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by Patrick Rall
The supercharged 6.2L Hellcat Hemi in the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger is the most powerful American production engine ever — and, with relatively simple modifications, it’s capable of far more than the rated 707 horsepower. Some have brought their Hellcat Hemis to over a thousand horsepower, without any internal engine changes.
The ongoing concern, though, is the cost of replacing the factory supercharger — a unique IHI unit that includes the supercharger itself, the intake manifold, and an internal charge cooler system into one tidy package. Each superchargers is a sealed unit, with proprietary parts including the internal rotor bearings; when those bearings go bad, as they are prone to do when pushed well past their stock RPM specifications, the entire unit needs to be replaced.
If you were one of the first people to build up your Hellcat Hemi in a Dodge Challenger or Dodge Charger and you tore up the bearings in your supercharger, you were forced to buy an aftermarket unit or pay the dealership for a costly replacement. Some folks reported that replacing a supercharger cost them around $10,000, so owners looking to build extra power were hoping to do so without hurting their factory supercharger.
Those people can all sleep a little easier, as there is finally a shop which can rebuild the IHI factory supercharger for the Hellcat Hemi. Iowa’s Jon Bond Performance remanufactures the blowers in Dodge Hellcat cars for just $1,800 – adding peace of mind for those owners who want to push the factory blow to (or beyond) its factory limits.
Jon Bond Performance in Algona, Iowa claims to be the first company in America which can correctly rebuild the IHI supercharger for the Hellcat-powered Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.
I spoke with Jon Bond to get a better idea of what makes his services unique; and the advantages of his rebuild is far more elaborate than your average rebuild. That is why we use the term “remanufacture;’ Jon Bond Performance doesn’t just replace the stock bearings and seals, they improve on the IHI supercharger for improved performance and durability.
Jon Bond Performance is a supercharger repair company, not a Mopar or Dodge-specific company, so their method of fully replacing every piece of a supercharger is consistent from one vehicle to the next.
The company started by identifying problems with the blowers in need of repair, and addressing the causes. When a smaller pulley is added to increase boost, the IHI bearings tend to wear quickly. As you add revolutions to the supercharger to get more boost, you add friction and heat to the supercharger itself.
Since IHI uses proprietary components to build their superchargers, Jon Bond Performance had to first make all of the components to rebuild the Hellcat Hemi blower. To protect their efforts, Jon Bond won’t go into full detail, but the man in charge assured us that they replace every “consumable” component of the unit — including the blower bearings, seals throughout the unit, and any coatings (such as the protective layer on the rotors).
To be able to accurately recreate some of the seals and bearings, Jon Bond’s team worked with manufacturers of each to develop their own replacements, so this company has parts that no one else on the market can offer. They also use their own supercharger oil in the rebuild, for added protection. That is what makes this particular rebuild so special; Jon Bond Performance isn’t using generic parts from the local store to rebuild the Hellcat Hemi superchargers – they have developed all of the proprietary components to restore a broken blower to (possibly) better-than-stock form.
Finally, while Jon Bond Performance offers free inspections and estimates, they only do full rebuilds, which start at $1,800. They will not simply replace the bearings and ship the blower back to you; their fix is meant to be performed in total, to prevent new problems going forward.
So, if you have a Hellcat-powered Dodge Challenger or Charger and you are worried about overworking your IHI supercharger out of the concern for getting it rebuilt – Jon Bond Performance is the only (as of March 2017) company to provide a comprehensive rebuild option for the factory supercharged Dodge muscle cars, and they do it for just $1,800.
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