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Gearheads Swap Turbos For Homemade Supercharger

A separate motor for a supercharger means no parasitic loss. But it's also a little unwieldy, as these gearheads find out.

Gearheads Swap Turbos For Homemade Supercharger

The gearheads that brought you the homemade quad turbos are back with a new form of homemade forced induction.

Last we’d heard from the Hoonigans, they had successfully installed quad-turbos (colorfully dubbed “quad-turdos”) on the hood of their dilapidated Pontiac Firebird. Essentially carpet cleaning and industrial fans hooked up to the car’s power supply, they miraculously managed to increase the Firebird’s total power output and also its acceleration.

They also blew up the engine. We’re not entirely sure if that was due to their warranty-voiding modifications or the fact the engine was already on its last legs.

The new and improved Firebird now comes with a 5.3-L LS crate engine running on E85 fuel. That’s right: this Firebird now runs on proper racing fuel. It also has a pair of drag radials at the back and skinny tires at the front.

It also has a piece of welded-on steel scaffolding that holds a riding motor. Why? To power the new “remote supercharger,” of course.

As you know, superchargers are powered by the engine itself and thus leech away some of the engine’s output. This is generally not a problem as the power gained from the supercharger overcomes the power lost from the engine powering said supercharger. But what if the supercharger wasn’t powered by the engine that ran the wheels at all?

RELATED: GEARHEADS ARE BACK WITH HOMEMADE QUAD-TURBO ENGINE

So this supercharger has its own motor whose only job is to run the supercharger. Yes, this adds a lot of weight, but it also prevents any parasitic loss to the big LS engine.

But does it actually create more power? Well… not exactly.

As shown on the dyno tests, the engine without supercharging makes 191 hp. With supercharging it drops to 183 hp, or 9 horses less. This is likely due to the PVC piping not being all that air-tight and actually causing less air to enter the carburetor than it otherwise would receive with natural aspiration.

Strangely, the Firebird does manage to post a slightly better 1/8th-mile time with the remote supercharger active than without it. Right before they ruin the transmission, anyway.

Will we see a set of twin stuperchargers next? Probably.

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