system. When it’s time to replace ignition components, opt for the best high-performance ignition parts, such as coils, wires and platinum tip spark plugs.
Best approach must be original equipment grade or high-end parts because they provide precise ignition operation to give more power. A potent spark from a high-energy ignition system can reduce the possibilities of a misfire or lacklustre light off, meaning lost power, wasted fuel and increased tailpipe emissions.
Ignition timing is also a power dynamic because too much of it can damage your engine, so it needs to be controlled carefully. Ignition systems having electronic engine control must be checked by professionals who know how to dial in both ignition and fuel maps to where you get power without causing any damage to the engine.
- Increasing Compression
The most productive way to increase horsepower is to build more compression in your engine. Both compression and cam selection affects cylinder pressure or working compression. You need to consult an engine mechanic and get the best advice to power up your engine without damaging it.
Before you bump compression watch fuel and spark curves, also it is recommended to use high octane, smog-legal unleaded fuel instead of pump gas.
- Velocity Stack
A velocity stack is a trumpet-shaped device which is used to improve airflow and is equipped at the entrance of an engine’s intake system, carburettor or fuel injection. It increases the horsepower to an extent as it reduces induction turbulence.
- Correct Size Fuel Line
Fuel line is not usually considered as an important modification, but how would you get 450 HP from a 5/16-inch fuel line? High-performance engines need plenty of fuel supply so you can make changes in the size of the fuel line. For most applications, minimum fuel line size is 3/8-inches but when horsepower rises above 500, you need a 7/16-inch fuel line.
- Dual-plane Manifold
A dual-plane manifold provides great low-to-mid range torque while allowing an engine to breathe at high RPM. Its long intake runners give you excellent torque during acceleration and high ceilings deliver more horsepower. To get even more torque out of a traffic light you can consider using a carburettor spacer.
- Jet Size
Swapping or experimenting with jet size can help you prevent power losses. For better performance you need to pick up a jet kit and try one jet size at a time, beginning with primary and then using secondary sizes.
To determine the course of action, go with a spark plug reading while you are at its right after a wide-open throttle shutdown.
- Cylinder Head
For increasing engine performance, cylinder head selection is one of the major steps. A good cylinder head swap will get you more power if you opt for the correct size; not to mention bigger size doesn’t always mean better performance. Consider the sizes of valve and port along with flow numbers to make an educated decision.
Making these modifications in your car’s engine can possibly improve the reliability of an engine. Also, by machining it and adding higher quality components for its protection, you can reduce the length of the service intervals which significantly keeps things running smoothly.