Bolt on cheap power

Hey, I have a 2002 GMC Sonoma 4.3l v6 4x4 and I'm looking for some easy and cheap power for towing. (Yeah I know its small for towing but I want more power when I am) I am in school so it has to be cheap. But I need it to be reliable. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

For a gasser, my favorite bolt-on power adder is a turbo.

For a diesel, my favorite "bolt-on" power adder is propane.


Neither is necessarily cheap. Did you at least buy a manual transmission? No? Oh, sell it and buy a transmission you stir. Same motor, better gas mileage and you have a more efficient drive train which results in feeling "more power".

As far as reliable, I've got 380,000 miles on my current daily driver's transmission. Other than replacing the lube twice, once when I bought it and once when I pulled the motor and had the tail down too long and it drained out, I have done nothing to the transmission. Oh, wait, I replaced a gasket and a seal while I had it out recently. Not cause I need to, cause it was $6 and I figured I'd rather do it now than have it break in 50,000 miles.


What are you towing?


edit: added "as far as reliable" statement.

Edited by Smacaroni

Thanks and the truck was given to me with a automatic transmission. And I was towing my moms tent trailer last week and on a 2 lane highway in the hills it was hard to keep her at 80km/h. And I've looked for a turbo but I can only find supercharger

What do you consider cheap? Oversized tires? Lowering axle gears will be the best bang for your truck and will not tear up the engine and trans.

Can't look a gift horse in the mouth I suppose. Are you holding up traffic? Are angry drivers pulling up next to you at red lights and assaulting you? (does not count if driving in L.A.) If no, don't worry about it. Anything you do to boost power will almost always lower fuel efficiency which will cost you more money. An extra five minutes getting to your destination won't be noticed as much as the $500 you'll spend installing what ever component and the gas money you'll be spending day in and day out.

If you're having a hard time maintaining speed neither a supercharger or turbocharger will help you much, they're good for spurts of acceleration but I wouldn't want to have one running full time at speed.


You could spend a few grand and add a cold air intake, headers, cat-back exhaust, cat delete mod, under sized drive pulley, chip or tune if one's available, and after it all only be able to tell a slight difference.  If you need to tow upgrade to a bigger engine, or a vehicle that engine was made to tow in (S10).  Lower gears can help as someone already mentioned.


Other than that, unless you know the maintenance has been done I'd do a full tune up: sparkplugs, sparkplug wires, air filter, fuel filter, new transmission and differential fluids (use synthetics).  Don't cheap out on those components either, use OEM or better.  If the truck is higher mileage (kilometerage??) and running on the original plugs that could do wonders for power.

Who's going to supercharge a s10 to tow a trailer? The real answer is to get a full size truck, you'll have more interior room and power but it will get the same fuel mileage and even better when towing.

How about a cam? A hundred bucks +/- plus gaskets and some time under the to your local machine shop, they can steer you in the right direction for a good quality RV cam w/the right "grind" on it. It will change the performance of the truck....and the fuel think about that part.

Your sort of out of luck on this one.... No company makes a pre- made turbo kit for the 4.3L. A supercharger is going to be too invasive and high maintenance for a daily driver. and engine mods arnt going to make the v-6 a more potent towing engine.


your best bet is to get a 2000-2003 sierra/silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V8. It will get the same gas mileage as your sonoma and will easily tow any trailer under 5000LB.

Keep it out of over drive and pin it

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