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One of those questions that always seems to get asked here at North Shore Offroad that truly has an infinite amount of answers is “I want to add a little more power because (insert reason why), what is the best way to do that?” There are plenty of great suggestions we can give to a customer but which of the possible options is right for you depends on what results you are looking for and what your budget allows.
First and foremost I want to start with the most basic of ideologies to help a motor unleash its true potential without altering how it operates or changing intricate parts. Putting an intake (Brute force/Cold Air/High Flow/Etc.) on your vehicle will do a few things for you. Most kits will replace your small surface area and air flow restricting air filter with a large cone shaped filter which quite simply allows more air to be sucked in at any given time. Secondly most intakes also use larger tubing to get the air from the filter into the motor which also leads to more airflow. With more air into the motor it can run more efficiently and develop more power than with a factory set up. But now that you have given the motor the means of sucking more air in, you also need to add a high flow exhaust to help remove restrictions from the exhale side of the motor. Larger exhaust tubing and straighter routing leads to more flow. Along with the extra bonus of a nicer sounding note, a intake and exhaust will lead to more low end torque, quicker throttle response and more efficient and cool operation of the motor. The actually power gain numbers may be minimal but if you pay attention over time you will be able to see the difference.
Now if you’re in a position where you are turning larger tires and your vehicle struggles on the hills or feels gutless on the low end, the next possibility to consider is gears. Differential gears are the gears that convert driveshaft power into axle shaft and tire power. Every gear set is comprised of a “pinion” (essentially where a driveshaft bolts to) and a “ring gear” (meets the pinion and through the use of curved teeth, passing along the spinning power from the driveshaft to the wheels). When you add a large set of tires onto a somewhat low powered vehicle with stock gears it leads to sluggish characteristics on the road. To fix such issues a handful of companies have made more aggressive low gear sets for most popular vehicles. This is the best way to get back your low end torque and help spin larger tires as well as taking some of the load off your transmission/clutch. The downsides to doing gear sets is that it can be a very lengthy install process due to the fine tuning required to install gear properly, and once you begin to lower your gear ratio it does help you on the low end, but it also raises your rpm on the high end so you will lose a small amount of your top end range.
The final way to add more power to your set up is through forced induction. Bolting on a turbo or supercharger is a great way to build more power but it comes with a heavy price tag and some serious risks, which is why this is less common than other upgrades and normally a last stage in the search for more power.Firstly it is much more common to supercharge an offroad vehicle these days, with many options for the more common vehicles such as Jeep Wranglers and Toyota Tacoma’s, and many vouch for company’s ease of install and instant power gains. But with either system comes the risks of pushing more power and compression through a motor’s block which can lead to catastrophic failure of expensive parts. If you are considering installing either of these systems it is recommended that you find somewhere local that can install, trouble shoot and tune your vehicle once it is installed to insure that everything is working in sync and smoothly.
So get your intake and exhaust, buy a lower set of gears and purchase your supercharger to really feel the power your motor can produce. Or if you’re like the rest of us, decide which option suits your needs and financial requirements best and go from there. Something to remember is that any modifications to add power could ultimately result in mechanic issues and failure of parts. It is always recommended that you consult the dealership where you purchased the vehicle to make sure what you do will not void your warranty or damage your vehicle. Most importantly swing by our locations and let our knowledgeable sales staff walk you through the options in person to truly understand what can be done to help you out. And of course, get out there and enjoy.
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