2011 v6 Mustang Road Racing

How Do I Add Horsepower to My V6 Mustang?

Ford Mustang Q&A

V6Stang04 asked: “I have a stock V6 Ford Mustang, what can I do to increase it’s performance?”

As a V6 owner myself, I understand how frustrating it can be trying to modify a V6. While there is not as much aftermarket support for the V6s as there is for the V8s, there are still plenty of performance parts out there; supercharger and turbo kits are available for V6s now.While it is hard to say how much longer enthusiasts will be able to modify V6 Mustangs after 2018.

But if you’re starting slow or don’t have quite that much to spend I would recommend these three modifications first: a cold air intake, upgraded exhaust system and a tuner.

Top 3 V6 Mods That Add Horsepower

C&L Cold Air Intake with 95MM MAF for Mustangs1. Cold Air Intake

Cold air intake systems by themselves can add 8-10 horsepower to your car and are relatively inexpensive. A K&N FIPK V6 Intake kit would be a great option for any Mustang v6 owner due to its simple bolt-on installation and instant results.

If you’re not looking to spend $200-$300 on a complete intake system, a K&N Drop-In Replacement Filter is a less-expensive alternative that will still net you a good amount of horsepower. Plus, a v6 aftermarket intake or filter can be cleaned and reused, so you’ll never have to buy another filter, saving you money in the long run.

The newer 2011-2014 V6 Mustangs already put down impressive power number but by adding a 2011 Mustang V6 cold air intake you can get a couple extra ponies to the ground.  However, for a 05-09 Mustang, I would recommend an intake/tuner combo kit. In most cases, S197 Mustangs will not run if a new CAI is installed without an aftermarket tune. The car will start but stall out immediately.

Bama-x4sf4-0012. Tuner

A tuner reprograms your car’s computer, working with your modifications, to produce the most horsepower (or mpg’s, depending on the tune). Tuners can be tricky. If you’re unfamiliar with them you can check out our tuner tech article for help.

A custom tune is ideal. But know that tuning a car by yourself can be tricky if you’re not sure what to do. There is a small possibility of actually damaging the car if you run it with an improperly calibrated tune.

A custom tune designed to run with high octane gas (91+) will produce optimal results and add as much as 20 bhp to a bone-stock car. Octane is a vital factor: You can always run higher octane gas than you are tuned for but never lower octane!


3. Exhaust

Choosing an exhaust can be confusing; we have a great exhaust tech article on exhaust systems/terminology if you’re wondering what an H-pipe is, or if you just need a refresher. I’ve heard that putting an aftermarket exhaust on a V6 will give it a high-pitched, raspy exhaust note, but in my experience this tends to not be true!

There are many factors that determine the sound of your exhaust and a balance between intake and exhaust is crucial. If you have doubts about what setup is right for you then call our knowledgeable tech staff. They’ll make sure you get the sound and power you want.

Six cylinder Mustangs have a Y-pipe from the factory, which funnels exhaust gases from both banks into one tail-pipe. The most common “dual exhaust” out there is another Y-pipe that attaches after the catalytic converter and splits the stock mid-pipe into two tail-pipes. That’s fine if you just want the look of a dual exhaust.

2015 Ford Mustang Flowmaster Outlaw Axleback Exhaust from AmericanMuscle.com

On the other hand, you want to squeeze the most ponies out of your pony, an X-pipe that allows you to use a GT cat-back exhaust is definitely the way to go. I’ve got a Pypes Stainless Steel X-Pipe on my 2004 V6 and, with a GT cat-back, I picked up another 15-20 rear wheel horsepower.

These mods will put you on the right track to building your V6 Mustang into a serious street machine. V8s may continue to dominate with their large displacement and infinite aftermarket options, but these tree mods a the best way to have your six cylinder Mustang catching those pesky GT owners.

But stay tuned as the V6 world is steadily growing and gaining momentum. This has not gone unnoticed here at AmericanMuscle and we look forward to seeing more modded V6s at our next national Mustang-only car show!

Written by Andrew

"You're telling me it's got four wheels, two seats and goes faster than the speed limit? Good, I'm driving."


