Harv's Norman supercharger thread

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Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As promised, here is a start to the Norman supercharger thread.

Having finished the grey motor crashbox guide, it's time to start a new project. My intention this time is to write a Guide for Norman superchargers. What worries me a little is that Norman superchargers are very thin on the ground. Whilst I was able to lay my hands on quite a few carbs, gearboxes and heaters to play with and compare, the chances of doing so with a Norman are pretty slim. It also takes quite a bit of time to write a Guide, and the info must seem to "fall into a black hole" in the interim. To address these concerns, I'm going to write the Norman Guide by publishing dribs and drabs on a single forum thread (one near-identical thread each on the FB/EK, EJ/EH, FE/FC and FX/FJ forums). This means that you get the info earlier, and offers an opportunity for people to comment/add info as we go along (instead of me reverse-engineering by pulling apart several examples). Some weeks there will be an update, some weeks not... depends on how busy I get. I'm also hoping that by publishing dribs and drabs that it will encourage people to bring forth some info to help complete the picture. Once the info is complete, I'll pull it all together and pdf it as a Guide.

The Guide that will come from this thread aims to provide some information regarding fitment of Norman superchargers to early Holdens, and primarily FB/EK Holdens. It will contain:
• some of the theory behind sliding vane superchargers,
• historical information on the production and use of Norman superchargers,
• practical information on the identification, disassembly and reassembly of Norman superchargers, and
• guidance on tuning, replacement parts and overhaul techniques.

(... and yes Alan, I will talk a bit about Judsons :P :lol: ).

The Guide does not aim to be a detailed textbook on all topics of supercharging, nor does it present the basics of how supercharging works. For information of this nature, I’d strongly recommend the following books:
• “Supercharge!” by Eldred Norman, 1968
• "Supercharged! Design, Testing and Installation of Supercharger Systems" by Corky Bell, 2001
• "Supercharging Performance Handbook" by Jeff Hartmann, 2011 or
• “Turbochargers” by Hugh MacInnes, 1984.

Whilst the Norman supercharger will greatly increase the performance of a Holden grey motor, it will not deliver the neck-snapping, tyre frying, 9-second quarter mile performance that many people associate with supercharged engines. Like most grey motor performance equipment, Norman superchargers can be likened to “going faster… slowly”. I will assume in the discussion below that the reader is interested in historic speed equipment that is period correct (i.e. that the basic equipment could have been purchased in the 50’s-60’s) yet operable (i.e. that some concessions will be made to allow the supercharger to function with modern fuels, registration laws and with materials that are currently available). I will also assume that the reader has been able to get hold of a Norman supercharger, but is missing some or all of the ancillaries (manifold, carburetor, water injection, overhaul parts) required to get it running.

Whilst the Guide will use FB/EK Holdens as an example, much of the information is applicable to other early Holdens. Please bear in mind that the Norman supercharger was not an original fitment to early Holdens, and hence that limited documentation is known to exist. Much of the information below is drawn from internet forums, discussion with enthusiasts and common sense. I will use photos and other information from a wide variety of sources, particularly from the forums – if anyone is offended by my use of the material, feels I have breached copyright or needs recognition, please let me know and I will correct the issue immediately. Equally, I will make opinions and draw conclusions on some of the information I have found and equipment I have owned, and have cross-referenced some material - if anyone believes that I have made an error (or knows a better way to do something), please let me know and I will update the document... after all, the main purpose here is to help other early Holden enthusiasts.

Like all things automotive, installing, operating and maintaining a Norman supercharger comes with a risk. Leaking fuel lines can lead to fires, jammed throttles can lead to out-of-control vehicles and items dropped down a carburetor throat can cause massive engine damage (amongst other hazards). Any advice contained in this document is to be taken at the reader’s risk – qualified mechanics should be consulted where appropriate.

As a start for this post, lets take a quick look at supercharger theory, and specifically where the Norman fits in. “Supercharger” is a collective term for a large variety of equipment, each with the same practical purpose: to jam as much air as practicable into an engine, along with more fuel, to make more power. When the word supercharger is used, the most common image that comes to mind is a polished GM 6/71 Rootes blower sitting on top of a Chev V8, with an injection bug catcher sitting on top. However, superchargers are a lot more diverse, and can be taken to include:
• turbochargers,
• nitrous oxide (often referred to as “chemical supercharging”, and
• tuned inlet runners (“ram air”).
In general, a supercharger can be considered to be a mechanical machine that compresses air (and sometimes fuel) that is driven by the engine. A turbocharger is the same type of device, but driven by exhaust gas pressure.

