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Old 06-28-2004, 09:28 AM   #1
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supercharger vs. turbocharger

let's say hypothetically I have somewhere in the area of $5,000 to throw around. Now let's assume I want to add a supercharger or turbocharger to my car. I have a 2001 Mustang v-6 (3.8 liter, automatic tranny). Which will be the best choice for me? I know it's really a matter of taste. but I have questions. What will be the ''kindest'' on my engine? Which will give me the most power? What do I need to alter so that I can get either? Which will sound best with side exhuast? Be as descriptive as possible, I have no idea what I'm doing here, just curious as to what would be the proper thing to look at for next summer.
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:30 AM   #2
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supercharger would probably be the way to go mainly because there isnt that many "proven/trustworthy" turbochargers out there. with a supercharger you could go with procharger or vortech and know it is specifically made for your car. neither will be kind on your engine. with an sc you will just need larger injectors, fuel pump and a chip, as far as turbo goes i dont know much because there is just not that many out there. with a 11 psi procharger kit you should expect around 300 hp give or take a few, the procharger would be nicer to have than the vortech due to the intercooler and you wouldnt have to tap the oil pan.

http://www.procharger.com/v6_press_release.shtml
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:34 AM   #3
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look our cars are good for low end torque so a super charger will be your best bet. but if you did want a turbo you would get a twin turbo setup even though i dont think they make one for a mustang. a twinn turbo setup is a setup that helps eliminate tubo lag buy puting in two turbos a small one and a big one the small one to take over in your low end and the big one for you high end thus you wont give up any torque as you would with a single turbo
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:35 AM   #4
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How Turbochargers Work
by Karim Nice
When people talk about race cars or high-performance sports cars, the topic of turbochargers usually comes up. Turbochargers also appear on large diesel engines. A turbo can significantly boost an engine's horsepower without significantly increasing its weight, which is the huge benefit that makes turbos so popular!


Photo courtesy Garrett


In this article, we'll learn how a turbocharger increases the power output of an engine while surviving extreme operating conditions. We'll also learn how wastegates, ceramic turbine blades and ball bearings help turbochargers do their job even better!





What Is a Turbocharger?
Turbochargers are a type of forced induction system. They compress the air flowing into the engine (see How Car Engines Work for a description of airflow in a normal engine). The advantage of compressing the air is that it lets the engine squeeze more air into a cylinder, and more air means that more fuel can be added. Therefore, you get more power from each explosion in each cylinder. A turbocharged engine produces more power overall than the same engine without the charging. This can significantly improve the power-to-weight ratio for the engine (see How Horsepower Works for details).

In order to achieve this boost, the turbocharger uses the exhaust flow from the engine to spin a turbine, which in turn spins an air pump. The turbine in the turbocharger spins at speeds of up to 150,000 rotations per minute (rpm) -- that's about 30 times faster than most car engines can go. And since it is hooked up to the exhaust, the temperatures in the turbine are also very high.





Basics
One of the surest ways to get more power out of an engine is to increase the amount of air and fuel that it can burn. One way to do this is to add cylinders or make the current cylinders bigger. Sometimes these changes may not be feasible -- a turbo can be a simpler, more compact way to add power, especially for an aftermarket accessory.


Where the turbocharger is located in the car


Turbochargers allow an engine to burn more fuel and air by packing more into the existing cylinders. The typical boost provided by a turbocharger is 6 to 8 pounds per square inch (psi). Since normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi at sea level, you can see that you are getting about 50 percent more air into the engine. Therefore, you would expect to get 50 percent more power. It's not perfectly efficient, so you might get a 30- to 40-percent improvement instead.

One cause of the inefficiency comes from the fact that the power to spin the turbine is not free. Having a turbine in the exhaust flow increases the restriction in the exhaust. This means that on the exhaust stroke, the engine has to push against a higher back-pressure. This subtracts a little bit of power from the cylinders that are firing at the same time.





Turbos on High
A turbocharger helps at high altitudes, where the air is less dense. Normal engines will experience reduced power at high altitudes because for each stroke of the piston, the engine will get a smaller mass of air. A turbocharged engine may also have reduced power, but the reduction will be less dramatic because the thinner air is easier for the turbocharger to pump.

