boosted by blood
I have been a boost enthusiast since birth, growing up in the shop and under the hood with Joe Sitar and Mike Sitar Sr. solidified this passion for me. It is what inspired me to study mechanical engineering at Cal Poly and establish an education “on the road”. I started with the 1973 Maverick, it began as a simple EFI conversion but quickly became a 500whp rebuild which lasted over 4 years and 3 garages. Along the way I hit many speed bumps, but learned they were all opportunities to go faster. That is what sparks the inception of TooHighPsi Performance. I believe in a balance of precision and performance, and we hold these values at the core of the products we design and manufacture.
Meet Mike senior
While most of my friends will refer to me as a car guy, that’s not entirely true - I’m really an engine guy.
I can still remember the first experience that caught my interest in engines, I was about 10 years old and I had received an engine-less go cart from my Uncle. I remember working with my Dad to install a 3.5 HP Tecumseh engine; creating the drivetrain, exhaust system, and throttle. We finally got the kart running and I was hooked, I knew I loved the process of converting gasoline into motion!
Through the remainder of grade school and high school I kept myself busy by always having something that needed to be fixed or made faster; ATC110, CR125R, and ATC250R, these were my projects and I learned everything that I possibly could about them, even when I finally old enough to get my driver’s license, I still loved riding and working on bikes. In the late 80s I finished high school and decided to join the Navy, a move which finally pulled me away from my everyday projects.
As a Machinist Mate in the Navy aboard the USS Abe Lincoln (CVN-72) I turned my attention to learning the ins and outs of this Aircraft Carrier’s propulsion system, with 65,000HP and per shaft (260,000 combined), it is still the highest HP drive system that I have had the pleasure to wrench on! Meanwhile, I spent most my off-time focused on cars, at that point I was driving a 1984 2.2L Dodge Charger with numerous modification, all of which were continually too much for the 5 speed manual transmission and the traction limits of FWD. All my friends were driving 5.0L Fox bodies (Mustang or Capri) and I really needed to get a Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) car.
While I loved Mustangs, I wasn’t as attracted to them as much I was to the T-Bird “Turbo Coupe” (TC). I started looking for one and finally stumbled across an opportunity in Newport News, VA. It was a black 1985 TC with auto transmission. It was sitting on dealer lot with a “1983” sticker on the window, I walked into the office, worked out a deal, and purchased the car. When the dealer pulled out the title he noticed that it was an 85 and started saying “Wait, that’s an 85”, I just grinned as the deal was already closed and I scored an 85 for less than the book value of an 83. Smiling, I proudly drove away with my new ride.
First time out to the track with the T-bird netted a less than respectable 16.98 second quarter mile. It looked as if I had my work cut out for me. After numerous modifications and a significant amount of money spent, the 2.3L turbo 4 delivered high 13 second ¼ mile times. While quite respectable for car and pretty quick on the street, it was not quite the performance I was looking for, it was clear that a bigger power plant would be needed!
In the early 90s my Navy days were done, and I moved back to PA to attend Penn State University for Mechanical Engineering.
In 1997 I took my first engineering job with Eaton Corporation and moved to Michigan. I was hired as an Engineering into the Advanced Valve train Group and worked on strategies to implement cylinder deactivation for fuel economy, improve cylinder head valve airflow, and develop heavy duty diesel EGR valves. As you might guess, Eaton has a fantastic development facility which I also had access to in the evenings to work on my own projects - which in many cases were work related. Even back then, I really wanted to be part of the Supercharge division (which was across the street) but the opportunity was not available for me at that time. I had several personal projects in process while I was working at Eaton Advanced Valve train, the following are a list of them and links to the project:
Around this time period, Eaton sponsored a fantastic customer event - the “Eaton Drag Outing”. This event was open to all Eaton OEM customers like Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc… I attended the event with the Twin Supercharged Turbo Coupe and low and behold who is at the event – none other than Jerry Magnuson from Magnuson Superchargers and John Lingenfelter from Lingenfelter Performance. They were at the event with their new LS1 truck Supercharger Systems (I made passes in both trucks) and both were instant fans of my Twin Supercharged Bird. We spent quite a few hours chatting about engine combinations and just developing friendships. Unfortunately, John Lingenfelter left this world way too soon in 2003… Jerry Magnuson and I remained friends until his passing in 2015. Two hot rodders that certainty shaped the direction of my future and I’m honored to have even the smallest of relations with them.
