Department of Boost Department of Boost
Products Buy Now FAQS Tech Instructions-Lists About Contact Us

3v Positive Displacement Supercharger
Buyers Guide

Before going any further, you really should read our article
Boosting The 3v – Almost Everything You Need To Know

 

WARNING!!!!!

If you don’t want to hear opinions other than your own or hard truths, you like to be recreationally outraged, you’re easily upset, you like your safe spaces, you’re a special snowflake, you’re an unapologetic fanboy of XXXX blower company or you’re simply looking for something to bitch and moan about……………..DON’T GO ANY FURTHER!!

The following article contains mostly facts, but it also contains opinions. Opinions you may not agree with. Enter at your own risk.

Overview—Big Picture

This article needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Let’s be 100% real here. Is there really a bad blower? No, not really. Any blower is better than no blower. It’s like having ANY car is better than having no car at all. What it really comes down to is what will be the best blower for you and your needs. Now, when framed like that, there will be some blowers that ARE NOT good FOR YOU.

If you need a truck to tow your boat to the lake every weekend and you buy a Focus RS………………………you just got a “bad truck.” A Focus RS makes for a crap tow vehicle. It would be like getting a Roush M90 Supercharger to make 1000rwhp. If you did that, you got a “bad” blower. It’s not even close to the right tool for the job.

We have it good these days. We’re truly living in the best time in history to go fast. Never has it been so easy. And we have tons of options. And options are great. But they can also be daunting if we don’t know what best fits our needs. This was written to help you get what best fits your needs. If it’s something we sell, fantastic!!! If it’s not, at least we know we didn’t sell you something that doesn’t work for you. We of course like to make money, but we have to sleep at night, too.

Why We Wrote This

Two reasons:

One - We want to sell more stuff…………duh! We feel that by putting out this hard numbers based buyers guide more people will come to the conclusion that our offerings for the 3v are very good. We had the advantage of designing our options after everyone else had theirs out in the market. This gave us the advantage because the bar had already been set and we could then raise the bar. Additionally, our options in most cases are far less money. Not enough people know how the hard numbers stack up and this gives us the opportunity to get that information out there.

Two - The short answer is someone needed to. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen:  “I’m about to buy XXXX blower, I did all my “research,” and this is what I’m getting.” Whoa, whoa, hold on a second there! Research? Where did this person do this “research”?  There’s very, very little real factual information out there to base “research” on. Almost none really. So what are people using for “research” material?

Magazines?

Magazines have zero hard data. And magazines don’t do comparisons or shoot outs anymore. All you’ll find in magazines are puff pieces written FOR manufacturers, vendors, and shops. Do you know why? It’s because they pay to get those articles in there. There are no tests anymore…there’s paid advertising masquerading as information. They do a pretty good job of throwing numbers at you so it seems like you’re learning something. But if you read closely, you’ll find that there’s no hard data or comparisons.

People?

People are a horrible source of information about performance parts. Especially blowers.

Of course they love their blower! As we went over above, any blower is better than no blower. Even the weakest blower that runs way too hot is going to be a whole lot more fun to drive than the car was naturally aspirated. How many people out there have had experience with multiple blowers? We’ll give you a hint…almost none. Who puts two or more different blowers on their car? How many people have a best friend with the same car but with a different blower that they’re allowed to drive hard? Can’t be many, can it? How are “civilians” going to know how well a blower performs if they have no idea where the bar is?

Most people don’t understand the three most important things that make a blower good/bad for a particular person’s needs: Intake air temperature (IAT), belt tensioners/belt systems, and supercharger “size” (displacement). We’re astounded by the percentage of people that don’t understand the importance of the intercooler (IC) design and its effect on IATs. High IATs absolutely murder power. Most people are out driving around up to 100hp down on power almost all the time because of high IATs. Most belt tensioners/belt systems “bottom out” every time they make a full throttle upshift, which eventually hurts parts and can destroy motors. And, lastly, most people don’t understand that a blower’s size doesn’t necessarily translate into the power level they think it does. Additionally, most people don’t understand that bigger is not necessarily better. If the people giving a review on a blower don’t understand the basics, which most don’t, how can their review be worth anything?

From what we’ve seen, the bar is set at “I’ve had my blower for XXXX yrs/miles, the car is fast, and I haven’t had any problems.” What kind of review is that? We know that all the blowers will make the cars considerably faster. And is “I haven’t had any problems” where the bar should be set? That’s like saying “My 1983 Escort with 500,000mi on it is a great car, the wheels haven’t fallen off yet”. A 1983 Escort with 500,000mi on it is crap, wheels or no wheels. The LEAST you can expect from a $6,000ish blower is that it wouldn’t break!!!! We should expect more than the “LEAST,” shouldn’t we?

As humans, we’re flawed and rarely objective when it comes to self-criticism. And a lot of people tie their purchases, especially large purchases, to their own “value.” Most people’s initial reaction to being told that their $6,000 purchase was a mistake is the same one you get if you tell them their new girlfriend used to “party” with the entire hockey team, i.e., not a positive response. That’s not a conscious response, it’s subconscious and human nature. Asking someone their opinion on their latest $6,000 go fast part(s) is going to get you the same response 99.9% of the time. I LOVE IT! Getting an objective opinion from someone is nearly impossible. Over the past ten years, we can count the number of times we’ve seen someone post/say that they WERE NOT happy with their purchase on one hand. Is that because everyone has the right blower for their needs? Nope, not even close.

And lastly, a lot of people, how can this be put delicately……………………drive like pussies. That wasn’t very delicate was it? The fact is that most people drive at their personal skill/experience level. And without training and a lot of seat time the average skill/experience level is way below what cars are capable these days. We get to spend a lot of time with a lot of people in a lot of fast cars. It’s rare that we see someone has the skills/guts/stupidity to run their car at 100%. Most people think they’re driving the guts out of their car. In our estimation most people don’t exceed 75%. And in a lot of cases that’s a good thing. Cars have gotten STUPID fast in the last 15yrs. They can get you into a lot of trouble, real trouble. A little self-preservation is in order. What is the point of all this you ask? It’s this. If the person you’re getting your advice from rarely goes wide open throttle, doesn’t bang hard gear changes, doesn’t use all the RPM’s and doesn’t do back to back runs (That describes a huge portion of the hot rod community) how are they going to have any advice that is worth something to you? We didn’t just say that in an attempt to single anyone out or to make them feel bad. Cars are FAST now. Cars are DANGEROUS now. Not being able to flat foot a 650rwhp car through 5 gears with it trying to loop out on you the entire time is nothing to be ashamed of. That takes a considerable level of skill, training and experience. And the consequences are huge.

Performance Numbers?

How about 1/4mi and dyno numbers, you ask? This could literally take 20 pages if it were covered in detail, and some day we may do that, but for now here’s the short version.

1/4mi times are about useless for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that there are a ton of factors in a 1/4mi time that have nothing to do with the power the car makes. We have a friend with a 2008 Mustang that makes 600rwhp and has run a best of 9.15 in the 1/4mi. It’s a full-tilt boogie drag only car. No street driving ever. Does that mean if you bolt the same blower to your car and make 600rwhp your street car is going to go low 9s? It certainly doesn’t. Without a ton of supporting mods, your street car will be lucky to get into the 11s with 600rwhp. So, unless someone takes a car, let’s say a 2009 GT with 305 drag radials, and makes a pass naturally aspirated and then puts a blower on (only the blower) in the pits and makes another pass that same day, you don’t have a true measure of performance increase. And who does that? Um, no one. You may see where someone ran a 2009 GT last year naturally aspirated and it ran a 12.5. Then this year with a blower it ran a 11.3. That’s a solid 1.2sec drop, right? Well, what was the difference in weather conditions? Does it have the same tires? Exact same suspension? Is it any lighter/heavier? Is the gearing the same? Somewhere in that 1.2 seconds are a ton of variables. Yeah, of course it will go faster with the blower. But how much of it is the blower? And how much of it is other supporting mods? You don’t know. Hell, you could have made that 1.2sec without a blower.

The second problem with 1/4mi times is that most people don’t want to drive a drag car on the street. So what good is a drag car 1/4mi time to you? They have crap brakes. Skinny front tires suck in the real world. Big fat drag radials are wobbly at speed, wear out fast, and suck in the rain. Short gearing gets old on the freeway real fast. Lightweight seats are uncomfortable. Cars with the sound deadener removed are louder in the interior than you want to deal with long term. Good drag-type suspension pieces are loud, clunky, and harsh. The list goes on and on. So if someone says to you “I put XVZ blower on my car, and it runs 10s” but the car is set up toward the drag race end of the spectrum, are you hearing a number that can be run by a car you want to drive every day? Your car with brakes that stop, comfy seats, tolerable gearing, a suspension that will go around corners, tires that will go around corners, a car that won’t kill you in the rain, and a car that doesn’t make so much noise to cause you to lose your mind isn’t going to run 10s with the same power.

The last (at least for this article) issue with 1/4mi performance numbers is that they’re generally attained in perfect conditions. And that means the car is cooled down between runs. For a naturally aspirated car, a cooldown isn’t nearly the factor it is with a blown car. Well, most blown cars. There isn’t a blower kit out of the box that will make two passes back to back without slowing down during the second pass because of high IATs. You don’t get an opportunity to cool your car down when driving around on the street. Once it’s up to temp, it’s up to temp. It already won’t run what that drag car did. Add in some stop lights or a couple of back-to-back runs, and you’re down up to 100hp. So if a drag car running XXX blower that has a crap IC manages some good times at the drag strip, so what? What does that have to do with your street car that you can’t cool between runs? Let’s say that XXX blower with a crap IC runs 10.8 at the drag strip first pass. But if not cooled down, it runs an 11.8 the next pass. Compare that to YYY blower with a good IC that runs 11.0 its first pass at the strip, but runs 11.0 its second pass, and 11.0 its third pass, etc. Which blower is better for your street car?

How about Dyno Numbers?

Oh jeez, dyno numbers. Where to even start? We will be blunt, dyno numbers are bullshit. For starters, you run into the same heat issue that you do with drag passes. A dyno run won’t show IAT issues that you see in real life on the street. Dyno runs are 4-6sec long. And they started with the car cool. And the hood is open. How does that have anything to do with real life?

One dyno can’t be compared to another. It’s even really hard to compare one dyno to itself if you want to get real testing done. You can take the same car to five different dynos on the same day and get five different power readings that can be as much as 75hp apart! Don’t believe us? Check out this article from Hot Rod Magazine.