Older cars with carburetors automatically increase the fuel rate to match the increased airflow going into the cylinders. Modern cars with fuel injection will also do this to a point. The fuel-injection system relies on oxygen sensors in the exhaust to determine if the air-to-fuel ratio is correct, so these systems will automatically increase the fuel flow if a turbo is added.

If a turbocharger with too much boost is added to a fuel-injected car, the system may not provide enough fuel -- either the software programmed into the controller will not allow it, or the pump and injectors are not capable of supplying it. In this case, other modifications will have to be made to get the maximum benefit from the turbocharger.





How It Works
The turbocharger is bolted to the exhaust manifold of the engine. The exhaust from the cylinders spins the turbine, which works like a gas turbine engine. The turbine is connected by a shaft to the compressor, which is located between the air filter and the intake manifold. The compressor pressurizes the air going into the pistons.


Image courtesy Garrett
How a turbocharger is plumbed in a car

The exhaust from the cylinders passes through the turbine blades, causing the turbine to spin. The more exhaust that goes through the blades, the faster they spin.


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Inside a turbocharger

On the other end of the shaft that the turbine is attached to, the compressor pumps air into the cylinders. The compressor is a type of centrifugal pump -- it draws air in at the center of its blades and flings it outward as it spins.


Photo courtesy Garrett
Turbo compressor blades

In order to handle speeds of up to 150,000 rpm, the turbine shaft has to be supported very carefully. Most bearings would explode at speeds like this, so most turbochargers use a fluid bearing. This type of bearing supports the shaft on a thin layer of oil that is constantly pumped around the shaft. This serves two purposes: It cools the shaft and some of the other turbocharger parts, and it allows the shaft to spin without much friction.

There are many tradeoffs involved in designing a turbocharger for an engine. In the next section, we'll look at some of these compromises and see how they affect performance.





Design Considerations
Before we talk about the design tradeoffs, we need to talk about some of the possible problems with turbochargers that the designers must take into account.

Too Much Boost
With air being pumped into the cylinders under pressure by the turbocharger, and then being further compressed by the piston (see How Car Engines Work for a demonstration), there is more danger of knock. Knocking happens because as you compress air, the temperature of the air increases. The temperature may increase enough to ignite the fuel before the spark plug fires. Cars with turbochargers often need to run on higher octane fuel to avoid knock. If the boost pressure is really high, the compression ratio of the engine may have to be reduced to avoid knocking.

Turbo Lag
One of the main problems with turbochargers is that they do not provide an immediate power boost when you step on the gas. It takes a second for the turbine to get up to speed before boost is produced. This results in a feeling of lag when you step on the gas, and then the car lunges ahead when the turbo gets moving.

One way to decrease turbo lag is to reduce the inertia of the rotating parts, mainly by reducing their weight. This allows the turbine and compressor to accelerate quickly, and start providing boost earlier.

Small vs. Large Turbocharger
One sure way to reduce the inertia of the turbine and compressor is to make the turbocharger smaller. A small turbocharger will provide boost more quickly and at lower engine speeds, but may not be able to provide much boost at higher engine speeds when a really large volume of air is going into the engine. It is also in danger of spinning too quickly at higher engine speeds, when lots of exhaust is passing through the turbine.

A large turbocharger can provide lots of boost at high engine speeds, but may have bad turbo lag because of how long it takes to accelerate its heavier turbine and compressor.

In the next section, we'll take a look at some of the tricks used to overcome these challenges.





Optional Turbo Features


The Wastegate
Most automotive turbochargers have a wastegate, which allows the use of a smaller turbocharger to reduce lag while preventing it from spinning too quickly at high engine speeds. The wastegate is a valve that allows the exhaust to bypass the turbine blades. The wastegate senses the boost pressure. If the pressure gets too high, it could be an indicator that the turbine is spinning too quickly, so the wastegate bypasses some of the exhaust around the turbine blades, allowing the blades to slow down.