In early 2000, looking to be closer to family I accepted a position with Textron Lycoming in Williamsport, PA for Engine Development. My primary focus was developing electronic engine management for horizontally opposed air-cooled aircraft engines, but I was also involved in cylinder head, camshaft, and combustion chamber redesign. While I didn’t have access to equipment at Lycoming, I was continually improving my own garage and working on my cars. The vehicles that I built during these years are:
In 2003 new job opportunity presented itself and while I really enjoyed working at Textron Lycoming I was offered a position with Delphi that I really couldn’t refuse. When discussing this offer with my wife, she reminded that I always wanted to work for the Eaton Supercharger Group. She asked “Why don’t you give them a call to see if they have any positions available before we move to upstate New York?” (that’s my wife – always thinking). After a quick phone call to one of my contacts in the SC group, I was on a flight the next morning for an interview. All went well and I took a position with the Eaton Supercharger group in early 2003 as a Senior Engineer in the Advanced Supercharger Development team.
After moving back to Michigan, I continued to develop the Single Turbo T-Bird and also purchased Bob’s ProCharged Mustang from him. The cars we both running in the mid to high 9’s and I took them to the track whenever possible. As the years progressed, both family and work were beginning to consume more and more of my free time. My kids were at an age that didn’t align well with nights at the Dragstrip and work was continually demanding more of my time. In 2006 I decided to get rid of my drag cars and an 86 Corvette I had acquired from my cousin to purchase a sensible daily driver – a clean used 2004 Cadillac CTSV. With three kids this mid 13 second ride was a great solution to having a quick and reliable car with 5 passenger capability.
I was having a fantastic time working at Eaton Supercharger, not only was I travelling the world to places that I had never imagined visiting, I was working with a great group of friends that had equally strong interests in boosting and working on a product that I truly love! Audi, Jaguar, Volvo, GM, Ford, Nissan, and Chery (China) are just a few of the many OEMs that I had the pleasure of developing friendships and working with over the years. (Hi everyone!)
In late 2000s I had moved to the position of Engineering Manager - SC Development and my team and I were busy developing the next generation of Roots SC – the 6th generation or TVS series supercharger. It consisted of completely new rotors, new ports and a whole new level of performance from a roots type supercharger. My team was responsible for continual development of the supercharger product, providing OEM customer technical support for new installations, and aftermarket supercharger support for Eaton based supercharger companies like Magnuson, Edelbrock and Roush.
In late 2008 the Supercharged Cadillac CTSV was released and my wife loved it as much as I did (I had been working on development of the car for over two years at this point). In early 2009 she purchased a 550HP silver CTSV with auto (her choice) for my birthday. This 11 second car is ever bit amazing as you might think it could be and you can find a few images of my CTSV here.
In 2010 the traveling demands of my position at Eaton Supercharger continually created scheduling conflicts between myself and my wife’s small business. At the end of 2010 we decided to follow the path that she had taken and I resigned from my position at Eaton Corporation to work with her. We worked together for about 5 years, while not automotive related it was an exciting experience to head the operations of a small business and receive the sense of achievement as our small quilting business grew larger each year.
Fortunately for me, my friends at Eaton continued to remain close and invited me to attend the SEMA show. This allowed me to continue enjoying the market that I love and see longtime friends at least once a year. While my wife loved us working together she also knew my love for cars is always there and in late 2014 she surprised me with my current daily driver – a 2015 C7 Corvette Z06 with 7-speed manual trans. It has been an absolute joy to have and modify over the years. It currently makes over 700 RWHP and you can find all the details about it on our blog.
In 2015 my son was at age 15 and showing a strong interest in learning about cars, it seems it was finally time for me to get back into working on cars! I was offered a position at Magnuson Superchargers as Vice President of Engineering/Calibration, my wife approved, I accepted, and we packed our belonging in Michigan and made the long trek to our current home in Southern California. Within a few months my position evolved to President of Magnuson Superchargers and I was right back in the environment that I love. Solving problems and just finding better ways to make stuff FAST!
In 2019 I left Magnuson Superchargers as it was time to do something different again, and that brings us to where we are now - TooHighPsi Performance, my son and I have decided to make products that fit in the category of boosting performance and we can't wait to share them with you!
Looking forward to new adventures in boosting and it’s great to have you along!