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Commonly Asked Questions for Paxton Superchargers

Q: Do you have a supercharger for my vehicle?
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 everyday.

Q: What is a supercharger and how does it work?
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 mileage?
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 life?
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 vehicle necessary?
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 horsepower.

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 engine.

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 Supercharger make?
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 supercharger?
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 vehicle?
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 engine noise?
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 emissions legal?
A: All Paxton Supercharger systems are California Air Resource Board Certified .

Q: Are Paxton Supercharger Systems complete?
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 warranty?

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 myself?

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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