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Old 06-07-2014, 05:31 PM   #1
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Nitrous - True Facts

There seems to be an increasing amount of discussion about nitrous. I figured since I have been around it for a while, I should post up information about it.

So here it is.



What is nitrous?

Nitrous, Nitrous Oxide. N2O, Nitro, Laughing Gas, Giggle Juice, etc .. are all the same thing.

It's chemical sybmol is N2O. That is 2 nitrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom.

It is a colorless, nonflamable gas at room temperature, automotive nitrous has sulfur added to discourage from inhalant abuse.

But what about NOS??

NOS is a company, Nitrous Oxide Systems. It's basically the same as saying Kleenex instead of tissue. Don't ask about NOS unless you are asking about one of their prodcuts.

What is nitrous used for?

Nitrous is used as an anaesthetic (Laughing gas) or as an oxidizer.

For engines it is an oxidizer. Basically, a power adder when used properly.


How does it work in an engine?

An engine requires three things to create power. Fuel, oxygen and ignition.

When nitrous is heated and compressed to around 570F or 300C, the nitrogen and oxygen atoms will split. So during combustion, you will have more oxygen inside the cylinders. Since you have more oxygen, you can add more fuel to create a bigger bang, thus more power. Also, on top of more oxygen, when nitrous vaporizes, it provides a signifcant cooling effect on the intake air, create more dense air, further adding more power. Remember, adding more power creates more internal heat.


Is nitrous flamable?

No, not really. As mentioned, it is an oxidizer. When pressurized and heated, the atoms will split thus creating more oxygen for an existing fire. However, if you spray nitrous at an open flame, the nitrous will actually extingush the flame.



But I watched Fast and Furious and nitrous made the Eclipse explode in a blue/green fireball!!



It's called special effects. It's a movie. It's not real. Unless it is, then it would just be a glitch in the matrix.


Can nitrous explode?

Inside a nitrous tank there is a burst/rupture disk. What it does is release pressure when the tank becomes over pressurized. Typically when these fail, the gas will just spray out with an intensity equal to the bottle pressure.

However, there have been times when a rupture disk was improperly installed. If this is the case, the gas will continue to expand until the tank fails, resulting in basically a bomb.

This Mustang supposedly had an improperly installed rupture disk, with a full tank of nitrous sitting out in the Texas sun, as you can see, it didn't end well for the car. A properly installed rupture disk would have prevented this.



Nitrous Oxide Tank Explodes Inside Vehicle in Midland - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

There are also blow by/down tubes that should be installed. It will vent nitrous outside of the car.


Will nitrous destroy my engine??

If used improperly, it can destroy your engine, just like any other power adder.

As mentioned, nitrous is an oxidizer. So adding more oxygen to an engine will require more fuel. If you don't have the extra fuel, your car will run extremely lean and once this happens, the temperatures will become incredibly hot inside the cylinder. Hot enough to melt the spark plug end, hot enough to cause pre-ignition and then in a very short time (a few seconds), your engine will be essentially, toasted.

Another thing with nitrous is that it is an immediate power adder. Superchargers and turbos built boost, nitrous is immediate. This sudden jump in power puts extra stress on the everything but mainly the pistons, rings and rods. The cranks in most cars are beefy enough to handle this with no issues.

Proper tuning, like all other power adders is one of the most important factors in using it. Mail order tunes can likely get you dialed in safely with a 100 shot or less. For more than that, a custom dyno tune will be needed.

Another thing that can happen with nitrous is fuel puddling in the intake. If this happens and there is a small backfire, the upper intake will likely blow apart. Most videos you see online of nitrous cars blowing up is caused by this. It's important to note that the fuel is the cause of the explosion and not the nitrous.


Is nitrous legal????

It gets tricky.

Nitrous for a car is not illegal in any state or territory in the United States.

In some states, it is illegal to have it connected to the line. Others, it can't be in the passenger compartment and finally, in some states, the

disconnected parts cannot be reconnected from the driver or passenger seats. Otherwise it's perfectly legal.

Also, some states do not allow more than 10lb bottles without a hazmat sticker and endorsement.

Other than that, you are good to go.


So mount it in the trunk and use a remote bottle opener.. problem solved. If you get pulled over and the nitrous is connected and the tank is filled, you likely have bigger things to worry about, such as why the police are searching your vehicle in the first place.


What type of nitrous setup should I go with?

There are two types of nitrous setups. You have a dry shot and a wet shot.

