Best Performance Upgrades For 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 – 2021 Picks

| Last Updated: June 25, 2021

If you’re the proud owner of a 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500, you know what this pickup is capable of. With a penchant for raw power and awesome acceleration, the Hemi delivers. But among enthusiasts, the only customization will do.

So when you want to add some performance upgrades for the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500, you need options. The good news is that the Hemi has just that. From aftermarket differentials to cold air intakes, you can soup up your Hemi to your liking and feel the driving prowess every time you get behind the wheel.

Comparison of the Best Performance Upgrades For 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Very precision cut gear and pinion manufacturing
  • Heat treated for improved durability
  • Quite easy to install on vehicle
View Latest Price →
  • Best for the Money
  • Mandrel bent tubing for up to 35 percent of flow increase
  • Will add 10 to fifteen HP to power output
View Latest Price →
  • Best Cold Air Intake For Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
  • Will improve factory out flow with up to 23 percent
  • Very easy one-piece installation option
View Latest Price →
  • Best Oil Filter For Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
  • Will fit on a wide range of vehicle models
  • up to 15,000 miles protection with full synthetic oil
View Latest Price →
  • Best Tuner For Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
  • Will improve acceleration with all 2007 to 2018 Dodge
  • Quick and easy plug and play installation option
View Latest Price →
  • Best Supercharger For Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
  • Easily improves the overall HP output
  • Pressure boost of 14 psi for improved speed performance
View Latest Price →
  • Best Spark Plugs For Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
  • V-trim for an improved sparking option
  • Stable operating temperature to run cooler
View Latest Price →

Pros and Cons of Adding a Few Performance Upgrades

Whether it’s your first time or your tenth time adding performance upgrades to the 5.7-L Hemi Ram 1500, you should weigh the advantages of the upgrades before you buy. By doing so, you can stay within budget while also getting the desired effect. Here are some of the pros and cons of these upgrades.

Pros

  • Improves power and overall performance of the truck

  • Can make your vehicle more appealing to buyers and improve resale value

  • Adds another layer of aesthetics under the hood that blends form with function

  • Can improve fuel economy

  • Provides more driving options, such as off-roading, heavy towing, and more

Cons

  • Certain aftermarket upgrades may not void the warranty on the Hemi Ram 1500, but they may void the warranty on certain parts

  • In some states, performance upgrades may be illegal, especially in California, which has stricter emissions laws

Review of the Best Performance Upgrades For 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500

Performance upgrades for the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 come in all different options and budgets to fit your particular tastes and needs. Here are reviews of some of the best performance upgrades and how they can boost the performance of your pickup truck.

Best Overall:
Richmond Gear Ring & Pinion DANA 60 Differential 5.13 Ring Ratio

Richmond Gear 69-0057-1 Ring and Pinion DANA 60 5.13 Ring Ratio, 1 Pack

PROS

  • Heat-treated for maximum durability
  • Precision cut to 1/1,000th of an inch
  • Trusted name with over 80 years in the industry
  • Exceeds OEM standard for ring and pinion differentials
  • Undergoes rigorous testing to ensure product durability and longevity

CONS

  • List ElemInstallation not for novicesent
  • Some users report noisy performance after the initial installation

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the Richmond Gear Ring & Pinion DANA 60 Differential provides exceptional performance for towing and hauling. And while some users report noisy operation, others say that it’s silent regardless of payload or off-road driving.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With a 5.13 ring ratio, this differential is built to tow. (The ratio refers to the number of times the driveshaft turns compared to one revolution of the tire.) A larger ring ratio translates to more torque, which is essential for heavy loads. Plus, a two-year, 100,000-mile warranty should put any cautious buyers at ease.

Bottom Line

Although the Richmond Gear Ring & Pinion DANA 60 Differential isn’t the flashiest of performance upgrades, it provides a valuable function for extra towing. So whether you want to bring the boat to the lake or the trailer to the campsite, this product should get the job done.

