Frank H. Cicerale
June 1, 2008
Thanks to Magnuson, increasing an '07 Mustang's power number by almost 140 has never been easier.

When choosing which component(s) to add to your Mustang to make more power, the choices are extensive. However, with the limited amount of cubic inches that can be squeezed out of the modular engine family, any sizeable increase in power revolves around the addition of a power adder, such as nitrous oxide, a turbocharger, or a supercharger. Those who choose to go the blower route have another choice to make-whether or not to utilize a positive displacement or centrifugal setup. By the time you get done with your research, your head will likely resemble a bobble-head doll.

At Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords, we've pretty much installed every kind of blower known. When we began wrenching on S197 Mustangs, we saw an introduction of a host of both centrifugal and positive-displacement blower kits advertising ease of installation as well as offering great power, all while using stock-component engines. While each company has a blower design all its own, without a doubt one of the more interesting blowers is the Magna Charger from Magnuson. Though it features the common Roots-style design, it has a front entry, and is driven via an auxiliary shaft with the drive pulleys on the rear of the unit.

The heart of the Magnuson blower kit for '05-and-newer Mustangs is the Magna Charger MP112 blower. The blower comes completely assembled to the lower intake manifold and the intercooler. Heck, it even comes with the fuel rails and fuel injectors already installed.

Wanting to test all of the blower types, we decided to give this little huffer a chance. We picked up the Magna Charger and cruised down to JDM Engineering in Freehold, New Jersey, where we took hold of Drew Galaydick's '07 Mustang GT for a couple of days. Galaydick is a police officer in Freehold, so we were anxious to not only see how much power the kit makes on a stock Mustang, but whether or not it could put a smile on the face of a guy who routinely see high speeds chasing down speeders.

For starters, the kit comes from Magnu-son with its (roughly 1.8L) air-to-water intercooled supercharger, a heat exchanger, and all of the wiring and plumbing needed to complete the install. When we popped open the box at MM&FF Command Central, we were elated. The kit included everything needed for the installation, and the blower itself came fully assembled. By that, we mean the blower was bolted to the lower intake manifold, and the intercooler, fuel rails, and fuel injectors were already installed! Not only was it complete, it was darn handsome. Basically, we could yank off the stock plastic intake manifold and drop the blower on with no problem. In addition, the instruction manual was highly detailed with its color photography and in-depth installation instructions. If only all manuals could be like that.

In addition, the kit comes with this full-color, easy-to-understand installation manual. It's arguably one of the nicest kits on the market.

The kit is billed to add up to 125 hp and the same amount of torque. The blower features an internal bypass valve, as well as a standard 3-year limited warranty on the blower with an optional 36,000 mile/3-year warranty on the powertrain. Throw in a custom programmer that can be procured from Magnuson that is tailored to the car, and this kit is a winner all around.

In looking at the blower, you will see the unique design of the compressor. For starters, it's a front inlet blower, meaning that, unlike other superchargers where the throttle body mounts on the side and air makes its way into the blower via the rear or the top, the Magna Charger mounts the throttle body in the front of the blower, thus routing the air in that way. With the inlet being in the front, a conventional serpentine blower drivebelt can't be used. Thus, an auxiliary input shaft runs from a pulley in the front of the blower to the rear, where a pair of pulleys are connected via another blower belt. These two pulleys turn the blower. "Without a doubt, this blower gives the car an old-school look," says JDM Engineering's Jim D'Amore. "When you open the hood and see that blower sitting under there, it almost looks as if it belongs on something that runs on the Bonneville Salt Flats."

Bone stock, this Mustang pumped out 279 rwhp before it was enhanced with a set of underdrive pulleys, an axle-back exhaust system, 4.10 gears, and a JDM tune and cold-air intake. Once we were done, the only things that remained were the gears and the exhaust, as well as the custom tune. We elected to have JDM tune it as there was already a programmer for it, though we could have gotten the supplied programmer from Magnuson with the voucher included within the kit.

With the Magna Charger being such a unique design, we wanted to get the 411 on it from Magnuson's Sales and Marketing Manager, Bob Roese. "The supercharger is a hybrid Roots-style," Roese says. "It differs from conventional Roots-type superchargers in that it moves the air in axially through the supercharger. The air enters the front of the supercharger in this case, and moves towards the back and discharges at the bottom of the blower. Typical Roots-style units take in the air at the top end and discharge at the bottom."

The axial design of the Magna Charger, combined with the forward location of the inlet, allows the blower to make good power with its relatively small displacement. "Moving the air axially through the supercharger gives the rotors more time to have an effect on the movement of that air, which increases the effectiveness of the blower," Roese says. "Putting the inlet at the front of the supercharger simply allows keeping many of the factory components in their stock locations, which simplifies the installation and main-tains the factory appearance. Also, having the supercharger mounted in this manner increases its efficiency by reducing pumping losses when having to turn the air several times to get it into the supercharger."