How about variables? There are literally hundreds of variables when dyno testing. And those variables can add up to a huge swing in power, especially on boosted motors. How are you supposed to compare one dyno “test” to another dyno “test” when they may not have been tested the same way?

And then there’s cheating. It’s incredibly easy to push every factor in your favor on the dyno to show a good number. Factors that you could never control in real life. And then there’s straight up cheating. A few mouse clicks, and you can change considerably the number the dyno shows.

Dynos were designed as a tool to measure changes that were made on one particular car. Preferably on the same day under the exact same conditions. A before and an after. They were never meant to be “raced” against each other. And they certainly weren’t designed to be used as sales tools.

Don’t base your decisions on dyno numbers alone. You’ll be selling yourself short. We’ve seen a ton of cars that ran great on the dyno but fell flat in real life.

The Person Is Selling It to You!

We fully understanding the irony of what we’re about to say, we’re saying it anyway. How can you trust the person selling you your blower? They obviously have an interest in selling what they sell. Or selling what they will make the most money on. Even shops have an interest in selling you the ones they want you to buy. They’ll make more money on some blowers than others. They may not be able to get all of them. They may be faster at installing XXX blower, which means they make more money. We’re not saying that self-interest is a bad thing. Or that it’s going to go away. Completely altruistic people are as rare as unicorns. We’re just saying that it’s a factor in your decision-making process.

Summing Up

We’re not suggesting you take everything we say at face value. Even though we try and be as unbiased as possible, we’re human, too. But, at a minimum, you owe it to yourself to step outside the “box” for a moment and take a look at what you really have to work with when you make your decision to spend money on a blower. For most of us, it’s a LOT of money. And you’re buying in a marketplace that doesn’t guarantee quality. In fact, behind closed doors you’ll hear most people inside the industry say things like “Most of the stuff out there is junk.” That means at best you have a 51% chance of not getting the most out of your blower dollar. Those are shitty odds. The least you can do is actually educate yourself which will make your purchase less a game of chance and more a calculated risk.

Terms and Abbreviations

We use the words supercharger and blower interchangeably. For this write up, they’re the same thing. We’ll be using a lot of abbreviations in this write up. Here’s what they are and what they mean.

CAI – Cold Air Inlet. This is what most people call the assembly that includes everything from the air filter all the way to the throttle body. Some of them aren’t actually “cold air” inlets, they’re hot air inlets. But this is what the community/industry has settled on as the name for it.

Duty Cycle – The Duty Cycle is an expression of how hard a fuel injector or fuel pump is running in comparison to its maximum ability. A 50% duty cycle means that a particular component is running “half way” maxed out.

ECU – Electronic Control Unit. This is your car’s computer. It’s sometimes also referred to as PCM, ECM, etc.

FPDM – Fuel Pump Driver Module. This/these are what “drives” the fuel pumps for the ECU. Think of them as the brains of the fuel pump(s).

HE – Heat Exchanger. The heat exchanger is part of the intercooler system. It’s the “radiator” that mounts up in the nose of the car, and it sheds the heat that’s picked up at the intercooler.

HP – Horsepower.

IAT – Intake Air Temperature. This is the air temperature measured after the intercooler right before it goes into the cylinders. This is very important.

IC – Intercooler. The intercooler is what cools the air coming out of the blower before it enters the cylinders. It’s in the intake manifold, and you can’t see it unless you have the blower off.

lph – Liter Per Hour. This unit of measurement is generally used when describing the abilities of a fuel pump(s).

MAF – Mass Airflow Meter/Sensor.

NA – Naturally Aspirated. A motor with no forced induction (blower or turbo) is naturally aspirated.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer. This means stock. The parts, systems, etc. the car came with.

PD – Positive Displacement. This is the type of supercharger we’re talking about in the write up.

rwhp – Rear Wheel Horsepower. This is the horsepower measured at the wheels on a chassis dyno.

TB – Throttle Body.

TQ - Torque

VVT – Variable Valve Timing.

The Superchargers

In this article, we’re going to review the positive displacement blowers available for the 3v. These reviews are based on first-hand experience with almost all of them. Some of them we’ve owned, and the rest of them are on friends’ cars that we’ve worked on/driven/played with/tested, etc. One of them we were only able to get information from other people on.

We’re not reviewing the Centrifugal blowers because we don’t have nearly the amount of hands-on experience we’d like to have to feel confident about our opinions.

Some people aren’t going to want to hear what we have to say about “their” blower. Well, too bad. Some of these have really let us down, and you’re going to hear about it. If you’re the type of person that gets all fired up when you hear something negative about your favorite car parts, you might want to stop reading now. Seriously, stop reading. If you get offended from this point on, it’s because you choose to be.

We did our absolute best to remain unbiased. We, of course, sell a couple of these blowers, but not all. So it’s not 100% unbiased. The two kits we produce were designed to specifically outmatch the stuff offered by the other manufacturers in their segment/category. And we got to design them after everything else was already out. They’re going to come off very good in this review, because they were designed to be the best compared to their competition. It’s really that simple. If you think we’re biased and don’t take our review at face value, that’s fine. But you should at least factor in what we have said and not discount it completely. Most of what you’re about to hear are facts that can be measured, not opinions.

Here Are the Main Specifications in the Reviews and What They Mean to You

Price

This is pretty simple. The price of the kit as it’s shipped from the manufacturer. This price is for the base kit that you can make 450-500rwhp with. Not what it will cost you to make the blower’s maximum capable power. You’ll be spending quite a bit more money to stretch some of these superchargers out to their maximum HP levels.

Size/Displacement

The displacement is how much air the supercharger moves through it during each rotation of the screws….in theory. It’s the blower’s “size.” Bigger blowers move more air (most of the time).

Screw Type

There are a couple of different kinds of screws (some people call them rotors). Here’s the extremely condensed breakdown.

Roots Improved - The Roots Improved screws are “old school.” But don’t confuse them with a true Roots setup. Roots stuff is very, very inefficient compared to the newer Roots Improved. Roots Improved is only considered old school in regards to the last 15yrs and when compared to the stuff that has come out since then. Roots Improved are still very good screws. Almost all of the OEMs still use them. They’re by no means “outdated.” Roots Improved screws are a little less efficient than some of the newer stuff. That means that their discharge temps (post blower, pre IC) are going to be slightly higher. They also have slightly more parasitic loss than the newer stuff, which means they take just a little more power to drive at a given boost level. These are all very small points though. One advantage to Roots Improved screws is that they have slightly bigger tolerances, which means that they last a significantly longer time before needing rebuilds. Roots Improved screws are true 100,000mi capable. If you’re driving your car daily, this may be important to you. And this is one very big reason you see the OEMs use them as their stock blowers.

TVS - The TVS (Twin Vortices Supercharger) screws are technically still Roots Improved screws. They’re just a more updated and efficient version. They’re gaining popularity with the OEMs as the “go to” blower for their cars. And they have been pretty big in the aftermarket. They produce a little lower discharge temp per psi of boost and have slightly less parasitic loss than the Roots Improved. They’re also 100,000mi capable.

Twin Screw – The Twin Screw (TS)…..screws are “race” screws. They have much tighter internal clearances and are therefore more efficient than the other two types of screws. They have lower discharge temps per psi of boost and slightly less parasitic loss. But it’s not all upside with a TS blower. Because the clearances are so tight, they need servicing/rebuilds more often. How often? That depends on how fast you’re spinning it. We’ve seen them need rebuilds in as little as 10,000mi and as much as 30,000mi. Rebuilds cost on average $800 plus shipping both directions which can reach $200 easily. You’ll also be looking at 1.5-3 weeks turnaround time. If this is your daily use vehicle, this could be an issue.

Don’t fall into the trap/assumption that a Twin Screw will have lower IATs than a TVS and that they’ll have lower IATs than a Roots Improved. It’s true that the blower discharge temps work like that. But your IATs have a lot more to do with the IC they’re parked on top of. In the blower kits outlined below, there are Twin Screw blowers that have worse IATs than some Roots Improved blowers do.

Screw Manufacturer

This is a company that makes the screws. Some supercharger manufacturers source their screws from another company. They’re put in their own cases and sell them under their name.

Intercooler Water Inlet/Outlet Size

This right here is almost as important as the displacement of the supercharger. The inlet/outlet size of the IC can make or break the IC’s performance. And if you can’t keep things cool, you’ll be down a lot of power when at operating temperature. Intercooler inlet/outlet size directly affects IATs. High IATs are a problem, and they’ll cost you lots of power.

Intercooler Size

Contrary to popular belief, IC size isn’t quite as important as you’d think. The IC’s size is important, and you want as much as you can get. But if your water inlet/outlet is restricted, it doesn’t matter how big your IC is…it won’t perform. IC water port inlet/outlet size will make or break a system by directly impacting how much/fast you can move the water. The IC doesn’t remove the heat, the water running through the IC does. The IC is simply a transfer point for that heat. A big IC will transfer more heat, but if it doesn’t have more water to REMOVE that heat, it’s useless. You can get a “small” IC to work pretty well with enough water flow. But if you have a “big” IC and are flow restricted, there’s nothing you can do, you’re hosed.

Maximum Power

All horsepower levels are rear wheel (rwhp) numbers. The horsepower ratings in this section are real world horsepower on real cars running real 93 octane pump gas (unless noted otherwise) and at full operating temperature. That last one is the key. You will see all sorts of hero runs and claims from people about what power their car made. Well, what it makes stone cold on the dyno vs. up at operating temperature on the street are two completely different things. Some kits deal with real world conditions better than others. This mainly comes down to cooling. The numbers in this section are to be taken as what these kits will make on the same car, same day, same dyno, same conditions. You will, of course, have seen some sort of “flyer” claim about a specific blower that won’t fit in with what’s below. Under the same conditions that “flyer” run was made, the other blower’s power levels would go up or down the same percentage.

There are only four blowers on this list that can’t be run “all out” and remain on pump gas. Our 3v R-Spec, 2013 GT500 2.3L TVS, Kenne Bell 2.8L, and the Kenne Bell 3.2L. These four blowers, when spun up hard, will make more boost than pump gas can deal with. All of the others can be spun to their max RPM without needing race fuel or e85. The e85 maximum HP numbers for the 3v R-Spec, 2013 GT500 2.3L TVS, Kenne Bell 2.8L, and the Kenne Bell 3.2L are called out below as well as their max pump gas numbers.

