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      02-14-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Does Supercharging Ruin the Car for the Track?

So lately I have been thinking about supercharging my car one day. Nothing crazy. Maybe the ESS VT525 kit. However, I wonder if the power will come on too quickly and ruin the linear throttle response that works so well on the track. You really appreciate the way the S65 was designed when you are on the track. Frankly around town, the lack of torque at low RPMs can be a bit irritating, but on the track you always seem to be in the power band.

Any guys out there that track with a SC? Very interested in your honest impressions. I just wonder if SC'ing belongs more on cars that have a street or drag strip focus?
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      02-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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You should be fine. Superchargers should work like a stroker engine.
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      02-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Even with the superchargers the M3 is not a torque monster and still has the nice linear response vs rpm. Just more of it
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      02-14-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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From purely a performance standpoint: we're very happy with the performance of the VF620 kits on the track.



The integrated heat exchanger does a very good job at keeping IATs low for extended track sessions, preventing heatsoak.
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      02-14-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPowerJ View Post
So lately I have been thinking about supercharging my car one day. Nothing crazy. Maybe the ESS VT525 kit. However, I wonder if the power will come on too quickly and ruin the linear throttle response that works so well on the track. You really appreciate the way the S65 was designed when you are on the track. Frankly around town, the lack of torque at low RPMs can be a bit irritating, but on the track you always seem to be in the power band.

Any guys out there that track with a SC? Very interested in your honest impressions. I just wonder if SC'ing belongs more on cars that have a street or drag strip focus?
Send a PM to HP Man. He has a 2008 with the VT2-600 kit on it.
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      02-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwjd15 View Post
You should be fine. Superchargers should work like a stroker engine.
for the 535 kit just adds a little bit more shit to it...


I'm sure you saw Martins M at VIR why not ask him about the bigger ESS kits and how they are
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      02-14-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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In the far future, I am definitely interested in supercharging the car one day. There is no doubt I need more experience on the track, but it looks like a lot of guys are having no problems at all tracking their cars with all these high-powered kits.

I am most interested in seeing what Evolve Automotive comes out with on their new kit. Looking at their choice in blower, cooling, and some of their dynos, it looks like it'll be a blast to drive both on street and track!
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      02-15-2012, 07:11 AM   #8
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its soo much fun trust me. Go threw tires quicker and a little more sideways if you smash the pedal getting out of a turn.
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      02-15-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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With a supercharger you have very predictable linear power, much like stock, so its easy to modulate. I find that the car is no slower anywhere on the track, but its a bit harder to handle coming out of tight turns in a low gear, just be prepared for some brake upgrades
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      02-15-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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Dont waste your money on a 525 kit, go for the 600!
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      02-15-2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
With a supercharger you have very predictable linear power, much like stock, so its easy to modulate. I find that the car is no slower anywhere on the track, but its a bit harder to handle coming out of tight turns in a low gear, just be prepared for some brake upgrades
I have had the same experience with the 575 kit I have. Couldn't agree more.

conversely, I think I'm probably slower from a dead stop when driving on the street because first gear is so difficult to use. however, once I get to second gear, if the tires are warmed up and the road conditions are good, I can usually get it to hook up and the car just launches forward like a bat out of hell. it's a pretty amazing feeling.
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      02-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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Given recent threads on here describing blown engines, and in one case, a supercharger kit's maker/supplier being unwilling to offer any meaningful support, I would be worried about track use. I'm sure the added power is a blast (no pun intended), but I would feel a lot more comfortable supercharging for track use only after having beefed up the internals (connecting rods, journals, etc.).
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      02-15-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
With a supercharger you have very predictable linear power, much like stock, so its easy to modulate. I find that the car is no slower anywhere on the track, but its a bit harder to handle coming out of tight turns in a low gear, just be prepared for some brake upgrades
By the way, love your car in your signature! Are those LMRs?
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      02-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
Given recent threads on here describing blown engines, and in one case, a supercharger kit's maker/supplier being unwilling to offer any meaningful support, I would be worried about track use. I'm sure the added power is a blast (no pun intended), but I would feel a lot more comfortable supercharging for track use only after having beefed up the internals (connecting rods, journals, etc.).
I think blown engines are the rare exception.

I run a supercharged E46 330 on the track. I think my car runs cooler because of the intercooler and water/alcohol injection. While NA E46 and NA E9X M3s were going into limp mode in the summer, my car continued to run strong.

