Since the beginning of time, as it pertains to automobiles, people have been changing and modifying these mechanical wonders in the quest for more power, better handling, and simply making their car better than the next guy. But over the years, the mechanical wizardry has taken on advancements that at one time were the things of science fiction. Cars, quite literally, are more computer-controlled wonders than mechanical ones these days.

But has that made the hot rodder extinct? Not by a long shot. It seems that no matter what kind of advancement, be it mechanical or electrical, the aftermarket suppliers will come up with a way to improve upon the O.E.'s basic design. It used to be as simple as changing an intake and carb, slapping on a set of headers, or installing a set of numerically higher gears, and, presto, improved performance. Is it still that simple? When it comes to the 21st century Hemi, almost.

Sure, the engine is computer controlled. Sure, it's fuel injected. Sure, there are a lot of accessory items mounted all over the engine, but underneath it all, it's still an internal combustion powerplant. So, theoretically, a few bolt-on upgrades would be an improvement, right? Well, keep in mind, since the engine's functions are computer controlled, that computer has set parameters for the functions the engine does. So, if we add a cold-air intake system, theoretically, the calibrations will change in the computer in regards to the fuel mixture. Now, with this simple modification, the change will not violate the parameter, and the result is usually a slightly leaner condition, resulting in an increase of horsepower.

Let's get deeper into the modifications. What if we add a cold-air kit, headers, and perform a cam and head swap? these are some above-average modifications, especially to an engine as new as the 5.7 Hemi. the computer will realize the increase in cylinder pressure (depending on the new cam specs, and the head's chamber volume), and the more efficient movement of the air and fuel mixture (resulting from the ported heads). This will require a special tuning be applied to the computer to compensate for the changes, correct? O.k., maybe we are thinking too deeply into the modification realm, and some of you just want to get a little more oomph out of your Hemi. Luckily, the modifications that have been going on for centuries still have merit today.

Gotta Getcha Some
So you want parts, and you want to know a little bit more about the ones we used. Well, here's your chance. All the parts are available with either a simple phone call or e-mail

Patriot Performance Head Shop
One of the most involved swaps you can do to your late-model Hemi revolves around the cylinder heads. But heads usually yield the largest improvement. keep in mind, an engine is a vacuum pump-the more air you move, the more power you make. The Patriot Performance heads are direct bolt-on performance heads that feature stock valves and springs, and a five-axis CNC porting.

Lift 2-inch in 1.55-inch exh
.100 68 cfm 51 cfm
.200 144 cfm 116 cfm
.300 221 cfm 161 cfm
.400 272 cfm 185 cfm
.500 290 cfm 197 cfm
.550 295 cfm 200 cfm
.600 300 cfm 207 cfm

So it was time to begin. What we decided to do was install the Patriot heads, a Comp Cams camshaft, an ASP pulley, and a TCI torque converter. we figured it best to farm this much work out to someone capable of handling such a task, and Marty Fletcher at KRC Performance in Cocoa, Florida, was more than up to the task. But before we could begin, we needed to find out where our Ram was in regards to stock horsepower. So we strapped the Ram down on the dyno at White's Automotive, and let the chips fall where they may. When the wheel stopped spinning, our stock Ram possessed 249 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. That's a pretty standard number in regards to a stock Hemi Ram, but we wanted more.

There you have it-we have a plan; we have parts; we have a baseline. The only thing left to do is tear into it. So follow along, and find out how easy it really is to contact the aftermarket and get the parts you need to increase your new Hemi's output. And the work isn't impossible to handle either.

SOURCE
Patriot Performance
Rainbow City
AL
888-462-8276
patriot-performance.com
Dynatech Headers
Boonville
IN
800-848-5850
dynatechheaders.com
White's Automotive
Rockledge
FL
321-633-6991
whitesimportautomotive.com
KRC Performance
Cocoa
FL
321-635-8866
krcperformacne.com
Auto Specialties Performance
Stafford
TX
877-928-8678
aspracing.com
Superchips
134 Baywood Ave.
Longwood
FL  32750
407-774-CHIP
www.superchipscustom.com
Competition Cams
Memphis
TN
8-00/-999-0853
compcams.com
TCI Automotive
151 Industrial Dr.
Ashland
MS  38603
662-224-8972
www.tciauto.com
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