How To Increase Horsepower for Your Ford F-250
Posted on May 21 2021
If you're the proud owner of a Ford F-250, you can rest assured that your Super Duty-certified vehicle can handle anything you throw at it—from bumpy and muddy terrain to leaden cargo. But even though the Ford F-250 is more capable than most modern trucks, it still has plenty of room for improvement. If you want to take your truck to the next level by enhancing performance, here's how to increase horsepower for your Ford F-250 with a few quick and simple but effective modifications.
Cold Air Intake
There are a few key ingredients required to generate the power that keeps your vehicle up and running. Oxygen is one of these crucial ingredients. The air intake system is what allows air (which is rich in oxygen) to enter the internal combustion engine (ICE), where it's converted into energy via the combustion process. A cold air intake moves the air filter outside of the engine compartment, which improves airflow and increases the amount of cool air entering the engine. Because cooler air is denser with oxygen, it provides more fuel for combustion, and consequently, more power for your vehicle. Most aftermarket cold air intakes will add anywhere from 5 to 12 HP to your vehicle.
Throttle Body Spacer
If you have a naturally aspirated engine, throttle body spacers are an efficient and inexpensive way to increase fuel economy, torque, and horsepower. A throttle body spacer is a metal part that changes the way air flows through the manifold in order to maximize the volume that goes into the intake. This allows more air to enter the engine for use in the combustion process, improving combustion and supplying the engine with more power.
If you have a turbocharger or supercharger, chances are, you also have an intercooler. An intercooler is a mechanical device commonly found on turbo and supercharged engines. Engines are naturally hot, but turbochargers and superchargers turn up the heat even more. Intercoolers keep the engine from overheating by cooling down the air that was compressed (and heated) by the turbo or supercharger before it can enter the engine. Intercoolers produce an effect similar to cold air intakes. Because cooler air is denser, the amount of oxygen that enters the ICE increases, which improves combustion and gives the engine a boost in reliability and horsepower.
Turbocharger or Supercharger
The first thing that most people think of when they hear the word "horsepower" is turbochargers. Turbochargers are miniature turbines that are nestled in between the engine and the exhaust. They use exhaust gasses to rotate the turbine. This pushes more air into the engine, which results in increased power. Installing a turbocharger or upgrading your existing one are great options for giving your Ford F-250 more horsepower and torque. A stock turbocharger provides three to four times better airflow than a naturally aspirated engine on average, while a performance turbocharger can boost airflow five to ten times more. If you want to reap the benefits of a turbocharger without having to deal with the lag, you can install a supercharger instead. Superchargers are connected directly to the engine. They provide a constant boost without any added lag and are generally easier to maintain than turbos. However, superchargers are more commonly seen in gas engines. It's very rare to see a diesel engine equipped with a supercharger. This is because superchargers are designed for engines that struggle to produce low-end torque, but diesel engines already produce low-end torque efficiently.
Injectors are an invaluable component of the engine's fuel system, which stores and supplies fuel to the engine and cylinder chamber. The injectors work by spraying the fuel that was delivered by the pump into the intake manifold at a precise angle and as a fine mist. Most stock injectors will work fine for naturally aspirated engines, but if your engine is equipped with a turbo or supercharger, you need to upgrade to performance fuel injectors and a performance pump if you want your truck to run at peak performance. Otherwise, the fuel system will struggle to provide enough fuel to match the amount of oxygen being supplied by the turbo or supercharger. Installing new injectors and a pump alongside a turbo or supercharger is one of the best ways to boost horsepower and overall performance for your Ford F-250.
If you've already upgraded the turbocharger and the fuel injectors, you should also consider installing a performance exhaust system. The exhaust system helps cool down the engine and removes post-combustion gasses. However, most stock exhaust systems are designed more for the purpose of reducing noise and emissions than for improving performance. If you want to boost horsepower, torque, and reduce exhaust gas temperature (EGT), performance exhaust systems are the way to do it. A performance exhaust system replaces everything that's part of the stock exhaust system, including the pipework and silencers, with superiorly designed alternatives. This removes the awkwardly kinked and bent pipes of the original system, making it easier for exhaust gas to exit the engine from the tailpipe.
The final way to increase horsepower for your Ford F-250 is to install a performance module. To meet emission standards, most manufacturers will de-tune diesel engines to the point where they aren't as efficient as they should be. Modules allow you to tap into your vehicle's electronic control unit (ECU) to remove restrictions and adjust stock parameters. You can use them to modify the timing of the engine, the amount of fuel going into the engine, and even the pressure of the fuel being injected into the engine. The best part about performance modules is that they provide the same (if not a better) boost in performance as tuners but without any of the downsides. Unlike tuners, modules are easy to install. Also, because they don't leave a trace on the ECU, they won't void your manufacturer's warranty.
Dr. PerformanceRX carries a wide variety of high-quality diesel performance products for your Ford F-250. Whether you want performance-boosting modules, aftermarket replacement parts, or our reliable Twisted Series Injectors, we have everything you need to unleash the full potential of your truck. Come and shop with us today!