The HP numbers represented below are the maximum amount that the supercharger head unit can make (how much air it can move). These numbers don’t represent what these kits can make right out of the box. NONE of them will make nearly their maximum power with the supplied fuel injectors, fuel pump(s)/boosters, belt tensioners and, in some cases, best systems, throttle bodies, cold air intakes, etc. The numbers at the high end of the scale can only be accomplished with lots of other supporting mods.

Cold Air Inlet - Blower Inlet/Elbow

The inlet tract before the blower screws (air filter, MAF, TB, blower elbow/inlet) is CRITICAL on PD blowers. The blowers don’t “suck” air through the inlet tract. The only thing moving that air through there is atmospheric pressure. If the inlet tract is too small, you won’t be getting enough air to the blower for it to compress, and, therefore, it will be down on power. The inlet tract can make or break a blower’s performance. We’ve seen a 2013 GT500 2.3L TVS blower make 710rwhp. We’ve also seen a 3.4L Whipple make 640rwhp all maxed out. Both were on very similar 4.6L 3vs. The problem with the 3.4L Whipple was that someone had done a custom install using a Kenne Bell intake manifold that necessitated a custom blower elbow…a really small blower elbow that simply couldn’t move enough air to feed that big 3.4L. If the 3.4L had a correctly sized elbow, it would have made about 1200rwhp at the same blower speed.

Another factor in the inlet tract is what bolt pattern TB it will accept. The GT has a smaller bolt pattern than the GT500. You can get larger than stock GT TBs, but not nearly as large as GT500 TBs come. There are a lot more GT500 TBs to choose from, too. Some of the blower kits use a GT bolt pattern TB and others use a GT500 bolt pattern. One has its own goofy arrangement. If you’re looking for 550rwhp+, someday the size of the TB you can use will become important. As will your options when it comes to MAFs, inlet tubes, etc.

Growth

The “Growth Factor” is how easily the blower kit grows. It’s ability to grow depends on a lot of factors. How restrictive is the inlet? Can it be upgraded/modified? How capable is the IC? Can it be upgraded/modified? How good is the belt system? Can it be upgraded/modified? How much air can the blower ultimately move? Are there a lot, little or no aftermarket upgrade parts available? All of these things are factors in a blower’s ability to grow. If you’re planning on making 450rwhp forever this is not as big of a consideration as if you want to make 450rwhp now and 700rwhp in the future.

Tuning-Tuners

We’re not going to go into what you get for tunes/tuners for each system because, as far as we’re concerned, what you get out of the box, no matter what system it is, is crap. The manufacturers have to send their stuff out with “soft” tunes because they have no idea what variables you have going on with your car. And soft tunes means they are pig rich, don’t have much ignition timing, and the throttle response sucks. Oh yeah, they’ll be down on power compared to a custom tune, too. We think EVERY blower install requires a custom dyno or remote tune.

The Blower Kits

These are in alphabetical order (worked out good for us!). Not order of preference. That’s up to you to decide for yourself. But, just in case you want to know, we rank them below.

 

The kits covered in this guide:

-Department Of Boost GT450 with M122 Supercharger
-Department Of Boost GT450 with 2.3L TVS Supercharger
-Department Of Boost 3v R-Spec
-Edelbrock E-Force Stage 1
-Kenne Bell 2.6L Stage 1
-Kenne Bell 2.6L Stage 2
-Kenne Bell 2.8L and 2.8LC
-Kenne Bell 3.2L LC
-Magnuson MP1900
-Roush M90
-Roush R2300 Phase 2
-Saleen Series VI
-Whipple/Ford Racing 2.3L

Department Of Boost GT450 with M122 Supercharger

Price – $3,600 - $4,400
Size/displacement – 2.0L
Screw type – Roots Improved
Screw manufacturer – Eaton
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .75”
Intercooler size – 202.5cu in
Maximum power on 93 octane – 575rwhp

The GT450 kit was originally designed and targeted to Do It Your Self-ers (DIY) who were looking to make their stock motor’s 450rwhp limit without breaking the bank. For the first year and a half, we didn’t offer anything more than the basic Phase I kit (the manifold). We didn’t start offering complete kits until later. The GT450 has now grown into everything from mild to wild.

The low end of the price range noted above is because a DIY customer can purchase a Phase I kit and then build the rest of their kit by sourcing the remaining parts themselves, which saves money. The high end of the range represents the customer purchasing a Phase III kit, which includes every part needed all in one go.

The 2.0L displacement is a good size for most 3v applications. Especially the 450rwhp range. The Roots Improved screws make a little more heat than the TVS and Twin Screw superchargers. But the IC in the GT450 flows more water than the other kits in the segment, so your net intake air temps with the GT450 are a little better/a push in comparison to the rest of the blowers. Another plus (to some people) is that the GT450 SCREAMS! You’ll think you’re Mad Max with one of these on your car.

The IC ports are above average at .75”. It doesn’t sound that much bigger than the “standard” .625”, but it makes a significant difference to water flow. The GT450 IC flows 40-60% more water depending on which kit you’re comparing to and which pump you’re running. If you decide to run a big heat exchanger and good water pump, you’ll gain significantly more cooling with the GT450 IC opposed to the others in the segment.

The inlet elbow on the supercharger is average. It isn’t a restriction at 450rwhp, but it will be when going for big power. The good news is that the inlet elbow can be ported quite a bit, which will reap rewards. There are also aftermarket/bigger ones available.

The 2.0L M122 blower uses a GT500 bolt pattern TB which makes 450rwhp real easy. If you want to go bigger in the future, there are tons of big GT500 TB options out there. The CAI is also a stock 2010+ GT500 unit. At 100mm, it’s sized very well for 450rwhp. Ford actually uses the same one on the 2013 GT500s that make 595rwhp, so it has plenty of headroom. You can get aftermarket CAIs as big as 156mm for the GT450, so there’s a TON of room to grow there.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450rwhp with a good belt tensioner. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). This is a pretty good solution and will work for almost all people/situations. We’ve had customers running their GT450 kits with M122 Superchargers VERY HARD, and a good belt tensioner and 8 rib belt conversion get the job done.

There are a lot of advantages to the GT450 kit compared to the rest of the segment:

- It uses mostly Ford OEM parts, so it’s very reliable and easy/inexpensive to get parts for.

- This system grows very well because it uses GT500 parts. Things like big TBs, big cold air kits, big injectors, big heat exchangers, good water pumps, etc., etc., etc. are easy to find and, if found used, are inexpensive. It’s very popular for people to upgrade their Phase III kits right from the start with a big heat exchanger and good water pump.

-If the desire is big horsepower in the future, the GT450 can be upgraded with a 2013 GT500 2.3L TVS. It’s a direct swap (more on this below).

-The billet aluminum manifold is attractive to some. The only billet manifold in the segment.

The disadvantage that sticks out most compared to the other blower kits available is that it’s still a bit more DIY even when the complete Phase III is purchased. It doesn’t quite unpack itself and jump on the car to quite the degree that the other kits do. That said, we would rather install a GT450 than any of the Kenne Bell kits.

When all is said and done, the GT450 is a fantastic choice for the 450rwhp/stock motor buyer. It has all the performance of everything else in the segment but at a lower price.

Department Of Boost GT450 with 2.3L TVS Supercharger

Price – $4,700 - $5,500
Size/displacement – 2.3L
Screw type – TVS
Screw manufacturer – Eaton
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .75”
Intercooler size – 202.5cu in
Maximum power on 93 octane – 675rwhp

The GT450 kit was originally designed and targeted at Do It Your Self-ers (DIY) who were looking to make their stock motor’s 450hp limit without breaking the bank. But the GT450 can also run the 2013-14 GT500 TVS 2.3L supercharger. We don’t stock/sell the TVS supercharger, so customers can either get a Phase I kit and source the rest of the parts themselves or get a Phase II or III kit minus the M122 that usually comes with them and then add their own TVS that they source themselves.

The low end of the price range noted above is because DIY customers can purchase a Phase I kit and then build the rest of their kit by sourcing the remaining parts themselves, which saves money. The high end of the range is for customers purchasing a Phase III kit, which includes every part needed minus the M122 supercharger, and purchasing a TVS themselves.

The 2.3L displacement is a good size for most 3v applications. The TVS screws are pretty nice. They don’t generate as much heat as a Roots Improved screw but a little more than a Twin Screw. The 2013-14 GT500 TVS has an improved inlet compared to the Roush TVS, so it has the ability to make a little more power. The TVS screws do have that supercharger “scream” that a lot of people like. They’re not necessarily loud, but you’ll know there’s a blower in there.

The IC ports are above average at .75”. It doesn’t sound that much bigger than the “standard” .625”, but it makes a significant difference to water flow. The GT450 IC flows 40-60% more water depending on which kit you’re comparing to and which pump you’re running. If you decide to run a big heat exchanger and good water pump, you’ll gain significantly more cooling with the GT450 IC compared to the others in the segment.

The inlet elbow on the supercharger is quite good. With no modification, it allows the 2013-14 GT500 TVS to make the most power of all the 2.3L superchargers. And the inlet elbow can be ported quite a bit, which will reap even more rewards.

The 2.3L TVS blower uses a GT500 bolt pattern TB which makes 450rwhp real easy. If you want to go bigger in the future, there are tons of big GT500 TB options out there. The CAI is also a stock 2010+ GT500 unit. At 100mm, it’s sized very well for 450rwhp. Ford actually uses the same one on the 2013 GT500s that make 595rwhp, so it has plenty of headroom. You can get aftermarket CAIs as big as 156mm for the GT450, so there’s a TON of room to grow there.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450-550rwhp with a good belt tensioner. If more power than 550rwhp is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). This is a pretty good solution and will work for almost all people/situations. We’ve had customers running their GT450 kits with TVS superchargers VERY HARD, and a good belt tensioner and 8 rib belt conversion get the job done.

There are a lot of advantages to the GT450 kit compared to the rest of the segment:

- It uses mostly Ford OEM parts, so it’s very reliable and easy/inexpensive to get parts for.

- This system grows very well because it uses GT500 parts. Things like big TBs, big cold air kits, big injectors, big heat exchangers, good water pumps, etc., etc., etc. are easy to find and, if found used, are inexpensive.  It’s very popular for people to upgrade their Phase III kits right from the start with a big heat exchanger and good water pump.

-The billet aluminum manifold is attractive to some. It’s the only billet manifold in the segment.

