Previously, I wrote a guide about the best 5.7 HEMI upgrades. The main focus was on basic NA bolt-on mods for the 5.7L V8 engine. Supercharging is a completely different ballgame, and it’s one of the most effective ways to take the HEMI to totally new levels. Whether you’re looking for 500whp or 1,000whp there’s a supercharger for you. In this guide, I discuss the best 5.7 HEMI supercharger upgrades along with cost, mods, tuning, risks, and more.
*Note – much of this article applies to all Dodge/Ram 5.7 HEMI engines. However, fitment of supercharger kits does vary by year and model. Additionally, there are some important differences between the 5.7L V8 that impact engine limits, power gains, etc. We will dive into that in this article as well.
5.7 HEMI Engine Over The Years
The 5.7 HEMI made its debut in the 2003 Dodge Ram trucks. It remains in production to this day and is still found in many popular models like the Charger, Challenger, Ram trucks, and more. Point is – this engine has been around for a long time in a lot of models. As such, 345 HEMI engines aren’t all the same.
Some variants use active intakes while others have passive intakes. There are also some 5.7L V8 engines with the MDS system while other models don’t have this technology. We have too much to cover in this article, so we’ll leave it at that for now. However, one major update occurred in 2009 and the engine was dubbed the 5.7 Eagle. Let’s jump in and talk about the important changes and how they impact 5.7 HEMI supercharger kits.
345 HEMI Notable Changes
- Variable Cam Timing (VCT/VVT)
- Improved cylinder head flow
- Intake manifold updates (model specific)
- Addition of MDS
Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT) is essentially what most likely know as Variable Valve Timing (VVT). This system is able to advance or retard cam timing. Ultimately, 5.7 HEMI VCT leads to a better powerband, efficiency, and fuel economy. It’s a great update for the 345 Eagle all around.
The cylinder heads were also re-designed to improve flow. Intake manifolds and MDS were two additional updates, but the exact specs depend on the model in question. MDS is mostly separate from this supercharging discussion since it doesn’t have a big impact on performance. However, the other changes do give the 2009+ 5.7 HEMI engines the edge.
Impact On Supercharger Upgrades
In this article, we discuss some horsepower estimates and other figures. It’s mostly geared towards the newer 5.7 Eagle, so keep that in mind if you own an older 5.7L V8. That isn’t to say the older 5.7 HEMI can’t hit similar numbers, but it might take a few extra mods or a little more boost to get there.
There’s no way around the VVT advantage that the newer engines have. However, there are manifold upgrades that you can knock out. You can also do some head work to improve flow on the older engines. Of course, that adds quite a bit of cost unless you’re planning to build the engine anyways.
There are a lot of considerations before purchasing a 5.7 HEMI supercharger kit. How much is it going to cost? How much power can the HEMI handle? What other upgrades/mods are required or recommended?
These are surely just a few of many questions before buying a supercharger. In these next sections, we’ll answer these questions along with other details about supercharging the Dodge 5.7L V8 engine.
5.7 HEMI Engine Limits
Engine limits are never an easy topic to tackle since it isn’t a perfect science. One engine may hold up for ages at 750+whp while others let go before 600whp. There are also tons of external factors like how the engine is driven and used, what other mods are on the HEMI, etc. Nonetheless, there are some general ballparks to follow as a rule of thumb.
With a proper setup many agree the 5.7 HEMI is safe in the 600-700whp ballpark. Proper setup is the key word here. This means running all of the necessary supporting mods along with a quality tune. It also means running better fuels like race gas or E85. With all of this you’re likely OK pushing the 345 HEMI engine limits.
Regardless – all else equal – there is always more risk associated with pushing more horsepower. It’s not a perfect science and even excellent setups with all the supporting mods could see engine failure below 700whp. The safest option is building the engine up-front, but that can add a lot of money to the build.
