If you’ve been following along with Snake Eyes, our budget street/strip project, you know it has been through some changes as of late. New bucket seats from Procar and a quick-ratio steering box from Borgeson kicked things off. Next, we replaced the cooling system in preparation for something serious. The new system from Champion makes sure our stroker motor stays cool under pressure – literally.
This brings us to the last time we saw the murderous Monte – it was about to undergo a serious horsepower upgrade. We knew we wanted to boost the 383 stroker under the hood, but we weren’t sure how we wanted to accomplish it. So, we weighed the pros and cons of a cheap eBay turbo kit versus a real-deal billet aluminum blower from TorqStorm.
As it turns out, not only is TorqStorm’s SBC blower kit more cost-effective than building a turbo kit from scratch, but it also ended up being much less work. Point being: if you want to up your horsepower numbers with minimal effort, a supercharger is hard to beat. So, follow along as we walk you through the installation process for our TorqStorm Supercharger kit.
Before we jump right into the installation of the blower, we should mention some of the accessories we needed to install before the bolt-on supercharger system could be added. TorqStorm’s supercharger kit went on with an almost laughable amount of ease, but first some key upgrades were added. In fact, the only times we were held up on the project, from start to finish, were with parts supplementing the blower.
The primary part we needed to install before we boosted our small-block was the blow-through carburetor. We sourced ours from Quick Fuel Technology, along with a host of other fuel system upgrades including a new high-output fuel pump.
With those upgrades made, we moved on to the first step of the supercharger install – after reading the instructions, of course.
To begin, we removed the factory crankshaft pulley. While TorqStorm includes a billet crankshaft pulley in its kit, we should mention that it isn’t a replacement for the stock pulley – more of a supplement. It bolts to the original pulley via the use of a billet coupler.
The purpose of this is to accommodate whatever accessories are already connected to the factory crankshaft pulley, while simultaneously adding a new belt drive for the blower. The three longer bolts required to bolt the new pulley to the old one are supplied, but we had to reuse the original bolt to attach them both to the crankshaft.
Once the pulley was on, we began bolting the small supercharger mounting bracket to the driver’s side cylinder head. The kit utilizes Allen-head bolts here and throughout. So, if you’re planning on tackling the same project, do yourself a favor, and pick up a set of Allen-head sockets – it will make your life much easier in the long run. We didn’t have a set handy, so we were forced to use standard Allen-keys, and it was tedious, to say the least.
Still, with the small bracket on, we began to see things take shape and realize just how easy this whole kit installs.
With the first part of the mounting system securely bolted to the cylinder head, it came time to attach the second part of the supercharger mounting bracket. It looks pretty gnarly coming out of the box, but once we bolted up the hook-shaped bracket, our appreciation for the stylish design was solidified.
Not only does the design add an element of toughness to an already beastly system, but after turning the Allen-wrench what seemed like a million times, it was apparent the seven bolts securing the supercharger to the bracket aren’t going anywhere!
With all the brackets, couplers, and pulleys in place, it came time to bolt on the pièce de résistance – the TorqStorm supercharger head unit. A feeling of giddiness washed over us as we lifted the powerful pieces of aluminum into place and mated it to its new home.
If you watched the TorqStorm unboxing video we published, you’ll know the author and Snake Eye’s owner, Vinny Costa, hasn’t ever played with forced induction, so this was a momentous occasion. The last few things to be done before firing up the old Monte Carlo involved the silicone couplers going from the blower to the carb hat, and plumbing the vacuum lines to the blow-off valve.
We recommend lubing the ends of the silicone couplers before installing them – that was, by far, the most challenging part of the installation. Although, we suspect the silicone has to be very tight to ensure an air-tight seal.
Once we finally stopped drooling over our new engine jewelry, we finished up by clocking the blower’s outlet, connecting the silicone couplers, plumbing the blow-off valve vacuum line, and setting our initial timing.
In total, the supercharger installation took us the better part of a Saturday evening. No more time than it would take a couple of buddies to toss back a few cold ones. Truthfully, were it not for the additional upgrades we needed to make beforehand, it would have gone by even quicker.
In fact, if you already have a high-performance fuel system on your ride, all you’d have to do is find yourself a blow-through carburetor, swap out your spark plugs to one heat range colder, and follow the steps outlined above. It’s really that simple.
Check out our first start-up in the video below.
The first turn of the key after an install like this one is always a tense moment. We replaced the entire fuel system and bolted on a supercharger – not exactly a beginner’s task list. Your mind is overrun with thoughts of, “did I tighten all of those AN-fittings properly? Did I torque all of those bolts to spec? Wait, which Loctite are you supposed to use on this – red or blue?”
But, at the end of the day, we turned the key, and it fired up on the first try. Of course, we had to dial-in the timing and make a few adjustments, but it fired up and we were making boost for the first time, ever.
Now our little stroker motor is making some respectable power, but you’ll have to check out the next article in the Snake Eyes saga to find out what the before and after dyno numbers are.
Stay tuned for road and track testing as well – we didn’t just bolt this beauty on for show, we’re fixin’ to let her eat!
‘Til next time.