Question about 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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I have Mitsubishi 2001 Eclipse GT 3.0L what is turbo or supercharger and how does one go about updating this. How much does it costs?

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  • bradley10
    bradley10 May 05, 2010

    WOW Very detailed..... Thank you very much.


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What is better - a supercharger or a turbo? We only wish the answer were that simple, but unfortunately it is not. The simple answer is: "It depends."
According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, a supercharger is defined as: "a device (as a blower or compressor) for pressurizing the cabin of an airplane or for increasing the volume air charge of an internal combustion engine over that which would normally be drawn in through the pumping action of the pistons".

A turbocharger is defined as: "a centrifugal blower driven by exhaust gas turbines and used to supercharge an engine".

According to Webster's, a turbocharger is included in the definition for superchargers - it is in fact a very specific type of supercharger - one that is driven by exhaust gasses. Other superchargers that do not fall into this category - the kind that we are all used to hearing about - are normally driven directly from the engine's crankshaft via a crank pulley. So in reality, it is not fair to compare all superchargers to turbochargers, because all turbochargers are also superchargers. For the purpose of this discussion, however, a supercharger will be considered all superchargers that are are not driven directly by the engine, while turbochargers will be considered all superchargers that are driven by engine exhaust gasses.

Similarities: Both superchargers and turbochargers are forced induction systems and thus have the same objective - to compress air and force more air molecules into the engine's combustion chambers than would normally be allowed at atmospheric pressure here on Earth (14.7 psi at sea level). The benefit of forcing more air molecules into the combustion chambers is that it allows your engine to burn more fuel per power stroke. With an internal combustion engine, burning more fuel means that you convert more fuel into energy and power. For this reason, supercharged and turbocharged engines normally produce 40% to 100%+ more power (depending on the amount of boost - check out our horespower calculator) than normally aspirated engines.

How They Work: A supercharger is mounted to the engine and is driven by a pulley that is inline with the crank (or accessory) belt. Air is drawn into the supercharger and compressed by either an impeller (centrifugal-style supercharger), twin rotating screws (screw-type supercharger), or counter-rotating rotors (roots-type supercharger). The air is then discharged into the engine's intake. Faster crank speed (more engine rpm) spins the supercharger faster and allows the supercharger to produce more boost (normally 6 to 9 psi for a street vehicle). Typical peak operating speeds for a supercharger are around 15,000 rpm (screw-type and roots style superchargers) and 40,000 rpm (centrifugal-style superchargers).

A turbocharger operates in much the same way as a centrifugal (internal impeller) supercharger, except it is not driven by pulleys and belts attached to the engine's crank. A turbo is instead driven by exhaust gasses that have been expelled by the engine and are travelling through the exhaust manifold. The exhaust gas flows through one half of the turbocharger's turbine, which drives the impeller that compresses the air. Typical operating speeds of a turbocharger are between 75,000 and 150,000 rpm.


Posted on May 05, 2010

  • ZJ Limited
    ZJ Limited May 05, 2010

    Head to Head Comparison
    Now it's time to evaluate the
    turbocharger versus the supercharger
    according to several important factors.

    Cost: The cost of supercharger and a turbocharger systems for the same
    engine are
    approximately the same, so cost is generally not a factor.

    Lag: This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the supercharger enjoys
    over the
    tubo. Because a turbocharger is driven by exhaust gasses, the
    turbine must first spool up before it even begins to turn the
    compressor's impeller.
    This results in lag time which is the time needed for the turbine to
    reach its
    full throttle from an intermediate rotational speed state. During this
    lag time,
    the turbocharger is creating little to no boost, which means little to
    no power
    gains during this time. Smaller turbos spool up quicker, which
    eliminates some
    of this lag. Turbochargers thus utilize a wastegate, which allows the
    use of
    a smaller turbocharger to reduce lag while preventing it from spinning
    too quickly
    at high engine speeds. The wastegate is a valve that allows the
    exhaust to bypass
    the turbine blades. The wastegate senses boost pressure, and if it
    gets too
    high, it could be an indicator that the turbine is spinning too
    quickly, so
    the wastegate bypasses some of the exhaust around the turbine blades,
    the blades to slow down..

    A Supercharger, on the other hand, is connected directly to the crank,
    so there
    is no "lag". Superchargers are able to produce boost at a very low
    rpm, especially
    screw-type and roots type blowers.

