The Supercharger Pulley: What It Is, How to Install It

February 16, 2012

Installing a supercharger pulley is a simple do-it-yourself job. Learn the function of a supercharger pulley and the step-by-step installation process.

Hot Rod Engine with Supercharger Pulley

The supercharger pulley is used to spin the supercharger, which in turn compresses air into the combustion chambers in the cylinders. Think of it as a pump that pushes air into the intake manifold. The greater the speed of the pump, the more air can be compressed. Therefore, having a high performance pulley and blower parts can greatly improve the vehicle's performance. The smaller the pulley, the faster the shaft can spin and create even faster speeds.

Maintaining the pulley properly is important because if it should break then it can ruin the entire supercharger and intake system. One big concern is heat. If the pulley becomes too hot, it can become damaged or even break. High performance pulleys will be heat resistant and be able to handle high temperatures for prolonged periods without any damage.

Lubrication is also an issue because the pulley creates friction when it moves. Some aftermarket pulleys don't require any oil from the engine as lubrication, but will have their own self contained oil system. Properly lubricated, the chance of these upgrade pulleys slipping is much decreased.

The maintenance is needed with a pulley to ensure that it is always properly aligned. A misaligned supercharger will affect the fuel efficiency of the engine and can also leak oil. It is best to check the pulley at least once a year to ensure that it's in good condition.

How to Install a Supercharger Pulley

If you are interested in adding some extra horsepower to your engine, you might want to consider installing a new supercharger pulley in your car. This gives your car instant power when you need it. Here is a guide to help you change that pulley, which will change your power as well. You will need the following materials:

  • A new pulley
  • Screwdrivers
  • Sockets
  • Vice grips
  • A pulley puller
  • A greaser
  • Sandpaper

Look over the Supercharger Pulley
When you get the new pulley, look over it to make sure there are no noticeable cracks from the factory. You should have a warranty on the part, so if you notice any problems, contact the manufacturer and figure out what it will take to get a replacement.

Disconnect the Power
If your car isn't turned off already, turn it off and let it cool down for at least an hour. The pulley is directly connected to the engine, so if the motor is hot, so is the part you are trying to replace. Once everything has cooled down, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery. This will ensure the supercharger does not go off.

Remove the Old Pulley
Take a screw out of your fuse box and pull it forward so you can get to the supercharger belt. If your model of car does not have this issue, simply start working with the belt. Use a vice grip to clamp the belt around the pulley. Remove the bolt that holds the pulley in place. Then use a pulley puller to remove the pulley. Be sure this is not a gear puller, as that will cause complications. If you hear popping while you are getting the pulley off, don't worry. That's entirely normal.

Prepare the New Pulley
Once the old pulley is off, use some sandpaper to clean the new pulley. Grease it up, along with the supercharger assembly. This will ensure a smooth use.

Install the Pulley
Put the new pulley on with the washers and then put your belt clamp in. Tighten the bolt and press the pulley down. Remove the bolt so you can install the one on the pulley. Install the belt and then put the fuse box back in. Reconnect the battery to the cable and look over everything to make sure it looks alright. If you are confident about the job you did, turn the car on to see if it works. Take the car for a test drive and listen for the supercharger to kick in. If it does, you should be good to go.

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