ProCharger Vs Whipple: Who Makes the Better Superchargers?


Both ProCharger and Whipple are US-based companies selling superchargers for a wide variety of drag racing and muscle cars. The former is known for their line of centrifugal models while the latter is famous for twin-screw type.

These superchargers increase the pressure of air to the combustion engine and supply more oxygen to its intake manifold. This results in the engine’s increased fuel consumption and activity, and thus higher horsepower and power output by as much as 46%.

Despite the same purpose, both types of superchargers work differently when it comes to moving air to the intake cycle. So understanding the differences between a centrifugal and a twin-screw model will help you settle the debate, ProCharger vs Whipple. Here is a brief overview.

ProCharger SuperchargersWhipple Superchargers
Good for drag and road racing, commercial and street useGood for street use, towing, drag and road racing
Good power at high RPMsGood power at low RPMs
Low power at low RPMsConsistent (Flat) power curve at high or low RPMs
Low discharge temperaturesMore expensive
Easy installationLengthy installation

Now, you’ll delve into detailed explanations of the functions, benefits, and limitations of the products from both manufacturers.

Basics of ProCharger and Whipple Superchargers

ProCharger and Superchargers come in two broad categories such as positive displacement and centrifugal systems, each having particular advantages over the other.

How Does a ProCharger Model Work?

A typical ProCharger model has an impeller which is similar to the rotor of a twin-screw type. The impeller is powered at a high speed (50,000–60,000 RPMs) to draw air quickly into its small compressor housing.

Once the air reaches the impeller’s hub, the supercharger employs centrifugal force to radiate it outward. Then, the air exits the impeller at a low pressure but high speed and hits a built-in diffuser which surrounds the impeller.

The diffuser is actually a set of vanes which when the air molecules hit them cause the airflow to lose some of its velocity. The result is decreased speed and increased air pressure.

How Does a Whipple Model Work?

A twin-screw style is a fairly modern approach to the positive displacement line. It includes two intricately designed meshing lobes that almost look like worm gears. This supercharger sucks air into its rear, which is internally compressed between its male and female rotors.

The male one rotates clockwise and simultaneously the female one rotates counter-clockwise to screw (force) the air to the front. The air stays compressed within those rotors until the boosted air is demanded by the engine.

When the air exists, the output is a cool and dense air charge with low parasitic loss. All these account for increased horsepower.

Comparison of Efficiency

Compressed air has a higher temperature than normal air. It is the supercharger that decides how much heat the intake air will contain. More heat results in lower power. The ‘power’ factor relies on these conditions:

  • How cool the air charge supplied from the compressor into the engine can be kept
  • How much of the pressure loss can be limited

For the boost pressure being same, the intake air with a ProCharger system should be cooler than that with a Whipple system. Consequently, there will be a significant increase in the power output.

Intercooler Effectiveness

Being a key component, an intercooler has an impact on how efficient your supercharger is going to help you during different applications.

An intercooler is designed to remove heat that exists in the compressed intake air. Modern superchargers use two common systems such as air-to-air and air-to-water-to-air (water-to-air) intercoolers.

According to experts, an air-to-air intercooling method offers greater advantages than water-to-air coolers when street use is considered in terms of cooling efficiency and durability.

Installing an air-to-air intercooler with a ProCharger product doesn’t invite much trouble. But doing the same with a Whipple is a little more challenging.

Being in the positive displacement category, a Whipple supercharger is usually installed onto the engine’s intake manifold. It makes the supercharger a part of that intake manifold, especially in a V engine and makes the installation of an air-to-air system difficult.

There is practically no alternative to compromising the intercooler size, should it be fitted properly. This is where a water-to-air installation proves useful. So, the effectiveness of the intercooler is higher with a ProCharger than with a Whipple model.

Boost Pressure

A ProCharger system gets driven by the car engine, which means that the engine RPMs determines the speed of the compressor. To deliver usable boost pressure, one such supercharger uses a high compressor speed. So, lower engine RPMs won’t bring much of the boost pressure.

On the contrary, a Whipple supercharger moves more air than your car engine is able to consume. This particular action ensures high boost pressure which is also constant with the engine RPMs. What can we make of this difference?

You cannot expect much of power output with a centrifugal supercharger unless the RPMs are not high, but a positive displacement model performs satisfactorily in this case. A Whipple product may give a flat boost curve and reasonably same torque curve, but you’ll feel like having a larger engine.

Cost

The cost depends on the specific brand/type of your car. Nonetheless, Whipple products are usually costlier because the twin-screw rotors require greater precision and effort during the manufacturing process.

For a ProCharger model, you’ll need from $5,500 to $8,000 plus the installation. For Whipple units, the cost can be from $5,700 to upwards of $10,000 plus the cost of installation which can be higher because of the additional hours of work required.

Fitment and Noise

Due to the fact that engine bays these days are more cramped than their predecessors, Whipple models are more popular with owners of cars that have six-cylinder or eight-cylinder engines. Most of the ProCharger models are designed with the flexibility that you can mount them away from your car’s intake manifold.

Some of the Whipple units can be installed above the car engine. Twin-screw units are said to make some disturbing noise. But Whipple uses advanced noise suppression technique to subdue the whining from the compressed air that exits the discharge outlet.

The typical location of a ProCharger is the front of an engine. As your engine revs up, you’ll hear something of a whining noise which gives you the stimulation to hit the street rather than affecting your hearing.

Final Words

Whether it is ProCharger or Whipple, the goal remains the same – increasing the output of the engine. So, you want to consider how much boost can be achieved with their lines of superchargers.

You know you cannot always drive around the neighborhood at what we call high RPMs (6,000/7,000). So, ProCharger units may not be your favorite type in all cases.

Unlike ProCharger products, Whipple systems are not dependent on high RPMs to produce more boost. They are good at giving you a boost that doesn’t just drop off because the RPM does.

Hopefully, you’ve got the points! Need more insights into an after-market supercharger upgrade? Write to us anytime!

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