Ball Bearings
Some turbochargers use ball bearings instead of fluid bearings to support the turbine shaft. But these are not your regular ball bearings -- they are super-precise bearings made of advanced materials to handle the speeds and temperatures of the turbocharger. They allow the turbine shaft to spin with less friction than the fluid bearings used in most turbochargers. They also allow a slightly smaller, lighter shaft to be used. This helps the turbocharger accelerate more quickly, further reducing turbo lag.

Ceramic Turbine Blades
Ceramic turbine blades are lighter than the steel blades used in most turbochargers. Again, this allows the turbine to spin up to speed faster, which reduces turbo lag.

Sequential Turbochargers
Some engines use two turbochargers of different sizes. The smaller one spins up to speed very quickly, reducing lag, while the bigger one takes over at higher engine speeds to provide more boost.

Another optional feature is the intercooler. We'll take a look at one on the next page.





Intercoolers
When air is compressed, it heats up; and when air heats up, it expands. So some of the pressure increase from a turbocharger is the result of heating the air before it goes into the engine. In order to increase the power of the engine, the goal is to get more air molecules into the cylinder, not necessarily more air pressure.


Image courtesy Garrett
How a turbocharger is plumbed (including the charge air cooler) An intercooler or charge air cooler is an additional component that looks something like a radiator, except air passes through the inside as well as the outside of the intercooler. The intake air passes through sealed passageways inside the cooler, while cooler air from outside is blown across fins by the engine cooling fan. The intercooler further increases the power of the engine by cooling the pressurized air coming out of the compressor before it goes into the engine. This means that if the turbocharger is operating at a boost of 7 psi, the intercooled system will put in 7 psi of cooler air, which is denser and contains more air molecules than warmer air.
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:37 AM   #5
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Superchargers and Turbochargers
To get maximum horsepower out of almost any engine, a supercharger or even a trubocharger system can be bolted on for an easy 40-50% increase in power, often adding 100 or more horsepower to a V8 engine. Supercharging is available for most V8 engines, but there is a limited availability of bolt-on systems for V6 and four-cylinder engines. If a supercharger system is not available for your engine, you can try looking for a trubocharger system. Smaller engines can benefit from a trubo system.

Both superchargers and turbochargers work on the same basic princliple. They force-feeding your engine both air and fuel. An increased density of air and fuel in the combustion chamber of your engine means more power on ignition. It is a means to increase your engine's compression ratio. The basic difference between superchrgers and turbochargers is that a supercharger is belt driven and relies on engine power to run. Turbochargers run off of exhaust pressure.

The most common type of supercharger, the Roots-type blower, compresses the air in the intake manifold. Common examples include the B&M and Weiand supercharers. These systems work great, but the disadvantge is that the air discharge temperature is rather high, meaning that although the pressure inside the intake manifold is increased, the air is hotter and can't hold as many oxygen molecules.

The other type of superchargers are real compressors. They compress the air inside the supercharger unit. Common examples are Paxton, Vortech, and Whipple. These systems usually have lower air discharge temperatures compared to Roots-type superchargers. Superchargers are driven by a belt, which uses engine power to run, and although a supercharger may use about 10-20 percent of your engine's power to run, the good news is that the overall engine output is up to 50 percent greater.

There are a few things you should know when you looking for a supercharging system. Air dischrage temperature is a measure of the air as it exits the blower. A higher tempertaure means a lower density of oxygen and fuel. Boost is the amount of pressure created by the supercharger. Put these two together and you get the supercharger's efficiency. Don't be fooled by high boost levels, they do not necessarilly mean more power. In order to reach higher boost levels, the blower must turn at higher speed, and thus more heat is created. However, there is an answer to heat. Intercoolers can lower the intake temperature. But even intercoolers have a disadvantage: they reduces the amount of boost pressure.

Most supercharger systems produce a mild boost of 5-7 lbs, which can be handled easily by a relatively stock engine. If you have a little technical knowledge, you can perform the installation in your driveway in about a day. Before you add your supercharger, you will need to upgrade your exhaust with a minimum of a cat-back system. A set of headers and a high-flow catalytic converter are also reccomended. You should also use a low-temperature thermostat (160 degree), and an ignition system that will ****** timing as the boost pressure rises. If you're not already using high octane gas, you'll need to use at least 92 octane with your new supercharger system. Additional items such as high-flow fuel pumps and computer upgrades may also be necessary, depending upon which supercharger you use.

