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Supercharged! Design, Testing and Installation of Supercharger Systems by Corky Bell - Chapter 2: Acquiring a Supercharged Vehicle

Supercharged! Design, Testing and Installation of Supercharger Systems by Corky Bell - Chapter 2: Acquiring a Supercharged Vehicle

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Published by Bentley Publishers
Chapter 2: Acquiring a Supercharged Vehicle, from the acclaimed reference book on superchargers by Corky Bell. For more information on this technical automotive reference manual, visit http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=gsup
Chapter 2: Acquiring a Supercharged Vehicle, from the acclaimed reference book on superchargers by Corky Bell. For more information on this technical automotive reference manual, visit http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=gsup

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Published by: Bentley Publishers on Mar 09, 2012
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01/15/2013

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The essence of this book is to provide the performance car enthusiast interestedin supercharging with a body of information that can be used to evaluate systemdesigns, whether of a factory supercharger system or an aftermarket kit. Thisbook is also intended as a design guide for the hobbyist who wants to buildhis own supercharger system. Three viable methods exist to acquire a supercharged vehicle:buy an OEM-supercharged automobilebuy an aftermarket kit, if available, for your specific applicationbuild your own supercharger systemThe rationale behind the decision that suits your needs and requirements bestis no more than a logical summary of the following:What is the intended use of the vehicle?What is the legality with respect to state and federal law and the yearof the car?How much power is required?Is fear of a failure such that a factory warranty is required?Can you make a reasonable judgment with respect to the engineer-ing of an aftermarket kit?• Do you have the skills, time, patience, and equipment to build your own?The serious driver of supercharged machinery, of less than six-digit means, has notbeen catered to by the OEMs of today. While performance abounds in automobilesfrom Camaros and BMWs to Volvos and Vipers, only Mercedes sees fit to producean affordable supercharged sports car. One can purchase Buicks and Pontiacs andMillenias sporting blowers, but these vehicles do not meet the author’s idea of exhilarating motoring. True, there are blown V-8 Aston Martins and Jaguars, butthese are largely unattainable vehicles. Therefore, although they are technically interesting, their presence in the motoring world is of no value to us middle-classleadfoots. Unless your tastes lie along the lines of a mildly rapid family hack, enjoy-ing the fun of a supercharged automobile will tend to push you in directions otherthan the offerings of the OEMs.If you buy a supercharged OEM vehicle and want to go fast, the first step inpursuing more performance is a complete analysis of the system design. Chapter
2
 Acquiring aSupercharged Vehicle
13
OEM-Supercharged Automobile
 
14supercharged!
16, Testing the System, is your starting point. With those data accumulated andanalyzed and the weak links identified, you can set out to find the necessary com-ponents to improve the system. Keep in mind that the issue here is to improvethe system’s efficiency, thereby opening up the potential for huge gains in power.Increasing boost pressure is also a consideration, but without improvements to thesystem’s efficiency, this path to power is fraught with serious mechanical risk.Once the system has been tested and the merit of each feature has beendetermined, start the improvement process with the weakest link. Here is where foresight becomes important. For example, an intercooler that losesonly 2 psi at the factory-rated boost can be judged okay. It is okay, but only for the factory-rated boost. Likely it will lose 3 or 4 psi at any significantly increased airflow. That kind of loss is not acceptable.
Fig. 2-2:
The Eaton super- charger integrated into aChevy small-block intake manifold by Magnusonshows the simplicity of the basic hardware—augment- ed by the self-lubricatingEaton blower.
Fig. 2-1:
For decades, the classic blown street rod hasenjoyed the combo of aB&M Roots blower, Holley carbs, and the small-block Chevy.
 
Here’s where the action is taking place. Those Camaros, Vipers, BMWs,Mustangs and even little Mazda Miatas have a plethora of kits and componentsavailable for mild to wild performance. The ten- and eleven-second street car canbe built today from components engineered in the aftermarket.The purchase of an aftermarket supercharger system is an ideal occasion toemploy this book as the guide it is intended to be. An investigation is necessary todetermine the system that will meet your needs. Determine your objectives, thendecide what type of supercharger most closely meets those needs.Before a reasonable decision can be made, answers to a variety of questions must beboth sought and understood. The following samples will get you on the right track:
Does the system provide a correct air/fuel ratio at all operational conditions? 
The air/fuel ratio is a basic building block of a supercharger system.It needs to be maintained over the boost range that the manufacturerclaims for the kit. It is not to be expected that the air/fuel ratio will stay correct if the system’s design limits are exceeded. In all circumstances,it is necessary to avoid discussing “fuel enrichment.” Either an air/fuelratio is correct or it isn’t—no “enrichment” required.
chapter2:acquiringasuperchargedvehicle15
Fig. 2-3:
This Vortech sys- tem for the 2-valve ’96–97 Mustang illustrates the vari- ety of components needed to call a kit “complete.” 
 AftermarketSupercharger Kit
Fig. 2-4:
The early produc- tion Rotrex blowers were specifically for small-dis- placement engines, like thisfour-cylinder, 2.0-liter VW.

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