Not everyone is content to simply maintain their vehicle or perform the occasional tune-up. To get the best possible performance out of your engine, it’s critical to look beyond the basics and explore power-boosting upgrades and modifications. A supercharger kit can add more than just raw horsepower. Turn your car into a bonafide beast this summer by exploring the world of DIY superchargers.
The Basics of Vehicle Power
Before explaining how a supercharger boosts engine performance, let’s go over some vehicle power basics. A combustion engine burns fuel in a chemical reaction to deliver enough energy to power a car. Increasing energy output causes the following performance boosts:
- Increased horsepower
- Faster acceleration
- Better torque
- More towing strength
An eight-cylinder engine is more powerful than a six-cylinder or four-cylinder engine because each of those extra cylinders is burning more fuel and delivering more energy. However, there are ways to increase performance without changing the structure of an engine.
The chemical reaction that powers a car requires a lot of oxygen. In most vehicles, oxygen from the intake air runs out before the combustion reaction reaches its full potential. That’s where superchargers, turbochargers and other charged 350 crate engine mods come into play.
How a Supercharger Can Help
A supercharger is an air compressor powered by the crankshaft that you can fit into your engine. Compressed air, in its concentrated state, contains more oxygen than non-compressed air.
Normally, when the intake valves in your vehicle funnel normal, non-compressed air into the engine, the combustion reaction uses up all of the oxygen quickly. The engine then expels the remainder of the air as exhaust.
A supercharger compresses this intake air, increasing the amount of oxygen available for the combustion reaction. The reaction then takes longer, burns more fuel and generates more energy to power the vehicle. Adding a supercharger decreases a vehicle’s fuel economy since fuel burns faster with more oxygen available in the engine.
Superchargers Vs. Turbochargers
Superchargers and turbochargers are similar modifications, but there are key differences between them. Both are air compressors that boost performance by delivering more concentrated air to the engine. While superchargers typically draw their power from a belt connected to the engine’s crankshaft, turbochargers draw power from the exhaust pressure at the tail end of the vehicle’s combustion reaction.
Turbochargers are more efficient, as normally exhaust gas pressure isn’t used for anything within the engine and goes to waste. The crankshaft, on the other hand, is the heart of the entire engine, and a supercharger makes it work a tiny bit harder. However, exhaust pressure takes a while to build up, so turbochargers can’t deliver power or performance as quickly or responsively as superchargers.
Another key advantage of superchargers is that they’re not too difficult for an amateur to install. A kit contains everything you need to level up your car’s performance. Add a supercharger and a few quality-of-life modifications, such as a rooftop cargo carrier hard shell, and your vehicle will be ready for any summer drive.