Supercharger Questions

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Nov 18, 2003
Can anyone give me a sense as to the pros and cons of the TRD supercharger? Also, how much, if any, value does a supercharger add to value of a used 80-series?

I tried to do a search on this topic, but I couldn't find anything directly on point. I did see some stuff that indicated you must/should run a snorkel if you have a supercharger. Why is that? Also, why do some people prefer turbochargers (which appear to no longer be made) over superchargers?

Also, how much, if any, value does a supercharger add to value of a used 80-series?
Also, why do some people prefer turbochargers (which appear to no longer be made) over superchargers?
:slap: Superchargers require lots of H.P. to drive them to then make a little bit of H.P. :banana: That's why Turbochargers are much more common, And becouse they are much cheaper and easier on the Donk. :flipoff2:
To expand on that a bit, in many folks opinion the TRD supercharger is a compromise. It is designed to provide improvements in hp and torque regardless of geographical location or intellect behind the wheel. That said it also strives to be easy to install and still drive a substantial profit for the manufacturer.
On the other hand, the Safari Turbo charger is a much more robust design (although it comes at a higher price.) It helps address increased intake temperatures through the addition of an intercooler and makes changes to the Cruiser’s computer to adjust fuel mapping and stuff through the installation of a Uni-Chip. According to a guy in Baltimore who sells uni-chips for other applications, the chip gets programmed after installation in the vehicle while it’s straped to a dyno. The result is a highly customized program that is dialed into your vehicle’s specifics. It's a system that creates more power at lower compression then the TRD supercharger.
Furthermore, unlike a supercharger, a properly set up turbo will not rob your engine of power in order to create more. A supercharger is driven by gears or belts that are a parasitic drain on the engine. A turbo uses essentially free energy from the exhaust gas to create more power.
That said, I'm installing a snorkel next month in the hope of someday adding a SC.
The S/C has a bad rap. They are not the dogs that our friends down under make them out to be. I prefer them to turbos because the underhood temps are lower. It is indeed true that superchargers are driven by the crank and do use up some of the power they are making.
There is still a bunch of power left over. Supercharged engines generaly are not as particular about shutdown habits as turboed engines are. I have owned both these types of induction and the S/C gets the nod from me. The Safari turbo makes so much power partly because of the modifications to the electronics and the intercooler. So, when comparing that system to a TRD S/C it is not really apples to apples.
With a smaller nose pulley and water injection or some sort of intercooler the supercharged engines make a bunch more power than they do out-of-the-box.

But both systems exist to fulfill certain desires and to give us something to argue about. :rolleyes:

Snorkels are added in both cases to allow more, colder air into the engine.
So C'dan: If one was to pursue getting a S/C and intercooler put on, probably depends on where you live, but would the dealer be the most logical route to go for the purchase/installation. What would one be looking at ($$) for getting both purchased and installed going this route.

While I am unfamiliar with respect to TLC-specific applications, I am familiar conceptually with both superchargers and turbochargers. I was under the impression that the supercharger-related drawback of parasitic losses resulting from being driven by the engine were more than made up for by the benefit of no turbo lag (i.e., you don't have to wait a split second after punching the gas for the turbocharger to spool up).

Do ya have to run a snorkle if you have a supercharger?
No, you don't need a snorkel to run the blower.

I had mine installed at the dealer because the truck was still under warranty and I did not want to void it by having some non-Toy folks do it. Smart decision based on the new engine being dropped in about a year later. Cost for install was about $1k.

Get the blower from the one-handed wonder, Cdan.
There has got to be some good reason (and I know they did lots of testing) that Toyota and TRD chose a supercharger rather than a turbo. And if you think about it, only the Toyota cars have gotten turbos (mr2, supra) and all the trucks (and even a van) got superchargers. I'm sure there's good rationale behind all that, but I try not to out-think Toyota.
[quote author=Jonathan_Ferguson link=board=2;threadid=10103;start=msg89975#msg89975 date=1074044344]
Superchargers require lots of H.P. to drive them to then make a little bit of

That is exactly wrong. Superchargers consume a little bit of HP to make a lot.
[quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=10103;start=msg90077#msg90077 date=1074054182]
Get the blower from the one-handed wonder, Cdan.

