For most of our readers, getting better performance from their trucks is a must. Whether it is more power for quicker acceleration or more torque for towing that camper or boat, upgrades are a must. Fortunately, with the newer trucks, gaining better numbers is easy if you and a couple buddies can turn a few wrenches. For our project truck, we started with a stock 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie 2WD. Being it has the 5.7L HEMI powerplant, it was pretty peppy off the lot, but we knew we couple get more out of it with an afternoon of hanging out in the garage with friends.
To open up the air input to the motor, we picked up a Vararam Industries Air Grabber (P/N VR-HEMI-5G, $369 retail) that replaces the stock, restrictive air box. This intake actually performs better as the truck picks up speed and the air is forced into it. To expel the burnt gasses, we swapped out the factory exhaust with a Borla S-Type Cat-back exhaust with 5” polished tips (P/N 140752, $985 retail). This exhaust is a direct bolt on with no cutting or welding and it even fills out the rear bumper exhaust cut outs better than the stock tips.
To open up the stock computer’s ability and add some control to utilize features like towing mode, performance mode and economy mode, we picked up the Edge Products Pulsar Tuner (P/N 32453, $500 retail) This tuner is a quick 10 minute install that uses your steering wheel cruise control buttons to change settings at any time. We also picked up and Edge Products Insite CST2 screen (P/N 871300, $435 retail) to add more views into the truck’s temperatures and readouts. These ease of install on all the parts for this upgrade makes for a fun afternoon in the garage with friends, which provide more comic relief than actual help, with some simple hand tools and a Quickjack to allow for easier access to the exhaust. Follow along as we go through some of the steps needed for this upgrade.
Once you have all the flanges unbolted, this is where you put one of your smaller (preferably younger) friends under the truck to pull the stock muffler out of the hangers to remove it from the truck.
We laid out the new Borla exhaust under the truck, so everything was where it is needed to ensure everything is faced the right way. Having the Quickjack for this install made gaining more room under the truck easier.
The next thing we installed was the Edge Pulsar that came with their CST2 Screen. As you can see, there isn’t many parts to this install (The wire harness from the ODB2 port to the screen is the only thing not in this photo)
Plug both harness plugs into the pulsar and ensure they are seated correctly. The Pulsar is now installed and ready to set up per the owner’s manual using the cruise control buttons on the steering wheel.
After assembling the Vararam intake panel and the front wing, set it into the truck as one unit making sure that it is securely clamped to the supplied intake tube you already installed the temp sensor into.
You can either leave the radiator shroud off the truck or trim it like we did, to allow more air flow into the filter while driving the truck. We used an air saw and Dremel, but any plastic trimming method will work. As you can see, the new Vararam Intake gives the engine that old school look while also letting the HEMI breathe a little better.
Once the parts were installed, we took the truck back to Tameless Performance for a second dyno run (we took it to them for a base run before the install as well) to see how much real-world power these parts added.
Stock numbers were 305 HP and 335 Ft Lbs. of torque. Once the parts were installed, the truck was at 342 HP and 356 Ft Lbs. of torque. So, for an afternoon of work, we gained 37 HP and 21 Ft Lbs. of torque to the ground. Not a bad increase for a gas motor and simple bolt on parts.