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Turbochargers & Superchargers: Theory and Application



  • danpaudanpau Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm the owner of a 1996 Buick riv 3.8l Supercharged. The rev and the top speed are limited by the computer. I tryed to find a chip that could bypass the computer. I've been told that there is no chip for this model as the computer is sealed. Is there a solution for my problem? Could the 1997 computer model fit my car?
  • alfa164alfa164 Posts: 1
    I have an Alfa Romeo 164L and I've found it very hard to find aftermarket performance parts/modifications (possibly because they don't sell them in the US anymore). Does anyone know if there is some sort of universal turbocharger that will fit just about anything, or are they all custom made for each make of car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    That going to be a tough car to turbo I think. Of course with a lot of money you can do anything (see Monster Garage for instance). That engine begs for a twin-turbo set up.

    Turbo systems need to be very well engineered and field tested, so I would say your best bet is to find any Alfa Specialty catalogues you can (like Centerline, or Alfa International) and see if these companies have developed their own turbo or supercharger systems specifically made for these cars.

    Personally, having owned a 164L, I think you might want to try to replicater 164LS specs instead (different cylinder heads I believe).

    Last of all, be prepared for one fact---that whatever you find out there, if it is of good quality, it's going to cost you more than your car is that's also a sobering consideration. You might be better off just going out and buying an LS.


  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    Hmmmm.. you think that engine would take turbocharging without mods to the internals and heads?

    Maybe I'm talking out of my rear, but I'm thinking the lack of tuning mods for most Alfas (and, even where tuning mods exist, they don't add very much power at all) is due to reliability issues. I mean, I know they are tough little powertrains ... when stock.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Well you really don't want to slap a turbo on ANY old engine, and since all Alfas in the USA are old, this could create a problem. But Calloway did a turbo kit for the Alfa GTV-6 and that worked out okay; of course Calloway knows what he is doing.


  • jorgecjorgec Posts: 6
    I have a 96 as well Supercharged and is awesome why would you want to mess with that. The car is a blast period :shades:
  • jimvetajimveta Posts: 96
    Holy thread ressurection.. lol

    I've driven the supercharged 3.8 gms and yeah, they are pretty fun.. but there's something wrong about squealing the front tires

    But as to chipping his car.. because anything can always be better that's why! :D
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    You can get amazing power out of the turbo GN...that was a GNX wasn't it?

    The one bright light in the 1980s Dark Ages in America.


  • bfennbfenn Posts: 4
    My car has a garetts T25 Turbo and a heavy duty clutch on it. It is 3 years old. Whenever I floor it(or really get on) the gas, around 3.5 rpm where the turbo kicks in, my car briefly looses power in a big THUD that shakes the car. It does it in 2, 3, and 4th the most. Does anyone have an idea if its the clutch or turbo?
  • Does anyone know by chance if/when a manufacturer (TRD or otherwise) may be coming out with a turbocharger or supercharger for the 2007 Camry V-6? The stock engine is strong but I need more. Also any thoughts on corresponding necessary mods for the engine/trans/suspension to handle the turbo or supercharger? Thanks for your thoughts - Dave
  • benztunerbenztuner Posts: 76
    Has anyone actually driven a car or installed a turbo system that isnt placed in the engine compartment. I have heard of some turbo kits that are for newer cars, such as the C6 Corvette, that are not installed in the engine compartment due to the lack of available space. Instead the turbos are placed at the tail lights and the tubes bringing the exhaust to the turbos are ran from the engine along the rocker into the rear of the car and so on. There is a slight loss of boost but the air temp drops about 100 degrees F and in turn gives an extra 10 HP. I have not seen any of these kits done or driven any of the cars, so I was just wondering if anyone has seen them or driven a car with them? I am interested to see how well they work.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Heard about one for the GTO as well.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    sounds like a lot of money and effort for 10 hp.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I think he meant 10hp more than a turbo in the engine bay.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    you may be correct.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • maudit87maudit87 Posts: 20
    link title

    That might help. They also have sections explaining Turbos and Supers in detail.

    Looks like a Turbo also increase gas mileage in cars that arn't floored all the time. :D

    Sorry if that was already posted but I wasn't getting a clear cut answer, and that did the trick.
  • 944s944s Posts: 42
    yeah, ive seen that same setup on a C6 vette and i think it was a Twin turbo setup, the turbos were located before the mufflers, with a front mount intercooler. havent driven it, but that s**t looks and sounds dope son!
  • A bit late to this thread, but a good read so far, and to my surprise, a couple of supercharged Riviera owners posting here! For the Riviera nuts out there, check

    I'm a fan of both turbo and blown applications, but feel that each has their place. For all-out racing, it's turbo hands-down. The most efficient power adder for getting huge output. It's raw, nasty, peaky horsepower for going fast, period.

    But then you have daily driven cars with turbos attempting to use lighter turbines, dual turbines, sequential turbines, tuning, etc. to make a "street-friendly" torque curve... basically to do what a blower does naturally. I can understand it, but I don't completely agree with it. If you want throttle response (low-end torque), get a large displacement N/A or add a blower. It's that simple.

    I own a 1998 Buick Riviera with the 240 hp supercharged 3.8L V6. It's my daily driver, bought 4 years ago with 24.5k miles. It used to go 0-60 mph in 8.5 secs, and run the quarter in 15.5. To the earlier posters claiming this engine is boring and can't be compared to Japanese turbo motors, you'd be surprised at what happens when you spend a few dollars to mod the 3.8L supercharged V6. You'd be astounded at what can happen with a bit more $.

    Soon I began modding the car, adding the following bolt ons: cold air intake, SC overdrive pulley, high-lift rocker arms/valve springs, exhaust headers, custom tuned PCM, and not much else. The car now does 0-60 mph in 5.7 secs, and ran a 13.9 in the 1/4 mile. This is a 4000+lb FWD Buick on street tires. I have amps and a sub box in back, even kept the jack and spare tire in!

    On the dyno, over 300 crank hp and 370 lb-ft. Still have stock exhaust system and original transmission. The best part is, the car just turned 146k miles and I still drive (abuse) it 60 miles to work each day. I have no back up vehicle, this is it! You want fuel economy? I averaged 31.5 mpg on my last 600 mile trek through the mountains.

    But my car is slow compared to the top FWD 3.8L V6s running 8 and 9 secs in the 1/4. Interested in learning more? Check these links:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    They each have their place. SC is good for low end and provides power across the entire RPM range, however, the newer turbos provide peak torque which is where the smaller displacement motors need the help. The advantage of the turbos is that since they don't kick in until higher RPMs, when you are out of the turbo, you gain milage.

    I like both and both can be used for different purposes, tuning on either one can be tricky and expensive.

  • I was thinking on doing the turbocharged /supercharged Buick 3.8 does anyone know of people doing this other than VW?
This discussion has been closed.