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Old 01-25-2015, 11:48 AM   #1
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Supercharging a gasser for towing?

Hello friends,
First of all, I want to state that I'm quite pleased with my TV, but know that more power is always nice.
I'm looking forward to how the new custom tune I got this winter from Black Bear Performance will work with my 5er in tow. I'm expecting about a 10% improvement in HP and torque, which will be noticeable.

I'm also considering a Magnacharger supercharger for my TV which will yield about 455HP and 490 lb-ft of torque from my stock LQ4 6.0L.
This is a pricey mod, but it's interesting to me for the resulting improved performance, as well as having something quite unique. Magnacharger has a bolt on kit for my engine that is highly regarded and dependable.

ref pic:

Forced induction is a proven technology for gas powered trucks. We all have to agree that the Ford Ecoboost setup is proof of this.

I'm wondering if any of you motorheads out there have any wisdom to share regarding forced induction (supercharging) for a gas engine, specifically for towing.

I'm not interested in hearing anyone preaching about Diesels - I get it. Not interested.

Thanks in advance for sharing.


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Old 01-25-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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Do you only use this truck for towing? How many miles are on it? I would be a little concerned about some of your lower level components ( bearings, etc... ) giving out on a higher mileage vehicle with the added performance.

Have you considered a higher rear ratio if it is only a tow vehicle? Much less expensive.

Good luck,

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Old 01-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #3
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The only drawback I could think of is the heat produced by the supercharger. Might have to look into a bigger radiator and oil cooler. Trans coolers as well. Heat will kill an engine and components quick.

I'm a little too truthful, I guess.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:13 PM   #4
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My concern is with additional increased torque/horsepower and multiplying the resulting cause and effect into the equation. What upgrades/modifications will you do to stop this raw power your seeking. My Tundra has 4-wheel disk brakes (no mods cuz it will pull the space shuttle, lol) some trucks have rear drum, some gearheads I know have increased the rotor size and calipers to a six piston system.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:41 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, a diesel really is your only true option for proper towing, safety and appeasing the haters.

Ok, jokes aside, nothing wrong at all with what you're looking at doing. As you said, the Ecoboost is doing fine. It's secret is that it's a complete package which is why so many modification attempts fail. Folks will strap on the blower and change nothing else trashing their engine, transmission and rear diff.

I haven't looked into your specific kit, but here's the things I'd look for.

Does it come with an ECM recalibration to address ignition and fuel curves, detonation avoidance. Also, it needs to address the transmission pressures and curves to protect it. I'd swap the trans fluid to a synthetic of the OE spec, along with a fresh synthetic diff fluid change. Somewhere around 2005 or 2006 GM switched to a synthetic diff fluid, so you may be fine there except now would be a good time to service it. Also, if you haven't already I'd swap to a synthetic engine oil.

In general the cooling system should be up to snuff, I'd add a heavy duty fan clutch, and make sure that it has an auxiliary trans cooler and if not add a fairly large, efficient one. If you've not changed the thermostat (And if the kit doesn't come with one, often they do.) then I'd change that and the coolant at the same time.

Do these things and you should have a long, happy towing life with it. Best part is, when done as a system you'll see more than power benefits, you should see some fuel economy improvements at a cruise.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #6
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IMO... adding a supercharger to a stock engine may be asking for trouble...

The following is a C & P from a performance mag.

3-5 psi boost level: This range of boost has proven to be the best compromise for power and reliability for engines using cast pistons, cast crank, and small cam.

Engine rpm: When using stock cast pistons, the engine should be limited to a maximum of 4,500-5,000 rpm. Exceeding this limit may over-stress the cast pistons causing failure. Blueprinting an engine using the proper components will allow higher rpm reliability and will maximize a supercharged engine’s potential.

Detonation (pinging): Detonation is the single most destructive force in a supercharged engine and steps must be taken to eliminate it. This may include lowering boost level, retarding timing, installing a boost timing master, increasing fuel flow to prevent leanout, and/or using a fuel additive to raise octane level. The cooling system also needs to be in good condition to prevent overheating, which may lead to detonation.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:57 PM   #7
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I hope you have good success with your setup! Forced induction is great for producing torque at lower RPM ranges.

I would exercise some caution as your cooling system, engine internals, transmission, etc . aren't designed for the extra heat/stress, etc.

My guess is that you will be fine with moderate boost and reasonable RPM.

Good luck! Post some results over time. I'm interested in your outcome.
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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There are so many blogs/websites about hopping up the LS series engines from GM. LS1tech is one of my favorites. If I had an extra 5k laying around i'd slap a SC on my 6.0 in a heartbeat, 03 w/90k mi. without worries. These engines so far outpace their gen1 and gen2 counterparts it is amazing. You tube LS engine anything, they are literally everywhere in everything making tons of power and torque reliably, with proper restraint and maintenance they will survive. The SC manufacturers have engineered engine longevity into their product, a heavy right foot takes it out. Look into the build specs of the 6.0, six bolt mains, strong cranks, tough blocks, excellent head design.

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Old 01-25-2015, 01:56 PM   #9
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I have supercharged 3 boats and one of my trucks. The boat engines were all built from the ground up with supercharging in mind. The top engine was a 540ci with over 1175hp. The truck was a '95 using the stock 350 and added a whipple twin screw supercharger. Added about 150hp but also added ceramic headers, big TBI, and MSD ignition. The truck ran flawlessly, but I never really pulled with it. Exhaust heat would be your biggest enemy. Staying in boost for too long will take a toll on the heads first. Without inconel valves you can turn a flat valve into a "martini glass", been there, done that.

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Old 01-25-2015, 02:07 PM   #10
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Sounds like a bandaid solution to a bigger problem.

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boost, charging, forced induction, gas, supercharging, towing

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