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  1. #1

    Default Super Chargers and Turbo's - the norm and the excessive what is hype and what is real

    I am trying to understand more about super chargers and turbo's. What are the key differences and why are turbo's typically used on diesels and super chargers on gasers?

    And what is over kill or why would you go excessive?

    A typical super or turbo install is 1 ( most common ) then there are engines that are "twin Turbo" meaning they have 2 turbo's. What is the advantage of 2 over 1 (either type)?

    Then I have seen some (excessive) diesels where they are pushing Quad Turbo's....... Why? other than dropping allot of cash, going from 2 to 4 turbo's is getting you what?

    and following that trend........ could you have a turbo on each cylinder and be really crazy? so like 8 turbo's on a V8?

    and then there is the real rarity, but it has happened where a gasser has 2 super chargers on one engine...... why?

  2. #2


    The purpose of either charger is to increase the volume of air that is in each cylinder, they are just air pumps.

    In a normal engine, the air fuel mix (charge) is pulled into the cylinder as the piston is pulled down in the sleeve. Nothing but vacuum pulls the charge into the cylinder.

    A super-charger and a turbo-charger increases this charge. They both act like an external air pump, increasing the amount of air pushed into the cylinder (the fuel supply system must be modified to provide a matching increase in fuel).

    The main difference in the two, is in the way the charge is increased. The super-charger mounts on the top of the engine, replacing the dome (intake manifold) on SFI engines. The turbo charger mounts near the top of the engine, connected to the throttle body intake with a tube.

    The super charger is driven by a belt like all other belt driven devices; the turbo is spun by exhaust gas coming out of the engine.

    A normal street engine can have either type of charger added; however, there is a limit on boast (the amount of pressure), usually around 8 psi. Any higher and internal engine components will break, melt, or both.

    A diesel engine normally runs higher pressures, thus the possible need for two chargers.

    Why are people using more than one, most of the time, just for show. But, if your racing, the engine is stronger and can handle higher pressure and the runs are short, the theory is to push as much air in there as you possibly can, therefore, add 2, 3, 4 chargers.
    Last edited by RayVoy; 08-19-2012 at 11:31 AM.

    '09 Avalanche LTZ - Black
    '05 Envoy XL (sold)

  3. #3


    Heres two very good descriptions of both items with plenty of history on them:

    The biggest difference between the two is how they develop their driving force for what they do, their objective, more air in the fuel/air mix to the cylinders is the same. Turbos have a disadvantage in that their power source creates more underhood heat while Superchargers are taking away some of the power made to make more power.
    As was posted there are some enterprising? mechanics using multiple Turbos, and if you search you'll see multiple supercharger systems too, but the power gained from this is suspect as you can only boost the input so much before you have catastrophic melt down. The amount of boost usable is debatable since some have managed to take factory engines and run with as much as 15PSI while others have had engineered and built blocks that blow out with as little as 7PSI.
    Most multi charger setups are more for show, considering the fact that a larger unit or unit designed to produce more pressure would normally provide more than enough boost for any engine.
    There is also a term called TwinChargers where both Turbo and Supercharging is used, again possibly overkill for any practical use but hey if you wanna show good drop a lot of money in a system like that, you'll get noticed.

  4. #4


    So what is the maximum boost an engine can have? Does anyone make an engine block that is capable of say 75psi of boost? or is that beyond what we are able to do with what we have today? or would that create so much power that no one has done it yet cause no one will ever need that much power or "boost" ?

  5. #5


    Aircraft engines in the 40's were approaching boost pressures in that range, but I dont think anyones seriously looking at pressures in that range now, I believe most of the development has been towards making better use of lower pressure boost and how to develop it more efficiently. Higher boost means higher fuel consumption and more heat, gotta find a way to beat the heat and keep the fuel flows down.

  6. #6


    The blower on a top fuel dragster makes around 45 PSI of boost at peak. Getting a block that can handle that pressure is probably the least of your worries though if you really wanted to build an engine to take it.

    Be prepared to spend a lot of money on bearings. And fuel.

  7. #7


    The Bugatti Veyron uses 4 turbos and intercoolers.

    2011 GMC Sierra SLE - 5.3 - 4X4 - Z71 - King Shock Level Kit - Body Color GMC grill emblem - 2 Tone Engine Cover, Rad Cover and Battery Box - Volant CAI - Tru Cool 40K tranny cooler - Sylvania ZXE bulbs Hi/Low -TriFold Hard Tonneau Cover- CoverCraft Seat Covers - Diablo inTune - GoRecon LED under rail lights - GoRecon LED White Lightning Tailgate Light Bar - Windows tinted to 45%- Kenwood DNX6990 - JL Audio C5-650 &650X- JL Audio Amp- Interco Truxus M/T 33x12.50x18

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by aloxdaddy99 View Post
    The Bugatti Veyron uses 4 turbos and intercoolers.
    It's also a W-format engine, and costs a million dollars.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by nakranij View Post
    So what is the maximum boost an engine can have? Does anyone make an engine block that is capable of say 75psi of boost? or is that beyond what we are able to do with what we have today? or would that create so much power that no one has done it yet cause no one will ever need that much power or "boost" ?

    my roommate has a 970hp cummins pushing 97 psi thats compounded turboed " meaning duel turboed" so yes its possable. now on the other hand its not unlikely to see a gas truck pushing 30psi of boost as well. basically when you add more fuel you need air to help keep the motor cooler, so more fuel and more air = more power. turbos have lag running something like a compound set up eliminates most lag because you use 2 different sized turbos one smaller helps spool the bigger one and gets into boost quicker. as were most super chargers build boot by rpm. heres a video that gives u a general idea

    2004 gmc sierra ext z71 5.3
    KB racing hot pipes 3.5" : 76mm turbo: 4l80e : Circle-d 2b multi disk :Walbro 400 : Racetronix Hotwire kit : TB coolant bypass : Nelson 91 Pcm : Tr 220 Cam : Brian Tooley double springs kit : Ls7 Lifters : Stage 3 heads : Custom Intake Manifold :80lb Injectors : Ported TB : 40k tranny cooler: Plx dm-100 gauge: Auto meter fuel and boost gauge:
    Custom Speedo : Leveling kit :Smoked led taillights and 3rd break light : Black projectors and fogs with hids : Blacked out grille : 33's on 16's : Clarion flip screen: sound que 12" subs: clerion 6x9's : Memhpis amps: Alpine componet set.
    Future mods... Detriot tru-trac, deviels own stage 2 meth kit, MORE BOOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10


    My brother is designing a compound turbo set up for his Dmax it helps with lag and gives a better torque curve. When it comes to gas I think the best route is roots style supercharger
    2009 chevy 1500 z71 4x4
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