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How to Build Supercharged and Turbocharged Small Block Fords How to Build Supercharged and Turbocharged
Small Block Fords
by Bob McClurg
The supercharger and turbocharger in their various forms and
applications have both been around for well over a century.
What makes them so popular? Looks, power, performance,
sound, and status. And how do they relate to, and improve
upon, the performance level of a small-block Ford pushrod V-
8 engine like a 289-302, a 351-Windsor, a Ford 351-
Cleveland, or even the latest generation 4.6L / 5.4L “modular”
small-block V-8 engines? That’s EXACTLY what this book is
all about!

While Ford dabbled in supercharging and turbocharging on
production cars all the way back in 1957 with the legendary
Thunderbird, and then again with Shelbys and over-the-
counter kits, and then again in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s
with turbocharging 4- cylinder applications in Mustangs the
real revolution in supercharging and turbocharging Ford
products has come through the aftermarket in more recent
times. The Fox Mustang, created in 1979, and the platform
that would eventually feature fuel injection in 1986, allowing
much more boost, created a genre of lightning-quick and
affordable performance cars.

Featuring legendary supercharger and turbocharger
manufacturers like Paxton, Vortech, Pro-Charger, Garret-
AirResearch and Power Dyne, as well as traditional Roots-
style systems, this book covers everything you need to know
about supercharging and turbocharging your small-block
Ford.
Read the sample pages to learn more!
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter
Chap. 1 - Considerations
Chap. 2 -
Roots Superchargers
Chap. 3 -
Centrifugal Blowers
Chap. 4 -
Eaton / Magnuson
Chap. 5 -
Twin-Screw Blowers
Chap. 6 -
Tuning for Boost
Chap. 7 -
Turbocharging
8-1/2 x 11"
S
oft bound.
128 p
ages.
Approximately 425 b/w photos
Item # SA95P
Price: $22.95
Click Here to buy now!
This is a great book that anyone considering the
installation of a supercharger on a Ford should own!
General Considerations for Supercharged Engines
1965 Mustang with a Supercharged 289
When you add a supercharger to
your engine, you’ll be making more
horsepower, so it makes sense that
you’ll need more air and more fuel.
This is one reason why Roots
blowers are often topped with a pair
of carburetors and a big air cleaner.
Regardless of the type of supercharger you use, there are certain operating parameters that must
be considered for your setup to work properly. Among them are particulars for each type of
supercharger used – those will be detailed in individual chapters of this book dedicated to each ’
charger type. However, the more general factors for a successful installation will be discussed here.
These general considerations include:

• Increased intake airflow requirement
• Fuel system flow capability
• Ignition alterations, including timing, spark intensity, spark plug and wire selection
• Charge cooling (when used)
• Increased exhaust airflow and temperature
• Under-hood temperature considerations
• Cooling system requirements and upgrades
Intake Airflow

The basic idea behind supercharging is to make the engine think it’s bigger than it really is. If we
agree to dispense with the engineering math and finicky stuff for a moment, let’s assume we’re
talking about a 302-ci engine, and an unnamed, general supercharger setup that can build as
much as 15 pounds of positive manifold pressure, or boost. Also assume the engine will take that
boost and make good use of it without turning into a warhead.
Fuel injected 5.0 with a centrifugal supercharger
Just because a centrifugal
blower is physically smaller
than a Roots, doesn’t mean it
requires less air or fuel. With
a modern fuel-injection
system, you may need a set
of larger injectors, a higher-
flowing fuel pump, and an
open-element air filter.
On a theoretical average day, the static air pressure is 14.7 psi – against every surface that isn’t in
motion, and above an equally theoretical “zero” point. In reality, the static air pressure around us
varies considerably with altitude and the amount of moisture; an increase in either (or both) will
cause a reduction in the atmospheric pressure.

For our example, though, let’s presume we have a day that fits this average description. If anything
causes pressure to fall significantly below the ambient pressure, it causes a vacuum. Think about
how it feels to put your hand over the end of an idling engine’s intake tube – as the engine runs, it
will leave a formidable hickey on your palm before the engine stalls from lack of air. You’re creating
a pressure difference between the ambient air and the lower pressure inside the inlet pipe, which is
why it sucks your hand in. The ambient air is merely attempting to regain its equal influence against
every surface, everywhere.

Incidentally, an idling V-8 only creates a couple of pounds of negative differential pressure at its
inlet. If it were more (let’s say 20 psi of vacuum), it would easily break your hand into soft mushy
stuff. That’s enough meteorology for now.

When you’re talking about boost, a static air pressure of 14.7 psi is usually called an atmosphere.
You’ll hear that term used when the conversation turns to boost pressure. For example, if a
supercharged engine’s manifold pressure rises to about 7.3 psi above ambient pressure, the
engine is said to be running “half an atmosphere of boost.” If the engine and supercharger can
operate together well enough to bring the manifold pressure up to 14.7 psi, it’s making one
atmosphere of boost. That figure is rarely seen on the street, but it’s completely reasonable for
most race engines designed for supercharged operation. The difference there is primarily in the
materials used to build the engine, and its architecture.
Holley 4 barrel carburetors and roots blower adapter plate
Most Roots blowers have room for
two 4-bbls on top. You’ll need to
figure out how much power you’re
going to make, and then choose
carbs accordingly. Having the right
amount of air and fuel will literally
make or break your supercharged
engine.
Now we get to the airflow part of our 302-ci scenario. A fresh small-block Ford consumes roughly 80
percent of its displacement volume for every two revolutions (720 degrees) of its crankshaft. It
takes two revolutions to cycle all of the cylinders in a four-stroke, whether it’s a five-horse Briggs &
Stratton or one of John Force’s fuel-burning Mustang funny cars.

