A supercharger is an air compressor that increases the density of the air going into an engine, which means the engine has more oxygen. A turbocharger does the same thing – but it gets its power from the exhaust instead of being driven by the crank like a supercharger. You might hear people in the industry refer to superchargers as blowers. With either, since you’re adding more air, you have to adjust the fuel mixture to match.
Types of Blowers
A roots-type blower sits on top of the engine. Weiand is a common name for this type of supercharger. It uses two carburetors mounted on top of the blower. Weiand makes several sizes from the 144 to the 8-71 for street cars. The 6-71 and 8-71 sit above the hood and might not be legal in some states. The 144 and 177 ride under the hood.
You can also choose superchargers made by Paxton, Vortech and several other manufacturers. These superchargers are typically mounted to the front of the engine and are driven by the serpentine belt system. They are compact and are completely concealed by a closed hood.
With a belt-driven supercharger like the Weiand, the power is instant. With turbocharges, you have to wait for it to spool up, so the power comes on gradually.
Not that most people install superchargers for fuel economy, but both blowers and turbos can actually increase fuel economy – as long as you keep your foot out of the gas. When you put the pedal to the metal, it’s game over for fuel economy. When you put your foot in it with a blower, a big mess of air and fuel get dumped into the intake right away, thus it’ll kill the fuel economy a lot faster.
If you choose a smaller supercharger, you probably won’t have to make any changes to the engine to handle the extra horsepower. However, if you go with one of the bigger blowers and intend on racing it, you will need to do some work to the internal workings of the engine, including adding stronger rods, a steel crank, racing springs on the heads, and, depending on what type of piston is in your engine, will have to change out the pistons and rings.
Regardless of what you decide to put in, if the camshaft and pistons are not correct, you’ll have to replace them. Most blowers and turbos require flat-top pistons or dished pistons – dome-top pistons make the compression too high.
We’ll get the specs for your engine and let you know which superchargers you can use without making major changes to the engine. Or, if you want a crate engine and a supercharger, we can order the right combination to create a mean street machine.
Contact Accelerate Auto Repair
When you’re ready to fix that speed craving, give our performance division a call to discuss the changes you want to make, whether it’s simply adding a supercharger or building a blown street or race engine.