from the editors of:
GM High Tech Performance
LOG IN / SIGN UP
GET THE MAGAZINE
tech & how to
engines & drivetrain
Chassis & Suspension
paint & body
Best of the Best
GM High Tech Performance
LS7 Supercharger Kit - Air To The Throne
ProCharger's Intercooled Blower Kit Summons ZR1-Slaying Thrust From An '09 Z06
Apr 8, 2010
View Full Gallery
View Full Article »
VIEW FULL GALLERY
LS7 Supercharger Kit - Air To The Throne
Not only was Dave Cell's Atomic Orange Z06 the first Z off the line in MY09, it would also be the first car to receive ProCharger's '09 Z06 blower system. Sometimes the editorial stars just align.
Here's the kit as it arrived at our shop. It comes with everything you'll need to install the blower system, including new fuel injectors and a handheld PCM programmer.
As he does with all blower installations, ProCharger's Nick Schmidt begins the job by filling the head unit with fluid and attaching the remote drain line. Like the vast majority of the company's offerings, the P-1SC unit used in the Z06 kit is self-lubricating, meaning there's no need to tap the oil pan.
Moving to the car, Schmidt yanks the LS7's stock intake tract and coil covers. If your Vette has painted covers like these, it's a good idea to apply masking tape around the fuel-line cutout to prevent scratching.
Next to go is the serpentine belt, followed by the radiator shroud (shown).
With those items removed, Schmidt transfers the car to a lift and drains the coolant from the radiator.
Off come the factory wheels and wheelwell liners...
...followed by the lower front fascia.
The next steps involve disconnecting the front sway bar and laying it down out of the way. The front tie rods and shocks get the same treatment.
Out come the fan (shown) and the factory power-steering-fluid cooler.
After loosening the motor mounts, Schmidt jacks up the engine a few inches for clearance. This step is necessary in order to access the crank balancer.
Press-fit balancers like the one used on our Z06 can rotate on the crank when subjected to the higher rotational forces exerted by a centrifugal supercharger. To prevent this, ProCharger includes all the hardware required to pin the crank and the balancer securely together.
After marking the correct depth on the drill bit with electrical tape, Schmidt drills a hole through the balancer and crank.
With that done, he hammers in the pin.
The next step involves the liberation of the stock radiator cradle. With that piece out, Schmidt removes the horns...
...and installs them on the new ProCharger cradle. This unit relocates the radiator rearward to provide clearance for the intercooler.
The oil cooler is next to go.
Schmidt then bolts up the new cradle...
...and reinstalls the oil cooler using the provided brackets.
After dropping the car, Schmidt assembles the main blower bracket and bolts it into place.
He then raises the Vette once more to reconnect the suspension components, radiator hose, and harnesses.
The ProCharger kit employs a massive, air-to-air intercooler to chill the intake charge before it enters the intake manifold. Here, Schmidt raises the 'cooler into place in the nose of the car.
The next item to go on is the surge valve. The valve bleeds off excess boost under part- and closed-throttle conditions (typically between shifts) to prevent damage to the blower unit.
The stock radiator hose won't clear the new ProCharger hardware, so Schmidt splices in a new line using the coupling and clamps provided with the kit.
After attaching the head-unit bracket...
...Schmidt bolts it into place in the engine bay.
He then routes the supercharger belt...
...and installs the new power-steering-fluid cooler that's included with the system.
As this image shows, the intercooler is located directly in the path of oncoming air for optimum efficiency. This placement also renders the ProCharger system virtually immune to the power-sapping condition known as "heat soak."
The kit comes with a new passenger-side fender liner that provides extra clearance for the blower and related equipment. It may need to be trimmed a bit for a precise fit.
Schmidt next installs the intercooler-discharge hose...
...followed by the new radiator shroud. The shroud is finished in an understated matte black, giving it an OEM-quality appearance.
After inserting the MAF sensor into the intercooler-discharge pipe...
...Schmidt installs the pipe between the 'cooler and the throttle body. The hose will most likely need to be cut down to fit.
Schmidt refills the radiator with coolant, using an elevated hose (seen here attached to the left side of the hood) to bleed air from the system. This step is critical if you're to prevent the engine from overheating. (The alternative is to repeatedly warm the car to 200 degrees and top it off as needed.) The power-steering fluid should also be refilled at this point.
The driver-side fender liner goes on next...
...followed by the new air dam that feeds the intercooler.
In the homestretch now, Schmidt drills a hole in the new air filter and attaches the provided PCV line.
The filter is then attached to the air bridge, and the assembly installed on the head unit.
The passenger-side coil cover will need to be modified to clear the blower bracket. After drawing a reference line on the cover, Schmidt carefully trims it with a cutting wheel...
...and files the edges smooth.
The ProCharger kit comes with new, higher-capacity injectors capable of meeting the elevated fueling demands of the blown LS7. Here, Schmidt pulls the factory fuel rails and swaps in the upgraded sprayers.
Schmidt completes the installation by uploading custom PCM tuning with a handheld SCT programmer. All that's left at this point is to take the car for a testdrive.
Here's a look at the completed installation. As we've noted before, ProCharger goes the extra mile with its Corvette kits to ensure that the appearance of every piece is fully in keeping with the car's upmarket status. Even better, the new helical gears in our head unit quelled blower whine to near-inaudible levels.
Having detected no worrisome traits on our testdrive, we decamped for nearby Corvette tuner AntiVenom to obtain some post-install horsepower and torque numbers. Here, AV's Greg Lovell prepares to unleash the blown Z06 on the shop's Dynojet chassis dyno.
The day before the installation, our otherwise-stock test subject laid down an impressive 459.80 hp and 430.07 lb-ft of torque on the same dyno, making it the most potent C6 Z06 we've tested to date. Those numbers paled in comparison with the ProCharged readings, however, which came in at a jaw-slackening 583.18/511.92. Applying a conservative 15 percent correction factor for driveline losses yields crankshaft figures of 711 horses and 624 lb-ft, more than enough to depose the "King of the Hill" ZR1 in a dyno duel. The king is dead; long live the king.
Bow Tie Keepers - Readers' Rides, November 2014
Don't miss out on Readers' Rides for November 2014. A 2013 Chevrolet Camaro, 1970 Chevelle and a few more classics.
1962 Woodsman Shaker Chevy II - Too Much II
When we met Dan Bergeron and saw his Woodsman Shaker 1962 Chevy II in action at a couple of nostalgia drag races, we thought he might have something to tell us.
Building a 700 Horsepower 454 On a Budget - Super Chevy Magazine
We take a junkyard 454 shortblock, and without taking it apart bolt on a new top end and other parts to make 700 horsepower for less than 2500 dollars - Super Chevy Magazine
4.8L VS 5.3L Engine - Tech - Little LS Slugfest - Super Chevy Magazine
Most people look past the small 4.8L engine and go straight for the bigger ones. In this Little LS Slugfest, we compare both stock and modified versions of the 4.8L and 5.3L engines, now you be the judge!
recent how to articles
How To Build a 1,200 HP LSX Engine - Pump Gas Powerhouse
Chevy Resto Tech - November 2014
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Camshaft and Header Upgrades from Redline
Ditch The Six: Part 2 - Swapping a 5.3 LS into a 1955 Chevy 210
1972 Corvette Scarlett Project Car - Vintage Air Gen 4 Underhood Components
subscribe to the magazine
Subscribe and Save 74% off the Cover Price!