Twin screw superchargers are among the most popular types you can find on the market, and they are the most effective way to improve performance. Here, we will take a closer look at what they have to offer, how they compare to other types, and why they are such a popular option for motor vehicle enthusiasts around the world.
When it comes to superchargers for cars, the twin-screw design is one of the most popular options. It is an effective way to boost the performance of the engine and increase both horsepower and torque. And the best thing about them is that they are available for many different brands and models of cars.
For drivers looking for a way to improve their vehicles, installing a blower will provide the best possible results. As you can guess from the name, the primary element of these blowers are two screws that work similarly to worm gears.
Once you find the model suitable for the engine you own, installing it can be quite simple. But we will talk about all that in a bit.
The idea behind twin-screw superchargers dates back to 1878, when Heinrich Krigar patented the design. However, the main problem at the time was that the technology at the time couldn’t realize the idea.
Today, twin-screw blowers are known by the name Lysholm twin-screw. The first model Lysholm created had four male lobes and five female lobes. It wasn’t long before twin-screw blowers found their way to the automotive industry, where they became one of the most popular options.
The entire design was based on the Roots-type but with a couple of modifications and upgrades to improve performance.
Now that we’ve seen a brief history of twin-screw design let’s take a look at how it works. Twin-screw compressors or superchargers have the goal of compressing the air before sending it to the engine. The design of these blowers allows the engine to burn more fuel by adding compressed air to the mixture in the combustion chamber.
As we all know, air is necessary for the combustion process, and it is the most effective way to increase power. Otherwise, the manufacturer will need to change the size of the engine, which isn’t something you want to happen.
Twin-screw superchargers have two rotors with very high tolerances. While they are spinning, they compress the air and push it towards the engine. The main thing about these blowers is that screws have different numbers of lobes.
The first thing you need to understand is that superchargers are not universal. You can’t find a model that works on any car, which means that you will need to find the one suitable for your vehicle. The most important thing to know is the type of engine that’s in your car. Since superchargers are mounted on the engine, you will need the exact model before you can proceed to the installation.
Usually, people know the size of the engine, and this can be enough in some cases. However, it would be ideal if you also knew the year of production since it will help you narrow the search for the right supercharger.
In 1987, Art Whipple decided to try out something a bit different, and he founded Whipple Superchargers. The company is based in Fresno, California, and it is one of the most popular brands now. While the basic idea is the same as with twin-screw design, there are a couple of interesting changes.
Firstly, Whipple twin-screw blowers always have a predetermined number of lobes on each rotor. With other Lysholm models, the numbers can vary, but each Whipple supercharger has three lobes on the male rotor and five on the female.
It is also worth mentioning that Whipple is made in the U.S., and the performance is exceptional. If you are looking for one of the best blowers in the world, Whipple is the right choice for you. For more information about Whipple superchargers, see our What is a Whipple supercharger post.
Roots-type superchargers work in a similar way. They also push the air into the engine, but the overall design is different, and it’s quite simpler. And Roots has been around for a lot longer.
The first thing we should mention is that Roots-type superchargers always have an identical number of lobes on both rotors. In the majority of cases, Roots-type has two, three, or four lobes. These positive displacement pumps are still on the top of the list when it comes to popularity, and they have been a go-to unit for many drivers out there.
It is also one of the most common options for drag racing and for people who don’t mind the differences in performance compared to other positive displacement superchargers.
Once you manage to find the supercharger of your dreams, you will need to start thinking about the installation. What many people would agree is that the installation of twin-screw blowers is more complex compared to centrifugal supercharger. And this is one of the reasons why so many people are not willing to install it on their own.
It is especially challenging for those without any prior experience, but it is far from impossible. If you don’t mind the idea of installing the blower on your own, you can try it. You will need to have appropriate tools, and the process can take around twelve hours.
However, if you don’t like doing it by yourself, you can always take your car to a shop and let someone else do it. This is the safer option of the two since it will eliminate the possibility of damaging the engine or the blower not working as intended.
As with the rest of your car, maintenance is rather important. It is the only way you can be sure that everything works properly and that your car won’t break. Maintenance of superchargers is not difficult, and you can do it by yourself even if you don’t know anything about them.
