how should i go about getting more hp


Asked by Mar 02, 2008 at 10:28 AM about the 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4 Dr SLT 4WD Quad Cab SB

Question type: Car Customization

i really do like the durability of my '01 dodge but it is in great need of some serious hp upgrades. i got the 5.9 liter gas guslling guttless wonder. its very sluggish off the line but not to to bad at higher rpm

38 Answers


Cold air intake, exhaust, Some people like the "Chip". But with Hp increase you will lose MPG. These are the most popular. But I would recommend that you vist a performance shop near you if you want too know the lastest parts available for your truck. Best of luck

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Yes, there isn't a heck of a lot you can do with these, they are geared that way for towing, etc., to give more power at lower rpms. I'm not sure if you can "chip" a Dodge truck as easily as you can a Ford or Chevy.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I've owned 3 of these trucks and i know them inside and out. The best way to go about it is with your air intake and exhaust for starters. K&N is good and so is Air Raid for the intake. For exhaust Flowmasters sound good, but you'll get more of a response for horsepower and fuel mileage if you get a magnaflow system. Also headers will get you more power and better gas mileage, but you need to be careful in chosing the ones that you get. Shorty's are about the safest bet, but you'll have to keep checking them because they leak if not installed propperly. If your motor is gas I strongly recommend that you do NOT put a performance chip on it. Your transmission will not hold up with the power that it will put out. If you are going to go with a chip you need to beef up the transmission along with it. An easy performance upgrade is also a throddle body spacer. It really depends on how much money you want to put into it. If you have anymore questions just give me a shout.

60 of 60 people found this helpful.

My dad has the same truck as the one you described and he has put a K&N filter as well as a dynomaxsuperturbo exhaust. im not sure about how much HP he gained but it made it peppier but still sluggish off the line, but it is partially due to the rear end gear ratio since his has the tow package. I have an 05 ram with the hemi and i purchased a superchips programer and it woke up my hemi big time. im not exactly sure of the efficency of the micro tuner which is the model for that year of truck but it offers some tuning for your truck and the amount of power increas isnt enough to worry about tranny damage unlike diesel truck where you're boosting them 100+HP at the push of a button.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

you could try spending alot of money on all the items listed above or stop by your local chev dealership and trade that pos in for a real truck....(come on dodge lovers...let's hear it)...

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

i am a dodge owner myself and i know that if you are rich you could throw parts at it all day long to try to beef it up but if you have the money for that stuff and you really want a hp boost.. get a chev and throw those parts at it... then you'll really fly

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have a 96 ram with 5.9L and ive noticed it better off the line since ive done these upgrades. 1)Edlebrock Ti-Tech headers 2)Free flowing Flowmaster exhaust 3)Jet Module (stage1) 4)Gears (3.73-1) 5)MSD Ignition 6)K&N Cold Air Kit and like i said before ive noticed a considerable amount of power gain, not enough to blow the doors off of someone in a race but its not as gutless as before

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

well, keep in mind that you do have one of the heaviest trucks around. 4x4 and extended cab adds at least 1000 pounds. However THE BIGGEST ENGINE CHEVY OFFERED AFTER 98 UP UNTIL 06 WAS THE 5.3 (unless it was the ss or special edition) so i don't understand y he would get a chevy cause it would be slower than the Dodge all while having a HELL OF A LOT LESS TORQUE. If u want some speed out of it change the rear end gears to 390's or 410's and get a flowmaster, and an intake. also, since i have a 98 with 230,000 miles and it is still pretty fast, i'd say check ur cat converter and make sure its not plugged (def could cause the engine to become sluggish and underpowered)

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

First I do want to correct one common myth. The increase of horsepower does not always reduce gas mileage. Anything you do to help the engine work more efficiently will increase both mileage and hp, given you keep your foot out of it. As for upgrades: Cold Air Kit, headers, cat back system, high flow cat, throttle body spacer, shift kit, performance heads and a power programmer will help you achieve both. A cam change will probably warrant your largest bang for the buck. Still needing more power, run a supercharger and/or lower the gear ratio in the diff (these two WILL reduce gas mileage). Hope that helps.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

any help is good . I just put a super chip programmer on my 2001 dodge 2500. they told me I have to drive my truck 100-200 miles to gain the 40more hp and 80 lbs of truqe but will I feel the def that its a 5 speed with 4:10 gears

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

i have a 1996 5.9 and i added a throttle body spacer and a AEM air intake and noticed a pretty good gain in speed off the line still nothing great but definitely better.


what I thank chevy a lot cheaper see a 06 chevy truck at $5000 not it build like crap keep your 01 dodge ram its going to last you a long time and yes you could put all the stuff on it the I see a 360 have 480 HP on it

