Ask TFL: Can a Supercharged Ram Power Wagon Be Better and Cheaper Than a TRX?

Do you have experience with supercharging a Ram HD truck?

2021 ram power wagon supercharged

How cool would it be to build a supercharged V8 Ram Power Wagon? Would it be better and cheaper than a Ram TRX? We recently received this question from Shane. Shane writes:

Is a Ram Power Wagon with an aftermarket supercharger essentially a TRX? I am thinking about a Tradesmen Power Wagon, then adding a supercharger. It’s the most ‘affordable’ way to get something like a TRX without getting a ten-year note. Yes, I know – no fancy interior or a T-rex biting a Raptor in plastic under the hood, but it would be an HD frame and basically the same engine.

This is a very interesting proposition, but it’s not as simple as bolting a supercharger to the 6.4-liter V8 in the Power Wagon and calling it done. First, there are not many supercharger solutions for the 6.4-liter V8 truck engine, especially in its heavy-duty truck variation. Procharger offers a 6 psi centripetal supercharger kit for the truck that claims to produce in the neighborhood of 530 horsepower. This is a significant improvement over the stock truck’s 410 hp, but it’s nowhere near the 702 horsepower available in the new Ram TRX. The TRX uses a different 6.2-liter V8 with a screw-type supercharger that sits on top of the engine.

The TRX and the Power Wagon are using different engines, and getting 700+ horsepower from the 6.4-liter V8 in a reliable manner is very difficult and expensive. Another matter to consider is now the rest of the Power Wagon drivetrain would deal with the extra power. It’s difficult to tune Ram’s 8-speed automatic transmissions. Assuming you can tune it to work with the extra power, it should be relatively realiable.

The Power Wagon indeed has a heavy-duty frame, very strong axles, lockers front and rear, disconnecting front sway bar. All these things are very good. The Power Wagon also comes with a factory-installed winch. The TRX does not have a selectable front locker or a winch. However, the TRX does have a wide long-travel suspension system with probably the most advanced and capable active/adjustable shocks available on any factory vehicle – the Bilstein Blackhawk e2 shocks.

If you get an affordable Power Wagon Tradesman for around $50,000 MSRP, then spend $10K on power adders – you still have have a $60K truck in need of larger aftermarket tires. The 2021 Ram TRX starts at around $71,000.

What do you think? Do you have any experience with supercharging a Ram HD truck?