A supercharger is a positive displacement pump. Its purpose is to increase air pressure and density in the intake manifold. It does this by pumping more air than the engine would draw in without a supercharger. The supercharger is matched to the engine by its displacement and belt ratio, and can provide enhanced airflow at any engine speed. This concentrated charge of air provided by the supercharger results in a more powerful combustion stroke in the engine's cylinders, resulting in improved performance over non-supercharged vehicles.
Regardless of the specific type of device a supercharger (or a turbocharger) is nothing more than an air pump. The more air you pump through an engine at any given engine speed the more power you will make. Superchargers force more air into the combustion chamber than the engine will draw in its naturally aspirated condition. Whereas turbochargers are driven by exhaust gas flow, superchargers are driven directly off the crankshaft, usually by a belt. There is a common misconception that turbochargers give you "free power" but in reality having a turbo interrupt your exhaust flow is like having a cork in your tailpipe, it takes engine power to force the exhaust out past the turbocharger.
Magnuson superchargers are engineered for port injected internal combustion engines. They can be mounted in any of a variety of locations in the engine compartment (basically where ever it will fit) and in any orientation (flat, upside down, rotor over rotor)as long as the drive pulley is aligned with the belt line, and there is available space to route the air into and out of the supercharger. The proper location for the supercharger is between the air throttle body and the intake manifold. In addition to supercharger mounting brackets this requires the installer to fabricate a plenum to go between the outlet of the throttle body and the inlet flange of the supercharger. A supercharger outlet plenum will be required to mount the unit and serve as an adaptor to the intake manifold. A longer drive belt will be required with associated idlers and a belt tensioner. Once the supercharger is mounted and plumbed the engine electronics and fuel management systems will have to be calibrated and tuned.
The roots supercharger has been around for a long time, how is the Magnuson Supercharger any different?
The Magnuson supercharger is essentially a Roots blower pump, with one substantial design wrinkle; each each rotor has been twisted 160° to form a helix. The two counter rotating rotors have four lobes, which intermesh during operation. These twisted rotors, along with specially designed inlet and outlet port geometry, help to reduce pressure variations resulting in a smooth discharge of air and a low level of noise during operation. This arrangement also improves efficiency over traditional Roots superchargers. With helical rotors and an axial inlet the Magnuson supercharger can be spun to up to 14,000 rpm, thereby reducing package size.
How is a Magnuson supercharger different from a turbocharger?
A Magnuson Supercharger is connected directly to the crankshaft by a belt unlike a turbocharger which is driven by exhaust gases. The supercharger systems provide improved horsepower and torque at lower engine rpm, by pumping extra air into the engine in direct relationship to crankshaft speed. The positive connection yields instant response, in contrast to turbochargers, which must overcome inertia and spin up to speed as the flow of exhaust gas increases. The supercharger is a way to get around "turbo lag"and give you instantaneous pedal response. Internal bypass valve keeps you off boost until you need the additional performance. The lubrication system also differs, in that, the supercharger is self-contained whereas the turbocharger requires engine oil.
How long has Magnuson been manufacturing superchargers?
Magnuson has been building superchargers for over 39 years.
What are the benefits of the Magnuson Supercharger?
Patented technology to reduce noise
Proven manufacturing capability
Packaging flexibility, i.e. reduced package size
Self-contained lubrication, i.e. no external oil connections to the engine
Bypass system used for unloading supercharger during idle and light load, resulting in better fuel economy and quiet operation
Optional extended power train warranty available
No maintenance, first supercharger oil service after 80,000 miles.
Are Magnuson Superchargers noisy?
The Magnuson supercharger system incorporates a specially designed bypass valve, which is actuated by a vacuum motor near the throttle body, and re-circulates the supercharger air flow when boost is not required. During typical driving conditions, the engine is under boost around 5% of the time, which means the remaining 95% of the time the engine is under vacuum, allowing for better fuel economy and a quieter ride. In addition, the helix angled rotors, along with specially designed inlet and outlet port geometry, also reduce pressure variations resulting in a smooth discharge flow and a lower level of noise during operation. The associated ducting and mounting used in installing the supercharger can play a major role in reducing the noise emitted by the supercharger.
Is a Magnuson Supercharger reliable?