    Efficiency: This is the turbo's biggest advantage. The turbocharger is generally
    more economical
    to operate as it as it is driven primarily by potential energy in the
    gasses that would otherwise be lost out the exhaust, whereas a
    draws power from the crank, which can be used to turn the wheels. The
    impeller is also powered only under boost conditions, so there is less
    drag while the impeller is not spinning. The turbocharger, however, is
    not free
    of inefficiency as it does create additional exhaust backpressure and
    flow interruption.

    Heat: Because the turbocharger is mounted to the exhaust manifold (which is
    very hot),
    turbocharger boost is subject to additional heating via the turbo's
    hot casing.
    Because hot air expands (the opposite goal of a turbo or
    supercharger), an intercooler
    becomes necessary on almost all turbocharged applications to cool the
    air charge
    before it is released into the engine. This increases the complexity
    of the
    installation. A centrifugal supercharger on the other hand creates a
    air discharge, so an intercooler is often not necessary at boost
    levels below
    10psi. That said, some superchargers (especially roots-type
    superchargers) create
    hotter discharge temperatures, which also make an intecooler necessary
    on fairly low-boost applications.

    Surge: Because a turbocharger first spools up before the boost is delivered
    to the
    engine, there is a surge of power that is delivered immediately when
    the wastegate
    opens (around 3000 rpm). This surge can be damaging to the engine and
    and can make the vehicle difficult to drive or lose traction.

    Back Pressure: Because the supercharger eliminates the need to deal with the
    exhaust gas
    interruption created by inserting a turbocharger turbine into the
    flow, the supercharger creates no additional exhaust backpressure.
    The amount
    of power that is lost by a turbo's turbine reduces it's overall

    Noise: The turbocharger is generally quiter than the supercharger. Because
    the turbo's
    turbine is in the exhaust, the turbo can substantially reduce
    exhaust noise,
    making the engine run quieter. Some centrifugal superchargers are
    known to
    be noisy and whistley which, annoys some drivers (we, however, love

    Reliability: In general, superchargers enjoy a substantial reliability advantage
    over the
    turbocharger. When a a turbo is shut off (i.e. when the engine is
    turned off),
    residual oil inside the turbo's bearings can be baked by stored engine
    This, combined with the turbo's extremely high rpms (up to 150,000rpm)
    can cause
    problems with the turbo's internal bearings and can shorten the life
    of the
    turbocharger. In addition, many turbos require aftermarket exhaust
    which are often far less reliable than stock manifolds.

    Ease of Installation: Superchargers are substantially easier to install than a turbos
    they have far fewer components and simpler devices. Turbos are
    complex and
    require manifold and exhaust modifications, intercoolers, extra oil
    etc. - most of which is not needed with most superchargers. A novice
    mechanic can easily install most supercharger systems, while a turbo
    should be left to a turbo expert.

    Maximum Power Output: Turbos are known for their unique ability to spin to incredibly high
    and make outrages peak boost figures (25psi+). While operating a
    at very high levels of boost requires major modifications to the
    rest of the
    engine, the turbo is capable of producing more peak power than

    Tunability: Turbochargers, because they are so complex and rely on exhaust
    pressure, are
    notoriously difficult to tune. Superchargers, on the other hand,
    require few
    fuel and ignition upgrades and normally require little or no engine

    Conclusion: While the supercharger is generally considered to
    be a better
    method of forced induction for most street and race vehicles, the
    turbo will
    always have its place in a more specialized market. Superchargers
    provide a much broader powerband that most drivers are looking for
    with no "turbo
    lag". In addition, they are much easier to install and tune, making
    them more
    practical for a home or novice mechanic.

    We hope you have found this discussion informative
    and unbiased.
    Sometimes when we explain this to our customers, they say that we are
    towards superchargers because that is all we carry. We remind those
    that a turbo is a kind of supercharger and that we truly hope to carry
    someday. The reason we do not currently sell any turbochargers is
    because we
    have not yet found a turbo system that is suitable for mail-order /
    sale. We are not prepared to sell a turbo system that is difficult to
    and requires the attention of a professional engine tuner or mechanic.
    If any
    turbocharger manufacturer makes such a system, please send us the
    details as
    we would love to carry such a product.

    Hope this help.


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