Runner-up:
BBK Chrome Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers

BBK (4014) 1-5/8' Chrome Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Header for Dodge Truck

PROS

  • Bolt-on for simple, quick installation
  • Designed and manufactured in the USA
  • High-quality construction for improved durability
  • Marked improvements in fuel economy and overall performance
  • A boost of 10 to 15 horsepower thanks to 35% better exhaust flow

CONS

  • Poor quality gaskets
  • Weld failures and leaks after only a few hundred miles

What Recent Buyers Report

According to many buyers, BBK Chrome Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers not only look great but also perform above expectations. These individuals have consistently reported an uptick in horsepower of up to 20 to 25 horsepower, even exceeding the claims of BBK. And with a chrome finish, these headers add a nice touch to the engine compartment. However, nearly all buyers report problems with the gaskets with many opting to buy these separately and discard the included ones.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Chrome finishes are always a welcome addition to any 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. And with an excellent fit under the hood and an aggressive snarl when accelerating or even idling, these exhaust headers are a great buy.

Bottom Line

If you lack the patience or technical ability to perform a lengthy installation, BBK Chrome Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers may not be the product for you. But those willing to put in the time will find that the performance, engine sound, and improved fuel economy were well worth the extra effort.

Best Cold Air Intake for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi:
aFe Power Momentum GT Performance Intake System

aFe Power Momentum GT 54-72102 Dodge RAM HEMI Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)

PROS

  • Installs in under an hour
  • No noise reported in the cabin
  • Passes emissions laws in all 50 states
  • Increases in power of up to 40 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque
  • Sealed airbox with air scoop for optimal performance and minimal contamination

CONS

  • Some fitment issues reported
  • Expensive compared to similar cold air intake systems

What Recent Buyers Report

A vast majority of buyers report being overly satisfied with the aFe Power Momentum GT Performance Intake System. Compared to cheaper systems, this product provides a drastic improvement in fuel economy and power, as well as a great engine purr. That said, first-time installers may find the installation frustrating and well over the 60-minute installation time listed by aFe.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Momentum GT Series is the highest-end product from one of the most trusted manufacturers in the industry, and it doesn’t disappoint. Along with an aggressive sound when hitting the gas, this air intake will also provide a decent boost to acceleration while also saving you money at the pump.

Bottom Line

Although the Hemi already offers great performance specs, the aFe Power Momentum GT Performance Intake System is the ideal upgrade to beef it up even more. Budget-conscious buyers may find the price on the high side, but those with a larger budget will be glad they went with this model.

Best Oil Filter for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi:
Royal Purple Extended Life Premium Oil Filter

Royal Purple SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil 7 quarts and a Royal Purple 10-48 Extended Life Premium Oil Filter (485W307QT)

PROS

  • 99% filtration efficiency
  • Metal end caps for tight seal on filter assembly
  • Thick shell material for added strength and durability
  • Stands up to even the toughest conditions, including off-roading
  • Catches particles as small as 25 microns thanks to synthetic media/fiberglass filter construction

CONS

  • Some buyers report leaking around the seal
  • Can trigger the low oil pressure dashboard light

What Recent Buyers Report

Across the board, buyers agree: the Royal Purple Extended Life Premium Oil Filter is the best oil filter that money can buy. It drastically outperforms cellulose filters and other cheaper options, so despite a higher price, it’s worth the investment. A small number of buyers report oil leaks, but it’s not known whether this is the fault of the product or user installation error.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With tightly interwoven fiberglass and synthetic media strands, this oil filter prevents almost any contaminants from entering the oil. Furthermore, it’s designed to work better with synthetic oil, which accounts for about 70% of oil changes across the United States. Each filter also meets or exceeds OEM standards, making them the ideal choice for a replacement for the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500.

Bottom Line

All you need to do to learn the advantage of a Royal Purple Extended Life Premium Oil Filter is to hold it and notice the weight difference over cheaper or generic filters. That weight—due to the density of the filter—is the reason that this oil filter remains one of the best on the market. And with 15,000 miles of protection, you can go through three to five oil changes before you need replacement, effectively saving you money compared to cheaper filters.