The disadvantage that sticks out most compared to the other blower kits available is that, if you want to run the 2.3L TVS head unit with the GT450, you have to source the TVS yourself. We don’t stock/sell the TVS. We’ll sell you a Phase III (complete kit) minus the blower though if you want to do a TVS head unit but don’t want to build the entire kit. It’s still a DIY kit even when the complete Phase III is purchased though. It doesn’t quite unpack itself and jump on the car to quite the degree that the other kits do. That said, we would rather install a GT450 than any of the Kenne Bell kits.

When all is said and done, the GT450/2.3L TVS combination is a fantastic choice in the segment. It will perform better than its other 2.3L competition because of the improved blower inlet, and it will have lower intake air temperatures because it has the best IC.

Department Of Boost 3v R-Spec

Price – $11,500 - $13,000
Size/displacement – 3.4L - 4.5L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Whipple
Intercooler inlet/outlet size – 1.25”
Intercooler size – 202.5cu in
Maximum power on 93 octane – 775rwhp
Maximum power on e85 – 1200-1400rwhp

The 3v R-Spec was designed to be the most powerful, most technologically advanced, coolest running and reliable kit available for the 3v. It wasn’t designed to be a little better, but to be so much better that second place wasn’t even playing the same game. Nothing was spared, it’s a “no holds barred” design/package. And it’s, of course, expensive.

The 3v R-Spec can be had with a 3.4L, 4.0L, or 4.5L Whipple supercharger depending on your HP goals. Most people go with the 3.4L. The Whipple superchargers are a Twin Screw design.

The 1.25” IC ports (an industry first) are massive compared to everything else out there. This gives the user a huge advantage over other ICs because of its ability to remove so much more heat. The 3v R-Spec IC can remove up to 325% more heat than “standard” ICs. No other blower can touch the R-Spec’s IATs.

The 3v R-Spec has another industry first. A composite heat barrier incorporated into the intake manifold. The heat barrier prevents heat from the cylinder heads that run at about 200deg from transferring to the intake manifold. This allows the IC system to do its primary job of reducing intake air temperatures much better.

The Crusher inlets/elbows on the 3.4-4.5L Whipple superchargers are massive. There’s virtually no restriction on the feed side of the supercharger, which results in not having to run the blower as fast, which translates into more power and lower intake air temperatures.

The R-Spec uses GT500 bolt pattern TBs so you can run the biggest stuff available. Same thing with the CAI. You can go as big as 156mm, which is MASSIVE!!!

The 3v R-Spec comes with a dedicated 10 rib supercharger belt drive system. Only the supercharger is run off of the 10 rib belt. The rest of the accessories remain on the stock 6 rib system. This means bulletproof belt reliability.

Due to the manifold’s design, engine cooling is improved with the 3v R-Spec. Unlike other 3v systems where one bank of cylinders runs hotter than the other, the 3v R-Spec balances water flow for even heat distribution. The internal passages are also larger, which allows for more cooling than any other system available.

Because of packaging reasons, the 3v R-spec comes with a custom alternator. The alternator is 220amps (stock is 135amps) and a much more robust design than the stock alternator that’s consistently problematic. When playing with big HP, you have to run bigger fuel pump(s), bigger IC water pumps, more/bigger fans, etc. All of these items take power to run. The stock alternator is barely able to keep up with the stock power loads. The 3v R-Spec solves this problem right from the start.

The R-Spec grows incredibly well. Because it used mostly GT500 parts, and GT500 stuff gets plain bonkers, there are TONS of big time options. Add that to the fact that you can put a 4.5L blower on and you can make some seriously stuuuupppiiiddd power.

The 3v R-Spec is a beast. It’s by far the most technologically advanced kit on the market for any application. Nothing is even close. If you want to make huge power reliably and have that power all the time, this is the kit for you.

Edelbrock E-Force Stage 1

Price – $6,465
Size/displacement – 2.3L
Screw type – TVS
Screw manufacturer – Eaton
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .625”
Intercooler size – 120cu in
Maximum power – 590rwhp

The E Force is an interesting piece. Edelbrock went with a different packaging method than most other blower manufacturers. Instead of the norm, which is to have the supercharger “up top” and blowing down into the intake manifold, the E Force has the supercharger down in the valley of the motor, and it blows up into the manifold. In the case of the E Force, the blower and manifold aren’t really even two separate components. It’s all made as one big unit. There’s nothing “wrong” with this approach, but it does limit the size of the IC.

Edelbrock claims that, because they use the “blow up” design and were therefore able to design in longer intake runners, their blower makes more torque than other comparable units. That’s 100% bullpucky. The E Force doesn’t make one more torque than any other comparable blower. Runner length is irrelevant with PD blowers. The science says it doesn’t make more torque, and we’ve seen (first hand) back-to-back testing that shows it doesn’t make more torque.

Because the E Force has the supercharger down in the valley of the motor and the inlet coming straight out of it, the alternator has to be moved from its stock location. Edlebrock supplies the parts needed to do this, but it’s not ideal. Edelbrock has you spinning the alternator backward. This isn’t a problem as far as volt/amp production. But it does cause the alternator’s cooling to suffer because the fans are spinning backward and the alternator itself is backward so whatever air is moving through it is fighting the air coming through the radiator. The stock alternator is already problematic (they fail a lot). Adding more heat and reverse rotation to the alternator is not a fantastic idea. Additionally, the location it’s mounted in makes it much harder to screw with stuff on the front of the motor, change belts, etc.

The 2.3L displacement is a good size for most 3v applications. The TVS screws are pretty nice. They don’t generate as much heat as a Roots Improved screw but a little more than a Twin Screw. The TVS screws do have that supercharger “scream” that a lot of people like. They’re not necessarily loud, but you’ll know there’s a blower in there.

The IC ports are average. They can’t be modified without heavy duty fabrication. The IC size is way below average (about 40% low). It can’t be modified. The IC simply doesn’t have a lot of surface area to transfer heat. At 450hp, it will kinda sorta get the job done if you’re supporting it with a big heat exchanger and good water pump. If you’re going for big power even with a big heat exchanger and good water pump, your IATs will be doomed. We’ve only seen one person who has managed to keep IATs sort of in check when running the blower hard. But that was in a drag car running an ice chest and a big pump. And even with ice, the IATs still weren’t very good.

The inlet tract on the supercharger is small. It’s the main reason that it won’t produce the big HP numbers like some other 2.3L TVS blowers will. The inlet (it’s not really an elbow on this unit) can’t be modified for more flow. The blower comes with its own single bore 85mm TB. That doesn’t give you much headroom to grow. There may be other TBs that can be swapped in (it looks like it may be a GM unit) but, because the inlet directly behind/after it is restricted and can’t be modified, there isn’t any point in using a bigger TB. The CAI/MAF is of average size like the inlet and TB. But, once again, there’s no point in going with a bigger one (we’re not even sure you can) because all of the stuff downstream is restricted anyway.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450hp with a good belt tensioner. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). This is a pretty good solution and will work for almost all people/situations.

The E Force is packaged very attractively and it comes from a big name company. That’s what drives most of its sales. The problem is that the packaging is the cause of its shortcomings. A classic example of “all show but not as much go.” At 450rwhp, it works fairly well, but it’s not a blower that “grows” well at all. If you’re going to run 450rwhp forever and never go for more, it’s not a horrible choice. But if you think you ever want to go for more power, it’s not what you want.

Kenne Bell 2.6L Stage 1

Price – $5,800
Size/displacement – 2.6L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Kenne Bell
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .416”
Intercooler size – 170cu in
Maximum power – 595rwhp

We have owned one of the Kenne Bell 2.6s. The Kenne Bell 2.6 was a major disappointment. It was a failure in just about every way imaginable short of locking up. We spent our hard earned money on a Kenne Bell 2.6L, so in this case we put our money where our mouth is.

The 2.6L displacement is above average for a 3v blower. It’s too bad that the extra displacement is useless (more on this below). The Twin Screw screws are nice because they’re the most efficient design. It’s too bad they don’t make a lick of difference as far as performance goes on this supercharger (more on this below). A lot of people really like how the Kenne Bell blowers sound, and they do sound good. More of a woosh than a scream.

The IC is a complete and utter disaster. We’ve never seen a blower kit that handled intake air temperatures as badly. The inlet/outlet ports are only .416”. And, to add insult to injury, you’re forced into using street elbow fittings (the hardest of hard 90deg fittings). And then, once in the manifold, the water has to make another hard 90deg turn (in and out). That’s four hard 90deg turns the water has to make through a .416” orifice. You could hook the IC up to a fire hydrant and it still wouldn’t move enough water. To add insult to injury, the IC is smaller than average, too. The IC ports and IC itself can’t be modified short of major fabrication. We looked at modifying ours and decided that it would be a better use of our time to make an entire manifold and IC from scratch. The intake air temps out of the Kenne Bell 2.6L are nightmarish. At operating temp, you’ll almost never get a run in under full power. And no matter how many big water pumps and heat exchangers you throw at it, you won’t solve the problem. They still run hot even with ice water running through them.

The inlet elbow is also a mess. It’s tiny. It’s the reason that, despite being 2.6L, it can’t flow enough air to make good power. Which means, for any given HP level, you have to spin the Kenne Bell 2.6L faster than superchargers with an efficient free flowing inlet. Aside from scratch building an entire elbow, there’s no modifying it to work better.

The 2.6L uses a GT bolt pattern TB so you’re limited in your choices. In this case it’s irrelevant though. The elbow is so restricted it doesn’t matter what you put on as far as a TB goes. It won’t move air. On the dyno at a blower speed of 18,000rpms (max), we tested the stock GT TB and then a huge twin 66mm unit. It made exactly zero more HP.

This blower kit doesn’t grow very well at all because of all of its restrictions.

