Subscribe to the Free

ProCharger i-1 Installation - Ready For Ratios?

Part 1: Buckle up as our '12 fifth-gen project inherits an i-1, the world's first programmable ratio supercharger from ProCharger

D.J. Randall Sep 24, 2013
View Full Gallery

Check out Part 2 of our Procharger i-1 installation!

Devised from strong bloodlines and born from the ProCharger masterminds, behold the holy grail of supercharging technology, labeled the i-1. Contained in a strong billet case is a patented programmable ratio supercharger, with a unique control system that gives its driver the ability to switch between supplied performance modes, all from the same setup. Considering our stock SS needs a swift kick in the rear, the programmable boost curve [of the i-1] is a much-needed gulp of force-inducted cold air. The newfangled supercharger is a welcomed edition to our 2012 SS build, and luckily for you, it's not exclusive to late model Camaros. ProCharger has added this well-rounded beast to their product line, and is available on a growing range of vehicles (including the C6).

For starters, the new i-1 from ProCharger is similar to the P-1SC-1 and D-1SC supercharger systems, built from the same solid technology, tested on everything from GM trucks to ‘Vettes, and even Ford products ranging from Mustangs to Raptors. However, ProCharger has taken a solid leap ahead of the competition with a variable ratio transmission that is literally incorporated into the supercharger assembly. The two units (transmission and turbine) are connected by an incredibly strong, dry-hybrid belt. Combining the belt driven action from a normal belt and the durability of a chain without the weight, the new hybrid is one that's been tested extensively for over five years by ProCharger. The i-1 delivers a higher compressor efficiency than screw superchargers, while maintaining the other benefits of a centrifugal design. The variable boost adjustability and efficiency are astounding. The billet impellers and rugged gear case are exclusive to ProCharger, and the entire system is rated to stand up to a whopping 900-horespower.

Prior to the ProCharger team arriving at our shop for the install, our Camaro did a few solid baseline dyno pulls, making 381-horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque at the wheels. According to the guys from ProCharger, the fifth-gen should gain an additional 185-horsepower from the installation of the i-1 on pump gas. With that being said, the new setup is going to require a constant supply of consistently cool air. Sitting along side the other components that arrived from ProCharger is a three-core air-to-air intercooler that most would agree, provides abundant cooling and reliability when compared to air-to-water setups for street use. Thanks to an effective intercooling setup that avoids heat transfer associated with engine-top mounting, the ProCharger i-1 is able to produce greater number per pound of boost than air-to-water intercooled, positive displacement supercharger systems.

Speaking of street use, how many of you are particular about who gets behind the wheel of your ride? Surely, a sneaky valet parking employee is the last one on the list. Here's where the new technology comes into play. Sure, at 7.5-pounds of boost our Camaro is going to add another 185-horsepower to the wheels, but not everyone is ready for 550-plus horsepower, especially not an optimistic valet. ProCharger's new technology can be utilized to solve that very dilemma using an optional touchscreen or a toggle switch in the cockpit. The touchscreen looks like a normal GPS-type screen, but it controls a bit more than some silly arrows. On the screen, the user is able to customize up to four readouts per page, for real-time viewing. For example, you can see anything from impeller and engine RPM, to the current ratio of the supercharger. Atop of the onscreen display sits a nifty little arrow. When the arrow is pulled down in a familiar smartphone-like gesture, a four-option boost mode function appears, labeled Touring, Sport, Competition, and Custom.

Here's where you can lock out the valet driving fool. The selectable boost mode page can be password protected to keep ill-willed or just plain inexperienced drivers from getting into trouble. Just select the Touring mode button, and the boost goes from 7.5-psi to less than 1-pound of boost, which is also good to conserve fuel on road trips. Still think the valet will somehow guess your password? After selecting Touring mode, detach the touchscreen and slip it into your pocket while at dinner! Feeling adventurous after your meal? Pop the touchscreen back in, and select Sport mode for full boost during the lively drive home. Obviously, the best is saved for the last two buttons, as selecting Competition mode will give you full boost, that's pre-spooled, awaiting your right foot. The assembly essentially creates boost that's ready to go, but vented until called upon. Custom mode can store a predetermined boost curve for those high-performance track days, or to suit any other need. The possibilities are endless.