Supporting Mods & Tuning
One primary focus when we discuss the best 5.7 HEMI supercharger kits is to opt for complete kits. These should include the software/tuning and all necessary mods to get up and running. You can also choose a basic supercharger alone and piece together your own kit. These are called tuners kits and are a good option for those shooting for higher power goals.
The important key is ensuring you have a proper setup. It’s especially true if you intend on pushing the limits of the 5.7 HEMI without upgrading the internals. Here’s the other thing. A lot of complete kits are built for modest goals in the 450-550whp ballpark. If you want more power you’re likely going to need extra supporting mods. Or upgrades to existing supporting mods like injectors, fuel pumps, intercoolers, etc.
Point is – the more power and boost you want to push the more supporting upgrades you need. You’ll notice most supercharger kits come in around $6,000 to $8,000. Again, that’s typically good for 450-550whp.
You can easily end up spending another $10,000+ if you want to shoot for 700whp, 800whp, or higher. That’s where you need to consider things like wheels, tires, suspension, axles, and the list could go on and on.
List of Supporting Mods
To give a bit more of a breakdown let’s look at the list of common supporting mods by power goals. These may not be completely exhaustive lists. There may be more or less mods to consider depending on the intended use of the 5.7 HEMI supercharger. For example, those planning to drag the car or truck may need axles and other driveline upgrades.
Mods For 450-550whp
- Supercharger kit: $6,000 – 8,000+
- Basic bolt-ons (headers, intake, exhaust, etc): $1,000 – 2,000+
- Wheels & tires: $1,000 – 3,000+
Again, complete kits usually support somewhere in the 450-600whp ballpark. To maximize 5.7 HEMI supercharger performance you’ll likely want the basic bolt-ons. If you don’t already have these done it’s something to consider. Lastly, putting the power down on an OE wheel setup may be challenging.
- Mods from above
- Custom tuning: $200-500+
- Smaller pulley: $100-150
- Race gas or E85
- Fueling mods to support ($300-500+)
- Axles ($800+)
- Built engine (optional – $2,000 – 5,000+)
It’s likely time to start running more boost with a smaller pulley size if you’re shooting for these kind of numbers. It’s also highly advised to start running high quality fuels. E85 is excellent fueling for a 5.7 HEMI supercharger, but it puts a lot of demand on the fuel system. Source a complete kit with the proper fueling upgrades. Otherwise, you might find yourself upgrading all of this again.
Additionally, those planning to drag or launch the car hard should consider axles. You might also want other upgrades as launching from a dig puts a lot of stress on the drivetrain. Lastly, this is the ballpark where you might start considering a built engine. The basics like studs, bearings, rods, and pistons should be a good starting point.
750+whp 5.7 HEMI Mods
We’ll skip listing everything again to save some space. The list of mods is more or less the same as the above, but a built motor becomes almost a requirement. Usually, it becomes a matter of when the engine blows at 750+whp rather than when. Depending on how far you want to go you could easily end up $20,000+ into a 750whp build.
5.7 HEMI Supercharger Upgrades
Alright. With the background info out of the way let’s move onto some of the best Dodge/Ram 5.7 HEMI supercharger kits. There are plenty of great choices, and we can’t cover them all. In other words, this is not an exhaustive list of all of the great supercharger kits available. However, we’ll list several 5.7 HEMI supercharger kits that we believe offer a great balance of price, quality, and performance.
1) Whipple 2.9L SC Kits
Price: $7,750 – 8,550
HP Rating: N/A
Whipple offers their 2.9L twin screw supercharger for the 5.7 HEMI engine. If you know superchargers you’ve likely heard of Whipple. They’re a big name in the industry and they’ve been building excellent kits for a long time.
All kits utilize the same 2.9L Whipple supercharger. However, higher stages likely use smaller pulleys but the kits don’t directly state the differences. Whipple also doesn’t provide any power ratings or data that we’ve seen. It’s two of our biggest complaints about the 5.7 HEMI supercharger kits from Whipple.
