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Article Teaser: High performance on a car or truck is often thought of in terms of higher horsepower (HP), more torque, faster speeds and quicker acceleration. High performance upgrades generally include improvements in efficiency and/or power.

Keep reading below...

High Performance Vehicles Depend On Good Air Flow

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

High performance on a car or truck is often thought of in terms of higher horsepower (HP), more torque, faster speeds and quicker acceleration. High performance upgrades generally include improvements in efficiency and/or power.

People who don't know a lot about cars generally think that a bigger engine or transmission might be required in order to achieve higher speeds or more reliable towing power, but that is not always the case.

Car enthusiasts generally say that "there is no replacement for displacement" when it comes to power. What that means is the bigger engine will always deliver more power to a vehicle. Yet, the same people who tell us that we should strive to put a bigger engine in our vehicle also admit that stock vehicles leave a lot of capability unutilized in a car or truck.

Automotive manufacturers always try to build a generic configuration that will appeal to the mass audience, while keeping the price of that vehicle as low as possible. As auto manufacturers cut corners and pennies from their production costs, they also sacrifice some performance capabilities in their vehicles.

Air Intake Systems

One such example may include air intake filters. While the stock air filter in an automobile accomplishes its intended task, removing 99% of the dirt and dust from the air, before the air can enter into the firing chamber of the car or truck engine, it also unnecessarily restricts the airflow into the engine. Cold air intake kits and high-flow air filters will effectively block dirt and dust from entering the engine, while allowing greater airflow into the engine's firing chamber. Cold air intake kits completely replace the factory airflow assembly, including the filter, air box and air path allowing more airflow to reach the upper intake. This single change from stock equipment to performance automobile equipment will add horsepower to any engine that employs a fuel-injection system.

Performance Computer Chips

With the introduction of fuel-injection systems in cars and trucks, a computer chip was installed to manage the various components of the vehicle, including those designed to manage the airflow and the air/fuel ratio. The computer algorithms that control the vehicle's performance are quite complicated and are expected to serve many masters.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has mandated that auto manufacturers must meet several criteria in the automobiles they produce. The EPA has dictated that any vehicle sold in the United States must meet certain emission requirements for 100,000 miles. They have also dictated that vehicles must meet specific fuel economy standards.

Onboard computer chips make sure that the vehicle's systems will meet these government-mandated requirements and dozens of other requirements as well.

When the auto manufacturer is programming the algorithms for their stock computer chips, they are concerned more with government manufacturing requirements than the needs of the driver. Performance computer chips strive to answer the needs of the driver, by providing engine system fine-tuning that will help the driver accomplish certain goals.

A properly tuned computer chip can deliver faster acceleration, greater torque and higher horsepower. This translates into better passing acceleration, reduced engine wear, and better throttle consistency and control for improved gas mileage.

Some performance computer chips even address wheel upsizing, the air/fuel ratio, shift points and gear selectors. Performance truck computer chips can even tweak a truck's performance to deliver increased towing capacity.

Exhaust Systems

Airflow is such an important element of a vehicle's overall performance, yet many people only look to their air intake for performance improvements and overlook the relative importance of their exhaust systems.

Just as "what goes up must come down," is true, "what goes in must come out," is also true. Added airflow going into an engine will absolutely increase the volume of gases leaving an engine.

One of the most well known issues affecting the performance of a typical stock exhaust system in an automobile is the bends in exhaust pipes. When an automotive manufacturer puts together their vehicle exhaust pipes, they use a standard bending system that bends a pipe in a similar fashion to how we bend a drinking straw. When we bend a straw between our fingers, the circumference of the straw will be reduced at the bend. The same effect happens with an exhaust pipe that is bent by the manufacturer.

After-market exhaust systems are always manufactured with what they call a "mandrel bent" in the exhaust pipes. This process is a bit more expensive, but it ensures that an exhaust pipe will maintain a constant circumference through its entire length. Mandrel bending is a process manufacturers utilize that places a ball into the pipe during the bending process. The ball ensures that the pipe will maintain a constant circumference, which in turn ensures that exhaust fumes will not be constricted at any point in the exhaust pipe itself.

Simply adding a larger exhaust pipe on the backend of a vehicle is not recommended. If the exhaust pipe has a circumference that exceeds the actual requirements of the vehicle exhaust system, the engine will pick up horsepower and lose low- to mid-rpm torque. The larger tailpipe will add top-end speed to the vehicle, but it will hurt acceleration and towing power.

T-304 stainless steel is used in airplanes because of its high resistance to corrosion in all weather conditions. A good quality exhaust pipe system will utilize T-304 stainless steel to protect its external surfaces from the varied corrosive elements of car and truck travel, such as snow, ice and salted roads in the winter, and the salt air of coastal environments.

Both the Gibson Performance Exhaust systems and the Billy Boat Exhaust systems employ the mandrel bending along with T-304 stainless steel into their high performance exhaust packages. Both companies have also brought into their exhaust packages a high performance muffler to complement their exhaust pipe systems.

A top-performance muffler manufacturer understands the detrimental effects of restrictions and airflow. Stock mufflers contain screens and packing material inside that serves to diminish airflow by offering more restriction to the path of the exhaust fumes. Testing has shown that stock mufflers generate as much as a 34% restriction in the airflow of the muffler. Gibson Performance mufflers have been shown to generate as little as a 5% restriction to airflow. That is a huge difference!

Beyond the muffler, high-end exhaust systems take into account restrictions at common joints in the exhaust system. Premium high-performance exhaust systems have implemented better design in their joints to ensure less restriction, less turbulence, and less backpressure.

All of these improvements over the standard exhaust system help drivers to extract more horsepower and torque from their vehicles.

In Conclusion...

Any performance modifications added to a vehicle can improve many aspects in a motor vehicle's performance:

  • More Horsepower increases top-end speeds.
  • More Torque increases acceleration and towing power.
  • Better airflow and fewer restrictions increases horsepower, torque and fuel economy.
  • Better airflow and fewer restrictions also reduce engine wear.

    When compared to the cost of putting a new engine or transmission in a vehicle, replacing a worn-out engine, or buying a better-suited vehicle, the cost of performance enhancements is really pretty small.

    The truth is that many people thought they needed a vehicle upgrade, but they figured they would try the less expensive upgrades first. Much to their surprise, they discovered they had bought the right vehicle to begin with; it was just that the manufacturer did not fully equip their vehicle for performance during the manufacturing process.


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Isaak Carter writes about automobiles and performance systems for http://www.bestperformanceautoparts.com Best Performance Auto Parts sells a wide-range of performance auto parts including those mentioned in this article: cold air intake kits, performance computer chips, and premium exhaust systems from Gibson Performance and Billy Boat Exhaust. Visit http://www.bestperformanceautoparts.com to learn more about performance enhancements you can make to your vehicles.

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    Internal ID: #4546
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    Word Count: 1243

    Total Views: 3055

    Article Rating: 2.69 of 5
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