Dry System
Dry nitrous systems are just spraying nitrous, usually past the MAF and letting the car figure out how much fuel to add. These systems are usually good for up to 50-75 shots depending on application. A dry system will place more load on the entire fuel system (fuel pump, injectors, etc..), so adjust accordingly.

Wet System
Wet nitrous systems will spray nitrous and fuel together into the intake. Usually spraying either into the intake tract through a single nozzle or using a plate and spraying into the intake behind the throttle body. This will add stress to the fuel pump. Again, adjust accordingly.

All kits should come with jets for nitrous, and fuel if it's a wet kit.

There are also direct port nitrous setups, if you are interested in those, you should already be familiar with nitrous.


What other things do I need for a nitrous setup??

In my opinion, the absolutely essential things needed are a window switch, purge kit, nitrous pressure gauge, bottle heater, a good wideband or UEGO, blow down tube (have to have this for the track) and a fuel pressure safety switch.


What do all of those do??

Window switch - sets the RPM at which nitrous will spray under WOT conditions. Typically you want to start spraying around 3,500 rpm and spray up to 500 -

1,000 rpm before your rev limiter. Example, in my Z28, I have it set for 3,500 - 6,500. My rev limiter is set at 7,200 rpm. Once I pull the trigger and install this on my 3.7, I will run the same setup - 3,500 - 6,500.

Purge kit - This is a must have. This will purge the nitrous line of air before use.

Nitrous pressure gauge - tells you the bottle PSI. Generally keeping the bottle between 950 - 1050 psi is optimal. Drop below 950 and you will not be getting the shot you expect, go above 1050 and you may get too much nitrous and not enough fuel.

Bottle heater - This will properly warm the bottle up in order to achieve the appropriate bottle presure. Depending on conditions, this can take a few minutes up to 30 minutes.

Wideband or UEGO - This allows you to monitor the A/F ratio of your engine.

Blow down tube - this will allow nitrous to exit outside of the car if there is an issue with the bottle over-pressurizing.

Fuel Pressure Safety Switch (FPSS) - This will automatically shut off the nitrous if the fuel pressure drops below what it is set at.


How much does it cost?

The bare systems can be purchased from around $500 and can go up to over $2000. It all depends on what you want. On average, most people will have around $1200 - $1700 invested in a new nitrous setup. That does not include tuning by the way.

Nitrous refills are can vary greatly by region. Typically, $3 - $5 per lb is normal. So $30 - $50 for a 10 lb refill. My last nitrous fill was $37 for 11 lbs. He overfilled.


Anything else?

Depending on the size of the nitrous shot, you may need colder spark plugs. Typically for every 75 horsepower in nitrous, you should drop down to a one step colder plug. So for a 75 shot, you drop down 1 step colder. For a 150 shot, you go 2 steps colder. Also, do not use platinum plugs. Copper or Iridium only.

A remote bottle opener can be used if you don't want to open the nitrous valve manually.

Progressive controller. This will allow for the nitrous to be slowly added over time. Say you are spraying a 150 shot, with a progressive controller, the shot could start out at a 50 shot and work its way up over a predetermined time to the full 150. This can aid in traction and the longevity of your engine as it will not receive the full shot instantly.


If anyone has anything to add, please do.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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Even though it has the sulfur added to it, have you ever tried "huffing" a little Ish?
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:16 PM   #3
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Wow great write up Ish! This should be stickied!
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straybullitt View Post
Even though it has the sulfur added to it, have you ever tried "huffing" a little Ish?
I always got the good medical grade stuff. Or at least I did. And unfortunately for me, laughing gas doesn't affect me much at all.

I was at the dentist to get a wisdom tooth cut out, he had me in a full mask ( mouth and nose) with that stuff cranked for 30 minutes, I was in a worse mood than I was before he started. Maybe over the years, it seeped out of the bottle a little and filled my car and I was breathing it for that time, so I possibly could have become conditioned for it.

I will say, if laughing gas doesn't have the desired effect, sodium pentothal sure the hell does.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:11 AM   #5
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Old enough to remember it b4 they added sulpher. One of my buddies is a manager at a compressed gas distributor. He says that Notros has one of the highest rates of "leakage"

Do you know why ballons are used for huffing Nitros?

I'll post answer later.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:38 PM   #6
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Yes I do!
It's because you look so much cooler walking around a party, sucking on a balloon, rather than wheeling a giant cylinder of Nitrous around with you.

