Quality headers make a big...
Quality headers make a big difference, especially when future modifications are planned. Even tri-Y headers like these from Schumacher Creative Services will offer much better flow, and a throatier sound, than factory manifolds.
5. Heads, You Win!
In the not-to-distant past, those of us who were modifying Mopar engines had only factory cylinder heads to choose from. Fortunately, the market is now flush with some great cylinder heads for our Mopar engines. Edelbrock, Indy Cylinder Head, and even Brodix offer bolt-on cylinder head kits for Mopar big- and small-blocks, and any of these choices are far better than factory cylinder heads. In addition to bigger ports and valves for increased flow and power potential, installing aftermarket aluminum cylinder heads will reduce your engine's weight by nearly 50 pounds. Even for a novice mechanic, a head swap isn't too tough, and the results can be extraordinary.
6. Nitrous Oxide, Need We Say More?
While we've all heard horror stories about how nitrous oxide can quickly grenade an engine, it's actually a very safe power-adder if installed and used properly. Even stock engines can safely employ nitrous kits of up to 125 hp without risking engine damage. Modern nitrous oxide kits meter fuel and nitrous accurately, are easy to install, relatively inexpensive, and provide instant power at the push of a button (or at wide-open throttle). While larger nitrous systems may require fuel system upgrades, nitrous still gives you the most power-per-dollar that we've found.
Many cars are either over-...
Many cars are either over- or under-carbureted, so another great bolt-on modification is to make an induction upgrade.
Forcing more air and fuel into your engine equates to more power, so a turbo or supercharger may be just what you need. While not as cheap to install as nitrous oxide, companies like Procharger have designed great centrifugal supercharger kits for most Mopars that not only add incredible power, but fit under the hood as well. The nice thing about forced induction is that once it's installed, the power is always there when you want it without having to refill a nitrous bottle.
8. Torque Multiplication
Modified engines often make their power and torque at a higher rpm than a stock engine, so to take advantage of this, a looser torque converter and lower-ratio rear-end gears are good choices. Both a looser converter and lower rear gears multiply the engine's torque, allowing the engine to accelerate more quickly, equating to better performance. Even with a stock engine, stoplight-to-stoplight performance can be dramatically improved by performing these modifications.
Even a mild engine can usually...
Even a mild engine can usually benefit from a bigger carburetor, especially if you've already installed free-flowing exhaust.
Accelerating 3,000-plus pounds of steel is one thing; stopping it is another. Let's face it-the factory brakes on most Mopars were marginal at best, so it's time to replace them with modern disc brakes. Fortunately, there are many kits available from companies like Wilwood, Stainless Steel Brakes, and Master Power Brakes. These brake kits are easy to install, and considerably improve braking performance and safety. When it comes to brake upgrades, we don't consider disc brakes an option, but rather a mandatory improvement. Not only will your car perform better after installing disc brakes, you'll be less nervous and enjoy driving it more when your brakes perform as well as the new cars on the road.
10. Stop Swaying
Though often overlooked, the suspension of our Mopars contributes greatly to handling, braking, and acceleration performance. There are many suppliers of Mopar suspension parts, including Just Suspension and Performance Suspension Technology, and most have front and rear sway bar kits in addition to the standard rebuild parts. Sway bar kits are easy to install, and only cost a couple hundred bucks. For the money, a sway bar kit will noticeably improve your Mopar's handling, and can improve stopping performance as well.
A dual-plane aluminum intake...
A dual-plane aluminum intake offers great low-end torque, and will shave weight from the front of your Mopar as well.
For high-rpm, high-horsepower...
For high-rpm, high-horsepower applications, a single-plane intake manifold is the best choice. We recently installed a Mopar M-1 single-plane on an engine we were testing in our B3 project, and reduced our elapsed times by two tenths of a second!
The power your engine makes...
The power your engine makes has a lot to do with the camshaft. Fortunately, cam swaps are easy and there are plenty of great cams on the market for Mopar engines.
Factory cams, or cams designed...
Factory cams, or cams designed decades ago, are behind the power curve in terms of engineering. Luckily, companies like Comp Cams manufacture quality cam kits that will dramatically improve your engine's power and torque.
Don't forget to match the...
Don't forget to match the rest of your valvetrain components to the cam you'll use. Although many performance cams won't require a spring change, some will. Most camshaft manufacturers have a help line to assist in this decision.
A roller cam and lifters will...
A roller cam and lifters will definitely make more power, but roller cams are expensive and require much stiffer valvesprings than flat-tappet cams.