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Vortech V3 Supercharger Review - V To The 3
Vortech's Internally Lubricated V-3 Superchargers
In fact, the only complaint you're likely to run across with the Vortech gear-driven system is the need to punch a hole in the oil pan to serve as a drain system. The drain system is necessary because the gear-driven transmission requires lubrication. Much like the T5, T45, or T56 transmission in your Mustang, the internal gears must be provided lubrication to cool the heat generated by the frictional forces. Without the lubrication, the drive gears would soon destroy themselves. The oil for lubrication is supplied by a high-pressure feed line, but the downside to this system is that the lubrication oil supplied to the gears must be allowed out of the supercharger. Obviously, the ideal place to run this engine oil is back into the oil pan, thus a hole must be punched (drilled or welded) in the pan to complete the drain system. Having cut my teeth on the 5.0 Mustangs, knocking a hole in the pan seemed a small price to pay for all that wonderful and reliable boost. There are, however, many who don't share this philosophy. For those looking for all the reliability and performance promised by the Vortech name, combined with ease of installation, the company has just introduced its new line of V-3 superchargers.
Though Vortech has been in it to win it since the early days of the 5.0, the new V-3 supercharger shows it's not content to simply sit back and rest on previous success. The highlight of the V-3 supercharger is the internally lubricated transmission. What this means is that the new V-3 has combined the best of the gear-driven supercharger originally introduced to the industry by Vortech with the self-contained oiling system of the original Paxton supercharger. Basically, the new V-3 provides the unmatched performance and reliability you've come to associate with the original gear-driven Vortech with the ease of installation offered by the original planetary-drive Paxton. The great thing about the V-3 is that the new, internally lubricated transmission does not sacrifice any reliability. This obviously took a great deal of research and development on the part of Vortech, but the results were well worth the effort. Additional features on the V-3 included a helical gear design with a 3.6:1 internal step ratio. This internal step ratio is combined with the external ratio created by the crank and blower pulley to accelerate the impeller relative to engine speed. Using a common 2:1 ratio offered by the crank and blower pulley, this provides a total drive ratio of 7.2:1 or an impeller speed of over 46,000 rpm at an engine speed of 6,500 rpm.
To further the ease of installation, the new internally lubricated V-3 can be installed into any existing V-1, V-2, V-4, or V-7 bracketry. The V-3 can be configured in a number of different trims, including Si, SC, and T, to meet specific power and boost requirements. Man, we would've killed to have an internally lubricated T-Trim on a 5.0 back in the day.
Naturally, an internally lubricated transmission requires dedicated oil-simple motor oil won't suffice for this drive system. Vortech performed extensive durability and temperature testing on both the dyno and in the real world before selecting the ideal synthetic fluid that allowed the company to retain their existing bearing and gear assemblies without any reduction in reliability. (After all, Vortech may have some idiot try to run a V-3 blower in a Mustang at wide-open throttle for 30 minutes straight.) The synthetic fluid was but one hurdle to overcome, as proper delivery to the internal gears and bearings was every bit as important. Proper distribution (and control) was accomplished through a combination of integrated gear-case baffling and a simple, but elegant, oil-slinger design. The oil slinger designed by Vortech for the V-3 didn't require a separate shaft or bearing set, but ensured proper fluid delivery. Another critical design feature was the use of a ventilated gear case. Much like the PCV system on your engine, the ventilated case eliminates internal pressure issues associated with nonventilated cases.