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have an 01 dodge 5.9 4x4. Love this truck. Although i haveheard about their trans. There not the best around. Including mine, 136k and i think its slipping. When i press the gas to pass someone its shifts down 2 gears the goes to nuetrel and redlines. Plus, if i pull out on the highway it doesnt like to shift out of first and when it does it will shift back into first until i can feather it down the road through the gears. I intend to be hauling trailers soon, not very big, but i would like to know if there are any swaps or anything i can do to the trans to make it more reliable to haul a trailer.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

_9jesse5_ what are you going to do with your truck? Have you taken it to a transmission rebuilder to see what it will cost to fix it? What kind of transmission is in your truck? thanks! and good luck!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Change your transmission fluid and filter. Next, check to see if the bands are loose, if so tighten them and add a friction modifier (Lubegard). This worked for 99 Ram 4x4 5.9L with the 46re.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

5.9 L Magnum Motors notorious for leaking gasket in the Intake Plenum at the bottom, near the valley. This leak will allow vacuum from plenum to draw air from the crankcase rather than throttle body. The additional air is registered by the O2 sensor and the computer dumps too much fuel to compensate. Plenum repair kits are sold as is a modified Edelbrock air-gap intake kit (for EFI) by Hughes.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.

yeah whoever thinks the chevy has more power than dodge then you haven't been in a Dodge chevy trucks ride nice and are well equipped but the dodge wI'll out excelerate chevy hands down they feel lighter unless you're buying a Corvette the Dodge outperforms Chevy trucks but I don't know if anybody put in the zr1 or zo6 motor in a Chevy truck yet

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Headers and 3" exhaust will give you a little. I wouldn't bother with a chip or a throttle body spacer. Chips on a gas engine are a joke from my experience. Maybe a cold air intake but I think they're overrated too. I've done all of those on my 98 and drove it after each upgrade and the biggest difference was after the headers and exhaust, didn't notice any difference at all with the cold air intake, throttle body spacer or chip. I think it actually ran worse with the chip. My next step will be a high flow catalytic converter and to fix the leaking gasket in the intake manifold (thanks Bill).

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have a 97 ram and a cold air and exhaust helped it out along with a mildly built trans with a shift kit but the 5.9s are really sluggish engines they take a lot of money to make any power. My 2000 Chevy 5.3 would trash my dodge in a race with just a set of 2.75" straight pipes.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 05' ram 1500 quad cab with 60,000 miles added k and n cold air intake alone at this time and its also the 5.7 mag hemi but I noticed a big diff in hp and gas mileage when ur not playing. The next upgrades now thanks to all of u and ur suggestions will b a bbk throttle body 90 mm along with fatty headers and cat back exhaust but I heard borla makes a awesome system with the best sound and gains from all research I did.. After all this is done would I need to upgrade the tranny or will it work with my upgrades?? Sill learning


Best mods under 100k miles? These engines cannot breath! Step on the pedal and it sounds like it's suffocating. The intake is crap. But great low end torque. Go with a EFI 4 barrel and throttle body- $850. New heads ported and polished. 350$ pair. SS valves and parts - $300. and use springs for a good breathing cam. Cam is a choice- $200 re grind. But over .500 lift with stock springs is a no no. You'll need headers too -$225. A tuner is a must. That's the most X pensive part. $600. The cam, heads, intake and throttle body really limit this engine. You can gain 150-200 hp easily. And increase Rams to 4500- 5000without a worry to bottom end. Lifters are roller type. If good reuse. 425-475 hp and lots of torque........

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

The 46RE auto needs a new valve body. Or swap out for new ETE Reman 46RE. $1500. It has a better torque converter, higher pressure limiting slip, heat and wear. Increase gas mileage too! You'll get $3500 of parts for a monster drivetrain. Add a 180* thermostat and get a new radiator with electric fan to keep it cool and this thing roars. I'm doing a stroker for added torque and 4.030 to make it a 408 ci and 500hp at 6000rpm. Under 600 hp, I can use hyper Pistons and cast crank. EQ iron heads are perfect too. But any NEW head can work with a thicker deck.


