What is the point of a muscle car to have a blower?
With the invention of the combustion engine, engineers and designers are searching for ways to optimize and/or create power.
One way of adding power is to create a bigger engine.
However, bigger engines would require more upfront cost and labor.
Not only that but the upgraded engine might be heavier than the former engine, making your overall weight heavier.
The second way of adding power making the normal-sized engine more efficient.
This can be accomplished by forcing more air into the car’s combustion chamber.
More air means more fuel in the combustion chambers, and more fuel means a larger explosion and bigger horsepower.
A blower is an excellent way to achieve forced air induction. We will in this article, explain what blowers are, how they work, and how much they cost on the average.
WHAT IS A BLOWER?
A blower is an air compressor that increases the density or pressure of air supplied to a combustion engine.
This provides each intake cycle of the engine with more oxygen, allowing it to burn more fuel and do more work, therefore increasing power.
A blower is one of the best all-around bolt-on parts you can own, it is one of the simplest ways of improving a car’s performance.
PURPOSE OF THE MUSCLE CAR BLOWER
“A blower” is the general term for an air compressor used in increasing the density or pressure of air that enters an engine, providing it with more oxygen to burn fuel with.
HOW A BLOWER WORKS
As stated earlier, blowers are simply air pumps that push more air into the engine cylinders of your car.
As the blower compresses and compacts more air and therefore more fuel into the engine, the charge of combustion becomes more potent, enabling the engine to produce more torque and power.
For example, a blown vehicle running 5-6 pounds of boost will on its intake stroke pack around 40-50 percent more air into its cylinders compared to an unblown engine.
This lets a smaller displacement engine provide similar torque and horsepower to a large displacement engine.
A normal four-stroke engine dedicates one stroke to the air intake process. There are 3 steps in this process:
The piston moves down
This creates a vacuum
The air at atmospheric pressure is sucked into the car’s combustion chamber.
Once the air is drawn into the car’s engine, it will be merged with fuel to create the charge – a packet of potential energy that is turned into kinetic energy through combustion.
The spark plug initiates combustion by igniting the charge.
As the fuel experiences oxidation, a vast amount of energy is released.
When explosions are created, they push the piston down.
As a result, this transfers the energy to the wheels.
Generating more fuel for the charge would lead to a more powerful explosion.
However, you cannot simply pump extra fuel into the engine because you require an exact amount of oxygen to burn a certain quantity of fuel.
This chemically accurate mixture – one part fuel to 14 parts air – is necessary for an engine to function efficiently.
To summarize, in order to have more capacity for fuel, you need to put in more air.
That is where the blower comes in.
A blower increases the air intake by compressing it without creating a vacuum.
This pushes more air into the car’s engine, producing a boost.
With the extra air in the boost, more quantity of fuel can be added to the charge, increasing the power of the engine.
Blowing adds about 46% more horsepower and 31% more torque to an engine.
In high-altitude conditions, where engine performance declines because the air has low pressure and density, a blower gives higher-pressure air to the engine, allowing it to operate optimally.
The rotor of the compressor are available in various designs and sizes, however, the job is the same, draw in and squeeze air into a smaller space before discharging it into the intake.
A blower must spin rapidly to pressurize the air, more rapidly than the car’s engine itself.
Making the drive gear bigger than the compressor gear makes the compressor spin faster.
Blowers can spin at speeds as fast as 45,000 to 70,000 RPM (rotations per minute).
A compressor spinning at 50,000 RPM translates to about 7-9 pounds PSI.
That’s 7 to 9 additional psi above the atmospheric pressure at a given elevation.
1.7 psi is the atmospheric pressure at sea level, so a standard boost from a blower puts about 50% more air into the engine.
However, the air gets hotter as it is compressed, causes it to lose its density.
It therefore would not be able to expand as much during the explosion, reducing the power it creates when it’s ignited by the spark plug.
For a blower to work at full efficiency, the compressed air must be cooled as it exits the discharge unit before it gets into the intake manifold.
This cooling process is carried out by the intercooler. Intercoolers are available in two designs: air-to-water intercoolers and air-to-air intercoolers.
They both work like a radiator; the hot air exiting the blower meets the cooler pipes and cools down.
This reduction in air temperature raises the air density, which allows a denser charge to enter the combustion chamber.
Types Of Blower Designs
Blowers typically employ one of three designs: centrifugal, Roots, or screw-type.
These are like turbochargers in many ways.
However, centrifugal blowers are driven by a belt off the engine, while turbochargers are exhaust-driven.
Centrifugal blowers depend on an internal impeller to increase boost.
Since boost is dependent on how fast this impeller spins, these units usually do not produce as much boost at low rpm’s, because the impeller doesn’t spin fast enough.
However, a centrifugal blower is the best choice for your vehicle if it already produces good low-end torque and power.
A Roots-type blower draws in air and compresses it in the car’s engine cylinders.
The speed the blower uses to fills the cylinders is dependent on how fast it is driven by a drive belt and pulley.
The main limitation of the Roots-style blower is the consistency of the airflow.
While the centrifugal blowers afford smooth, continuous airflow, the roots-type blowers feed air into the car engine in inconsistent lumpier bursts, which slightly reduces efficiency.
However, the Roots-type blowers provide a flatter torque curve with linear power across the rpm range, which makes it the excellent choice for adding “street safe” low-end power and throttle response.