We began by removing the stock airbox assembly and plastic intake manifold.

With such a novel-design blower, the question is asked how much power can it make. "We've made in the range of 680 hp with the 112, which is the designation for this unit," Roese says. "Of course, the power output depends on the internal engine components, as well as the quality of fuel used and the tune that's in the computer. This blower is a great piece for a stock Mustang running on pump gas. For those looking for bigger power numbers, we're in the process of testing the new MP1900 and the MP2300, which we feel will have the ability to make in excess of 1,000 hp."

Other than ease of installation, we were curious as to what other advantages the Magna Charger held over other positive-displacement blowers on the market. "The main advantage is that we use the Eaton 112 rotor group, which is the same as the supercharged internals that are utilized on the '03-'04 Cobras and the supercharged Lightnings," Roese says. "These rotor groups are durability-tested, validated, and built to QS9000 standards, and are not only used by Ford, but by other makes as well.

We also removed the front bumper, as down the road we'd have to mount the heat exchanger in front of the A/C condenser.

"We design the supercharger housing around these highly regarded rotor groups that take out many of the compromises the OE manufacturers aren't so concerned with. The OE has a very limited performance window that they require. They want units that are cheap; have very strict noise, vibration, and harmonics standards; and want them to last hundreds of thousands of miles. Magnuson changes these priorities and vastly improves on the horsepower capabilities."

Some of the changes Magnuson makes are to the seal timing in the blower, as well as changing the discharge duct. "To put it simply, you end up with a blueprinted supercharger," Roese says. "We also spend a great deal of time flowing the inlets and the air paths for maximum airflow with the least restriction."

So how does the Magna Charger stack up against others? "The Roots-type is a positive-displacement supercharger that displaces the same amount of air on each rotor revolution," Roese says. "It makes boost right off of idle, unlike a centrifugal blower, which requires impeller tip speed to generate boost. We've done exhaustive testing of all of our competitor's products, and the end result is that at 8-10 pounds of boost, they all make the same horsepower at the same boost level. The difference is what goes on before you get to that maximum boost level. We've made more average torque and horsepower than any of our competitors."

In these two photos, you can see what makes the Magna Charger unique from the rest of the positive-displacement blowers on the market. This photo shows that the inlet for the blower is in the front, as opposed to the rear or the top. According to Magna Charger's Bob Roese, it makes the air have to turn less before it enters the supercharger.

The results spoke for themselves. After the installation was complete and the Mustang was strapped to JDM's DynoJet chassis dyno, our ride was dynoed at 279 rwhp bone stock. With the addition of the Magna Charger and a previously installed axle-back exhaust system, the Mustang pumped out 416 ponies at the rear tires. Torque shot up from 302 to 385 at the tires, equaling a horsepower increase of 137 and a torque increase of 83, which will certainly be noticed the first time the loud pedal is planted.

Additionally, this came with a boost level of just 4.25 psi. The only difference we had with our car and the kit was the fact that since the car already had a custom tune in the ECM to not only increase naturally aspirated power, but to account for the addition of 4.10 gears, D'Amore created a custom tune to go along with the install of the blower. "I went conservative on the first couple of pulls, and the car was well below 10:1 on the air/fuel ratio," he says. "I pulled some fuel, and with the timing set at 20 degrees, I found a happy medium to make good power numbers but keep the car livable. The car wanted more timing, but that would put it on the edge of reliability. The point of this kit is to make good power and do it safely."

This photo shows the old-school look of the blower, namely with the rear beltdrive and auxiliary input shaft setup. With the mouth of the blower being in the front, the traditional serpentine/blower beltdrive system couldn't be used. The input shaft has a pulley in front that runs off of the serpentine belt, while the pair of pulleys in the back is what turns the rotors in the blower.

While we had our test vehicle custom tuned, Magnuson offers a voucher to have a programmer loaded with a tune sent out. "We use the SCT XCalibrator on our kits that does allow for tire size changes, rear gear modifications, and more," Roese says. "We set up the calibration to run on 91-octane fuel, and it's not a tune that's set on 'kill.' We're conservative in our tune, as we want our customers to be able to drive anywhere under any circumstances, and not have issues with blowing the rings out of the tailpipe or running over their crankshafts."

Without so much as touching the mass air meter, the fuel system, or the pulleys, we spent two days swapping over to a Magna Charger, making almost 140 more horsepower than what we had to begin with. That's downright criminal!

In these two photos, you can see what makes the Magna Charger unique from the rest of the positive-displacement blowers on the market.


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