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

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by PantheraUncia, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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. RayVoy

    RayVoy Well-Known Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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: Aug 19, 2012
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbocharger

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superchargers

    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. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    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. dobey

    dobey Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    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. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    The Bugatti Veyron uses 4 turbos and intercoolers.
  8. dobey

    dobey Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    It's also a W-format engine, and costs a million dollars. :)
  9. darnie1987

    darnie1987 Rockstar 100 Posts



    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


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGdg2Fd2WQY
  10. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    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

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