Needless to say, we are amped up to begin the install of the ProCharger i-1, and the brand-new supercharger assembly is provided alongside the reliable hardware to be expected from ProCharger. Follow along with the installation process, not as a step-by-step manual, but to see just how noninvasive the new kit is, as we explain how the innovative system fits into our fifth-gen.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Engine 2/25

1. The i-1 install is kicked off by ProCharger’s Tyler Logan, as he ceremoniously removes the Camaro’s engine cover. The engine cover is generally the first off, and the last back on, both of which are significant moments of the installation. As you know, it’s just used for aesthetic reasons…thanks GM. Before touching anything else, we disconnected the negative terminal from the battery in the trunk.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Front 3/25

2. Moving back to the front, and a few pushpins later, Tyler carefully wiggles the front fascia free, after unplugging the wiring harness. The radiator shroud, along with the temperature sensor, is up next for removal. The open space will allow enough working room to install or remove different components, like the intercooler with required tubing, new washer fluid reservoir, and i-1 bypass valve.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Front 4/25

3. The next thing to be pulled off is the front bumper. It’s only held up by three fasteners per side, making for a quick removal. Its removal is necessary for the intercooler install later on.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Empty 5/25

4. Tyler empties the radiator, after placing a bucket under the drain opening. Removing full coolant lines would otherwise result in quite a mess. Note the hefty stock washer fluid reservoir to the right of the radiator. That extra weight will be gone and replaced shortly!

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Stock Air 6/25

5. In order to save a few seconds while the coolant is draining, Tyler continues with the preparation process, disconnecting the PCV line, and then taking out the stock air box after removing the factory mass air flow sensor from the intake tube. The next component to occupy this space will be the massive i-1 supercharger!

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Upper Coolant 7/25

6. In order to make even more room to access necessary components, Tyler removes the upper coolant hose, along with the coolant lines running below the radiator cap, allowing for greater engine space access. The hose will be reinstalled later, so we were sure not to trash it.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Radiator 8/25

7. Next on the list of things to take out are the massive fans incased in a plastic shroud, behind the radiator. Once removed, Tyler now has access to more space, making for an easier install. The fans will be put back in soon.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Factory Accessory 9/25

8. With the fans removed, Tyler loosens the factory tensioner bolt, rotating it clockwise until there is slack in the factory accessory belt to remove it. Next, the four-rib A/C compressor belt is removed from the factory balancer, which is going to be replaced. The new setup will look a little different than stock, to say the least, but still function as if no changes were ever made!

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Windshield Washer 10/25

9. Sliding over to that windshield washer reservoir we pointed out earlier, Tyler first drains the unused fluid, then unplugs the wiring harness, and removes the bolts fastening the reservoir to the vehicle. The old washer fluid container is replaced with a smaller unit that is attached to the supplied bracket, to make enough room for the hot-side intercooler lines and blower installation.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Drill Auxiliary Battery Post 11/25

10. Since the factory air box has already been removed, access to the stock auxiliary battery post bracket is available. Using a drill bit, Tyler hollows out the six spot-welds that hold the auxiliary battery post to the inner fender, and removes it. Drilling out the spot welds is just about as invasive as it gets, as the kit that ProCharger provides is extremely comprehensive and easy for competent individuals to install.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Install New Auxiliary Batter 12/25

11. Using the supplied bracket and hardware, Tyler bolts up the new auxiliary battery post, and the resulting space is going to be enough to fit the blower and air inlet filter setup. Instead of just getting rid of the post, the new bracket leaves a usable terminal.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Factory Crank 13/25

