How to Get 500 Horsepower Out of a 350: A Comprehensive Guide for Car Enthusiasts

If you’re a car enthusiast, you know that horsepower is one of the most important factors in determining a car’s performance. The more horsepower your engine has, the faster and more powerful your car will be. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get 500 horsepower out of a 350 engine. This is a common goal for many car enthusiasts who want to take their vehicle’s performance to the next level. We’ll cover everything from upgrading your engine components to tuning your car’s computer to achieve maximum horsepower.

What is a 350 Engine?

The 350 engine is a small-block V8 engine that was first introduced by General Motors in 1967. It has a displacement of 350 cubic inches, hence the name. This engine has been used in a wide variety of vehicles over the years, including trucks, SUVs, and muscle cars. It is known for its reliability, durability, and power potential.

How to get 500 horsepower out of a 350

There are several ways to increase horse powers. Such as upgrading engine components, tuning car’s computers, forced induction, etc.

Upgrading Engine Components

One of the most effective ways to increase horsepower is to upgrade your engine components. This includes replacing your camshaft, cylinder heads, intake manifold, and exhaust system. Let’s take a closer look at each of these components.

Camshaft: The camshaft is responsible for opening and closing the engine’s valves. A performance camshaft with a higher lift and duration can increase airflow into and out of the engine, resulting in more horsepower. There are many different camshaft profiles to choose from, so it’s important to choose one that is appropriate for your engine’s specs and intended use.

Cylinder Heads: Upgrading your cylinder heads can also increase airflow into and out of the engine. Performance cylinder heads typically have larger valves, better port shapes, and improved combustion chambers. This can lead to significant gains in horsepower.

Intake Manifold: The intake manifold is responsible for delivering air to the engine. A high-performance intake manifold can increase airflow and improve throttle response. There are many different types of intake manifolds to choose from, including single-plane and dual-plane designs.

Exhaust System: A performance exhaust system can increase horsepower by reducing back pressure and improving exhaust flow. This can be achieved by upgrading your headers, catalytic converters, and mufflers.

Tuning Car’s Computer

Another way to increase horsepower is to tune your car’s computer. This involves reprogramming the engine control module (ECM) to optimize the engine’s performance. There are many different types of tuning software available, including handheld programmers and custom tuning services.

When tuning your car’s computer, it’s important to consider factors such as air/fuel ratio, ignition timing, and throttle response. These variables can significantly impact the engine’s performance and should be adjusted accordingly.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide (NOS) is a popular way to increase horsepower in high-performance engines. NOS is a chemical compound that, when injected into the engine’s intake, provides a temporary boost in power. This can be a cost-effective way to achieve significant horsepower gains, but it does come with some risks. Nitrous oxide can cause engine damage if not used properly, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a reputable brand of nitrous oxide.

Forced Induction

Forced induction is another way to increase horsepower. This involves using a supercharger or turbocharger to force more air into the engine. This can lead to significant gains in horsepower, but it can also be expensive and complex to install. Forced induction systems often require additional engine components, such as intercoolers and high-flow fuel injectors, to work properly.

Choosing the Right Parts for Your Build

When upgrading your engine components or installing a forced induction system, it’s important to choose the right parts for your build. This means selecting components that are appropriate for your engine’s specifications and intended use. It’s also important to choose parts from reputable manufacturers with a proven track record of performance.

Proper Installation and Tuning

Once you’ve chosen the right parts for your build, it’s crucial to install them properly and tune your engine accordingly. This often requires professional installation and tuning services, as improper installation or tuning can lead to engine damage and reduced performance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When attempting to achieve 500 horsepower from a 350 engine, there are a few common mistakes to avoid. These include:

  • Choosing components that are too aggressive for your engine’s specifications.
  • Failing to properly install or tune your engine components.
  • Neglecting to upgrade supporting components, such as the fuel system and cooling system.
  • Using cheap or unreliable parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about getting 500 horsepower out of 350 –

Q: Do I need to install a forced induction system to achieve 500 horsepower?

A: No, it’s possible to achieve 500 horsepower through engine component upgrades and tuning alone.

Q: How much does it cost to achieve 500 horsepower from a 350 engine?

A: The cost can vary depending on the components and services required, but it can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

Q: Will achieving 500 horsepower reduce my engine’s reliability?

A: It’s possible that increasing horsepower can reduce reliability, but choosing the right components and tuning can minimize this risk.

Q: Do I need to upgrade my transmission and rear end to handle 500 horsepower?

A: It’s recommended to upgrade your transmission and rear end to handle the increased power and torque.

Q: Can I achieve 500 horsepower on a stock bottom end?

A: It’s possible to achieve 500 horsepower on a stock bottom end, but it’s not recommended as it can increase the risk of engine damage.

Q: How often do I need to change the oil and perform maintenance on a 500 horsepower engine?

A: It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and perform regular oil changes to maintain engine health.

Q: How much horsepower can I achieve with nitrous oxide?

A: The amount of horsepower gained from nitrous oxide can vary depending on the size of the shot and the engine’s specifications.


Achieving 500 horsepower from a 350 engine is a challenging but rewarding goal for car enthusiasts. It requires careful selection of engine components, proper installation, and tuning. With the right approach and attention to detail, it’s possible to achieve 500 horsepower and take your car’s performance to the next level.

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