If you really want the power, advanced systems can produce 25 lbs of boost pressure or more. But these systems expensive and require a specially designed engine that can handle a high compression ratio. For a simple boost, though, a mild system with 5-7 lbs. of boost should a lot to wake up your engine. Best of all, most superchargers are legal in most states, and some systems are legal in all 50 states.

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Old 06-28-2004, 11:37 AM   #6
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those two articles should explain every thing
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:39 AM   #7
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good ole how stuff works.com lol, no company really makes a turbo, just indivuduals custom fab up turbochargers.
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Old 06-28-2004, 02:16 PM   #8
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yeah but i dont think any one has ever even made a turbo for a mustang but maybey they have i m not sure
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Old 06-28-2004, 03:19 PM   #9
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That's some good info, I'm sticking this.
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Old 06-28-2004, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 232stang
yeah but i dont think any one has ever even made a turbo for a mustang but maybey they have i m not sure
There are dozens of them for 5.0s, a few for 4.6s, and a couple for V6s. TDC made a V6 one and it blew the test engine. Twice. I think they went under. All the current V6 turbos are junkyard turbos custom fabricated to fit. And they run 11s.
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Old 06-28-2004, 04:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 232stang
yeah but i dont think any one has ever even made a turbo for a mustang but maybey they have i m not sure
yes there has been justin i forget his website made one of the most powerful v6's with a custom turbo
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Old 06-28-2004, 04:06 PM   #12
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Actually it was Pro Turbo kits that had the turbo V6 that blew not TDC and yes they went under, TDC not pro-turbo.

Yes someone has fabbed up a turbo for a 3.8. Actually it's a twin turbo just go to http://www.velocitymustangperformance.com/
Project V6 runs 11.965 @ 113mph with a 1.699 60ft @ 12psi. Totally stock motor. 3365lbs. Less than $5,000 invested in go-fast parts. This is the 2nd fastest V6 Ford powered Mustang known to exist, and the only car to do it with a stock motor.

His name is justin he posts alot on v6power.net and sometimes on 3.8mustang.com I don't know if I've ever seen him on here??? I c ould be wrong though.

Plain and simple for ease a supercharger is great if you don't know a whole lot. But if you can fab up your own stuff and know a good bit about turbos, engines and cars in general a Turbo is the only way to go and on our cars a twin turbo is well...11.965 says it all (granted he does have other mods but damn 11 sec. V6!!!)
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 232stang
look our cars are good for low end torque so a super charger will be your best bet. but if you did want a turbo you would get a twin turbo setup even though i dont think they make one for a mustang. a twinn turbo setup is a setup that helps eliminate tubo lag buy puting in two turbos a small one and a big one the small one to take over in your low end and the big one for you high end thus you wont give up any torque as you would with a single turbo
umm. how about no. a centrifugal supercharger needs time to spool up too. you don't hit full boost when the car is idling. thus you have spooling issues (not as much as with a turbo, but it does happen).

Next, you do NOT need a twin turbo setup. The only time people do TT setups to eliminate lag is if one of them is huge and the other is small. This does high hp out of one and high spool out of the other. The mustang only needs 1 turbo. TTs just yield more power, but you only need 1 PROPERLY SIZED TURBO to make it to where you don't have turbo lag issues. I would suggest a T3/4 hybrid or a T04 sized turbo.

a turbo will be safer and last longer on your car than a supercharger will. no questions about it. Just turn up the boost when you want it there and you can drive at say 5psi of boost when you dont want to boost. that itself will save your engine. If you want to just daily drive it for a while, keep the boost low. then on weekends, turn it up. not hard to do. a supercharger is always on, always on the same boost unless you change the pulleys. Harder to do than turn a knob on a boost controller.

