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Old Fri, November 20th, 2020, 09:40 AM
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2 Cents Superchargers, Turbochargers, and Performance

So I found this conversation on FB and thought it brought up some good points.


It is an interesting discussion between blowers and turbos, and had quite a few good points. I have a number of thoughts on the subject and would very much like to continue the discussion here, if anyone is interested.
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Old Fri, November 20th, 2020, 10:44 AM
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I'd be interested too, and have to admit I don't really know the difference between superchargers and turbos, so I'll look that up in a moment.

I DO know that what counts is the actual mass of air that is delivered to the engine - more air mass means more fuel can be added and that equates to more power. Heating air reduces it's mass/volume, so a cool supply is good. Pressurizing air tends to heat it, but you can't increase mass without also increasing pressure. If a turbo can increase the mass more than a supercharger, or, if the turbo takes less engine power to deliver identical mass than a supercharger, then the turbo will win.

So, that's my rather "obvious" input for now. My deck installers have just arrived, so I have to leave.

Edit: OK, I've now done a bit of research and found that I DID sort of understand the difference between a turbo and a supercharger. I learned though, that a supercharger doesn't have the lag that a turbocharger has since the supercharger is driven directly by the engine. I can see why one is preferable to the other depending on the use. I can't help but think, though, that with proper engineering, you could get equivalent power from either device.

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Old Fri, November 20th, 2020, 12:48 PM
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Without doing any research or phoning a friend that races mustangs.
WAG 1-turbo is scavenging energy that is not very useful while blower is running a belt, gear set and compressor directly on the engine.
WAG 2- turbo intercooler dropping that temp a bit? Do they put intercoolers on blowers?

A little bit of both?

Or, just like a kid in the back seat making a long drive feel longer, blowers just whine more and that's a drag on everyone.
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Old Wed, December 2nd, 2020, 01:19 AM
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From what I've looked at you guys have the basic understanding.
I did hours/days/weeks of research on turbos and superchargers so I think I have a decent understanding of the differences and benefits.

Turbo, uses exhaust gas to spin a compressor blade to increase the quantity of the air entering an engine.
scavenges "free" energy from the exhaust
can have fairly simple plumbing
sounds cool when the blow-off valve goes psssssssssst
popular with manufacturers, so they are easy to find and fix
"efficient"... aka Eco boost.

Heat (most do have an intercooler, especially stock ones in a factory car)
varied power output

Supercharger, uses a belt from the engine's crank shaft to spin a "blower" of some sort, can have multiple styles, most common are roots and one that looks like a turbo with a belt attachment.
power is stable, 1500rpm always makes the same power (assuming the blow-off valve hasn't reduced the pressure)
more low end power, aka torque

can have complicated plumbing, wiring, belt routing, etc...
Heat (Most have an intercooler, either pumping coolant between the blower and the intake, or routing it up front like a turbo)
Takes engine power to run, don't quote me but Ive heard a 500rwhp car with a supercharger is making 600+ at the engine, but uses 100+hp just to run the blower.

Personally I prefer a supercharger. I used to have good reasons but I've forgotten those hahahaha. If I am going to drag race the supercharger makes sense because of the low end power and the predictability. I am not saying they don't exist, but I don't ever remember ever seeing a top fuel dragster with a turbo, just superchargers. The quicker you get to speed the faster you will cover the 1/4 mile (or 1000', or 1/8 mile, etc...).

My truck has 2 turbos, and i don't really like the power delivery, but that's partially because it can't decide which of the 10 gears to use. It definitely has a whistle under load, so that's fun to listen to, but it's so quiet I doubt my wife even hears it.

I also assume Diesel trucks (and gas ones too) have turbos because of the simplicity of the plumbing and the potential reliability improvement. If a supercharger is taking up 100+hp then you are stressing the engine that much more, and it's better for the bean counters at ford if the warranty claims are fewer because they used a turbo vs a supercharger. Most cars/trucks with superchargers (hellcats and shelbys come to mind) are built for specific things like racing. Otherwise they seem to favor turbos.

That's all I got for now. What do you guys think?
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