Commonly Asked Questions for
Q: Do you have a supercharger for my
A: Paxton Automotive manufactures centrifugal supercharger head units as well as
several complete supercharger systems. Each complete supercharger system is
designed to fit a specific vehicle and engine application. Paxton Automotive
currently produces a wide variety of supercharger systems for several popular
domestic vehicles for model years 1966 to 2000. Please reference our application
guide for a complete list of supercharger systems. Additionally, Paxton
Automotive works with several supercharger specialists that use Paxton
Superchargers for niche market applications. If you do not see your vehicle
applications listed, be patient as we are designing new supercharger systems
Q: What is a supercharger and how does it
A: A supercharger is an air compression device that forces air into an engine.
The device allows more air and fuel to be forced into an engine than is possible
under normal atmospheric conditions. The mixture of compressed air and fuel in
the engine produces a higher compression ratio resulting in more horsepower and
torque. A supercharger also allows a vehicle with a smaller displacement engine
the ability to perform as a large displacement engine.
Q: How much horsepower will a
supercharger give my car?
A: Paxton Automotive offers supercharger systems with factory settings from 5-8
pounds per square inch of boost pressure. This level of pressure typically
results in a 35%-55% increase in horsepower. Several of Paxton's superchargers
are capable of much higher boost levels by making simple changes to the pulley.
Although more boost would result in additional power, it is also necessary to
make adjustments to the fuel, electronics and engine modifications. Paxton does
not recommend exceeding 8 psi on a stock engine.
Q: Is the supercharger always working?
A: While the supercharger is always spinning and moving air, it is not always
producing boost in the engine. Boost is a function of engine load and RPM. The
majority of the time your supercharger will not be producing boost. The
supercharger produces boost under high load conditions which may include heavy
acceleration, going uphill, passing another vehicle or under towing conditions.
Paxton superchargers offer the power you need on demand, the reminder of the
time the engine is working just like a normally aspirated engine.
Q: Will the supercharger affect the gas
A: Fuel economy depends entirely on your driving habits and in some cases you
may experience an increase in gas mileage. Under normal freeway driving, for
example, the supercharger is not under boost but is increasing the efficiency of
the engine by forcing air through restrictions like the air filter. But let's
face it, you are not interested in a supercharger to enjoy "normal driving
conditions." When you are demanding additional performance from your
vehicle it will require additional fuel. If you are a "lead foot" your
fuel economy will decline because your car is working harder. If you are simply
using the supercharger for occasional acceleration and passing performance, then
your fuel economy should remain about the same.
Q: Will the supercharger affect engine
A: Engine longevity is a function of your personal driving habits and how well
your vehicle is tuned. If a vehicle is tuned properly and not abused, engine
life should remain unaffected. Even a stock vehicle will show signs of premature
aging if used under rigorous conditions such as racing and/or towing. Likewise,
premature engine failure is a possibility with any vehicle that is not properly
tuned and a supercharged vehicle is no exception. As explained, a supercharger
is an air movement device that forces increased air into an engine. While under
boost, the additional air requires additional fuel to enrich the air to fuel
ratio entering the engine. In many cases, the timing must be taken out of the
engine under boost conditions. Detonation (a pinging noise from the engine) is a
sign that your vehicle is not running properly and can indicate a variety of
problems including a lean condition, a timing curve that is too aggressive, or
low octane fuel. Demanding performance from a detonating engine will likely
result in reduced engine life with or without a supercharger. Paxton Automotive
recommends that the installer of any supercharger be qualified to identify
detonation and have the ability to identify and correct the cause of it.
Q: Are any additional modifications to my
A: No additional modifications are necessary and in several cases such
modifications require custom tuning to prevent an adverse affect on performance.
All Paxton Supercharger systems are designed to add 35-55% increase on a stock
vehicle. Any additional modifications to a vehicle including headers, exhaust,
engine modifications, tire size, gear ratio and computer programs will affect
the way your vehicle performs. Any of these modifications may require an
alteration to your air/fuel ratio and ignition timing parameters. The
installation of headers, for example, will reduce the back-pressure of the
engine causing the vehicle to run lean under boost conditions. Fuel supply would
have to be increased under these conditions. Several computer programs can
increase the rev-limiter on vehicles. If the engine is spinning faster than the
factory limit, the supercharger is spinning faster and making more boost. This
boost level is higher than the level tested by Paxton Automotive and could
exceed recommended limits. Multiple modifications to any vehicle should be
performed by a qualified mechanic who understands how those modifications will
affect vehicle performance.
Q: What modifications are necessary to
achieve more than 50% increase in horsepower?