Like stated above, superchargers have been around for a while on the v6 and have been mass produced. There are no turbo kits out for the v6 yet. You will have to custom make one or get someone else to do it for you. You can get a whole turbo system built and fuel mods and tuning for your car for under $5000 if you know how to do most of the work yourself.

and yes, TDC went out of business because they had ****ty customer service. PTK had a prototype that blew the engine because the tester turned up the boost too much and their crappy tuning couldnt do anything.
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:54 AM   #14
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if i even manage to pay my debt and build my 4.2, i'm either gonna stay N/A and shoot for ~300 rwhp, or do a turbocharger and shoot for around 375rwhp

hopefully soon my mom will pay me back the 2 grand she owes me
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Old 07-01-2004, 04:20 PM   #15
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wow the info that i got was stickied i feel special
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Old 07-11-2004, 07:35 PM   #16
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I know there is a turbo kit out there, 5.0 mustang mag. even did a special on a guy that had it done once. wish i knew where that issue was.
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Old 07-20-2004, 04:09 PM   #17
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a twin turbo kit, is a set of the same sized turbos to deal with less "spent" engine power. on the other hand a BI-turbo i believe is what you confused a twin turbo with. where there is a small turbo and a larger turbo inline with eatch other. a twin turbo is designed for "v"stlye engines where the headers arent linked. IE a v6 is three and three. a straight 4 is just four. the reason to use twin turbos in a six is the farther from the heads you mount the turbos the more energy you loose, and thats results in more lag. so youd use twin turbos to mount two small turbos up against the motor. instead of runing 6-8 feet of piping- loosing alot of power and sending your underhood temps through the roof. just clarifying. and turbos are far more effcient, another reason not mentioned is the Hp loss with superchargers. it takes between30-50 hp, thats the reason high end superchargers use notched belts. turbos consume a very small amout of hp, due to that they are spooled but the spent engine "energy". so their production to consuption of hp ratio far exceeds superchargers.
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Old 07-20-2004, 04:12 PM   #18
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and the reason for TT setups is instead of using one large turbo to push a high Psi you can use two smaller turbos which will spool faster to create the same psi
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:52 AM   #19
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what monkey and thirstymate said.

save your money and buy a v8 if i were you. either that, or get a vortech/procharger kit and be happy. if you had more experience and resources i would say go with a custom turbo, but that's not the case. good luck and post up once you get her on!

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:17 AM   #20
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Re: supercharger vs. turbocharger

if a car with fuel injectors and supercharger that runs fine added a intercooler would it lean out the mixture and need the injectors to be larger? just asking becuase i want to add a cooler
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:37 PM   #21
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Re: supercharger vs. turbocharger

wow, crazy a$$ old thread. welcome danny, if i were you, i would create a new thread. that way ppl wont think its just the usual turbo vs sc thread. just a bit of advice.
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Old 12-29-2006, 05:36 PM   #22
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Re: supercharger vs. turbocharger

lets quit diggin up the old threads mmk?
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:59 PM   #23
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Re: supercharger vs. turbocharger

Ive been looking into this myself and i live in san antonio and found this place right down that street that does turbos for 87- to present mustangs. heres the site if u wanna take a look. Mustang Turbo Systems
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:11 PM   #24
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Re: supercharger vs. turbocharger

well here's something completely insane
it's like f*ck it let's do both like tila tequila
oVER 1100HP and 1000lbft with 66mm turbos and stock blower.this is what makes me back ford when chevy guys become arrogantmusclemustangsandfastfords.comor pick up that issue on ya newstands it's 2008 january's issue

TWIN TURBO AND SUPERCHARGED TERMINATOR
Here are the particulars
with timing up to 16degrees @6500rpm
1048RWHP
900RWTQ at 26.8pounds,manifold:41pounds
with 19 degrees turbo boost at 27pounds,manifold peak saw 44psi and final result:
1188RWHP
1015RWTQ
Bassani after cat 3inch exhausts were used
Nitto 555R drag radials were also used
grand total of 65 pounds including the factory eaton m112 with STOCK pulleys!!!
turbos are from Turbonetics, which make a 106mm,so imagine if two of those were used instad of the 66mm? and a more efficent blower say a twin screw like a kenne bell?
they haven't even finished tuning this.and more power with a stroker kit with 8 or 7 to 1 compression,damn all i got to say is DAMN!!
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