Mechanical carburetors have been around for over a century and are tried and true, offering the ability for field repairs if necessary. Carbs are also cheaper to buy and repair and don't need to rely on an expensive computer to make decisions for it, and the aftermarket is filled with interesting options.
Carbs also give your rig a sense of character as it coughs and sputters in the cold mornings, on steep inclines, or at altitude. It's the smell of fuel in your garage and unburned hydrocarbons wafting through the air on a hot day that help to let you know you are alive.
Those intricacies aside, a carburetor is perfect for those who lack a knowledge of electronics, and are ideal for those who want to plumb in nitrous, but don't want to mess with tuning and ECU calibration. And for those of you who like to play in the mud, a carb isn't going to leave you stranded in the moisture and muck.
While you may want EFI on your daily driver, nothing is more rewarding than getting your carb working again out on the trail after it sputters to silence. Hey wasn't it just running 10 minutes ago? If you like challenges and character or are on a budget, a carburetor is for you.
-Sean P. Holman
This ATS turbo, like many other aftermarket turbos will actually improve fuel economy than
Turbochargers are driven by exhaust gases as they exit the combustion chamber. As these gases are channeled away from the head, special ducting forces them through a turbine wheel, which is connected to a fan designed to compress intake air prior to the combustion chamber. So when you stop and think about it, turbochargers actually salvage energy that would otherwise go to waste.
The opposite is true for superchargers. A supercharger requires a mechanical connection to the engine crankshaft. Initially, this method creates drag on the engine-drag that must first be overcome to produce additional power. Once the drag is overcome, superchargers are limited by engine speed and drive pulley ratios. Turbochargers, on the other hand, are only limited by volumetric physics. In other words, the more exhaust gas you force through the hot side of a turbo, the faster it will spin, and the faster it spins, the more volume of compressed air it will produce.
A supercharger may swallow a few horsepower because it's engine-driven, but it more than m
Superchargers Blow Turbos Away
Superchargers and turbochargers are actually quite similar in that they are both forced-induction systems that compress air and force more air molecules into your engine's combustion chambers. The result is that by forcing the air into the cylinders, instead of relying on the air being sucked in naturally by the pumping action of the pistons, the engine can burn more fuel per power stroke. This means a significant increase in power. We're talking increases in the 30-percent-and-up range. Both the supercharger and turbocharger may both be forced-air-induction systems that generate the same result, but they accomplish that end in very different ways, and the supercharger rules.
A supercharger and turbocharger are similar in price, and depending on the amount of boost and the engine they're installed on, they are also comparable when it comes to the increase in power. The difference is in how that power is delivered. Superchargers typically deliver power smoothly because they are connected directly to the engine crankshaft via a pulley. Turbochargers are notorious for lag because they have to spool up before the boost is delivered to the engine. Bigger turbos have more lag than smaller turbos. The result can be a sudden hit of power, which may be big fun when you're showing off to your friends, but it can be hard on drivetrain components and a real pain in the neck when you're trying to carefully tow a trailer or power over an obstacle.
Another reason why the supercharger slaps down the turbo is reliability. The exhaust that drives the turbo is, as you can expect, very hot. This means the turbo itself gets very hot. This is why shutting off a turbocharged engine after hard use is a bad idea. The stored heat in the turbo can literally bake the oil around the bearings. This can cause extensive damage. Who wants to babysit a turbo and wait for it to cool down? Now, there are aftermarket companies that make electronic devices that monitor turbo temperature and keep the engine running until the turbo cools, but these add even more expense to the cost of the system.
Ultimately, the supercharger is the best. It has a broad powerband and because it has fewer components than a turbo, it is far easier to install.