    1. I have a CAI and Dual Exhaust and to really to take advantage of these you need to do a Tune. Yet sometimes you might see a MPG decrease, due to the extra power being a bit more fun and enjoying it a bit more. Driving style tends to be the biggest factor in MPG.


      1. if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t. Plus, you come off being an idiot yourself as you cannot spell.


      2. Not at all true. Mpg should theoretically get a little better but since it sounds better your more likely to drive it a little harder. That’s probably the problem.


  1. I have a 95 v6 3.8L ‘stang with dual exhaust but the H-pipe has rusted through and I can’t find a replacement. The pipe looks a lot like your v6 dual exhaust adapter kit although it is 2 1/4” and shrinks down to go over the 1 3/4″ pipes that have the catalytic converters on it. If you know where I can find a H-pipe like that it would really help.


    1. So I just remessured the pipes and the inlet is 2″ and the outlet is 2.5″. Does anyone know where I can find a ’95 V6 H-pipe with those dimentions?


    1. its easy to turn heads with a V8 and hey who wouldn’t want to!? but try doing it in a V6… oh and my 94 v6 beat a 2005 V8 stang heads up on the street


    2. Just went to a lapping event with 30 participants and I was the only one with a V6. Ended up in 5th place!!! Beating up 24 V8… (my turn to LMAO…) only 1.28sec behind a 2016 GT with track pack, brembo, MT 20″ tires… This super GT was finally only 2.5% better then my V6… V6 mustang are simply better balanced than V8 with close to 200pnd less in the front and turns instead of understeer. I was looking for a real sport car and my choice was a 2014 V6 now at 345HP and I eat 4.6 V8 for breakfeast…


    3. Long time, old school hot rodder here.. Just happened to aquire a 2002 V6 mustang Black convertable. GREAT looking car.. All leather interior and fun to drive.. I set out to up the horsepower, exhaust, cold air induction and tuner.. Still doesnt pull like a stock GT of the same year. So I traded it or sold it whatever I dont have it any longer.. SO now its time for a new play toy. I am looking at the 2006 Mustang GT. 300 hp. out of the box and easy cam and intake change on the 4.6. SO why not just buy a GT. The 2000 thru the 2004 have the PI heads, and offer a little more horses than the older.. BUT then the 2005 up offer 300 horses stock.. So horsepower is where its at.. YOU can push that V6 hard and strain just to keep up with a stock GT.. NO brainer to me..


      1. I have a 2014 3.7 V6 with 330 rear wheel horsepower that does 0-60 in 5.4. She also averages >20mpg and keeps my insurance rates pretty low. I don’t see the issue.


    4. On my 3rd Mustang. I had a 94, V8, Loved it. Then I bought a 2010 V6 5-speed. with all the Modifications already in place. I would humble most (stock) V8 owners off the line and 1/4 mile. I just purchased a 2006 V6 Convertible Automatic. Don’t laugh, …. I just added the Borla GT cat back Exhaust w/X-pipe, K&N CAI, and The SCT-X4 Tuner w/lifetime Bama tunes. And as recommended for the automatics, (to get the most Bang for my buck)… put in a 4,10 rear. Everything is tuned to my Mods. And of course running 93 Octane. This things screams. Sure I’m sacrificing some MPG, But it’s worth it. It is currently in the body shop getting painted, hood vents, hood pins, styling bar and speedster covers. Something about making a car “your own”. I guarantee it will be the only one like it on the road….
      ……. Tnx for listening, Mustang Lovers.


  2. I don’t know why people don’t have respect for sixers. I own both a Terminator and a 99 v6 mustang. I love both cars; they are both fun to drive. It upsets me when people bash the sixes and say the only real engine is a v8. Good grief, take a look at what Porsche has been able to do with their sixes. Their 911 Turbo would lay the smackdown on my supercharged V8. Granted, price difference, but with gas prices constantly rising, I see American manufacturers starting to do a lot more development with the smaller engines.

    BTW-Nobody can scoff at a v6 that gets 300 horsepower and 30 mpg! Amazing.


