How Much Horsepower Does A Tunnel Ram Add

Tunnel ram intake manifolds such as a Dart Tunnel Ram are often considered high-performance induction systems in race cars. However, a tunnel ram intake manifold can also benefit street engines. The secret to running a tunnel ram is to match engine components to work in the same rpm range. A good example is they don’t work so well on a small block engine.

This means selecting heads with good flow and a camshaft with an ideal overlap for the intended rpm range. This will ensure that the engine can take full advantage of the increased airflow provided by the tunnel ram.

In our guide, you can learn more about the top-end power from a tunnel ram vs. single carb, or even a pair of Holley carbs. By the end, you’ll have a better idea of how much HP does a tunnel ram add and if the cost is a worthy upgrade on your car. (Learn How Long Does It Take Transmission Fluid To Circulate)

tunnel ram

Why Use Tunnel Rams?

On a carbureted engine, the tunnel ram significantly affects torque production. This is because the tunnel ram’s long, uniformly-sized runners permit constant airflow to each cylinder head ports, leading to better cylinder filling and improved torque output.

It’s important to remember that the tunnel ram may not produce as much low-end torque as a dual-plane intake because it performs best at higher rpm ranges. Using a loose converter in the transmission is one method for maximizing the performance of a tunnel ram. This will enable the engine to rev higher and maintain the tunnel ram’s effective rpm range for longer.

Additionally, performance may be impacted by the tunnel ram’s runner volume. A greater runner volume may enable more airflow and, therefore, more power, but it may also reduce the engine’s low-end torque. To attain the necessary performance, it’s essential to strike the right balance between runner volume and low-end torque.

Do tunnel ram intake manifolds genuinely improve a street motor despite their common perception as exotic, high-performance induction systems?

The distinctions between single and dual-plane intake manifolds can be found, and how an SBC tunnel ram intake combines the best elements of each to provide the best overall performance.

What is a Tunnel Ram Intake Manifold?

A tunnel ram intake manifold is a single-plane intake manifold that features a common plenum under the carburetor and long, straight runners. The elevated position of the carburetor on the tunnel ram allows for longer runners, which can improve high-rpm power production.

Tunnel ram intake manifolds are typically used on big block engines and are often paired with dual carburetors. (Read When I Backup My Car Makes A Popping Noise)

Single and Dual-Plane Intakes:

Intake manifolds for a V-8 engine can be divided into single-plane and dual-plane. Dual-plane intake manifolds feature long runners that produce low and mid-range torque, with a power peak typically below 6000 rpm.

They also effectively divide the engine into two halves by isolating the fuel and air supplied by the carburetor to each side, which improves the signal to the carburetor. On the other hand, single-plane intake manifolds have a common plenum under the carburetor and shorter runners, which enhances high-rpm power at the expense of low-end power.

The choice between a single-plane and dual-plane intake depends on the intended application, with dual-plane intakes offering better low-speed power and single-plane intakes maximizing peak power production.

Tunnel Ram Intakes:

Technically speaking, tunnel ram intake manifolds fall into the single-plane category, as they have a common plenum volume under the carburetor. However, they offer longer runners and near-identical runner length for each cylinder, combining the benefits of both single and dual-plane intakes.

In testing, tunnel ram intake manifolds from Weiand, Dart tunnel ram, and Wilson Manifolds were found to offer improved power over a typical single-plane intake, with the added benefit of excellent throttle response and fuel mileage.

However, it is essential to note that tunnel ram intake manifolds are designed for specific applications and rpm ranges and may not offer the same benefits on all engine combinations.

tunnel ram increased power

How Does a Tunnel Ram Increase Horsepower?

A tunnel ram intake manifold can increase horsepower by improving airflow to the engine. The long, straight runners of a tunnel ram intake manifold allow for more air and fuel to be delivered to the engine, which can increase power output. Additionally, a tunnel ram intake manifold’s common plenum can help distribute the air and fuel to all cylinders evenly, improving overall engine performance. (Read Car Stereo Cuts Out Randomly)

Factors Affecting Horsepower from a Tunnel Ram

A variety of factors, including size, type of engine, size, and type of carburetor or fuel injection system. Also, the condition of the rest of the engine and exhaust system can influence the horsepower gained from a tunnel ram intake manifold. The type of fuel being used can also impact the horsepower gained from a tunnel ram intake manifold.

1. Typical Horsepower Gains from a Tunnel Ram Intake Manifold

The horsepower gained from a tunnel ram intake manifold can vary greatly depending on the specific engine and setup.  Generally, a tunnel ram intake manifold can increase 50-100 horsepower on a big block engine. However, it is essential to note that the actual horsepower gained will depend on the specific engine and its other components.

2. Pros and Cons of A Tunnel Ram

There are advantages and disadvantages when using a tunnel ram. Some benefits include increased horsepower and torque, improved airflow, and a visually striking appearance.

However, there are drawbacks to such an intake manifold, like potential engine damage if the manifold doesn’t match the engine, the cost of purchasing and installation, last, you’ll also see a decrease in fuel efficiency as you have more power under the hood.

