By Alfie Bilk:
Early in the winter of 2015, Pace Performance of Boardman, Ohio, initiated a dyno test to ascertain the merits of the TorqStorm supercharger. Keen to learn how it would perform against a known rival, they promptly dispatched a 383cid small-block Chevrolet to the premises of Lamar Walden Automotive in Doraville, Georgia.
The 383 was a crate engine from BluePrint Engines and its part number, BP38316CT1, indicated the unit was specifically designed for power-adders.
Over at Lamar Walden’s, the 383 with a 750cfm Demon Blow-through carburetor is attached to the dyno. A crankshaft drive pulley and spacer are attached to the harmonic damper. Then the ¾-inch-thick TorqStorm billet bracket is installed on the left cylinder head with three accompanying spacers and a backing plate. The supercharger is secured to its robust bracket by seven socket head bolts.
And then there’s the 8-rib serpentine belt, which is fitted and tensioned by a simple hand-adjusted idler. Thereafter, a small-bore hose is connected between the boost-reference port on the blow-off valve and the carburetor.
All that remains is to install the hat or bonnet on the carburetor and to connect it to the supercharger with the two large-bore discharge tubes supplied with the kit. Positioned between the discharge tubes is the inline blow-off valve, and tightening the 4 stainless steel hose clamps completes the arrangement.
In the dynamometer room, stood Rob Walden, who has been supervising and testing high-performance and competition engines and engine parts for 25 years. The tests would include, first, confirming the power output of the naturally aspirated BluePrint 383 engine. Second, they would assess the TorqStorm supercharger and, third, repeat the process with a Vortech unit.
Earlier, the BluePrint small-block sustained two days of comparison tests. The directive from Pace Performance also included exhaustive trials with supercharged EFI units—none of which, by the way, matched the performance of the blow-through carburetor.
It’s worth bearing in mind the fuel requirements for the boost condition as Walden reminded us: “Idle and cruise conditions don’t alter fuel consumption appreciably,” he says, “but boost conditions do. Also it’s important the spark plugs operate in the correct heat range.”
Commonly, supercharged engines run higher combustion temperatures than their naturally aspirated counterparts. Thus, spark plugs are usually one or two steps colder for the former to deter detonation, depending upon the amount of boost.
As you might expect, the dynamometer preparations for the tests were routine: crank-up the engine and allow it to reach normal operating temperatures—coolant around 180 degrees Fahrenheit, lubricating oil over 100 degrees and ignition timing checked, which had been set to 32 degree total.
After the first dyno pull, the spark plugs were removed for visual checking. For testers adept in spark plug reading, old habits are hard to break. Accurate spark plug readings indicate how the air-fuel mixture is burning in each cylinder, a handy skill to hold in reserve, especially when a problem arises and quick, empiric information is needed.
Inevitably, the dyno tests began by confirming that the 383 BluePrint small-block breathing at atmospheric pressure made 436hp and 460lb ft torque at 4300rpm. But when the TorqStorm was added it generated 627hp—an improvement of 191hp—with 566lb ft torque at 5800rpm and showing a flat curve on the graph. Though the Vortech generated a promising 620hp at 6,000rpm, its best torque delivery measured 546lb ft.
But the best part was the TorqStorm’s ability to generate 400lb ft torque at 2,000rpm; its rival reached 400lb ft at 2,500rpm. At 3,000rpm the ‘Storm generated 484lb ft compared to the Vortech at 436 and as engine speeds increased the deficits slowly diminished to around 10lb ft at 5800rpm. Nonetheless, these were the auspicious symbols of an interesting comparison.
TorqStorm finishes their superchargers in natural alloy, black anodized or micro-polished and if someone were to ask me to name the single cleverest aspect of their new charger, I’d point not to the rigidity of its billet construction or the superiority of its ceramic bearings. I’d bypass the design mastery of its compressor wheel and its wide boost range, too, and point instead to its pricing: $2,800.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Lamar Walden Automotive
I would certainly like to receive a catalog/brochure on the superchargers; installation accessories needed to put your setup on a small-block Chevrolet engine and information on the quality of engine that is needed to support your superchargers.
Could you please send info on your set up for a Pontiac V8 with power steering, how your system compares to ProCharger, Vortech, and Paxton as well as outlet temperatures. Also, would your system support over 700hp on a 400ci engine. I have forged pistons, H-beam rods, around 8.8:1c.r. but steel heads.
I have a SBC 350 with Holley aluminum heads, mild cam, and an Edelbrock 650. What is your pricing?
Mike Orkin 71ss Camaro
We build a variety of SBC systems starting at $3000 plus shipping. We should discuss the belt-driven accessories on your engine. Additionally, we can discuss the power goals to determine which modifications are needed. Reach out to me so we can discuss it further at 616-706-5580 or the email email@example.com
Do you make this blower to for an older Ford 289 with new AFR heads, and also what compression ratio do you recommend?
Do you have a catalog and brochures?
I would like to know if your company has a unit for the 455 Buick motor yet. Waiting for that one…
I have the same Blueprint engine that was tested with the TorqStorm. I’m considering changing from my current setup which is a Weiand blower setup and going to TorqStorm. My question is I’d like to put it on the driver’s side and am curious as to how the power steering pump mounts or if I need to change my bracketry with this setup? Also I’m curious if it works with the long-style water pump.
Glad to hear you are considering a TorqStorm. As to your questions, we have drivers and passenger side mounting. It is also available for long or short water pump.
