SOHC V6 Supercharger | Page 23 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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SOHC V6 Supercharger

The purpose of this thread is to discuss the design and possible development and installation of a supercharger for my 2000 Sport SOHC V6 engine. I have no first hand experience with forced induction systems and want to learn from forum members that have them on their vehicles. While I don't plan to implement a turbocharger system, there are many problems common to all types of forced induction systems.

The easiest and least expensive solution would be to modify a Ranger SOHC V6 Banshee kit and purchase a used Thunderbird supercoupe positive displacement blower. However, the kit makes no provisions for an aftercooler which I think is beneficial even with only 5 psi of boost.

The Explorer Express supercharger kit includes a quality looking manifold but one is very difficult to obtain.

Once again, there are no provisions for an aftercooler.

I suspect the best solution for me would be a centrifugal supercharger with a water aftercooler. With my oil coolers and remote filters I have very little room in front of the radiator for an intercooler. I am interested in a boost in the range of 5 to 8 psi - enough for a significant performance increase but not so much to adversely impact reliability and require beefing up of engine internals or the transmission/torque converter.

Procharger sells a kit for the 2005 - 2010 Mustang V6.

But the Mustang configuration is opposit to the Explorer - intake on left and battery on right. Also, there is a lot more room between the engine front and the radiator rear on the Mustang than on the Explorer.

Vortech also makes a kit for the Mustang but there are the same problems.


The logical location for a centrifugal supercharger is the same side as the air filter box and intake manifold inlet port. Unfortunately, that is where the alternator is located. I'm investigating the possibility of replacing the belt driven power steering pump with an electric motor driven pump and then relocating the alternator to the old power steering pump location.

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Ready for step test

I finished the throttle cable installation today so now I have a functional accelerator pedal.



Since the instrument cluster is now installed I have a functional tachometer and engine temperature gauge. That's all I need to perform the engine static load step test datalog. Warm up engine, start datalog at idle, hold each of the following engine speeds for 10 seconds: 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500, idle, stop datalog.

With the cluster reinstalled my alternator is working to charge the battery but my air fuel ratio meter still may have a problem. It counts down for 20 seconds after the engine starts like it should for the wideband O2 sensor heater but the AFR still exceeds 16:1 when the timer expires. I don't need the AFR for this test because James just uses the short term fuel trims. Pretty soon though I'll need to record AFR.

The airbag light flashes now for the first time since I've owned the vehicle but I no longer have the five by five warning chimes. There was no bulb installed in the airbag warning location. I think the code was 3-6 or 6-3. I'm not going to worry about it until the driver seat is in position and the side airbag simulator (calibrated resistor) is connected.

The engine seems to run strong up to 4,000 rpm (the highest I tried). It seems a little less responsive for revving. Possibly because of the increased rotating mass of the blower. However, how quickly an engine revs under no load is meaningless anyway. What's important is how fast it accelerates under load.

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Cruise.....gotta luv it!

Strange on the wideband. I'm sure it's heating up, otherwise you would see a code on the gauge. I don't know what to say there.


A little alcohol might take the B off your throttle cable bracket. lol.
I had an arrow on my intake manifold for a year before I finally got tired of seeing it in photos. lol.
I hope that circle doesn't bind the Cruise cable, just be careful when testing it out on the road the first time.
Did you already try a free air calibration(remove sensor from exhaust and calibrate) on the wideband sensor? I don't know if that brand has the function to or not but Innovate does.
Is one of your airbags missing?
It looks pretty good under the hood now to!

Airbag code 3-6

I used a permanent marker to identify the parts of the throttle cable bracket. I kept getting them mixed up and I didn't want the markings to rub off and drill/cut on the wrong one. I probably have a Lokar throttle cable decal I could cover the "B" with.

In spite of the tight cruise control cable loop the cable seems to move freely. However, as you suggest I will be cautious when trying out cruise control. Actually, the exhaust is so loud now that I doubt my wife will ride with me so the cruise control will seldom be used.

My installation instructions have no mention of a free air calibration. The wideband meter worked fine until I tried the new tune. Unfortunately, I played with all of the settings trying to log lambda instead of AFR since my fuel is up to 10% ethanol. Also, it took me a while to realize that with no instrument cluster my alternator wasn't outputting so the battery voltage was never great enough to initiate the wideband heater count-down. It takes a long time for the engine to warm up just idling so this afternoon I'll use my remote sensing thermometer to confirm the O2 heater is working and then I'll try to reset the meter to standard settings. If it stays pegged at 16:1 then I'll increase the range up to 20:1 to see if the engine is just running lean with this tune.

