Turbo vs. Supercharge

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Hey, I know a lot of people dont even know the difference between the two, but my question is: are there advantages/disadvantages to turbo/supercharging a 4,5,6,8,12,16 cylinder enging? why do one or the other? Let's clear up all the confusion about turbo and supercharging in this thread. Thanks

posted by  MILFhunter

in trying to "clear up all the confusion", you're just gonna end up with more controversy than you thought possible...and guess what, there will still be confusion on the matter....as far as factory vehicles...it's a manufacturers preference whether or not to use a turbo or s/c. Regardless of what people say, you can get pretty much the same performance out of both the turbo and the s/c. it's all a matter or preference...I prefer turbo's myself, but hey, any forced induction is good enough for me.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

well, personally, i like turbos, super chargers hook up to ur belt, so to me it would almost seem like you dont get all the horsepower outta a supercharger that you can, cuz its robbing the orriginal power from the engine, dont quote me, thats my opinion, and for gas milage i believe turbo gets better gass milage! please tell me if you disagree i'm trying to learn more!

posted by  Neonlover04

yea, the power loss that SC's cause is a parasitic power loss. turbos can actually produce even more power at some point.

the advantages come in at the obvious points.

superchargers give you power immediatly, while only Saab's light pressure turbos offer no existing lag. other turbos will have some lag, even if its just a little bit that no one would care about.

superchargers produce more heat, specially roots type blowers. turbos generate heat but technology for them has allowed them to cool down a lot better.

superchargers work at a slower speed, usually around 8 psi max, while turbos can go way beyond insane numbers (like 50psi). so generally, a turbo of the same level of an SC will produce less power.

SC's produce alot of noise and vibration, specially vortech ones. for those of you who have never gotten into a car with a vortech SC, do so. it sounds nice but its loud, like a roaring loud sound. turbos just usually sound like a little turbine and produce a little whistle while spooling up.

turbos also have their own effects on causing power loss on the engine, not just the SC. turbos cause backpressure on the engine, mainly on the exhaust side. this causes a bit of power loss, but nuthin major compared to SC's belt driven power loss.

turbos can be controlled much better. with nowadays' technology, even the amount of boost per rpm level can be controlled. meanwhile, the SC can only be controlled with a pulley, and it only controls the maximum PSI level.

SC's have an average longer lifetime than turbos, but if you know how to take really good care of the turbo, then it can even outlast an SC. as long as you stick to the turbo's efficiency range and take good care of the car, it will be just fine.

thats all i can think of for now

posted by  Inygknok

inygknok has it all down, the main diffrence between superchargers and turbos is that superchargers run off of the engines crank shaft, and turbos are powered by the exhaust. Turbos are a little more unreliable and have a shorter lifespan, sometimes they are a little testy and dont work all the time. Especially sequential turbos.

I haven't seen a twin turbo setup that has all the kinks worked out of it. Sometimes the two turbos boost overlap, then you get over boost and do some major damge to the engine. Othertimes the first turbo and second turbo has a "no boost" phase in betwen them, for example; lets say the first turbo boosts from 3500 RPM to 4750 RPM and the second boosts from 5250 RPM to 6500(or whatever redline is) You have a space of 500 RPM where you make less power because you have no boost. Which, needless to say, just sucks. Other times one of the turbos simply doesn't work. My brother has a 1993 twin turbo RX-7 and we were having problems with the second turbo, It would only boost 3 out of 10 times. We eventually found a loose vaccum hose and it fixed the problem, but we had to check every single vaccum hose for leaks. Have you ever done that? :cussing: Its the most tedious experience you can go through. But it just goes to show you how touchy turbos are.

I still prefer turbos, but i would take a SC over a twin turbo set up.Turbos are just easier to get crazy amounts of boost from. Plus you can't help but love the sound as they spool up and the gush of a blowoff valve as you take you foot off the gas.