  3. I have a 07 V6 Grabber Orange. I have put on a Roush Cold Air Intake along with JBA Dual exhaust. I just installed the SCT custom tune. Currently running the racing tune with 93 oct. I am wondering how much hp and torque I have. I know stock come 210hp 240 torque. By the way any doubters of the SCT tune, trust me its worth it.


  4. I own a 2000 V6 Automatic Mustang. It has a true dual exhaust on it, and i put a drop in filter of a K&N. I was going to build a custom CAI but then i decided it wasn’t worth the money putting into it. Don’t get me wrong, I love speeding around town in my v6, because it looks cool (Chrome cobra rims, nice red color that i wash and wax a bit and take care of it etc.) But when it comes down to it…I won’t dump money into because 1. Its an automatic. And 2. Its not a GT…I am a little versed in cars but not much. So i’d probably F it up. But…I was needing some help. I wanted to know what people recomended as far as V6’s and V8’s, but I also wanted to know what people prefered as far as stick and auto were concnered. If someone can help me, hit me up at Dgrissam3@yahoo.com Would give my army email..but no. Lol


      1. Your funny, think those engines are something?? One of the strongest most powerful engines made is in a 6 cylinder car… nissan makes it btw.. get that gt crap outta here.


  5. Got a question. Can the FR500S mufflers be installed on the 2011 + V6 Mustang. I like the Ford Racing Sport Axlebacks for the V6 but the FR500S sound better to me. It has a 2.5″ pipe but I have heard that the mounting points are different on the 2011+ cars.


  6. wow, 8-10hp from an intake? no, more like 1-2hp difference. Unless it is made from thermoplastic buy the cheapest intake you can find. and 20hp off of a tune? no, more like 10hp. This person obviously knows nothing about this car, engine, or aftermarket upgrades. Take this advice from me, a person who has a 2003 v6 with intake tune and exhaust and also a dyno sheet proving this. And if you dont believe me check out the Allfordmustangs.com forum. 


  7. hello i have a 96 v6 wanting to get more power dont know to much. i cant find any parts for my stang other then super charger,s an turbo,s but i need other parts befor i can do all that. like some good heads.any info ? sure need the help


    1. I had a 03 3.8 running 14.5 (same as my dads stock gt) and now have a 00 conv 3.8. Best for your dollar is gears a posi and a tuner


  8. I had an 1998 mustang v6 years back with a pro charger spd,355 gears, done for 300 had a 5 angle valve job,bbk t body and did 12 .2 1/4 mile and still beat v8 stangs with a charger, I just bought a 2014 mustang last night auto. and its bad to the bone 305 hp awesome cant wait to get on this one I have a 2000 gt now too and the v6 beats it all the time,so don’t hate because you don’t know


  9. just blew my 4.0 V-6 up and am looking for another one to put back in it’s place….I still don’t know what happened to it but I have no compression on the back 2 cylinders. when it went, (at 140,000 miles) it instantly went red hot and by the time I got out of it and got it off the road, it was banging and had lost all but minimal power…then it cooled down as fast as it heated up so I tried to drive it to a safer spot to leave it until I could call a tow. too late…I took it to a very good mechanic who has worked with SOHC V-6’s and he said it was toast and to look for another engine to drop in it….so I’m looking for that now and would like to have one with larger cams and maybe valves if my computer perameters will accept them. any suggestions or a reasonably priced engine out there?


  10. I put a Roush cai on my 2014 Mustang v~6 and the average temp of the air going into my engine is hotter by almost fifteen degrees. WTF?


  11. No man actually they make superchargers that are completely top bolt on it will definitely fit a stock v6 engine with stock tranny. Check out Americanmuscle.com v6 project.


  12. I have a 09 4.0 Mustang v6 I have a KNN cai and ordering mid x pipes dual exhaust, throttle body spacer, bama tunerand next year I am working on buying custom twin turbo set up,4:10 gears and tci street fighter ratchet shifter.


  13. I own an 06 Mustang GT and a 99 Mustang v6. I am here to tell you that the v8 is just simply more fun. In every way. I don’t get off on the idea of “yeah but if I beat a GT in my souped up v6 that means I’m better” because it doesn’t. If someone else sunk as much money into a GT as you would building a v6, their car would be much, much faster.

