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Everything you wanted to know about v6 supercharging

Discussion in 'V6 Mustang Articles' started by MaestroSC, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    I know it was mentioned about writing up a power adder sticky, so I took liberty. It's not complete, but I would like to add to it as we go. Hope it's a good start.

    Since I’ve installed and run both a Vortech and Procharger supercharging kit, I felt somewhat qualified to do a write-up to compare the two. Both have pros and cons, but both will definitely satisfy the “boost bug”;o) Here are 1 man’s opinions on them both.

    Additional Parts Needed To Run Forced Induction Safely
    *New injectors. Most people are running 42# injectors for forced induction. This will not only give you plenty of fuel supply, but also give you room to grow. The 99+ will need the “New Style” or “Pencil Style” connectors. The pre-99’s have the “Old Style”.
    You can purchase adapters in order to turn a 99+ style into a pre-99 since the older style injectors are easier to find. Look to spend anywhere from $250 on up to $350+ for new injectors.

    *New fuel pump. 99+ cars should run the Ford Focus pump. It’s rated at 300-310lph. The part number is: 3S4Z-9H307-BA. This pump should run you around $100. For pre-99 cars, I believe the Walbro 255lph pump is the recommended pump. I do not have a part number at this time, but a Google search of “Walbro 255” should result in a lot of hits.

    *New MAF. I recommend an 80mm lightning for both draw through and blow through tuning. It has plenty of range to work with for an A+ tune. I’m not sure the new cost, but used cost is around $100 or so. Tuners seem to dislike the ProM and C&L. There is also a new SCT MAF that will work well. It is a 90mm design. I will update with the 80mm lightning part number shortly.

    *Tune/Chip. You can have good results with a chip from any number of SCT dealers, however a tune is STRONGLY recommended.

    *Gauges. A vacuum/boost gauge is recommended. I would also suggest a fuel pressure or if you’re running a Vortech, an oil pressure gauge is also recommended.

    Vortech
    I purchased a used Vortech kit and installed. I ran the kit for about 4-5 months before selling it. Here are what I consider the pros and cons of installing and running the kit. Expect a good 12+ hours for install.

    Pros
    *Reliability. The Vortech is one dependable and tough cookie!
    *Sound choice. If you like the loud, whining sound of a supercharger, the V1 will deliver. If you want a nice, quiet sleeper sound, you can get a V2. The v2 is slightly more efficient than a V1, but both have the same cost. I believe all newer kits come with the V2 by default
    *Availability/Price. There seems to be several used 3.8 kits floating around which makes it easy to get an entire kit for a great price.
    *Mounting. The Vortech mounts in a great location. It’s very easy to get to and easy to maintain. In fact, I dismounted and re-mounted mine several times all by myself with no problems.

    Cons
    *Modification of the A/C line. The kit requires you to modify and tap the A/C line in order to mount the blower. First of all, this is a pain to do. You really need a vice to get this done. Drilling and tapping steel is not easy. Secondly, if you don’t have every joint sealed up perfectly and tight, you WILL have A/C leaks. I LOVE the comfort of A/C, so this was a deal breaker for me. I just couldn’t get the A/C to quit having minor leaks, that’s why I sold the kit.
    *Modification of the EGR line. This isn’t that bad really, just a nuisance. I deleted the EGR all together which really helped to clear some room in the engine bay.
    *Tapping the Oil Pan. To be honest, it wasn’t hard at all and really could be a “Pro” instead of “Con” because now the Vortech gets a great oil supply which is freshened up every time you change the oil. It just depends on your perspective. Some people just don’t like hacking up their oil pan. Even if you miss-tap, you can still make the oil drain hose work fine, but I’ll put it here because it’s a common concern among inexperienced installers.
    *Intercooling. Unfortunately, there are no mass produced intercooling kits available for the Vortech. Vortech makes an “aftercooler” which is a water-air cooler, but it is not available for the 3.8. There simply is no room to put it in between the blower and TB. Options are you can take it to Justin Starkey @ www.VelocityMustangPerformance.com located in FL for a custom kit, or make your own.