12. The next step in the install involves the crank. After looking inside the transmission access hole to locate and keep the flywheel from spinning, Tyler removes the factory crank bolt that is tightly in place.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Factory 14/25

13. With the bolt removed, Tyler uses a GM crankshaft harmonic balancer removal tool to tactically pull the factory balancer off of the crank, removing it from the vehicle.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Modified Vs Stock Crank 15/25

14. A similar GM crank balancer installation tool must be used when installing the supplied modified balancer onto the crankshaft. The modified crank balancer can be seen on the left, and the factory one is on the right. While they look nearly identical, the new balancer is machined to mate with a dedicated supercharger pulley.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Drill 16/25

15. In a supercharged application it is important that the balancer cannot spin independently from the crank. In order to keep the motion uniform, and unlike the factory setup, the crank and balancer must be pinned by drilling the crank to the proper depth using a crankshaft and harmonic balancer drill jig. Ryan Galloway from the ProCharger team is shown completing one of the more crucial steps of the install. Once the ear piercing drilling has stopped, the quarter-inch pin is placed and set all the way into the crank. The balancer is now pinned to the crankshaft.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Crank Pulley Cam 17/25

16. Next on the list is the installation of the crank pulley and cam locks. Ryan inserts the bolts and washers through the supplied pulley, before threading the supplied cam locks onto the threads from behind the pulley. The crank pulley and cam locks are mounted onto the factory balancer, ensuring that two cam locks are inserted into each slot on the balancer. The new crank pulley is inserted into the crank, and the entire assembly is rotated until the cam locks stop the pulley.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Install Ac 18/25

17. After installing the new crank pulley, the four-rib A/C belt must be reinstalled. Ryan slides the A/C compressor back into place after installing the belt, making sure that he tightens the four bolts, securing the setup.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Remove Main 19/25

18. With the A/C belt installed, it’s time to move on to the main bracket assembly. The first step is to remove the power steering pump bolts, before sliding the pump off of the bracket. The lines do not have to be disconnected. With the pump off to the side, Ryan removes the bracket, with no need to reinstall.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger New Main 20/25

19. With the pump bracket removed, the sub-bracket of the main bracket assembly can be installed to the driver’s side cylinder head using the provided hardware. The new bracket is strong enough to support the pump and puts the pulley and belt into an optimum spot.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Attach Sub 21/25

20. With the sub-bracket on, Tyler attaches the provided relocation bracket. The power steering pump is now mounted onto its new bracket. Below the power steering assembly sits the alternator, with two factory bolts removed, and an additional hex spacer installed.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Install Accessory 22/25

21. The accessory belt is installed, but not tensioned until the main bracket goes into place to prevent the alternator from shifting. The main bracket will keep the alternator in place once bolted down.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Install Idler 23/25

22. Once the idler pulley is removed from the main bracket assembly, to allow access to one of the mounting holes, Tyler can install the main bracket with some beefy hardware. Once installed, the idler pulley can be reinstalled.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Tension Accessory 24/25

23. It’s now time to tension the accessory belt. Tyler slides the belt over the water pump last, while rotating the tensioner clockwise until the belt is installed. Once tensioned, the factory fans can be reinstalled as well, along with the coolant neck and two coolant lines below the coolant cap. The main bracket assembly is complete, and ready to accept the new i-1 supercharger.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Ss I 1 Supercharger Procharger 25/25

24. We are at a good transition point to pause our ProCharger i-1 install. Our stock LS3 has been prepped for the addition of the i-1, and the next step of the install is to mount up the shiny billet supercharger with the attached gear case. All of the parts needed to accommodate and install the technologically advanced blower are provided by ProCharger; just take a look at how much is included in the kit! Stay tuned folks! The next issue will involve some more important install steps, but most importantly, the addition of the i-1.


Accessbile Technologies Inc. (ProCharger)
Lenexa, KS 66215



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print