Magunson Supercharger

As part of the 15th Anniversary celebration, The Burnout is sitting down with some of our partners who have contributed to the 2014 RacingJunk.com/AED Performance Chevrolet Silverado giveaway to find out more about the company itself, and the product currently rocking the truck.  This time it’s with Matt Hately of Magnuson to talk about the supercharger they contributed, and the other great products they offer.

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The Burnout: Can you give me a little background on Magnuson? How was the company started? What is the focus?

Matt Hately: Magnuson was started by Jerry Magnuson in 1970.  Jerry started designing and building superchargers for Harley Davidsons and drag-race motorcycles. He was later contracted by Eaton to help design the first generation of Eaton automotive superchargers, and in the 90s, we received the exclusive right to build supercharger kits for the aftermarket using Eaton rotor technology. The company is exclusively focused on building Eaton TVS-based supercharger kits.

The Burnout: Tell me about the Supercharger on the Silverado. Why this version? What are some other options for similar vehicles and what are the benefits of each?
Matt Hately: The Magnuson supercharger kit was the first to market for the new 2014 5.3L Direct Injection (dubbed the L83 engine) Silverado. It was significant because the new Direct Injection engine platform by GM is a departure from the LS architecture. Initially, the aftermarket industry was worried about whether the new engines could be modified and calibrated, so we set out early on, working with partners like Lingenfelter, to be the first to market. We are finding that the new GM Direct Injection motors, the L83, L86, and LT1 respond very well to boost. Direct Injection and forced induction work very well together.
The Burnout: What’s the benefit of a supercharger? Can you tell me anything about installation or longevity? What does it allow the Silverado to do that it couldn’t do before, and why would you put one on other vehicles?
Matt Hately: An Eaton TVS supercharger is the only way to add over 100 rear-wheel horsepower and 100 rear-wheel torque to your truck, and still retain factory-like drivability and reliability, and you can install it in a day if you’re a qualified technician or over a weekend in your garage for the do-it-yourselfers. Plus, you get power through the entire rev range, from idle to redline. Other power adders – cam & head packages, turbos, centrifugal superchargers – you trade off in drivability and reliability, or you get power only in the high-end and have to tradeoff low-end torque. With a Magnuson supercharger, you have that power on-tap, but you can still drive the vehicle daily. Eaton TVS superchargers are the only superchargers you see on OEM vehicles, like the Audi S4, the new Jaguar F-Type, or the Cadillac CTS-V, because they are the only ones that pass the tortuous OEM reliability and durability tests.
The Burnout: Does the supercharger void the warranty on a consumer vehicle? If so, what is the trade off for that particular improvement.  Are there any potential mechanical issues to be aware of with a supercharger that a stock vehicle wouldn’t experience?
Matt Hately: No, a supercharger does not void your vehicle warranty. Under the Magnuson-Moss (no relation) warranty act, a dealer can’t refuse warranty service unless they can prove that the problem was caused by the supercharger. Rarely does a supercharger cause a failure when used with our recommended boost levels and using our calibration. In practical terms, some dealerships are allergic to aftermarket parts, and will try to refuse the service. As a back-up plan, we sell a 3rd party powertrain warranty, and we recommend that if you are going to be modifying a brand-new vehicle, that you find a performance-friendly dealership. Some are more savvy about performance than others.
The Burnout:What other Magnuson products or variations of this product would you recommend for our audience – either for their performance vehicles, their haulers, trucks, daily drivers, etc.
We have supercharger kits for all of the GM trucks and SUVs from 1999-present, most GM performance cars including the Camaro and Corvette, the Ford Mustang, Jeep Wrangler, and the Chrysler HEMI cars.  Eaton-TVS superchargers are equally great for street performance for their instant-on, low and mid-range torque, and for towing, where the instant torque makes your gas engine feel like a diesel.
The Burnout: What else would you like our readers to know about Magnuson?
A lot of people ask us “do I need to modify my engine before I install a supercharger” or “do I need to buy anything else?” Our kits come with everything you need to bolt on your supercharger and enjoy it, including the tuning. You don’t need to buy anything else, install any other parts, or make any modifications to your engine. The days are long past when you needed to lower your compression or beef up your bottom-end to run a supercharger – today’s engines are plenty stout to run 6-8 pounds of boost with no issues, and with EFI we have so much more control over spark, fuel, and transmission than we ever had back in the day. We have people that call our tech line just to tell us that they have over 100,000 miles on their superchargers with no issues.