What is a Whipple supercharger? Almost everyone knows of Whipple and the superchargers this company offers. Here, we will take a closer look at how these blowers work, what makes them so special and different from other models, as well as whether they are worth the cost.
Whipple superchargers are basically air compressors designed to provide more air into the engines combustion chamber. As you probably know, engines use a mixture of fuel and air to work. Increasing the amount of fuel wouldn’t provide positive results, and the only way to burn more fuel is to also add more air.
Since the engine is limited by its size as to how much mixture it can accept, the only way to add more is to introduce compressed air or gas as such as nitrous oxide. Blowers, or air compressors, are quite efficient in making engines more powerful, and supercharging your car is the simplest way to boost performance.
Yes. Whipple superchargers have a similar design to Lysholm or twin-screw superchargers. Lysholm design had been around for quite a while before the first twin-screw blower was made in 1935. The reason for such a delay was in a complex design that was impossible to make when it was patented in 1878 by Heinrich Krigar. Over the years, twin screw superchargers became one of the most popular types on the market, and many companies decided to make their own version.
And this leads us to Whipple superchargers. The company was founded by Art Whipple in 1987, and they quickly became one of the go-to companies for air compressors.
Whipple superchargers are just one of many types of blowers with twin-screw designs, and while Whipple models are newer, there are numerous others you can find.
The idea behind each of these models is the same. They also bear a lot of similarities with Roots-type blowers, except Roots have two identical screws.
Roots can have two, three, and four lobes on each rotor, while numbers for twin-screw can vary. One of the main advantages of the twin-screw design is that it works exceptionally well at low RPMs.
The most important thing you will gain from a supercharger is a significant increase in horsepower and torque. And these will work quite well regardless of the speed. It is the simplest way to transform the engine into something more powerful. Compared to Roots-type, Whipple superchargers are more efficient, less noisy, and are available for many different vehicles.
So, if you are looking for the most effective way to get more power out of your engine, Whipple superchargers are an excellent option.
As we mentioned before, Whipple blowers are a type of twin-screw air compressor, which means that they have two rotors or screws. Now, the primary difference between Whipple and other types is that the former type always has the same number of lobes.
They are designed so that the male rotor has three lobes while the female one has five. For other types with twin-screw designs, numbers can vary. Once the blower starts working, the screws will start pushing the air into the combustion chamber, compressing it along the way. What is interesting is that these two screws will never be in contact with each other.
Now, there are many different types of Whipple superchargers with different sizes and power. Each blower is designed for a specific type of engine, which is why it is impossible to say how much power it will offer. There is no universal answer or solution that will cover all bases.
However, what we can say is that superchargers can add between 30% and 100% increase in horsepower. Of course, these are only an estimate that will not cover almost every supercharger in existence. If we are talking about Whipple only, the power on the output should be increased by over 60%.
We already briefly talked about twin-screw design, and the same principle applies to Whipple superchargers. Whipple blowers are positive displacement pumps, which means that their goal is to push the fluid through the device. In our case, the fluid is air, which is compressed in the process.
There are three basic principles involved in Whipple supercharging process:
- Inlet phase
- Compression phase
- Discharge phase
During the first phase, air will enter the blower, where it is compressed during the second phase. The discharge phase refers to a release of the air, allowing it to enter the combustion chamber.
As with everything else in the world, there are pros and cons. This means that there are a couple of downsides which you should be aware of.
|Works great on low RPM||Whipple can be quite expensive|
|Higher efficiency compared to Roots-type||Installation is not beginner-friendly|
|No turbo lag||Lowers engine efficiency|
|Less noisy||Without proper maintenance can damage the engine|
|A great increase in horsepower and torque||Requires more space|
|Low maintenance||Not universal|
|No interference with the exhaust system||Can have temperature problems|
Of course, none of these drawbacks are crucial enough that you wouldn’t want to install a Whipple on your car, at least if a Whipple supercharger is available for it.
Superchargers don’t arrive with an expiration date. There is no saying how long it will last. The situation is identical as with any other car part, and if you take care of your supercharger, it will last for quite a while.
This is nothing that should worry you. Superchargers are designed to work for an indefinite amount of time with proper care, and as long as you don’t try to destroy it on purpose, it will last you as long as the rest of the car.
