What Is a Whipple on a Car

What is a Whipple on a car? If you’ve been researching ways to increase the horsepower of your car, you’ve probably come across the term “Whipple.” But what exactly is a Whipple and do you really need it for your car?

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Whipples and why they can be beneficial for your vehicle. We’ll also explain what kind of vehicles are best suited for this type of modification, as well as any risks associated with installing one.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a complete understanding of what a Whipple is and whether or not it’s right for your car.

A Whipple on a car is a type of supercharger that adds power to the engine by compressing air into the cylinders. This increases the amount of oxygen available for combustion, thus creating more power.


A supercharger is an engine component that pressurizes the air intake of an internal combustion engine. It works by compressing air and forcing it into the engine, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen available for combustion. This results in a more powerful engine, as more fuel can be burned in a given amount of time. Superchargers are typically powered by belts connected to the crankshaft of the engine, and are often used in conjunction with turbochargers for maximum performance.

Superchargers come in two types: mechanical and electric. Mechanical superchargers, such as centrifugal or Roots-type blowers, use a belt-driven pulley system to force air into the intake manifold. Electric superchargers are powered by an electric motor and can be used either in conjunction with or instead of mechanical superchargers. Electric superchargers are quieter than their mechanical counterparts and have fewer moving parts, making them generally easier to maintain.

Advantages of using a supercharger include:

  • Increased Power Output: By forcing additional air into the intake manifold, the engine can burn more fuel which results in increased power output.
  • Improved Throttle Response: A supercharged engine can respond faster to throttle inputs due to increased airflow.
  • Better Fuel Efficiency: By increasing efficiency through higher compression ratios and improved airflow, a supercharged engine can achieve better fuel economy than its naturally aspirated counterpart.

Disadvantages of using a supercharger include:

  • Cost: Superchargers are generally more expensive than turbochargers due to their complexity.
  • Heat: Due to their location near the exhaust manifold, mechanical superchargers tend to generate excess heat which can lead to pre-ignition and detonation.

How Does a Supercharger Work?

A supercharger is an air compressor that is used to increase the amount of air supplied to the engine thereby increasing its power output. It is driven by the engine’s crankshaft, usually through a belt or chain connected to the crankshaft pulley. The increased air pressure provided by the supercharger allows more fuel to be burned in each cylinder, and this increases power output.

The most common type of supercharger used today is a centrifugal supercharger, which uses a compressor wheel to draw in and compress air. This type of supercharger is driven by an impeller that spins at a high speed, typically between 50,000 and 65,000 rotations per minute (RPM). As the impeller spins, it draws in atmospheric air and compresses it before sending it into the engine’s intake manifold. The increased air pressure created by the compressor wheel results in more oxygen being available for combustion, thereby producing more power.

A turbocharger is another type of forced induction system that works similarly to a supercharger. The main difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger is that a turbocharger uses exhaust gases from the engine to spin its compressor wheel instead of being driven directly by the engine’s crankshaft. This makes turbocharged engines more efficient than those with supercharged systems, since they are able to make use of otherwise wasted energy from exhaust gases.

Regardless of whether you have a turbocharged or supercharged system on your vehicle, you can expect increased performance from your engine thanks to increased air pressure supplied by these forced induction systems.

  • Advantages:
  • Increased power output.
  • Improved fuel efficiency.
  • More torque.
  • Disadvantages:
  • Increased cost due to complex components.
  • Increased noise due to higher rotational speeds.

The Benefits of Installing a Whipple Supercharger

Whipple Superchargers are a popular choice for those looking to boost the performance of their engine. With a wide range of power and torque gains, they are an excellent addition to any vehicle. Here are some of the main benefits of installing a Whipple Supercharger:

  • Increased Horsepower and Torque: The most obvious benefit of installing a Whipple Supercharger is the increase in horsepower and torque output. Depending on the model, most installations can result in an increase in output by up to 50%.
  • Improved Throttle Response: Increasing the airflow through your engine can also improve throttle response, making your vehicle feel more responsive and powerful.
  • Enhanced Fuel Efficiency: By increasing the efficiency of your engine, you can also get improved fuel economy. This can be especially beneficial if you drive long distances or frequently operate at high speeds.

