PART 1: TORQ KICKS OFF OUR PROCHARGER INSTALL WITH A PLAN TO HELP OUR C6 KEEP PACE WITH A ZR1
BY SCOTT PARKER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT PARKER
Superchargers are no big secret to making horsepower. In fact, their use on production cars dates all the way back to the 1920s. In today’s market there are many types of superchargers and a multitude of kits for the 2005-2013 Corvette. Clearly the willingness of Corvette owners to modify their cars, combined with the desire to keep up with new Vette models (such as the 7.0L Z06 and the supercharged ZR1) as well as foreign competitors has inspired many to purchase various methods of forced induction. Due to the very tight packaging constraints, many consider positive displacement blowers, such as the Eaton TVS2300 on the ZR1, to be superior on most street cars and others maintain that the compromises are worth it to install a turbo kit. However, yet a third avenue combines the best of both worlds, providing the best thermal efficiency and a high ceiling for producing horsepower –centrifugal superchargers. Yet even in this market, there exist many choices. Ours was ProCharger.
From the very beginning we’ve wanted to add boost to our daily-driven 2005 Corvette Z51, and we went through the merry-go-round of options. The goal has been to equal or surpass a ZR1 without compromising reliability. To that end we called ProCharger, with whom we have had nothing but great experiences. The ProCharger C6 kit has undergone some revisions lately, mainly when they designed the LS3 version, to reduce belt slip – the potential bane of any centrifugal supercharger kit. The D-1SC tuner kit provided all of the power potential and extras we would want to make the system reliable as possible during some hard miles, while leaving fuel system upgrades up to the installer. Speaking of the installer, that is another key to making this setup reliable and driveable. The one-year-only E40 ECM presents some interesting challenges for adding boost, and thankfully Torq Speedlab knew just how to overcome them. Torq co-owner and calibrator Paul Meister drew up a plan that would remedy our fueling and metering issues, allowing the LS2 to run and drive like stock, but with a whole lot more kick. Follow along for Part 1, and stay tuned for the next installment.
1 To install our ProCharger D-1SC we headed to Torq Speedlab in Miramar, FL. Every power upgrade at Torq includes a free before/after dyno to track performance, and our bolt-on LS2 was no exception. In the sweltering heat and 96 percent humidity of September, the LS2 was showing around 1-degree of knock retard while belting out 364-rwhp and 348 lb-ft of torque on the Mustang chassis dyno.
2 Lead Tech Roy Balseiro kicks off the install by removing the front wheels then the inner fenders and brake ducts. The passenger side inner fender will be replaced by a trimmed piece in the kit.
3 The front bumper is the next step, which requires a second set of hands and lowering the hood. This will make way to later remove the radiator cradle and install the ProCharger unit along with the intercooler.
4 Roy removes the cold air intake starting at the throttle body clamp. This will not be reused.
5 Removal of the accessory drive starts with the alternator.
6 Moving to the underside of the car, Roy starts unbolting the front subframe (using a trans jack to support it) in order to lower it out of the way. The upper control arms are unbolted from the body as well.
7 Detaching the ABS block is the last step in dropping the front subframe and suspension.
8 Here you can see how much room this affords us for removing the balancer and accessory drive system. Also notice the screw jack supporting the engine, which is essential.
9 Roy unbolted the balancer bolt and then used a puller tool to remove the factory balancer.
10 ATI Performance Products Super Damper is available in 8-rib (PN 917345), and even 10-rib, which is key to preventing belt-slip with higher boost applications. In addition, it will be a little more forgiving for harsher driving styles. The side benefit is that the Super Damper eliminates torsional crankshaft vibrations to protect the bearings and prolong engine life, exceeding SFI 18.1 specs. We elected to keep A/C and the standard diameter, but a smaller diameter could be used to drive the blower even harder.
11 The balancer is assembled as instructed using the supplied bolts and Loctite — affixing the hub to the A/C drive and the balancer.
12 The balancer is pressed on and then the crank is pinned using the supplied drill bit.
13 Last the crank bolt is torqued with a second set of hands holding the flywheel in place. 240 ft-lbs was applied to the crank bolt, and the balancer hub bolts were given a final 25 ft-lbs.
14 Roy begins installing the 8-rib upgrade kit from ProCharger, which includes the idler and alternator. Notice how much wider it is than stock, the extra two ribs on the belt can make all the difference. For as tight as this engine bay is, it is worth the piece of mind to know that you won’t be throwing any belts.
16 Torq’s laser alignment tool is key to making sure the pulleys are perfectly aligned. The last thing you want to do is put the car back together before realizing you have a problem.
17 ProCharger’s air-to-air intercooler uses a bar and plate design for optimum heat dispersion, and measures 27x6x3.5-inches. Clearly it was designed with more than just the base P-1SC kit in mind, since it gives enough headroom to accommodate higher power levels. We’d estimate its efficiency up to 700hp with ease.
18 Roy removed anything that was attached to the radiator/bumper cradle including the horn and air dam. The cradle was also unbolted and replaced by the powder coated piece from ProCharger.
19 The mounting brackets are loosely screwed into the intercooler sides and the new cradle. Co-owner Erik Cederberg lends an extra set of hands while still manning the phones. We apologize if you called to order some parts and Erik seemed distracted.
20 Some tweaking is needed to the horn bracket during reinstallation on the new cradle, and a hole is drilled to mount the wiring like factory.
21 Here is a good view of how the new cradle mounts the A/C condenser, radiator, and the ProCharger intercooler. The one downside is that this appears to be a touch lower than stock, but it protects anything vital (like charge pipes) from the ground. Worse case scenario you will scrape up this metal a bit. NBD.
22 Last but not least, moving the radiator, and the location of the head unit, necessitated making a new upper radiator hose. Stay tuned next time as Torq finishes up our ProCharger install by dropping in the D-1SC and a handful of other goodies before dyno testing.
ATI Performance Products