The 3-6 airbag code is the side airbag for the driver. 3-7 is the side airbag for the passenger. My economy model Sport does not have side airbags so there is a precision resistor that mates with the airbag sensor connector that simulates one. Since my driver seat is out of the vehicle the restraints control module thinks my side airbag has failed. Hopefully the fault will be eliminated when I install the seat. Many members have reported problems with the side airbag simulator connection corroding or being pulled loose when the seat is at its limit causing the error code.

I normally perform engine runs in the early afternoon on weekdays when less people are home to complain. Our subdivision covenants prohibit working on vehicles but I've never heard about any complaints since I only work on my vehicles when they are in the garage.

I guess I'll start putting the front end back together because soon James will want some datalogs with the engine loaded.

Various problems

I ordered and installed a new wideband O2 sensor with cables but it didn't solve my max lean reading on the display. I checked all of the wiring for continuity and shorts to ground or to another wire but found nothing wrong. I even temporarily hooked a wire from the battery to the meter and from ground to the meter with no change. So yesterday I ordered a new meter. Since I'll have three good wideband O2 sensors I'll install one in the other bank which currently has a plugged bung. Then I'll find a miniature 6 pole, two position rotary switch and install it in the pillar pod that will allow me to switch between left and right banks for AFR display and datalogging.

After installing the driver seat the airbag warning flashing code changed from 3-6 (driver side airbag) to 3-7 (passenger side airbag). Hopefully cleaning the airbag simulator connector will eliminate the flashing airbag warning.

The small gauge copper wire I used to replace the broken shift selector indicator cable is too stiff and a little short. Consequently, in Park the indicator is halfway between P and R and in 1 the indicator is halfway between 2 and 1. I want to try again with more flexible small gauge braided wire before installing the dash.

Yesterday when I was about 7 miles from home - my confidence in the system had increased to expand my usual 3 mile limit - I started hearing a sound that reminded me of the past dreaded timing chain death rattle. As I headed for home the intensity of the sound rapidly increased until my engine sounded like a V10 diesel under heavy load. I got some strange looks from nearby drivers while waiting at traffic signal red lights. Anyway, I had convinced myself that the M90 spout bearing had probably failed and I was beating myself up for not replacing it before installing the M90. Thankfully, I made it home to the garage and avoided investigating until this morning. This morning I found that either the blower pulley or its woodruff key had failed. The pulley spun almost freely on the M90 shaft and had been "machining" the spout. I used my poor man's impact wrench (18 mm box wrench on the nut and striking the wrench with a 4 lb hand sledge) to remove the nut since the blower shaft turned freely when the pulley was held in position. Eventually (due to the mass of the M90 rotor and shaft) I was able to remove the nut and the pulley.

I found no trace of the woodruff key. I guess it ground it's way out of the bore of the pulley and was thrown out the rear. Anyway, the snout reinforcement ridges on the driver side have been ground down and there is scarring on the front but no damage to the seal. I ordered a new pulley and woodruff key from Pulley Boys in Washington late this morning. I probably won't receive the order until at least Friday so I'll file down the ridges on the other side since Pulley Boys recommends machining the snout for clearance on their 2.7" and smaller diameter pulleys.

I also plan to build a smoke generator while waiting. According to RP Caster my vacuum should be 20 in-hg and I only have about 15. I've checked twice for possible leaks but haven't found any. I don't want my custom tune by Henson to be based on a system with intake leaks so I want to smoke test the intake before my next datalog for James.

The blower input shaft appears to be kind of blue from the picture. I hope you did not take the temper out of the shaft from the heat or cause any radial distortion.

It may be a good idea to "Dye Check" the shaft end for hairline cracks that you can't see.

Wide band

Sorry to hear about the M90 problem, hope you get it worked out quickly.
With the wideband O2 sensor, It is not recommended to have one installed and run the vehicle without the heater circuit functioning. Fouling of the wideband sensor can occur. If you were going to install 2 wideband controllers and sensors than that should work and you could just switch between the wideband signal circuits.