Yes. In theory, you can use a Whipple supercharger on a Mustang for example, or any existing vehicle. But this isn’t something that’s available in practice. While you aren’t limited by design and functionality, you still can’t use this type of blower on any car. The reason for this is that you are limited to what the company offers.
Since superchargers are not universal, you will get to choose only between models designed by Whipple. Of course, you can probably get in touch with them and ask them whether it is possible to design a supercharger for your vehicle if that’s something you’d want.
As we mentioned earlier, superchargers come in various shapes and sizes. And this will affect the price as well. The more high-tech the blower is, the more money you will need to buy it. Some superchargers can be quite big and powerful, and they are not cheap.
Generally speaking, superchargers cost between $4,000 and $7,000. However, the accuracy and performance of Whipple are quite high, which often makes them even more expensive. If you are looking to buy a Whipple, the price can be over $7,000.
The price for the installation of a Whipple supercharger can be between $500 and $1,000 based on the model of the blower and your vehicle.
Of course, the price can more than vary depending on many factors, which is why the best thing is to contact your local workshop and ask for the exact details. This will allow you to plan accordingly and know if there will be any additional expenses.
Also, since supercharger kits mostly arrive with all the additional parts, you won’t need to buy anything else for the installation.
Yes. If you have any experience with similar procedures, you can install the supercharger by yourself. However, this is not something many drivers are comfortable with. One of the things that will make it a bit easier is that the majority of manufacturers will provide an installation guide you can follow, and it often comes with a step-by-step guide. But even with a manual, the process can be quite complex for some users.
Luckily, paying for the installation will eliminate the possibility of something going wrong during the process. It is up to you to determine what course of action seems more suitable — and affordable.
We already talked about how a Whipple blower doesn’t require a lot to work properly. These models are quite low maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do anything to take care of them. Once the supercharger is installed, you will need to frequently change the oil in the blower.
The oil has a dual purpose — it serves as a lubricant and as a coolant. To ensure that it works properly and to avoid damage to the device or the engine, you will need to change it at least as often as you change the engine oil. If there are any special requirements like the brand or type of oil you should use, you will be able to find all the info in the instruction manual.
As with any other part of the automotive industry, people have been pushing the limits since the first supercharger was introduced. And Whipple blowers have been doing the same. Each generation of Whipple offered bigger and better models, and eventually, the company offered an 8.3-liter beast for a Chevy II.
|Engine||632 cu in Chevy|
|Power||25 psi and 300 horsepower|
|Range||Between 800 and 1500 horsepower|
This is the biggest Whipple you can find on the street, and it offers an incredible range from 800 to 1,500 horsepower. Of course, this isn’t something you’d put on your everyday car since the device is designed for drag racing.
Since we started talking about sizes, we should mention two important differences in nametags. Firstly, the most common option is to find a type of engine in the name of the supercharger.
For example, you can find a 5.7-label supercharger, which refers to the size of the engine. This means that the blower is designed for 350 cu in Chevy engines, for example, which are 5.7-liter models.
But there is a second name tag that is equally important, and it refers to the size of the supercharger. The one we mentioned earlier, the 8.3-liter, is the size of the supercharger. And the model is designed for a 632 big block Chevrolet engine. Or any Mountain or big cube engine you may have.
One of the primary reasons why people love Whipple is that the superchargers are made in the U.S. The only thing that’s made outside of the country are rotors, but the company announced that they would be moving the production to the U.S. as well.
Every other part of the blower is made in Fresno, California, which only shows how dedicated the company is. It is more than obvious that quality is its number one priority, which also explains higher prices.
So, the main question is — Are Whipple superchargers any good? The short answer is yes. These models are among the most sought-after blowers you can find on the market because they offer incredible performance and quality.
Each model is designed with the highest possible precision, and if you are looking for the best experience, Whipple is the answer. Now, there are a couple of pros and cons, as we have said above, but the positive side easily tips the scale. There is no reason to look for any other model if you can afford Whipple.
There are a couple of places where you can find a Whipple model. The most obvious solution is visiting the Whipple Supercharger website. You will find all the necessary information there. If you have a local service or a place that sells parts, you can also check if they have Whipple blowers as well.
However, since each supercharger is designed for a specific model of the car and engine, you will probably have more luck visiting the official website/dealership.