The “cold air intake” tube that goes between the TB and the air filter located under the passenger headlight is also a massive inlet restriction. As is the mass airflow meter. The inlet tube and mass air meter are 93mm in diameter. At 450hp, this isn’t a huge deal, but if you want to make big power, it’s a huge problem. To make 600hp, you want the mass airflow meter and inlet tube to be at least 100mm. And that’s still going to be a restriction. You really want to be shooting for 110-127mm in diameter. The problem is that you can’t buy upgraded components for the Kenne Bell 2.6L so you would have to fabricate your own. Which is a huge deal. Additionally, the location where Kenne Bell put the air filter causes some issues. It’s nice that they put the air filter outside of the engine compartment where the air is cooler. The problem is that to get it there you have to cut up the core support and you end up with the inlet tube running right over the top of the engine oil filler/cap, so the tube needs to be removed to put oil in. Additionally, the washer fluid reservoir has to be moved and is replaced by a poopie little “can” supplied by KB that holds about 2 cups of fluid. Not a huge deal, just more items on the list of things that makes owning a Kenne Bell 2.6L tedious.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450hp with a good belt tensioner. The problem is that KB has you relocate the ECU down to a spot in front of the tensioner, which prevents you from being able to run the only tensioner we’ve seen that actually works correctly. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). For some reason, the Kenne Bell blowers are hard on belt systems though. We suspect it has something to do with the weight of the screws. We’ve seen all sorts of belt issues with Kenne Bell blowers on the 3v. When they start to get spun up in an effort to make big power, issues arise…even with an 8 rib system. If someone is making big power with a Kenne Bell running an 8 rib belt system without apparent problems, the car either has really short gearing, an automatic transmission, it’s slamming the tensioner into its stops on every shift (which isn’t good), or they drive like a wuss. Or any combination of those situations. Because the belt system is so problematic and an 8 rib conversion doesn’t solve it, we designed, made, and sold stand-alone 10 rib systems for Kenne Bell blowers. The first one was designed to solve the belt problems with our car. The 10 rib system works fantastic. But they were $2,000 and we’re not producing them anymore.

Some people like the way the Kenne Bell blowers look. Unfortunately, we think that its good looks get lost in all of the packaging issues. The Kenne Bell blowers are simply the hardest to work with/on. Everything is moved all over the place, and stuff seems like it was put there as an afterthought.

The Kenne Bell 2.6L was a severe disappointment for us. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. We battled that supercharger for a couple of years before we finally smartened up and sold it. At 450rwhp it’s not horrible, but there are better choices. When going for big power it’s nothing but one problem after another. And it won’t make the power.

Kenne Bell 2.6L Stage 2

Price – $6,300
Size/displacement – 2.6L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Kenne Bell
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .416”
Intercooler size – 170cu in
Maximum power – 595rwhp

The only difference between the Kenne Bell 2.6L Stage 1 and 2 is that the Stage 2 has a different inlet elbow and it comes with a TB.

We’ve owned one of the Kenne Bell 2.6 Stage 1s that we tested with the Stage 2 inlet elbow and a huge TB. So we’ve “had” the Stage 2 also. The Kenne Bell 2.6 was a major disappointment. It was a failure in just about every way imaginable short of locking up. We spent our hard earned money on a Kenne Bell 2.6L, so, in this case, we literally put our money where our mouth is.

The 2.6L displacement is above average for a 3v blower. It’s too bad that the extra displacement is useless (more on this below). The Twin Screw screws are nice because they’re the most efficient design. It’s too bad they don’t make a lick of difference as far as performance goes on this supercharger (more on this below). A lot of people really like how the Kenne Bell blowers sound, and they do sound good. More of a woosh than a scream.

The IC is a complete and utter disaster. We’ve never seen a blower that handled intake air temperatures as badly. The inlet/outlet ports are only .416”. And to add insult to injury, you’re forced into using street elbow fittings (the hardest of hard 90deg fittings). And then once in the manifold, the water has to make another hard 90deg turn (in and out). That’s four hard 90deg turns the water has to make through a .416” orifice. You could hook the IC up to a fire hydrant, and it still wouldn’t move enough water. To add insult to injury, the IC is smaller than average too. The IC ports and IC itself can’t be modified short of major fabrication. We looked at modifying ours and decided that it would be a better use of our time to make an entire manifold and IC from scratch. The intake air temps out of the Kenne Bell 2.6L are nightmarish. At operating temp, you’ll almost never get a run in under full power. And no matter how many big water pumps and heat exchangers you throw at it, you won’t solve the problem. They still run hot even with ice water running through them.

The Stage 2 inlet elbow is also a mess. It’s tiny. It’s the reason that, despite being 2.6L, it can’t flow enough air to make good power. Which means for any given HP level you have to spin the Kenne Bell 2.6L faster than superchargers with an efficient free flowing inlet. Even though the inlet elbow on the Stage 2 is bigger behind the TB than the Stage 1, it’s the same size right behind the blower, which is what really counts. We tested a Stage 2 inlet elbow on our Stage 1, and it didn’t make one more horsepower. A huge TB made absolutely zero horsepower gain, too. Unless the inlet elbow directly behind the blower case is enlarged, you won’t see any improvement no matter what you do up stream. Aside from scratch building an entire elbow, there’s no modifying it to work better.

The “cold air intake” tube that goes between the TB and the air filter located under the passenger headlight is also a massive inlet restriction. As is the mass airflow meter. The inlet tube and mass air meter are 93mm in diameter. At 450hp this isn’t a huge deal, but if you want to make big power, it’s a huge problem. To make 600hp, you want the mass airflow meter and inlet tube to be at least 100mm. And that’s still going to be a restriction. You really want to be shooting for 110-127mm in diameter. The problem is that you can’t buy upgraded components for the Kenne Bell 2.6L, so you would have to fabricate your own. Which is a huge deal. Additionally, the location where Kenne Bell put the air filter causes some issues. It’s nice that they put the air filter outside of the engine compartment where the air is cooler. The problem is that to get it there you have to cut up the core support, and you end up with the inlet tube running right over the top of the engine oil fill so the tube needs to be removed to put oil in. Additionally, the washer fluid reservoir has to be moved and is replaced by a poopie little “can” supplied by KB that holds about 2 cups of fluid. Not a huge deal, just more items on the list of things that makes owning a Kenne Bell 2.6L tedious.

It comes with a HUGE GT500 bolt pattern twin 75mm TB, which is a nice bonus.

This blower kit doesn’t grow very well at all because of all of its restrictions.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450hp with a good belt tensioner. The problem is that Kenne Bell has you relocate the ECU down to a spot in front of the tensioner, which prevents you from being able to run the only tensioner we’ve seen that actually works correctly.  If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all the pulleys (in the entire system). For some reason, the Kenne Bell blowers are hard on belt systems. We suspect it has something to do with the weight of the screws. We’ve seen all sorts of belt issues with Kenne Bell blowers on the 3v. When they start to get spun up in an effort to make big power, issues arise, even with an 8 rib system. If someone is making big power with a Kenne Bell running an 8 rib belt system without apparent problems, the car either has really short gearing, an automatic transmission, it’s slamming the tensioner into its stops on every shift (which isn’t good), or they drive like a wuss. Or any combination of those situations. Because the belt system is so problematic and an 8 rib conversion doesn’t solve it, we designed, made, and sold stand-alone 10 rib systems for Kenne Bell blowers. The first one was designed to solve the belt problems with our car. The 10 rib system woks fantastic. But they’re $2,000, and we’re not producing them anymore.

Some people like the way the Kenne Bell blowers look. Unfortunately for us, we think that its good looks get lost in all of the packaging issues. The Kenne Bell blowers are simply the hardest to work with/on. Everything is moved all over the place, and stuff seems like it was put there as an afterthought.

The Kenne Bell 2.6L Stage 2 (Well, a Stage 1 with the Stage 2 elbow) was a severe disappointment for us. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. We battled that supercharger for a couple of years before we finally smartened up and sold it. At 450rwhp, it’s not horrible, but there are better choices. When going for big power, it’s nothing but one problem after another.

Kenne Bell 2.8L and 2.8LC

Price – $6,300
Size/displacement – 2.8L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Kenne Bell
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .416”
Intercooler size – 170cu in
Maximum power on 93 octane – 685rwhp
Maximum power on e85 – 850rwhp

The only difference between the Kenne Bell 2.8L and the Kenne Bell 2.6L kits is the head unit (the supercharger), supercharger inlet elbow, the “cold air” inlet tube, and the mass airflow sensor/air filter.

We’ve owned one of the Kenne Bell 2.6 Stage 1s. And a really good friend whose car we used for a lot of testing owned the 2.8L. We’ve had a lot of hands-on experience with the Kenne Bell superchargers for the 3v.

The first thing to get out of the way is the “Liquid Cooled Supercharger,” (which is an option on the 2.8L). This “feature” is not what it appears to be. Kenne Bell has not lied about what it does. But they let the customer base think that it’s something it’s not. A majority of the customer base thinks that the supercharger is liquid cooled and that cooling somehow affects the intake air temperatures. That’s 100% false. The only liquid cooled part of the supercharger is the aluminum plate that the front rotor bearings sit in. Kenne Bell was having issues with the larger displacement superchargers crashing the rotors into each other because of heat expansion. Obviously crashing the rotors into each other is bad. Instead of redesigning the supercharger case to prevent the rotors from crashing into each other (a major expense), they added liquid cooling to the front bearing plate where heat/expansion is at its highest. The liquid cooling isn’t a performance “feature.” It’s a band aid for a core design problem.

The 2.8L displacement is above average for a 3v blower. The Twin Screw screws are nice because they’re the most efficient design. A lot of people really like how the Kenne Bell blowers sound, and they do sound good. More of a woosh than a scream.

The IC is a complete and utter disaster. It’s the same IC that isn’t good enough for the 2.6L unit. It performs even worse with the 2.8L. We’ve never seen a blower that handled intake air temperatures as badly. The inlet/outlet ports are only .416”. And, to add insult to injury, you’re forced into using street elbow fittings (the hardest of hard 90deg fittings). And then, once in the manifold, the water has to make another hard 90deg turn (in and out). That’s four hard 90deg turns the water has to make through a .416” orifice. You could hook the IC up to a fire hydrant, and it still wouldn’t move enough water. To add more insult to injury, the IC is smaller than average, too. The IC ports and IC itself can’t be modified short of major fabrication. We looked at modifying the one on our 2.6L and decided that it would be a better use of our time to make an entire manifold and IC from scratch. The intake air temps out of the Kenne Bell 2.8L are nightmarish. At operating temp, you’ll almost never get a run in under full power. And no matter how many big water pumps and heat exchangers you throw at it, you won’t solve the problem. They still run hot even with ice water running through them.

The inlet elbow is a huge improvement over the two Kenne Bell 2.6L superchargers. It’s MASSIVE in comparison and that really helps the 2.8L to ingest all the air it needs to behave like a 2.8L.

The “cold air intake” tube that goes between the TB and the air filter located under the passenger headlight is 114.3mm, which is pretty big. The mass airflow meter and air filter are also 114.3mm…a massive improvement over the Kenne Bell 2.6L superchargers. It’s nice that they put the air filter outside of the engine compartment where the air is cooler. The problem is that to get it there you have to cut up the core support.