    Tools Needed for Install Per Vortech
    *3/8" socket and drive set: SAE and Metric
    *1/2" socket and drive set: SAE and Metric
    *3/8" and 1/2" breaker bars
    *3/8" NPT Tap, 3/8-16 Tap and Handle
    *Adjustable Wrench
    *Open End Wrenches: 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16"
    *Flat #2 Screwdriver
    *Phillips #2 Screwdriver
    *Heavy Grease
    *Silicone Sealer
    *Drill and 3/32", 5/16", 7/16", 9/16", 37/64 Bits
    *Ford Springlock 3/8" fuel fitting disconnect tool
    -or-
    Lisle A/C and Fuel Disconnect Tool Set #37000
    *5 Quarts SF Rated Quality Engine Oil
    *Oil Filter and Wrench
    *9/16" Rota-Broach
    *T55 Torx Bit
    *Tubing Cutter: o5/8" Tube
    *Grinder
    Download install guide: http://www.taulbeeville.com/images/vortechinstall.pdf
    Download supplement (Thanks To SuperSix): http://www.taulbeeville.com/images/VortechInstallSupplemental.pdf

    ATI Procharger
    After running the Vortech and then going back to stock, the boost bug bit me again. I purchased an 11psi procharger kit and installed it. Expect a solid 6-8 hours for install + ABS relocation time if applicable.

    Pros
    *Ease of install. The Procharger requires no modding of any accessory. This includes the EGR and A/C.
    *Self oiled. Procharger has its own self-contained oil source. No tapping of the oil pan is needed. This could be a con because you have to purchase the oil from them. You change this oil every 6k miles.
    *Intercooled. The only supercharger kit to come intercooled from the kit manufacturer itself.
    *Blow through MAF design for the “cool” BOV sound. You will have a “PSSHHHH” sound if you use a BOV and vent the compressed air to outside air. You can also re-circulate the air to the intake tract if you choose to. That’s the way ATI designed it to be done.

    Cons
    *Mounting location. It will take 2 people to mount one (IMO), one to hold it up from the top of the car, and the other to bolt it in from the bottom of the car.
    *Intercooler mounting. The kit will have you use a couple of their supplied bolts and nuts to mount it. That will not work because you can not get to the back of the bolts in order to put the nut on unless you cut into the frame a little bit. This may be specific to my year car (2000), but I’m unsure. The work around is to use the factory u-clips and bolts. It will be very secure that way, but it’s just not what ATI intended.
    *Bumper bulge. The pipes will push down on the bottom flaps of your bumper. You will have ground clearance issues.
    *Relocating the ABS modules. I don’t have ABS, but history has shown that this will add several hours to your install time. This is the biggest hurdle in the install.
    *Space. The Procharger piping gets really tight in there.
    *Cost. There seems to be less supply of used procharger kits, so pricing tends to be higher than the Vortech. New pricing is steep.

    Tools Needed for Install Per ATI
    *3/8" Socket set (Standard & Metric)
    *1/2" Socket set (Standard & Metric)
    *1/2" Breaker bar and 4" extension
    *Adjustable wrench
    *Open end wrench set
    *Drill and bits
    *Needle nose pliers
    *Flat screwdriver
    *Phillips screwdriver
    *Large screwdriver or crowbar
    *Factory repair manual
    *Hex bit set
    *Torx bit set (MaestroSC: Just a T-55 only is needed)
    *Spark plugs if changing plugs
    *Fuel filter if changing filter

    Powerdyne
    Originally, Need-for-Speed developed this kit for the 94-98 3.8s. Pete Cambell bought most of the pieces from them and fabbed the rest. He also improved the kit over the last 4 years. PM "Pete" for pricing and more details as he is the only distributor of this kit.

