Volume I, Issue 3, Page 11


SUPERCHARGED PHILOSOPHY

It's an awesome feeling having power!  So many people in history have yearned for it.  And you probably do, too.  The power I'm referring to here, of course, are those ponies residing under the hood of your performance machine. Horsepower is the best rush I can imagine, and as co-founder and President of Accessible Technologies, manufacturer of ProCharger superchargers, I go to work each day hoping to up the ante and make it easier for all of us to gain more power.

ProCharger supercharger systems have been around for more than 15 years now, and my experience with motorsports and forced induction spans two decades.  During the mid-1980s I was heavily involved in the aftermarket performance parts industry, and I have owned many Chevys over the years.  At that time in history pre-smog OEM performance parts were becoming scarce and hard to find.  Luckily for us enthusiasts, aftermarket companies were starting to produce replacements that were in many cases better than the originals using stronger lighter, and more modern materials.

Centrifugal superchargers have been around since the 1950s and at one time were available as original equipment on cars you could buy from Detroit.  Of course they were an option, but one that only required checking off a box on the order sheet and digging a little deeper into the pocketbook.  Unfortunately, being designed in the '50s and only incrementally improved over the years, by the mid-'80s their total power output was limited to well below 500 horsepower. 

To put this in perspective, today a single ProCharger can produce comparable power to an advanced twin-turbo system on a big-block (or a highly modified gas-powered small-block) by netting nearly six-horsepower per cubic inch!  Truly incredible technology!  And, if you add methanol, the 3,000-horsepower barrier has been eclipsed using a single ProCharger on an engine spinning no more than 8,000 rpm.  Obviously, a lot has happened over the last 20 years.

Despite being a very interested and motivated performance enthusiast for more than 20 years, back then I was constrained by the same lack of resources than many young enthusiasts have today.  In fact, even though power adders were much less popular two decades ago, I couldn't have afforded one anyway, because they were very costly when you consider what they cost in terms of today's systems.

So to get my power fix I looked for every low-cost trick in the book to get results. I was mildly successful back then with an 11-second car, which was pretty darn fast for the time.  Of course, like most of us who lived by trial and error, I went through more than my share of pistons to get the results I wanted.  But what really intrigued me and kept up my motivation was the notion that I might be able to bolt on this thing under the hood and add 50 percent more power!  Wow!

The biggest concern I had back then as a potential supercharger manufacturer was that anybody had the ability to simply bolt on heads and a cam, and they could then easily exceed the horsepower of a centrifugally supercharged small-block.  So I explored what had been considered to be the limitations of centrifugal superchargers (a high-speed transmission) and employed a team of experienced consultants who had worked in the aerospace industries. 

For a period of approximately six years, much research was done to determine how loads and forces were actually manifested in the structure that supports a centrifugal wheel.  Much data was gleaned, and after our team had overcome the mysteries of achieving big power, the reward came in the form of a dozen patents granted to Accessible Technologies for our new and innovative technology.

Today, though, my strategy remains essentially the same.  Along with the dozens who work alongside me at Accessible Technologies who play a big part in making this business so successful, we also employ a bunch of talented engineers, many with Master's degrees and PhDs, working in our team environment to continue to advance the technology. 

And I guess my hunch was correct back in the '80s when I assumed that to be successful as a power adder manufacturer, the products would actually have to be capable of adding significant power to what has grown into a very powerful normally aspirated world.  Since it is now so easy to purchase a 600-700-horsepower crate motor, we had to build a product that could not only add 50 percent more power to these new engines, but double the power on pump gas, and triple it with race fuel.  And, that my friends, is the short story on how we evolved into what we are today. 

Here's What's New!