Nitrous Oxide (N2O) FAQ
(FOR NITROUS INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE)
Things to remember:
-DO keep the bottle pressure constant when in use
-DO run a fuel pressure safety switch on a Dry nitrous kit
-DO purchase 1 - 2 stages cooler plugs Dry kits can melt OEM plugs
-DO Use a fighter pilot arming switch (a must)
-DO learn to read the plug's heat range and tune it yourself (Spark Plug FAQ)
-DO always purge off the excess N2O after shutting off the bottle for the day
-DONT spray or turn on the N2O before WOT (dry setup)
-DON'T use anything less then Premium Unleaded (over 92 octane)
-DON'T always go by the jetting listed on websites
-DON'T open the bottle and leave it for long periods of time
Dollar for dollar you will not find another power adder with the biggest gains or potential. Along with that potential comes great risk. Adding a hundred HP in a few seconds is a jolt to internal components and stresses moving parts. If it is already weak you will soon find out.
Q: What is N20 and how does it work?
A: N2O is made up 2 parts nitrogen and one part oxygen. The N20 gas is injected into either the intake or the carburetor via a fogger plate, or direct port. The N20 molecule enters the combustion chamber where it breaks down under the extreme heat into Nitrogen and Oxygen. The added oxygen allows the vehicle to create more power if you can get the proper fuel ratio to that location at the proper time. The Nitrogen creates an "inter cooling" effect by reducing intake charge temperatures by 60 to 75 degrees F.
Q: What are the different types of injection systems?
A: As far as I know there are various methods and techniques of injecting N20. The important thing is just getting it to the combustion chamber efficiently. (Plate, Direct Port, Injector, Fogger)
Q: Wet vs. Dry which N20 system should I go with?
A: In my opinion wet setups are the safest approach. For the simple reason the the wet setup injects fuel & N2O, where the dry setup only injects N2O. The reasoning here is that the dry setup can run lean if you do not have the proper fuel delivery compensation for the added oxygen from the broken down N20 molecule upon combustion. They both have pros and cons. If you' are a novice I would recommend you go with the drys setup. The dry setup is very simple to install. Wet kits require more installation. The Dry kit usually hits at WOT so it ensures you are getting the maximum amount of fuel when the N2O is released. The problem with this is its very easy to lean out. If the vacuum line pops off or something goes wrong with the FPR, you can lose fuel and this can damage your engine in no time if the nitrous is still on.
Q: How much HP can I expect with a nitrous system?
A: That depends on several factors like engine size and fuel delivery. Typically the Jetting will determine HP.
Q: Will Nitrous affect engine reliability?
A: Yes, it can when used improperly or when your vehicle has a hidden problem you are not yet aware of. This is true when adding any aftermarket upgrade to your vehicle. (it goes with the territory)
Q: Can I simply bolt a nitrous kit onto my stock engine?
A: Yes, nearly all N2O manufactures build systems for virtually any stock engine application (4 cylinder engines normally allow an extra 40-60 HP, 6 cylinder engines usually work great between 75-100 extra HP).
Q: What are some guidelines for BIG HP gains?
A: Purchase forged pistons are one of best modifications. Retard ignition timing by 4-8 degrees (1 to 1-1/2 degrees timing retard per 50 HP gain). In many cases a higher flowing fuel pump may be necessary. Higher octane (100+) racing type fuel may be required as well as spark plugs 1 to 2 heat ranges colder than normal with gaps closed to .025″-.030″. For gains over 250 HP, other important modifications could be necessary in addition to those mentioned above. These special modifications may include a forged crankshaft, a high quality race type connecting rods, a high output fuel pump dedicated to feeding the additional fuel demands of the nitrous system, and a racing fuel with high specific gravity and an octane rating of 110 or more.
Q: How long will the bottle last fully charged?
A: This largely depends on the type of nitrous kit and jetting used. For example, a 125 HP Power Shot kit with a standard 10 lb.. capacity bottle will usually offer up to 7 to 10 full quarter-mile passes. For power levels of 250 HP, 3 to 5 full quarter-mile passes may be expected. If nitrous is only used in 2nd and 3rd gears, the number of runs will be more.
Q: How long can I hold the nitrous button down?
A: It is possible to hold the button down until the bottle is empty on a wet setup with a push button actuator. However 15 continuous seconds at a time, or less, is recommended.
Q: When is the best time to use nitrous?
