We all love normal atmospheric pressure. At 14.7 psi, it’s the perfect arrangement for humans and animals alike; it’s easy and natural to breathe and gives us all the power we need. You can also say the same about the engine in your truck. In most cases, modern vehicles come off the assembly line with some form of a naturally aspirated power plant. The combination works just fine for the vast majority of drivers, but that’s not us.
Since we’re always looking for smart ways to gain more horsepower, one of the best approaches is supercharging. It’s a device designed to grab Mother Nature by the scruff of the neck and shake her silly. Supercharging dramatically ups the ante on the pressure and quantity on your intake charge, thereby making significantly more power for an internal combustion engine. Call it “unnatural aspiration.” The concept has been around for 131 years and even helped generate the power for some of history’s greatest prop-driven fighter planes.
As you might imagine, today’s “state-of-the-science” research has brought supercharger design to its highest level of sophistication. TorqStorm, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a pioneer in the continuing development of blow-through systems for carbureted and throttle-body fuel-injected V-8 applications. As a result, the company has become a major factor in today’s performance aftermarket. Its latest offerings consist of fully integrated packages capable of generating more than 700 hp, providing the best of all worlds relating to performance, dependability and efficient installation.
A number of years ago, TorqStorm had the opportunity to update an older supercharger design at the request of another manufacturer. The company’s vast CNC-machining expertise is well known within the industry. This team also happens to be comprised of blue-blooded gearheads, so they tackled the project with great enthusiasm, insight and experience. When that other company decided to pull the plug on the project, its loss immediately became our gain as TorqStorm took its new creation to the performance-oriented public—meaning us.
Every great machine is the sum of its parts. The TorqStorm supercharger utilizes a machined 6061 billet aluminum gear case rather than the cast housing of the initial design. This new, more rigid construction material dramatically reduces bearing deflection and improves sealing characteristics. A self-contained oil supply eliminates the plumbing hassle normally associated with the installation of other brands of superchargers.
The metallurgy behind modern compressor blade design is of the highest order imaginable. If you flick the edge of one with your fingernail, it produces the same seductive resonance as a fine crystal champagne glass. This unit’s ceramic shaft bearings and tool steel straight-cut gears are designed for long life and infallible performance. Additional internal components have been engineered to make them virtually oblivious to the rigors of the high stress environment these parts call home.
Speaking of ultra-high-performance components, even the mounting bracket for the supercharger is produced from ¾-inch-thick machined billet aluminum to ensure perfect alignment for the pulley drive mechanism and at the same time eliminate any possibility of blower housing flex or wobble. This is the kind of strategic design required to operate comfortably in the otherworldly environment of 70,000 rpm. The compressor’s V-band clamping method allows for the actual rotation of its aluminum cover, which in turn permits a variety of mounting position options for air-duct routing to the bonnet or cooler. This is all jet-age quality and thoroughness in its most intensified state.
Because of the analytical persuasions of TorqStorm engineers, they partnered with three of the performance industry’s major high-performance engine suppliers to validate the results of redesign efforts on this super-modern huffer.
BluePrint Engines of Kearney, Nebraska, was the source of the test engine. With 20 years experience in the field as a high-performance engine supplier on a national scale, the company provided a 383-cid stroker small-block Chevy built specifically with forced induction in mind.
Pace Performance of Canfield, Ohio, is a complete high-performance parts and service facility. They are the ones who actually installed the TorqStorm supercharger on the 383 small-block. This firm was eager for the results since it planned to include this complete power-added engine package into its already impressive product line.
Walden Automotive in Doraville, Georgia, is a highly respected pioneer in aftermarket engine development with an emphasis on Bow Tie products. This is the facility that actually did the dyno testing on Pace’s engine/ supercharger combination.
Those results were definitely impressive. In normally aspirated form, the 383-ci small-block produced 436 hp and 460 lbs-ft of torque—all at 4,300 rpm. With the TorqStorm supercharger system engaged, that same engine churned out 627 hp and 566 lbs-ft of torque at 5,800 rpm. This is the kind of power boost that sends shockwaves through the community of the unsuspecting.
Unlike exhaust-driven turbochargers where turbo lag is expected in the lower rpm ranges, the TorqStorm supercharger is generating 400 lbs-ft of torque at a measly 2,000 rpm. That’s as close to instantaneous horsepower as anyone could ask. Owner Rob Walden declared that the engine/supercharger combo was impressive—even to him—and noted its torque spread and throttle response were unmatched by any turbocharged facsimile.
In addition to this system’s performance and relative ease of installation, TorqStorm is confident enough to offer a limited lifetime warranty on this extraordinary product. All components are produced in-house, including the advanced compressor wheel and each of the installation fixtures. The blower case can be purchased in a natural alloy finish, black anodized or even micro-polished for extra visual flash.
If you’re ready to take your own truck to the highest level of performance, tap into the force of the universe. Only this time, it’s all scientific fact, without an ounce of fiction anywhere in sight.