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How to get more horsepower out of a 4.6 mustang

How to get more horsepower out of a 4.6 mustang


Owning a Ford Mustang with a 4.6-liter engine is already a thrilling experience. However, if you’re a true car enthusiast, you might be wondering how to squeeze even more horsepower out of your Mustang’s engine. Whether you’re looking to enhance your daily drive or dominate the track, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the knowledge and insights needed to boost your Mustang’s horsepower. We’ll cover everything from basic upgrades to advanced modifications, ensuring that you get the most out of your 4.6 Mustang.

Unleashing the Beast: Why More Horsepower Matters

Before diving into the methods of increasing your Mustang’s horsepower, it’s essential to understand why this matters:

  1. Enhanced Performance: More horsepower translates to faster acceleration and higher top speeds, delivering an exhilarating driving experience.
  2. Improved Torque: Increased horsepower often comes with improved torque, making your Mustang feel more responsive and powerful.
  3. Competitive Edge: If you’re into racing or track days, extra horsepower can give you a competitive edge against other vehicles.
  4. Customization: Modifying your Mustang to boost horsepower allows you to create a unique and personalized driving experience.

Now, let’s explore the ways to unlock the hidden potential of your 4.6 Mustang.

Methods for Increasing Horsepower

1. Cold Air Intake

Installing a cold air intake system is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to boost horsepower:

  1. How It Works: Cold air intakes replace your Mustang’s stock airbox and filter, allowing it to draw in cooler, denser air. This results in improved combustion and increased power.
  2. Installation: It’s a relatively simple DIY installation, and many kits come with detailed instructions. Ensure that the intake is compatible with your Mustang’s year and model.
  3. Power Gain: Expect to gain 5-15 horsepower, depending on your Mustang’s configuration and other modifications.

2. Performance Exhaust System

Upgrading your exhaust system can significantly improve airflow and increase horsepower:

  1. How It Works: Performance exhaust systems reduce exhaust backpressure, allowing your engine to expel gases more efficiently. This leads to improved power and a more aggressive exhaust note.
  2. Options: You can choose between cat-back systems (from the catalytic converter back) or a full exhaust system replacement, depending on your budget and goals.
  3. Installation: Professional installation is recommended for complex exhaust system upgrades.
  4. Power Gain: You can expect a gain of 10-20 horsepower or more, depending on the system and other modifications.

3. Engine Tuning

Engine tuning involves optimizing your Mustang’s computer (ECU) to deliver more power:

  1. How It Works: Tuning adjusts fuel and ignition timing for maximum performance. You can use handheld tuners or visit a professional tuner for custom tuning.
  2. Customization: Tuning allows for precise customization to match your specific modifications and preferences.
  3. Power Gain: With proper tuning, you can gain 20-30 horsepower or more, making it one of the most potent upgrades.

4. Supercharger or Turbocharger

For substantial horsepower gains, consider adding a supercharger or turbocharger:

  1. How It Works: These forced-induction systems compress air before it enters the engine, significantly increasing power.
  2. Installation: Due to their complexity, professional installation is recommended.
  3. Power Gain: Depending on the system and setup, you can gain 50-150+ horsepower or more.

5. Performance Upgrades

To maximize your Mustang’s potential, consider additional performance upgrades:

  1. Upgraded Fuel System: Ensure your engine gets enough fuel to support increased power.
  2. Upgraded Camshafts: High-performance camshafts can improve airflow and power.
  3. Lightweight Wheels: Reducing unsprung weight can improve acceleration and handling.
  4. Upgraded Suspension: Enhance your Mustang’s handling capabilities for better control at higher speeds.

Useful Resource Links

Here are some resource links that can provide further guidance on increasing your Mustang’s horsepower:

These resources offer a wealth of information, product reviews, and expert advice to help you make informed decisions about your modifications.


Can I install a supercharger or turbocharger on a stock engine?

Yes, it is possible to install forced-induction systems on a stock engine, but it’s essential to ensure that your engine can handle the added stress. Professional installation and tuning are crucial in such cases.

Will upgrading my Mustang’s exhaust system make it louder?

Yes, performance exhaust systems often result in a more aggressive exhaust note. If you’re concerned about noise levels, consider choosing an exhaust system designed to minimize excessive sound.

Do I need to upgrade my Mustang’s brakes when increasing horsepower?

Upgrading your brakes is a wise decision, especially if you’re significantly increasing horsepower. More power means you’ll need better stopping capability to ensure safety.

How often should I tune my Mustang’s engine after modifications?

It’s essential to retune your engine whenever you make significant modifications. This ensures that your engine operates optimally and safely with the new upgrades.

Will increasing horsepower affect my Mustang’s fuel efficiency?

In general, increasing horsepower may reduce fuel efficiency, especially if you frequently utilize the added power. However, proper tuning can help balance performance and fuel economy.

Can I revert my Mustang to its stock configuration if needed?

Yes, many modifications can be reversed or replaced with stock components if necessary. Keep your original parts if you plan to make reversible changes.


Unlocking more horsepower from your 4.6 Mustang is a thrilling endeavor for any car enthusiast. Whether you opt for simple upgrades like a cold air intake or go all-in with a supercharger, always prioritize safety, professional installation, and proper tuning.

Remember that every modification should align with your goals and preferences. With the right upgrades, your Mustang can deliver an exhilarating driving experience that reflects your unique style.

Keyword: How to get more horsepower out of a 4.6 mustang

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