Diesel Tuner's Blog


Posted by Paul Wilson on Apr 23, 2019 10:00:00 AM

What is "Cost Per Horsepower"?

Cost Per Horsepower is a simple way to display and measure the cost-effectiveness of automotive performance upgrades.

Jim Layden dyno run

In practice, this term is probably more often used to prove someone has wasted money on a specific upgrade or the purchase of an entire vehicle.  For the purpose of this article, we are going to assume the vehicle in question is either a Duramax, Cummins, or Power Stroke diesel truck.  



[(Peak RWHP with modification) - (Peak RWHP without modification)] / (Cost of modification) = Cost Per Horsepower 

This simply means we figure out how much horsepower a single modification adds to your truck then divide it by the cost of that modification.  It's a really easy way to ensure you are going to make a good decision about your next upgrade.   


Why Cost Per Horsepower Matters:

1. Upgrades are expensive! 

You want to spend your money where it is going to make the biggest impact.  Do you really need more than that?  As a diesel performance enthusiast, you know that horsepower isn't cheap.  That doesn't necessarily mean you have money to burn.  You want to spend your money where it's going to make a difference.


2. Not all upgrades are equal. 

Some times waiting to buy a more expensive upgrade is better than wasting money and time on a part that isn't going to help you.  This may seem obvious but when you're online shopping and get excited about something cool, logic tends to run out the door.  If you have a stock transmission you don't need 100% over injectors or dual CP3's.  Do your research on each part and talk to experts before buying any upgrade for your diesel.  

LML EZ Lynk Tuning

3. Is it "Look cool" first or be 1st at the track?

Camouflage seat covers may look sweet, but they aren't going to get you down the track any faster.  If you want more power you may have to take a pass on expensive wheels, powder coated lift kits, loud stereos, and other cool stuff.  You can always add the "diesel-bro" look after your truck is kicking ass.  


All of this being said, it's your truck.  We think you should build the way you want it.  Whether you are going to take your time and build it over a year or 2 or if you want to get the entire project done in a weekend, just make sure you are building your dream truck.  

Create Your Own Custom Diesel Build!


Topics: what are some upgrades I can go to my LML?, Duramax Turbo, diesel performance