    My 06 GT has 3.73 gears, cold air intake, LiveWire TS+ Tuner/93 Octane tune and it absolutely tears my v6 out of the water. As it should. The 4.6L Modular motor was meant to do that. It’s the sport version of an ordinary car. If I did gears in my 99, a CAI, and tuned it, it wouldn’t even come close to my 06 BONE STOCK.

    Stop acting like idiots. Stop denying the power of the GT class car. Most importantly, stop the stupid infighting.

    The only way a v6 mustang is going to come close to a GT is with a Turbo or Supercharger. End of discussion.


    1. I am not saying the gt is not a great car all i am saying is quit giving v6 owners crap for modding their car. Your saying dont deny the power of a v8 well its truly not a power trip there is alot of other engines that produce more power than your v8. If you truly are a car enthusiasts then you would appreciate any car with any engine and the fun of modding your car. I am in the reno mustang club and we have mustangs from classics to modern but overall we are car enthusiasts so even the people with roush, gt500, gt350 and saleen and much more dont give you crap for being a v6 owner.


  14. I had a 2007 4.0L V6 and I waited until I could buy a 5.0L coyote crate engine and Tremec T-56 magnum 6 speed manual transmission I cammed the engine before it went in with a high performance comp cam, after the swap I added a vortech supercharger… best decision of my life


    1. So u pulled the 4.0 out and put 5.0 in its place did u run into any problems like motor mount bolts aligning did u have to change comp and fuel lines or anything like that to make it work and if soo what kind of money is a job like that entail? what super charger did u go with? what kind of gears? I have 08 4.0 want a 5.0 in it just not done much other than rebuilding motors and putting back in . Tires and rims same? What exhaust u run with it? U seem knowledgeable that’s why I’m asking I apologize for inconvenience but need as much info as possible thanks in advance


  15. I have a 08 4.0 with true duals no muffs a k&n cai and a ford racing custom tune. I also have a short throw shifter and I can stomp a challenger r/t with a v8 any day of the week. The mustang is light and with those simple cheap mods she screams and sounds and looks good doing it. I’m looking for a turbo kit next then idc what I’m next too the gt guys will have to go hide.


  16. A couple of questions here, I am a huge Mustang fan and I’m doing lots of research. I am looking to purchase a car sometime next year. I love the Gottahaveit Green Mustangs from ’13 & ’14, really want a GT but want to stay on a budget. Not really excited about the EcoBoost, so I have found several V6 based cars for around 14,500 to 16,500 with around 25 to 45k miles on them. My question is, what kind of performance have you guys/gals been able to get out of the V6 without say dropping a chunk of change into your ride. I am not looking to street race or get on the strip, just want make it a little quicker just for fun. I’m thinking, cold air intake, maybe go with the GT exhaust set up, and possibly install a tuner for the mods? What do you recommend to say, not break the bank and get a little more fun out of your ride? Thanks in advance for any help.


  17. Look all I need to know is what is the best intake for 2001 v6 if I want anti stall I know I need a true rear end and a manual but I’m only working with an automatic with a true dual exhaust I like the bbk on the 99 v8 35th anniversary but I sold it. My v6 already touches 125 with the exhaust but I need more power in turns what do I do?


  18. I’ve been a street mechanic for 35 years then got I certified and do own a 2006 Mustang V6 4.0L Bone stock,….I’ve installed me a “Performance Distributor Screamin Demon Coil ” plus a set of Taylor Street Thunder 8mm Spark Plug Wires and Iridium Performance spark plugs and have also installed an “Airaid PowerAid Throttle Body Spacer” then a set of Long Tube Headers with High Flow Catalyst and True Dual Exhaust and bought me the Ford Performance 85mm Mass Air Meter Cold Air Intake and ready to buy the Bama Rev-X. As an experienced mechanic i must add that you must first install a few Aftermarket upgrade performance parts to your Mustang in order for this Bama Tuner to actually become efficient and give you the power you’re looking for and strongly recommend and put my money on the Bama Rev-X Tuner over the Lund Tuner anytime ok. Get your parts from American Muscle and Good luck with that beauty Mustang of yours buddy ;)


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