    Pros
    *Ease of install. Its hands down the easiest to install. It requires trimming the fan shroud, drilling a couple of holes to relocate the overflow bottle and a modification to the tensioner bracket. All these mods take maybe 2 hours. Total install takes maybe 4 hours.
    *No oil. The Powerdyne uses an internal dry cog belt set-up = no oil lines, no oil to buy or change.
    *Intercooled. The Powerdyne does not use an IC...but it really doesn't need one until you really crank the boost up to 12+ psi. Because is doesn't use hot engine oil to pre-heat it and because it has little internal friction like the ProCharger it runs very cool.
    *The Powerdyne kit is designed for a suck through MAF but it can be set-up for blow-through as well if you insist on the “cool” BOV sound.
    * Kit comes complete with MAF, injectors, pump and chip

    Cons
    * The BD-11A doesn't have the best reputation for durability. Its a great blower and will serve you well but you must accept that it will prob have to be rebuilt once every 2 years. Under warranty it only costs you shipping. Out of warranty it costs $200 for a rebuild with bearing and belt replacement.

    Tools Needed for Install
    *3/8" Socket set (Standard & Metric)
    *1/2" Socket set (Standard & Metric)
    *1/2" Breaker bar and 4" extension
    *Adjustable wrench
    *Open end wrench set
    *Drill and bits
    *Needle nose pliers
    *Flat screwdriver
    *Phillips screwdriver
    *Large screwdriver or crowbar
    *Factory repair manual
    *Hex bit set
    *Torx bit set (Just a T-55 only is needed)
    *Spark plugs` (Motorcraft AWSF22C)
    *Fuel filter if changing filter

    General Install Notes
    *Read the instructions several times before attempting install. Ask questions before-hand.
    *Don’t skimp on the fuel peripherals!
    *Get all the tools needed for the install before hand. Both instruction guides list what is needed.
    *Lay the kit out on the floor and verify that you have everything you need. This is especially true if you buy a used kit. I had to have an aluminum coupler made and an air filter ordered when I got the Procharger. If I hadn’t of laid the kit out, I would have never known that and would have been stuck for a week waiting on the air filter to come in and would have to borrow the wife’s car in order to get a muffler shop to cut me a piece of pipe. She wouldn’t have been happy about going without a car for a day while I was running around.

    Dyno Results
    It’s hard to compare because I ran dyno’s on 2 different dynometers. One was a mustang dyno, the other was a dynojet. Of course, weather conditions were also different. I’ve seen Vortech kits produce as much as 280 rwhp. My Procharger kit produced 305 rwhp. I’m not going to attempt to tell you what each of these kits dyno at, but that should give you an idea. It would be safe to say that all kits should result in over 250 rwhp on a dynojet dyno. As for power I would give this equation: Procharger > PowerDyne > Vortech > * :)


    FAQs
    Do I need a new MAF, Injectors, pump, and chip/tune to run a power adder?
    If you’re only seeing a few PSI, then no, but who is going to install a power adder and not see the PSI guaranteed by the kit? So really the answer is YES, YES, YES, YES.

    How much boost can the stock block and internals handle?
    Well, that is debatable. There really is no solid answer for this, but there have been people running 11psi for years on the stock internals and block.

    Will my 7.5 rear end be ok with the supercharger?
    On street tires/daily driving yes. If you run slicks, it’s a possibility that the 7.5 will break. Some people have had it break; other people have never had it break. An 8.8 is recommended either way. If you don’t mind getting stuck at the track or elsewhere, run the 7.5 until it breaks then upgrade.

    What can I do to get better traction?
    Control arms, good tires, and great suspension! Power is useless if you can’t keep it on the ground.

    Is a turbo better than a supercharger?
    Based on the numbers, a turbo charger is going to be more efficient than a supercharger. What I mean by efficiency is that 8psi from a turbo will result in more hp and much more torque than 8psi from a supercharger. A turbo set-up can be designed to see full boost as low as 2.5k rpms. Practically speaking, you can not see full boost from a supercharger at that same rpm. However, there are several 400+ rwhp stang owners running superchargers. I’ll leave it at that.

    How will forced induction affect the duration of my engine's life?
    Well...this is a very subjective question. It really depends on how you drive, then again, there are people that drive "agressively" with 11psi stock internals and the engine is fine even after 20,000 miles doing so. To be honest, nobody who has a tuned blower setup has damaged any internal component of the engine that I'm aware of. What makes this tough is that many do not daily drive their supercharged stangs, so it's hard to evaluate the long term affect on the engine. I would feel that the 1st thing that will go is parts of your drivetrain (clutch, tranny, rearend, etc..), not any internal component of the engine itself.

