How do you tell the difference between a centrifugal supercharger and a turbo?

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How do you tell the difference between a centrifugal supercharger and a turbo?

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A supercharger is belt driven, a turbo is exhaust driven. Both are considered “forced induction”. Which is a way of saying that they force more air into an engine, which in turn forces more fuel in, resulting in more power.

Superchargers have a belt-driven “blower” that sits on top of the intake portion of the engine. In V engines, it sits between the two cylinder banks. It tends to make engines tall.

A turbocharger is much more flexible in its placement, but it’s typically located close to the exhausts of the system. The goal is to limit the length of the pipes, if possible.

Turbo chargers have a hot side (the turbine side) which is driven by the exhaust gas as mentioned above. The backside of a turbo is usually mild steel so it discolours very quickly or is wrapped in a heat shielding/ blanket. A cebtri blower generally is not. So at a glance, look for a belt or a heat bag/ discoloured turbine housing.

Turbo is a compressor driven by a turbine fed by exhaust gas.

Supercharger is a compressor driven by the engine crankshaft, with belt or chain or gears. May be centrifugal or volumetric.

-Volumetric supercharger is a positive displacement pump, like a literal air compressor. Good torque and response at all rpm. It’s not space efficient, aka, it’s really big and usually you but the hood and it sticks out, cause it’s quite a big device.

-centrifugal supercharger will boost the engine mostly at high rpm, and will be more powerful.

-turbo will boost only the high rpm, its the most efficient but will give lag in engine response.