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Old 20th March 2009, 10:44   #1
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Default How to Modify / Tune your car - 2 - Superchargers!

Turbo's

Have any way mentioned it as far as it goes in one of my previous articles, as well as using nitrous so will just move on to superchargers

Supercharger's

Typically are driven off the crank and are compressors (Kompressor of the Merc era) that compress air straight into the intake manifold / plenum. They may or may not use intercoolers depending on the boost run. So what are the types of superchargers available:

Two of the most famous types of superchargers in the world are
  • Centrifugal - Good only for low RPM's but the newer ones are much better
  • Root’s - Good for automotive use as they tend to last longer
  • Vane - vanes tend to wear out quickly

So how do we get boost out of them?
  • Boost is based on the RPM the supercharger is running on
  • The gearing / pulley sizes define the rpm and hence the boost

What are the effects of Supercharging on an engine mechanically
  • Puts greater stress on the engine
  • Piston edges and valve seats tend to burn due to higher temps
  • Requires a lot more fuel
  • It is parasitic on the engine for the power required to turn
  • Intake temps are lot higher so depending on ambient temperatures it is also reccomended to use an intercooler

So what mods are effective with supercharging
  • Better intakes and exhaust
  • Good Headers
  • Plugs in the right heat range 8 - 9
  • Race Cams with a lot of overlap
  • Porting and Polishing
  • Fuel pump upgrade / Additional Fuel Pump
  • Forged parts - Pistons, Con Rods, Crank
  • Aftermarket ignition controller especially for distributorless cars
    or a Good ECU - piggy back or stand alone
  • A good clutch and drive train to transfer the power
  • good tyres to grip and not spin out
  • A good tuner who knows what he/she is doing

When does one choose to go the supercharging way and not the turbo route?
  • Most effective on high torque engines
  • Has the car set up for NA / Nitrous use and would like to take the next step
  • Loves linear power delivery
  • When the car sticks to one RPM range all the time
  • Might not be the right choice for track conditions when one needs power at the drop of the hat
  • Turbo's are a lot more complicated to set up and tune
  • You get more than enough plug and play kits out there (mostly for American cars and typically for Jap cars too which are over 2.5 lts in displacement... remember the high initial torque requirements)


Next I think I will delve on the aspects of tuning ECU's particularly on the ones typically found here in India.

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th March 2009 at 12:51. Reason: Nitrous link added.
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Old 20th March 2009, 10:44   #2
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Fantastic details Keshav, Thanks for the information!
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Old 23rd March 2009, 18:43   #3
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very informative and precise. great read even for a me who does not know how these mods are done
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Old 23rd March 2009, 21:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho View Post
Turbo's are a lot more complicated to set up and tune
Good information keshav. Nice to see your posts after quite a long time.

I've always wondered why people prefer "plonking" (not as easy as it sounds) a turbo rather than a supercharger. Is it the availability of parts or overall reliability that drives people towards turbo's?
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Old 23rd March 2009, 22:54   #5
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Guess that is because supercharger kits are genrally more expensive than turbo kits. While basic turbo kits can be had for 1000$, supercharger kits start at 2500$. Also another factor that might put off people could be the trade off between power to be gained and the power used up by the supercharger.
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Old 24th March 2009, 11:07   #6
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so even though it is more linear it does not have power on the tap? but aren't they more responsive and have a quicker power delivery as opposed to turbochargers?

I thought the two famous types of superchargers are :
a. positive displacement
b. dynamic

Roots is a type of positive diplacement supercharger.
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Old 24th March 2009, 12:07   #7
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Any idea which category the Eaton supercharger falls under? The ones manufactured by Jackson Racing to be more particular?

Recently got my hands on one of these Jackson Racing Superchargers. I think they have screws like Roots ones. Now I have two superchargers but no car to plonk it in.
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Old 24th March 2009, 18:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho View Post
What are the effects of Supercharging on an engine mechanically
  • Puts greater stress on the engine
  • Piston edges and valve seats tend to burn due to higher temps
  • Requires a lot more fuel
  • It is parasitic on the engine for the power required to turn
  • Intake temps are lot higher so depending on ambient temperatures it is also reccomended to use an intercooler
When does one choose to go the supercharging way and not the turbo route?
  • Most effective on high torque engines
  • Has the car set up for NA / Nitrous use and would like to take the next step
  • Loves linear power delivery
  • When the car sticks to one RPM range all the time
  • Might not be the right choice for track conditions when one needs power at the drop of the hat
  • Turbo's are a lot more complicated to set up and tune
  • You get more than enough plug and play kits out there (mostly for American cars and typically for Jap cars too which are over 2.5 lts in displacement... remember the high initial torque requirements)
It is a parasitic on the enginer for the power required to turn - I always thought this was negligble?

Might not be the right choise for track condition when one needs power at the drop of the hat - Superchargers dont have Lag, which is a trait of Turbos. - Superchargers are driven off the crankshaft and do not need the exhaust gasses to reach a high enough velocity to drive turbines.

Piston edges and valve seats tend to burn due to higher temps
Requires a lot more fuel - Are these comparision to N/A engines or Turbos? I thought Superchargers and Turbos both help increse combustion efficiency?

Last edited by aah78 : 25th March 2009 at 04:48. Reason: Quote fixed.
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Old 24th March 2009, 20:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir Taheer View Post
It is a parasitic on the enginer for the power required to turn - I always thought this was negligble?
Not it isn't negligible. The engine on the McLaren SLR produces 617BHP of which some 100 plus BHP is taken by the supercharger. Superchargers can take as much as a third of the engine power produced at the crank.

Quote:
I thought Superchargers and Turbos both help increse combustion efficiency?
Turbos are more efficient than superchargers because of their inherent methods of operation. Superchargers run off the engine crank while turbos take the energy from the exhaust to operate. One is taking a part of the usable energy produced by the engine while the other is salvaging wastage.
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Old 24th March 2009, 20:58   #10
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sorry that is old school the new generation superchargers have a 90% to 98% efficiency. This has no engine loss and is Negligible
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Old 24th March 2009, 21:10   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrie View Post
Any idea which category the Eaton supercharger falls under? The ones manufactured by Jackson Racing to be more particular?.
IIRC, jackson racing uses Eaton blowers which they brand as thier own when they sell kits.
VOrtex is the other type.
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Old 24th March 2009, 21:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
Not it isn't negligible. The engine on the McLaren SLR produces 617BHP of which some 100 plus BHP is taken by the supercharger. Superchargers can take as much as a third of the engine power produced at the crank.
.

Now how much of that 617 bhp was due to the supercharger ?

im getting a bit confused here...

SC helps to bump up the BHP of the engine ( without having to increase displacement etc )

SC then takes up part of the BHP to run itself

so SC has to deliver more BHP than it takes to run itself, so as to make a material difference to the useable BHP

is that how it works ?
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Old 24th March 2009, 21:48   #13
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Yes, that is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman91 View Post
sorry that is old school the new generation superchargers have a 90% to 98% efficiency. This has no engine loss and is Negligible
Only at low boost levels. Bump it up and you're looking at 50% max.

Last edited by ImmortalZ : 24th March 2009 at 21:50.
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Old 24th March 2009, 21:51   #14
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Narayan, yes, the net effect is a bhp gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman91 View Post
sorry that is old school the new generation superchargers have a 90% to 98% efficiency. This has no engine loss and is Negligible
98% efficiency is close to a perfect machine -- not possible. BTW, gotta love your signature!
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Old 24th March 2009, 21:53   #15
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check the website of the brand we were discussing clearly states 98%
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