Supercharger FAQs - SuperchargerWarehouse.com
- Why does the RAM only come on only at FULL-THROTTLE (Wide-Open-Throttle), and why WOULDN'T I want it on all the time, OR at least to come on at part throttle?
Answer: The word throttle means "Choke." Any time the throttle is partially open, it is "choking" the engine and creating a variable pressure drop (that's its job). You do not want to engage the RAM to generate pressure when the throttle body is restricting it. If it came on under part throttle, the choking action of the throttle would just remove any gains in pressure created by the RAM. Normally, If you want more HP when you are at part throttle, you just press further down on the gas pedal to open the throttle-body, and let more air into your engine. It is only when your throttle is wide-open, and your engine is taking all of the air it is capable of (equal to the total displacement of your engine - CC's or Cubic inches - minus the drop in air pressure created by inherent restrictions in your intake system) that you can realize any benefits from a pressure generating device like the RAM. When you press the gas pedal to the floor, the RAM engages and gives the added air and HP you need. REMEMBER... THIS IS INDEPENDENT OF ENGINE RPM! IF YOU FLOOR YOUR GAS PEDAL AT 2000 RPM, YOU GET FULL BOOST AT 2000 RPM. This is the reason for the waste gates and relief valves with turbos and superchargers. They run continuously, but the pressure is bled off until the total power of what could be produced through normal aspiration is exceeded. (Manifold pressure above ambient or in other words, above atmosphere) Also, the RAM requires very high current, so regardless, it is necessary to use it only during full throttle conditions as to not tax your electrical system, and not cause excessive heat or wear at the heart of the RAM... the high-power electric motor. Having the RAM engage too early and too often when it is not needed, will lead to premature aging and failure of the RAM device. When used and installed properly, the RAM will last for many years, and only require service after thousands of hours of operation.
- How does it work?
Answer: The RAM is an electrically powered forced air system that uses a custom designed, purpose-built electric motor that uses over 833 WATTS to drive an axial flow fan to slightly pressurize the intake air while it rids the inlet and filter box of most all restriction. It is designed to operate only at full throttle, since this is the only time when the throttle butterfly-valve is fully open and out of the way of your engine's intake. By slightly pressurizing the air available to your engine intake system, the air becomes more dense, and is matched with more fuel producing the increased HP to the wheels.
- Will my fuel system respond to the increased density and flow of air?
Answer: Yes, the small increases of air density are well within the limits of most modern fuel injection fuel system, basically in the same way your engine would respond if you were traveling at high altitude where you loose HP. Here the fuel air metering system is able to respond by sensing the change in density via the mass air flow sensor, air flow meter, or manifold pressure sensor, and keep mixture levels correct.
- Is it difficult to install?
Answer:The RAM can typically be installed in less than 1 HOUR! It comes complete with instructions, wiring, adapter hose, fan inlet, the RAM, 50 amp relay, and micro-switch that mounts near your accelerator control linkage. (Other locations are also possible for micro switch position such as at the gas pedal for some of the newest cars with "throttle-by-wire" electronic throttle position control)
- How much HP gain can I expect?
Answer: Gains on stock 4 cylinder to heavily modified 8 cylinder engines have yielded 4-6% increases. That's 5-15HP depending on your base flywheel HP. If you are removing a stock air-box, gains for cool air tubes and cone filters are up to 5HP by themselves. The RAM with its 5-15 HP adds to ALL OTHER MODIFICATIONS, so with an intake tube will give over 20 HP of total gain for the RAM + intake system.
- How is the RAM different than a supercharger or Turbocharger?
Answer:The RAM is a distant cousin of the full blown turbo or supercharging system which employs a centrifugal impeller that must run all the time. They have to produce matched engine airflow, with high-pressure air compression (4 to 15 PSI is normal). This requires a tremendous amount of HP to drive the device. For example the airflow needed for a 2.5-liter engine at 6000 RPM is 240 CFM. At only 6 PSI, you would need 10 to 15 HP just to create this type of supercharging. Belts driven by the engine or a turbine driven off the engines exhaust gases can produce this type of power. The RAM produces a low-level 1 PSI (1.7 PSI for the Super RAM). The RAM is very efficient in moving lots of air flow (CFM) at small pressures, where traditional turbo/superchargers are very good at making pressure, but need extreme speeds to match flow rates of most engines.
