In the past year GMHTP has jumped into the 2010 Camaro realm with both feet by showcasing some of the wildest project cars and going in-depth with technical stories on how to modify the latest muscle car from Chevy. Two of those technical articles covered supercharger upgrades on LS3/L99-equipped Camaros and in both instances we checked out a roots-style huffer (Magnusson TVS2300 and Edelbrock E-Force). This issue we are exploring something for the centrifugal blower crowd and headed over to East Coast Supercharging (Cream Ridge, New Jersey) to get the scoop on its new system. Corvette aficionados are probably very familiar with the company's successful C5 and C6 supercharger setup, and it recently released a Camaro supercharger kit. The system is based around a Paxton NOVI 1500 centrifugal blower and is available for both the LS3 and L99 engines.
Supercharging an LS engine wasn't the hard part since the ECS crew already knew what to expect for power results due to its extensive work with the Corvette and other LS-powered platforms. The task ahead was in designing an easy-to-install system that included an air-to-air intercooler, fuel system upgrades, and a clean looking package. The finished product accomplished all of the project goals. We spent the better part of a day following along as the technicians at ECS bolted on the system and then attached it to the DynaPack chassis dyno to show off its boosted results. The installation was simple and anyone with some experience could install the kit in their garage over the weekend. We particularly liked the fact that the front nose didn't have to be removed to install the intercooler. It saves time and allows a single person to do the job without an assistant. ECS supplies a PCM re-flash with the kit, but the company recommends bringing your car to a chassis dyno to verify it is running properly at WOT. Every vehicle is different and ECS said the only true way to be sure the car runs perfectly is to verify it on a chassis dyno. Or you can bring your Camaro over to the ECS digs in New Jersey and they can custom tune the vehicle-or do the entire job.
The system is built around a Paxton NOVI 1500 head unit and a custom air-to-air intercooler. According to our sources at Paxton Automotive, this centrifugal supercharger is designed to provide enough airflow to produce over 825 horsepower on a properly prepped engine. The unit included in the ECS kit is a self-lubricating blower, which means an internal oil reservoir keeps everything lubricated without the need of running oil lines in and out of the blower. That means you don't have to punch a hole in the oil pan; saving time and simplifying the install even more. The NOVI blower exhales into an air-to-air intercooler that is mounted in the front grille opening. Despite its location, extensive testing and evaluation with data logging systems shows the intercooler does not obstruct airflow to the radiator and air-conditioning condenser. Both operate just as the factory intended them to work-and the intercooler is effective at chilling the boost from the Paxton head unit.
Belt slippage is always a concern when dealing with a supercharger system, so ECS attacked it from a few different angles. First, the foundation for the supercharger is strong-using 1/2-inch thick billet brackets to mount the head unit. A solid foundation helps keep the blower pulleys lined up when under a strong load due to high rpm. Further helping belt traction is the use of an 8-rib pulley to drive the supercharger. The pulley and tensioner configuration allows for ample belt wrap on the 8-rib pulley.
Our test Camaro began life as a bone-stock factory flyer that made 372 rwhp and 382 lb-ft of torque. Just adding the ECS supercharger system, which produces 9 psi (but is capable of much more with different pulley configurations), the Camaro responded with an impressive 551 rwhp and 549 lb-ft. Of course that wasn't enough, so ECS installed American Racing Headers full-length headers (1-7/8-inch primary tubes with 3-inch collectors) and a three-inch X-pipe with catalytic converters, but kept the stock 2.5-inch factory after-cat exhaust system. The better breathing exhaust helped the LS3 produce 51 more rwhp, bringing total output to a Z06-slaying 602 rwhp and 586 lb-ft. It doesn't matter what coast you are on, the ECS supercharger kit will pump up your Camaro's LS3 or L99 bullet with boost at any level.