Whipple Superchargers are relatively easy to install for experienced mechanics or DIYers, and they come with an array of different sizes and styles to choose from. Additionally, many models come with built-in temperature control systems that help keep your engine running cooler and more efficiently. The installation process usually takes several hours and typically requires some modification to the air intake system for proper fitment. However, once installed, it should provide reliable performance increases without any additional maintenance.

For those who want more power out of their engines without sacrificing reliability or fuel efficiency, a Whipple Supercharger is definitely worth considering. With its easy installation process and wide range of benefits, it’s no wonder why they are becoming increasingly popular among car enthusiasts.

Centrifugal Superchargers

Centrifugal superchargers are the most common type of superchargers used in modern cars. This type of supercharger works by compressing air before it enters the engine, allowing it to burn more fuel efficiently. They generally consist of an impeller wheel, a compressor housing, and a discharge tube. The impeller wheel rotates at high speeds and draws air in from the outside, compressing it as it enters the compressor housing. The compressed air is then discharged through the discharge tube and into the engine. This type of supercharger is most commonly found on turbocharged engines, but can also be used on naturally aspirated engines as well.

Roots-Type Supercharger

Roots-type superchargers are one of the oldest types of superchargers available. This type of blower uses two meshing lobes to draw air into the engine and is commonly found on older muscle cars and hot rods. While this type of blower does not provide as much boost as other types, it does offer a nice increase in power for naturally aspirated engines.

Twin Screw Supercharger

Twin screw superchargers work in a similar way to Roots-type blowers, but use two meshing rotors instead of two lobes. This allows them to provide more boost than Roots-type blowers while still being relatively compact. These types of blowers are more efficient than Roots-type blowers and are often found on newer high-performance cars.

Turbine Superchargers

Turbine superchargers are another type of supercharger that uses exhaust gas from an engine to drive a turbine wheel which compresses air before it enters the engine. These types of blowers are typically found on turbocharged engines and can provide significant increases in power output. However, they can be expensive to maintain and require regular servicing due to their high-performance nature.

Electric Superchargers

Electric superchargers use electric motors to drive a turbine wheel which compresses air before entering the engine. These types of blowers offer instant boost response due to their electric nature and can provide significant increases in power output with minimal lag time. However, they tend to be quite expensive compared to other types of superchargers and require regular maintenance due to their high performance nature.

Installing a Whipple Supercharger

Installing a Whipple Supercharger is an effective way to increase the power of your car’s engine. This type of supercharger attaches to your engine and compresses air before it enters the combustion chamber. This forces more air into the chamber and results in increased power. However, installing a Whipple Supercharger is not as simple as it looks and should only be attempted by experienced mechanics or car owners who are very familiar with their vehicles. Here’s a step-by-step guide on installing a Whipple Supercharger.

Step 1: Remove Your Vehicle’s Existing Intake Manifold
The first step in the process is to remove your vehicle’s existing intake manifold. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, this may require unbolting several components, including:

  • Throttle body
  • Intake plenum
  • Fuel injectors
  • Intake manifold gaskets

Once these components have been removed, you will be able to access the area where you will install the Whipple Supercharger.

Step 2: Install Your Whipple Supercharger Kit

Next, you will need to install your Whipple Supercharger kit. This will include all the necessary parts for attaching the supercharger kit to your engine. Most kits also come with detailed instructions on how to assemble them properly. Once you have installed all of the parts according to the instructions, it’s time to move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Connect The Wiring Harness To The ECU (Engine Control Unit)

Before connecting the wiring harness from your supercharger kit to the ECU (Engine Control Unit), you will need to locate the ECU in your vehicle. Once you have located it, connect the wiring harness from your kit according to the instructions provided with it.

  Step 4: Install The Intake Manifold And Throttle Body

  The next step is installing your intake manifold and throttle body that came with your supercharger kit. Make sure that all of these components are securely attached and that they are properly sealed before moving on.