They are also usually less expensive than their centrifugal counterparts, however, due to their basic design; they are more likely to have clearance concerns with stock hoods.
Screw-type blowers are similar in appearance to their Roots-type counterparts; they however differ in one fundamental way.
Screw-type blowers also compress the air within the car engine cylinders just like the root blowers.
However, screw-type lowers also have interleaving internal rotors that pull in and compress air.
Screw-type blowers are usually the most expensive of the blower designs.
WHY HAVE ONE?
The most significant advantage of having a blower is increased horsepower.
Attach a car blower to an otherwise standard car or truck, and it will perform like a car with a bigger, more powerful engine.
How Much Power Does A blower really Add?
As previously stated, the quantity of oxygen that a car’s engine can “breathe” is the limiting agent as to the amount of power it can produce.
This is because of the fuel-injector technology that is developed and is capable of providing as much fuel as can be burned with the quantity of oxygen in the cylinder.
Generally, engines operating at sea level receive air at 14.7 psi, so if a blower adds 7 psi of boost to the engine, the cylinders themselves would get roughly 50% more air and should be able to produce about 50% more power.
The standard expectation is that adding 50% more air yields 40% to 50% more power.
Which muscle cars have blowers?
As environmental concerns and government legislation necessitates a shift away from big-displacement fuel-thirsty engines toward more economical ones.
Automobile manufacturers are increasingly using turbo and blowers to get more power from less fuel.
Blowers, turbo, and power adders, in general, are here to stay.
They make cars more powerful and efficient and so you can be sure that blowers will remain part of newer cars for as long as internal combustion motors continue to be developed.
Let’s take a look at a list of some muscle that uses blowers;
Ford has said that their engineers decided on using a blower to fit the heritage of the GT500, granting not just instant throttle response but also a high RPM.
Seeing as the previous-generation of GT500 has been supercharged, it seemed appropriate to keep it.
Chevrolet is relying on a blower for its top-of-the-line Camaro ZL1 to boost its horsepower, as well as the C8 Corvette.
Jaguar has implemented an engine-driven blower to enhance its V6 and V8 engines.
Blowers provide the Jags with all the power they need to maintain the brand’s legacy of pace, space, and grace.
They make use of blowers to boost the car’s speed as well as get a signature noise.
Everyone’s using blowers right now, even Mercedes-Benz, which famously used to blow a bunch of its engines in the 2000s.
You can always spot a blown Benz as it would read “Kompressor” on it in blocky silver letters.
Jeep | Grand Cherokee Trackhawk;
The blown 707-hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with its all-wheel-drive option gives the driver a better chance at harnessing all that power.
Land Rover | Discovery, Range Rover,
Most of the other big Land Rovers like Jaguars use blowers to boost their engines, with horsepower as powerful as 575 in the Range Rover Sport.
Volvo | S60, V-60, XC60, S90, V90, XC90;
Of all the automobile manufacturers on this list, Volvo has the highest number of blown cars, they however are only blown some of the time.
Their engine utilizes a blower to help with its low-end power while having a turbocharger take over when the engine reaches high RPMs.
HOW MUCH DOES A BLOWER COST?
Blowers can be specialized according to the particular model and make of an auto manufacturer’s line.
Blowers are not mass-produced; supply and demand factors into the marketplace current value.
For the new automobiles that don’t include a blower, they are often custom-made for the specific engine or model.
Additionally, the very nature of a blower adds to a car’s price tag. After all, this piece of equipment can spin an extra 65,000 RPMs.
That much bonus power comes with a price.
It costs anywhere from $1500 – $7000 to install an aftermarket blower and this should not be attempted by amateur car mechanics.
Installation tips are available for free – mostly via video – on various companies’ websites and you can contact them by email if you require more information.
What effect does a blower have on car value?
If you paid more for a blower on your car, it will retain this extra value when you decide to sell it, just like any other excellent option.
When buying a car, adding a blower to the regular engine package would cost about $1,500 extra.
Remember that blowers are a really popular option when it comes to engine upgrades.
In 2018, there were over 100 models of cars available with a blower as an additional engine option.
Older cars with blowers are at risk of extra maintenance; however, the new generation of blowers are less troublesome.
Difference between a blower and supercharger
The difference between a blower and a supercharger is that a supercharger is mounted on the front of a vehicle and piped to the intake, while you’ll mount a blower to the intake on the block.
The second difference is that a supercharger is belt-driven; it forces only air into the manifold.
While a blower forces in both the fuel mixture and air.
Blowers and Superchargers also differ in size; with a blower sticking out of the hood, while a supercharger will fit in.
A supercharger is an air compressor that helps increase the density and pressure of the air inside a combustion engine.
It forces air into the engine, which increases its density and allows the engine to have more oxygen-intake cycles.
Blowers use centrifugal force to drive air forward.
There are no major differences between the blowers and superchargers since they both use forced induction.
Superchargers can be compared to pumps due to the displacement that occurs with a stroke of the pump.
Blowers on the contrary act as fans, since they apply less displacement while operating.
A blower and a supercharger could appear as having no difference since both are air compressors. However, the difference lies in the way they function.
Now, you should know plenty about blowers on a muscle car.
Something else you should know is whether or not you should purchase a used muscle car.
It is important for you to gather all the information available so that you can make an informed purchase.
Or just enjoy more knowledge.