A: Several modifications can be made to your engine to substantially increase
horsepower, in fact there are too many to list. In basic terms, you will need to
strengthen the engine internal components, increase air flow and increase fuel.
It is recommended that you consult with others who have implemented successful
engine combinations. Regardless of your horsepower goals, one of Paxton
Automotive's superchargers will fit your needs from 300 horsepower to 1,700
Q: What types of superchargers does
Paxton Automotive manufacturer?
A: Paxton Automotive manufactures 6 different
centrifugal superchargers. The NOVI family is Paxton Automotive's high
performance line of gear driven superchargers. The NOVI line includes the
NOVI-1000, the NOVI-1000RR, the NOVI-2000, the NOVI-2000RR and the NOVI-3000.
The NOVI superchargers represent the highest level of quality and performance
available in any centrifugal supercharger. The drive element consists of a
helical-cut gear (40% wider than the competition) and shaft combination cut from
a billet piece of steel. This results in quiet operation and unsurpassed
durability. With a wide variety to choose from, a NOVI supercharger fits your
needs from a 200 horsepower 4-cylinder engine to a 1,700 horsepower V-8.
The SN-"Classic" is a modern day
version of the original Paxton Supercharger dating back to the 1960s. The
supercharger has transformed over the years and variations have carried the
following names: SN-60, SN-89, SN-92, SN-93, VR4, NOVI-GSS and the SN-2000. The
supercharger utilizes a unique "ball drive" internal mechanism that
provides 5-6 pounds of boost pressure with a completely silent operation.
Q: What is the difference between a
Paxton Supercharger and a roots type supercharger?
A: A roots-type supercharger is a positive displacement supercharger that forces
air into an engine with two rotating, intermeshing rotors. A centrifugal
supercharger has an impeller that pulls air through the center and directs the
air into a scroll using centrifugal force. The scroll resembles a large
blow-dryer with a circular shape and a discharge tube. The air is directed in
the scroll, pressurized and forced out of the discharge tube and into the
The two types of superchargers have different
performance characteristics that have led to several debates on which
supercharger is preferable. Proponents of roots blowers argue that more boost is
available at lower RPM to provide off the line acceleration. Centrifugal
supercharger enthusiasts argue that roots blowers are limited at higher RPMs and
can increase air temperature and decrease horsepower. Paxton Superchargers offer
significant horsepower at low RPMs with superior mid and high RPM performance.
In situations where you demand performance from your vehicle, you are spending
most of the time in the mid to high RPM ranges. Paxton is confident in the
performance characteristics of its product.
Q: What is the difference between a
Paxton Supercharger and a Turbocharger?
A: Turbochargers are powered by exhaust pressure while superchargers are driven
from the engine crank pulley. Superchargers allow you to attain boost and
horsepower on demand. A turbocharger requires the exhaust pressure to build
resulting in a "lag" in horsepower increase. A turbocharger will
typically have a higher discharge temperature than a centrifugal supercharger.
This higher temperature is a result of the turbo impeller spinning faster and
the heat generated from the exhaust gas.
Q: What is the difference between Paxton
Superchargers and other types of centrifugal superchargers?
A: All centrifugal superchargers incorporate some type of drive element to
increase the speed of the supercharger impeller in relation to the speed of the
engine RPM. Some supercharger companies achieve this "step up" ratio
with two different sized pulleys inside the supercharger with a belt connecting
the two pulleys. Others use two different sized gears attached to the input and
output shaft of the supercharger that allow the output shaft to spin at a much
faster rate than the input shaft. Paxton Superchargers have internal drive
elements that are different from other types of superchargers.
Paxton's NOVI line uses gears and shafts that are
cut from a solid piece of billet steel to ensure unsurpassed strength. The
competition uses a two-piece combination where the gear is pressed onto a
separate shaft. Paxton's gears are helical-cut (at an angle) eliminating the
noise typically found with more commonly used straight cut gears. NOVI gears are
40% thicker than the competition enabling the NOVI blowers to be used under the
most rigorous conditions without failure.
The SN-Classic incorporates a unique ball drive
element that allows the impeller to spin 4.4 times faster than the input shaft
of the supercharger. This is accomplished with five large ball bearings (about
the diameter of a quarter) that are applied with pressure onto an output shaft.
The balls ride on a bearing surfaced machined groove on the output shaft. The
output shaft is connected to the backside of the supercharger impeller. The
balls are rotated with a five pronged carrier attached to the end of the
supercharger input shaft. When the balls rotate they spin the impeller in the
opposite direction 4.4 times faster. The design allows for consistent horsepower
increases while maintaining near silent operation.
