Corky Bell is widely acknowledged for his expertise in turbocharging and supercharging. His new book Supercharged! Design Testing and Installation of Supercharger Systems is the ideal reference book for both novice and experienced forced induction fans. The book primarily covers fuel injected applications with very little mention of carbureted setups. That said, many of the calculations and math still apply and a dedicated effort can still make use of them.
In effect this is a near textbook treatise on fuel injected forced induction and it includes the planning, construction and implementation of an intercooled BMW engine with electronic fuel injection and electronic engine management. All the core science is presented here and most of it applies across the board if you are planning a supercharged big block Chevy with a BDS blower. The BMW sample design is somewhat limiting as there are no doubt far more marine and hot street machine projects than BMWs. While this book does not specifically cater to that market, it still delivers the facts you need to science out a custom system.
Much of the basic information in this book is the same as presented in Bell’s other book Maximum Boost! The Design, Testing and Installation of Turbocharger Systems. It’s a good read for the depth of information of thermodynamics and the integration of components within a supercharged system. The sections on intercooling are particularly helpful as are the methods for calculating boost levels.
The information is presented in logical progression and it is quite detailed. It’s clear that the author knows the subject quite well and is able to describe and teach it without distress. Carbureted applications may need to seek a bit extra help, but those with later model fuel injected engines will find it surprisingly informative and a highly useful guide to building their own supercharger systems.
Corky Bell, author of the best-selling book Maximum Boost has followed up that excellent book with Supercharged! Design, Testing and Installation of Supercharger Systems. It's difficult to say which is more popular in contemporary performance circles as both supercharging and turbocharging have become commonplace in OEM factory offerings and the aftermarket has exploded with kits and components for both.
As he did with his earlier book, Corky Bell provides straightforward and easy to grasp technical information on how to select, size, and install supercharger systems. This comprehensive book employs numerous technical illustrations to help the novice grasp the concept and the necessary know how to accomplish a successful supercharger installation. Bell examines three basic types of superchargers; the Roots-type, centrifugal, and screw-type. He present s the supercharging concept in a logical procession so readers can easily follow it. Separate chapters are devoted to intercooling, electronic fuel injection, auxiliary systems and types of drive mechanisms.
Additional chapters committed to engine preparation, and testing with information, such as formulas to calculate the size of the supercharger, intercoolers, drive mechanisms and supporting components. Theory and practical application are seamlessly merged to ensure successful hands-on application. The book offers information on supercharger systems applied to fuel injected engines, but very little information with regard to carbureted applications.
The book is textbook in nature, yet still entertaining for those who follow closely and try to do the math. The author describes a number of complete installations with EFI and computerized engine management systems, but no carbureted systems. Those with a working knowledge of induction systems will not be slowed by this, but newcomers attempting to fashion a carbureted system may find it challenging.
Readers who make a reasonable effort to grasp the core science of supercharging will likely take away a solid understanding of the concepts that govern supercharger operation and efficiency. While perhaps not the definitive work on the subject, Bell's treatment is successful at treading the fine line between an excess of math and science and the more practical side that appeals to a broader mass of readers.
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