Jim Smart
September 11, 2006

There has always been something both mysterious and fascinating about forced-air induction, which can run the gamut from a hoodscoop in the slipstream to supercharging to turbocharging. Some folks like to think of nitrous as forced induction, but it isn't. Nitrous changes only the dynamics of what we feed the engine. It gives the air/fuel mix an aggressive attitude that yields abundant power. Regardless, forced induction places most folks who use it at the grown people's table because it requires adult thinking-a strong level of responsibility, common sense, planning, and proper execution. It is not tolerant of ignorance and foolishness.

Before you is a turbocharged '63 1/2 Falcon fastback. Turbocharging was never a Falcon option, not even at the peak of the Total Performance era. Turbocharging offers the basic principles of a jet engine-suck, squeeze, blow! Jet engines make thrust for the same reasons turbochargers make boost. Super-toasty exhaust gasses propel a turbine mounted on the same shaft as a compressor (blower). With jet engines, compressors force air into combustors fitted with fuel nozzles. As fuel burns inside the combustors (chambers), hot gasses blast rearward through the turbines, which drive compressors mounted on the same shaft. Compressor boost, coupled with the vigorous roar of hot expanding gasses, makes thrust. A turbocharger operates on the same basic principle as the jet engine. Hot exhaust gasses from the engine drive a compressor that forces air (and fuel) into the chambers. This helps a piston engine make a whole lot more power.

Danny Tyner's big-block Ford makes a whole lot of power-501 ci of big, crude, manly-man, macho, awe-inspiring displacement. In itself, this is enough displacement to make 600-700 hp without breaking a sweat. But Danny wanted something that made one hell of a performance statement. He wanted the screaming hiss of twin turbochargers and the mind-boggling torque that would come of all this huffage. To get there, he had to build a platform that could not only stand the boost, but also deliver abundant torque. He started with a Ford Racing four-bolt main block with heavy webbing and thicker cylinder walls. Then he filled it with a Crankshaft Specialties stroker kit encompassing a 4340 steel crank, Scat H-beam rods, forged Ross pistons, super-low compression, main stud girdle, and more.

When we supercharge or turbocharge an engine, we want reduced compression to keep operational cylinder pressure safe enough to keep the engine spinning, yet aggressive enough to make extraordinary power. That's why we stress responsible artificial aspiration. Danny understood how crucial it was to find the right balance of compression and turbocharger boost to achieve great sums of power without destroying the engine.

Danny constructed a bulletproof bottom end that's strong, yet vulnerable in inexperienced hands. He understood the critical balance necessary for powerful but reliable performance. Having just the right compression ratio meant measuring swept volume beginning with piston deck height, compression height, piston volume, and chamber volume. Danny came up with 8.5:1 compression, just right for the kind of boost he had in mind.