Q: Why are Paxton NOVI supercharger
systems more expensive than the competition?
A: Paxton Automotive's goal is to produce the highest quality supercharger
system on the market. Every Paxton Automotive NOVI system is designed with the
highest level of quality in mind. The NOVI superchargers incorporate the highest
quality gears, bearings, impellers and castings available. Each kit comes
complete with ½ inch billet aluminum brackets that dampen vibration, look
better and perform better than less expensive material. Most NOVI systems have
the ability to support approximately 1,000 horsepower (depending on application)
with simple pulley changes. Additionally, our systems typically include more
electronics to ensure that the vehicle runs properly. Our NOVI supercharger
systems cost more because you get more.
Q: How much boost will a Paxton
A: Boost levels depend on the size of the supercharger, how fast the
supercharger is spinning, the displacement of the engine and a variety of
modifications to the engine. Supercharger systems are shipped from Paxton
Automotive's facilities with a setting of 5-8 psi. Most applications are capable
of additional boost with simple pulley changes (additional boost requires
modification to the engine and tune up). Paxton's NOVI line has a wide variety
superchargers to choose from with the ability to produce over 30 psi in almost
any engine combination. How much boost do you want?
Q: Will the installation of the
supercharger affect the factory warranty on the vehicle?
A: Legally, a manufacturer cannot void the warranty on a vehicle due to an
aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part caused or
contributed to the failure in the vehicle. However, several dealerships are
resistant to maintaining a vehicle with aftermarket equipment. The best course
of action is to locate a dealership to service your vehicle that has common
sense and develop a good working relationship with that dealer.
Q: How often do I need to service the
A: The SN series ball driven supercharger uses a self-contained oiling system.
The type-F transmission fluid must be changed every 3,000 miles-- the same
intervals that your engine oil is changed. The NOVI line of superchargers are
engine oil fed. Simply change the oil in your vehicle every 3,000 miles. No
additional service is needed.
Q: Can I install the kit on a different
A: Supercharger systems are not transferable to different applications. Each
supercharger is designed to work on a specific year, make and model of vehicle.
You cannot mount a supercharger intended for a Chevy truck on a Mustang or visa
versa. In addition, a supercharger system for a Mustang application will likely
not fit on a different year Mustang if a body or engine change has occurred.
Q: Does a Paxton Supercharger require
modifications to the hood?
A: All Paxton Superchargers are designed to fit inside the engine compartment
without any hood or body modifications.
Q: Does a Paxton Supercharger increase
A: The SN-Classic maintains a silent operation that is not noticeable from the
cockpit of the car. The NOVI line of superchargers are the quietest gear driven
superchargers on the market. The slight gear noise is hardly auditable at idle
and disappears at higher RPM.
Q: Are Paxton Supercharger systems
A: All Paxton Supercharger systems are California Air Resource Board Certified .
Q: Are Paxton Supercharger Systems
A: Each supercharger system comes with all the components necessary for a
complete installation, including a detailed installation manual.
Q: Are Paxton Superchargers covered by a
A: Paxton Automotive offers a one-year limited
warranty on all supercharger components in a complete supercharger system.
Q: Can I install a Paxton Supercharger
A: Paxton Automotive prides itself in finish and
fit of its supercharger systems. Each kit comes complete with all the components
necessary for your vehicle to run properly, including a detailed instruction
manual. If you have installed a supercharger before, you should have no problem
installing a Paxton Automotive supercharger system. A word of caution however:
bolting on a 50% increase in horsepower is not magic and some systems can be
more challenging than others. You must be confident in your mechanical training,
experience and abilities to properly complete the installation. Any error in the
installation could affect the performance and drivability of your vehicle.
Additionally, any modifications to your vehicle, including engine work, exhaust,
tire size and gear ratios, could require additional modifications to fuel and
timing. If you decide that you need assistance, we would be happy to refer you
to an installation center located near you. Simply call us at 888-9-PAXTON.
Q: Can I design a custom application for
my vehicle using a Paxton Supercharger?
A: Paxton Supercharger head units are universal
and can be mounted to any vehicle (space permitting). To design a custom
application requires a bracket to mount the supercharger to the engine, custom
air tubes to bring air to the supercharger and a custom discharge tube to route
the air from the supercharger to the engine. Significant consideration needs to
be given to pulley location, size and alignment. Once the supercharger is
installed there are several tuning factors including proper timing and fuel
delivery. Several smaller supercharger specialists use Paxton Superchargers for
niche market applications. A custom application is certainly not impossible but
definitely presents a challenge. A custom supercharger application should only
be performed by individuals with fabrication and tuning capabilities.
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