    How is gas mileage affected?
    I've only seen maybe about 20 miles a tank difference. I consistently run mine from full to low fuel light and always saw around 300 miles in a tank. I now see around 280 to even 300 (like stock) sometimes. I tend to drive conservatively though. Keep in mind that you have to pay for higher octane gas, so total gas cost will still be higher than stock.

    Final Thoughts
    *All are great kits.
    *Boost is fun.
    *Wait for good deals on quality used parts to save tons of cash! It’s possible to get completely boosted for around $2k if not cheaper. I know because I have done it!

    Have fun boosting!

    -Ryan Taulbee (aka MaestroSC)
     
    Dee84cali likes this.
  2. trik

    trik Best Ever!

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  3. Jester4Kicks

    Jester4Kicks pwn-hawk

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    Looks pretty good... it's probably a good idea to leave this open for a bit in case you need to edit it.
     
  4. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    Exactly my thoughts. :thumbup: I'm SURE I will need to edit it.
     
  5. MattP 343

    MattP 343 TR-SN197-06

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  6. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    *Updated with complete tool list for both Vortech and ATI installs!
    *Also added links to download the complete Vortech installation guide!


    Sorry ATI guys, but the ATI installation guide is not available. Even though I love you all, I'm not scanning 40+ pages front and back in in order to post it. :cry:

    Hope you all are finding this information useful!
     
  7. CougarStang

    CougarStang I do my own stunts

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    Well done Ryan, well done. Puts my spacer guide to shame

    Kinda makes me want to jump on a used kit, if I can only find one
     
  8. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    There's 2 Procharger kits in the for sale as we speak! (I'm calling your bluff) :crazy:
     
  9. CougarStang

    CougarStang I do my own stunts

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    Yup, seen them. Still can't catch them for around $2k though
     
  10. mysteed

    mysteed is back!

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    great right-up! now how bout a sticky on trubo's? I'll be willing to help, of course...but refer to TuxMask-Andy for a sticky on turbos first.
     
  11. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    Have you tried to PM an offer? That's how I got mine. Wait a little while, then shoot a $2k offer. :thumbup:
     
  12. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    I could do a write-up on turbos, but since there is such a small population of people running 3.8 turbos, I'm not going to do it yet. I plan to go turbo sometime next year myself, so I could definately write something good up then.
     
  13. Jester4Kicks

    Jester4Kicks pwn-hawk

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    If anyone wants to do a write-up, feel free to post it and then just send me a PM. So long as it's acceptable, we'll sticky it for now and look at combining all the things into a forum announcement. :thumbup:
     
  14. TehHorse

    TehHorse Rawr

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    glad i found a used vortech kit for so cheap!

    thx gandhavas!!!
     
  15. gandharvas

    gandharvas Uncle Scrotor Loves You!

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    Yep, you owe me your first born daughter. Didn't I tell you that already. :lol:

    Nice write up, Ryan, I will make you an engineer yet!
     
  16. Derick

    Derick Best Of The Best

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    how about a small summary of the lesser known/used kits?

    ex:
    powerdyne, paxton
     
  17. MaestroSC

    MaestroSC Are you ready for the....

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    I don't know anyone with a paxton on a 3.8, do you? What's their username I can get some information?

    I don't know anything about installing a powerdyne. I may have Pete give me a quick pro/con installation summary.
     
  18. Jester4Kicks

    Jester4Kicks pwn-hawk

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    If you end up adding additional Turbo Kit info, you may want to include mention of PTK (Pro Turbo Kits) and an advisement of their history with our 232's.
     
  19. mysteed

    mysteed is back!

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    PTK has a history with 232's?
     
  20. Jester4Kicks

    Jester4Kicks pwn-hawk

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    Not a pretty one. I believe there were 4 test cars... all of which had blown engines within 6 months following the install of the PTK kit.