What Happens When you Force 80 PSI Through a Carbureted Small Block

Although it’s not normal, compressed air turbos have actually made their way into production before (thank Volvo for that). But few cars have ever actually just run compressed air straight into the engine.

Hoonigan’s Scumbag Labs, however, took it upon itself to test the idea. The conclusion? In the words of the Hoonigan team, this test kind of predictably “confailed.”

What it didn’t fail to do was surprise. With 80 PSI of compressed air being funneled straight into the team “Fireturd,” it made 323 hp on the dyno or 104 more than it did on its baseline test.

Unfortunately, by the time they got it out on the eighth-mile drag strip, it lost a whole second. The team figures that the junkyard Turbo400 trans that they fit into the car ended up failing, hurting their time and kind of invalidating any results they got during the test. But that’s actually remarkable because the failure point wasn’t the ancient engine in the car.

Really, though, the real failure of this test was under our noses the whole time. If you want to figure out why people don’t funnel compressed air into their engines you need look no farther than the massive air tanks on the roof.

Not only did it take five massive cans of air and miles of piping of dubious aerodynamics, but the people in the car also found that they ran out of air within the 8th mile and were asking for another five cans of air.

Still, 100 hp from one, admittedly massive mod is nothing to sniff at and it proves that the theory is sound if nothing else.

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