With last month's completion of all the initial prep work on our LS327, it's finally time to start bolting up the TorqStorm centrifugal supercharger setup. We've been working with the guys over at TorqStorm for about six months now, bouncing ideas back and forth and communicating what we need and where we need it. As it turns out, our project varied a bit from the muscle car and late-model applications that they'd already developed kits for, so we were able to be involved with the R&D side of things, which is something we don't always get to do. The end result was that we got to keep all our accessories, power steering and air conditioning included, and in the location that we required. It was one of those rare times where we got to be involved from the ground up on a new product and it was pretty cool to see what goes into developing such a kit.
The first task when dealing with a kit like this is to lay everything out to identify all the major components. This was fairly simple thanks to the fact that the three major brackets were labeled during the machining process. The hardware as well as the spacers came shrink wrapped and labeled so it was an easy task to identify what was needed throughout the installation process.
To keep with our vintage-esque aesthetic, we ordered the blower in black anodize as well as all the brackets, pulleys, and spacers. Since we had to remove the Eddie Motorsports S-Drive kit from the LS in order to install the blower setup, we opted to reuse the A/C compressor, pulley, and billet hose manifold as well as the power steering pump and pulley from that kit. The old-style one-wire alternator, however, needed to be swapped out for a 2000-2006 truck style, which we were able to source from Powermaster Performance. This presented the opportunity to up the capacity of the alternator from just over 100 amps to a true 227 amps, enough power to ensure that our electrical system can stand anything we throw at it.
One thing we haven't discussed yet is anticipated boost. With a 3.25-inch blower pulley, the guys at TorqStorm tell us we should expect boost levels between 6-8 psi. This of course all depends on engine speed, inlet air temperature, volumetric efficiency, and a number of other variables. For example, if we coupled the supercharger to the throttle body with as little ducting as possible, the volume between the throttle body blade and supercharger impeller is less than if we ran the inlet piping through an intercooler. The larger volume of the latter scenario would yield a lower boost rating when compared with a smaller volumetric setup, but the fact that the inlet temperature is lower, thanks to the use of the intercooler, things start to go back the other way. We'll get into this a bit more next month when we cover the inlet routing and intercooler install, but in general, without knowing all the specifics of every setup, it's impossible to quote an exact boost level for every application, hence the estimate. That said, TorqStorm has arranged a variety of supercharger pulleys so that the boost level can be fine-tuned to suit each application, with the ability to handle over 500 horsepower. That leaves plenty of room to dial in any street-driven engine, whether the desire be more boost or a more modest, streetable setup.
The neatest thing about this entire scenario is the fact that we've taken a fairly docile truck engine and turned it into a fire-breathing hot rod motor (actual numbers pending!). With the modern internals of today's LS engines, this is possible with nearly any late-model GM engine. Bolt on 100 horsepower in an afternoon?! Sounds pretty good to me!