Pushrod Motor (5.0/5.8L) Kenne-Bell Supercharger Tips
The following tips are derived from our knowledge of Kenne Bell Superchargers on ’94-95 Mustangs but they can be applied to all KB blowers. Note: while these things worked for us, proceed with caution. Any damage done is YOUR responsibility, not LaSota Racing Technologies.
Things that Kenne-bell does NOT tell you or are not too clear:
If you are going to be running your supercharger without an FMU (They call it an FMB) you absolutely, positively must hook up the fuel pressure regulator (FPR) vacuum port to the boost side of the blower. Use plain old vacuum tubing, but use small hose clamps to hold it on. What happens is under boost, the fuel injectors, which are normally firing into a vacuum, have to fire into a positive atmosphere. Consequently, the car will go lean at the top end-a recipe for disaster. Doing it this way is known as ‘boost referencing’ you do not need any special kind of regulator to do this. When you do this the FPR will ‘see’ the boost and increase the fuel pressure for each pound of boost.
Use a stud on at least the back, driver’s side lower intake and maybe one more to help with aligning the gasket. Use a distributor wrench to tighten it.
When take apart the blower and remove the manifolds, here are some tips. Be sure to clean each surface of old gasket compound. I use a single edged razor held almost flat. DO NOT ding these surfaces because they are a close tolerance fit. I have also used a heat gun to facilitate removal. It takes some time to get it all off. After it’s clean, I always use a tap or thread chaser to clean out the tapped bolt holes in the blower case. Before you do this, use masking tape to cover the blower openings. You don’t want to drop something metal in there and then forget it’s in there. Very bad. Finally, Use an air hose to blow the debris out of the bolt holes then wipe all surfaces with alcohol a couple of times. To reassemble it, you don’t use gaskets instead use Permatex 518 anaerobic gasket maker which is carried by NAPA. When you use this, you also should use the spray activator (NAPA part #765-1154). Spray the activator on the manifolds and put a small bead of 518 on the blower case. You cannot reassemble the manifolds one at a time, you have to slide them onto the long TB studs and kind of have them semi lined up, then put in two bolts in each manifold loosely. Then you can finish putting the rest of the bolts in hand tight. Starting from the inside, torque the bolts to 20# each - do them in an ‘opposite' pattern. Clean up the 518f that seeps out.
When you are ready to torque the blower down (this applies to 94-95 Mustangs), do so with the EGR’s metal tube unattached. After the blower is fully torqued down to the lower intake, then wrestle with the EGR tube to get it lined up, then attach it. If you attach it, then torque it down, it will hold the blower up enough so you get a false torque reading - it will hold the blower up and cause an upper/lower vacuum leak.
If after the install, the car doesn’t want to idle. Do a vacuum test. If it isn’t 17-22mm with a stock cam, then you probably have a vacuum leak. Look at all the hoses and connections. You may even have an upper/lower leak
We always have used a one-way valve between my PCV valve and the blower. A one way valve from a Supra or even a brake booster one way valve can be used.
Use Redline Synthetic 50W motor oil in the blower. DO NOT overfill it. It’s better to have it a bit underfilled.
The pulley gets torqued to 58# - you definitely need a pulley wrench. KB sells one that is very well made. You can make one out of flat bar steel with a hole in it and two small bolts welded to engage the pulley holes.
The 2200 and older 1500 are very similar to each other as far as the blower case is concerned. However, there is one big difference, the 2200 lacks one tapped bolt hole on the top of the blower case (discharge manifold). This isn’t too much of a problem. What you need to do is get a 1/8" NPT tap and run it down the drilled hole that corresponds to the missing bolt hole. The 1/8" tap will work without doing anymore drilling. Then using Teflon sealer (not tape) seal it with a brass 1/8" NPT pipe plug.
Use plain old copper spark plugs one range colder than stock and gap the plugs at 0.030.
If you hear pinging at any time-GET OUT OF IT!! You have tuning/timing issues. Contact LaSota Racing Technologies for a custom tune.
The 1500 has its best efficiency between 5-10# of boost. Above that you’ll usually see a boost drop of 2-5# above 3500 rpms. That’s why, if you are planning to stay within 5-10# of boost, you are better off with a 1500. The 2200 runs best between 10-18#, but some have gone as high as 22-24#. The '03-04 Cobra crowd does this all the time - but 5.0 KB kits cannot do this. The difference is the intake charge temps get way too hot. The '03-04 Cobras have intercooler that will allow a lot more boost.
Above 10# or so, the intake charge temperatures will get to 230* and above, the higher you go, the worse it gets. This will cause detonation. Since there is really no practical way to intercool a KB, water/alcohol injection is a good alternative.
It’s really required to move your ACT sensor from the TB/MAF tube and put it into the #5 intake runner. You need a GT-40 lower to do this or you can have it tapped. You can’t just move it though, without re-programming the EEC, otherwise it’ll start pulling timing as soon as you hit boost (it does this ‘stock’ at 160*). Fox body cars already have the ACT in the #5 intake runner. You can also relocate the ACT sensor to the discharge manifold if that is easier. But, you need a tune to do this.
KB says that a Flowzilla Inlet manifold will only work well on a 2200 however we saw a 39 RWHP increase on a 1500. The newer Flowzilla’s are not drilled for the extra bolt hole on the 1500. It is a simple matter to drill this out to the correct size.
Sometimes the standard six rib belt will slip, it helps to drill and tap a new mounting hole for the idler pulley on the front bracket so there is more belt wrap. See the diagram for approximate locations.
I have found that the snout bracket will rarely align right up with the mounting holes. It is necessary to loosen the power steering/AC mount and slot the holes in the front bracket. When you are tightening the front bracket, make sure it does not bend the snout. Get everything lined up perfectly, then tighten the bolts.
Kenne Bell Supercharger Pulley/Boost Chart