Not that many soccer moms would have any interest in this sort of thing, but for us horsepower-crazed types, the idea of a 5,000-pound SUV with 395 ponies via a 6-liter LS2 under the hood really gets our blood pumping-and that's in stock trim. Imagine adding a tune to the computer, a cold-air induction kit, or better yet, a little boost?
Back in the October '07 issue of SUPER CHEVY, editor Jim Campisano had the honor of taking a Trailblazer SS for a little track testing; additionally, he added a few hundred miles to the odometer. Jim boasted of the athletic handling, robust acceleration, rugged good looks and its low 14-second quarter-mile times in the 90-plus-degree heat. Intrigued by the SS's attributes, we figured we would take it a step further with the addition of Magna Charger's complete Radix intercooled supercharger system (pn 01-12-60-105-PO).
Magna Charger, a division of Magnuson Products of Ventura, California, develops and markets complete supercharger systems for popular domestic cars and trucks. Magna Charger is capable of developing a complete system and running through every avenue of design, fabrication, testing and production. Owner Jerry Magnuson himself brings 30-plus years of supercharging experience into the equation.
Before starting any work on the SS, Dan unpacked all the boxes and laid the components on a clean table to take inventory. Beyond making sure all items were accounted for, Dan disconnected the battery and injector harness connections, removed the factory air intake from the engine compartment, and drained the coolant from the radiator. (Some SS trucks do not utilize a drain in the radiator; therefore, one must either loosen the thermostat housing or remove the lower hose for drainage.)
This particular system utilizes the Magnuson MP112 supercharger with an internal bypass valve. It reduces parasitic drag on the supercharger to less than 1 hp during normal driving conditions. With the combination of the intercooler being integrated into the lower intake manifold and above-average manifold distribution, higher levels of detonation-free boost are achieved.
Before performing an install of any kind, we needed to have a suitable test vehicle. For this we called upon Dan Smith, owner of D&S Performance, a shop that specializes in engine machining and custom engine builds in sunny Camden, New Jersey. We knew Dan was one of those Turbo Buick guys, but additionally used an '06 Trailblazer SS as his daily driver. After we went over the project with Dan, he was eager to be involved.
As previously stated, a stock Trailblazer SS can cover the quarter-mile in the low 14-second range at around 98 mph in stock trim. Going a step further, Dan installed a cold-air induction and a tune by means of his Diablosport handheld tuner, which helped propel the SS into the mid-13-second range-not bad for 2.5 tons of fun! But we were looking to improve upon that in a big way.
Prior to performing the install, we headed to Tune Time Performance in Toms River, New Jersey, for some baseline chassis dyno numbers. Tune Time specializes in dyno tuning for the LSX crowd and the shop's mechanics also perform hardcore modifications to the Trailblazer SS, Corvette, SSR and Cobalt, to name a few. According to Matt Hauffe, owner of Tune Time, the average horsepower output to the wheels of an all-wheel-drive SS is around 290-300. Dan's checked in at 290 exactly after we returned it to stock, which makes perfect sense with an approximate 30 percent loss through the drivetrain.
The install was rather easy and the instruction manual was the most complete and helpful we've ever encountered-how about 211 color images worth! With basic knowledge and some mechanical ability, almost anyone can install this kit. Otherwise, professionals such as those at D&S Performance or Tune Time Performance can assist and get you running in no time flat. Magna Charger has every avenue of the install covered, showing that it did its homework when it comes to supercharging your ride.
Now follow along with our Magna Charger huffer installation.