The reliability of the Magnuson supercharger was the first criteria, which was addressed during early design development of the supercharger. Dedicated engineers with backgrounds in compressors, gearing, tribology and metallurgy, as well as thermal and structural analysis enabled Magnuson to find solutions to many reliability concerns. In addition, strict customer durability test criteria have been achieved. Successful completion of numerous 500 hour durability tests established a firm grasp on achieving a reliable product. In addition, numerous vehicles have successfully completed 100.000 mile, OEM (original equipment manufacturer), vehicle durability tests. Improvements in bearing and seal designs also aided in a product which meets all OEM durability criteria.
Is the performance benefit offset by the cost associated with a Magnuson Supercharger?
In short this depends on you. Magnuson Supercharger systems add horsepower and torque at a lower cost than most engine builds of comparable horsepower. With the addition of this added power many drivers see improved fuel economy especially while towing. For the same push of the gas pedal you will get more power to the wheels. That means less gas to the engine will get you the same power versus a non-supercharged engine.
What about fuel economy and flexible fuels?
Supercharging is compatible with all types of fuels including flexible fuels, i.e. CNG (compressed natural gas), propane, etc. Fuel economy is not compromised, when utilizing the bypass system in conjunction with the supercharger. EPA (environmental protection agency) figures support this claim. A typical domestic vehicle equipped with a Magnuson supercharger shows no fuel economy penalty for highway driving, and only a one mile per gallon penalty for city driving. You can potentially get a couple miles per gallon extra mileage with our supercharger due to the more complete and efficient combustion. Most people don’t however, due to the fun factor adding lead to the foot.
How does Magnuson view supercharging for the future?
With the continued interest in performance, and the desire to maintain fuel economy, supercharging could be the ideal product of the future. Using a Magnuson supercharger to increase power on a smaller displacement engine, in turn achieving the performance of a larger engine, but not compromising fuel economy seems too good to be true--but that is what a Magnuson supercharger provides.
Is the supercharger available for aftermarket applications?
The majority of Magnuson supercharger applications have been designed for specific OEM aftermarket applications. This is due to the fact that each engine application has unique hardware installation requirements and the design criteria of the supercharger is matched to the specific engine, engine compartment and ducting.
What can a supercharger do for my car or truck?
A supercharger is basically an air pump. There are three requirements for combustion: Fuel, Oxygen, and Heat Source. A normally aspirated engine relies on atmospheric pressure, the action of the piston drawing air into the combustion chamber, mixing with the gas, and the spark of the plug igniting that mixture. This process does not get the most from the engines potential and this is where a supercharger comes in. By forcing more air into the combustion chamber, the fuel has more oxygen to react with, is more efficiently consumed, and results in a more powerful explosion pushing the piston down with more force. Thus, a supercharger can add substantial torque and horsepower to your vehicle. At the lower RPM’s the torque gains can be dramatic. MagnaCharger often see rear wheel torque in the range of 400 ft-lbs at slightly over 2000 RPM. For the owner of a truck that may weigh in excess of 5000 lbs, this is what will get the truck moving very quickly when compared to a naturally aspirated engine. A result is greater towing capacity, the ability to pull heavy loads up a long grade with far greater ease. Most driving is done between idle and 4500 RPM, and this the band wherein the torque is most felt. Let’s hook up that boat now and hit the lake!
Will installing a supercharger void my warranty?
It just might...but not legally! This is best discussed with the service manager or service writer at the dealership where you purchased your ride. The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (US Code-Title 15, Chapter 50, Sections 2301-2312) states that the dealership cannot void the warranty on a vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part caused or contributed to failure in the vehicle. For best results, try working with performance oriented dealerships. Magnuson Products offers a limited extended 3-year 36,000-mile warranty that helps with potential problems with the dealership for additional peace of mind.
Will a supercharger kill my fuel economy?
That depends on how you drive. Many customers see an increase in their fuel economy with the supercharger. With the Radix system for example, a 2 to 3 m.p.g. increase is not unusual. The supercharger actually reduces the pumping loss of the engine. This loss is vacuum force required to actually pull the air/fuel into the cylinder. The supercharger equalizes all the cylinders and actually helps to 'push' the piston down to the bottom of the intake stroke, increasing engine efficiency. The problem with most owners of supercharged vehicles is that the "fun factor" goes through the roof, and it's hard to keep your foot off the mat!
Should the compression ratio be set to 8:1 like my last blower motor?
