Boosting an LS Engine the G Force Way
Our New Upgraded LSA Supercharger Belt Drive System Delivers a Real Power Boost
Whether you call it a blower, compressor, or supercharger, increased boost affects engine performance like no other! Unfortunately, the reality of building a supercharged LS engine smacked you in the face when you started checking available options. Many performance enthusiasts found the available manifold-mounted supercharger kits out of their price range. Building power with a supercharger wasn’t in the cards for many until a GM service bulletin changed everything.
The Recall That Provided the Boost
When GM recalled thousands of LSA superchargers found on some 2009-2013 Cadillac CTSs and some 2012-2013 Camaros, it immediately put a huge supply of defective but repairable LSA superchargers on the used market for sale locally and online. The situation and conditions were right for performance enthusiasts to pick up an LSA supercharger at a much lower price than the aftermarket kits and “budget build” a supercharged LS engine.
Building a Better LSA Supercharger Belt Drive System
G Force Performance Products recognized quickly that this kind of blower add-on would require a high-performance belt drive system to turn the supercharger. But, they didn’t want to build just any setup.
Since superchargers are relatively hard to spin compared to other accessories like a power steering pump or an alternator, there is always the risk of slipping the belt on the supercharger or crank pulley. A slipping belt obviously won’t build boost very well. Their goal was to design a belt drive system that maximized belt-to-pulley surface contact (AKA - Belt Wrap) and maintained adequate tension on the belt. Both methods increase the friction between the belt and drive pulleys, which is how you avoid belt slip in a belt drive system.
How Belt Tension & Friction Keep Your Supercharger Spinning
Of the two, increased belt tension is probably the easiest to understand. Increasing the belt tension increases friction between the belt and the pulley. The serpentine-style belt on the G Force LSA supercharger upgrade gets tension from the belt tensioner. Engineers chose a strong tensioner from a common diesel engine used in trucks.
This belt tensioner provides the right amount of force on the belt to avoid slipping and is readily available at many parts stores should it ever need replacing. It is important to note that excessive belt tension can actually rob power and wear out pulley bearings more quickly. This tensioner achieves that balance of providing enough belt tension without wasting power.
Belt Wrap is a Small Design Consideration That Provides Big Performance Gains
Belt Wrap is a bit more complicated, but it’s central to understanding the performance gains built into the G Force LSA supercharger drive system. Belt wrap refers to the amount of contact a belt makes on a pulley. Or, you could describe belt wrap as how far a belt wraps around a pulley.
Optimizing belt wrap maximizes the friction between the belt and the pulley to avoid belt slip. Increasing friction on the crank pulley and supercharger drive pulley is the focus here. Idler pulleys are necessary for the setup, but they’re mainly along for the ride. However, idler pulley diameter and location in the system are very important and can affect how much belt wrap is achieved on the drive pulleys. Minimizing idler pulley friction helps reduce power loss in the system.
Think of a drive pulley like a clock face. If a belt only contacted a drive pulley between 12 and 3 o’clock, it would be in contact with 1/4th or 25% of the pulley surface. You could also say that the belt contacts 90 degrees of the pulley (1/4th of 360 degrees in a circle). Increasing the belt wrap from 90 degrees of pulley wrap to 180 degrees would double the belt wrap and increase friction tremendously.
That is an exaggerated example but illustrates the point: get as much belt wrap as possible. G Force increased belt wrap by utilizing optimal pulley location and size in the serpentine setup to increase belt-to-pulley friction and keep the LSA supercharger spinning without slipping.
Speaking of clocks, engineers also made the belt tensioner clockable for adjustment should you need to tweak the tensioner positioning. This feature adds flexibility to the system.
Two Belts Are Better Than One!
Single serpentine belt supercharger drive systems exist on the market from other manufacturers. These kits use one belt to drive the supercharger and accessories like your power steering pump and alternator. The serpentine belt on the G Force LSA Belt Drive Supercharger System solely drives the supercharger. Your accessory belt drive remains isolated from the supercharger belt drive. G Force chose to engineer a separate supercharger belt drive system for several important reasons.
First, engine accessories are engineered to run at a certain RPM. If you decided to use an overdrive crank pulley to build more boost in the supercharger on a one-belt system, your accessories would spin faster than needed. They will wear out and fail faster.
The G Force LSA supercharger belt drive system is separate from your accessory drive and allows you to change the crank or supercharger pulley without affecting your accessory speed. G Force engineers saw no real benefits to building a one-belt drive system to power the supercharger and accessories. They also knew they wanted to run a stronger belt tensioner on the supercharger drive pulley system. On a one-belt drive system, that added belt pressure could wear out accessory bearings more quickly.
Readily Available Replacement Parts
Another big concern for hot rodders is always sourcing replacement parts found in kits should they need to down the road. The pulleys and the tensioner used in the LSA supercharger drive system are readily available at most parts stores. G Force Performance makes every effort to engineer products that utilize wearable performance parts that are easily replaceable.
G Force LSA Belt Drive Supercharger Details
Our supercharger kit (GF-LSA-AB) for a Camaro, Caprice, SS, G8, or CTS-V includes:
- Heavy duty, 8 rib upgraded tensioner
- Oversized 110mm upper idler pulley
- 76mm lower idler pulley
- Billet aluminum brackets to provide plenty of belt wrap and tension to prevent belt slippage.
This system must be used with “LS3/LSA style water pump (19180610) with the tapped bosses for the idler pully bracket.
When used with a stock upper supecharger pulley and 9.25” lower belt (K080683HD) can be used.
G Force Performance Products designed the LSA supercharger belt drive system to be relatively easy to install. Check out our step-by-step installation instructions.
Improve your performance with a power boost from the G Force LSA Belt Drive Supercharger System.