If we put chemical supercharging aside, superchargers are of two basic types:
a) Positive displacement: in this type the supercharger sucks in a set volume (or packet) of air, and then forces out the same packet of air. This is similar to the way that a piston engine works (valves open, suck in a set volume of air and fuel, close the valves, compress and power, then open the valves to let the gas out). These types of supercharger have a displacement, or volume or air that is sucked in for every revolution of the supercharger drive shaft.
b) Dynamic: in this type of supercharger the amount of air sucked in is dependant on the speed of the drive shaft, with some churn or slippage inside the supercharger casing (i.e. a packet of air might be sucked in, then some of the packet recirculated a bit before being pushed out again). This is similar to the way that a grey motor water pump works. These types of supercharger do not have a displacement, but instead are described by a compressor “map” (a fancy drawing that shows pressure and flow changing with supercharger speed, similar to the pump curves used in heavy industry).
Superchargers are also defined by whether they have an internal compression ratio or not. An internal compression ratio means that the air is compressed inside the supercharger before leaving the machine. Superchargers that do not have an internal compression ratio do not compress the air inside the casing. Rather, they suck air in and push it out, with the compression being done by “mooshing” the air up inside the cylinder head (more on this later). Sometimes the term “blower” is used to distinguish superchargers that do not have an internal compression ratio (as they just “blow” the air through without compressing it). However, this should not be relied on, as “blower” has become synonymous with most types of supercharger (similar to the way that the terms “huffer”, “snail”, “compressor”, “charger” and “turbo” are bandied about).
Examples of both positive displacement and dynamic superchargers are shown in the diagram below. Note that I have also added chemical superchargers (nitrous and nitro) to the chart.

Image

Note that the Norman supercharger is a positive displacement machine, and that it has an internal compression ratio.

Enough for a first post - happy to hear commetns and input please.

Cheers,
Harv (deputy apprentice Norman fiddler).
327 Chev EK wagon, original EK ute for Number 1 Daughter, an FB sedan meth monster project and a BB/MD grey motored FED.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by MeFB »

Awesome Harv!

Probably one of the simplest systems is the ram-air used on motorbikes. Maybe goes under dynamic?

When do you think you'll be ready to bolt the Norman on?
Alan
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

It's going to be a while before the Norman gets bolted up... will use the Norman project as a filler while I get the EK wagon on the road. Lots of learning to do between now and then - the Guide will be for Normans that work, not dummy Normans sitting on a spare block in a shed :D .

Good news though is that it looks like I will have four Normans to play with writing the Guide - two of mine + two on loan.

Cheers,
Harv
327 Chev EK wagon, original EK ute for Number 1 Daughter, an FB sedan meth monster project and a BB/MD grey motored FED.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by MeFB »

4 of them :shock:

We'll have to start calling you Harvey Norman :lol:
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Thommo »

MeFB wrote:We'll have to start calling you Harvey Norman :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol: I just spat my coffee over my keyboard and I have coffee coming out of my nose :lol:
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

Righto, time for the second instalment of the Norman Guide. Having tackled the basic types of supercharger, lets take a look at the basic theory of a vane supercharger.

Sliding vane compressors are positive displacement machines (as are Rootes superchargers), meaning that they draw in a parcel of air, and move that individual parcel through the machine to the outlet. This is different to say a turbocharger or centrifugal compressor, which are not positive displacement (they have a lot more “slip” of the air inside them).
Image

Where the sliding vane compressor rotor is mounted eccentrically (like a Norman supercharger), the air moving through the compressor is compressed within the casing. In this case, the compressor is said to have an internal compression ratio. The image below shows an eccentric compressor.
Image

Air moves into the inlet port (red area). As the rotor turns (in this case clockwise), air is drawn into the orange area to fill the vacuum caused by the departing vane. As the vanes continue to rotate, the next vane passes the inlet, trapping the air between the two vanes shown either side of the orange area. The rotating vanes then move this parcel of air towards the blue area. Due to the eccentricity between the rotor and housing, the volume of the blue area is smaller than the orange volume, causing the air to be squeezed into a smaller space (compressed). The vanes continue to rotate, allowing the parcel of compressed air to flow out the outlet port (green area).

When the sliding vane compressor rotor is mounted centrally (as per the image below), the air moving through the supercharger is not compressed within the casing (the compressor is said to have no internal compression ratio).
Image

This is a common set-up in air tools. Whilst the turning rotor draws in air from the red to the orange to the yellow areas, the volume of the orange and yellow areas is the same. This means that the air is not being squeezed into a smaller space… just pushed along. The air then moves to the green area, exiting through the outlet port. In a supercharger, this air moves into the inlet manifold, and is smooshed up against the engine inlet valves that are shut. This smooshing provides the compression. Superchargers of this type, where the compression happens outside the supercharger, are said to have no internal compression ratio (just like Rootes blowers) - they compress the air in the inlet manifold, not the supercharger.

So how is the sliding vane compressor (like a Norman) different to an eccentric vane type compressor (like a Shorrock)? In an eccentric vane compressor, the vanes are not free to move like a sliding vane machine. Instead, they are fixed (often riveted) onto a central carrier – see image below.
Image

The vanes in an eccentric vane compressor do not rub on the casing (unlike a sliding vane compressor), but instead have a fine clearance (around 0.004”). The vanes are mounted in an eccentric drum, and are carried in trunnions. As the drum rotates (carrying the vanes around with it), the eccentricity forces the vanes to protrude more or less. The figure below shows the gas passing through an eccentric vane compressor (from red to orange to yellow to blue).
Image

Notice that the vane at the bottom is almost “buried” in the drum, whilst the vane at the top protrudes from the drum quite a bit. The fine tolerances and differing internals make the eccentric vane supercharger significantly more complex than the sliding vane supercharger.

