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Electronic clutch supercharger

Hi so I just preformed my first ls swap and have gone a little bit power hungry. I was looking into supercharging my 5.3 liter for more kick, but I like to take my car for long trips. I would like to be able to take these trips without having to fill up after every hour of driving, but I would like the power of a supercharger whenever the need arises. I was wondering if there would be a way to have my supercharger engage and disengage at the flip of a switch with some sort of electromagnetic clutch on its pulley? So if that is possible then my next question is how would I go about tuning such a unique engine? Is that something an aftermarket ecu could handle? I know it’s convoluted but I think it would be really awesome to be able to do this. Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!

I’m not sure the switch is necessary. Guys with supercharged 5.0 Fords report pretty decent highway fuel economy. I don’t think that supercharger is going to be pumping so much air with the engine loping down the highway at 1700 rpm that your fuel economy is going to suffer enough to try to engineer the switch. As far as the ecm tuning…I’d be interested to know how that would work too! Kind of a neat idea, but I think I’d focus on getting everything up and running without the complications of the switch. Then see what your highway fuel economy looks like.

What car did you swap the LS into?

The guys on Mad Max did it.

There’s a kind of supercharger that varies its boost based on throttle input. It’s called a turbo. :wink:

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The misconceptions of the operation of a blower go unanswered and look where that situation leads.

It’s a 1975 Corvette

C3 vette? does it have an OD trans?

Superchargers on GM cars (along with others) work on an as needed basis. This is done with the use of a vacuum pod operating a plate in the intake tract… During normal driving the SC is not putting out any boost. With foot down manifold vacuum drops, plate closes, and boost builds.

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It’s put into a c3 Corvette but it’s block is from a Silverado. I have more space to the sides of the engine so that’s what I was leaning towards.

That was “movie magic”. In other words, fake.

The clutched supercharger idea has been around quite a while. The main problem is that superchargers take lots of power to turn, on the order of 80-100 hp according to one source I found (actual value would of course depend on the actual engine setup). Any clutch that could handle that power would have to be pretty hefty. An A/C compressor-type electromagnetic clutch couldn’t handle the power.

That said, I believe Toyota, Mercedes, and Volvo have dabbled in this area.

Do a general web search for “supercharger clutch” and you’ll find lots of forum chatter.

Or look on ProCharger or Magnuson website. Per them, fuel economy isn’t reduced much at cruise. Of course, they are trying to sell you a $7k SC kit, but what I read does make sense.

I’ll look into that

From what I’ve gathered, Magnuson is the way to go for low end torque. Toyed with that idea myself, but the truck I bought was $5500, Magnuson kit is $7k-ish. I can’t make the math work lol.

Also if your engine was designed without a supercharger it probably has a fairly high compression ratio and wouldn’t take much boost without higher octane gas and possibly water or alcohol injection.

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