Superchargers for SUV’s, Pickups, and Tow Vehicles
Introduction to Pickup and SUV Superchargers
Most SUVs and large pickups are adequately powered when they are driven with just a driver or a couple of passengers or a load of groceries on board. However, load them to their max GVW or try to tow a heavy trailer and you have a problem! And for some drivers, “adequate” isn’t really enough anyway. If you are one of these people, Kennedy’s has the solution.
A Kennedy’s superchargers makes it possible to safely tow a heavy trailer or a loaded vehicle. In many cases adding a supercharger makes buying an entirely new tow vehicle unnecessary. Under these circumstances a supercharger is a wise investment and constitutes the most economical way to tow that trailer or race car! And when your vehicle is not heavily loaded a supercharger system from Kennedy’s will make driving it a lot more fun. We enjoy hearing from our customers about how they surprised a “fast” car at a stoplight.
What Type of Supercharger Should I Get?
Peak power means little when it comes to moving a heavy vehicle. What you need is heavy-duty torque monster from just off idle. For this reason, Kennedy’s strongly recommends careful selection and tuning of a supercharger for your truck or SUV. On our Introduction to Superchargers page, we explain the different types of supercharger in more detail. Kennedy’s is the true expert in the installation and tuning superchargers for heavy duty vehicles. ProCharger is our featured line and we install and tune a system for your needs on almost any vehicle. Other brands are available, of course.
What Can I Do Short of a Supercharger?
Another option is a Gale Banks system. Gale Banks Engineering is the premier manufacturer of aftermarket performance products for pickups, sport utilities and motor homes. Banks power systems provide significant horsepower and torque gains at a lower cost than a full supercharging system. Kennedy’s custom Water Injection may be used. We have had excellent results using water injection on both supercharged and non-supercharged vehicles!
How Much Will my Towing Capacity Increase with a Supercharger from Kennedy’s?
You need to keep in mind the difference between what we call “pulling capacity” and towing capacity. The maximum safe weight a vehicle can tow depends upon many factors. These include the type of hitch, brakes, suspension system and many other factors. Ultimately, the weight of the tow vehicle needs to be considered as well. You wouldn’t want to pull a 12,000lb trailer with a 3,500lb tow vehicle, no matter how “heavy duty” the construction. That said, the manufacturers maximum recommended tow weight for a given vehicle is often limited by the torque and horsepower available at the rear wheels. We refer to this as the vehicle’s “pulling capacity”. That’s where Kennedy’s can help!
A Real World Example
One of our customers has an ’01 Silverado pickup. By changing the axle ratio from 3.73 to 4.10 the maximum trailer weight as recommended by the manufacturer is increased from 8,000 to 9,000lbs. This is an example of the “pulling capacity” that we refer to above. By increasing the rear wheel torque by 50%, the installation of a supercharger increases the “pulling capacity” by a much larger amount, to approximately 12,000lbs. Of course, to tow a trailer this heavy the rest of the vehicle needs to be up to the job. But the cost is much less than buying an entirely new truck!
Dave Schultz’s Dodge Durango
To read about a fantastic supercharged SUV project from Kennedy’s, click here.
How Does Water Injection Help a Vehicle without a Supercharger?
Most modern engines from Chevrolet/GMC and Ford utilize aggressive timing to maximize horsepower, throttle response, and fuel economy. To do this with today’s marked variability in fuel quality and octane they utilize knock sensor circuitry. The knock sensor system will detect knock and pull timing to prevent engine damage. This is great, but it kills power. When you need the power the most, for example on a hot day when towing up a steep hill or merging into fast moving traffic, is when the knock sensor kicks in. Not good! Kennedy’s has the answer – a custom water injection system. We designed and perfected these systems for use on supercharged vehicles and recommend them for all supercharged trucks, SUVS and tow vehicles. However, they are also an excellent addition to normally aspirated vehicles that utilize knock sensor circuitry as well. By using water to eliminate or minimize knock a custom water injection system from Kennedy’s can improve both power and economy as well as maximize engine life.