A: At wide open throttle is best (unless a progressive controller is used). Due to the tremendous amount of increased torque, you will generally find good results, traction permitting, at early activation. Nitrous can be safely applied above 3,000 RPM or under full throttle conditions.
Q: Is nitrous oxide flammable?
A: No. Nitrous Oxide by itself is non-flammable. However, the oxygen present in nitrous oxide causes combustion of fuel to take place more rapidly.
Q: Will nitrous oxide cause detonation?
A: Not directly. Detonation is the result of too little fuel present during combustion (lean) or too low of an octane of fuel. Too much ignition advance also causes detonation. In general, most kits engineered for stock type engines will work well with premium type fuels and minimal decreases of ignition timing. In racing application where higher compression ratios are used, resulting in higher cylinder pressures, a higher fuel octane must be used as well as more ignition retard. In Dry systems you may want to keep an eye on your plugs for signs of lean conditions.
Q: Is there any performance increase in using medical grade N2O?
A: No, most sell only the automotive grade, called Ny-trous +. Ny-trous + contains a minimal amount of sulfur dioxide (100 ppm) as a deterrent to substance abuse apparently it tastes bad. However, the additive does not affect performance.
Q: Can I use aftermarket software with my N2O System?
A: Only if it has been designed specifically for use with nitrous oxide. You may wish to check with the manufacturer of the program before using it.
Q: Does nitrous oxide raise cylinder pressure and temperatures?
A: Yes. Due to its ability to burn more fuel, this is exactly why nitrous makes so much power. However the Nitrogen creates a cooling effect as well as the added fuel. This is why it is important to use high octane fuel. It burns cooler as do the cooler plugs. Use of a premium type leaded or unleaded fuel of 92, or greater, octane is recommended for most applications.
Q: Are there any benefits to chilling the nitrous bottle?
A: No. Chilling the bottle lowers the pressure dramatically and will also lower the flow rate of the nitrous causing a fuel rich condition and reducing power. On cold evenings you might run on the rich side. For optimal running conditions, keep bottle pressure at approximately 900-1050 psi, some people heat their bottles various ways on cold nights. Chilling the bottle overnight is only necessary when filling it.
Q: My engine has high miles, will N2O hurt my car?
A: This depends largely on the actual condition of the engine components. Any performance modification to an engine that is worn out or poorly tuned will have detrimental effects. However, an engine in good condition, with good ring and head gasket sealing, should be able to use nitrous without any abnormal wear.
Q: Will the use of nitrous oxide affect the catalytic converter?
A: No. The increase in oxygen present in the exhaust may actually increase the efficiency of the converter. Since the use of nitrous is normally limited to 10-20 seconds of continuous use, there usually are no appreciable effects. Temperatures are typically well within acceptable standards.
Q: Should I modify my fuel system to use nitrous oxide?
A: Most stock fuel pumps will work adequately for smaller nitrous applications. It is important to check to see if your pump can flow enough fuel to your existing fuel system (whether carburetor or fuel injected), as well as being able to supply the additional fuel required by the nitrous kit under full throttle conditions. It may be a good idea to dedicate a separate fuel pump to the nitrous kit.
Q: Which is the best position to mount a nitrous bottle?
A: Nitrous bottles come with siphon tubes and, in order to maintain proper nitrous pickup, it is important to mount the bottle correctly. We recommend mounting the bottle at a 15 degree angle with the valve end higher than the bottom of the bottle. The valve end of the bottle should point to the front of the vehicle and the valve knob and label should face straight up.
Q: How do I know how much nitrous is left in the bottle?
A: The most reliable method s to weigh the bottle to determine how many pounds remain, you can usually tell by the pressure gauge. When a bottle is near empty (about 20% or less nitrous remaining) a surging effect is normally felt and your pressure gauge may drop.
Q: What is the function of the rupture safety valve on the bottle?
A: It is very important not to overfill a bottle; i.e., a 10 lb. capacity bottle should not be filled with more than 10 lbs. of nitrous oxide by weight. Over-filling and/or too much heat can cause excessive bottle pressures forcing the safety seal to blow and releasing all the contents out of the bottle. It says it on the side of the bottle safety label.
Q: What is a Purge Valve?
A: Purge is probably the most unnecessary part of a nitrous system. Its more useful in a Wet application so the fuel and nitrous get to the nozzle at the same time, but its still not mandatory unless you're running a large shot or need that extra .01 sec.