Volume I, Issue 3, Page 24

I’ve had some pretty good experiences with supercharged machines.  From my Whipple-fed daily driver to the track-only beast in my back garage with a mammoth 8-71 sitting atop a 421-inch Mouse motor, I live for the power from a boosted engine.  That said, I’m far from an expert on the dynamics that occur when air and fuel are compressed and literally forced into the intake system of a gas-burning engine.  But I do realize one thing; there is always a concern for building too much heat and the destruction that can happen if that situation does arise.  And when I refer to heat, I’m not just talking about the charge that goes into the combustion chamber, but more accurately, the temperature of the oil that is trying to keep the pressure

cooker cool from the get-go!

With the popularity of front-mounted, belt-driven superchargers at an all-time high, I wondered just how these smog-legal wonders of modern technology prevented themselves from overheating on today’s congested, stop-and-go roadways.  I wanted to find out about the differences between the two types of cooling systems employed by most of today’s popular centrifugal blowers?  Is the more common pressure-fed system more efficient, or do the newer self-contained, oil bath-type models do a better job dissipating the heat?  I wanted to know which one actually goes the extra yard to making sure that these belt-driven turbines don’t do a meltdown when I’m out driving on the boulevard. 

To help me find out how temperatures rise in a real-world situation, I called on Procharger co-founder Dan Jones for a non-bias test.  Following is a recounting of my experience driving a Procharger-equipped Corvette.

Here’s a cool cutaway of one of Procharger’s self-contained oil bath centrifugal blowers.  Nice paper weight for sure.  Note the billet veins that direct airflow into the blower.

The car was the mother of all C5’s: a 2004 Z06.  But the LS-based engine is indeed pretty comparable from an operating oil temperature standpoint to the powerplant installed in what is a more common application -- and therefore of more interest to the Chevy crowd -- the 4th-generation Camaro.  In fact, as opposed to Procharger’s Corvette system, the Camaro’s supercharger is located at the bottom front of the engine bay and receives a fresh supply of cool air, unlike the one in the Corvette, where the supercharger is mounted directly behind the radiator, which if nothing else, allows hotter air to engulf the unit.

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