- Don't Most cars have ram air already?
Answer: No, most manufactures have done everything to make inlet ducts to get air into the engine. The problem is that because of the path the air has to take, by the time it gets to your throttle body, the air doesn't have enough pressure and speed to add any ram pressure to your intake system. Even at speeds of 80 mph, no ram effects can be measured with an almost perfect inlet system (i.e. less than .08psi). At 160 mph , that pressure goes up to .36psi., that's it!! Horsepower robbing vacuum in most air boxes is present due all sorts of restrictions as we cant have dragster style hood scoops on street cars because we would not be able to see over them!
- What causes most of the intake restriction, and how do you measure how much you have?
Answer: Filters, inlet turns, diameter reductions and obstructions of the intake system create pressure drops depending on the restriction, resulting in vacuum in the air box (less dense air). Using a sensitive pressure gauge, this vacuum can be measured under W.O.T. either statically on the dyno, or on the track as we did.
- What is the difference in drawing engine heated air versus cool outside air? Answer: Every 40 degrees makes a difference of 6% HP. The pressure would have to rise 1PSI for this gain in HP. Conversely, the air pressure could drop 1PSI at altitude and the losses would be similar.
- If the RAM produces a positive pressure in the air box, how does that relate to HP gains?
Answer:AIR PRESSURE GAIN/LOSS DUE TO ALTITUDE CHANGE: In the same way that you loose HP when you travel up in altitude (the air is less dense at higher altitude), you gain HP when dropping in altitude (pressure increases at lower altitudes). For example, if you start at sea-level: Climb up to 2000 feet elevation, and the air is 1PSI LESS DENSE than at sea level (on average). Drop down by 2000 feet, and the air is 1PSI MORE DENSE. 1 PSI gain is roughly a 7% increase in air-density (Typical Air-Pressure at Sea-Level is 14.7 PSI). AIR PRESSURE GAIN/LOSS DUE TO TEMPERATURE CHANGE: You gain HP from adding a "Cold-Air-Intake" because a typical "Cold-Air-Intake lowers the temperature of the air reaching the intake manifold by an average of 10 degrees. A 10 degree drop in temperature is ONLY A 2% INCREASE IN AIR-DENSITY, so adding the function of removing intake restriction, and a cold-air intake can provide roughly 2% HP increase. The RAM provides a 7% INCREASE IN AIR-DENSITY. This is where the RAM's 5% average HP increase comes from.
- Does the RAM cause restriction when it is not on?
Answer: No. Since the RAM is over 3.8 inches inside diameter, even with the motor in the center, and its axial blade design, the RAM flows the equivalent to a 3.1 inch diameter free-flow intake tube. Also at part-throttle conditions, this not a factor because the flow rates under part throttle condition are much lower as well. We have dyno'ed the RAM when mounted but NOT ENERGIZED at full throttle and measured no losses (see dyno results page for this dyno example). Many people also have seen actual HP gains by just putting a static version of the RAM in line with the intake system claiming better atomization of fuel and air. We have not verified these gains, but if they are real, the RAM should be an order of magnitude more effective in HP gains and equal in gas mileage efficiency gains as any of the existing static swirling devices.
- I have a very efficient intake system now, can RAM still help?
Answer: Yes, it makes what you have better. Preliminary tests have shown the best results on modified intakes with aftermarket intakes and filters. The RAM adds to any other modifications you have made, or will make to your engine (including addition of a turbocharger or belt driven supercharger).
- I have a stock air box, will RAM still work?
Answer:YES! It also is designed to bolt on to the intake of your existing stock air box with little or no modification and the same 4-6% gains *(except late model Fords, Audis, BMWs, Nissans, and Mazdas equipped with Mass-Flow Sensors (MFS)).
