Increasing the power of your 4WD.
More power, more guts, more performance. We’re all looking for ways to squeeze that extra bit of grunt out of our 4WDs. And rightly so – there’s a reason why the old adage, ‘if in doubt, power out,’ is so well adhered to.
As well as getting us out of sticky situations, a more powerful engine will improve your onroad driving experience, remove some of the pain out of highway driving and increase fuel efficiency.
Plus, driving a more powerful 4WD is a lot more fun! Increasing the horsepower can be achieved in a number of ways.
Of course the most effective method would be a complete engine replacement, although that’s a drastic process and a whole article in itself.
Let’s take a look instead at less invasive methods of upping your rig’s kilowatt output, without going to the extremes of performing open engine surgery.
Snorkels provide more than just flood protection
Adding a snorkel to your 4WD is often the first accessory many of us add to our rigs.
Snorkels are obviously purchased in order to prevent engine flooding when making heavy water crossings, but they are a useful purchase for a number of other reasons.
The air intake on stock 4WDs is generally located under the bonnet or under the inner guard. Whereas a snorkel moves the air intake up above the vehicle, where it is not subject to the warm under-bonnet airflow or road dust.
Improved airflow keeps your engine breathing freely, improves fuel efficiency and power.
A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
Adding a chip to your diesel 4WD can be the ticket to extra grunt
A diesel engine chip adjusts the fuel timing and sets new parameters for the airflow sensors.
This means that the chip needs to communicate with your vehicle’s computer in order to work effectively.
Many of the options available are plug-and-play units, while others are a little more complicated to install.
Some manufacturers advertise that their diesel chips can double your engine power.
If you’re thinking of adding a chip to your 4WD, make sure you do your research and get some advice from an experienced technician, as getting it wrong can result in expensive repairs.
A BIG SET OF PIPES
Free-flow exhaust systems can make all the difference
Particularly on turbo-charged engines. While it won’t necessarily increase boost, it will allow it to come on sooner. Fuel economy can also increase slightly with the addition of a larger exhaust system.
Wise folk get the chip and exhaust system fitted at the same time, to ensure they work intuitively with each other. Occasionally, 4WDs can go into limp mode, caused by the turbo over-spooling
at a rate faster than it takes for the vehicle’s computer to adjust the turbo vanes.
However, if your chip and exhaust are fitted together by a pro, you shouldn’t experience any such problems. Fitting a snorkel, chip and exhaust system will have your engine breathing freely and performing in optimum condition.
If you feel like your rig is lacking a little in the power department, consider having these three simple and affordable modifications done to get it running in peak condition.