More hp please!

I’d like to know what my best option is for adding HP to my truck’s engine. I own a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 3.7L/226 6 speed manual tranny, and I really would love to add a little ‘oomph’ to it. With the A/C running and loaded down (3 kids, my wife, and the dog - plus all our gear), it seems to struggle. I’ve done some research on the web, but would truly love your opinion(s)…cold air intake? tornado insert? turbo? supercharger? throttle body spacer? new truck with a hemi (the wife’s Durango has a V8 Hemi, and that thing could tow the Titanic)…the list goes on and on, and of course, nothing is gauranteed to work, plus the Dyno information I’ve been able to find is all run in 3rd gear(?). please help!

thanks so much… :slight_smile:

If you want more horsepower then forget the cold air intake, tornado insert and throttle body spacer. The turbo could give you a little more power and so would the supercharger but you have a “big” truck with a “small” engine. You need a new truck with the hemi engine. Nothing beats horsepower if you really want horsepower.

Change rearend gear

How much money are you willing to spend?

I agree that you’ve got too much truck for that engine. Keep in mind, however, that a simple bolt on super/turbo charger requires much more than simply bolting it on(transmission overhaul, rear end change, ECU tuning, new exhaust, premium fuel, etc). You’ll likely come out ahead if you just trade your truck in for a similar model with the v8 in it.

The best solution is your last one - new truck with a hemi (or other bigger motor). Only other solutions are the super/turbochargers, but, like bscar said, they put a lot more stress on everything. Maybe OK for a sporty car, but not what I’d want for my family-toting truck.

Are you aware where fuel prices are heading? Can you absorb additional fuel costs?

The tornado insert is a complete waste of money. A turbo or supercharger might help, but personally, I would rather have an engine that is designed for a turbo or supercharger than retrofit something.

Before you buy a new truck, you might consider upgrading the air intake with something like this , and upgrading the exhaust with something like this , and installing a header like this .

Of course, after spending all this money ($865 for parts), you might shorten the life of your engine.

I vote for trading it in and getting a model with the Hemi. A turbo or supercharger plus the installation and getting a proper ECU tune will cost thousands. It will likely be more cost effective to sell your V6 Ram and buy a V8 Ram of the same vintage.

I notice from your post that your truck has a 6 speed manual transmission. When you are loaded down, how does it perform in 5th or 4th gear? If you are only loaded down occasionally, maybe you could run in a lower gear. Big rigs sometimes drop down 2 gears when facing a really stiff headwind.

I once owned a 1950 Chevrolet 3800 series (1 ton pick-up). It had a 6 cylinder engine–probably 216 cubic inch displacement, but it was really geared down for pulling power. Perhaps running your Dodge in the lower gears when loaded would help. This might be a cheap way out for you.

This would be lots cheaper than a new rearend gear, that’s for sure!

Take the Durango and save your money for something else.

There is about a 1 MPG (combined highway/city) difference in fuel mileage between the V6 Ram with the 6 speed manual and the Hemi with the automatic (no 6 speed was availible for the Hemi in 2006). I don’t think fuel costs are a big issue here. Bolt-ons will help somwhat, but the gains will be small compared to the 130+ HP bump the Hemi brings to the table.

Currently, many engines seem to use high RPMs for horsepower at the loss of low RPM torque. Down shifting and pushing the RPMs up, as suggested above, seems necessary to get any “UMPH” from the engines. Much of the highly touted big horsepower numbers manufacturers brag on are rarely if ever seen by owners. Very few people operate at wide open throttle near the red line.

Under heavy load, the automatic transmissions downshift to a more favorable range for pulling. The same should be done with a manual transmission. I used to lock my Ford Aerostar out of overdrive when I was pulling a trailer–the owner’s manual recommended this as well.

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions, this has been really helpful! One of the things I’d also heard about the cold air intakes are that they add a mean sound to your engine, but for $300+ I’d rather stick my head out the window and holler “vroom vroom” if that’s all my money gets me…LOL

Looks like the consensus is that I should either trade it in or drop to a lower gear when hauling loads (which I have found to be helpful). I had wished the dealer had a V8 with the manual tranny, but as someone else noted, they did not offer that in 2006. I love having the lower gears, even for a 6 cylinder, it has good low end torque, and gets pretty good MPG.

Thanks again to all of you for your suggestions, I do appreciate it!

Here’s my suggestion: Stop driving the Durango. It’s setting an unrealistic standard for you.

That 3.7L engine has more power than the 350’s, 351’s and 318/360’s that used to pull our nation’s camper trailers and boats up to the lake and it seemed like plenty of power to us at the time, by crackey, because we didn’t know any better!

More power but less torque. A modern full-sized truck weighs about 1000 pounds more than the trucks of the 60’s,70’s, and 80’s as well.

The lack of torque at low RPMs on many of todays engines requires drivers to aggressively push the throttle and get the engine up into its horse power range in lower gears to accelerate. The old 100 hp 225 cu in 6 cylinders had more power in a high stall pull than current engines rated at 200+ hp.

I managed to tow a small u-haul from Houston to San Francisco and back with a '72 Duster, 198 CID slant six. No harm done, no real problems making it up hills that I remember.

Hemi upgrade!I made the mistake of buying a Dakota V6(feels like the power of a 4,with the economy of a V-8,I assumed Dodge had done thier homework,was disappointed by the result(Why didnt they offer the 4.0 liter V-6 as the default engine?) anyway if you go V-8 go all the way.Believe it or not ,they say the Hemi is cheaper to produce then the 4.7 V-8-Kevin