Balloons are much more festive!
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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nice write up, didn't see anything I disagre with!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:12 AM   #8
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Stray, true but not the answer I was looking for. It is a safety thing so you don't asphyxiate instead you will drop the ballon when you pass out. Masks are ONLY to be used under the guidance of a trained profesional.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
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I remember me & my cousins making money off of nitrogen balloons at parties back in HS! Never was stupid enough to try it I just cashed in! Lmao.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
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What are the stock limits of the 3.7?
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cise View Post
What are the stock limits of the 3.7?
I'm not sure.

Once I get the spray on my 3.7, it will be a 150 shot.


I'm guessing the internals of the 3.7 will max out around 500 whp.

So with bolt-ons and spray, I think 430 - 450 should be safe.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:59 AM   #12
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Hello guys just have the nitrous system in my pony Bama update my tune for 100shots car is amazing


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Old 07-22-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
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Ish, thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. I'm one of the people who didn't know much about nitrous, until now.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:28 PM   #14
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Wow, This is what I needed! Highly informative, I appreciate the information and will be bookmarking it for future use.
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:35 AM   #15
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@Ish and other members with nitrous ... What are the top 3 brands as per your experience? (Not through Google). You mentioned that the zex kit is incomplete?

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Old 10-03-2014, 09:26 AM   #16
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1. Nitrous Outlet - Nitrous Outlet - Nitrous Systems & Accessories
2. Nitrous Express - Nitrous Express - Nitrous Oxide Systems and Accessories
3. NOS - https://www.holley.com/products/nitrous/

I have a TNT (Texas Nitrous Technology) setup on my Z28 and that company is no longer around.

The Zex kit and most others are functional but IMO, incomplete. They provide everything you need to start spraying your car, however, they generally lack the accessories that make nitrous safe and reliable, which I mention here -

"What other things do I need for a nitrous setup??

In my opinion, the absolutely essential things needed are a window switch, purge kit, nitrous pressure gauge, bottle heater, a good wideband or UEGO, blow down tube (have to have this for the track) and a fuel pressure safety switch.
"


Also, Zex is one of the companies that rates their systems on crank hp and not whp like the three manufacturers I listed.

I also generally advise people to stay away from Zex nozzles as I have personally seen several of them stop working.. This was years ago however and they may have gotten their quality issues figured out. Generally, the old saying "you get what you pay for" holds up pretty well.


If you are looking for a nitrous setup, here is my recommendation -

This - $699.99 without bottle, add $100 for a 10 pounder or $175 for a 15lb - 2011-2014 3.7L V6 Mustang Hard-Line Plate System - 2011-2014 3.7L V6 Mustang Hard-line Plate System - Ford Systems - EFI Wet Nitrous Systems

and this - $454.94 - Brand X Stage 2 Accessory Package for 4AN Systems - X-Series Stage 2 Accessory Package for 4AN Systems - Accessory Packages - Nitrous Accessories

That is everything you will need besides the nitrous, colder plugs, window switch (if you are manual) and a tune.

So expect around $1200 - $1600 for a total, complete setup on a 3.7.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubaighost View Post
@Ish and other members with nitrous ... What are the top 3 brands as per your experience? (Not through Google). You mentioned that the zex kit is incomplete?

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nitrous outlet!!

but that's cuz I know the owner! lol
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #18
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What would cause puddling? Not purging? Because my purge quit working I suspect I burnt up the switch but I've been purging through the intake I'll rev it up to set Roma and tap at wot to purge. Lol I need to fix that switch..


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Old 10-10-2014, 09:54 AM   #19
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Puddling is just fuel that doesn't make it's way out of the intake. Some intakes are more notorious than others when it comes to this. Also, a plate system is generally better at atomizing the fuel than a nozzle.

Purging is just clearing the nitrous line of air, so that when you activate the nitrous it's ready and spraying nitrous and not just air. This can cause issues with fuel as a wet shot will spray fuel and air until the nitrous starts spraying.

There isn't really a fix for intake puddling besides stepping down the nitrous shot (wet shot), going direct port, going with a plate style setup instead of nozzle or replacing the intake.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:07 PM   #20
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Does BBK intakes have problems puddling I've already gone through about 12 bottles of nitrous off a nozzle style In half a year and I've never had a problem with anything with it yet.


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Old 10-10-2014, 04:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Does BBK intakes have problems puddling I've already gone through about 12 bottles of nitrous off a nozzle style In half a year and I've never had a problem with anything with it yet.
I have no idea. I'm from the LSx crowd and only a year ago bought my 3.7 Mustang.

You would have to ask around with the 4.6 crowd.

This is also only referring to intake manifolds .. not CAI's.
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