Turbos, Supercharging, Programmers

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Turbocharging your ride can be one of the most reliable and effective ways to increase performance. Some Gains can reach 60% HP increase,the lowest increases are governed by how much boost the operator sets the system to limit.


Turbocharging is a rather simple concept; typically a compressor is installed to your intake system that is driven by the power of the exhaust pressure created by the running engine. A system of pressure relief valves are installed on the exhaust and intake to protect the engine from overpressuring. This increases the intake pressure which in turn compresses the air/fuel mixture,making the mix much more dense. This forces more fuel and air into the combustion chamber resulting with more HP. The increase in HP is machine limited. Typically any stock engine may handle up to 8 psi increase. A 4 cylinder engine around 150 HP stock turbocharged at 8 psi would yield a 30-40 % HP increase resulting with 200-225 HP. A typical increase for a modern V8 rated 300HP stock at 8 psi would result with approximately 440 HP.


Turbocharging is not "Plug and Play", it is expensive. Systems range from $2000 on up to $8000. Depending on your application. Turbocharging requires serious overhauling on the exhaust and engine bay to make room for the system. The reliability goes down as you increase the HP, requiring a series of engine rotating assembly improvements past 8-10 psi of boost. After any installation the computer must be tuned. This service can cost up to 150$.


Supercharging your vehicle is another alternative. Usually ranging from $2500 to $6500. There are several kinds. Roots style are screws which are contained in a large housing replacing your intake manifold. Another style is a belt driven turbine, similar to a turbo. These superchargers create comparative yields to turbos, but usually are cheaper.


Reliability is rarely an issue. Most come in kit form. Much easier to install than a turbo. Usually installs in one day. Does not modify exhaust.


Superchargers follow the same principals as turbos, more than 8 psi requires heavy engine modifications. You may have to replace/modify hood for clearance. Steady maintenance is required to the oiling system. The supercharger is belt driven, so parasitic loss can be an issue because your milage will be affected negatively.







Programmers are a quick way to see a modest increase power. There are many types and manufacturers trying to corner the market. The increases that are seen range from 10 HP on up to 35 HP on gas vehicles and a whopping 150 HP on diesels. Typically prices range from $300 on up to all the bells and whistled user defined $800 fully adjustable systems. The convenience with a programmer is that you own it forever, you can detune-tune at any time, such as when you need uninhibited warranty work done.


Another method is utilizing chips and "piggy-back" computer modifiers. These all one way or another install within or inline with your computer engine controller. Most yield a 20 Hp to 50 HP increase. 



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