What Are the Best Bolt-On Mods for Horsepower?

We are car enthusiasts here at SLiPLO, and care about more than just vehicle paint protection. In fact, we are knowledgeable in everything from interesting facts about the automotive industry, to best classic cars for tall drivers. We even have useful information about the best bolt-on mods for enhancing a vehicle’s horsepower.  If you are trying to improve your vehicle’s engine performance without having to jump through too many hoops, you have come to the right place. The following are 5 of the best bolt-on modifications to increase your vehicle’s horsepower!

1)     Cat Back Exhaust System

All of the modifications to increase your vehicle’s horsepower on this list involve manipulating the flow of air in and out of your vehicle’s engine so that it is more efficient. Installing a cat back exhaust system is one example of this. Getting a performance aftermarket cat back exhaust system helps to ensure you get the most horsepower and torque possible.

When installing a cat back exhaust system, you will be replacing all of the piping of your exhaust system from the catalytic converter back, including the muffler and tip. The replacement parts will be of a larger diameter to allow enough space for exhaust to freely flow out of your vehicle. The replacement piping of the cat back system you get should have mandrel bent turns so that the least amount of back pressure is created while your vehicle’s exhaust makes its exit.

Depending on where you live, the amount of noise your exhaust system creates may be an important factor to consider. Luckily, Cat back reflective sound cancelation (RSC) systems exist and can help maintain acceptable exhaust sound. Other performance exhaust parts such as Dynomax’s Ultra Flo Welded Performance Stainless Steel Muffler incorporates continuous roving fiberglass (CRF) that absorbs interior resonance while maintaining a deep performance tone. One last thing to consider is protecting your vehicle’s underbelly from potholes and curbs, with a product like SLiPLO’s Universal Scrape Guard.

2)     Cold Air Intake System

Installing a cold air intake system is another thing you can do to increase your vehicle’s horsepower. This modification essentially moves the air filter from inside of your vehicle’s engine compartment to the outside of your vehicle’s engine compartment. This modification works because it allows cool air, as opposed to hot air from inside of your engine compartment, to be pulled into the engine for combustion. Since cool and cold air is denser, it contains more oxygen, and will enhance the performance of your engine.

When installing a cold air intake system you will remove your vehicle’s stock air intake parts and replace them with something like ADM’s CAD-designed intake tube with DRYFLOW air filter, which was engineered specifically to increase horsepower.

3)     Mass Air Meter Housing

Another way in which you can streamline the flow of air to and from your vehicle’s engine is by replacing your vehicle’s mass air meter housing. The mass air flow (MAF) sensor is the part of the electronic fuel injection system that calculates the amount of air that is entering your vehicle’s engine. To increase your vehicle’s horsepower, it may be a good idea to remove your vehicle’s MAF sensor from the factory housing and replace it with a significantly larger housing. This allows air to flow more freely without as much restriction.

This modification is relatively inexpensive and can be useful for several purposes. Not only can it help increase your vehicle’s horsepower, but it can also eliminate any problems you are having with MAF readings, as well as help your engine hold a steady idle if it is struggling. Replacing your mass air meter housing with something like MRP’s MAF Housing with Air Straighteners will help to reduce turbulence around the MAF sensor and is available for most makes and models.

4)     Throttle Bodies

Between your vehicle’s air intake system and your engine manifold exists your vehicle’s throttle body. The throttle body controls the flow of air that gets to your engine to be combusted. An aftermarket throttle body will have larger bores as well as blades. This allows more air to get into the engine, and in turn increases your vehicle’s horsepower. Although this option is a bolt-on solution, tuning will likely be required so that the engine will continue to run like a stock engine.

Some great direct replacements for your factory throttle body are Grantelli Motor Sports Throttle Bodies.  These replacement throttle bodies provide 40% more air flow at 7000 rpm, increase your vehicle’s horsepower, and allow for smoother and faster engine acceleration.

5)     Performance Exhaust Headers

Another way to improve air flow in and out of your vehicle to get the most possible horsepower and torque is to install performance headers. As exhaust leaves one of your engine’s cylinders, it enters the exhaust manifold. This exhaust can then build up pressure in the exhaust manifold and affect the next cylinder’s incoming exhaust gas. Back pressure such as what is caused in this situation renders your engine less efficient.

Luckily, this problem can easily be remedied through the installation of performance exhaust headers. Performance exhaust headers give each cylinder its own exhaust pipe, so it does not stack on one another and cause back pressure. By removing all of the back pressure that was once in the exhaust manifold, your engine will have a much easier time pushing out the exhaust.

Not only does this modification provide additional horsepower through the reduction of back pressure, installing performance exhaust headers is a fairly simple and straight forward process. It may not be as simple as door sill protector installation instructions and things you should know, but it is something that most car-savvy people can do themselves with enough time and effort!

Which Mods Are Best for Horsepower?

When you want to increase your vehicle’s horsepower, you will want to take a close look at how air is entering and exiting your engine. Streamlining this process and making it as efficient as possible should be your goal. Because of this, the best bolt-on modifications to increase your vehicle’s horsepower include exhaust headers, aftermarket throttle bodies, mass air meter housing replacements, cold air intake systems, and cat back exhaust systems.

After installing a bolt-on mod on your car, it's time to make sure it's protected. For information on the features, benefits, and pricing of skid plates, click here, alternatively, use our interactive map to find an authorized installer near you. If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog.