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Can You Supercharge a Diesel? (Quick Answers)

Nowadays, a supercharger system is the most familiarly used technology for diesel engines. Diesel engines are widely used in engineering and agricultural fields due to their economic significance.

The utilization of supercharging helps increase the efficiency of the diesel engine. Usage of supercharges has dramatically improved the performance of these diesel engines. Additionally, it also reduces harmful exhaust emissions.    

If you are wondering if you can supercharge a diesel or not, you are in the right place. Today, we will be discussing it. So, bear with us till the end.

Can you supercharge a diesel?

You can supercharge a diesel, but superchargers are not commonly used for diesel engines. The reason behind this is that diesel engines have a very high compression. For diesel engines, turbochargers are most commonly used nowadays. However, you can supercharge a diesel, but it is rare.

The application of superchargers tends to have a tremendously positive effect on diesel engines. A great thing about diesel engines is that the toxic exhaust emissions are reduced.

Supercharger technology has been improving rapidly. Superchargers are commonly used in electric superchargers, turbochargers, and mechanical superchargers.  

Diesel truck:

Supercharging your diesel truck is possible, and it also helps improve the performance of your truck. So, it can be considered that supercharged diesel is efficiently powerful. However, the basic change can be noticed in the driveability. That is where they shine.  

Diesel motor:

Types of diesel motor can be supercharged, but it is not common. Supercharged diesel can be used in diesel motors.

4 cylinder diesel:

4 cylinder diesel can be supercharged. Also, keep in mind that an aftermarket supercharger can also be installed in a car.

Although superchargers are used for bigger engines, some manufacturers put superchargers for 4 cylinders. And the results are always worth it.

7.3 diesel:

With the usage of a supercharger, 7.3 diesels can be supercharged. The performance improves and running the vehicle seems like a piece of cake. So, supercharging a 7.3 diesel is worth it.      

Is it possible to supercharge a diesel? Can you fit a supercharger into a diesel engine?

It is possible to supercharge a diesel. And you definitely can fit a supercharger to a diesel engine.

A turbocharger is the most commonly used technique used to supercharge diesel engines. However, supercharging diesel engines is infrequent. The fundamental reason is that diesel engines tend to have a pretty high compression.

There are various types of blower kits and superchargers available. So, before you choose any, be sure to check all the necessary information to match it with your car. 

In case you are wondering, superchargers are solely used to increase the power output and boost performance. Supercharging your vehicle will necessarily not decrease the lifespan of your vehicle. 

If turbocharging is done with precautions and proper cooling, the lifespan of your car engine stays intact. 

Thermal stress increases due to the supercharging of the engine. The only thing you should be concerned about is cooling your car’s engine more efficiently. Otherwise, the health of your car engine might be compromised.   

Why do Detroit diesel have superchargers?

Detroit diesel has superchargers to protect the exhaust backflow into the blower.

Detroit diesel can use forced induction, so they have superchargers. These versions were supercharged from the start. Superchargers are used to prevent exhaust backflow and prevent harmful contaminants from getting into the blower. 

Many two-stroke engines can be supercharged. However, turbochargers are made explicitly for diesel engines. In two-stroke, diesel engines crankcases aren’t usually used. Most engines are multi-cylinder engines; therefore, crankcase pressure doesn’t work. 

Therefore, a blower is used to push out air.  

And Detroit diesel engines usually have superchargers to protect these blowers from contaminants. 

How does a supercharger work on a diesel? What happens when you supercharge a diesel?

Superchargers tend to improve the pressure of the eternal engine. Thus, the power of the input is increased. The application of superchargers helps in improving the performance of the engine.

Although superchargers help the engines function efficiently, they are not commonly used. This is because diesel doesn’t show much progress for rpm. Therefore, turbos are the ideal option for diesel engines. Also, turbo lags aren’t an issue. 

However, supercharging has a great impact on the performance of vehicles. Additionally, the reduction of fuel consumption also plays a massive impact on the economic status. 

Superchargers are basically air compressors. These compressors improve the density of air supply in the internal engine. This plays a role in intaking more oxygen, burning fuel, and thus working more efficiently.

Therefore, the functional ability and output power are increased thoroughly.           

How to supercharge a diesel?

Diesel turbochargers are used for supercharging as they are considered ideal for diesel engines. Installing a turbocharger is easy. It just needs a significant amount of time and the tools.

Here are a few steps you can follow to supercharge a diesel:

Choosing the ideal kit:

The very first step is choosing the right turbocharger for your engine and car. The best part about these kits is that they are specifically designed to work with specific engines.

While installing the turbocharger, it is not mandatory to use the kit, but it is highly recommended. You can take the help of regular home mechanics. Just be sure that they have experience in this field.

Setting up the turbo before installation:

The next step is to ensure that the turbo is ready for installation. By this, it means checking all the gaskets and bearings. You must also ensure there is enough lubrication.

You might want to remove the turbo from the header. And then check if all the internal parts are clean before attaching them back to the header. This is when you will need to install the wastegate and check if it performs well.     

Setting the engine for installation:

Even though you have the kit, your engine and the turbo need to be well-prepared. You cannot just bolt the turbo onto your car engine.

In case the turbine uses fluid bearing, then the oil pan needs to be replaced before the installation. Fluid bearings use oil from the sump and help keep the turbine cool. Additionally, they may require extra filters and air coolers.

Installation of the turbo:

Once both the engine and turbo are prepared, you are all ready. Mount the turbo on the exhaust and make sure it is connected properly.

Then connect the turbo with the air filters. Check the gaskets and hoses for minimum leaks. And you’re all ready to go.

Why is a supercharger not used in a diesel engine?

A supercharger is not used in diesel engines due to their high compression. Here are a few reasons why a supercharger is not used in a diesel engine:

Due to high compression:

As diesel engines are considered high compression, superchargers cannot be used. Two-stroke diesel usually has superchargers. Superchargers are better than turbochargers as they use the engine’s own power to run itself. But, unfortunately, they are not ideal for them.   

Turbochargers tend to lag less:

For diesel engines, turbochargers are more effective as they tend to work more efficiently. The benefit of supercharging your engines is that they are better performers down low. Turbochargers are more compatible with diesel engines, so the lagging is less of an issue. 

This is one of the fundamental reasons behind not supercharging diesel engines.    

What are the limits of supercharging in a diesel engine? 

The limits of supercharging in a diesel engine include increased gas load, excessive thermal stress, etc.

Before knowing the limits of supercharging in a diesel engine, we need to understand the factors that impact the performance of the engine. 

The engine’s power output depends on many things like the quality of the fuel, thermal efficiency of the engine, speed of the engine, amount of room for the air inside the engine, etc.

Among these, thermal efficiency and fuel quality are two independent factors. The quality of the fuel varies, and increasing the efficiency can be a bit tough.

A turbocharger efficiently increases the efficiency of the engine. The turbocharger is the combination of a blower and a turbine.

The disadvantages that you may notice include detonation tendency of SI engines, excessive gas loading, increased thermal stress, heat loss, turbulence, etc.          

Final Thoughts

You can supercharge a diesel, but it is not very common. Diesel engines are known to have high compression. Moreover, supercharging your diesel engine can have some drawbacks. However, you can install a turbocharger to improve the efficiency and performance of your diesel engine.