Boost Swap PASMAG

Increasing air induction has long been a go-to for more power since the first supercharger was paired to the first two-stroke engine way back in 1878. Simply put, the more air you can rapidly jam into your combustion engine, the more power output you can make.

More technically, adding even higher pressure to your engine’s compression process with the use of a turbocharger or supercharger creates what is known colloquially among forced induction enthusiasts as “boost” – a seemingly magical force capable of producing up to 50% more power out of any engine, as well as producing ear-to-ear grins on the faces of those fortunate enough to be along for the ride.

The two systems share the forced induction principle, but go about accomplishing their goals in very different ways. Turbochargers get their blades spinning with the help of exiting exhaust gasses passing through a turbine, which then propels the turbocharger’s compressor to astonishing RPM, rapidly drawing air into the engine’s combustion chamber. Unlike superchargers, it does take a little bit of spooling before a turbocharger kicks into action. A supercharger, on the other hand, draws its power directly from the engine’s crankshaft. A belt or chain connected directly to the engine from the supercharger’s pulley is the source of power for a supercharger system, which then spins at a higher RPM than the engine itself, compressing air above atmospheric pressure before sending it through an intercooler and into the engine for added boost.

One should note that three primary types of superchargers are commonly used to squeeze that extra bit of performance out of an engine: Twin-screw, centrifugal, and roots superchargers. Roots superchargers, the ones famous for sticking out of the hood of hot rods and muscle cars, are the least efficient of the three, being the heaviest and least consistent. The twin-screw system, known for its signature supercharger “whine” sound, uses meshing lobes as rotors for compressing air into pockets that steadily decrease in size thanks to their conical taper. The centrifugal design most resembles a turbocharger, using the crankshaft and pulley system to power an impeller at high speeds to draw air into a small compressor housing and out to a diff user, which converts high-speed, low-pressure air into low-speed, high pressure air, before meeting fuel

A person swaps an engine for one of two reasons: to replace an older one that doesn’t work anymore, or to make significant gains over the stock powerplant. An engine swap is also a new beginning to your car-building journey. Think of it as a clean slate for your engine bay.

When you think of engine swaps, your mind probably drifts off to a place of beastly 2JZs, fire-spitting SR20DETs, trusty GM LS crate motors and growling 5.0-liter Coyotes. The reality is that the more common swaps are actually of the four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated variety. Honda enthusiasts have been doing the swap from SOHC to DOHC ever since VTEC kicked in, yo! With the growing popularity of aftermarket support for a wide variety of engine swaps, the possibilities are endless.

As with any major modification, being able to support them has to be at the front of your mind. If you’re putting a powerplant into your car that doubles your original engine’s output, are the brakes enough to stop all the extra power? Also, how heavy is that new block of metal? Your suspension better be up to the task, otherwise your ride is going to be bowing down, but not out of respect.

Swapping in a new engine is a bit of a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are some DIY guys out there that may be all gung-ho about fabricating their own mounts and harnesses, but what about the average enthusiast looking to have an engine under the hood that’s as unique as their vehicle? That’s where the always-amazing aftermarket comes in. With the surge in engine swaps, there’s a kit out there for almost any chassis and engine combination available. You want to be like your drift heroes and toss an LS-series V8 in your 240SX? There are companies that specialize in making mounts and headers to make sure the whole thing fits right.

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