Best Tuner for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi:
Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth

Pedal Commander - PC31 for Dodge RAM pickup (2007-2018) 1500, 2500, and 3500 (3.0L 3.6L 5.7L 6.4L 6.7L Gas & Diesel) (Not compatible w/ 2011-2012 HO) | Throttle Response Controller

PROS

  • A two-year warranty
  • Up to 20% better acceleration
  • OEM factory plug for plug-and-play installation
  • Allows user to switch modes on their phone via Bluetooth connectivity
  • Four different modes (Eco, City, Sport, and Sport+) to accommodate all types of driving styles and scenarios

CONS

  • Can cause dashboard warning lights to turn on
  • May cause safety issues from a short or error that pushes acceleration to 100%

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, the Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth is widely regarded as the best throttle response controller available among buyers. Most of these buyers report that it provides such a drastic change in acceleration that they don’t remember what the acceleration was like before, even with a 5.7-liter Hemi under the hood. On rare occasions, buyers have reported problems with the vehicle accelerating on its own, prompting them to remove the product due to safety concerns.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With plug-and-play installation and up to 20% improvement in acceleration, this aftermarket product is an essential part of any performance upgrade for the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. The Bluetooth feature is another great addition, providing easier calibration and adjustment at the touch of your phone’s screen. And with four modes and 36 adjustable settings, you can turn your truck into a mean, lean acceleration machine. 

Bottom Line

Compared to other aftermarket parts with a wide range of acceleration, torque, and horsepower claims, the Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth is a far simpler solution. Simply plug it in, and you’re ready to roll. However, a high price tag could put off some potential budget buyers.

Best Supercharger for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi:
Edelbrock E-Force Stage-1 Street Systems Supercharger 2300 TVS

Edelbrock 15175 E-Force Stage-1 Street Systems Supercharger 2300 TVS 421RW HP/441RW Torque Incl.

PROS

  • Mounting hardware and gaskets included
  • Reasonably priced compared to other superchargers
  • Fits under the hood without the need for a hood scoop
  • Eliminates parasitic loss, which maximizes fuel economy
  • Delivers up to 421 horsepower and up to 441 pound-feet of torque

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain a handheld programmer
  • Expensive compared to other performance upgrade options

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that the Edelbrock E-Force State-1 Street Systems Supercharger 2300 TVS is a powerful addition to any 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. Installation is a breeze due to its compact design as well, providing easy installation with the need for modifications, cutting, or the addition of a scoop hood.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The specs of the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 are impressive: 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. But nearly a 10% increase in these numbers is nothing to scoff at. With the added horsepower (421 hp) and upgraded torque (441 pound-feet), this unit provides the extra acceleration that many Ram 1500 owners crave.

Bottom Line

Not only will the Edelbrock E-Force State-1 Street Systems Supercharger 2300 TVS provide a boost to your acceleration and power, but it also provides performance that has to be experienced to be believed. Although some buyers may balk at the price, those with the budget will be excited about the results.

Best Spark Plugs for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi:
Champion Iridium Spark Plug

Champion Champion Iridium 9055 Spark Plug (Carton of 1)

PROS

  • Made out of durable, long-lasting iridium
  • Fine-wire electrode to improve ignitability
  • V-trimmed electrode provides more spark focus
  • Great value for the money compared to other iridium spark plugs
  • Stable operation under all types of conditions and operating temperatures

CONS

  • May need to be re-gapped
  • Can break if tightened too much and directions are unclear as to how much to tighten the spark plug

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report the utmost satisfaction with Champion Iridium Spark Plugs thanks to simple installation and improved engine function. However, some buyers have stated that the instructions are unclear about how much to tighten the spark plugs, snapping the product as a result.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Iridium is the most durable metal for spark plugs and with a melting point of 700 degrees, it can stand up to the test of millions of fires over the life of the spark plug. This product also comes with a 7-year, unlimited-mile warranty, which should put any concerns to rest.

Bottom Line

Compared to copper or platinum spark plugs, iridium is a proven winner. That’s what makes Champion Iridium Spark Plugs an excellent choice, even with a bit of a higher price tag. Just take care when installing them, and you’ll find that your Hemi engine runs a bit smoother as a result.

