HOW-TO: Install a Whipple Supercharger System

The following installation overview is designed to give you an idea of what is involved in installing a Whipple Supercharger System on a 96-01 GM 5.0/5.7L. Special thanks to customer Richard from Pacific Palisades, CA for his help in creating this article.

Installation Info
Installer: Carl Rheuban
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Vehicle: 1997 GMC Sierra 5.7L
Supercharger System: Whipple Supercharger Kit for 96-01 GM 5.0/5.7L Vortec Truck & SUV (2WIP57-050)
Selected Boost: 6psi

Ratings (Scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)
Packaging: 10
Installation manual: 6
Ease of installation: 8
Quality of supercharger: 10
Quality of accessories/hardware: 10
Overall value of system: 9
Performance (low-end): 10
Performance (mid-range): 10
Performance (top-end): 10
Overall Rating: 10

Step-by-Step Installation Overview

1. Unpack the box – beautifully packed I might add.
2. Verify that all kit contents are included and that you have everything needed for the installation.
3. Open the hood and check out the stock engine for the last time – it will never be the same, but in a good way.
4. Remove the stock thermostat and replace it with the included low temp thermostat.
5. Remove the entire intake including stock air box, MAF sensor, air ducting, and throttle body. Stuff a rag down the gaping hole so you don’t spill any beer or pizza down there.
6. Disconnect throttle cable and cruise control cable and remove cable brackets.
7. Remove the stock accessory belt and the four long bolts that hold the AC compressor to the AC mount (the supercharger will bolt in between the AC and the AC mount).
8. Remove the bolts on the AC mount that hold the AC mount in place. The entire AC mount needs to be shifted forward to remove the engine lifting hook – it is in the way of the supercharger.
9. There’s one more bolt on the AC mount that must be removed – the only way to access it is by climbing under the truck. It took me a while to find the right bolt – it was so covered with grime and buildup that it didn’t look like a bolt. The picture in the instructions wasn’t very clear.
10. Swap the valve covers from side to side. The oil filler tube gets in the way of the supercharger, so it is moved to the driver’s side.
11. After removing the engine lifting hook, and bolting the AC mount back into place, move the AC compressor out of the way – it’s time to bolt on the blower!!
12. Bolt on the blower in between the stock AC compressor and AC mount using the supplied bolts.
13. Install the new serpentine belt.
14. Mount the throttle body sideways to the supercharger inlet and route the cables to the new location.
15. Bolt on the discharge tube that carries the compressed air from the compressor to the intake. Of course, take the rag out of the hole before you do this.
16. Remove the stock computer and mount the Whipple Interface computer to the fender well beneath. Tap into the stock wiring harness according to the wiring chart and splice all necessary wires (I used s soldering iron rather than the supplied clips).
17. Replace the stock computer into its bracket and snap the locks down – you can’t even see the Whipple computer because it’s hidden beneath – clean!
18. Install the extra fuel injectors into the Whipple intake and plug in the wires from the Whipple computer.
19. Install the Whipple air plenum and run it over to the stock air box and MAF sensor. Install the new K&N air filter into the stock air box.
20. Install the Whipple Malfunction Indicator Light (WMIL) somewhere in your dash area where you can see it. (It’s the little orange one)
21. Fill the supercharger with the supplied synthetic oil, then check everything out just to make sure everything looks sano. Then fire it up – it’s time to rip.

We asked Carl Rheuban the following general questions about his installation procedure.

Question: Please provide us with a general overview of how the installation procedure went.
Answer: The installation was fairly straight forward. I didn’t have any major problems. I started the install after work one day and finished it up the next day after work.

Question: How long did the installation take?
Answer: It took me about 12 hours. If I had to do it again, I could probably do it in less than that.

Question: What was the most difficult part of the installation?
Answer: The toughest part of the installation was the wiring. It’s not that it’s difficult, it’s just that I have no idea how elecrical stuff works. A buddy of mine works on car stereos and he helped me solder all the wires nice and clean and it only cost me 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza and a Coors Light. It was also kind of a pain to move the AC mount – but nothing too bad.

Question: What was the easiest part of the installation?
Answer: Installing the compressor and air ducting was all very simple.

Question: Was the installation manual easy to understand?
Answer: The installation would have been easier if the instructions were more detailed with better pictures. I spent quite a bit of time reading over the instructions and studying the black and white photos trying to figure out what they were talking about. If anything disappointed me about the kit, it was the instructions.

Question: Did anything about the installation process surprise you?
Answers: Nothing really, it’s what I expected.

Question: Were any strange tools required for the installation?
Answer: I needed a set of Torx head wrenches which I had to buy. I also needed a fuel pressure gauge to do the initial fuel test before starting the installation.

Queston: Let’s say I have installed an exhaust system and air filter on my vehicle myself without much difficulty. I am not a mechanic, but I know my way around the engine. Should I attempt this installation myself, or should I take it to a professional?
Answer: That’s basically where I was at when I started the install and I had no major problems. It would help to have a buddy there who has some good mechanical skills.

General comments: The supercharger system seems to be a great quality kit. The performance is incredible – it smokes the tires and the truck has offroad all terrains tires! It makes a gear noise at idle, which is normal from what I understand, but I didn’t know what it was at first – don’t worry they all do this. It doesn’t seem to affect the fuel economy you’re buried in the gas, which was a pleasant surprise. You will probably have to replace your MAF sensor if you have a lot of miles (80,000+) – they fall out of calibration and you will lose power if you don’t replace it with a new one. All in all, it’s a great system!


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