Ask the Editors: More Air For My Motor, Front End or Back End First?
If you could only budget one mod this winter for more power, would you go with the exhaust or the intake? I want the biggest bang for my buck.
Well like always in this situation, the more info you can provide, the better. Are you modifying a sport or utility ATV? By “bang for the buck” do you mean you want more stump pulling torque or additional top end speed?
That said and all other things being equal, the two mods you are considering actually target the same aspect of the engine (its ability to flow air). Freeing up the exhaust system to expel more air without opening up the intake isn’t maximizing the modification’s potential just as slapping a freer flowing intake without a more breathable exhaust is not. In short, what we’re trying to say is if you’re really serious about increasing your engine’s ability to breathe freely, you’re going to want to target both ends of the equation.
Then the question really becomes which end would we target first? If money were no object, the exhaust because not only does it aid in airflow, it typically saves weight over the OEM unit as well. The intake will of course be the cheaper of the two.
Finally don’t forget that either mod will likely require fuel-mapping adjustments (jetting changes if your ATV is carbureted). You will likely need additional tweaking to the ratios with the two modifications working in tandem.
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