What is the best bolt on HP upgrade for 3V 4.6?

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by 2442turborail, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. I just purchased an 05' GT :nice:. I had a built 88' 5.0 LX hatchback years ago, but it has been a long time for me with out a stang.

    The 05' has an AriRaid cold air intake already, but is stock beyond that (I think, bought it used from a dealer).

    I want to juice it up a little, but I don't want to supercharge it at this point. I have been reading up on performance upgrades and have a few ideas, but I thought it would be helpful to get the opinions of a few guys that have already been through this.

    Also - I might supercharge it in the future, so I do want my upgrades to be compatible with that if possible.

    Here are my ideas so far: I believe exhaust and a programmer will get me the most bang for my buck. I would like to go with some long tube headers, off-road X pipe and some less restrictive axle backs and mufflers. Not sure on brand or size at this point. I do need to pass emissions every two years, so I need a system where I can re-install factory cats to get that done. (FYI - I live in AZ, so we can actually un-install and re-install exhaust components without a problem - no rust). Then I would install a programmer set up for the exhaust and CAI.

    Please let me know if you think this is a good start to get some more HP and what kind of HP gain I would be looking at.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to provide! :D

    Attached Files:

  2. You have about the basic setup that most people will tell you to get. You will see a significant increase of HP when you add the exhaust setup with the CAI. I figured you would already have a programmer since you said your car has the AirRaid intake system. That might be one of those systems that says you can bolt-on without a programmer though.

    On a side note, I never understood how you can add an aftermarket CAi system and not have a programmer with it. Wouldn't and increase in airflow completely change the A/F ratio among other things? I havent been into cars for a little bit so i dont know if my logic is legitimate.

    But anyways the only other recommendation I would have for you is to get a H-pipe instead of an X. The reason being is the X pipe just sounds too raspy for my taste. Long-tube headers, with an H-pipe and free-flowing mufflers will make your car sound very loud. I would advise you to listen to a lot of clips before deciding on what system to buy.

    After your done with those modifications your pretty much only left with serious boosting and engine work. There arent very many high HP bolt-ons left after what you have there.

  3. How can I tell if my car has a programmer? Like I said above, I purchased the car from a dealer (I think it was repossessed from the prior owner), so I wasn't able to speak with him.
  4. Also -

    1) Are there any particular brands or size of exhaust components that I should choose?
    2) If I decide to install a supercharger later, will the exhaust I choose now be a good match?

    Thanks for the help!
  5. Best bolt on is a cold air kit and a tune. As for exhaust related, long tube headers American Racing is the way to go. They will also work great with ANY brand supercharger you may choose later on.
  6. +1 for the American Racing Headers. I picked up 17 RWHP with ARH Long Tubes, catted X-Pipe and Magnaflow cat back exhaust with Magnapack mufflers.
  7. 4.10 gears
  8. Your car wont have a programmer more than likely if it was, it was flashed with a diablosport, SCT handheld programmer. i would have to agree with moosenuckle, x-pipes on s-197 have a very raspy sound to them especially with flowmasters. Youtube has an abundance of video clips of S-197 Exhaust. Personally i like the flowmasters with a H-pipe and L/T Headers, it has great sound and tone and cabin noise isnt overwhelming when crusing. I myself when i return from overseas am going with the pypes L/T Headers and off road H-pipe, i already have the flowmasters on my car. To each is there own though that's my prefrence plus the pypes set up is rather cheap mainly because they arent poliched or chromed out. Brenspeed.com has some good exhaust combo videos too and a pretty sweet deal on the pypes!
  9. The problem I have with H pipes is they NEED to be tuned for your combo or you lose Trq. So an off the shelf H is worthless, IMO if you're going to put the time and money into long tubes then X will give you more power. If you prefer an H then get long tubes and have an exhaust shop custom make one for you that will actually work, the problem with that is when you add a performance part the that H becomes useless too.
  10. the airaid intake has a ventri tube inside of it between the maf and the filter..it is so that no tuning is required when installing the intake...I have the airaid intake with the venturi tube inside removed for more airflow and i am running bama custom tunes with a sct x3 tuner..

    you cannot take the venturi tube out though and run it without a tune as it will run too lean..the airaid intake is a replica of the roush intake..they both have the tube inside so that no tuning is required unlike some other intakes that a tune is required...this makes it optional to bolt on and tune later...

    now a good mod i recommend next is 4.10 gears and an axleback for sound
  11. nitrous! i'm going to go with some long tubes w/ x pipe as well, been eye'n these bbk's.. i recently got a tuner on mine, felt a good difference..
  12. x2, nitrous is a pretty cheap option for a big gain lol I love my Edelbrock kit. But if you don't plan on hitting the track any time soon, I'd stick to gears, cams, headers, things like that.
  13. CAI, a good programmer, a larger throttle body, under drive pullies, long tube headers, x-pipe, your preferance on an axel back system, 3.73 or 4.10 gears. That will get you some more get up and go. Then you should think about some upgraded suspension parts and upgraded brakes, All go and no slow makes for a bad day.
  14. Your question concerning exhaust system working after you upgrade to a supercharger is a good one. I would suggest contacting several header manufacturers. Depending on the supercharger and boost the exhaust system can make a difference. Remember, your engine is just an air-pump. If you push more in then you need to be able to get it out or performance will suffer.

    A tuner will help now and is a "must have", especially if you will be going with a supercharger.
  15. exhaust

    Dont go with flowmaster if going to supercharge. I bought mine and when i put the Kenne Bell on it blew the baffles lose in them. I went to their website and it small print it said not to use with supercharger. I have the full slp exhaust with off road x pipe and it sound awesome!
  16. Try C&L Racer cai with an sct tuner ARH are a good brand but you can also try stainless works, or KOOKS but if you are going to later go FI then do not get 1 5/8 headers get the 1 3/4 or 1 7/8 headers because they will work better once you go FI also forget about the H pipe and just get the X pipe to start with because it will work well NA or FI. if you are worried about emissions get high flow cats that is what I use and I pass emission testing here in ILLINOIS.
  17. For a good cat back system try magna flow 2.5" Magnapack P#15883 call them to answer any questions you might have # 1-800-824-8664
  18. I
    it isn't the air flow it's the diameter of the intake that confuses your maf
  19. Let's keep it going!

    I love the 05-09 body style, but not to sure how I feel about the engine. Would you recommend upgrading the 4.6 or swapping to a 5.0 coyote?
  20. A Coyote swap is a complex and expensive exercise, especially if you're paying someone else for the labor. Many details to tackle. The 4.6 3V does respond well to upgrades though and is still a lot of fun. You could take either the N/A bolt-on route or go forced induction. Just depends on how fast you want to go and how much you're willing to spend. This page will help you make an informed choice.

    Larsbrinton likes this.