Whilst many owners find the standard 1800cc engine acceptable for country lanes and around town, the quest for more power is always lurking in the background for the average owner. More to the point, by comparison to today's traffic, a B can be frighteningly underpowered at times.
The Hi-Flow supercharger.
However, for a weekend's work, and the possibility of power outputs similar to the original factory GT V8, one has the choice of supercharging! Admittedly not as cheap as a V8 conversion, but, it requires less effort to fit, and the car can be returned to standard in a short space of time.
The Moss Supercharger unit.
Buying a supercharger off eBay is easy and will only cost a few hundred pounds. This compares with about £2000 for a kit from Moss or even more from Hi-Flow. However what you get with the kit is considerable. If you have the skills and equipment to design and build the manifold, select the carburettor, produce all the bracketry and pulleys then eBay is a cheap option. For those of us that do not have the contacts, skills or equipment then the kit is a cost effective option.
It is also probably the most cost effective tuning option, provide you have a stock engine and it is in good or rebuilt condition. Supercharging a tired engine will end in tears.
I fitted the Supercharger kit from Moss over a couple of weeks, though it could be done over a long week-end, if you are lucky and with a well equipped garage. It does not need specialist skills or tools. This is the key. Paying for an expert to do headwork, polish and change cams all costs the labour rate (not much different than for a modern car –if the firm is good). The supercharger kit can be fitted by an amateur! The Moss kit is complete to the last nut and bolt - complete with shims to match up the supercharger manifold to the various exhaust manifold thicknesses. The only shortcoming was a US (so lhd and short) throttle cable!
So, whats involved?
So whats the effect?
Pretty spectacular. The original B put out 65bhp at the wheels (about 95 at the flywheel) when new. We measured 110 bhp at the wheels (probably about 140bhp at the flywheel)! The manufactures claim a 40% increase.
But driving is the key! It goes very well, “keeps up” with modern cars and gets past people doing 60mph who won’t move over! It is happy around town, on motorways or on the ubiquitous country lane!
Well its been in a year and 5000 miles. It does run a bit warmer –a problem in France at >38° C. This year a 7 blade fan was fitted to help (in addition to an after market electric one). My guess is that it would be fine for the UK but maybe a problem in hot countries!
Just after the French run, the head gasket went. However there is a suspicion that the head had not been re-torqued after the rebuild, so we can’t determine if it was caused by the supercharger. It wouldn’t have helped though.
I fitted green stuff pads, but otherwise just checked the brake fluid and “feel”. It stops!
Fuel consumption may have changed - there is a temptation to use the performance!
Superchargers, the way to go! For a weekend's work, and the possibility of power outputs similar to the original factory GT V8, one has the choice of supercharging! Admittedly not as cheap as a V8 conversion, but, it requires less effort to fit, and the car can be returned to standard in a short space of time.
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