For anyone who’s ever owned, installed, tinkered with, or looked under the hood at a ProCharger supercharger — or any centrifugal supercharger for that matter — on a street car, you know that it’s pretty common that the inlet faces toward the firewall. This is a perfectly valid scenario for a street machine that’s necessitated by a lack of space from the motor to the radiator, but as any racer can attest, horsepower is king. Since airflow is horsepower, that means taking advantage of any and every opportunity to make the most of a particular power adder. This is the reason why manufacturers like ProCharger offer their blowers in a reverse drive configuration and why such third-party accessory manufacturers as Schoneck Composites produce complete kits to make the reverse drive combination a reality.
Schoneck Composites, owned and operated by drag racer and all-around gearhead Dan Schoneck, recently began producing reverse drive supercharger kits that are designed specifically for the confines of 1998-2002 GM F-body Camaro’s and Firebird’s. And with a ProCharger F1R on the spec sheet for our Project BlownZ Camaro that we’ll be taking 275 Drag Radial racing, this was the perfect answer to our needs.
Schoneck Composites Reverse Drive System
The Schoneck Composites supercharger bracket kit is the newest such product to hit the market for racing applications, and Power Automedia will be one of the first media outlets to put the kit through its paces and provide a in-depth review.
Along with being the newest part on the block, it’s also perhaps one of the most user-friendly kits on the market, and it is that way largely because Schoneck, ever an innovator, set out to design it based on his end user experiences with the current crop of blower kits on the market.
With our kit, if you broke a belt, you could change it on the side of the road in about five minutes – Dan Schoneck
“I was building a ’98 Camaro, and I wanted to convert to a 30mm kit, which a 30mm cog is the same width as an 8-rib belt,” explained Schoneck. “We put the car on the dyno and within five pulls, it ripped the blower bracket, the blower, and the alternator bracket right off the motor.
Schoneck continued, “At that point, I knew I had to cure the issue and build a reverse drive kit that used a 50mm cog belt for serious race-type engines, and the only good way to do it was the move alternator and come up with a killer bracket setup to support the blower. I also wanted the design to allow you to remove the belt without removing the head unit. This is something that you cannot do with any other reverse-type blower kit. With others, you have to physically remove the blower, and that can be as much as an hour job. With this one, if you broke a belt, you could change it on the side of the road in about five minutes.”
Schoneck has made adjustments in the design of the main plate, the addition of another stand for extra support, the direction of the tensioner to load the belt between the crank and the blower, and relocation of the alternator to the passenger side valve cover (a separate kit that’s part of the blower kit). This has resulted in an incredibly sturdy piece, and one we’re fully confident in with BlownZ.
As an aside, Schoneck has designed this kit specific to the ’98-02 Camaro, although it will work with any make or model that can accommodate the supercharger being mounted low and in front of the engine.
Schoneck is producing these kits as 30mm and 50mm (belt width) kits; the 30mm allows for clearance of the factory radiator with minor modifications. Both kits, however, can be found on some insanely powerful LS-powered street cars on the road, according to Schoneck.
And if you’re wondering which blower this system can accommodate, anything from a P-1SC up to an F-2 ProCharger will bolt right up to this supercharger kit. “It will fit any blower that anyone would ever run on an LSX, because if they were going with something as big as an F-3, they’d have a gear drive,” explains Schoneck.
Why Reverse Drive
A forward-facing supercharger is beneficial for the very same reason that forward-facing hood scoops and turbochargers protruding from the grille are desirable, and that is superior airflow. The more clean air you can shove into the intake, the more horsepower you can produce; to an extent of course. But aside from the airflow aspect, there’s another benefit to turning the supercharger around.
Explains Schoneck, “The reversed supercharger also allows you to get the blower closer to the crankshaft, and that means the belt is a lot shorter, so it’s easier on the crank, easier on the blower, and easier on the overall combination. The shorter you can make the belt, the less harmonics pull there is on the crank and the less belt stretch you’ll experience. When it comes down to it, the closer you can get the blower to the crank, the better off you’re going to be.”
The Schoneck supercharger kit places the blower about 12-inches from the centerline of the crankshaft, while with kits for many street cars with the blower mounted high and to the left of the motor, that distance can be 20-inches or more from the crank, with the belts often nearly twice as long.
Although highly beneficial for drag racing applications, this is by no means a race-only setup that Schoneck is producing. “I’ve built roughly 25 of these so far, and I think about 20 of them were purchased for street cars,” said Schoneck.
ProCharger F-1 Series Comparison
- F-1R: 9.75″ volute; maximum supercharged horsepower 1125; max flow 1700 cfm; max boost 38 psi
- F-1C: 9.75″ volute; maximum supercharged horsepower 1200; max flow 1625 cfm; max boost 38 psi
- F-1X: 10.5″ volute; maximum supercharged horsepower 1300; max flow 2000 cfm; max boost 38 psi
The ProCharger F-1R, the maximum allowable supercharger per the rules for the NMCA West series for BlownZ, is a self-contained supercharger with a base HP range of 375-550 and a supercharged HP rating of 1,200. As one of the tried-and-true blowers in the ProCharger arsenal, this unit has seen a lot of track time on a wide range of racing vehicles over the years, and it’ll be our workhorse this season as we embark on the radial and 8.5 tire ranks.
“Being a 9.75-inch housing blower and the size of the impeller that’s in it, we’ve got a lot of customers that can go out and make 1,150 to 1,200 horsepower with it to the tires,” explains ProCharger’s Dave Werremeyer. “On a well-built small block, it’ll make anywhere from 23 to 25 pounds of boost, and on an extremely well-built small block with good flowing heads and such, it’ll pull 18 to 20.”
An F-1R equipped car has been as quick as 4.78 in the 1/8-mile at over 3,300 pounds, which really puts its potential on display.
“It’s a good blower to cut your teeth with, so to speak – a good starter piece to get used to running a blower if you’re new to the game or you’ve switched power adder combinations,” continues Werremeyer.
The F-1R and its size also allows the average street car guy to relate to what he sees on a mid-seven second race car at the track. Said Werremeyer, “That’s the best attribute of that blower — that it relates to the masses more than probably any other blower, because of its compact size.”
The Schoneck Composites supercharger kit mount includes:
- Brackets (front, rear, supercharger C-bracket)
- Two idlers (tensioner, secondary
- 76-inch belt
- Cog Plate (blower, crank)
- Blower hub
- Crank pulley
- Blower Pulley
- Alternator Relocation Kit
Installation of the kit is a rather straightforward and simple process. The obvious components are the plates, with one mounted to the motor plate itself, one located behind the motor plate that mounts to the block for structural support, and the blower mounting plate. The stands for the blower bolt through the front plate and the motor plate to the rear plates, providing plenty of strength and rigidity. The remainder of the supercharger system, from the pulleys to the tensioners and the belt all assemble very much the same way that your standard ProCharger system would come together.
Whether it’s for means of airflow and horsepower, for durability reasons, or a combination of both, if you’re in the market for a reverse drive supercharger mounting kit, this is one exceptional kit that brings to the table a number of great features that enhance not only the strength of the entire blower system, but vastly simplify maintenance and repairs.