It’s a nice June Monday, and we’re at an undisclosed location within the building where Procharger builds their intercooled supercharger systems. We’ve snuck in the back door, and readied our camera as two guys (Tyler and Tyler--yep, no kidding), get ready to install the first production-ready supercharger kit on a 392-Hemi powered Challenger. We wanted to be the first to see this new kit, but there was one glitch to us being sneaky about it. Since it’s almost impossible to hide my large-by-huge frame behind the building’s support pole, I was spotted.

So, now that we’re out in the open and the guys can see us, we were given permission to follow along as they install this first ever supercharger kit for the 392 Hemi. But, before get to wrenching, we need a little background information. In its simplest form, a supercharger is a device that forces air into the engine. That increase in air also allows an increase in the engine’s fuel-burning capability, resulting in more power. It’s a simple concept, but there really is more to it. We’re not going to get into a complete article about the different styles of superchargers, for now, we’re just going to focus on centrifugal supercharging.

With centrifugal supercharging, the supercharger’s impellor is driven by the engine via a drive belt. The supercharger’s pulley that is connected to the drive belt, drives a large gear in the supercharger’s housing that then meshes with a smaller gear. This smaller gear is connected to, and is what drives the impellor. The impellor then pulls air into the supercharger, and forces it into the engine. The size of the gears within the supercharger directly determines the ratio of the supercharger. While boost levels can be altered with pulley changes, the ratio is set. The centrifugal supercharger is generally attached to the front of the engine with a rigid bracket and driven via a belt-drive or gear-drive from the engine’s crankshaft.

So, what does a centrifugal supercharger actually do? Like we said, a centrifugal supercharger contains an impeller that spins at a very high speed. When the air leaves the impeller, it might be traveling at high speed, but at this point, it has very little pressure. This low-pressure, high-speed air is then forced through the diffuser and housing, which compresses the airflow, increasing its pressure. This newly compressed air is then fed into the engine, giving the engine the ability to burn more fuel and have a higher level of combustion. That’s the gist of it anyway.

Anyway, in regards to the tuning, or lack thereof until now, supercharging a 2011 and new Mopar just wasn’t viable. The computers were locked down, and no aftermarket tuning could be made to the engine management system that would allow the aftermarket to add any performance to these cars. Now that the tuning has been made available, the guys at Procharger are now able to install a supercharger on a new Hemi, and they can also install the required tune to make all work together.

Let’s be up front about this install: While it can be done by anyone with mechanical capabilities, it’s not a task to be taken lightly. When you open the box, you’ll see that there are a lot of parts, and Procharger makes every attempt to make sure that every kit includes everything needed. If you feel comfortable installing it yourself, figure on a weekend. If you decided to have one of Procharger’s dealers install the kit, that’s fine also, at least this article gives you some insight into what it takes.


Intercooled ProCharger System: *Starting at $6,000

*starting price varies by dealer.


Stay Cool

Cooler air makes more power--period. The problem with getting a cool, dense charge of air from a supercharger is that when you compress air, you also heat it. To overcome this heated air concern, you need to cool the air before it gets to the intake of the engine. Procharger adds an intercooler for what is called air-to-air intercooling. On street cars, air-to-air intercooling is accomplished by locating the intercooler at the front of the vehicle where it gets a constant supply of airflow. How it works is: compressed air is drawn in one side of the intercooler, making its way into the intercooler. Once inside, the compressed air is cooled by the airflow moving through the intercooler (like air through a radiator). This cooler air is then routed into the throttle body and into the engine.


Centrifugal Supercharger Components

Impeller

The impeller is what actually pulls the air into the supercharger. The impeller then pushes the air into the blower, building the pressure known as boost.

Compressor Housing (also known as Volute)

The snail-shaped design of the compressor housing is a trait unique to centrifugal superchargers. The housing’s purpose is to deliver the compressed air to the engine. This is done through some kind of piping system. Aluminum is typically used for supercharger housings, due to the combination of strength, weight, and resistance to corrosion.

Diffuser

Downstream of the impeller, directly in the flow path of the air is what’s called the diffuser, it is the diffuser’s job to increase the pressure of the incoming air by gradually slowing (diffusing) its velocity .

Transmission




The transmission is the gear set that transfers the crankshaft’s energy to spin the impeller. There is a step up ratio built in to the gears, and this makes the impeller spin at a super high speed (30,000 rpm or more). Transmission step up is required so that the impeller speeds are necessary to create the desired boost.




SOURCE
ProCharger/Accessible Technologies Inc.
14801 W. 114th Ter.
Lenexa
KS  66215