It comes with a HUGE GT500 bolt pattern twin 75mm TB, which is a nice bonus.

This kit doesn’t grow very well because the inlet side is impossible to open up more short of major fabrication. The plus side is that the inlet side of things is quite good and the HP potential of the blower is pretty high as delivered. So it’s pretty much irrelevant.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450hp with a good belt tensioner. The problem is that KB has you relocate the ECU down to a spot in front of the tensioner, which prevents you from being able to run the only tensioner we’ve seen that actually works correctly.  If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). For some reason, the Kenne Bell blowers are hard on belt systems. We suspect it has something to do with the weight of the screws. We’ve seen all sorts of belt issues with Kenne Bell blowers on the 3v. When they start to get spun up in an effort to make big power, issues arise, even with an 8 rib system. If someone is making big power with a Kenne Bell running an 8 rib belt system without apparent problems, the car either has really short gearing, an automatic transmission, it’s slamming the tensioner into its stops on every shift (which isn’t good), or they drive like a wuss. Or any combination of those situations. Because the belt system is so problematic and an 8 rib conversion doesn’t solve it, we designed, made, and sold stand-alone 10 rib systems for Kenne Bell blowers. The first one was designed to solve the belt problems with our car. The 10 rib system woks fantastic. But they’re $2,000 and we’re not producing them anymore.

The Kenne Bell 2.8L is a huge improvement over the 2.6L unit. It will stomp out some big horsepower numbers if you can keep belts on it and it stays cool enough. It makes really good dyno runs where the belt system isn’t nearly as stressed, and the IC isn’t loaded hard. It runs fairly well at the drag strip, too, where the belt system isn’t as stressed as it is on the street because the drag cars usually have shorter gearing and automatic transmissions…which are much easier on belt systems. And, at the drag strip, the car can be cooled down considerably between runs, so the IC deficiencies are masked slightly. A lot of drag racers run ice chests for the IC, which is a big help, too. Additionally, e85 will mask intake air temperature problems to a degree.

Some people like the way the Kenne Bell blowers look. Unfortunately, for us, we think that its good looks get lost in all of the packaging issues. The Kenne Bell blowers are simply the hardest to work with/on. Everything is moved all over the place, and stuff seems like it was put there as an afterthought.

If what’s most important to you is a blower that will show you big numbers on the dyno and, if conditions are just right, put up a good number at the drag strip, the Kenne Bell 2.8L is a good choice. But if you want to be able to pound on it without having belt problems, make the same power on the street as you did on the dyno, and be able to make two passes back to back without the car slowing down, you want to look somewhere else.

Kenne Bell 3.2L LC

Price – $6,500
Size/displacement – 3.2L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Kenne Bell
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .416”
Intercooler size – 170cu in
Maximum power on 93 octane – 725rwhp
Maximum power on e85 – 1100rwhp

The only difference between the Kenne Bell 3.2L and the Kenne Bell 2.8L kit is the head unit (the supercharger).

We’ve owned one of the Kenne Bell 2.6 Stage 1s. And a really good friend whose car we used for a lot of testing owned the 2.8L. We’ve had a lot of hands-on experience with the Kenne Bell superchargers for the 3v.

The first thing to get out of the way is the “Liquid Cooled Supercharger.” This “feature” isn’t what it appears to be. Kenne Bell hasn’t lied about what it does. But they let the customer base think that it’s something it’s not. A majority of the customer base thinks that the supercharger is liquid cooled and that cooling somehow affects the intake air temperatures. That’s 100% false. The only liquid cooled part of the supercharger is the aluminum plate that the front rotor bearings sit in. Kenne Bell was having issues with the larger displacement superchargers crashing the rotors into each other because of expansion. Obviously crashing the rotors into each other is bad. Instead of redesigning the supercharger case to prevent the rotors from crashing into each other (a major expense) they added liquid cooling to the front bearing plate where heat/expansion is at its highest. The liquid cooling is not a performance “feature.” It’s a band aid for a design problem.

The second thing to get out of the way is that the 3.2L supercharger has had some problems with the rotors crashing into each other when spun real hard. Despite being liquid cooled. We know of one shop that had this happen to five cars. We don’t know what was done to rectify this problem because, when this was written, no permanent solution has been found that we know of.

The 3.2L displacement is way above average for a 3v blower. The Twin Screw screws are nice because they’re the most efficient design. A lot of people really like how the Kenne Bell blowers sound, and they do sound good. More of a woosh than a scream.

The IC is a complete and utter disaster. It’s the same IC that isn’t good enough for the 2.6L and the 2.8L units. It performs even worse with the 3.2L. We’ve never seen a blower kit that handled intake air temperatures as badly. The inlet/outlet ports are only .416”. And to add insult to injury, you’re forced into using street elbow fittings (the hardest of hard 90deg fittings). And then, once in the manifold, the water has to make another hard 90deg turn (in and out). That’s four hard 90deg turns the water has to make through a .416” orifice. You could hook the IC up to a fire hydrant, and it still wouldn’t move enough water. To add insult to injury, the IC is smaller than average, too. The IC ports and IC itself can’t be modified short of major fabrication. We looked at modifying the one on our 2.6L and decided that it would be a better use of our time to make an entire manifold and IC from scratch. The intake air temps out of the Kenne Bell 3.2L are nightmarish. At operating temp, you’ll almost never get a run in under full power. And no matter how many big water pumps and heat exchangers you throw at it, you won’t solve the problem. They still run hot even with ice water running through them.

The inlet elbow is a huge improvement over the two Kenne Bell 2.6L superchargers. It’s MASSIVE in comparison and that really helps the 3.2L to ingest all the air it needs to behave like a 3.2L.

The “cold air intake” tube that goes between the TB and the air filter located under the passenger headlight is 114.3mm, which is pretty big. The mass airflow meter and air filter are also 114.3mm. A massive improvement over the Kenne Bell 2.6L superchargers. It really does need to be bigger though to support the 3.2L. And, unless you custom make one, they’re unavailable. It’s nice that they put the air filter outside of the engine compartment where the air is cooler. The problem is that to get it there you have to cut up the core support.

It comes with a HUGE GT500 bolt pattern twin 75mm TB, which is a nice bonus.

This kit doesn’t grow very well because the inlet side is impossible to open up more short of major fabrication. The plus side is that the inlet side of things is quite good and the HP potential of the blower is pretty high as delivered. So it’s pretty much irrelevant.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450hp with a good belt tensioner. The problem is that Kenne Bell has you relocate the ECU down to a spot in front of the tensioner, which prevents you from being able to run the only tensioner we’ve seen that actually works correctly. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). For some reason, the Kenne Bell blowers are hard on belt systems. We suspect it has something to do with the weight of the screws. We’ve seen all sorts of belt issues with Kenne Bell blowers on the 3v. When they start to get spun up in an effort to make big power, issues arise, even with an 8 rib system. If someone is making big power with a Kenne Bell running an 8 rib belt system without apparent problems, the car either has really short gearing, an automatic transmission, it’s slamming the tensioner into its stops on every shift (which isn’t good), or they drive like a wuss. Or any combination of those situations. Because the belt system is so problematic and an 8 rib conversion doesn’t solve it, we designed, made, and sold stand-alone 10 rib systems for Kenne Bell blowers. The first one was designed to solve the belt problems with our 2.6L car. The 10 rib system woks fantastic. But they’re $2,000, and we’re not producing them anymore.

The Kenne Bell 3.2L is a huge improvement over the 2.6L units. It will stomp out some big horsepower numbers if you can keep belts on it and it stays cool enough. They make really good dyno runs where the belt system isn’t nearly as stressed, and the IC isn’t loaded as hard. They also run fairly well at the drag strip because the belt system isn’t as stressed as it is on the street because the drag cars usually have shorter gearing and automatic transmissions. Which are much easier on belt systems. And, at the drag strip, the car can be cooled down considerably between runs, so the IC deficiencies are masked slightly. A lot of drag racers run ice chests for the IC, which is a big help, too. Additionally, e85 will mask intake air temperature problems to a degree.

Some people like the way the Kenne Bell blowers look. Unfortunately, for us, we think that its good looks get lost in all of the packaging issues. The Kenne Bell blowers are simply the hardest to work with/on. Everything is moved all over the place, and stuff seems like it was put there as an afterthought.

If what’s most important to you is a blower that will show you big numbers on the dyno and if conditions are just right put up a good number at the drag strip, the Kenne Bell 3.2L is a good choice. But if you want to be able to pound on it without having belt problems, make the same power on the street as you did on the dyno, and be able to make two passes back to back without the car slowing down, you want to look somewhere else.

Magnuson MP1900

Right off the start we should say that we have the least amount of experience with the Magnacharger. Not much is first hand. This is information we dug up from people we know that have them and checked against what we could find on the net. Some of these hard numbers can be a couple of percent off.

Price – $5,490
Size/displacement – 1.9L
Screw type – TVS
Screw manufacturer – Eaton
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .625”
Intercooler size – 120 cu in (estimated). It’s small. They run hot. That’s a fact.
Maximum power – 590rwhp

The 1.9L displacement is a bit on the small side for 3v applications. But it acts like a bigger blower because of its very efficient inlet. The TVS screws are pretty nice. They don’t generate as much heat as a Roots Improved screw but a little more than a Twin Screw. The TVS screws do have that supercharger “scream” that a lot of people like. They’re not necessarily loud, but you’ll know there’s a blower in there.

The IC ports and size are average. They can’t be modified without heavy duty fabrication. The IC itself is quite small. We’ve never been able to put a tape measure on one but we’re guessing it’s 120 cu in.  At 450rwhp it will get the job done if you’re supporting it with a big heat exchanger and good water pump. If you’re going for big power even with a big heat exchanger and good water pump, you’ll have high IAT issues and won’t be able to get much full throttle time out of it before it pulls timing and kills power.

There is no “inlet elbow” on the blower. The TB bolts directly to the blower and the inlet side of the screws are right on the other side of that. It’s the most efficient inlet design you will see. This inlet arrangement allows it’s 1.9L to act bigger. The blower uses a GT bolt pattern TB so your choices of how big you can go are limited. The CAI/MAF is average size and will support up to 550rwhp without much trouble. After that it becomes a restriction. As far as we know there are no large aftermarket CAI’s available.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450rwhp with a good belt tensioner. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). This is a pretty good solution and will work for almost all people/situations.

