I'm considering some modifcations to my engine to get more horsepower. Good idea?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 2000

Dear Tom and Ray:

Earlier this year I purchased a new Dodge Dakota Sport pickup with the 3.9 liter
V-6 Magnum engine and five-speed transmission. I would like to make some minor
modifications to the engine to increase the horsepower, but I'm not sure if these
modifications are worth the time and money. Plus, I don't want to do anything to
damage the engine in the process. The modifications I am considering are as
follows: 1) installing a K&N air filter and possibly charger; 2) installing a
high-performance exhaust system such as a Flowmaster; 3) installing high-
performance spark plugs along with new wires and distributor cap; and 4)
replacing the stock computer chip with a performance chip. I also saw something
about getting extra horsepower by replacing the gear on the cooling fan. Any
advice you could give me regarding these modifications would be greatly
appreciated. -- Jeff

TOM: Well, on behalf of the DaimlerChrysler Corp., I'd like to inform you that
upon installation of any of these devices, your warranty is completely null and

RAY: As it should be. Everything you mention would give you more power -- some
more than others -- but they would also work the engine harder and, therefore,
wear it out faster. And if I were Dodge, I wouldn't want to pay for your cracked
cylinder head under these circumstances, either.

TOM: If you were that keen on more power, you should have opted for the 4.7 liter
V-8 engine that's available on the Dakota. For an extra thousand bucks (probably
less than you'd spend on all these add-ons), you'd have an extra 60 horsepower
AND your warranty intact to boot, Jeff.

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