n/a or supercharged?

01mgvert

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Jan 12, 2004
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$2,000 in parts and 37 rwhp later, I've added nearly every bolt-on possible (see signature below). I am now at a crossroad. Do I stay n/a or do I go supercharged? If I stay n/a, I will have the heads polished and ported, buy new valves (springs), and a custom cam. With labor, the cost will be around $4,000, and I will gain 60-70 rwhp bringing me to 305-315 rwhp. My other option is to supercharge my 4.6 with either the Vortech or the Kenne Bell. Both units will cost around $5,000, including $1,000 for installation. (Are there any other expenses with installing a supercharger?) With my current mods, a supercharger should add another 120-140 rwhp, bringing me to 365-385 rwhp. What are the pros and cons of these two options? Any recommendations?
 
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Read my post on street legal cams. I'm at somewhat of a crossroads also. I want the blower but with that comes the risk of it all going boom :eek:. The basic shortblock we have is fairly decent, its the rods that kill us. You hate to spend that 5-6K and shortly soon after chase that same amount or more into it for a new motor. From what I've read these motors have no specific power limitation. At certain power levels they can go. In reality its all a crap shoot. The cam and heads won't make the LS1 power number we all crave but intially is safer than the blower. How much money you got to spend :(.
 
Very good points by skywarp. I always suggest that anyone wanting a supercharger have the means to at least replace their motor with another stock one in case of the worst, if not a built motor.

Having said that, I've owned 6 mustangs now with the previous 5 being all motor cars. I was always the guy in the car club that wanted to go fast on motor only and let the blower guys rot. To hell with that lol. I installed the first of 5 different superchargers last year on this car and I can say that there's no way I'll own another mustang without a blower. It's addictive.

Either way can be a lot of fun and like stated above, there's always a 4V swap.

Good luck.:)
 
281 VS. 350 IS A BIG DIFFERENCE, you can't catch up when a LS1 is hopped up as a 281. I plan to go N/A, Solely because it'll make my engine last alot longer, and I won't have to worry about burning my rings up every 3 thousand miles because I wanted to floor it for 5 minutes. But running N/A leaves much more room for improvment and look what's happened over the last 40 years, IMPROVEMENT. Ford has made a monster out of the Mustang, and eventually they'll find a way to shut the Corvette out like the Camaro and Firebird, WITH a smaller engine. That's my OPINION, let's not argue about it. You are who you are......
 
skywarp said:
Read my post on street legal cams. I'm at somewhat of a crossroads also. I want the blower but with that comes the risk of it all going boom :eek:. The basic shortblock we have is fairly decent, its the rods that kill us. You hate to spend that 5-6K and shortly soon after chase that same amount or more into it for a new motor. From what I've read these motors have no specific power limitation. At certain power levels they can go. In reality its all a crap shoot. The cam and heads won't make the LS1 power number we all crave but intially is safer than the blower. How much money you got to spend :(.

I've never thought of superchargers as being dangerous. With a safe tune, what can go wrong? Nitrous, on the other hand, is notorious for blowing engines.
 
Aside from the safety issue, a n/a 4.6 offers more pride. After all, any idiot can make a supercharged 4.6 fast but it takes a special kind of idiot to make a n/a 4.6 fast. It's kind of like the difference between a steroid-using bodybuilder and a natural bodybuilder.
 
My opinion is it all comes down to $$$. You can build a quick N/A 281 w/ cams, heads and all the bolt ons. At that point you've got $3,500 - $4,500 into the motor (heads - $1500, cams - $500, exhaust - $500, Misc (plenum, pullies, chip, etc - $1,000. That will get you in the neighborhood of 300 RWHP or so. The other option is to spend $3000 and just drop a blower on an otherwise reasonably stock 281 and put down 350-375 RWHP.

Those are your two conservative options. Option number three is to run N/A, drop money into your motor, and plan to add boost later. So, for $3,500 - $4,500 you're adding heads, blower cams, exhaust, all the usual bolt ons, plus upgrading the fuel system. Once you max out your potential, you drop the extra money in for the blower and put down 450+. Of course, at this point your differential, axles, stock frame (w/ SFC's) etc. all become suspect and prone to failure (not to mention the stock bottom end).

The point is, it is a neverending cycle. The first question I would ask is "At what power level will I truly be happy?". Start with the end in mind. If you want to make big power, then plan accordingly modify accordingly. If you'll be happy with enough to run with the average LS1 then do just the blower and keep it conservative. If you want the pride of an all motor 281 just do the heads, cams and bolt ons. The question is what do you want?

My .02.