Ok, enough for your second instalment. Next time around, I'll tackle supercharger capacity. As a reminder, if anyone has any Norman parts, whole blowers, photos or anecdotes that they want to sell, I am very much interested. I am also interested in having a "loan" of your Norman to help write this Guide if that suits. So far, I have five Normans lined up to compare... this Guide is looking like a winner.

Cheers,
Harv (chief deputy Norman apprentice).
327 Chev EK wagon, original EK ute for Number 1 Daughter, an FB sedan meth monster project and a BB/MD grey motored FED.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by MeFB »

Still haven't quite got my head around quite how the Shorrock style superchargers work. More research required on my part :think:
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

The Shorrocks are a intriguing bit of kit... lots of internals, and lots more complex than a Norman (or Judson). The animation here: http://www.thefang.co.uk/shorrocks.htm is not bad... I spent quite a bit of time running it over and over again before it "clicked".

Cheers,
Harv (apprentice old speed equipment appreciator)
327 Chev EK wagon, original EK ute for Number 1 Daughter, an FB sedan meth monster project and a BB/MD grey motored FED.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by bootlegger »

Ive got a wade setup here. I thought of putting it onto a grey. The problem is room in the engine bay.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

Ive got a wade setup here
Dammit, no wonder I can't find any old speed gear... its all at your place :lol: 8) .

Cheers,
Harv
327 Chev EK wagon, original EK ute for Number 1 Daughter, an FB sedan meth monster project and a BB/MD grey motored FED.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

Ladies and gents,

As a prelude to the next installment, I will use this post to show the Norman superchargers which will be discussed, pulled apart, overhauled, reassembled and run during the course of writing this Guide.

Note that I am confident of the “name” of only the Type 65 Norman… and only then because the name is (literally!) cast into the side of the casing. There are a lot of names bandied about (eg Type 70, Type 110) but I am not confident where people have drawn these from... other than Type 70 that I have also seen cast into casings. I have seen the Normans similar to the “Large Normans” shown below labeled as Type 110, but it does not line up to the capacity, nor is it stamped/cast into the casing. I have seen Normans with “75” stamped into them labeled as “Type 75’s”), but again only because of the stamping (in which case my small Norman below would be a “Type 45” as it has 45 stamped into it… yet I have never heard of a Type 45). All up, the names seem a mess for now, so I will use the simple names in red below for clarity. Maybe the forum postings will attract some answers as to how Normans are named in the long run.

The first supercharger I will label as "Harv's small Norman". It has "45" stamped into the casing, and is a cast casing, four vane rotor, cross-ribbed unit:
Image

The second supercharger I will label as "Harv's large Norman". It has a serial number stamped into the casing, is a split extruded casing, three vane rotor, longitudinally ribbed unit:
Image

The third supercharger I will label as "Harv's watercooled Norman". It is a cast casing, four vane rotor, longitudinally ribbed unit.
Image

The fourth supercharger I will label as "Gary's Type 65 Norman". It is a cast casing, four vane rotor, cross-ribbed unit:
Image

The fifth supercharger I will label as "Gary's large Norman". It has a serial number stamped into the casing, is a split extruded casing, three vane rotor, longitudinally ribbed unit:
Image
(this thing is a monster 8) ... but more on that later :ebiggrin: ).

Apologies in advance for the crap photos - more to come as I work these things over.

Cheers,
Harv
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by MeFB »

Nice collection!

I bet it's been a while since so many Norman superchargers were in the same garage at the same time!

Have to say that the water-cooled one looks like a backyard job. Mind you, they did a better job of welding stainless than I could.
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

Kinda cool having that many together, even if two are on loan :D .

The water cooled one is OK, but has had a hard life... last on a Toyota at 20psi :shock:

Cheers,
Harv
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by MeFB »

Harv, I take it the two 'large' Normans are the work of Norman Jnr?

The 45 looks around the same size and shape as the Judsons that were being bolted onto veedubs. Sort of short-n-fat to fit the engine bay.

They did well to get 20 psi out of the watercooled jobbie. Must have had a pulley the size of a wagon wheel :shock:
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Re: Harv's Norman supercharger thread

Post by Harv »

Yes, I suspect the two "large" ones are Mike Norman's work. Very similar to each other, but different in casing length by 2". He was selling in five different capacities, and I suspect did so by lenthening/shortening the casing and rotor extrusions. The later blowers are also geared up for way, way higher pressure than the older Normans... but more on that later :P :ebiggrin:

Have had some conversation with George around the Judson capacities - will post what I know in the next few days.

Cheers,
Harv
327 Chev EK wagon, original EK ute for Number 1 Daughter, an FB sedan meth monster project and a BB/MD grey motored FED.
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