Supercharger Wastegate - What A Waste!

Turbo technology for your supercharger

Barry Kluczyk Sep 26, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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Borschke says with D-1SC-equipped combinations, the 44mm wastegate enables the blower system to make about 7.5 pounds of boost by 4,900 rpm, compared to the 8 pounds generated at the top of the tachometer on "standard" systems. "It's right in the sweet spot of making power where you're going to use it on the street," he says. "We've seen upwards of 590 rear-wheel torque with some vehicles. "In many ways, this combination delivers the best of the turbo and blower worlds. The boost level remains constant at higher rpm, like with turbos, but delivers the unmistakable torque characteristic of blowers. Borschke admits a bit a torque is sacrificed at the top end, but that's not a concern in a car used primarily on the street.

"You'll never miss it on the street," he says. "It's a small price to pay for the greater feeling of power in the mid-range. Heck, the right cam change would help alleviate that high-rpm deficiency, too. "Check out the accompanying dyno chart and graphs, you'll see the dramatic differences with and without the wastegate. As Borschke mentioned earlier, the standard kit delivered the expected 550 rwhp/500 rwtq numbers, while the wastegate-equipped car's best numbers were 579 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque to the tires. That's about 6-percent greater horsepower and 14-percent more torque.

A closer look at the numbers is more revealing: The wastegate-equipped car crossed the 500 rwtq threshold by 3,700 rpm. That was 1,000 rpm sooner than the other car, and it held above the 500 mark through 5,900 rpm. The non-wastegate car flirted with 500 lb-ft only between 5,200 and 5,400 rpm. It's a similar story with the rear-wheel horsepower, where the non-wastegate Camaro peaked, of course, at the 6,100 rpm limit. The Camaro with the wastegate hit its peak a few hundred rpm earlier; and it bested the other car's peak prior to 5,400 rpm. Of course, we had to ask about the bottom line on this modification. "Generally, it's about $600 for the cost of the wastegate and installing it," says Borschke. "There are tuning implications, too, so it's better to do it with installation of the kit. It would cost more to retro-fit a wastegate on a car that already had the blower system installed and tuned." So, on a blower system that costs approximately $7,000 to purchase and have professionally installed, the wastegate upgrade represents less than a 10-percent premium. In bang-for-the-buck terms, that seems like a deal to us.

Chevrolet Performance's Blower-Ready LSX376 Crate Engine

Sure, there are plenty of bolt-on blower systems for the 2010 Camaro, but if you plan to really turn up the boost, you'll want to consider a purpose-built short block with lower-compression, forged pistons. That's what you get in Chevy Performance's LSX376 (part number 19171049) crate engine. It combines the economical and strong LSX Bowtie standard-deck block with the Camaro SS' production LS3 engine's high-flow, L92-style cylinder heads and camshaft – along with a durable set of forged aluminum pistons that deliver a blower-friendly 9.0:1 compression ratio that is crucial for avoiding detonation in high-boost combinations. The Chevy-orange color of the iron cylinder block looks great under the hood, too. The LSX376 is available from any Chevrolet Performance Parts dealer (meaning your local GM dealership's parts department) or online at

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A New Blower Book

Super Chevy contributor and author of the main story above has written a book about supercharging and turbocharging the LS engine, titled--appropriately enough--How To Supercharged and Turbocharge GM LS-Series Engines. It is a full-color book published by CarTech, and went on sale this past June. It covers the basics of forced induction, follows the installation projects of blower and turbo kits, and offers detailed chapters on building an LS engine to support high-boost combinations, with numerous sidebars highlighting real-world projects. Go to for more information, or visit sites like to order.

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Dyno Chart

With WastegateNo Wastegate

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9 The wastegate is accounted for in the supercharger system's tuning. Here, Stenod Performance's Joe Borschke checks the results of another chassis dyno test that showed Chris Radd's wastegate-equipped car putting down nearly 570 lb-ft and 580 hp to the tires—on an otherwise stock engine, using only the bolt-on blower kit and the custom wastegate.

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10 This dyno graph plots the performance of Lou Katz's non-wastegate Camaro over Chris Radd's wastegate-equipped car on Stenod's Mustang chassis dyno. Note that both cars produced the same peak of 7.9 pounds of boost during their respective tests. The dotted lines represent Katz's car and it's clear that, while delivering strong performance, the wastegate combination of Radd's Camaro performs better across the entire rpm band. At lower rpm, where most street driving occurs, the torque advantage with the wastegate is about 70 lb-ft.


Stenod Performance




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