The one “goofy” thing about the MP1900 is that to run the inlet on the front the blower needs to be driven off the back. This means that there is a jack shaft that runs to the back of the blower and that in turn spins the blower. The problem is that Magnacharger went with a belt back there and it has been known to be problematic. We know people that are constantly messing with it because of belt slip issues.

The Magnacharger has pretty good packaging. Fit and finish is average. The front entry is great. But it’s let down by the underperforming intercooler, small-ish size and rear belt issues.

 

Roush M90

Price – $4,976
Size/displacement – 1.6L
Screw type – Roots Improved
Screw manufacturer – Eaton
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .625”
Intercooler size – Hard data unavailable. They run hot. That’s a fact.
Maximum power – 410rwhp

The Roush M90 came on a lot of Roush cars that were sold through dealers. They sell the superchargers separately, too. The blower is way too small for a 4.6L V-8. The screws were originally designed for a 3.8L V-6 motor. It’s the wrong size for the job…it’s as simple as that. It won’t even make 450rwhp spinning at its maximum RPM without all sorts of high dollar supporting gear. And, because it’s spinning at its maximum RPM even in an entry level application, it makes a lot of heat. Add to that an average IC design and you have yourself a blower that runs like a dog almost all the time. Unless you’re getting one for next to “free,” avoid it at all costs. The one plus to some people is that the M90 blower noise is a SCREAM! You’ll think you’re Mad Max with one of these on your car.

 

Roush R2300 Phase 2

Price – $6,580
Size/displacement – 2.3L
Screw type – TVS
Screw manufacturer – Eaton
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .625”
Intercooler size – 180cu in
Maximum power – 645rwhp

The Roush R2300 came on some of the higher end Roush cars that were sold through dealers. They sell the superchargers separately, too.

The 2.3L displacement is a good size for most 3v applications. The TVS screws are pretty nice. They don’t generate as much heat as a Roots Improved screw but a little more than a Twin Screw. The TVS screws do have that supercharger “scream” that a lot of people like. They’re not necessarily loud, but you’ll know there’s a blower in there.

The IC ports and size are average. They can’t be modified without heavy duty fabrication. At 450rwhp it will get the job done if you’re supporting it with a big heat exchanger and good water pump. If you’re going for big power even with a big heat exchanger and good water pump, you’ll have high IAT issues and won’t be able to get much full throttle time out of it before it pulls timing and kills power.

The inlet elbow on the supercharger is average. It isn’t a restriction at 450rwhp, but it will be when going for big power. The good news is that the inlet elbow can be ported quite a bit, which will reap rewards. The blower uses a GT500 bolt pattern TB so you can go really big and you have lots of choices. The CAI/MAF is average size and will support up to 550rwhp without much trouble. There are aftermarket solutions to go bigger though. This kit has decent growth potential.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450rwhp with a good belt tensioner. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). This is a pretty good solution and will work for almost all people/situations. Roush also offers a FEAD system for the R2300, which separates the blower belt (so you end up running two belts) from the accessory system. This is also a good solution.

The Roush has fantastic fit and finish. It’s nearly “stock” in the sense that it looks like it was designed by Ford to be stock on the car. It’s of good quality and has no bugs in the system.

 

Saleen Series VI

Price – No longer available
Size/displacement – 2.3L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Lyshom
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .625”
Intercooler size – 160cu in
Maximum power on 93 octane – 640rwhp

The Saleen is an interesting piece. They went with a different packaging method than the other blower manufacturers. Instead of the norm, which is to have the supercharger “up top” and blowing down into the intake manifold, the Saleen has the supercharger down in the valley of the motor, and it blows up into the manifold. But, unlike the E Force, the inlet is still “up top.” They actually kept the TB in roughly the stock non-supercharged location. In the case of the Saleen, the blower and manifold aren’t really even two separate components. It’s all made as one big unit. There’s nothing “wrong” with this approach, but it does limit the size of the IC, and the inlet is a little goofy. It works, the HP numbers support that. It’s just different.

Unlike Edlebrock, Saleen never made the false claim that the “upside down” designs runner length made more torque.

Because the Saleen has the supercharger down in the valley of the motor, the alternator has to be moved from its stock location. Saleen supplies the parts needed to do this, but it’s not ideal. Saleen has you spinning the alternator backward. This isn’t a problem as far as volt/amp production. But it does cause the alternator’s cooling to suffer because the fans are spinning backward and the alternator itself is backward so whatever air is moving through it is fighting the air coming through the radiator. The stock alternator is already problematic (it fails a lot). Adding more heat and reverse rotation to the alternator isn’t a fantastic idea. Also, the location it’s mounted in makes it much harder to screw with stuff on the front of the motor, change belts, etc.

The 2.3L displacement is a good size for most 3v applications. The Twin Screw screws are pretty nice. They don’t generate as much heat as a Roots Improved or the TVS screws do. The Saleen is one of the quieter blowers out there. All spun up and making max power it makes noise, just not a ton of it.

The IC ports are average. They can’t be modified without heavy duty fabrication. The IC ports can be modified to be larger, but it’s pretty involved/takes real machining operations. The IC size is way below average (about 35% low). The IC simply doesn’t have a lot of surface area to transfer heat. At 450rwhp, it will kinda sorta get the job done if you’re supporting it with a big heat exchanger and good water pump. If you’re going for big power even with a big heat exchanger and good water pump, your IATs are doomed.

The inlet on the supercharger is kinda……different. But it gets the job done pretty well. It can be slightly modded to flow more, but not a lot.

The Saleen uses GT bolt pattern TBs, so you’re more limited in your choices.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450rwhp with a good belt tensioner. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). This is a pretty good solution and will work for almost all people/situations.

The Saleen is packaged very attractively and the Saleen name is “famous.” That’s what drove most of its sales. At 450rwhp, it works pretty well, and it “grows” fairly well. If you’re going to run 450rwhp forever and never go for more, it’s a pretty good unit. But if you want to play up and above 550rwhp, there are better choices that will stay cooler.

 

Whipple/Ford Racing 2.3L

Price – $6,580
Size/displacement – 2.3L
Screw type – Twin Screw
Screw manufacturer – Whipple
Intercooler inlet/outlet size - .625”
Intercooler size – 180cu in
Maximum power – 645rwhp

Ford Racing sold the Whipple 2.3L kit under the Ford Racing name. They’re the same kit.

The 2.3L displacement is a good size for most 3v applications. The Twin Screw screws are pretty nice. They don’t generate as much heat as a Roots Improved or the TVS screws do. The Whipple does make some noise. Like most Twin Screw blowers, it’s a woosh more than a scream.

The IC ports and size are average. They can be modified, but it takes a milling machine to do it. That said, it’s a pretty easy mod. We’ve opened these up to accept .75” fittings, which is a big improvement over the as-delivered .625”. At 450rwhp, it will get the job done if you’re supporting it with a big heat exchanger and good water pump. If you’re going for big power, even with a big heat exchanger and good water pump you’ll have high IAT issues and won’t be able to get much full throttle time out of it before it pulls timing and kills power. But, with the ports opened up, it will get you much better results. The best non-Department Of Boost results you can get.

The inlet elbow on the supercharger is average. It isn’t a restriction at 450rwhp, but it will be when going for big power. The good news is that the inlet elbow can be ported quite a bit, which will reap rewards. It can also be modified to accept a GT500 bolt pattern TB which gives you a lot more choices, and you can go quite a bit bigger. It does take some work, but it could be done with a Dremel and a drill. A real die grinder and a drill press is the way to do it though.

The “Cold Air Kit” is specific to the kit and not sized very well. It works fine up to about 550rwhp but after that becomes a restriction. Unfortunately, there are no aftermarket alternatives. But, it’s not the end of the world to fabricate one. You won’t be doing it in your driveway with a hammer and a pair of pliers, but if you can get some TIG welding done, you can piece something together that works nicely. We’ve ported/enlarged the elbow, used a big twin 72mm TB, and put on a 127mm CAI (custom) on a friend’s Whipple kit, and it woke it up pretty good. Well worth the time. This kit has decent growth potential.

The as-delivered 6 rib belt system is average. It works fine at 450rwhp with a good belt tensioner. If big power is the goal, the 6 rib belt system won’t cut it. It can be upgraded to an 8 rib belt system by changing all of the pulleys (in the entire system). There are two 10 rib dedicated belt drive systems available for the Whipple, which is nice. One from Steeda and one from Whipple. We’ve played with the Steeda setup, and it’s pretty good.

The Whipple has fantastic fit and finish. It’s nearly “stock” in the sense that it looks like it was designed by Ford to be stock on the car. It’s of good quality and has no bugs in the system.

The Whipple/Ford Racing 2.3L is a great unit and should be on the short list of viable choices.

How We Rate Them/Our Picks

We put this together so you could rate them yourselves based on the facts we could gather. But, if you want to know our opinions, here they are….

We went over this a little earlier but it bears repeating. There’s no “best” blower. There’s only the best blower for your particular needs/circumstances/budget, etc. We broke this down into what blowers fit what needs best. And you’ll see that what tops the list in each category/need changes. These are the categories we used:

-Up to 450rwhp on a Stock Rotating Assembly (Motor)
-Up To 550rwhp on Pump Gas
-Up TO 650rwhp ON Pump Gas
-650-800rwhp ON e85/Race Fuel for Regular Street Driving
-650-800rwhp on e85/Race Fuel for the Dyno/Drag Strip
-Over 800rwhp on e85/Race Fuel

Up to 450rwhp on a Stock Rotating Assembly (Motor)

The stock 4.6L 3v rods and pistons can take 450rwhp before you’re in the danger zone. After 450rwhp, you run the very real risk of chucking rods out of the motor. So most people stop here. We estimate 80% so you probably fall into this category.

#1 Pick – Department Of Boost GT450 with the M122 Blower

#2 & #3 Pick (Tie) – Whipple/Ford Racing 2.3L and Roush R2300 Phase II

All the blowers but the M90 will make 450rwhp with ease, so there’s no power issue. For us it comes down to price, cooling, belt setup, packaging, and the ability to grow in the future.

The GT450 wins in almost all of the categories. It makes the same 450rwhp that all of the other kits (except the M90) but does it for far less money. It cools better than all of the others, the belt setup is good, it’s packaged very well, and down the line it will make power much easier than the other stuff available. The only real potential downside to the GT450 vs. the others is that most shops won’t want to put it on. They can’t make any money selling it, and most shops haven’t done enough of them to get it done as fast as the other kits they may specialize in. If you’re having you blower put on by a shop, the GT450 may get knocked down the list a little depending on that particular shop’s situation. If you’re doing the install yourself, it’s a non-issue.

