Gear Head Designs’ Paxton NOVI Supercharger Kits
According to Gear Head Designs, its Gear Heads supercharger kits will fit all Pontiac V-8s from ’58 through ’79 (except 265 and 301), as long as a ’69-and-later-style timing cover is used. It will fit ’64-’77 A-bodies, ’67-’81 F-bodies, ’62-’77 Grand Prix, ’58-’79 Big-Cars, and possibly more models. Some cars may need mild underhood brace clearancing.
Power steering is no problem according to the company, nor is aftermarket A/C, but factory A/C cannot be used. Stock pulleys, March 1- or 2-groove pulleys, or a March serpentine system (with or without aftermarket A/C) can be used. The large C-shaped alternator bracket used on ’70s Pontiacs may need light modification.
Gear Head Designs provides ready-made kits for its customers featuring a choice of superchargers, ranging from the Paxton Novi-1200 capable of 5-22 psi boost and up to 775 hp, to the Novi-1500 adjustable from 5-26 psi and up to 825 hp, to the race-only Novi-2200 that can provide 5-27 psi of boost and up to 1,000 hp. Each kit has a 1-year warranty and comes with a host of other required components, including mounting brackets; polished inlet tubing, filter, and couplers with clamps; polished outlet tubing, couplers with clamps; polished blow-through carb hat; adjustable blow-off valve; hardware for mounting; oil feed lines (unless the self-lubricated Novi-1200SL blower is used); timing cover gasket set (for engine oil feed systems); fuel regulator with boost reference and return; belt for supercharger; pulleys (blower pulley, blower crank adapter); idler, tensioner, and alternator tensioning clevis; and an installation manual.
Not Included: The kit does not come with the required blow-through carb; electric fuel pump, lines, filter; or ignition upgrades. Gear Head Designs does recommend an MSD Pro-Billet distributor and 6AL boost timing master.—Thomas A. DeMauro
|Paxton Supercharger Specs
|Notes: The crossover to Vortech blowers are NOVI-1200=Vortech V1 - 2 SI series, NOVI-1500=Vortech V1 T trim, and NOVI-2200=Vortech V7 JT trim.
1. The centrifugal supercharger has its impeller driven by a belt from the crankshaft pulley and is mounted on the front of the engine.
2. A Roots-type supercharger is also crank driven, but uses rotors to generate boost. It mounts in the place of the stock intake manifold.
3. A turbocharger employs two impellers that operate in separate chambers but are connected to one-another. One, spun by exhaust pressure, turns the other on intake side to force air into the engine at higher than atmospheric pressure.
4. The volute for the supercharger can be seen here. This Novi-1500 unit required high-pressure engine oil to be piped to the bearing; the Novi-1200SL does not. Craig pulled oil from a port on the side of the block.
5. This billet bracket offered solid support, while packaging easily. The idler pulley to maintain belt tension can also be seen.
6. The return oil from the super-charger is drained into the timing cover, and the installation looks factory
7. We installed two temperature probes to monitor charge heating. The first is in the volute discharge.
8. We also placed a temperature probe in the plenum of the intake manifold. With the two readings, we would be able to see the discharge temperature from the blower and the influence of a chemical intercooler we would be using on it.
9. The supercharger sits on the passenger side of the engine and offered little interference for the dyno-mounted electric water pump drive or anything else.
10. The Gear Heads kit included a blow-off (sneeze valve) to release pressure when the throttle is snapped closed quickly. It has the ability to act as a differential, and monitor pressure and engine vacuum for more defined control, and is a real benefit on a street application.
11. Since this is a blow-through design, a hat attaches to the air horn of the carburetor where the air filter assembly would normally be. Craig modified the carburetor hat so we could monitor boost pressure, as well as mount the chemical intercooler nozzle for a methanol intercooler that will be covered in the dyno test story. The blow-through carburetor was supplied by Quick Fuel Technology and its attributes will also be discussed in the dyno test story.
12. As you can see, the air filter, piping, and blow-off valve all package nicely, but hood clearance should always be taken into consideration when installing a supercharger. Gear Heads wanted the air filter to reside between the inlet pipe and the valve cover, but with the higher Mr. Gasket valve covers for rocker arm clearance, it would not fit there, so Craig changed its location.
13. With the kit installed, Craig pulled the plugs to look everything over and discuss any tuning changes that may be required before the first run. See “Project Pure Poncho,” page 56, to learn how the engine was set up for the dyno test and its results.