Inducing Early Boost: Adding Extra Power With a Supercharger
By guest contributor, Fergus Ogilvy | Photos by Victor Moore
In early 2016, Pace Performance of Ohio initiated a dyno test session at Lamar Walden Automotive in Doraville, Georgia. The plan was set in motion to ascertain how a TorqStorm centrifugal supercharger would perform compared to a naturally aspirated counterpart.
BluePrint Engines of Kearney, Nebraska was the source of the test engine, providing a 383cid stroked small-block Chevrolet built specifically with forced induction in mind.
In normally aspirated form, the 383 small block produced 436 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. With the TorqStorm supercharger engaged, it churned out a respectable 627 horsepower and 566 lb-ft of torque at 5,800 rpm.
Unlike turbochargers where turbo lag is expected in the lower rpm ranges, this supercharger in tandem with a blow-through carburetor generated 400 lb-ft of torque at a lowly 2,000 rpm, which is arguably its best aspect. Shop owner Rob Walden declared the combination impressive particularly its torque spread and throttle response and how hard-pressed a turbo would be pushed to match it.
Revealingly, its billet aluminum compressor wheel, which spins in excess of 70,000 rpm, is the chief source of its early boosting capability, intervening at around 1,800 rpm and sustaining boost throughout the rev range. But if this is the TorqStorm’s finest aspect, it is closely rivaled by its billet construction.
Machined 6061 billet aluminum is used to produce the gear case, rather than the alternative cast housing. The same materials are also used to complete the supercharger’s mounting arrangement, including pulleys and adjusting mechanism. It brings rigidity to the forefront of its design. In fact, the main arching bracket is ¾-inch thick to avoid the slightest misalignment of the gearbox housing and pulley drive mechanism. Rigidity is imperative, according to its designer Chris Brooker, “It also reduces bearing deflection and improves the supercharger’s sealing characteristics.”
Beyond its structural properties and early boost capabilities, this supercharger is equipped with tool steel straight-cut gears and ceramic bearings to contribute to gearbox longevity. A self-contained oil supply eliminates the plumbing hassles normally associated with supercharger installations.
In addition, the compressor’s V-band clamping method allows for the rotation of its aluminum cover, which in turn permits a variety of mounting position options for air duct routing to the bonnet or intercooler.
TorqStorm distinguishes itself in further ways, notably by providing comprehensive easy-to-install kits and covering them with a limited lifetime warranty. This has been achieved, claims Brooker, “as a result of having all the components produced in-house.” Not least among these is the production of the complex compressor wheel. More attractive still perhaps is the kit’s $2,800 starting price. Single TorqStorm supercharger kits support over 700 horsepower and twin units in excess of 1000 horsepower.
With regard to their appearance, the blower kits can be purchased in a natural alloy finish, black anodized or even micro-polished for that extra visual flash.
Though a relatively new name in supercharging, TorqStorm has become a prominent member of the U.S. forced-induction ranks. And with good reason: huge bursts of power, a formula for producing a wide range of efficient single and twin kits—and value for money.