'wonder' or wanker ? hehe :D

I'll consider it if Dan will send mine out for a paisley acid etch :flipoff2: . Finished with 'bout 45 seconds in the chrome bath ....

Tyler - trying to lighten the tone before the turblows call the supers out .... :p

>> getting a S/C and intercooler put on, <<

There is no "out of the box" intercooler for the TRD S/C on the 1FZ-FE engines. AFAIK, no one has reported that they have successfully engineered an intercooler for the S/C.

I looked extensively into information on both performance mods and this is what I have concluded (right or wrong)
1. Yes, the SC runs off the engine and yes it uses some amount of power ( I have heard roughly 8 to 10 percent of stock engine power to turn the SC.) BUT the SC by design and by definition adds much more power than it consumes.
2. Gas mileage suffers somewhat with a SC due to the fact of point number one above.
3. There is some correlation between SC install and headgasket failure down the road - not sure if this is simply a possibility or a probability - not sure if it is specific to the SC or related to any high performance mod?

4. The turbo runs off the exhaust and therefore does not rob any power from the engine. It also produces more power than the SC does so for both reasons there is some slight advantage from idle up to shift point with the turbo.
5. The turbo will increase gas mileage by two or more mpg therefore "paying for itself in time."
6. The turbo, while running off the exhaust significantly speeds up the exit of the exhaust, it also significantly increases the intake of the air/fuel mix. Since the engine is essentially an air pump with air in & air out, increasing both these processes at the same time is exceptionally efficient. I do not think that the SC assists the exhaust process much although more air in always equals more air out, in other words, the SC slams the air in but does not necessarily suck it out with as much force at the same time like the turbo.
7. The safari turbo in particular is perfectly reliable, requires no special maintenance other than regular oil changes, and perfectly suited to the LC.
8. With the safari turbo intercooler, the underhood temp problem is lessened somewhat, the intake air temp is lessened substantially, and, with the turbo timer, the engine will continue to run after the ignition is shut off so that the turbo is cool before stopping.
9. The stock computer is capable of making the most of the turbo, the unichip is not necessary and is arguably less reliable than the stock computer. Either way, a cruiser with turbo, turbo intercooler, and hi performance exhaust will produce upwards of 350 HP ... a rocket cruiser!!! Also, at least on my cruiser, there is no annoying lag at all; just a short predictable pause while the tranny downshifts.
10. Perhaps the happiest info I found is that several companies are considering importing the turbos in batches of 50 at a time so soon they may be available again in the USA!!! Also, I recently was told by safari that all parts for the turbo are easily available regardless of whether someone imports the entire turbo setup or not!
Anyway, I went out of my way to state that right or wrong this is what my research revealed so take it for what it is worth. Hope this helps someone. :beer: and turbos for all!!!

I agree with very little you have stated.
1. Yes it consumes power but there is a bypass so it does so only does under boost.
2. Gas mileage doesn't suffer with the supercharger. If you have a lead foot that is more of the problem. While towing I get better mileage (1/2 MPG). A turbo may get better but I’ve seen no figures posted. Most people are going to have it reduced because of the fun factor.
3. No such evidence relating it to head gasket failure. There are many normally aspirated engines that are failing. Not very many turbos to get data from. A mute point.
4. Don't understand what you're trying to say??
5. Ok lets say a normal cruiser gets 15 MPG and the turbo gets 17MPG and you drive 12k a year. That is 800 gallons used versus 706 gallons or 94 gallons less. At $1.70 per gallon you save $160 dollars a year. At $5000 in initial cost then it will pay for itself in 31 years.
6. Turbo is a restriction to the exhaust and generates heat it doesn't speed exhaust that is why a larger exhaust is fitted. A supercharger might benefit from an upgraded exhaust but it is not as crucial as the turbo.
7. Actually agree with this other than if you have a failure of the castings etc. getting them shipped from OZ is going to take time and it appears Safari is not stocking spares.
8. The intercooler is required to reduce the charge temp which is good but the under hood temps are much higher and require the timer to run to cool off the turbo and avoid coking of the bearings. Superchargers we just turn off.
9. You have lag, all turbos do but you find it acceptable which is a non issue and minor point anyway. You have more power but how much do you need? How about your transmission being able to tolerate the added stress without additional modifications? I agree on the reliability of the Unichip and I don't see it being properly tuned with a few minutes of dyno time for all the environmental changes that can occur throughout the year in most of this country (US).
10. More power to these companies. More choices are better for turbo and superchargers. Lower prices, more accessibility to knowledgeable mechanics and spares are good. Only problem this has been said for years. The first rumors I heard from TRD were five years before they delivered a product. The Land Cruiser makes it tuff because the sales volumes are so low in comparison to the F**ds, Ch*vy, and Do*ges.
what about lag with the turbo? I have been told that for off-road applications a turbo would not be the way to go; if you are trying to get over obstacles and nail the gas, the turbo would "charge-up" for lack of better terms, only to have you slam on the brakes after getting over the obsticle. This would cause a "wrap-up" affect in my mechanic's terms, and would eventually break something. ???
Personally I would like a Supercharger too but our roads here are really not build for very fast travel. Most driving in town, so I think a S/C would just be useless.

