One thing is for sure, the Ford 6.2 Boss is a strong, capable, and reliable powerhouse. Despite the 6.2’s strength and race-derived architecture, it has always been an underrated engine in the performance community. Part of that boils down to the fact that it is already pretty well optimized from the factory. With that being said, that hasn’t stopped speed freaks from doing their thing.
From simple bolt-on modifications like intakes and headers to heavy-duty mods like upgraded cams and forced induction, there is plenty that can be done to a Ford 6.2 Boss. In this guide, we’ll cover each of these performance upgrades in depth, providing power gains, performance benefits, and more.
6.2 Boss Power Limits
Durability, without question, is one of the Ford 6.2 Boss’ strong suits. It is generally stated that it can handle somewhere in the ballpark of 550-600 horsepower with stock internals without sacrificing a massive amount of reliability. The block can likely handle a lot more than that, but it is limited by its internals.
Due to the fact that the 6.2 Boss V8 was designed with light and heavy truck use in mind, Ford made sure to fortify it against strenuous conditions. As with most of Ford’s other truck engines, the Boss features a cast iron, deep-skirted block. Additionally, it features four bolt main bearing caps with cross bolts for increased bottom-end durability. It also utilizes forged steel connecting rods that should be good for at least 600 horsepower.
While the Ford Boss 6.2 is unquestionably a reliable and durable engine in factory form with factory power, there are some areas where it could be improved if you have big power goals in mind. The Boss’ cast aluminum pistons and cast-iron crankshaft are the main limiters of making massive power with stock internals.
Best Ford 6.2 Boss V8 Engine Mods
- Upgraded Intake
- Camshaft Upgrade
- Long Tube Headers
- ECU Tune
Since the engine is already pretty well optimized from the factory, single modifications, like a cold air intake, exhaust upgrade, or headers, don’t tend to yield very impressive results on their own. The only real way to unlock some real power potential from a Ford 6.2 V8 is by combining them for their collective performance gains.
A nice tuner/intake/header combo is about as good as you are going to get in terms of value for money. An upgraded camshaft is another fantastic option for some additional naturally aspirated power, but also requires some other valvetrain upgrades making it more costly.
Ultimately, forced induction is really what it takes for big power gains.
1) Upgraded Intake
As with most other vehicles and engines, there is a lot of debate around the topic of the best Ford 6.2 intake. Like most other individual mods, the addition of an upgraded air intake is not going to make any notable difference to power or performance itself. However, when combined with a tune that will account for the additional flow and a good set of headers, the performance benefits of an upgraded Ford 6.2 intake become more noticeable.
Outside of the potential performance benefits of an upgraded performance intake, they also come with some additional perks. Almost every aftermarket intake comes with a cleanable, reusable filter. That limits the need to continually replace your 6.2’s paper intake filter. That is enough of a plus that some people choose to continue to run the factory Ford Boss airbox with an upgraded drop-in filter.
2) Camshaft Upgrade
A cam upgrade is another way to get some extra oomph out of Ford 6.2L V8 if you are adamant about staying naturally aspirated. With that being said, most camshaft kits worth buying are expensive and won’t yield as much power as a supercharger. In spite of that, many 6.2 owners opt to swap out their factory cams for upgraded ones, providing better overall performance that is especially noticeable higher in the rev range.
The benefit of upgraded cams will be more noticeable on Ford 6.2 SD engines due to the fact that the 6.2 Raptor already has performance cams from the factory. You can still add nearly 35whp on a Raptor with cams, gains will just be a good bit higher on the Super Duty trucks.
Unlike most of the other modifications here, the upgraded cam space is pretty much dominated by a single name: Livernois Motorsport. In fact, the performance Livernois cams are the only option that doesn’t require piston upgrades. Ford Performance also offers performance 6.2 cams, but you’ll have to dig in to make them work. That’s alright though, as the Livernois cams have a very solid reputation in the community and show great dyno figures. When paired with other Ford 6.2 mods including an upgraded intake and headers, a Raptor with Livernois 6.2 cams put down 405 horsepower and 410 lb-ft to the wheels.
