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After much picking of the forums members brains, we have new technical features each week within the actual technical forums area. Here you will find the archive of all the old tech features. The current feature is at the top and past ones continue down the page. If you would like to have your tech article featured, please email me.

I need Nos!!!

It seems like at every point in time in our hobby there is one thing that is more misunderstood than anything else. A few years ago it was turbochargers, believed by many to be an electric device that propelled your car to light speed. But folks we build cars not the Millennium Falcon so lets unravel the mystery that is Nitrous Oxide.

Thanks to everybody’s fav car flick, The Fast and The Furious, many popular misconceptions have been created about Nitrous Oxide, the film named it NOS. NOS is in fact Nitrous Oxide Systems Inc. who manufacture Nitrous Oxide Injection kits and is not the gas itself. Perhaps the biggest misconception with Nitrous is that it is a fuel, stored in a separate tank and used as an additive to the fuel system. Nitrous is in fact a gas that splits into its separate compounds, Nitrogen and Oxygen at 570 degrees F. So when Nitrous is injected into your engine and reaches its separating point it provides additional oxygen for the combustion process. This mixture is far richer than atmospheric “air” which contains: - 78 % Nitrogen, 21 % Oxygen, 0.9% Inert gases and 0.033% Carbon dioxide. Not only that but Nitrous by its very nature is a considerable amount cooler than atmospheric temperature, well on Earth anyway. So not only is more oxygen now available through the very make up of the gas, but the cooler air is also denser, again providing even more oxygen. This means that Nitrous oxide provides 2.3 times more oxygen than atmospheric air of the same weight.

To off set the increase of oxygen into the engine, increased fuel must also be provided to the engine. This is to maintain the correct air/fuel ratios for operation. This addition of fuel can take place in a number of ways. The Dry System relies on increased fuel from the engines fuel system, ie-greater flow from the injectors. Where as a Wet system uses an additional fuel jet along with the nitrous jet to add the compensating fuel. There are a number of locations the nitrous jets and corresponding fuel jets can be positioned. These include, before the throttle body, after the throttle body on a throttle body plate or the ultimate setup, Direct Port Injection which fires individual jets into each cylinder.

Another factor sometimes over looked with Nitrous is an ability to “purge” the system. Which works much like using a needle to inject a substance, by where you omit some of the nitrous through a bypass controlled by a solenoid to make sure that when activated the motor is being fed nitrous and not air that may be in the system.

There are of course many other things to consider when it comes to the use of Nitrous in your car, but it is best to look at it like adding a turbocharger or supercharger. In that it increases the dynamic cylinder pressure inside the engine and thus can cause detonation. So both the fuel system and ignition system will have to be looked at as well as the strength of the engine, its auxiliaries and the driveline.

The most important thing with Nitrous, like any addition to your engine is TUNING. I cannot say this loud enough. Have your engine tuned by someone with experience in this field, it doesn’t matter if you spend the big bucks everywhere else, but if the tunings out the simple fact is that the engine will go BANG!!!

And remember my friends it is very very illegal to have your Nitrous system connected on the streets, but at the strip it’s a green light.

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