Best Exhaust System for Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi:
Flowmaster American Thunder Cat-back System 409S Dual Rear Exit

Flowmaster 817417 Cat-back System 409S- Dual Rear/Side Exit - American Thunder - Moderate Sound

PROS

  • Boost in acceleration
  • Improves fuel economy by 1 to 2 mpg
  • Dual rear exhaust provides a flashy touch
  • High-quality and well-constructed pipes and kit
  • Easy installation that takes two hours or less including the removal of the old exhaust system

CONS

  • Poor corrosion resistance
  • Doesn’t provide the growl that some 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 owners desire

What Recent Buyers Report

The Flowmaster American Thunder Cat-back System 409S Dual Rear Exit receives generally favorable reviews from most buyers, praising the easy installation process, a throaty growl that’s not over the top, and excellent improvements to acceleration. However, naysayers of the product report some fitment issues and corrosion problems in wet or snowy climates.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Flowmaster is the most trusted name in exhaust systems for a reason. It has an excellent rumble without being too loud for neighbors, the law, or the cabin. Furthermore, it improves the overall fuel economy and horsepower, making it a near-necessity for one of the top aftermarket upgrades.

Bottom Line

As far as cat-back exhaust systems, the Flowmaster American Thunder Cat-back System 409S Dual Rear Exit is beyond reproach, combining excellent acceleration and gas mileage in one package. And with a universal fit, this product can eliminate the headaches associated with other brands of exhaust systems.

9. BBK Silver Ceramic Coated Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers

BBK (40140) 1-5/8' Silver Ceramic Coated Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Header for Dodge Truck

PROS

  • Adds 10 to 15 horsepower
  • 35% increase in exhaust flow
  • Instructions included for easier installation
  • Silver ceramic finish adds a nice aesthetic touch
  • Includes all-new hardware and gaskets for easier installation and perfect fit

CONS

  • Others report that installation is an absolute nightmare
  • Some buyers report cheap welds that can crack during operation

What Recent Buyers Report

For knowledgeable mechanics and enthusiasts, BBK Silver Ceramic Coated Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers are a solid product that delivers a noticeable improvement to overall performance, towing and fuel economy. However, those that have never installed exhaust headers may find the process exceptionally frustrating. Moreover, some buyers also report leaks and cracks in the system after less than 1,000-mile drives.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Flashy yet functional, these exhaust headers are an excellent choice for improved performance over the stock headers of the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 while still adhering to OEM specifications. Plus, a boost in fuel economy and a guttural growl make this an ideal choice for even the most finicky Ram owners.

Bottom Line

With a moderate price, an attractive finish, and the results to back it up, BBK Silver Ceramic Coated Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers are an excellent upgrade over stock 5.7 Hemi Ram Exhaust systems. However, the installation process may deter buyers to look to other brands or options.

Types of Performance Upgrades For 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500

Performance upgrades for 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 come in many forms. But learning the technical aspects of each part and what they do can feel overwhelming. So if this marks the first time you’re upgrading your truck or you need a quick refresher, here’s a breakdown of each of these upgrades. 

What is a Cold Air Intake? What Does a Cold Air Intake Do?

As the name suggests, a cold air intake is an aftermarket assembly that funnels cold air from the outermost portion of the engine compartment or the exterior of the vehicle to the engine. These typically come in two different styles: a traditional cold air intake and a short ram intake. While a cold air intake uses cooler air to improve engine performance, a short ram has a shorter length of pipe to reduce air restriction. Both have a similar effect, boosting torque and horsepower while also improving fuel economy.

The reason that cold air intakes work over the stock intake is that cold air is denser and contains more oxygen. When the engine fires, this oxygen-rich air provides more efficiency and an extra kick to the Hemi Ram 1500’s power.

What is a Tuner? How Much Horsepower Does a Tuner Add?

Also known as a performance chip, a tuner is a small electronic device that interacts with a vehicle’s onboard computer. Installed in the onboard diagnostic board, these chips alter the gear timing, air-to-fuel ratio, and other performance aspects. Many performance chips have standard or customized settings that allow the user to change various settings.

Tuners for a 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500 can boost horsepower up to 35 horsepower according to claims from various companies. In some vehicles with a turbocharger or supercharger, this boost can go as high as 75 horsepower.

What Are Spark Plugs? How Often Should You Change Your Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs are devices that provide an electrical charge from ignition to the engine. This allows the engine to “fire,” which is when the spark ignites the mix of fuel and air. The stronger the spark, the more powerful the small explosion, which can translate to more power.

