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Discussion Starter #1
From those of you that have supercharged your 4.6 DOHC's..
What can you tell me are the pros and cons? Any specific model of supercharger or combination that you think the best? Special prep before installation? (currently 46k miles)

I was told by more than one person that the rods in the aluminum blocked engine were not tough enough and that I would want to change them.. OMG.. that would be a lot of hassle for what is supposed to be basicaly bolt on HP.

I am now readying to start buying components for this project and want to know if I should just buy another engine, build it and drop it in, or put it on the one I already have.

Thanks for your input, this is the first of three billion questions :)
 

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If your engine is in sound shape then you have nothing to worry about....in general. However, keep in mind that anytime you produce another 100+ rwhp from an engine the wear and tear will be increased and the likelihood of damage is also increased.

Our rods are very strong. It is the pistons that are a bit fragile, but generally this only is a factor if you have a bad tune and detonate. Always remember detonation = death.

My 98 Cobra has seen 47K miles with a blower on it and now has 57K total miles. It is a daily driver and puts down over 500rwhp. The only issues I have ever had were due to my own mistakes.

If you keep your boost at stock levels (approx 8 lbs) and get a good tune, check that tune with any performance mods and recheck it regularly (i.e. timing and a/f ratios), you will very likely enjoy a long life with your engine, even after the blower is added.

One final comment. If there are any weak points in the casting of your pistons they are likely to appear under boost. Generally, if you set up the engine correctly as noted above and you have such a flaw in your engine, it will fail faily soon after you put on your blower. But franky, this is very very rare.

Pros? Great power with a relatively simple and quick modification.
Cons?

1. It could break and be prepared for it to at some point.
2. More moving parts and variables to worry about such as belts, pulleys, fuel pressure, and tuning.
3. Power is addictive so be prepared to spend more money to add more power.:)

The best mod I ever made so I highly recommend it.

Chris
 

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Chris,


What type of fuel system do you have? Since you have an EECTuner, I doubt that you have an fmu, is this correct?

Do you use an egt gauge to help you tune it in the street?

Thanks!!
 

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I second what Chris said above.

IMHO if one would just be satisfied with 400 RWHP, it's hard to beat the stock Vortech kit for the 96-98's. It comes with every thing you need for that power level, and drivability is darn near like stock. It is important to get a good install by some one who has done a lot of them, and knows what they are doing.

While this kit uses the stock 24 lb injectors, FMU, and inline fuel pump, and a lot of folks think this is not adequate, I think it works fine if the kit is left stock, and used like Vortech intended. ( But's it's so hard to leave it at stock power levels) When/if you want more power, you can up grade the kit to bigger injectors, fuel system, etc.

Like Chris says, people who leave the stock kit alone seem to have a lot longer engine life than those of us lusting after more power.
 

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Installing a supercharger stresses more than the engine beyond the OEM design capabilities. Being proactive by nature I did the following before installing a supercharger on my '98 Cobra.

Subframe connectors to avoid bending, distorting and tearing up the unibody structure of the vehicle.

Heavy duty aftermarket clutch assembly because the OEM clutch ('96 - '98) is 'not-quite' adequate even for the stock power levels.

Driveshaft loop for safety reasons.

31 spline axles and diff with 4:10s and rearend girdle.

HD rear control arms with reinforced rear chassis hardpoints.

The preceeding are things that will be dealt with sooner or later on a supercharged Cobra that gets driven hard. The subframe connectors in particular should be done first. The damage that can occur to the unibody chassis can border on irreparable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So far, in preparation for this project, I have installed 3.73 gears. An aluminum driveshaft (and harness) and have Steeda Subframes on their way as we speak. Prolly have those in in the next couple of weeks.

I'll look into the clutch, I am pretty dissatisfied with it anyway.

Thanks :)
 

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558 rwhp /445 rwtq with the stock rods and pistons here .

98 Yellow Vobra
10.78 @ 129
 

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all excellent suggestions

I guess I will put my .02 in here also.

Rick prolly had the best suggestions. I have ALWAYS advocated starting from the rear of the car and going forward. Not too many people listen cause the want the power first!!!

Also, keep in mind that these guys are excellent tuners or have access to great tuners. Chris is a great one in his own right, Ralph has access to Jake LaMotta (I believe) Brian has Chris Johnson. Me (575/458 on the stock block) have access to Mike Wilson at Paul's Automotive Engineering. Find a tuner you have confidence in, let them do the install, and trust what they have to offer.

