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Old 09-24-2018, 11:57 AM   #1
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1992 E-150 Intake & Exhaust Help - 5.8L

Hello all,

I've been doing the best I can to find information about my 5.8L 351W upgrades. I truly need to gain some horsepower/torque without braking the bank.

Can anyone recommend some brands/parts for bolt on? I've looked at every major brand that I know of regarding cold-air intakes/headers and cat-back exhausts but nobody has any listed. These Colorado passes are a bugger to get over with my measly HP as it sits.

Thanks a bunch!

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Old 09-24-2018, 12:12 PM   #2
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It might be sacrelige to say but leverage is what you want. If you look at curves for gas engines, adding headers, tuners, intakes, etc can only take you so far.

Cam, head porting, etc can increase performance. Those would break the bank.

When I was towing with a Dodge 5.9 gasser - the largest bang for the buck I could get was a K&N intake. It was only a very slight diff but it meant being able to take mountain passes at speed rather than bogging down into 2nd gear.

The next big bang for the buck was rear end gears. About $1200 to do it. Make a two hop change in gearing and you have more leverage to do the work without winding out the motor on the highway.

What rear end gears do you have ? My Ford has super tall highway gears and is a bit of a dog (3.42 I believe). 3.73 would be much better. Don't be tempted to go too far on the gearing.

You are entering an area of chasing the dragon. Tread carefully and don't get bit.

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Old 09-27-2020, 11:27 PM   #3
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Location: Colorado Mtns
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Any other recommendations? I'm in Colorado as well, luckily Western Slope. But getting up any of the mtn passes near me and I am creeping on the Interstate. I'd be happy if I could sustain 55mph without feeling like I was about to pop the motor. Thoughts?

Are these problematic rigs/years for SM?
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SMB123 View Post

You are entering an area of chasing the dragon. Tread carefully and don't get bit.
Yeah absolutely this is something to keep in mind especially with drive trains of the OP's era.

Re-gearing is probably the least expensive and easiest thing to do--within reason of course. You'd want to get recommendations based on your engine HP and most efficient RPM's.

There are "truck/RV" cams available that re-shape the torque curve but that's not an easy thing to add----depending on the van's current mileage this might negatively affect the engine's longevity.

It would be tough upgrading the 5.8 and not break the bank although we have no idea to what dollar amount that refers. IOW there's not a lot of cheap and easy DIY mods one can do.
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