Roger Severy had a supercharger failure on Sunday. He uses a belt driven centrifugal blower from 'ProCharger'
Having spent over 5 years trying to get his small block Chevies to stay together with forced induction, last years Cowes RTI event saw the boat finaly hang in there, running in the lower 90's, and completing the 60 mile course. Not perfect, but hanging together for the first time.
Because the early trials were so unsuccesful, often blowing motors within a few minutes, the boat has only run IRO <10hours with the blowers (total)
Now, just as it's starting to look promising, one of the blowers develops a horrid noise at the start of Sundays Basic race, and quickly gets worse, so with this, and one or two other problems he retired from the race.
A post mortem on the blower soon shows why it's failed, unbelievebly, the 1:10 gearbox in the front of the blower body has been assembled from new, minus one of it's bearings!
There are no witness marks whatsoever to show there has ever been a bearing either presed into the ali casing, or onto the turbine spindle that runs in it.
For the ten hours or so that it's run, the turbine & shaft have survived with one bearing behind the turbine itself, and some support from the meshing gears....until now.
The other ball race gave up the ghost, spewing it's ball bearings out and sending the turbine spindle into a frantic wiggle/spin, destroying the turbine, it's casing, and gears.
When Roger told me this story, I was sceptical, so travelled down to his place last night to look for myself.
I am 110% sure there has never been a bearing in it, and on stripping down the other blower to confirm, there certainly should have been.
Now he has the job of getting satisfaction from Pro-Charger, on a product that's 5 years old, but clearly failed as a result of a mistake at the factory with < 10 hours on it.
I've suggested a polite email with pictures, followed by a trip over to the states with the broken parts in hand, for a bit of the old 'look me in the eye and tell me that ever had a bearing in it' conversation.
This sorta stuff does happen though. When TD ordered the trailer for our race boat, and sent a fella to pick it up, he had to remove a wheel on the way home, as it had an apparent bearing failure, but on inspection, there was only the outer bearing installed, with the loads taken inboard by the brake shoes!! hence the smoke and wobbly wheel. lucky there was no boat on it.
I just hope Pro-Charger will stand by their product, in this situation, where there's clearly been a mistake made during production, shit happens, but this really isn't any fault of the customer.
I'm actually amazed it lasted as long as it did, and obviously, if the motor setup had been sorted earlier, and the engine hours had been piled on in those first few months, this would have all come to a head back then.
I've emailed ProCharger with a link to this thread.
The ali casing showing clearly that no bearing has ever been pressed in (they fitted the frilly pre-load washer though! )
The turbine spindle, also showing a rather 'new & unused' look, and the end result, a rather sad looking billet ali turbine.