You don't have to run the engine at redline all of the time with a S/C anyway. I can stay in a higher gear and lower RPMs and still have power. This is actually preferable to me since its easier the modulate the throttle.

So I think S/Cing MIGHT help with heat and longevity depending on the driver and s/c kit design.

For those reasons above, I would recommend against getting a non-intercooled kit for the track.

Last thing...install quality/tech support is even MORE critical. I'm finding this out the hard way with my 330. Things will happen that the kit maker/installer normally do not see. So I would loctite things things that you'd normally just torque. Consider using sealants/gaskets/hardware that can withstand more heat. Although my s/c kit is about 6 years old and probably close to 80k miles between 2 owners, both of whom have tracked their car...the compressor is literally undressing itself with some bolts backing out. Not a reflection of the kit as this point, just a reflection of the service demands it sees.

Tech support is critical because, again, rare (non-fatal but annoying)problems will crop up. And, once again, not a reflection of quality but a reflection of the service demands.

If you don't keep the car f/i'd for a long time...not an issue for you. Maybe the next guy.
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      02-15-2012, 02:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
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By the way, love your car in your signature! Are those LMRs?
Yep 19" LM-R in DBK
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      02-15-2012, 04:56 PM   #16
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Thanks guys.
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      02-16-2012, 12:49 AM   #17
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Forget the supercharger -- commit to the track and keep the car weekend friendly by stripping it = go for 3000 lbs
Carrying speed through corners, weight transition and braking is everything at a road course -- that's why a properly setup Miata will catch a Street C6
This car has great potential at the lower weights. Adding a supercharger adds weight in the wrong part of the car, robs the S65's soul and is compensation for a small penis.
Spend the money stripping the car, suspension + setup and race schools = you'll benefit way more at the track then with a blower.
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      02-16-2012, 12:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPowerJ View Post
So lately I have been thinking about supercharging my car one day. Nothing crazy. Maybe the ESS VT525 kit. However, I wonder if the power will come on too quickly and ruin the linear throttle response that works so well on the track. You really appreciate the way the S65 was designed when you are on the track. Frankly around town, the lack of torque at low RPMs can be a bit irritating, but on the track you always seem to be in the power band.

Any guys out there that track with a SC? Very interested in your honest impressions. I just wonder if SC'ing belongs more on cars that have a street or drag strip focus?
Let's meet up at CMP or VIR and I'll let you drive my ess vt2-625 and you can decide for yourself
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      02-16-2012, 01:17 AM   #19
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Don't think it would ruin the car at the track, but I think for many drivers it does them a disservice in terms of learning how to extract the most of the car. Lack of torque sort of forces you to learn how to drive better and some drivers need that to motivate them to improve. Just something to consider.
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      02-16-2012, 05:05 AM   #20
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I have very good power under the hood and I don't feel the supercharger causes trouble. it actually makes it more fun
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      02-16-2012, 06:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post
Don't think it would ruin the car at the track, but I think for many drivers it does them a disservice in terms of learning how to extract the most of the car. Lack of torque sort of forces you to learn how to drive better and some drivers need that to motivate them to improve. Just something to consider.
So true. I can just use power to somewhat overcome my mistake so there is little consequence when you are starting out in the lower groups. I moved up to intermediate 2 weeks ago on a relatively small 1.7m course. When I make a mistake there, 3-4 cars will be up your ass and you can't run away from them.

I think it depends on why you are going to the track. I'm doing it for fun so I love the supercharger. If I had a more serious and immediate goal like being successful in club racing then I'd be driving something less powerful and much lighter.

I'm still driving on the track with a 2000 watt stereo in the trunk (minus the sub box)!
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      02-16-2012, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post
Don't think it would ruin the car at the track, but I think for many drivers it does them a disservice in terms of learning how to extract the most of the car. Lack of torque sort of forces you to learn how to drive better and some drivers need that to motivate them to improve. Just something to consider.
There is a counter point for that. When I drove a lower powered car, all I had to worry about is line and braking, and the rest was not as important. I could floor as soon as the front pointed towards the apex, and had very vague (mostly theoretical) idea about throttle control, throttle steering or brake management. I could also ignore some turns and take them anyway because I did not pick up enough speed since the previous turn to break traction in the next one (e.g., linked turns of increasing radius). With a higher HP lower traction car all that became overwhelmingly important. You can be on the edge of traction more of the time through the track, which makes it more challenging.
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