Lots of points to discuss.


Turbocruiser is right, his trucks has very little lag. However I have also driven other Safari's trucks and they did have some. It helps when the exhaust is done right so the turbo can spool up quicker.

I had a boost gauge on mey sc'ed truck and it hardly ever boosts off-road. I also have a friend with a turbo that wheels with us. Never had it make power so fast that it jumps over stuff. We typicall use powerbraking when wheeling in any case. Spool the motor up, control the forward progress with the brake pedal. Makes it easier when wheeling the auto and you don't have low enough gears.

Underhood temps.

In all the cases we have done, the sc was worse for underhood temps. The sc blocks a lot of the airflow that cools the exhaust manifold. The turbo trucks we have done was not as bad. Yes, the turbo itself does run hot, but the underhood temps are better.


10+ hours, depending on what else is done. I would venture that there are very little 80's out there currently that you can just slap the sc on and not worry. I have bought two 93's with melted pistons due to sc installs where no additional care was take.


we do not install the chip. We had two cases where the unichip failed due to ambient temprature. The truck just dies. The unichip only adds/remove timing and fuel. It can not deliver more fuel than the system can supply. We have never seen a 97 truck run lean with the turbo. Also, the chip should be tuned on a 4 wheel dyno that can apply loads. Not very many of them out there. In addition it is tuned for your locations, ie, altitute etc etc. Doesn't really work in CO where we go from 5kft to 13kft.

Yes, when the Ausies do it, it seems to work, and they get good results. I think mostly they are tuned to not make the truck run to rich.


, the turbo has the edge in terms of effeciency, but I would not say you gain anything. If you want to move a brick faster, it takes more energy.


I think both are about the same. The turbo is a more complex install, but if done right, no reason it would not be as good as sc. Yes, you have to cool down the turbo when it was run hot, but turbo timers take care of it. Also if you have a sc, also a good idea to let the engine cool down when run hot. Heatsoak is a bad thing all round.


not sure on that. Been waiting for some time on info on a nose cone rebuild kit from TRD (hey Cdan, you need to kick their butts a little) :)
The worst thing on the Safari is the casting. If that cracks, you might have to do some custom work and retrofit a regular garret turbo. Has been done before.

Availabilty, yes there the sc has the edge. Turbocruiser, who is going to bring 50 kits in? Would like to speek to them.
Okay, concretejungle, well written and well thought out but let me clarify some things...
1. The SC uses the engine's power, period. While at idle or at boost it is using the engine's power by definition and by design. Yes there is a bypass much like an ac compressor has a 'bypass' or a 'clutch' but my point was only that if it runs off of the engine, it is using the engine's power - no one can dispute that one. Also, I went out of my way to state that the power the SC adds more than makes up for the loss. I think we are saying the same thing here but some are worried about the connotation of a parasitic loss from the SC - as I stated, dont worry, it still adds much more than it robs.
2. Gas mileage MUST suffer somewhat from the SC - look at it this way - any component you have running off the engine does this - the AC, the alternator, the power steering, etc. This is a simple rule of physics. The turbo DOES increase the mpg - Safari DOES advertise approx 2 mpg gain and this is what we experienced when adding the turbo to the cruiser despite the fun factor!
3. As i mentioned earlier, I do not know how correlated the HG failure is with the SC install BUT even the service manager, also a trusted and personal friend of mine, at the Toyota dealer mentioned this to me as a POSSIBLE correlation. Keep in mind that the Toyota dealer cannot sell me a safari turbo so the fact that this was mentioned after my request for information is at least noteworthy if not worry-worthy. As i mentioned earlier, take this for what it is worth, AND as i mentioned earlier HG failure MAY be correlated with ANY high performance mod. I just do not know, but not a mute point.
4. My point here is only that the Turbo is exceptionally efficient.

