Are you an automobile enthusiast that always spend hours awake at night wondering to yourself and asking the question—does my car need this or that modification?
I don’t know about you, but I always find myself thinking about what the latest modification I can do to my baby (car)😉 to improve her performance.
Well, if you are anything like me, or you are an aspiring fan of car modifications, and you are looking for insights to things you can do to enhance the overall disposition of your car, then stay tuned, as I will be giving you some practical approaches to making your car a blast to drive.
Now, I understand that you might be afraid of tampering with your engine or transmission for that matter, so going by that assumption, I’m going to be giving some modification that can help your car for better performance while still producing the same amount of horsepower and torque.
Contrary to popular belief that horsepower is everything, an experienced car driver knows—that is not true. To further buttress my point as regards horsepower, let’s take a look at two powerful cars with different horsepowers.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Supersport goes from zero to sixty miles per hour in 6.5 seconds while producing 1200 horsepower, but the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on the order hand reaches zero to sixty miles per hour in 2.3 seconds yet it only has 808 horsepower.
So you see that even though the Dodge has 400 less horsepower than the Bugatti, it is faster from zero to sixty. And that is because there are so many other variables that affect the overall performance of your vehicle than just horsepower and torque being produced by your engine—and those are what we are going to be looking at.
Motor and Transmission Mounts
On your car’s stock engine or transmission mounts, there are usually two parts in one, one part goes to the engine and the other part goes to the car’s chassis, and between the two parts is a rubber bushing.
This rubber bushing inside the motor mounts does one singular thing, and that is to reduce the amount of noise and vibration from your engine or drivetrain to the chassis and then to the inside of your cabin.
So let’s say for example you want to get going from a dead stop, so you put your transmission in gear, you press on the gas pedal, and the power from the engine goes through the transmission to your axles and then to the wheels.
But since you are at a dead stop, there is some resistance in the wheels and the engine cannot easily turn the wheels, at the beginning there is going to be some backpressure in order to turn the wheels. So your engine is actually going to move around a little bit and transfer that movement from the engine to the chassis and then to the cabin.
That’s where these rubber mounts come in, they will dampen that vibration and noise but there is a trade-off, for that split second it takes for the motor mounts to move back and dampen that vibration and noise—you lose that split second and the response from your engine to your wheels.
So if comfort and noise is not your main concern but rather you prefer to move faster down the road or especially from a dead stop it is recommended that you upgrade your motor and transmission mounts.
You can upgrade them to either polyurethane mount or if you really want to go hardcore, you can upgrade them to solid motor mounts. As one would expect, with polyurethane mount, you are going to get some vibration and noise inside the cabin but you are going to notice a significant change in the response from your engine.
Now, on the other hand, with a solid motor mount, you are going to get the best results as far as what you can do with motor mounts and transmissions—because they firmly hold the transmission and engine in place and transfer the power from the engine to the wheels without any delay.
However, it’s going to be pretty much rattle-city, inside the cabin where you are going to be sitting, so those are not recommended unless you are building a drag car or a rally car.
Struts and Shocks
If you happen to have the money, you might want to replace your struts and shocks with adjustable coil overs. Now using adjustable coil overs improves your handling, traction and therefore your overall speed.
And you can do these in two ways, one is that you can lower your vehicle therefore gain a more or lower center of gravity which improves your traction and handling around the corner, the other way is that these coil overs have stiffer coils when compared to the normal stock spring.
And when you have stiffer springs that translates to less body rolls when taking corners and also greatly improves your traction, and therefore your overall speed.
For those of you who don’t know what body roll is, let me try to explain it to you. So imagine that you are just driving down the road and you are making a sharp right turn, you will notice that the weight of the entire car moves or is transferred to the left side of the car when making that sharp turn.
But if you have a stiffer spring, it will resist that better than your stock spring and therefore allow for less body roll to your left if you are making a right turn. And body roll over is bad because when you have a body roll, your inside tires in the turn lose traction and when you lose traction you invariably lose speed.
Adjustable Sway Bar
This is one of the important features you can have installed in your car. It is also popularly known as anti-roll bars—and as the name suggests, their purpose is to reduce rollovers.
The best way to explain the function of a sway bar is to paint a picture for you. So let’s say your front left and your front right wheels don’t have a sway bar, and they both work independently, which is not ideal especially when taking turns, as each wheel will act on its own accord to a very great extent. If you can any issue then fix your car’s issue either by yourself or by hiring a professional.
But when you add a sway bar between the two, it will allow for whatever happens on the right suspension to happen to the left suspension and vice versa as well.
So for example, when you have a control arm that is connected to each of the two wheels (front or back) by way of a sway bar and links or it could be connected to your strut tower as well.
So again still using the same example, let’s say you are going straight down the road, and you are going to make a sharp right turn, again we are going to have somebody roll to the left, so assuming the sway bar is connected to the control arm—it’s going to move up the control arm as the springs are squeezed, now when this happens, the force from the left side is going to travel through the sway bar and force the control arm on the right to squeeze the spring-like the one on the left.
When that happens, the whole body of the car will be more flat as you take that turn. This means the tire on the inside of that turn is going to have more traction, and when you have traction, good things happen to like going faster.
In conclusion, you should look into replacing your tires with the best, stickiest, highest quality street racing legal tires money can buy. Because what good are coil overs, sway bars, transmission mounts, horsepower and torque—without good quality legal street racing tires.
And speaking of tires, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was the first muscle car in the US to be fitted with a racing street legal tires. That is partly why it doesn’t come as a surprise that it reaches zero to sixty miles in 2.3 seconds