Jay
 
01mgvert said:
Aside from the safety issue, a n/a 4.6 offers more pride. After all, any idiot can make a supercharged 4.6 fast but it takes a special kind of idiot to make a n/a 4.6 fast. It's kind of like the difference between a steroid-using bodybuilder and a natural bodybuilder.
lmao, youv'e got to be kidding me. :rlaugh: You asked if you should stay n/a or go supercharged and then you say this in the same thread? I think you just answered your own question here. Wouldn't want to lose your pride lol. :rolleyes:
 
01mgvert said:
Aside from the safety issue, a n/a 4.6 offers more pride. After all, any idiot can make a supercharged 4.6 fast but it takes a special kind of idiot to make a n/a 4.6 fast. It's kind of like the difference between a steroid-using bodybuilder and a natural bodybuilder.

uh :spot:
 
Truth ...... answered your own question

01mgvert said:
Aside from the safety issue, a n/a 4.6 offers more pride. After all, any idiot can make a supercharged 4.6 fast but it takes a special kind of idiot to make a n/a 4.6 fast. It's kind of like the difference between a steroid-using bodybuilder and a natural bodybuilder.

:owned: self :rlaugh: :lol:
 
GT2000JAY said:
My opinion is it all comes down to $$$. You can build a quick N/A 281 w/ cams, heads and all the bolt ons. At that point you've got $3,500 - $4,500 into the motor (heads - $1500, cams - $500, exhaust - $500, Misc (plenum, pullies, chip, etc - $1,000. That will get you in the neighborhood of 300 RWHP or so. The other option is to spend $3000 and just drop a blower on an otherwise reasonably stock 281 and put down 350-375 RWHP.

Those are your two conservative options. Option number three is to run N/A, drop money into your motor, and plan to add boost later. So, for $3,500 - $4,500 you're adding heads, blower cams, exhaust, all the usual bolt ons, plus upgrading the fuel system. Once you max out your potential, you drop the extra money in for the blower and put down 450+. Of course, at this point your differential, axles, stock frame (w/ SFC's) etc. all become suspect and prone to failure (not to mention the stock bottom end).

The point is, it is a neverending cycle. The first question I would ask is "At what power level will I truly be happy?". Start with the end in mind. If you want to make big power, then plan accordingly modify accordingly. If you'll be happy with enough to run with the average LS1 then do just the blower and keep it conservative. If you want the pride of an all motor 281 just do the heads, cams and bolt ons. The question is what do you want?

My .02.

Jay

Thanks for the good advice. I'm not sure, however, that you can drop in a supercharger for $3,000. For example, I've done some research on a Kenne Bell system. The supercharger with intecooler is $4899 (add $650, if you want the polished version). The optional inlet system will cost $573. Since I suck as a mechanic, I will need to pay for installation. I'm guessing it will cost $1,000 for labor, including a dyno tune. This brings the total to $6472. I also like the Vortech S-trim with aftercooler (VOR-060SQ). The best price that I found was $4699 (add $300, if you want the polished version). Again, add about $1,000 for labor, and the final bill is $5699.

You are right, though. I need to decide at what horsepower I will be content: 300 rwhp (n/a) or 380 rwhp (blown)?
 
n/a or supercharged?

That's like asking do like blondes or brunettes. Some people like one, some people like the other.

Me,....I like brunettes...ER...I mean, I like naturally asprirated, :rolleyes: but sometimes I like blowers too. :D For me, a real fast n/a car gets a little bit more respect.
 
N/A is safer. I do agree with 01mgVert, in the part that N/A offers a lot of pride. I love the feel of superchargers, especially in my friends 04 cobra. But for me, I also love the pull of a N/A motor; I can't really feel the work it takes to get up to speed in a supercharged car though. But dollar for dollar, the supercharger will net you more power.
 
Even if you decided to stay N/A and went with a 99 4v Cobra motor or something. I bet my last dollar you will supercharge that motor because the power is so addictive. I just had mine(Procharger)installed last week and its not even tuned properly but it makes you wonder why you didnt start saving for one when you first bought the car.

Why keep dragging those bolt-ons along? 1,000 here, 1500 there total=60hp
 
Hey everyone, i'm new to this site but i was wondering what be the best choice for some extra hp for a 95 GT. Not much done so far, upper/lower saleen intake, 70mm throttle body, intake, dumped flowmaster exhaust system. at around 240rwhp, im looking to hit 285-290 by next year, any ideas?
 
I can certainly appreciate the hard work that goes into building a fast n/a car but to say that just slapping on a supercharger is easy is a little far fetched and kind of a blind statement.

As someone else has said already, take a quick spin in a blown car and you might think twice. Hopefully the people that say being blown is "the easy way" aren't just saying it because they can't afford it (not saying anyone is btw). That would be sad.