Blogging Blackdog

Any information provided here by guest bloggers are their specific opinions, thoughts, and musings which are not the views and opinions of Blackdog Speed Shop, guest bloggers are responsible specifically for the content they provide, post, or otherwise make available through blogging Blackdog.

7 Second Rides at Car Craft Nationals
7 Second Rides at Car Craft Nationals

Come see the Blackdog Team at Car Craft Summer Nationals in Bowling Green, KY 7/21/17-7/23/17; and stay late for the Midnight Drags 2017 at the same event - read more below, for event details visit our Facebook page here

Blackdog - Magnuson Superchargers
Blackdog - Magnuson Superchargers
It’s Summer Car Season – Time for Restomods to Shine
It’s Summer Car Season – Time for Restomods to Shine

It’s officially summer time which means lots of classic car shows, parades, and rubber peeling along the streets.  A Chicagoland speed shop specializes in high performance vehicle builds for race teams, auto cross, street racers, hot rods, SCCA and Ultimate Street Car Association drivers; however, they also build some of the highest quality, restomods in the nation. 


Based in Lincolnshire, IL, Blackdog Speed Shop is one of the premiere firms building restomods.


What’s a restomod?  The term is a combination of the words restoration (the art of classic car reinvigoration) and modern (the science of modern technology).  Restomods are classic cars that are reworked to include systems like four-wheel power disc brakes, rack-n-pinion steering, new suspensions and chassis, and all new electrical systems.  Since many classic cars did not leave the factory with air conditioning systems, most restomods include creature comforts like a/c, power windows, blue tooth navigation and stereos, and of course band new engines and drive trains.  The key focus points are safety, high performance, and handling.


For Blackdog Speed Shop, they’ve been building restomods for years, including award winning trucks displayed at World Of Wheels, Black Velvet a 1955 Chevy Bel Air exhibited at the 2016 annual SEMA show in Las Vegas to a Ford Mustang Shelby clone that has been featured in multiple car magazine articles.


Most of the builds are done for customers who have a favorite car that is difficult to handle, tough to find parts for, or would be their preferred, premiere daily driver with plenty of roar and rumble with the proper upgrades.


“Depending upon what the customer wants, we can customize the vehicle from frame to roof, drive train to engine, exterior to interior,” says Eric Wolf Program Manager for Projects. 

The restomod market is hot and a growing segment of Blackdog’s business, “yes, there are restomods that cost $1 million dollars or more, but our focus is on building restomods for people who want to drive and enjoy them regularly,” says Blackdog Speed Shop’s Manager Chuck Miller.


Blackdog uses only the best components and is a dealer for some of the most renowned performance parts manufacturers; they even have fabrication and custom manufacturing capabilities in house.  For Blackdog the key is to understand the vision and emotion the vehicle provides for the customer and bringing that into a modern form that provides performance, pleasure, and passion. Find out more at


Superchargers 101
Superchargers 101

By: Joel Justus – Performance Specialist

Superchargers are becoming more and more popular these days, both with OEMs and on the aftermarket.  Mostly because it’s a cost-effective way to “boost” (pun intended) performance of an internal combustion engine while still maintaining drivability.  Although there are different designs, they all operate on a pretty basic theory, giving you the reliability and performance that you’re looking for.

First, let’s look at why superchargers work so well.  An engine is essentially a self-powering air pump- the more efficiently the air can get into and out of the engine, the more power said engine will produce.  On their own, they have to suck air into some cylinders by moving the piston down in the bore, which is made possible by combustion in other cylinders providing the energy to keep them moving.  This is why engines produce vacuum, and why we look at vacuum when tuning or assessing health of an engine.  When a supercharger is added, the rotation of the engine not only moves the pistons up and down in their bores, but it also turns an air compressor (the supercharger itself), usually via a belt.  When this compressor is plumbed into the intake manifold of the engine, said engine no longer needs to suck in its own air- it is now essentially being force fed its air.  Since the aforementioned combustion requires air, fuel, and spark to happen, there is now a lot more air to make this happen.  Give that extra air additional fuel, and introduce that spark, and this party has suddenly gotten pretty lively!

Now that you have the “why”, let’s take a look at the “how”.  There are a few different “how’s” in this case, but to keep from getting too long winded, we’ll break it down into two fairly broad categories: centrifugal and screw-type.  I will break them each down separately.

Centrifugal superchargers are basically a belt-driven turbo.  The engine belt turns the impeller by means of a small gear reduction box.  The design of the impeller on this style of supercharger is very important to the efficiency, and therefore its power output, just like it is on a turbocharger.  These mount on the front of the engine similar to things like your alternator or air conditioning compressor, and connect to the engine with a series of tubes. 

The other style of supercharger is a screw-type supercharger, or “roots” style.  In this case, the belt turns essentially a long gear, or screw, which turns its partner gear, using that to compress air much like a typical oil pump.  This style mounts on top of the engine, in place of the intake manifold, so the only tubing used is before the air is compressed.

Each design has its own advantages and disadvantages, so what will work best for you will really depend on how you want to use your car, and like everything else in this hobby, every enthusiast has their own preference.  One of the biggest things to look at is heat.  Horsepower makes heat, so the more power that you make, the more heat you also make, regardless of whether you use a supercharger or not. 

However, this is magnified when using a supercharger, because compressing the air also has the byproduct of heat production.  We fight this using intercoolers.  These days, it’s common for the screw type blowers to have one or two smaller “bricks” internally- tiny radiators that the air passes through prior to entering the engine.  These bricks have coolant running through them, and in order to extract some of that heat out of the air charge.  These are known as air-to water intercoolers, since the air is cooled by a liquid. 

Centrifugals typically use an air-to-air intercooler.  These look similar to a small radiator, usually mounted in front of the engine radiator.  The air charge is pumped through the intercooler before it is plumbed into the vehicle’s throttle body.  While both have their limitations and their strengths, the best method really depends on how you will be using your car.

If this has gotten you really “charged” up, give us a call.  We would be happy to chat with you about your vehicle, and work on putting together a package that will fit your individual needs.  We work with a number of different manufacturers, so we are sure to be able to fit your needs and push you back in your driver’s seat.