5. Yes, this is why I stated in quotes that the turbo will "pay for itself" I agree this will take a while but the thirty-one years it takes to pay for itself will be fun wont they!?!
6. Yes and no, the turbo is a restriction especially during the "lag" but since the exhaust is a 3 inch high flow, high performance exhaust this problem is probably minor!
7. Anything takes time to ship whether from OZ or CA so you are right about that BUT the turbo can be bypassed by relocating the intake hoses so the cruiser is not out of commission even if the turbo fails. I cannot imaging the casting itself cracking provided you care properly for the thing. Actually I really cannot imagine much of anything failing with this turbo; it is as reliable as they come. Also, all replacement parts like the hoses and whatsnot can be ordered and replaced as part of preventive maintenance schedules.
8. How much power do i need? Well come on, that isn't the point at all. We all want as much power as realistically and reasonably possible. The tranny and all the other drivetrain components can handle the extra power of the turbo as much as they can handle the power of the SC. As you know, the drivetrain has no idea how the power it gets is generated so the extra 50 horses from the turbo are not worrisome at all. These vehicles are overbuilt!
9. The off-roadability of the turbo, to tag to another post about turbo lag and transmission wrap up, so far is no problem for me. The turbo is completely predictable and completely controllable, I have never had a problem with wrap up and I have recently wheeled some challenging and slippery things in the mountains. This is driver input and driver response all the way.
10. The most important point is that either the SC or the turbo are going to add good power to a great vehicle. I did not mean to say that the SC is a bad performance mod in any way and I really did not mean to say that the Turbo is so much better that someone would want nothing at all over a SC if that is what is always available. Look, I would be proud to own either and so would anyone I think. Also, research is research and we can write ourselves out til we have no knuckles but how many have compared both by dutifully driving both? Out of curisity CJ, have you really worked with a turbo and compared it back to back with the SC? I did do this comparison with several SC equipped LC's and with one turbo equipped LC as I looked for the many moons it took to purchase a LC, and that is why I always prefered the turbo, basically I got lucky in finding one that was properly installed and properly maintained. So I'm lucky, but so what; I would have happily handed out the cash for the SC. Anyway, thanks for the response, happy wheeling!
[quote author=sleeoffroad link=board=2;threadid=10103;start=msg90231#msg90231 date=1074089405]
10+ hours, depending on what else is done. I would venture that there are very little 80's out there currently that you can just slap the sc on and not worry. I have bought two 93's with melted pistons due to sc installs where no additional care was take.

Christo - can you expand on what you mean by "no additional care" being taken? Are you referring to some additiona mod, or some kind of maintainence?

easy buddy! :D I didn't post all that stuff. I was just questioning the "spool-up" possability related to the turbo when off-roading. I personally would rather have the turbo :flipoff2:
My fuel consumption log (400+ entries from day-one) indicates that around town fuel usage is a "push" in my vehicle. Un-loaded hiway is about 1.5 mpg less. Loaded towing mpg increased over 10%.

Ironicly the very best it's ever done was on a 600 mile hiway trip, top speed limited to 58-59 mph. With a blower and 33 inch tires and steel wheels the first 300 mile leg was 18.97 mpg and the second leg was 18.47 mpg. This was over 1.50 pg better than the best posted mpg before the supercharger was installed. And yes, the speedometer was corrected.

This is of course just one vehicle and the variables are many.
The one thing that I did not fully record is dates that I increased the weight of the vehicle after the blower went on. Currently it weighs 6300 lbs. 1000 lbs+ more than stock curb weight. That could possibly account for some of the fuel consumption difference.


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