When it comes to power enhancements, there is one that is at the top of the proverbial mountain-forced induction. A forced-induction system does exactly what the name implies: It forces more air into the cylinders than the motor can suck in on its own. There are two types of forced-induction, superchargers and turbos. While turbos will make good power, they typically won't just bolt on to a truck. You will need a custom exhaust system fabricated to route the spent gases through the center of the turbo and spin the impeller. Superchargers, on the other hand, use a belt that is driven off of the crankshaft to produce the boost, and they are much easier to install on today's truck motors.
Speaking of today's trucks, one type of vehicle with the most potential happens to be an SUV. Chevrolet's TrailBlazer SS features a 6.0L LS2 small-block V-8 that makes those SS badges actually mean something. If you have never driven one of these trucks, let us tell you firsthand that they haul ass. Just because the truck is already fast, don't assume we would just leave it stock. Being the horsepower junkies we are, we had to know exactly how much more could be added.
Magna Charger has been in the supercharging business for quite some time now and has most likely forgotten more about superchargers than any of us know in the first place. The company has put together a kit for the TrailBlazer, using a hybrid Roots-style blower that also features a water-to-air intercooling system. At the heart of the kit is the MP112 blower, featuring two three-lobed rotors that are twisted 60 degrees to form a helix. Magna Charger found the twisted rotors greatly increased the volumetric efficiency of the unit.
Another cool technology Magna Charger uses is a vacuum-controlled bypass valve that is placed internally between the blower and the throttle body. When the vacuum is high, idling, or just cruising, the valve opens and equalizes the internal pressure, allowing the blower to spin freely, basically bypassing the supercharger. When the pedal hits the floor, the valve slams shut and increases the pressure in the cylinders, creating boost. Equalizing the vacuum frees up some of the parasitic load, which means lower boost pressures can be run and still get the power. The rest of the system features OE-quality or straight-up OE parts. The injectors and the stand-alone water system for the intercooler are the same parts found in Cobra Mustangs.
On the electronic side, Magna Charger works very carefully to come up with a new burn for the ECU, where it electronically reconfigures the timing and fuel delivery specifically for a supercharged engine, along with improving shift points, increasing line pressures, and torque converter lock-up strategies. Not only that, but the company even puts some safety features in the tune, as well. Just in case the unthinkable happens and a rock flies through the grille, taking out the intercooler, the sensors will see the rise in temperature and pull out some timing to prevent detonation. Because all of these parts have been thoroughly tested by companies like Ford (Lightning and Cobra) and Aston Martin (DB7) for durability, Magna Charger has no problem backing the kit with a 3-year 36,000-mile warranty.
Magna Charger says if you can swap out a manifold and wire up a stereo, then you should be able to do the job. Basically, a competent do-it-yourselfer can do it over a weekend, but we aren't competent or a DIYer. So, we went to Magna Charger's facility in Ventura, California, to have Simon Gale, the in-house wrench, put these parts on for us. He went to UTI, so he is S-M-art. All kidding aside, read on and decide if you want your grocery-getter to have the same ass-whoopin' power.
What's In The Box?
The kit comes with everything you will need, minus the tools to add a supercharger on your LS2. Again, all of the parts are of OE quality and have been thoroughly tested for long-lasting durability. The injectors and intercooler system is the same found in Ford's Cobra Mustangs and SVT Lightning trucks. The included instruction book is full of color pictures and easy-to-understand directions to help you perform a hassle-free install.
Sport Truck Tech Tip
No matter how clean you keep your truck, there is bound to be some debris lurking under the manifold. A shop vacuum will be needed to properly remove it, but whatever you do, do not use compressed air. That will just blow the stuff down the intake runners.