The Hoonigans have returned with yet another set of homemade turbochargers.
Last time we saw these boys in action was when they used a pair of industrial fans to “turbocharge” an old Pontiac Firebird. We use quotations since it’s not technically turbocharging as it doesn’t use the exhaust gasses to drive the fan and instead uses the car’s battery. It’s more of an electric supercharger than a turbocharger, but we’ll forgive the name for its creativity.
Surprisingly, the homemade turbochargers actually worked, giving the Firebird a pretty significant bump in power and performance despite an engine that sounded like it was on its last legs.
Now the Firebird is back, but this time with a quad-pack of turbochargers. Additionally, the engine has been completely rebuilt so that it runs about as well as you can expect an engine from the ‘80s to run.
Instead of bare ductwork and slapdash adhesions, the turbocharger pipes have been surrounded in duct tape to become airtight. For the new turbos, which are apparently carpet drying fans, a system of PVC pipes directs air directly into the carburetor.
If two homemade turbos gave the Pontiac a boost, then surely four would give it even more. Right?
As before, our heroes ran tests both with and without the turbos active. Incredibly, the car rated 183 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque on the dyno without turbochargers active. With the turbos, the Firebird put down 219 hp and 206 lb-ft--a 17% increase in power.
Tragically, the bump in power didn’t quite translate into a huge performance boost. Without turbos, the Firebird ran a 1/8th mile in 9.78 seconds, and with turbos it managed to knock down .15 seconds to 9.63. That’s a statistically significant drop, but the boys were hoping for something a little more dramatic.
On a second run, however, the engine blew up. Evidently, four turbochargers are just too much for an old Firebird to handle.
Will we see a six-pack of turbochargers next time? Maybe a 12-pack? The skies the limit with these guys.