But then there is the ever present turbocharged supercharger. They are rather common in deisel engines, mostly semi's. The turbo is ran off the exhaust and forces air into the supercharger which in turn forces air into the engine. I don't know much about these setups though, any certefied deisel technicians out there? :wink2:

posted by  Zalight


posted by  GTPSLEEPER

Inygknok...vortech s/c's are nothing to sneeze at...8psi max on a s/c?!...i don't think so brotha...maybe on a vehicle factory equipped with an s/c, even then you can easily find pulleys to run in excess of 14psi on a STOCK whimpy little s/c. NMRA racers are running over 25lbs of boost on a vortech v7-YSi(i think, could be wrong on the model), they are also running new intercoolers which drop intake temps to less than 110 degrees, and that's at the END of a 7-8 sec blast through the quarter turning in excess of 7k rpm. You are right in a lot of things you stated, BUT, you were a little misinformed on the beautiful s/c. Neither of these forms of forced induction should be bashed BECAUSE, they both have their pro's and con's(yes the s/c has a belt=parasitic loss, but it picks it up in the fact that it doesn't cause an exhaust restriction like a turbo...on the other hand a turbo might not have to spin off of a belt and pulley=no THEORETICAL parasitic loss, but it creates a much greater restriction in the exhaust than most people think, more boost=more restriction).

posted by  Sick88Tbird

my bad on the SC boost thing, but i did explain the whole turbo ordeal on the exhaust restriction. its called backpressure. read the 7th separate section from my previous post.

posted by  Inygknok

its just up to ur preferences, i like the name "turbo" better than "super charged", lol but my dad has had many turbos, and he never had any problems with them, he has had Shelby Charger 2.2l turbo dont know year, 1987 Dodge Daytona Turbo & intercooled, and a 1992 Talon TSI turbo intercooled which was his favorite. He may get the neon srt 4. plus supper chargers, please let me know if i'm wrong, but there isnt as many applications for superchargers as there is for Turbos, so its preferences!

posted by  Neonlover04

neon lover...good way to repeat what I said, there are just as many apps for s/c's as there are for turbo's.

Inygknok, yes, I know you discussed backpressure(I was using layman's terms for the n00bs) as I read your post in it's entirety....I was only discussing backpressure to describe how turbo's and s/c's weigh out pretty even. You were pretty much spot on with everything else though. Everything pretty much depends on brand/type as far as s/c's go. I was mistaken about the v7-YSi(capable of 28lbs on a race engine)...Hell, I was wrong on the brand...the guy was using an ATI-ProCharger F1-R(set to 26psi)-I was parked next to him in the pits of Atco Raceway during a tune and test session in March and didn't realize it until I read the article on him last week. Go figure.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

Hey Kids,

Use "search", it is your friend :thumbs:


Can we close this repeat thread now???

posted by  Voda48

i like turbos better more boost pressure than super chargers. if i was gonna get a supercharger id probably get a twin screw super chargers and certainly wouldnt get a roots blower unless i wanted to cook chicken under the hood (they get very hot).

posted by  Lukaz

sorry man, i didnt really read ur post, my bad, i'll read next time, thanx for correcting me!

posted by  Neonlover04

twin screw blowers are very similar to roots s/c's. Well, at least both make goobs of heat(although Kenne Bell makes an excellent cool running twin screw blower). Probably the best s/c to go with is a centrifugal s/c. More boost capability, cooler running, and you can with some company's you can get intercoolers. As far as turbo's being capable of making over 50lbs of boost...yeah but that's generally in diesels where they have one turbo feeding another HUGE turbo...and even that is on the high performance edge(at least production trucks). If you've ever compared a turbo motor to a superchaged motor, you'll see that it takes a little more boost from the turbo to make the same hp...but usually the torque will soar past that of the s/c motor.