2nd wideband sensor

Thanks for the information John. My instructions mention not to activate the heater until the engine is running so the exhaust can drive out condensation. It also mentions that the sensor should be mounted in the upper half of the pipe to avoid condensation. It didn't mention about running the engine with the heater off since it assumes there is only one sensor. I assume that I will only have one functional meter. The new one arrived today but I won't be able to test it until Friday when the new pulley arrives. Since I now have three good wideband O2 sensors I'll come up with some way to heat two and switch the display between them.

The 4 quart aluminum pressure cooker I ordered for the smoke generator is also supposed to arrive Friday. I purchased an AC Delco 60G glow plug for the baby oil heating element. I'll use the 6 volt position on my battery charger to power the glow plug.

Filed snout

This morning I spent more than an hour hand filing the reinforcement ribs off of the snout and removing the burrs made by the failed blower pulley.

I test fit the failed pulley to make sure there was plenty of clearance for the new one. Tomorrow I'll clean away the filing dust and mount the new pulley if it arrives.

Pulley Offsets

The replacement pulley finally arrived late this afternoon and I realized why the other 2.7 inch dia. pulley failed. The offset of the ribs vs the interior center support end is significantly different. I never noticed the difference when I pulled the stock pulley and installed the smaller diameter one.

I should have installed a spacer between the pulley and the blower shaft flange. As it was installed only a small part of the woodruff key was engaged with the pulley and the serpentine belt must have been considerably out of alignment. The new pulley only weighs about 1/3 that of the other pulley and they are the same diameter. Using the old pulley as a guide I filed about 1/2 inch more of the snout ribs than necessary. Hopefully, I'll have the new pulley installed tomorrow afternoon so I can check out my new wideband AFR meter.

New pulley installed

I had some trouble installing the new woodruff key into the blower shaft slot. I had to use a small file to clean up the edges of the slot and to slightly taper the edge of the key to get it started in the slot. Once I got it started I pressed it in part way with Visegrips but couldn't get it to seat. I ended up holding my 4 lb hand sledge against the opposite side of the shaft and then hitting the key with another hammer. Then I had to clean up the key with a file. I'm glad I got the pulley with the hex head even though I was notified it was out of stock when I ordered the pulley.

It was so much easier to tighten the retaining nut using a 29 mm open end wrench to hold the pulley while using a torque wrench and socket on the retaining nut. I made sure the pulley spun freely before installing the serpentine belt. The blower was quiet when I started and idled the engine.

The new wideband meter does exactly the same thing as the old one maxing out at 16:1 AFR after the 20 second O2 heater countdown. There must be something wrong with the wiring so I'm going to order a dual dash pod and install the new meter in it and the new O2 sensor in the right bank. When I purchased the second O2 sensor it included the entire wiring harness so I have a spare for the left bank. I haven't decided whether to leave the left bank meter in the pillar pod or move it to the dash pod so both wideband meters will be together. If they're together then I'll have to move the oil pressure gauge to the pillar pod. It seems like the wiring changes never end.

Tomorrow if it isn't raining I'll do some datalogging for the tune.

Sorry about the pulley Dale.
Not sure why it didn't fit properly. And un-needed setback, that's for sure.

Donation appreciated

No need for an apology - I appreciate the donation. Going into this project I had no confidence that it was viable and I tried to keep the cost down. You helped in that effort. Now that it's running I'm more inclined to spend more money. The tune has progressed to the point I'm finally starting to see some of the performance potential. I have to "feather" the accelerator coming off of idle or the engine will buck or stall but when the engine speed exceeds 3,000 rpm the response and sound of the engine/exhaust is pretty exciting. Even though the tune is far from being ready for performance testing I "accidently" briefly hit 5 psi of boost today.

Good to hear Dale, you are solving the issues, and beginning to see the potential. Keep at it, and enjoy it.:salute:

Bank2 actually lean

Before taking the time to dress all the wiring and complete the dash pod installation I decided to test the AFR meters. The wiring, O2 sensors with cables, and one meter are new. The wiring connections for power, ground and peak are common. However, the passenger bank works normally at engine start (cycling about 14.7:1 after heater count-down) but the driver bank acts the same as before (counts down and then indicates 16:1 AFR).

So I swapped the meters and there was no change. I conclude that Bank2 is actually running lean and that there never were any wiring or meters faults with the previous setup. I can think of several possible causes for Bank2 being lean after installing the supercharger kit: ignition, fuel injectors, intake leak, excess charge, camshaft timing, PCM.