A few dynos show around 500-525whp on the stage 2 kit with headers only. Whipple stage 2 kits for the 5.7 HEMI generate about 10psi peak. These numbers were on 93 pump gas, so there’s definitely some breathing room with more mods and better fueling. Anyway, it’s not the cheapest nor the most capable kit on this list. Whipple is a quality brand with proven results, though.
2) Kenne Bell Supercharger Kits
Price: $6,999 – 8,349
HP Rating: 560-1,000+ HP
Kenne Bell is probably best known for building insane superchargers for 1,000+ horsepower cars. If that’s your goal then look no further than Kenne Bell 5.7 HEMI supercharger kits. However, they do have modest options for those simply looking for a great daily driver kit. Your options include their 2.8L, 3.6L, 3.8L, and 4.7L superchargers. For the 2.8L you can also choose between air-to-air or liquid cooling.
With plenty of options Kenne Bell has the right setup for just about anyone. Most are probably interested in the modest 2.8L kit. It starts at $6,999 for the complete kit, or $7299 with liquid cooling. On an 8psi pulley the supercharger is rated at 560 horsepower, which is about 475whp.
You can opt for smaller pulleys & more boost on kit featuring the 2.8L Kenne Bell. However, those looking to push further should consider the larger superchargers. Anyway, these kits are well-priced from a company with a reputation of building wild supercharged cars. Kenne Bell has a little something for everyone.
3) ProCharger Supercharger Kits
Price: $6,349 – 7,449
HP Rating: 530+ HP
Many think of a ProCharger as a type of supercharger. However, they’re actually a brand that builds centrifugal superchargers. Much like those who refer to tissues as Kleenex. Anyway, a centrifugal supercharger is basically a belt driven turbocharger.
Much like the previous two companies, ProCharger builds a lot of awesome high horsepower, world record holding superchargers. The most common ProCharger 5.7 HEMI supercharger kit is the P-1SC-1. Complete kits are rated for about 520-530hp with the ProCharger 345 HEMI system alone on 7psi. Add in better fuels and other mods and more power is possible.
It’s a very capable kit, and those wanting to push further can opt for the tuner kit. You’ll source your own fuel injectors and custom tuning. The below video is a bit lengthy, but this ProCharged 5.7 HEMI hit 608whp and 512wtq on 93 octane. On E85 the car made 644whp and 525wtq.
4) Hamburger’s Supercharger Kits
Price: $5,595 (tuner’s kit)
HP Rating: 575HP @ 8psi
As with the ProCharger kit, this is also a centrifugal supercharger kit for the 5.7 HEMI V8. Unlike previous options, Hamburger’s isn’t a massive, well-known company in the industry. That doesn’t mean they don’t build some amazing kits, though. They’re also the best priced kits on this list. It is a 5.7 HEMI supercharger tuner’s kit so you’ll need your own injectors and tuning.
Hamburger’s kit is rated at 575hp and 570 lb-ft on 8psi and pump gas. Since they’re a newer and smaller company there isn’t too much data or info. Hamburger’s does actually build kits for LS engines that some dealers offer on new vehicles. It goes to show that Hamburger’s has some backing and proven products.
5.7 HEMI Supercharger Guide Summary
The 5.7 HEMI certainly isn’t the most powerful engine from the factory considering its large displacement. However, a few basic bolt-on mods can really wake up the 5.7L V8. Those looking for even more power should consider a 5.7 HEMI supercharger kit. There’s a supercharger for everyone to support 450-1,000+whp goals.
Most complete supercharger kits come in around the $7,000 to $8,000 price point. Many will support about 450-550whp and are a good option for those looking for modest power. Tuner kits are intended for those who want to push things further with additional mods, custom tuning, and better fueling.
Whipple, Kenne Bell, ProCharger, and Hamburger’s all offer excellent supercharger kits for the 345 HEMI. There are also other great options around, and there isn’t always a perfect answer to which is the best. Know your goals and find the 5.7 HEMI supercharger kit that best meets your needs and budget. Most importantly, have some fun!