The 80 percent factor is the volumetric efficiency (VE) of the engine, or the amount of air that is
actually moved through the engine versus its total displacement. That’s a fairly reasonable VE
figure for a modern engine, but it’s about 10 percent high for older engines with less computer time
invested in optimizing their airflow characteristics. A naturally aspirated engine relies on the ambient
air pressure to refill the cylinders with a fresh intake charge. The more efficient an engine is, the
more it will take in while the intake valve is open, the higher the VE will be. With the addition of a
supercharger, the VE will reach and exceed 100 percent as the manifold pressure goes positive
(boost), regardless of engine RPM. Basically, with boost, you can stuff 10 lbs of crap in a 5-lb bag.

There can be occasional exceptions to this statement. If the intake tract is tragically wrong in its
engineering, it won’t matter how high the manifold pressure gets, you won’t be able to get enough
airflow to the cylinder heads. Amazingly enough, this has happened more than you might imagine,
thanks to improperly matched airflow upgrades with an over-ambitious supercharger selection. In
every case, the owner will have a look of disbelief on his face as the boost continues to rise, but the
power output, well – doesn’t.

In our example, the un-blown 302 manages to ingest, mix, burn, and get rid of about 400 cubic feet
of air per minute (cfm) at 5,500 rpm, presuming its operator is not pussy-footing around and has
the throttle wide open.

At that same 5,500 rpm, but with a supercharger installed and providing half an atmosphere (about
7 psi) of boost, the engine will be processing air at the rate of about 600 cfm. In effect, we’ve now
tricked the engine into thinking it displaces 450 ci. It’s dealing with the airflow of an engine that big,
and if we did everything right, it’ll make power like an engine of that size.
If we crank the boost up to a full atmosphere (about 15 psi), the engine will behave very much like it
displaces 604 ci by processing more than 810 cfm of air at 5,500 rpm. That would be a formidable
302, indeed.

Those airflow figures are conservative because of another, less obvious, engine characteristic. A
supercharger not only supplies the amount of air an engine uses under normal (non-supercharged)
conditions, it also fills the internal volumes that can’t be displaced by piston movement. Those
areas include the combustion chamber volume above the pistons, which can be considerable,
depending on the engine’s cylinder head design, and also the entire intake manifold.

Fords have relatively compact combustion chambers in the interest of keeping the flame travel
distance short, which help control emissions. Luckily, that compact volume provides a benefit when
supercharging, because it reduces the distance the flame-front must travel after ignition,
contributing to faster combustion and better control of the chamber temperature – which definitely
goes up under boost, regardless of the chamber shape.

This all comes together when you decide how much boost you’ll be using with your engine. The
intake tract includes everything – each inch of tubing and all the bends, meanders, metering
devices, sensor tips, screens, filters, and duct surfaces – between the combustion chamber and the
air surrounding the car.
Next


This has been a sample page from

How to Build Supercharged and Turbocharged Small Block Fords How to Build Supercharged and Turbocharged
Small Block Fords
by Bob McClurg
The supercharger and turbocharger in their various forms and
applications have both been around for well over a century.
What makes them so popular? Looks, power, performance,
sound, and status. And how do they relate to, and improve
upon, the performance level of a small-block Ford pushrod V-
8 engine like a 289-302, a 351-Windsor, a Ford 351-
Cleveland, or even the latest generation 4.6L / 5.4L “modular”
small-block V-8 engines? That’s EXACTLY what this book is
all about!

While Ford dabbled in supercharging and turbocharging on
production cars all the way back in 1957 with the legendary
Thunderbird, and then again with Shelbys and over-the-
counter kits, and then again in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s
with turbocharging 4- cylinder applications in Mustangs the
real revolution in supercharging and turbocharging Ford
products has come through the aftermarket in more recent
times. The Fox Mustang, created in 1979, and the platform
that would eventually feature fuel injection in 1986, allowing
much more boost, created a genre of lightning-quick and
affordable performance cars.

Featuring legendary supercharger and turbocharger
manufacturers like Paxton, Vortech, Pro-Charger, Garret-
AirResearch and Power Dyne, as well as traditional Roots-
style systems, this book covers everything you need to know
about supercharging and turbocharging your small-block
Ford.
Read the sample pages to learn more!
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter
Chap. 1 - Considerations
Chap. 2 -
Roots Superchargers
Chap. 3 -
Centrifugal Blowers
Chap. 4 -
Eaton / Magnuson
Chap. 5 -
Twin-Screw Blowers
Chap. 6 -
Tuning for Boost
Chap. 7 -
Turbocharging
8-1/2 x 11"
S
oft bound.
128 p
ages.
Approximately 425 b/w photos
Item # SA95P
Price: $22.95
Click Here to buy now!
This is a great book that anyone considering the
installation of a supercharger on a Ford should own!
Other items you might be interested in

How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
By increasing the bore and stroke of your current
engine, you can add those cubic inches without the
hassle of switching to a big block. George Reid
thoroughly explains the building of a small block Ford
stroker, paying special attention to the effect that
increasing the bore and stroke have on the engine as a
whole. Also included is a complete guide to factory head
and block castings, as well as aftermarket block and
head guides, so you can choose exactly the right parts
for your project.
How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
Price:
$ 22.95



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