When it all comes down to it, it really is about builder preference...you have to take into consideration things like cost, ease of maintenance, application, what the vehicle will be used for, rpm range, things like that.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

but what about off-the-line acceleration? since turbos lag and take time to spin up, wouldnt someone wanting acceleration go with a s/c?

posted by  MILFhunter

lag is actually a major issue with the bigger turbos. with smaller turbos, they really aint much of a bother tbh.

the one thing that can be discussed here is a simple explanation. some SC's dont actually offer their full boost up until the engine is in its really high rpm's, while turbos can even start giving full boost at around 2,500rpms, assuming that they dont have that much of a lag. professional drag racers use nitrous to spool up their massive turbos during the lower gears, usually 1-2, and half of 3rd gear, it depends. there are seriously many advantages and disadvantages and the discussion would go on for a long while, maybe forever.

all in all, its up to the user to choose wat advantages and disadvantages he/she wants. sometimes, off the line power isnt that good to be honest. if the car puts too much power to the ground on a stand still, they are more prone to losing traction unless alot of money is invested on a very good quality LSD and tires.

posted by  Inygknok


thanks Voda! damn! just had to pull out my copy of the transporter and watch it again!! i just like the film, wicked!

posted by  WeaponR


We will see how long this lasts, my bandwidth might get chewed up

posted by  Voda48

My point exactly...but sometimes even a good limited slip and ultra high performance street tires will go up in smoke. If you really want off the line power...chassis dyno your vehicle and then launch at you're peak torque RPM, you better be at the strip with slicks if you plan on dumping the clutch..otherwise(on street tires) you can just slip the clutch a little and still get a kick ass jump off the line.

BTW, the transporter kicked some major ass!

posted by  Sick88Tbird

I 2nd that :rock: And i would choose the S/C

posted by  Mustang90210

After doing a little more research...I've come to a few conclusions...First...in street applications turbo's and s/c's are capable of fairly equal hp and tq. Second, the mighty centrifugal s/c seems to have a shortcoming-once approaching the 1100-1500rwhp levels(as common with NMRA racers), it's nearly impossible to keep a belt intact...the fact is, after about 28lbs of boost you are running 2" wide belts/pulleys with grooves that run across them rather than around them(from side to side) as well as custom belt tensioners(cranked with an assload of pressure on the belts) and some guys are running "track-bite" on their belts to help them last more than a couple runs............but, roots blowers with fuel injection have powered some high boost, high compression big blocks to over 6000hp. Again...it's all up to your preferences...what is the car primarily going to be used for?

posted by  Sick88Tbird

i dont know too much about super chargers, i think i know some about turbos, but do superchargers take place of ur intake manifold?

posted by  Neonlover04

no, they hook up to it, or near it actually (TB to be exact).

posted by  Inygknok

okay thanx

posted by  Neonlover04

you can get electric superchargers that continuosly deliver max boost, but im not sure what their max boost is... just a thought

posted by  ninjaman935

electric superchargers are extremely different. most dont even deliver boost 24/7. these need to be constantly recharged and dont produce that much actual power. max boost is nothing, its how much power per "boost pound" (for lack of a better term) they can produce.

posted by  Inygknok

well, my perference is a turbo, but thats just me. If you have the money, a misfiring system is your best friends and it could wipe the floor whith most cars. The Streetglow Solara, its runs a single turbo at 40psi out of a 2jz,.... 40PSI!! thats insane, its has about 1400HP. Now these number aren't astronomical, but they are insanely high. now, I have seen a root SC pump a camaro from 450HP to 711HP, and that is an insane power jump. When it comes down the numbers. Depends on the engine, compression, tuning and the drivers preference.

posted by  s13_Drifter

Thats exactly what it comes down to, driver prefrence. In the end both can give you the same power for close to the same amount of money and both can give you the same amount of headaches. It just really goes down to driver prefrence.

posted by  Zalight

yes and no....in essence there are 3 different, basic, types of superchargers....the roots "blower"(a.k.a. the belt driven intake manifold), the twin screw supercharger, and the centrifigal supercharger.

The roots style DOES take place of your intake manifold and has to equal sized rotors inside that compress the air and force it into the engine....lots of air pulsations.

The twin screw or "Lysholm Screw" supercharger ALSO DOES replace the intake manifold. This design uses two different sized rotors to compress the air and force it into the engine...but, the different sized rotors generate less heat than the roots and provides more steady air flow...no pulsations.

The centrifigal supercharger does NOT take place of the intake manifold. To sum up the centrifigal quickly...it's a belt driven turbo.(I know I'm gonna get hell for putting it that way, but oh well, that's what it is)

posted by  Sick88Tbird

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