How Much Boost Can a Stock Engine Take?



Motor Trend’s Engine Masters Proves that Intentionally Blowing Up a ProCharged Engine is Surprisingly Hard, Highlighting ProCharger’s Extreme Efficiency and Reliablity

David Freiburger and the Engine Masters team at Motor Trend set out to push an otherwise stock engine to the ragged edge. Under full throttle and with fingers firmly crossed, everyone held their breath as the ProCharged small block picked up 94% more power. 

On the surface, blowing up an engine, i.e. taking it to the point of catastrophic failure, seems like an easy task. As complex as engines are, even without a lot of mechanical aptitude, it’s relatively easy to come up with a list of possibilities for taking an engine from fully functional to spectacular failure in short order.

David Freiburger and the Engine Masters team at Motor Trend had a different agenda. The question posed was this:

How Much Boost Can a Stock Engine Take?

Now, to do this with a reasonable semblance of scientific accuracy, they needed to eliminate some variables that ensured that if and when the engine failed, it did so catastrophically and that it was because some ultimate boost limit threshold had clearly been crossed and not because some minor part failed along the way.

This, of course, meant starting with a healthy engine to ensure that the fundamentals were all solid and any ancillary components wouldn’t prevent the engine from hitting its full boost potential. Equally important, it also meant finding a source of clean, predictable and repeatable boost that could deliver consistent power each and every time the engine was put under load. Given that task, you can guess who they picked as the source of that ultra-stable boost.

When you think about it, of all the power adders that Engine Masters had to choose from, ProCharger was the natural fit for this hair-raising experiment. After all, by designing our kits and systems to be fully modular and upgradable, changing pulley sizes (as was done on Engine Masters) or even upgraded head units on the same bracket could hardly be easier. Add to this that ProCharger is famous for stable and repeatable boost delivery, and the choice was obvious. It’s no wonder ProCharger is famously known as “The Ultimate Power Adder™”

Without further ado, we’ll take you to the footage you’ve all been waiting to see:

A reliable 94% power gain was clearly beyond the expectations of the Engine Masters team, and is a great example of ProCharger’s best-in-class product line for both small block Chevy and big block Chevy applications.

This video also underscores how ProCharger became the number one aftermarket supercharger company. For the better part of 25 years, ProCharger has built its reputation on intercooled boost and while the non-intercooled race gas experiment makes for great TV, the average user on the street or strip can realize similar gains by adding an intercooler to the combination – and feeding their engine cool, dense intercooled air with 91-93 octane pump gas.

We want to thank David Freiburger and the Engine Masters team for choosing ProCharger. Although eagle-eyed viewed may catch some issues that could have been addressed (an errant socket is often called out in the YouTube comments) those familiar with our blowers may also note that we always recommend that belt sizes be adjusted when making substantial pulley changes (not done here – likely in the interest of time) to help eliminate the risk of belt slippage. However, none of this invalidates their test and the results speak for themselves.

Enjoy the episode, you bloodthirsty gearheads in search of mechanical carnage. We know we did. 


Drop us a line to 913-338-2886 M-F 8:30am-5:30pm (CST) and speak with our amazing staff.  We can guide you on the best combo for a supercharged success in the future!  If you want to email, we’ve got you covered as well at [email protected]

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ProCharger offers Executive Orders for Emissions Compliance (EO) from California Air Resources Board (CARB) for many of our most popular car, truck and SUV applications. If you live in California, we can only sell you products with EO certification. Check out our full list of EO offerings.