This is by far the most common question we get at www.SuperchargersOnline.com. The correct answer is there is not one supercharger brand that is best for you since all types have it’s pro’s and con’s. What it ultimately comes down to is what type of supercharger will fit your needs, what is your budget, and what are your goals?
Type of Superchargers
Understanding the types of supercharger is a great start to determine your supercharged needs. The three major types of superchargers are Centrifugal, Twin-Screw, and Roots. While we are not going to get into the science and technical aspects of these type superchargers we are at least going to provide you with a brief understanding of their usage.
Centrifugal type superchargers are normally the ones you see located on the side of the engine. A lot of people refer them as the “snail” or “turbo” type looking compressors.
Centrifugal type superchargers are very common for street and track applications. The characteristic of a Centrifugal type supercharger is that the boost level will build up per RPM speed. This means you hardly will see any boost pressure in the lower RPM range and the higher the RPM climbs the more boost you will receive. So your max boost level normally will be achieved at your RPM Redline or your rev limit.
What makes these very common for street applications is the that the power curve does not come on very strong so it puts less strain on your transmission and other parts of your Powertrain. Also, since a lot of street applications are running regular street tires not having the power in the lower RPM range allows you to have better traction and you will have more control over your vehicle so you do not slam into a tree from lack of traction.
- Twin-Screw and Roots
Twin-Screw and Roots superchargers are both a form of a positive displacement type compressor. This means that the supercharger normally sits on top of a custom manifold, which is attached directly on top of your engine.
Twin-Screw and Roots type superchargers are very common on Truck applications where people desire most torque and horsepower for towing and off the line power. It is also very commonly used for road course racing where more instant power is needed. The characteristic of a Twin-Screw and Roots type supercharger normally provides boost instantly. Unlike the Centrifugal type superchargers you do not need to wait until redline to see the higher boost levels for it normally will be present throughout the whole RPM band. Because of the boost curves this type of supercharger is idea for anyone seeking a lot of HP and Torque instantly, which makes it perfect for towing heavy loads or someone that needs the extra power in the lower, mid, and higher RPM range.
For street applications Twin-Screw and Roots type superchargers normally do not run as high of boost levels as Centrifugal type superchargers. On a Dyno a Centrifugal type superchargers normally will produce higher HP numbers, however a Twin-Screw and Roots type supercharger will normally produce more HP throughout the RPM range.
Now that you got a basic understanding on the type of supercharger that might suit you the best. When choosing a supercharger you have to consider how much more modifications you are going to do to the engine if any, and how much boost you want to run at that current time and/or in the future.
Most supercharger manufactures design their units around stock engines. So the more stock the engine is the more acceptable the manufactures tune and fuel components will be towards smooth operation. If you are planning to keep your engine fairly stock and or maybe adding some modifications to it like headers, full exhaust system and maybe run a slightly more higher boost level then normally then the manufactures entry kit will normally be acceptable.
As you start modifying your engine more and/or desire a lot higher boost levels than normal then a larger supercharger may be needed. A majority of the manufactures have several different size superchargers to fit ones needs. If you go with too small of a supercharger then you may have a difficult time achieving the boost levels you are desiring. If you go with to large of a compressor your engine may not be able to support it and it may be so far out of its efficiency zone that the superchargers boost curves might come on too late. So it is very important in choosing the right size supercharger for your engines needs and how your engine is going to be setup.
When dealing with the cost of a supercharger there are numerous factors in which determines the price. Normally Twin-screw and Roots type superchargers cost more. The main reasons are the cost of the blowers are more expensive to build, and normally these kits come with a manifold in which also drives up the price.
Intercooled and Aftercooled systems tend to cost more than non-Intercooled or non-Aftercooled systems. It is always more beneficial to go with an Intercooler or Aftercooler, however it is not necessary. And Intercooler or Aftercooler helps control heat, which overall will allow you to run more boost at a safer level and go more aggressive with the tune which leads to higher horsepower numbers. Normally supercharger systems in the lower boost range don’t really need any sort of Intercooler or Aftercooler. Once you start going in the higher boost levels then an Intercooler or Aftercooler becomes useful. Intercoolers and Aftercoolers are also useful for high compression engines for they help to control heat so you don’t have to run higher-octane gasoline to control detonation caused by heat.
Another factor when dealing with the price of a unit is how complete the system is. Most supercharger kits we offer come in complete packages. So nothing else is normally needed in order to fit the supercharger onto your engine. Since all the fuel accessories and programming comes in the system the supercharger kits normally will function perfectly right out the box.
Some manufactures offer their systems in a “Tuner” form. A “Tuner” kit normally is everything it takes to mount the kit onto your car but it will lack the programming and fuel components to make it function on your application. These “Tuner” kits do cost less, however the additional fuel components and programming is needed in order for it not to cause any damage to the engine. These manufactures sell these “Tuner” systems because some customers want to go in a different direction when it comes to tuning. They either want to go with a custom Dyno tune or they already have most of the components so the items in the kit are not needed.
At SuperchargersOnline we really try to price our kits at the best possible price we can. We even try our best to price match or beat authorized distributors.
As you can see there can be a lot to consider when choosing the correct supercharger for your needs. We suggest for you to take your time when picking the correct system for your needs and goal. And please feel free to contact us anytime on questions you may have to help guide you to your decision. We sell pretty much every major brand so we will be honest with the information we provide and hopefully we can help you choose the system that will fit you the best.