Over time, spark plugs can corrode or wear out, which results in weaker sparks. When this happens, your Ram 1500’s efficiency and overall performance can falter. Therefore, manufacturers suggest that vehicle owners should change their spark plugs every 30,000 to 90,000 miles depending on the quality of the product.

What is a Supercharger? How Does a Supercharger Work?

A supercharger is a type of vehicle air compressor that increases the pressure of air entering the engine. By increasing the air that enters the engine, a supercharger effectively increases the amount of oxygen, causing larger ignitions that create more power. Besides, superchargers are driven by an engine belt to power the air compressor. This is in contrast to a turbocharger, which relies on pressure from the exhaust gas to turn a turbine which sends more air to the engine.

What is a Cat Back Exhaust? What Does an Exhaust Do? 

A cat back exhaust is an exhaust system located behind the catalytic converter, hence the name. This exhaust system includes an intermediate pipe that connects to the catalytic converter, the muffler, and the exposed tailpipe that you’ll find on every 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. These systems usually replace an axle back exhaust, which is similar to a cat back except that it doesn’t contain the intermediate pipe.

An exhaust system has several functions. First, it carries noxious gases produced by the engine and routes them out the rear of the vehicle. Next, it provides a more quiet operation. A muffler is part of the exhaust system, dampening any sounds produced from idling, acceleration, or revving. Finally, an exhaust system improves both fuel economy and overall performance. Because a mix of air and fuel is necessary for optimal engine performance, exhaust systems help remove exhaust gases more quickly, which is then replaced with the oxygen necessary for proper or improved engine function.

What Are Headers on an Engine? What Do Headers Do For a Ram?

Headers, also known as exhaust headers, are aftermarket parts that take the place of stock exhaust manifolds. An exhaust manifold is the first component of the exhaust system, allowing exhaust to travel between the engine cylinder heads and the front of the exhaust. The advantage of headers over exhaust manifolds is that they are larger tubes, allowing exhaust to leave the system more rapidly. This is in contrast to the exhaust manifold, which is typically constructed to fit a small area rather than designed for performance.

Headers provide a host of benefits in all vehicles, as well as the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. Because exhaust leaves the system more quickly, oxygen can get back into the engine. This leads to improved fuel economy, torque, and performance. Other advantages of headers include a more throaty engine growl, less weight (due to stainless steel replacing cast iron exhaust manifolds), and it may also even improve the longevity of the engine itself.

Ram Your Way to the Top

A Hemi-powered Ram leaves little to be desired for many drivers. But if you’re a fan of raw power in a fully customizable package, nothing beats these performance upgrades. Without them, you still have a Ram. But with them, you make a statement.

People Also Ask

With so many available performance upgrades for the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500, choosing where to start is a taxing decision. Plus, you may also have some extra questions about certain aftermarket parts. Here are a few answers to some of the most common questions people also ask.

How Can I Get More Power Out of My 5.7 Hemi?

You have plenty of options when it comes to getting more power out of your 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. This list includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Supercharger

  • Turbocharger

  • Cold Air Intake System

  • Reducing engine weight by replacing iron components with aluminum ones

  • Performance chips or tuners

  • Various exhaust systems

How Much Boost Can a 5.7 Hemi Handle?

Typically, a 5.7-L Hemi can handle a boost of 7 to 8 psi. Any more boost than that and you risk damaging alllll sorts of things.

How Often to Change Spark Plugs?

Determining how often to change spark plugs is highly dependent on the quality of the spark plug. But as a general rule, you should replace these every 30,000 to 90,000 miles. Alternatively, mechanics typically replace these during a tuneup, which falls in the range of about every 50,000 to 60,000 miles.

How Much Horsepower Do Headers Add?

Headers typically add between 10 to 20 horsepower to the 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500, depending on the quality of the components.

An ex-salesman of industrial equipment, Shawn used to drive nearly 60K miles a year just commuting to clients. He also has a little project Miata build going on the side. Safe to say, Shawn has slain a few tires in his days. He knows all about horrid road-noise, hydroplaning risks, and how much damage a bad alignment can do to your wallet. He enjoys helping us out and Chris always values his opinion when designing something new for the website.