Hello JBO. I have a question on the validity of electric "superchargers" on stock N/A engines. Basically, do they do anything? I have seen videos of people saying they lost power, but at the same time I have seen people gain power. How much should a decent one cost for a EcoTec engine? Do you require a tune or ecu flash afterwards? Am I just crazy and these things are actual pieces of junk?
Any info is greatly appreciated.
(Also I'm sorry if this is an unnecessary post or whatever, but i couldnt find much definitive info online.)
The problem is that most of them do not flow enough to make power. I believe there is an old thread on here were someone tested a decent one and I think it did provide a small gain. But with an Ecotec your money will be better spent on a M62 S/C kit(they can be had for under $1000 now).
As with any major power mod, yes you will need to have the car tuned.
Yeah, I guess they are kind of pointless. If I could find an m62 for a good price, I would love to buy one. Finding the actual supercharger is pretty easy, and ould love the process of building the whole system. I also havent really taken into consideration the fact that my car has that despicable 4 speed auto, and its kinda a turd. I hate how long it takes to downshift when floored, and how rough the shifts are.
Old thread, I know, but I'd like to debunk these e-chargers once and for all.
Short story: no electric supercharger in a J-Body will create enough horsepower to be of any real or practical benefit for your driving pleasure. Don't waste your money.
Long answer with some science:
They are crap. Don't buy into marketing. All they are is basically airflow machines. They flow some air into the intake chamber, however they lack the ability to pressurize the air, more commonly known as "boost." Consider that a turbocharger harnesses temperature and fluid dynamics from the exhaust to pressurize air in the intake manifold. An electric supercharger attempts the same principle, but lets see the differences. A turbocharger can produce as much boost as:
1.) The turbine can spin
2.) The wastegate directs exhaust flow to the turbine before allowing a cut off pressure to open it and divert exhaust gases into the wastegate dump tube
3.) The the amount restriction on the intake or exhaust side of the turbocharger (not including wastegate dump tube; hopefully nobody closes this off on purpose)
4.) The amount and speed of exhaust gas turning the impeller
5.) Physical restriction of the head ports on either side (scavenging plays into this as well)
An electric supercharger can produce as much boost as:
1.) The amount of current directed into the motor (electric horsepower)
Here's an example. At 75,000 RPM a Garrett TP38 turbocharger can produce 6 psi of boost. Most electric superchargers sellers will advertise (correctly) that their superchargers produce RPM's at or under 20,000. Well maybe that's not such a big deal, right? In fact the supercharger fan is much much larger than a turbo fan, so that's gotta mean it moves more air into the chamber right? If the proportions are right, and the surface area of the fan output blades are 4x the size of the turbine blades, then we can safely say that the electric supercharger tested as not restricted (not blowing into an intake manifold) will flow more air per minute than the turbocharger we discussed. HOWEVER, don't let that distract from what makes forced induction work: FORCE. Pressure. Boost. And the pressure created by the fan is determined by the horsepower (strength) of the electric motor. Your car has a 12V electric system. There is no way that 12V system will produce enough electrical horsepower to turn that fan at a continual 20,000 RPM (which is what will create boost) at superhigh CFM's to create enough pressure in the intake manifold for that extra power. Supercharger at the BEST is going to be able to produce probably .25 electrical horsepower, and at 20,000 RPM it is not making 6 psi of boost. An average human can create 1.2 horsepower peak and sustain about .1 horsepower at length. Well trained athletes can produce .3 horsepower for an extended time, maybe an hour. Can a well trained athlete could generate enough force on something to compress air at 6PSI for 355 cubic feet of air per minute for a great length of time? No, they probably cannot. BTW, 355 CFM is worth about 237 crank horsepower, and equals right about at the 6psi mark at 6500 RPM range (top range for our ecotecs).
To conclude, I'm not trying to bag on you in any way; I think that you have an interest is fantastic and worthy of some appreciation. I would really hate to see anyone waste their money on these pieces of hair-blower crap. I've tried two different ones from eBay to level with everyone honestly, and neither of them made the power gains advertised. In fact they both hurt my horsepower and torque because they created a restriction in the intake. Until I went to tech school I didn't understand how these are not working. Also, those "tornado" intake thingies some of the old-timers here might have seen as shown on TV, I fabbed one up just for fun to see what would happen, following the same design I saw online. The same thing happened. I lost horsepower and torque because of a restriction in the air intake. I probably dirtied up my catalyst for it, running too rich. Lesson learned, don't make my mistake, and here's a little fuzzy logic and some science behind the "why." Hopes this helps anyone else out there with the same question.
Jason Gibbs wrote:
bla bla bla.
TL/DR that electric supercharger did work. But also is a well engineered piece of equipment not a 'ebay' junk product.
I miss my Cavalier, even if it made 100 hp on a cold day and had more suspension then it deserved.