Choosing the Right Manifold for Your Engine

When selecting a tunnel ram intake manifold, it is important to consider the size and type of your engine and the carburetor or fuel injection system you are using.

Installation and Maintenance

Installing a tunnel ram intake manifold can be a complex process that requires specialized tools and knowledge. A Moroso oiling system may be one such specialized component besides a Dart of Weiand Hi ram.

It is recommended to have a trained professional install the manifold to ensure it is properly fitted and sealed. It is also essential to properly maintain the tunnel ram intake manifold, including cleaning and adjusting the carburetor or fuel injection system as needed.

A tunnel ram intake manifold provides a big block engine with significant horsepower gains. However, you need to consider the specific engine and its needs when selecting a tunnel ram intake manifold and have it properly installed and maintained to ensure optimal performance.

Overall, a tunnel ram intake manifold can be a powerful addition to a performance vehicle.

installed tunnel ram

How To Install a Tunnel Ram

Installation of a tunnel ram intake manifold typically requires modifications to the engine and vehicle. Depending on the specific model and engine size, it may be necessary to clear the hood and firewall for the increased height of the tunnel ram.

The intake may also require modification or relocation of fuel lines, throttle cables, and other components. A good example is a Weiand Hi ram that would sit above your hood. It is recommended to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and a mechanic or experienced professional for the installation process. Maintenance of a tunnel ram intake manifold mainly involves cleaning and checking the carburetors and linkage.

It is important to ensure that the carburetors are functioning correctly and that the linkage is appropriately adjusted to ensure smooth operation. The intake manifold may also need to be cleaned and polished to maintain its appearance. It is also essential to check and replace any worn or damaged gaskets or seals to prevent leaks. (Read Can I Use 5W 30 Instead Of 5W 40)

As with any engine component, it is always a good idea to consult a mechanic or professional for maintenance or repair needs.

  1. First, you will need to remove the current intake manifold from your engine. This involves loosening and removing the bolts or fasteners that hold it in place and disconnecting any fuel or vacuum lines attached to it.
  2. Once the current intake manifold is removed, you can begin the installation of the tunnel ram intake. This will involve attaching the carburetor or throttle body to the top of the information and securing it with bolts or fasteners.
  3. Next, you will need to attach the runners of the intake to the head ports on the engine. This involves aligning the intake runners with the head ports and securing them with bolts or fasteners.
  4. Once the runners are attached, you can attach any other necessary components, such as fuel or vacuum lines.
  5. Finally, you will need to make any necessary adjustments to the carburetor or throttle body, such as setting the idle speed or adjusting the air/fuel mixture.
  6. As for maintenance, it is essential to check the intake for any leaks or damage periodically and to make any necessary repairs or replacements as needed.
  7. You should also periodically check and replace the carburetor or throttle body gaskets if necessary and clean the carburetor or throttle body to ensure proper functioning.

Understanding Peak Power Numbers Of A Big Block

Tunnel ram intake manifolds are high-performance induction systems often used on race cars or used to add onto a single four barrel.

They combine several beneficial design features of single and dual-plane intake manifolds to produce strong power output on the right engine combination. They also have a visually striking appearance, with a polished, dual-carb tunnel ram sticking out of the hood.

Tunnel ram manifolds are classified as single-plane, as offer a straight shot like a common plenum under the carburetor. However, they differ from other single-plane manifolds due to their extended runner length, which helps to promote power production over a given rpm range.

In testing, a tunnel ram intake offered improved power over a single-plane intake by having all cylinders produce the same effective power curve and rev range.

Tunnel rams are also available in assorted designs, each with specific power curves and intended rpm ranges. While they may not be ideal for every situation, tunnel ram intake manifolds can be a strong performance choice for big-block engines.

It is difficult to provide specific peak power numbers and engine speeds for a big block equipped with a tunnel ram intake manifold without knowing the specific characteristics of the engine and the tunnel ram used.

Additionally, the peak power and engine speed will depend on the design of the tunnel ram, including the runner length and plenum volume in any rev range. Generally, a big block engine equipped with a tunnel ram intake manifold may produce peak power at higher speeds than a similar engine fitted with a single-plane or dual-plane intake manifold.

However, it is essential to note that the peak power of a tunnel ram-equipped engine may come at the expense of low and mid-range torque, and the engine’s overall performance may depend on the specific application and the desired power curve.

operating ranges

Operating ranges of tunnel rams

The effective operating range of a tunnel ram intake manifold is typically higher than that of a single or dual-plane intake, as the longer runner length helps to promote power production over a given rpm range.

In our tunnel ram test, the Dart tunnel ram produced extra power and torque compared to the Weiand tunnel ram and dual quad tunnel rams and performed well on the flow bench.

However, the dual quad tunnel ram produced the most max power out of the three-manifolds.

It’s important to note that the performance of a tunnel ram intake manifold can vary based on the specific design and intended application, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or reference a flow bench before deciding on which intake to use.

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