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Tax Refund on the Way? It’s Time to Think About Supercharging

DIY, Engines & Components  /   /  By Mark Bach

The latest high-performance offerings from Dodge, Lamborghini, and Porsche are now eclipsing 700 horsepower. If all that grunt leaves you desiring more power, it’s time to consider one of the bolt-on supercharger kits now available on eBay Motors. With tax-refund season in full swing, a check from the I.R.S. could provide the means to make it happen.

This post is part of our tax-refund series, which includes articles about prepping a commuting roadster for the track, spiffing up a garage, converting an SUV to go (way) off-road, and how to get a “slammed” look by bagging your ride.

Forced Air in a Neat Package

A normally aspirated engine combines fuel and incoming air to produce power. But if you can force more air into the engine, you can also add more fuel and thereby create additional power from each combustion cycle.

LSA supercharger conversion-heat intercooler

LSA supercharger conversion-heat intercooler

Back in the day, a builder wanting to supercharge needed to assemble a variety of parts and special plumbing from different vendors, some of which might not work well together. For example, because the air is compressed into the engine and the air temperature rises, there’s a need for an intercooler. It used to take weeks to pull all the components together.

But today’s superchargers come in a reliable, custom-designed package with all the necessary pieces for a specific application. These are carefully conceived kits, with all the details taken into consideration. For example, under light-throttle conditions, by-pass valves allow the engine to avoid the supercharger boost to improve fuel economy. These packages often consider emissions laws and offer warranties.

Everything you need to supercharge in one package

Everything you need to supercharge in one package

A prime example of a high-quality (although pricey) package is the Edelbrock 15980 E-Force Supercharger Street-Legal Kit for a stock 2010 Camaro with the manual transmission. In stock trim, the Camaro used a 6.2-liter LS3 engine to produce 426 horsepower with 420 pounds of torque. Pop on an E-Force supercharger with tuning for a Stage-1 street system and expect a boost to a whopping 599 horses with 547 pounds of torque. The Edelbrock system is emissions-compliant and comes with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty.

eBay Motors offers superchargers in a wide range of prices and configurations. Many of the vendors offer free technical support as you do the wrenching.

While many of these units require spending your entire tax refund (and then some), a supercharger is one of the fastest and most accessible ways to add a couple of hundred ponies to your ride with drastically modifying your engine. If it can be financed by a check from Uncle Sam, it’s all the better.

About the Author

Mark C. Bach has oil in his veins and remembers feeler gauges and brake springs. He has a love for all things that move, especially old-school muscle cars. Bach writes for a variety of outlets, including Chevy Classics and FuelCurve.com, and maintains Route66pubco.com.

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