- I have an after market intake tube. Will the RAM mount to it?
Answer: YES. By using the version of RAM with its integral cone filter (RAM-FILTER), you mount the RAM directly to the intake tube leading to your air flow sensor or MAP sensor. By using the RAM with adapters on both sides (RAM-INLINE), you can mount the RAM in place of a section of your intake tube for cold-air tubes and some Mass-Air Flow equipped cars.
- Is their a chance of the RAM damaging my engine?
Answer: No, the RAM system is designed to work with any internal combustion engine, new or old. The low level of boost is safe for all engines and will not provide any major additional stresses on the engine that wouldn't already be happening at full-throttle operation. If anything was to enter the fan and damage it , a metal safety screen is included on the exit of the fan to assure no components enter your engine... no matter what the event... ever.
- What is the life expectancy of the RAM device, and does it require maintenance?
Answer: The only moving parts are the instrument quality rare earth electric motor which is rated for over 800 hours before recommended service (brush replacement) and a metal impeller. It is highly resistant to heat and has sealed no maintenance ball bearings. Because of the low duty cycle (on the race track it is only on for 20 to 40 seconds a lap depending on the road course such as Laguna Seca or Sears Point where testing is done), the RAM unit should outlast your engine. We have many RAMs in the field since 1998 that are still going strong.
- 18. How quickly does the RAM spool up to max boost pressure?
Answer:The highly balanced RAM spools up to 25,300 RPM in less than 100 ms (1/10 of a second). This is due to its very lightweight and strong construction.
- How will the increase HP from the RAM help my quarter mile drag times?
Answer:The 4-6% HP gains are roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 tenths of a second for 0-60, and 2 or 3 tenths of a second in the quarter mile. This may not seem like much but, at the finish line, at speeds of 100 mph (146 feet per second), 1 tenth of a second is 14.6 feet, or roughly a car length. If you beat someone by one car length, that race wasn't even close!
- Will the RAM work on my Diesel engine?
Answer: Yes! The RAM works on all internal combustion engines (Gasoline, Natural Gas, Diesel, etc.). Since the RAM is just providing additional air-density to the intake, your engine management system will automatically adjust to provide the appropriate amount of fuel and provide the additional HP gain expected from your RAM installation.
- Will the RAM work on my Motorcycle engine?
Answer: Yes! The RAM works on all internal combustion engines (car, motorcycle, ATV, Boat, etc.). You just have to make sure that there will be enough room to mount the RAM in the compact area available on a motorcycle. The RAM will work with your carbureted engine (see next answer for considerations for carburetors). However, 2-stroke engines with simple membrane style carburetors will not respond to the RAM pressure. Your carburetor must have a "float-bowl" for correct fuel delivery. Also, if your fuel delivery is "gravity feed" type, you will need to add a small fuel pump to provide pressurized fuel delivery to the carburetor at a minimum of 2psi.
- Will the RAM work on a carbureted engine?
Answer: Yes! The RAM works with carbureted engines. You just have to make sure you follow the following guidelines: An RAM-FILTER should be placed on the end of the sealed intake tube that feeds the carb with pressurized air. The area between the RAM thrust and the carb will be a pressurized area, and this area will need to be linked with a tube to the float bowl vent of the carb to equalize the pressure between the air intake and the float bowls to assure proper fuel delivery (please contact us by e-mail if you would like a picture diagram of this setup, as we have done this many times with other customers).
NOTE: 2-stroke engines with simple membrane style carburetors will not respond to the RAM pressure, as this style carburetor delivers fuel based on vacuum measured by the membrane, and there is no method to equalize the pressure to make this style of carburetor work properly with the RAM. Your carburetor must have a "float-bowl" for correct fuel delivery. Also, if your fuel delivery is "gravity feed" type (like on motorcycles with gas tank above the engine), you will need to add a small fuel pump to provide pressurized fuel delivery to the carburetor at a minimum of 2psi.