The power steering will mount under the supercharger if you have 1969 or later Saginaw low mount pump. This would be what was on Novas and Camaros.
Just let us know what you want when you order it. You can order from our website or give us a call. 616-706-5580
Hey guys, great article. Do you have set up for a 2007 Mustang GT?
Hello Robert. We do not build a supercharger for that Modular engine Ford. The engine is broad with a narrow engine bay shape. The supercharger typically mounts ahead of the belt drive system, and we do not have a supercharger that runs in reverse. This is a popular request, and it is not yet out of the question. We just do not have it planned as of now.
Purchasing a LSX 376 B15 this month and was leaning towards the Procharger for it. Then I came across your LS twin kit. Do you have any dyno numbers for this kit on either the engine I’m buying or similar LS? Can the boost be turned up at all on your units?
Hello Ben. At the moment we do not have results on a project like yours, although we have built a few LS twin sets for customers– projects which have not seen the road. The single superchargers are close to 1300cfm and have pushed the 800hp level. A pair of them, while not doubling in power, should give you plenty of air to work with. If you want to discuss your specific project email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can design a plan for you.
Have you have designed a TorqStorm supercharger for the 455 Buick engine. I see you have them for the 455 Pontiac and 455 Oldsmobile engines.
Hello Wayne: We have a Buick 455 engine here, and that kit is steadily moving up our prototype list. However, we have a few ahead of it still. Nonetheless, expect to see our Buick kits early next year.
I’m waiting for a Buick 455 kit. The 40 yr. old Buick GS Club of America (GSCA) is THE source for such items. Great magazine, too! Full of tech. You need to contact them about it at 229-244-0577.
Hello Chris, I have plans to contact Richard at GSCA when we have the TorqStorm Buick options completed. In the meantime, thank you for your reply.
Hi, I would like to know if I can install your twin supercharger on an LT4? Also, how much additional power is it likely to make?
Thank you, Bradford T.
Could you contact us directly so we can discuss your engine specifics and goals for this project?
Will this bolt on to a GM crate 572 BBC passenger side?
Can you contact us directly about your project? If you can send a few pictures of your engine with the belt-driven accessories you plan to use, I can determine what pieces you need to supercharge it correctly. Thank you.
Do you make a kit for 1980 small block Corvette?
Hello Gus, We make small-block Chevrolet systems in a number of configurations. Please email me email@example.com with a few pictures of your engine. If we see the crank-driven accessories you use, we can determine the best fitment options.
I’d like to see a test on what may be the smallest engine for which you’ve got a kit; the Slant Six perhaps? I specifically want to know intake temperatures at boost and parasitic loss before boost. If there ever was a small engine dying for boost, the Slant Six is it, as the head was designed for the 170cid engine, which went out of production in 1969.
With boost available at 2000rpm on the 383, I’d assume that it could be available sooner on the smaller than 5/8ths sized Slant Six, if the same sized crank pulley was used. With boost and injection, I’d expect that it could be tuned to make around what a decent small-block could make. I know Gill Welding and Fabrication is a TorqStorm distributor that works with Slant Six engines.
SA Books #429: How to rebuild and modify the slant 6 engines. Doug Dutra ran a TorqStorm for a chapter in his book. While no dyno results, he did drag race with the supercharger. As you mentioned with the engine displacement, you can make a considerable boost number on the 225-inch Slant 6.
Is there an ETA for a Durango 5.7l fitment?
We should have the Hemi SUV kits available later this year. Contact us directly, and we can keep you updated on the project.
I’m glad to read that there is a kit coming for the big Buick. A kit designed for the big Cadillac engine would also be awesome! Is this something that could possibly become available?
We have a Cadillac engine at our factory for prototyping, although that system has attracted very low interest so far. As current projects are completed, we will determine those that follow. We will build it but have no ETA.
I have an 11.3 comp motor with forged pistons, rods, crank, o-ringed block with carb on E-85, timing locked at 34 BTDC with MSD retard box set to retard at 3 degrees per pound of boost. May run meth if needed. Do you think a TorqStorm will work on this application? Thank you
Based on the description, your engine should easily accommodate more boost. For closer examination, I would need to know further details about the camshaft, induction system, engine size and supercharger plans. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a 1973 Javelin with a 360 AMC engine, which has an oversized camshaft, Edelbrock manifold, Edelbrock aluminium heads, Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor and headers. Will your TorqStorm supercharger function with my engine?
You will need to use a different carburetor than the Edelbrock. The carb will need to be a blow-through variant. The rest of the system sounds like a good match for the supercharger.
Do you have a unit for a four cylinder Chevrolet engine? Also, can you send me a catalog to 908 Kammerly Terrace, Manchester, Missouri 63021
Do they have a alternator repositioning bracket for a passenger side BBC set-up? That would make it easy to add a TorqStorm to my 496.
Hello Paul, we may have an option for you. Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.
I have a BBC 496 stroker engine delivering about 715hp. What is the approximate horsepower increase on this application from a TorqStorm “single” installment? My budget allows for only one supercharger at this time.
Our single supercharger is rated to support approximately 750-plus rwhp. However, in some circumstances, if the engine is built specifically to work with our supercharger it is possible to achieve a much higher output. Higher compression, proper boost camshaft, good flowing heads, race fuels, etc.
With your displacement and N/A horsepower, I would suggest working towards our twin system. We have many different variations and pricing for them. Take a look at http://www.torqstorm.com for examples and pricing. If you have any questions or would like to discuss build options, feel free to get in contact with us.
Could the 351c bracket be used on the taller deck 400m since heads are the same?