Nothing quite gets the blood flowing like popping a hood and seeing a blower sitting atop just about any engine. From old hot rods, to drag cars, to even late-model vehicles that came with a huffer from the factory, it's not only fun, but a supercharger actually helps the engine reach its full potential by forcing it to breathe. And today's blowers aren't the finicky part-throttle power robbers of yesterday. There is a reason more and more automobile manufacturers are making them a common option on new vehicles. It's because they work-really well.

This story is a follow-up from last month's supercharger installation on the '08 Ford 4.6L 3-valve V-8 in the Bumpside F-100. Ford Racing offers several different screw-type Whipple supercharger kits for the Mod engines rated at 400, 475, or 550 hp. The extra power from the Big-Boost kit is from just that-bigger boost. It runs 12 pounds of boost versus the "milder" 8- and 5-pound kits, the later doesn't require and intercooler. But with any boost especially over 5 or 6 psi create heat, which can be detrimental to the engine. This is where adding an intercooler comes into play.

Like any high-horsepower forced induction system (supercharged or turbo) we needed to install an intercooler system to keep the supercharger from producing too much heat and killing parts. An air-to-water intercooler system is basically another self-contained cooling system like the one for your engine. Ford Racing includes all the parts for the intercooler system with the kits that require them like our Big-Boost kit, the only bad thing is that we aren't putting it in a new Mustang, which is what the kit was designed for. This month I'll be showing you some of the things I had to do to install the intercooler system in the F-100.

There were two areas that needed to be addressed-where and how to mount the heat exchanger (radiator) for the intercooler and what to do about a fluid reservoir. These can both be easy or hard depending on your truck. For me they were difficult (of course) but that was mostly due to the lack of space from other parts being in the way, like the A/C condenser in front of the radiator. The kit comes with a molded plastic reservoir that bolts right into a Mustang engine bay, but I just wasn't happy with the way it fit in my truck. There are actually a bunch of simple universal reservoirs with an in and out that can be had easily from places like Summit that carry many different sizes and configurations, you just need to make sure they have provisions for 3/4-inch in and outlets. One of the brands Summit carries is Canton Racing, which had some promising pieces, but I was running out of time and had to improvise the best I could, so I made one that is definitely and option for those inclined to do so with the tools to do it-DIY, right? Even though I redesigned the intercooler system from what Ford Racing had intended for a Mustang it worked well in the end and I did so using the preformed hoses supplied with the kit.

While there is plenty on the Internet about supercharging and intercoolers, there are many good books available for those who like to hold things in their hands. One that I have been reading is A Complete Guide to Street Supercharging by Pat Ganahl. This book goes over the history of superchargers and while it was originally written in the '80s, it just got revised and now includes modern blowers and tons of good info for gearheads.

This is very well the last Bumpside installment for a while until it is basically on the road-which will happen. Thank you all for the support over the last five years that I have been with CLASSIC TRUCKS. I am transferring within the company to go run the Tech Center for our Los Angeles based magazines like Hot Rod and Car Craft, but you'll still see my name pop up here from time to time. Thank you!