Last week, I had contacted a large manufacturer of Electric Superchargers via eBay. The company name was "superchargers4less", and their website is www.tempestperformance.com
Now, I didn't pay a dime for this; I had contacted them over a period of two days asking if they would allow me to "test" the supercharger, and prove to everyone that's been sceptical about purchasing one of these setups. The only catch was that it needed to be returned, and that I had to write a review (good or bad.) So here it is.
When it first arrived, I was impressed by the packaging. I opened it up, and there it was piled under some newspaper.
As I plucked the gloss black charger from the packaging, I found enclosed in a sealed bag a 6 amp switch, a nice long piece of 14 gauge braided blue wire, and instructions with pictures.
Now before I go any further, I guess I should explain what this is going on. The test car is my daily driver -- My 1991 Chevy Cavalier Z24. It has a rather large motor I guess, compared to what most people probably put these products on, as it is a 3.1 liter V6. The other modifications performance-wise that are currently done to the car are ported intake manifolds and an underdrive pulley. It also has a Dynomax Super Turbo muffler, but without the rest of the exhaust you can't count it much.
Alright back to the review. I didn't really have the proper equipment (i.e., a dyno or flowbench) to test this piece out with to see what kind of gains I felt. All I had to rely on during this test was seat of the pants feelings, a boost gauge, and my hand to feel the airflow from the blower.
So the install starts. First thing I notice that's going to be a huge problem is that the inlet for the intake side of the blower has some sort of weird flange on it instead of just a 3" round neck. So after thinking, I took a trip to Autozone and got some sort of weird adapter thing that I saw on the shelf. I grabbed that and some Crazy Glue and came home. After using an absurd amount of crazy glue, I got the neck adapter situated on the outlet. To make sure this wasn't just going to break off as I was driving, I also put a hefty amount of JBStick around it to help secure it to the supercharger. I let it cure for about an hour.
Essentially the the whole installation speaks for itself after that problem was solved. I hooked it up to the intake, but left the air filter off due to clearance problems. Then I just ran the wiring to a switch I used to have for my cooling fan override switch, and just ran the wiring straight to that. Postive and negative come off of the blower motor; the negative to a ground and the postive to the switch. Another positive comes off the switch to a power supply.
So it was all hooked up. I fired the car up. Idles the same. Seems to sound a little throatier and the throttle response seemed a lot better. But was this fact or fiction? Well, I had to make sure I wasn't just imagining things. I shut the switch off, disabling the device and letting the air move naturally. Ahh -- But avail! It must have just been my mind. Sounded and responded exactly the same with it on or off. But could this be it? Did I really just spend an hour hooking everything up just to call it quits without even taking it for a drive? Of course not! I had to see what all this hype was about that the company was claiming! So I installed the boost gauge and took her for a rip.
Initially with the switch it seemed to pick up a little better in the mid range. But again, I had to switch it to off to make sure I wasn't being deceived; and I was. Felt exactly the same. At this point I was starting to feel a little disappointed, but I knew going into this after reading a lot of rave reviews, that, well, chances are it wouldn't do a thing.
So now what... Do I return this? Do I keep it on the car for ha-ha's and get proclaimed Domestic Ricer? Do I take a baseball bat to it and tell the company that they sell a bunch of garbage? No, I will return it. With a copy of this review enclosed, and I will be posting this for informational purposes to anyone wondering about one of these propoganda piles of junk.
So to all of you that didn't feel like reading this entire compilation of words, sentences, bad punctuation, and random babble; here is the moral of the story. For the $90 you are going to spend on these magical electric superchargers, you may as well go buy a $5 oscillating fan and duct tape it to your intake tract. I can't imagine what type of restriction the Inline-Type Electric Chargers have on the intake system, but my setup was a Centrifugal-Inspired Charger and it seemed to have plenty of flow at idle.
Now I try not to get technical most of the time, but here is a constantly reiterated fact about these things. A real supercharger, runs off of a pulley driven by the engines power. No electricity involved. They spin at 50,000+ RPM's! These things probably reach no more than 3,000. If these were to spin at 50,000 RPM's, I would not want to see the carnage left in your engine when it implodes.
This particular setup was supposed to flow a whopping 250CFM, but when hooked up to a battery outside of the car, it felt like sticking your face in front of a small fan on high. Is it enough air to jam the intake tract full of air enough to produce positive pressure, even all the way to WOT? I doubt it. But then again, this was on a semi-large displacement V6, maybe if it was on a small motor like a Geo Prizm you might see .5-1 psi.
All in all this review is ended; Hopefully you enjoyed the read.
1. The electric supercharger is nowhere worth near $90. It's just a little air pusher fan. Does absolutely nothing.
2. Hopefully I can return this thing, after the JBWeld and Glue I don't know if it will come off safely... If not, I just take a baseball bat to it and send it back.
Here is a video so you can see the REAL results of an electric supercharger!
(link may not work for a while, it says it was being optimized when I checked.