I recommend the stock Vortech kit, and it is very reliable, and will make 400 rwhp with a good tune.

Like everyone says above, the power is addictive. I got greedy, was looking for that 9 sec pass on a stock block and BOOOOM.
That is the only "con" that I can think of for now, hehe.

Good luck with whatever you decide,

Ben Dorn
 

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kwkshift -

My fuel rails and lines are stock. I have Walbro 255 inline and intank pumps. My FMU was removed only 1 month ago when I went from 36ers to 42s.

I tune with my own wideband and recheck frequently. You'd be amazed how much a tune will change based on outside conditions.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have been given this "front to back" theory before, and as you can see I have paid attention.

Do you really think I need to do more to the rear end?
Oh, when we put the gears in we did put on an SVO Cover to bolster it a bit.

I realize that speed is addictive. My first was a 95 GT, now this one. WHen I got this I was in awe, now it seems so tame.. and I'm an old broad!

Having always had 4x4 trucks with hotrod engines, it seems that this lil' girl should have the same advantages. It's just that back then it was a cam, highrise and a double pumper.. now it's so much more complicated. Much more to learn.

For tune and installation shops in Central CA.. any suggestions?
 

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From the been-there, broke-that department, my advise is simple. Don't do anything to your car (especially a power-adder) unless you're fully prepared and able to repair whatever it is that it WILL break. Personally, I have seen very few modulars last for an extended period of time on boost. Over 90% of them break, and modulars are very expensive to repair when they do.

Not trying to discourage you from doing, just be sure that you do understand that things ARE going to start breaking when you start uppping the horsepower to the serious levels that a blower will bring them to.

Good luck!
 

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Ben...So true. As you said, Jake Lamotta takes care of my car and does the work, I just talk.

And Kate...Like Rick said, most of us strengthened everything from the rear up. I am still using the stock trans, but I am easy on a car. This car has probably only made 25-30 fairly easy drag strip runs, all on the stock trans. When this T 45 goes, I will either get a stronger nice shifting 6 speed T56, or Lamotta can easily repair this one. I'm noticing him repairing T45's all the time. it's no big deal to him any more.
 

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i guess it depends

svtkate said:


I realize that speed is addictive. My first was a 95 GT, now this one. WHen I got this I was in awe, now it seems so tame.. and I'm an old broad!

Hah, if you're an old broad, then Ralph and I must be ancient!!

I guess it depends on what your intentions are for the car. I would suggest a good set of upper and lower control arms. There are a lot of good ones out there but I personally think that the Metco ones are the best.

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My intent...
*sigh*
Is to NOT be humiliated by a bunch of youngins in '03 Cobras and SS Camaros.

I live too far from any tracks to go learn how to do that, though I have to say I think it might be a ton of fun.

More than anything, to know that I CAN if I want to and to have the braggin rights with the HP to back it up.

Of course someone always has something bigger, badder, faster or better. I just hate the look of the '03's and want to run with the herd.

Besides.. I love the look of the boy's faces when my 23 year old son son hangs hs head and says ".. ohh.. that's my MOM's car!!"
 

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You have been offered some pretty good advice here, especially from some of the more experienced guys (Chris, Ben, Ralph, Eric, etc.).

Just keep in mind that when you enter the world of boost, you should be financially prepared to address any possible pitfalls.

After carefully researching and planning my install, my conservative combo (listed in my sig) lasted only 1,200 miles. I even had a reputable and well known tech tune my car. While I still do not know the exact cause of my engine failing, I'm guessing that my timing was too far advanced. As Chris suggested, make sure you not only monitor your a/f ratio but your timing curve as well.

Good luck with your combo. You will not be disappointed with an extra 100 horses! :)

Brian
 

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Vortech S-trim,3.33" pulley,Houston Performance power pipe and Paxton discharge pipe, MSD ignition,BBK longtubes,3"Dr. Gas Xpipe,3" Catback,4.56 gears

18 lbs of boost @ 7500 , JMS tuned


Just put on a 3.125 pulley and will let ya know the results from the track this weekend


www.jmschip.com
 

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As far as power mods, I've got pretty much a stock Vortech kit. I know I could slap on a smaller pulley and get a more aggressive tune, but that's when the trouble starts.

I had mine installed by one of the best tuners in the country, and had him custom tune it using a wideband O2 sensor. The tune is key. I don't beat on the car and it's not a daily driver.

I'm expecting this thing to hold together for a long time. If you're using your car as a daily driver and you like to thrash it all the time, then don't expect it to last too long. Otherwise, it's great.
 
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