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Vortech Superchargers for Your Ride

Aug 5, 2008
If you have got a small-displacement V8 sitting under the hood of your car, chances are you are looking for a way to boost your horsepower without breaking the bank, or having to open up the engine. You might have seen kits that can increase your engines displacement and generate more low-end torque, but the thing is, all of the machining and milling you would have to do in order to properly install one of those can really add up.

To top it all off, if your foot gets a little too heavy one night and you find yourself with a boat anchor where your engine block used to be, its definitely a hassle to move the kit to a fresh motor and start all over again assuming that somehow your engines internals escaped injury. Since its hard to keep out of it when you've got that extra power on tap, a sizeable portion of street car owners prefer to stick with bolt-on performance mods that can be easily transferred to a new engine if necessary.

This might make you wonder what the best bolt-on might be for your muscle car. If you check underneath a few hoods at the local drag strip, chances are you will discover that superchargers are a popular addition to small block V8 engines - especially the centrifugal superchargers manufactured by some companies. Some superchargers are driven by a belt off of the engine, and they compress the air heading into the intake in order to provide a more dense air charge for combustion.

The more air which can be crammed into an engine, the greater the amount of fuel that can be burned. This in turn leads to a significant increase in horsepower, and also in the amount of rubber you can lay down on the street in front of your house.

There are a few reasons why these superchargers are consistently installed under the hood of some serious street machines. The first is that their compact size allows them to be placed in tight engine bays already filled up with wide V8 engines. These superchargers also don't require complicated intake modifications or cause the hood clearance issues that are sometimes related to twin-screw supercharger installations. Finally, some companies have installation kits for an extremely wide range of Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler applications, for both automobiles and pickup trucks. With proper tuning, Vortech superchargers are an easy way to add at least 80 to 100 horsepower to your engine safely, and with a minimum of difficulty.
There are some downsides to using this type of supercharger.

The amount of compression available from a supercharger is directly related to the speed at which the engine itself is turning, making it excellent for adding top end power, but not quite as good at providing oomph off of the line. Since V8 engines already provide fairly good torque figures from idle, this is usually not that big of an issue. However, it does mean that on the street, you might have to keep the revs up in order to really get the kick in the pants that you are looking for.

Its also important to make sure that your motor is running at its best before you install the supercharger, with the good fuel delivery and oiling needed to handle the increased power production. That being said, superchargers are a great, inexpensive way to make useable power that can really wake up your V8 engine.
About the Author
Justina Mathews writes issues that currently affect the performance car enthusiast. She also writes about issues that affect the street tuner industry, as well as import scene lifestyle. She's a staff writer for fuel systems .
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