All you need to do is change the oil in the supercharger, and you’ll be ready to go. As for the frequency, the safest option is to follow the instruction manual and suggestions provided by the manufacturer. They will usually tell you which type of oil you should use and when to change the oil in the blower. If you don’t know these details, you can change the oil in the blower as often as you change the oil in the engine.
Many of you are probably wondering how much the entire thing will cost. The first thing on the list is choosing the type of supercharger. Even if we are talking about twin-screw models only, there are still many different brands and models you can find. And the difference in price can be noticeable.
It also depends on the type of car you own. In general, the price of the supercharger will be between $4,000 and $7,000. Some models can be even more expensive. Finally, if you decide to install the blower on your own, you’ll be able to save around $1,000. Otherwise, you will have to pay someone to do it for you.
The most obvious difference between the two is that centrifugal superchargers are not positive displacement pumps. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other things we should talk about, and it is up to you to decide which one is more suitable for you.
|Fixed amount of air per rotation||Not fixed amount of air per rotation|
|Rotors trap the air and transport it to the engine||Rotating “sucks” the air into the discharge port|
|Works great at low RPM||Doesn’t work great on low RPM|
|Quite efficient||More efficient than twin-screw|
|Big increase in horsepower||Even bigger increase in hp|
|Can be noisy||Not as noisy|
|Can have problems with heating||Doesn’t have problems with heating|
In general, centrifugal superchargers are more powerful, but the main disadvantage is that they aren’t as efficient at low RPM.
But what if we compare two superchargers that are PD pumps? Since the design is so similar, many drivers have problems picking between Roots-type and twin-screw. Here is a quick comparison.
|Fixed amount of air per rotation||Fixed amount of air per rotation|
|Rotors trap the air and transport it to the engine||Rotors trap the air and transport it to the engine|
|Works great at low RPM||Works great at low RPM|
|Quite efficient||Less efficient than twin-screw|
|Big increase in horsepower||Less increase in hp|
|Can be noisy||Noisier|
|Can have problems with heating||More problems with heating|
In some instances, these two types seem identical. However, twin-screw design nearly eliminates problems that Roots-type has.
Now that we’ve seen how similar these models are, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages that come from twin-screw superchargers.
When it comes to reasons why these blowers are great, we have:
- Incredible boost levels
- No turbo lag
- Instant boost even on low RPM
- Not as noisy as Roots-type
- Excellent for drag racing
But we can’t have pros without cons:
- Twin-screw blowers can be expensive
- Installation is not simple
- Can have heating issues
Some of these issues might not be a problem for everyone. And if you can afford to buy a twin-screw blower, other downsides will probably be nonexistent. But this doesn’t mean that they are flawless and that there are no issues with these PD pumps.
If you want the simplest solution to the situation at hand, we always recommend getting a supercharger kit. What this means is that you will get all the necessary parts for the installation, which will save you a lot of time and money in the process.
During the installation, you might need to replace a couple of parts. These parts can be bought separately, but with the kit, they will be included in the package. Furthermore, you will get the recommended parts by the manufacturer of the supercharger, which will ensure the best possible results and highest performance.
Regardless of the style of superchargers you buy, you will get an increase in the performance of the engine. As for the specific numbers, it mostly depends on the type of car you own and the model of the supercharger you’re going to buy. In general, you can expect over 50% of an increase in horsepower, but the number can be significantly higher.
Supercharged engines can easily have over 900 horsepower, which is why it is the most popular solution for performance upgrades. And the more powerful the original engine is, the more increase you will get.
Today, there are over eighty companies with a license to manufacture superchargers based on the twin-screw design. Probably the most popular options are Vortech, Eaton, and Whipple. We’ve already talked about Whipple.
The most important thing is to find a model suitable for your car, and if the company is well-known it will only make it better. But the main problem is that Whipple doesn’t design superchargers for every single car engine in the world. And this means that you might be forced to make a tough decision.
So, be sure to check out all available options for the type of engine you own.
The final question is whether twin-screw superchargers are worth it? Is it a smart thing to supercharge the engine? The answer is yes! If you can afford to install a blower in your car, then we would recommend doing so.
It is the simplest and most effective way to boost performance, and the change would make you feel like you bought a brand new vehicle. A twin-screw Whipple supercharger for Mustang will make your engine run as intended, and the only thing you’ll want to know is why you hadn’t done it sooner.