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Air compressors/tank for boost

Old 06-15-2015, 10:36 AM
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Default Air compressors/tank for boost

Any one ever do this? Was at a local car show yesterday to benefit the wounded warriors and a VW (if I recall correctly) had maybe a 40 cu ft tank mounted on a board with 4 12 volt compressors used for boosting the intake pressure. Seems you would meet a awful lot of CFM for anything meaningful unless this was for short runs. Does seem like a pretty cheap setup.

Also saw at least a dozen VWs with $8,000 wheels and tires lowered so much they rubbed occasionally. Looked f'ing stupid. That and the exhaust that sounds like popping farts. That I didn't quite get.

Two of the sharpest cars that were in my league were a black on black Audi RS 5 and M4. The two hottest cars outside of my league were a ford GT that was drop dead gorgeous and a new mercedes SL AMG convertible.
Old 06-15-2015, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
Wouldn't it be a more simplistic setup to just install a supercharger?
The home made boost had maybe $500 in parts. A supercharger runs what, $4 to $5 k.

Your also not robbing the engine of any power of running off an isolated battery. You are adding 100 pounds or so in weight.

Seemed like a neat backyard mechanic sleeper car mod is all.
Old 06-15-2015, 10:52 AM
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It takes A LOT of power to compress air to enough pressure and flow to make a difference on a running engine. I could see it being used as a transient thing to get through turbo lag, otherwise sounds like useless car fluff.
Old 06-15-2015, 02:31 PM
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Back in the day I was the engineering supervisor for a OEM supercharged V6 program. At max boost/speed it took 60 hp to drive the Eaton (rootes style) supercharger. Any air tanks, leaf blowers, etc really won't do anything. Love the "can do" spirit behind these attempts though.
Old 06-15-2015, 04:26 PM
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40 gals of air given to a 2 liter would be consumed in 75.7 revolutions of 2 liter engine.
If launch rpm is at 5000rpm the "boost" is consumed in how many milliseconds?

Did it have one of those little plastic water bottles generating hydrogen too?
Old 06-15-2015, 06:45 PM
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how much PSI was it charged to?
Old 06-15-2015, 07:10 PM
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In the Don Garlets museum he has a car with a large tank of compressed air used to provide boost so the idea is an old one. Apparently not very practical or effective. I guess it could be done but regulating the flow to match the engine demand thru the pass would be the biggest challenge. The nessasary Volume at high demand would require a huge tank.
Old 06-15-2015, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kmoose View Post
In the Don Garlets museum he has a car with a large tank of compressed air used to provide boost so the idea is an old one. Apparently not very practical or effective. I guess it could be done but regulating the flow to match the engine demand thru the pass would be the biggest challenge. The nessasary Volume at high demand would require a huge tank.
Actually didn't that car actually run on compressed air?

I remember on opening day we walked around with him and about 30 news reporters and he said when he brought that home and put a torch on it to start modifying it evidently there was still some gas in it and it ignited blowing both ends off the tank and through the walls of the garage. I can't remember if he said he ever raced it or not... What an innovator.

Sorry for the thread jack...

As for the car with the compressors on it, no way in hell that would be sustainable for more than 4 or 5 seconds max. A motor is just a big air pump. It would process that volume of air in no time at all.
Old 06-16-2015, 03:18 AM
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Your all pretty much confirming what I figured was the case. Too good to be true
Old 06-16-2015, 07:37 AM
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Leaf blower, dryer vent tube and duct tape.
Old 06-16-2015, 08:14 AM
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A small turbo is 1000+cfm at 15PSI +/-. That = a rather large air compressor, one that would probably be on a two wheel trailer in tow.
Old 06-16-2015, 09:15 AM
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Spooling up a turbo with compressed air instead of exhaust while also lowering exhaust temps?
Old 06-16-2015, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by capt coonassty View Post
Spooling up a turbo with compressed air instead of exhaust while also lowering exhaust temps?
That's what I was thinking. A few nozzles spaced in turbine housing, aiming at the turbine wheel at an angle. Stab go pedal, fast acting pilot operated valves dump 200psi air against wheel. Zings it right up.

Or it's just cool looking car fluff.
Old 06-16-2015, 11:27 AM
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It could be possible this guy had train horns and were all totally blowing hot air.
Old 06-16-2015, 11:30 AM
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Impossible to tune the AF mix for the random spool up. If you already have a turbo, why would you want to complicate a working system. Even if you could attain a bigger boost from using compressed air, you would likely lean out for that period and melt something in the process. Trust me, every possible angle to provide efficient boost has been explored way beyond a compressed air tank and a leaf blower. You are not brainstorming your way through uncharted waters on this one.......
Old 06-16-2015, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kmoose View Post
Impossible to tune the AF mix for the random spool up. If you already have a turbo, why would you want to complicate a working system. Even if you could attain a bigger boost from using compressed air, you would likely lean out for that period and melt something in the process. Trust me, every possible angle to provide efficient boost has been explored way beyond a compressed air tank and a leaf blower. You are not brainstorming your way through uncharted waters on this one.......
I was not real specific, meant to blast turbine with air only for a second to get through lag. Then exh would take over. I know it would do nothing beyond a few seconds.
Old 06-16-2015, 03:36 PM
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The tank doesn't sound very useful, but people used to add "air pumps" to the intake (even some factory Ferraris in the 1970s IIRC). The idea wasn't to get above atmospheric pressure, it was just to reduce the work the engine has to do sucking air in (lessen the intake manifold vacuum). So you'd need several hundred CFM of air, depending on the displacement and RPM. So which makes more power—letting the pistons and valves do all the work, or having an external pump do some of it? I'd say it depends... but air pumps are very rarely seen these days, so there must not be much advantage to using them.

However, your comment about popping exhaust sounds... I think intake air pumps that don't stop pumping with sudden throttle closures can cause that.

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