Just another post. You're wasting money with a chip. The 318&360 can't breath. Add a new 1200 cfm throttle body??? but the intake and heads can't move air. Like putting a fan up to a straw, plus the stock cam is soooo restrictive. Do some garage work sweat and thus engine is really fun. I pull a 7500 lb boat without any problems out of the water.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

you can't touch a good 2009 Chevy which is still a pos for less that 20,000 an even then it has over 150,000 miles. I would rather have my 04 ram 5.7 that has 40,000 miles. Only cost me 11,000 an I put about 2,500 in it souping it up guarantee it will leave you shity off the line an you won't catch it till I stop.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Oka for gaining up in a 360(5.9) pull the heads off take to a machine shop get heads ported and polished along with intake or do you self as I did and go get a good 318 cam since it's a hotter cam. And a set of long tube headers pacesetter makes a nice set of long tube for 269.99 unpainted and get the y pipe for 179.99 you do those upgrades your talking about about a grand and you will think you put a brand new motor in it

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

And a 3 angle value job

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Now for the transmission post! If you take care of your transmission you will not have a problem with it change the fluids about every 10000 miles and readjust the band's and put a filter it in and check the selonides. Everything wears you wouldn't go with changing the oil in you engine so same for the trans take care of you stuff everyone I talk to about having problems with their transmission don't maintenance it and it's it will be fine 9 chances out of 10 their is nothing wrong with you transmission unless you loose gears or burn the clutches out from to loose of bands

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Add a tube of dr. Tranny shudder fix to that


What's the best cat back exhaust for the Ram?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

First you need to ask yourself how much horsepower you want and how much money you want to put in it... The 5.2 318/ 5.9 /360 had multiple issues from 94-01 with the magnum engines... There's more to it than slapping some headers on there and calling it good. It also depends if your in a smog state or not.... The magnum dodge heads are prone to cracking so first I would check your heads for cracks in between the valves. You could put new springs and lifters, clean the valves and do a leak test on the heads... Next is the p.o.s cam they put in the magnum engines that has higher lift for the exaust than the intake which is robbing you of hp. Then there's that useless paper weight intake manifold, edelbrock sells a better aftermarket intake manifold. Then the throttle body should be changed out, Holley makes a great aftermarket throttle body, pacesetter and some other companies make decent headers for the magnum engines but as much as I hate to say it I would go after the short tube headers instead of long tube cause the long tube headers have problems with correct fit due to not having a lift kit. Check your fuel injectors as well and replace the stock o rings. Throw a decent ignition kit on there as well includes: plug wires (10mm wires), spark plugs, cap and rotor, and a new coil pack for like $100.... Of coarse a cold air intake and a throttle body spacer for better throttle response.... A lot of these items are on summit and on Hughes Look up more horse power for my magnum engine and Hughes engines pops up. They really explain everything in detail and the different stages of horsepower you gain.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Silverado HA! Ugliest truck ever built!


I have a 99 Dodge Ram with 5.9 ext cab 4×4 I put E-3 plugs in it pick up 50 more horses and 3 more mpg. They cost $7 to $8 a plug but well worth it for the mpg along. I build a ram air box for it and picked up another 50 more horses and add dual exhaust with flowmaster super 44 with a total of 130 more horse power. Only spend around $300 For all, you do the math. Oh I almost forgot picked up 90 more foot lbs of torque. I'm pushing 355 on horse power and right at 500 lbs of torque. My truck has 175500 mile on it and it has more power & torque than it did from the factory.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

And on the trans when you change the filter and fluid. What a lot of people don't think about is the cooling line going to the radiator make sure you unhook then lines from trans & radiator blow them out because they will build up with trash that will cause some problems

I took out the air diaphragm on the intake or you could just get cold air intake then did spark plugs at.36 not much of a difference gap but it improved my power quite a bit


8 year old thread.....

Fords and Chevy's suck ram will out do those two pos I work for the city where I live we drive HD trucks ford Chevy's and rams guess what truck is always taking a sh!t ford then the silverados then we got the ram trucks always staying strong the only time the ram truck go to the shop is for its routine maintenance and getting new tires on the another hand ford trucks or in the shops for multiple issues engine problems transmission problems electronic problems you name it along with the Chevy's but here's little ol rams staying strong even the mechanics will tell me rams are good trucks and this real world testing on these trucks it doesn't matter how fast 0-60 bs or how fast while towing like the ford and Chevy commercials like to show you they don't show you after a couple of years of hard work and towing heavy loads how then there brand holds up thats some honestly...

I got a 2007 dodge ram 1500 laramie with a single exhaust. I want to get a stainless dual exhaust, cold air intake, programmer. What else can i do to get more hp our of it. Its only got 50,000 miles on it, and if i have to i will have the entire motor redone with higher compression pistons new cam and the heads cleaned up and matched ports. I would like to get 400-450 out of it. I have the money to do whatever I want to do to it. What is the best way to go about getting that kind of horsepower out of it. my dad has a 2016 ram that cam with duals and 390 hp from the factory. I would at least like about 420. Its got the 392 rear end gears because of the 20 inch wheels. What is the best way for me to go???? any help is greatly appreciated


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