  Common Issues with Whipple Superchargers

Many car enthusiasts choose Whipple Superchargers for their vehicle, as they are renowned for their high performance and reliability. However, like any other mechanical part, Whipple Superchargers can encounter various issues. Some of the most common issues encountered by owners of these superchargers include:

  • Noise: One of the most common problems experienced by owners of Whipple Superchargers is noise. This could be caused by a loose belt or leaky gaskets. If the noise persists even after tightening the belt, it is best to check for any air leaks from the intake manifold.
  • Vibration: Vibration can also be caused by a loose or worn-out belt. A faulty or worn-out pulley can also cause vibration in your supercharger. It is important to check all the components and replace them if necessary.
  • Oil Leaks: Oil leaks can occur due to worn out seals and gaskets on your supercharger. If you notice oil leaking from your unit, it is important to have it inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
  • Overheating: Overheating can be caused by inadequate lubrication on your supercharger’s internal components, or an incorrect air/fuel ratio. If you notice that your supercharger is overheating, it is best to have it inspected and serviced immediately.
  • Leaking Boost Pressure: Leaking boost pressure can cause poor performance and even engine damage if left unchecked. It is important to inspect all components for signs of wear and tear, and replace them if necessary.

Diagnosing the Problem

The first step in troubleshooting a Whipple supercharger is to diagnose the problem. Before attempting any repairs or adjustments, it is important to understand what symptoms are present and what could be causing them. Common symptoms of a faulty supercharger include excessive noise, poor acceleration, and reduced power. If these symptoms are present, it is likely that either the supercharger itself or a related component needs to be replaced or repaired.

Checking for Vacuum Leaks

One of the most common causes of poor performance with a Whipple supercharger is a vacuum leak. Vacuum leaks can occur anywhere in the system, including in hoses, seals, and gaskets. To check for vacuum leaks, use a vacuum gauge to test the pressure in each hose and component connected to the supercharger. If any hoses or components are found to have low pressure, they should be replaced immediately.

Inspecting Belts and Pulleys

Another common issue that can cause poor performance with a Whipple supercharger is worn belts and pulleys. Worn belts can cause slipping, which will reduce power output from the engine. To inspect belts and pulleys for wear, remove them from the engine and check for cracks or fraying edges. If any belt or pulley is worn or damaged it should be replaced immediately.

Checking Oil Level

The oil level in a Whipple supercharger should also be checked regularly as it can affect performance if it is too low or too high. The oil level should always be kept at its recommended level as indicated by the manufacturer’s instructions. To check the oil level, use an oil dipstick to measure how much oil is present in the reservoir and adjust accordingly if necessary.

Testing Boost Pressure

Boost pressure is another important factor when troubleshooting Whipple superchargers as incorrect boost pressure can cause poor performance or even damage to other engine components. To test boost pressure accurately, use a boost gauge connected directly to the intake manifold of the engine to measure how much air pressure is being generated by the supercharger at different RPMs.

Replacing Parts

If all other troubleshooting methods have been exhausted without success, it may be necessary to replace certain parts of your Whipple supercharger system such as hoses, gaskets, seals, or pulleys. Make sure all replacement parts are genuine OEM parts from Whipple or an authorized dealer as using non-genuine parts could void your warranty.


A Whipple on a car is a performance-enhancing force induction system. It is an aftermarket upgrade that replaces the stock supercharger with an improved and higher-performance component, creating more power and torque. The Whipple Supercharger is designed to work with all factory components and can be easily installed, making it popular among vehicle owners who want to enhance their car’s performance without spending too much money or time on the project.

The installation of a Whipple Supercharger is not for everyone, however. It requires some technical knowledge and skill to ensure that it is properly installed and performing its best. Those who are not knowledgeable in this type of installation should seek professional help or take the time to do extensive research before attempting to install a Whipple Supercharger by themselves.

When properly installed, a Whipple Supercharger can provide exceptional performance gains for vehicles. These performance gains may include increased engine power, improved fuel economy, better acceleration, and improved throttle response. Ultimately, choosing whether or not to install a Whipple Supercharger will come down to personal preference as well as the desired outcome of the vehicle owner.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to increase your car’s performance then a Whipple Supercharger may be the right fit for you. It offers excellent performance gains at an affordable price point with relatively minimal effort required for installation.

About the author

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William Getty lives and breathes cars. He started driving cars as a 12 year old on the racetrack with his dad. Since then cars has always been a big part of Williams life.

In his garage you can find his beloved 2005 Ford Mustang, as well as a 2020 Audi A3.

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