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Technical The Supercharger Survey

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jive-Bomber, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,395


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    The Supercharger Survey


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    Deuces, Tim, Speed Gems and 3 others like this.
  2. We are running a mix of old and new,
    We have a Procharger on our GMC 302 in our land speed roadster.
    It was quite a change to run, new high volumn fuel pump, larger fuel and return lines (steel braded-racing requirement) boost regulated fuel pressure valve, boost pressure gauge, and a bunch of large tube plumbing, for 10 pounds of boost and hopefully a $100 trophy.
  3. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,526


    a 671 + 6 Strombergs on an SBC motor similar to our build.


    My brother and I were introduced to a Paxton-McCulloch Centrifugal Supercharger. They came stock on some model Fords, including the Thunderbird. It was an instant power surge when the acceleration took place. But, for sheer power at the dragstrip, nothing beats a big 671 supercharger on any motor.

    The best example is the journey of Don Garlits from his early years. He, like other early pioneers used as many carburetor set ups to see which one was the best for dragstrip power on any motor. In his early years, he did set some records, but was surpassed by most on the Westcoast when they had their 671 on the big Hemi motors.

    In the history of his learning curve, Garlits came out West to the race in the 1959 Bakersfield Smokers March Meet. He brought the carburetor version of his big motors. The 1st Bakersfield Meet was an eye opener. He was shut down quickly by the West Coast contingent. That made him mad and sought help. When told by several So Cal cam grinders and builders that a 671 was the way to go, within a month, there was a new motor with a shiny 671 on top. When he went up North to Kingdon, CA, he shut down all of the top racers in Northern California, with his newly created 671 Hemi motor.

    Now, for the December 1959 race at Riverside Raceway, he now had the power to back up the reputation he set earlier in Northern California. In the finals, he faced the top West Coast racer in Art Chrisman. The results should be OK for most fans of Garlits, but there was a big controversy at the starting procedure. It goes by fast, so keep your eye on movement at the starting line.


    It was written that the 671 supercharger motor eye opener started Don Garlits’ journey to what everyone saw in his step by step history. There is no excuse for not having a 671 for power.

    Even for little guys like my brother and I building our first 671 supercharged 292 ci SBC motor, the blower gave us confidence. My brother knew in his brain that our 6 Stromberg carburetor SBC motor was going to eventually limit us on our climb to the top of the Gas Coupe and Sedan Classes. It already proved that the E.T times were very fast for the street usage, but would limit our races against the top competition.

    So, he was thinking and whether it was fate or not, a brand new Isky-Gilmer Belt Drive set up for the SBC motor had just come out and we were able to get one of the first ones from our friend (with ties to Edlebrock and company) Of course, there was an Edlebrock SBC blower manifold with the Isky-Gilmer Kit. It fit like a glove and made us instantly a threat from our small SBC motor in the 1940 Willys Coupe.

    The 6 Strombergs on the 283 ci SBC motor was a great build for us. It was a fast, powerful motor and made the Willys competitive, but not against the top class winners from the early days. We were close, but we all know that result. The rebuilding the 283 to a larger 292 C.I. motor, blower, speed part infused, engine was brand new and we were told that it would do so much better than the 283+Strombergs.

    Since Reath Automotive did the race specs on the 671 blower, sold us some aluminum pistons and rods, as well as a Joe Hunt Vertex Magneto, they knew it was going to be a strong runner. We were so happy while assembling the motor and looking at that new 671 supercharger sitting on the workbench just waiting its turn to get moved over to the final install.
    thanks… Bob


    After August 1960, my brother was thinking of building another fast street hot rod. But, since this new build was going to be a street legal hot rod to be used for daily driving, the way to get maximum power was not a 671, but adding a Paxton-McCulloch centrifugal supercharger to any motor. Since it was going to be used for daily driving and long surf trips, it had to be reliable. We had seen plenty of street supercharged motors and a Paxton-McCulloch seemed easiest to maintain and still get some added power for any situation. Plus, it would fit under any hood of any hot rod.
  4. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,395


    @jnaki Your hot rod stories of the 50s and 60s are amazing as always! Thank you for sharing...
    LOU WELLS and jnaki like this.

  5. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,138

    from KCMO

    Great post I’ll have to zoom in or find a bigger screen and read it all the way threw later :)
  6. I guess it counts and a axial super charger but as an off from the main road type of blower I have always been partial to the Whipple charger. (I think you can still buy one new).


    And if I could build anything in the world I wanted to I would build a car with a direct drive super charger.

    1952henry, Texas Webb, Deuces and 4 others like this.
  7. Ebbspeed
    Joined: May 7, 2007
    Posts: 85


    My friend Tim's 36. 20201024_133519.jpg 20201024_133636.jpg
  8. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,346



    On a banger of mine
    Dustyp489, Deuces and VANDENPLAS like this.
  9. I can't help but wonder what it'd be like to put some boost on my flathead straight 8 Pontiac. I had an O/T gran prix GTP with factory Eaton supercharger and liked it.
    winduptoy likes this.
  10. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,765

    from Michigan

  11. Beaner, the Whipple is what is referred to as a high helix, or screw type blower. So while it is kind of axial flow, it is a positive displacement like a roots style. Except the Whipple does the compressing inside the compressor case and at the exit of the compressor in the rear, vs in the intake manifold like a roots.
  12. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,130

    Speed Gems

  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,480

    Rusty O'Toole

    For certain technical reasons flathead engines respond well to supercharging especially the centrifugal supercharger. You can get a 30% to 40% increase in rear wheel HP with no bad effects on drivability or engine life with 4 or 5 pounds of boost. Watch local ads for a used Paxton off someone's Mustang or Camaro. They used to turn up for $500 or so. Improved version of the old McCulloch of the fifties, which have gotten quite expensive.
    A turbocharger does the same thing cheaper but can cause burnt valves on a flathead, which usually does not boast of great exhaust valve cooling.
    It should be understood that any engine has to be in top shape before you go adding a supercharger, that means an overhaul or rebuild if it has more than 30,000 or 40,000 miles.
    Another possibility would be an Eaton blower off a Buick or Thunderbird of the nineties.
    1952henry likes this.
  14. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 682


    when I first started building my AV-8 I found a very nice flathead that had been recently built for a friend who decided to go a different route...the flattie was mine and plans were underway to drop a blower on it. I was able to source a Mitchell manifold from down under and set a fresh 471 on it. With much negotiation pullies were custom made and all the pieces came together. I had 2 94 carbs but wasn't happy with the response and ended up swapping them for 97's...much better now. Paired with a GM 700r4 tranny to take advantage of the lowest of first gears, along with a 4:11 rear, she spun those little 600-16's with ease....the hard part is to keep it all nostalgic looking, avoiding bling 'n billet. In the end I'm very happy with how it all worked out...

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