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Having managed to get the Popular back to our base in Malvern, the project to supercharge it can finally commence. With forced induction, the stresses placed on the engine’s internal components can be huge, often with devastating results if not correctly tuned. So, naturally, the project will start with a great deal of research. Finding a genuine ‘era-appropriate’ supercharger for the Popular is not going to be an easy process, and even then, it would most likely still need to be stripped down and rebuilt. Therefore, the most time-effective way to tackle this issue is to source a newer one, hopefully improving both reliability and efficiency. 

It goes without saying that supercharging a vehicle is not something which can be done overnight, and it doesn’t take long for things to spiral out of control as interfering components have a knock-on effect on each other. Fortunately, The Pop’s chunky rear axle and upgraded fuel pump tick off a few things on our list. This leaves us to address the changes we must make in order to mount the supercharger and pulley system and create a custom intake system for the supercharger to feed into the block.

One of our Aquaplane cylinder heads was the place to start. Improved cooling, added strength, and lighter weight were all going to help the project. Plus they look great!

Aisin has been making aftermarket supercharger systems for several years. An older model of theirs, the AMR500, looks to be an ideal candidate for the Pop. This style of supercharger is known as a “mini roots” supercharger, meaning all the basic plumbing and efficiency of a traditional roots supercharger, but with the compact packaging and smaller displacement, a more modern centrifugal supercharger has to offer. For the 1172cc engine, finding an appropriate pulley ratio should not be too difficult as these were designed for 1.0 – 1.2L engines.

Obviously, the rest of the engine will need some form of modification. The exhaust manifold will need adapting to avoid excessive back pressure, the intake manifold will also need to be completely redesigned to fit the supercharger, and the carburettors may be replaced with a single larger one (preferably 1”3/4) to allow for more fuel.

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