Livernois Camshaft Upgrade Kit
Purchase Here: livernoismotorsports.com
3) Long-Tube Headers
This recommendation applies mainly to 6.2 Raptor owners. While there are some Super Duty header options on sale, the general consensus in the community is that the cost-to-performance yield of headers on a 6.2 Super Duty isn’t good enough to recommend them wholeheartedly. The 6.2 Raptor gains a fair bit more from upgraded headers due to the upgraded cam. That isn’t to say that upgrading your 6.2 Super Duty exhaust manifolds is a bad idea. There are just better ways of improving performance.
Like most of the modifications on this list, upgraded 6.2 Ford V8 headers truly shine when paired with other modifications. That is especially true when paired with an upgraded intake and a tune. While the factory Raptor exhaust manifold isn’t very restrictive, there is still some benefit to be gained from redesigned headers.
Unlike the factory exhaust manifolds that merge exhaust gases from all cylinders immediately, upgraded 6.2 headers feature primary tubes for each cylinder and collect in a larger collector further down the line. This improves exhaust flow characteristics and reduces exhaust restrictions. Long-tube headers are the best option for performance gains, especially in the mid-upper RPM range.
In combination with a tune and intake, some 6.2 Raptor owners have reported gains of up to 35 horsepower and 40 lb-ft. Not a bad option for the price.
4) ECU Tuning
There is little doubt that a tune is the best bang-for-buck modification for the Ford 6.2 Boss. The point of a tune is to optimize parameters like air-to-fuel ratios, ignition and camshaft timing, and fuel pressure, to provide the most horsepower and torque. Using a simple plug-and-play device, a tune can add anywhere from 20-40 horsepower and a similar amount of torque. And that is on a stock truck.
However, the true benefits of a tune come when combined with other Ford 6.2 engine mods. By adjusting engine parameters to accommodate for the added airflow provided by an upgraded intake, the exhaust flow benefits from upgraded headers, or the combined benefits of an upgraded camshaft, a tune has the potential to add significantly more horsepower to a Ford 6.2 Boss.
Beyond simply adding power and torque, tuners offer an array of other performance benefits. Almost every 6.2 tuner offers transmission modifications including the ability to adjust shift points and change torque management parameters. Most tuners also come with preinstalled towing tunes that shift power and torque lower in the rev range.
The majority of tuners also provide custom tuning services. That means that they’ll tailor a tune to extract the most out of the modifications that you have on your truck. Ultimately, tuning your 6.2 V8 is a fantastic first modification or last modification.
Livernois Ford 6.2 V8 Tuner
Purchase Here: livernoismotorsports.com
Livernois has built an extremely solid name for themselves in their decades of operation. As a premier parts manufacturer and tuning outfit, they know a thing or two about extracting power from whatever engine they get their hands on. That certainly goes for the 6.2 Boss V8. Their tuner gives you everything you need to get your tune up and operational with a solid interface and immense customer support. The device comes out of the box with a performance and towing tune. Additionally, you can add additional custom tunes to suit the needs of your truck and unique modifications.
6) Supercharger Kits
On paper, and in practice, the Ford 6.2 is a good engine to supercharge. The 6.2 Boss’ 9.8:1 compression ratio and strong bottom end help from a forced induction standpoint. That has been proven by the multiple tuning companies that have pushed massive power from supercharged 6.2s. In fact, Roush sold their own variant of the 2013 Raptor with their stage 2 supercharger kit that made 590 horsepower and 590 torque right out of the box.
In comparison to the other Ford 6.2 Boss engine mods on this list, a supercharger is the best value for money. That is hard to say, given that most supercharger kits run upwards of $7,000. But, that’s truly what it takes to make big power out of these engines.
One main concern that people often have in terms of Ford 6.2 superchargers is reliability. A lot of that has to do with the tune and the power level that you’re looking to achieve. Reliability is inversely proportional to the power that you make and how aggressive of a tune you run. Most 6.2 Raptor owners that have supercharged have reported solid reliability with a safe tune, even as a daily driver or a tow rig.