If one or more spark plugs in Bank2 was not firing consistently then the unburned fuel would deplete less oxygen in the exhaust resulting in a lean condition. However, a plug that doesn't fire usually results in a misfire code which I don't have. Also, the engine idle is fairly steady. Since I have to regap the spark plugs to 0.030 inches for WOT testing I'll determine the idle impact to each plug being disabled.

Fuel injectors
If the fuel pressure was low to one or more fuel injectors that would result in a lean condition. The Banshee fuel rails comprise a complete loop so each injector is fed from front or rear. There would have to be a blockage in both directions for the fuel pressure to be low to any particular injector. A fuel injector could be clogged, faulty or not being pulsed. The injectors are less than a year old, there are no misfires and the idle is fairly steady. I'll use a stethoscope to listen for each injector pulsing.

Intake leak
With the Banshee M90 plenum and intake manifold and my custom main intake there is no intake that is Bank1 or Bank2 specific. All engine vacuum connections are to the plenum, intake manifold or the main intake which should affect both banks equally. It is unlikely that the intake manifold to head RTV seal is leaking. I can check for leaks as soon as I build my smoke generator.

Excess charge
The M90 main shaft rotates clockwise but the rotors rotate in opposite directions so the blower output should be vertical and not favor one bank over the other. Also, the intake manifold allows the pressure to equalize before entering the head intake ports. I will search the internet for instances where Eaton superchargers "favor" one side over the other.

Camshaft timing
I have not altered the camshaft timing (or any other engine internal) since starting the blower installation. There was no noticeable difference between my Bank1 and Bank2 fuel trims when still NA. I recently performed a compression test and there was no significant difference between Bank1 and Bank2 so it is unlikely my camshaft timing has changed.

I have only run the engine with adaptive fuel disabled to allow checking and modification of low to mid airflow AFR. I have noticed in my datalogs that Bank2 STFTs sometimes are maxed at .70 (lean) for several minutes after engine start while Bank1 STFTs usually start cycling within 20 seconds after engine start.

Blue > Bank1 Bold Green > Bank2
I will run the engine for 5 minutes or more while datalogging to determine if that makes a difference. I will generate a tune with adaptive fuel enabled and datalog for differences.


Keep in mind that exhaust leaks in front of the wideband sensor will suck in air/oxygen and cause a fake lean reading. On a friends mountaineer with a 5.0 the pipe to exhaust manifold had one bolt loose from rusting away. It caused one bank to be over 15% STFT (adding).
Is the egr tube on the side with the lean readings? If so make sure there are no leaks there too.
Also after the pcm's memory is erased it has to go through misfire profile correction before it can detect misfires. The vehicle has to be driven up to 60 mph and then decelerated to 40 mph without stepping on the brakes 3 or 4 times. Every time the PCM is programmed the memory is also erased so profile correction would need to be done again.
If the injector wiring was lengthened check the polarity and continuity to the injectors just to be sure.
I am sure what ever it is you will figure it out.

EGR tube

Yes, the EGR tube is on the lean condition side. I doubt there are any EGR leaks but there could be flow. At idle EGR is supposed to be disabled. I guess it's possible the modified EGR valve could be leaking. The EGR pressure should be low. I can't remember at what pressure the Dynomax VT muffler valve starts to open but it is fully open at 1.5 in-Hg. I may be able to test it with my hand pump. I'll disconnect and plug the vacuum hose to it to prevent it being enabled.

I'll also check the exhaust manifold and downpipe connection for leaks.

Thanks for the info on misfire detection. There's no place close that I can legally drive over 45 mph and I change the tune almost every time I drive so that could explain why there are no reported misfires if they're occurring.

Normal vacuum

Running on all cylinders instead of just three my idle vacuum changed from 15 in-Hg to 20 in-hg which according to RP Caster is normal. I stated in an earlier post that the engine seemed less responsive with the supercharger and rationalized that was because of the additional rotating mass. Now on all cylinders the engine response is equal to or better than when the engine was NA. Unfortunately, the exhaust seems noticeably louder above 3,000 rpm. It's nice having a wideband AFR display for both banks even though right now they're just laying on top of the dash. I was able to datalog both banks today. I still have to gap the Bank1 spark plugs, dress the wiring under the dash, install the instrument cluster and seats. My wife has yard work plans for me this week but even so my Sport should be drivable by Sunday.

So? Was it EGR?
Im really curious.

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