How to Increase Horsepower on Your 6.7 Powerstroke

Steve Gadd

Steve Gadd

For all the power hungry speed gurus out there such as myself, the first thing that you probably think about within the first 20 to 30 miles of driving a vehicle is, “How do I make this thing faster and more enjoyable to drive?”

The factory 2011 to 2016 6.7L Powerstroke are rated at 390 to 440 rear wheel horsepower depending on the year of the vehicle. Horsepower ratings don’t lie; these vehicles come in and compete well with the 2011 to 2016 GM Duramax in its factory form, but who really feels satisfied with factory power?

If you answered “I am” to that question then maybe you would also turn down a pay raise at work. For all of us that won’t turn down that nice raise, and won’t settle for just being satisfied for with your daily driven truck, or the truck that you use to tow your toys around.

Here is a quick list of modifications that will transform your average truck to the reliable beast that you need it to be.

Custom Tuning

The days of mechanically controlled diesel trucks are long gone. Today’s diesel engines are primarily controlled electronically; this means that in order to change the way the engine operates you must do so by acquiring tuning. There is a wide array of tuning options available on the market but not all products are created equal, even if their price tag is.

Motor Ops EZ Lynk tuning offers the consumer a state-of-the-art programming platform which bundles the industry’s highest quality tunes and the ability to monitor a vast array of engine and transmission parameters through your smartphone or tablet. No matter the driving situation (Heavy Towing, Light Towing, Daily driving, or Performance) the switch on the fly tunes have you covered.


For many owners this may have been one of the first modifications that you were interested or had thought about doing due to the ease of installation and because it is one of the few modifications that doesn’t jeopardize your factory warranty.

Through our testing we have seen plenty of factory intakes fail to the point of the filter being completely sucked in backwards. If you plan on doing any tuning we strongly recommend doing an aftermarket intake such as an S&B with a dry, non-oiled filter

Intercooler Pipe Upgrade

On the 6.7L Powerstroke one of the very weak points is the intercooler pipe. The plastic intercooler pipe is pressed in place and retained with a poorly designed clip and clamp. We have seen these consistently fail under numerous situations where boost is increased and power is added.

There are many kits on the market such as H&S Intercooler upgrade kit. The picture below shows the factory intercooler pipe design that is faulty.


For those of you looking to get that extra 10-15 horsepower out of your truck or for those of you that have started running into emissions issues you may be entertaining the idea of getting an aftermarket exhaust. The factory exhaust system that is equipped on the 2011 and newer 6.7L Powerstroke is equipped with a hefty emissions reduction system.

The equipped system uses Catalytic Converter, DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid), and a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) to meet government regulated emissions output. While these vehicles can make impressive power gains with the whole Emissions system in place these systems tend to have a shelf life and will start having issues as the vehicle gets more and more miles on it. If your truck is still under warranty then the dealership can fix the failed parts but if your warranty is up a simple fix can cost more than all the listed upgrades above.

We tend to see people in that situation choose to tune the truck and remove the factory exhaust. There are many aftermarket kits available for these trucks; you will be able to choose between the exhaust material (Aluminized or Stainless Steel) as well as the exhaust diameter (4 inch or 5 inch diameter).

All the listed upgrades above are essential to putting together a vehicle that has the best balance of power, drive-ability, and reliability. If you have any questions or would like to have one of our experts contact you please click the link below and they can help you achieve your goals on your vehicle.

Steve Gadd

Steve Gadd

Steve is the owner and general manager of Motor Ops and has been involved in the diesel pickup truck tuning space for over 10 years.

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