Horsepower is a combination of torque and RPM, and often the metric flaunted by automobile producers to lure-in enthusiastic customers. Typically, increasing your horsepower means either of the two things – increasing torque, or increasing RPM.

There are several factors that influence the increase or decrease in horsepower that are discussed below. However, before you proceed, be certain that you know what you’re doing, and make sure that the installation of specific hardware components such as flammable nitrous boosts is legal in your area.

1.    Boosting Engine Airflow

To boost engine airflow, you can use performance air filters (see S&B filters for diesel trucks). These will allow more air intake in your system. Also, they will allow for smoother airflow within the engine to increase oxygen and empower the engine with added torque.

2.    Install CIA systems

CIA (Cold Air Intake) Systems can route the cool air in the environment into the engine, hence the name. When cold air is routed in, the density of this air is higher, allowing the engine to mix more oxygen with fuel and burn it for higher horsepower. Be warned, however, that CIA systems cause excessive engine noise.

3.    Use Performance Exhaust Headers and High-Performance Cat-Back Exhaust Systems

This combination will not only make way for a better air circulation within the engine but also move toxic air out of the engine. It will significantly reduce the backpressure sustained by your exhaust.

4.    Upgrade to e-Ignition Kits

Electronic Ignition Kits replaces breaker points in the engine as well as the distributor’s condenser. It creates a hotter, stronger spark and helps you achieve quick starts, better top-end power, and better mileage. The break-based system can significantly boost torque in older vehicles.

5.    Exchange Old Carburetors with New Ones

If you need to work on a fuel-injected vehicle, this is not for you. However, for old vehicles, a change of carburetors after analyzing the best ones and adding it as an aftermarket upgrade can boost your vehicle significantly.


6.    Distributor Recurving

No, you don’t need to reshape or beat a component into shape. Recurving here refers to swapping certain old parts in favor of new ones. As far as older vehicles are concerned, components like springs and benches can be quite heavy. You can replace these with lighter ones now available on the market.

Also, you can reset the timing of the distributor advances if your vehicle has a low RPM. It's quite a tedious task but is sure to boost your RPM and, in turn, your horsepower. Remember to be patient with trial and error.

7.    Customize or Reprogram Chipsets

If your vehicle has a computer-controlled engine, you will be acquainted with a hand-held device known as the programmer that lets you make modifications. Due to certain emissions and exhaust protocols, the chances are that features that could be useful to you have been disabled.

You can enable all you need, and reset important metrics such as timing and fuel delivery. You will also be able to change shift points if the transmission is fully automatic. Be careful though, if you don’t know what you’re doing, consult an expert. You might end up destroying your engine circuitry beyond repair. 

8.    Use Pulleys (Underdrive)

Engines feel the drag when heavy accessories are pulled, and the load decreases your engine power without affecting the RPM. You can use Underdrive Pulleys that will reduce this drag and free up more horsepower for you.

9.    Nitro-Systems

The Nitrous Oxide-based System or Nitro-System for short is the rage when it comes to attaining sheer acceleration and speed. While these systems will not directly impact your vehicle’s RPM or torque, rest assured, the starting range of these systems is enough to give you the speed you need.

Be sure they’re legal to install and use where you live, though. Certain countries have banned these systems due to their use in illegal street races.

Final Word

Keep in mind that while all these factors do increase horsepower, weight and overloading play a significant role too. Do not expect your vehicle to fly on the road after filling it to the brim with heavy parts, superchargers or turbochargers, or excessive upgrades. These will ultimately cause your engine to overheat and your speed and performance will degrade.