The Whipple is a great unit. It cools OK but down the road can be modified to cool better. It’s effectively the only one that can. The belt setup is good if used with our Frankentensioner, and later down the road there are 10 rib kits available, if needed. It’s packaged very well. The Whipple can make more power in the future but it’s more difficult than the Roush and a lot more difficult than the GT450.

The Roush R2300 is also a great unit. It cools OK. Modification of the cooling is nearly impossible though. The best setup is good if used with our Frankentensioner, and, later down the road, Roush has a separate 8 rib blower drive belt system (FEAD), if needed. It’s packaged very, very well. You would think Ford made it. It’s damn near perfect. The R2300 will make more power pretty well… slightly easier than the Whipple but not nearly as easy as the GT450.

Up To 550rwhp on Pump Gas

If you “build” your motor with good rods and pistons, you can start going bonkers with boost. At 550rwhp, it still comes down to price, cooling, belt setup, packaging, and the ability to grow in the future for us. At 550rwhp, we have the same picks as the 450rwhp.

#1 Pick – Department Of Boost GT450 with the M122 Blower

#2 & #3 Pick (Tie) – Whipple/Ford Racing 2.3L and Roush R2300 Phase II

The GT450 wins in almost all of the categories. It makes the same 550rwhp as the other but does it for far less money. It cools better than all of the others, the belt setup is good, it’s packaged very well, and down the line it will make power much easier than the other stuff available. The only downside at 550rwhp with the GT450 using the M122 blower is that the M122 is getting more stretched out than the Whipple or Roush. The M122 is also a Roots Improved blower where the Whipple and Roush are Twin screw and TVS blowers, respectively. The M122 isn’t crippled at 550rwhp by any means. But it’s closer to its efficiency limit than the other two. Some inexpensive porting of the M122 does wonders though. And you could use a 2.3L TVS off of a 2013 GT500 on the GT450, which is more efficient than the Whipple and Roush. And will still come in at quite a bit less money. The only real potential downside to the GT450 vs. the others is that most shops won’t want to put it on. They can’t make any money selling it, and most shops haven’t done enough of them to get it done as fast as the other kits they may specialize in. If you’re having your blower put on by a shop, the GT450 may get knocked down the list a little depending on that particular shop’s situation. If you’re doing the install yourself, it’s a non-issue.

Nothing changes in regards to the pros and cons of the Whipple and Roush at 550rwhp.

Up TO 650rwhp ON Pump Gas

If you “build” your motor with good rods and pistons, you can start going bonkers with boost. At 650rwhp, it still comes down to price, cooling, belt setup, and packaging for us. The ability to make more power beyond this point is mostly irrelevant because very few reach this point, and most of these blowers won’t make more power anyway. At 650rwhp, we have almost the same picks as 450/550rwhp.

#1 Pick – Department Of Boost GT450 with the 2013 GT500 2.3L TVS Blower

#2 & #3 Pick (Tie) – Whipple/Ford Racing 2.3L and Roush R2300 Phase II

The GT450 with the TVS wins again in almost all of the categories. It makes the same 650rwhp as the others but does it for far less money. It cools better than all of the others; the belt setup is good as long as it’s upgraded to an 8 rib system. At this point, it’s packaged very well and down the line it will make more power if you switch over to e85. The GT500 2.3L TVS moves quite a bit more air than the Whipple and Roush. The Whipple and Roush are all done at 650rwhp…the GT500 2.3L TVS will keep going for quite a while. Depending on the combo, you can go over 700rwhp on pump gas. And it will make north of 800rwhp on e85. The only category where the GT450 loses out to the Whipple and Roush at this level is the belt system. There’s a 10 rib dedicated belt drive available for the Whipple and an 8 rib dedicated belt drive for the Roush. The only real potential downside to the GT450 vs. the others is that most shops won’t want to put it on. They can’t make any money selling it, and most shops haven’t done enough of them to get it done as fast as the other kits they may specialize in. If you’re having your blower put on by a shop, the GT450 may get knocked down the list a little depending on that particular shop’s situation. If you’re doing the install yourself, it’s a non-issue. Chances are, if you’re playing with this level of power though, you’re doing your own work.

Nothing changes in regards to the pros and cons of the Whipple and Roush at 650rwhp.

650-800rwhp ON e85/Race Fuel for Regular Street Driving

At this point, things are getting bonkers. This is well into the “very expensive” territory and only a very small percentage of cars get here despite internet “wisdom” saying otherwise. This is firmly in race car territory. Yes, you can build this sort of power to be a daily driver. But the supporting modifications to make that happen are a huge deal. The blower will be one of the smaller expenses.

The biggest hurdle with this sort of power is heat. It becomes a very big deal. E85 helps out a lot in keeping things in check though compared to regular pump gas or race gas. So, if you want to drive around on the street at these power levels, e85 really is the only way to go. And, because heat is such a huge issue, the IC design gets even more critical.

At this point, the belt system becomes a really big deal in manual transmission cars, especially cars with tall gearing (3.55s, for instance). Cars with an auto trans and short gears (4.10s, for example) are easier on the belt system. But it still has a rough life.

Most of the blowers in this guide can’t move enough air to make these sorts of numbers.

#1 Pick – Department Of Boost GT450 with the 2013’ GT500 2.3L TVS Blower

#2 Pick – Kenne Bell 2.8 or 3.2L

#3 Pick – Department Of Boost 3v R- Spec

The GT450/TVS wins out again. Up toward 800rwhp, the 2.3L blower is running out of breath, but on e85 it will get the job done. And with some porting, it will be pretty happy. The 2.8L Kenne Bell will move slightly more air than the TVS will, but it’s not a huge margin. The 3.2L Kenne Bell will move plenty of air for 800rwhp.

The GT450/TVS is going to be limited to an 8 rib conversion as are the two Kenne Bell systems. With the right tensioner and an 8 rib, you can make it work. But barely. The belt system will not be real happy. It is what it is though, there are no options to make them better.

The GT450/TVS is packaged very well and is easier to live with than the two Kenne Bell units.

The GT450/TVS really shines in its affordability. At this level, you’re not using the injectors, fuel pump solution, heat exchanger, IC water pump, and a few other small doodads that come with the Kenne Bell kits. And you pay for those. So you end up paying twice. Not only is the GT450/TVS combo less money to start with, you can spec it out however you want right from the start, so you don’t end up buying parts twice. Unless you’re working with an unlimited budget (who really is?), this is a huge deal. A couple of thousand dollars saved that you can spend somewhere else will make a huge difference.

The GT450/TVSs IC simply kicks the guts out of the two Kenne Bell blowers. There’s no other way to put it. The GT450 IC can remove 55-60% more heat than the Kenne Bell ICs. And, at this level, that counts more than ever. Just to put into perspective how much more we’re talking about, let’s look at it as HP. If you have a car that makes 400rwhp and add 55-60% you now have 630rwhp. Pretty damn significant, huh?

The only real potential downside to the GT450/TVS vs, the Kenne Bells is that most shops won’t want to put it on. They can’t make any money selling it, and most shops haven’t done enough of them to get it done as fast as the other kits they may specialize in. If you’re having your blower put on by a shop, the GT450 may get knocked down the list a little depending on that particular shop’s situation. If you’re doing the install yourself, it’s a non-issue. Chances are, if you’re playing with this level of power, you’re doing your own work though.

Where is the R-Spec in all of this you ask, and why is it in third place? The answer is price. The R-Spec is BIG BUCKS. It’s by far the best option for this segment. But you pay for it. The R-Spec has incredible cooling compared to anything else available. It can remove over 300% more heat than the two Kenne Bell kits, and that’s just the IC. It’s hard to quantify the advantages that the composite heat barrier offers because there’s nothing to compare it to. But it’s a big difference. It also has its own 10 rib dedicated blower drive, which is a massive advantage. If money were no object, it would be WAY out in first place. But, since money is a factor, it gets a third.

650-800rwhp on e85/Race Fuel for the Dyno/Drag Strip

If you’re looking for a good quarter mile time or a huge dyno number and don’t care that you’re not going to be able to make full power on the street due to high IATs, the recommendations change considerably. Cooling is not nearly the issue at the drag strip/dyno as it is in “real life.” You can also use an ice chest for the IC system for runs this short. Ice water does great things for underperforming IC systems.

The dyno is very, very easy on belt systems, so that’s not as much of a factor either. If your drag car has a manual transmission and you have short gearing, your belt system will have a tough life, but it can be made to work. Bring extra belts though. If you have an auto trans with short gearing, you can do pretty well with an 8 rib system.

#1 Pick – Kenne Bell 2.8 or 3.2L

#2 Pick –Department Of Boost GT450 with the 2013 GT500 2.3L TVS Blower

#3 Pick – Department Of Boost 3v R- Spec

In this segment, the Kenne Bell blowers do really well because their IC and belt problems are less of an issue. And they will be much happier moving 800rwhp worth of air than the 2.3L TVS. The only reason the R-Spec isn’t the winner again is money. It’s better at everything else.

Over 800rwhp on e85/Race Fuel

Things are getting so bonkers at this point that we’re not even going to break this down like the other ratings. There are only a handful of 3vs on the planet that make this sort of power anyway. In this segment, it comes down to the Kenne Bell 3.2L vs. the Department Of Boost 3v R-Spec. They’re the only blowers that will move enough air to get the job done.
 
If you want a quarter mile/dyno car, the Kenne Bell is a good option. Just run e85, use an ice chest, and bring extra belts.

If you want a street car/daily driver that will put down all the power all the time, the R-Spec is the way to go.

If you want to go for some seriously crazy HP numbers, the R-Spec is really the only choice. You can spec it out with up to a 4.5L Whipple blower. At the end of the day, there’s no replacement for displacement.

 

Wrap Up

We hope this was helpful to those of you looking to make a blower purchase for your 3v. Please don’t lose sight of the fact that there is no best blower, only the best blower for you. If you pick the right one for your needs, you’ll enjoy it immensely. If you pick the wrong one, well, you will still enjoy it, it’s a blower after all. But you could have enjoyed a different one more. Blowers are a lot of money. You don’t want to make the decision lightly and based on no facts. Gather as much information as you can.

If you haven’t done it yet, it’s now time to read our article
Boosting The 3v – Almost Everything You Need To Know

  © Department of Boost | Terms & Conditions