The deciding factor when building a blower motor is to decide how much boost you plan on running, and what type of gas you will use. Compression tolerance (the amount of compression gas will take before detonation) of 91-octane is 13.5:1. This is just a rule of thumb (there are other factors to consider). In theory, if you run 9:1 compression then the max boost you would want to run is 8 lbs (every pound of boost is 2 CR). On Gen 3 motors we have found that the configuration of the motors is much more forgiving that on a typical 10:1 motor and you can get away with even more boost. These are static compression numbers only. Cam choice has an even bigger determination on what you can get away with.
I just installed my Radix and now it takes longer for my truck to start, can you tell me why?
A common cause of this comes from a fuel pressure issue. On the backside of the fuel pressure regulator is a small O-ring that was reused during the install. Most likely that O-ring is askew or has been left out. A way to confirm this is to hook up a fuel pressure gauge. Key the ignition on, but do not start it. Fuel pressure should rise to around 55psi. Turn the truck off and check-confirm that your fuel pressure stays up. If it bleeds off any more than 10 pounds over 30 seconds, the O-ring will need to be checked. On 04-up with an in-tank pump you must check to be sure pump was installed correctly as the fuel pressure regulator is part of the pump assembly.
Can I run an aftermarket cam with your supercharger?
Aftermarket parts such as headers, cams, heads, etc. should be used cautiously. If you’re looking to squeeze high horsepower numbers out of your motor a selection of bolt-on’s can really tweak your motor up to it’s full potential. Most of the time however, a new tune will be required for the vehicle. To answer your question, yes, you can run an aftermarket cam.
Can I run nitrous with your supercharger?
If so, is there a kit you recommend? There are a lot of people running nitrous through our blower with no ill effects. The problem you will run into is two fold. First, because there is almost no way to run the nitrous after the blower, all kits are run before the blower and through the rotors. Over time, this can erode the coating off of the rotors and clog your intercooler. Second, with the increased cylinder pressures and additional fuel and tuning need, you run the risk of actually cracking the top manifold of the blower. Neither situation will be covered under warranty.
Is there any maintenance required with my kit?
A big advantage of our kits is the lack of any scheduled maintenance. The only item to keep an eye on is the drive belt. Just as any drive belt, if it shows any signs of wear, immediately replace it. The drive gear oil, however, has a service life of 80,000 miles.
How much horsepower can I gain with a supercharger?
Normal sea-level atmospheric pressure runs about 14.7 P.S.I. The laws of physics state that if you double that atmospheric pressure you will double your horsepower. In practice, however, there are variables. Number one, engines in practice realize approximately 80% volumetric efficiency. That means that if you were in a cylinder of a standard engine you would be receiving only 80% of your available air pressure on intake. Allowing for that one variable alone brings you the fact that it would take closer to about 17 pounds of boost to bring your engine up to double horsepower. You realize about 20% gain in horsepower just by getting full atmospheric pressure inside your cylinders. After that comes the boost above the pressure generated by the column of air over your head (or in this case your engine). All superchargers are basically air pumps, forcing more air into your cylinders than what is generated by the vacuum created when the crankshaft draws down a piston.
How can an intercooler improve my supercharger system?
All MagnaCharger supercharger kits are available with intercoolers. An intercooler reduces the discharge temperature of the compressed air from the supercharger. Physics, in this case Boyles Law, states that when air is compressed it gets hotter. A rule of thumb is that for every 10 degrees that you can reduce the temperature, a 1% power increase can be gained. Even more efficiency is available!
What advice do you have for someone who is in the process of purchasing a supercharger?
When looking at buying a supercharger, don’t make the mistake of being concerned only with peak horsepower numbers. People drive so infrequently at the peak power range, that it is pretty much an insignificant number. MagnaCharger supercharger systems demonstrate a remarkably flat torque curve, meaning that your power to the wheels is demonstrable throughout the power range. This is particularly enticing when you find yourself pulling a boat to the lake, or hauling your friends up a steep grade. You should be concerned with the quality of the system, inspect the quality of the machined surfaces, spend some time on forums, hear what people say that own the systems. The MagnaCharger kits come complete with all necessary components. There's no need to be a welder or fabricator. MagnaCharger offers the perfect balance of high end horsepower and low speed torque, the best of both worlds for the ultimate in high performance street ability.