Laughing Gas Questions (Nitrous)

Nitrous System

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of acquiring a nitrous kit, the process might be daunting, and you may be unclear about where to begin.

During World War II, nitrogen oxide was used in internal combustion aircraft engines to increase performance at high altitudes when the air is thinner, and oxygen is scarce. However, it dates back to the 1770s, when it was first used for recreational purposes – laughing gas – and then as an anesthetic. Today, it is most frequently used in racing applications and is considered an off-highway, racing component that is not intended for usage on public roads due to its legality varying by state.

Nitrous is frequently used in naturally aspirated engines and can also be employed in turbocharged engines. It has become a popular application for assisting the turbo in spooling faster and shutting down at a predetermined boost pressure. Nitrous Oxide, N2O, is a gas made of two nitrogen atoms linked to one oxygen atom. Nitrous oxide is separated into its two components nitrogen and oxygen when it is fed into the engine during initial combustion. After being separated, the additional oxygen is free to react with the added fuel. Burning more fuel results in increased cylinder pressure, which forces the pistons down more forcefully, resulting in increased torque.

A properly built nitrous system is entirely safe for a daily driver, but the legal issue is state-specific. Nitrous should be used sparingly. Most vendors recommend that you do not use it for more than 15 seconds at a time. A reasonable rule of thumb is to utilize 0.8 pounds of nitrous oxide for every 100-horsepower shot for ten seconds. In other words, you could run a 100hp shot for 125 seconds to deplete the nitrous bottle. As the bottle approaches empty, the performance begins to deteriorate. The majority of professional racers keep a couple of full spare bottles available and replace them when the bottle in the car reaches approximately 4lbs or when they realize the power has begun to dwindle.

“While you won’t have to worry about the nitrous freezing, a chilly bottle will reduce performance. Nitrous operates optimally between 900 and 1000psi and temperatures of roughly 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why a bottle heater is one of the greatest accessories you can get. It maintains the bottle’s optimal temperature for optimal functioning. However, when the temperature of the bottle rises, the pressure inside the bottle increases. Nitrous bottles constructed properly include a pressure safety device that releases the gas before it reaches an explosive level.

That being said, it’s a terrible bummer to release all of your nitrous into the atmosphere. When the ambient temperature is between 80 and 100 degrees, the interior temperature of an automobile parked in direct sunshine can quickly rise to between 130 and 172 degrees. The best course of action is to park in the shade with the windows cracked or to bring the bottle inside once the temperature outdoors reaches 80 degrees.

A dry system injects solely nitrous oxide into the intake manifold through a nozzle. A wet system injects a mixture of nitrous oxide and gasoline into the intake manifold via a nozzle. In general, if your vehicle is equipped with a returnless fuel system, you will require a wet nitrous kit. Since the late 1990s, the majority of automobiles have included returnless gasoline systems, making wet systems the most popular option.

A “shot” is normally the amount of horsepower added to the engine by the nitrous system. For example, a “hundred shot” adds 100 flywheel horsepower to the engine’s typical output. The nitrous kit’s horsepower output can be easily adjusted by replacing our metering jets. Numerous jets or “shots” are included in the majority of nitrous kits. Most with as little as 35hp and as much as 450hp. Calculating the size of the shot required is dependent on the capacity of the engine components and the amount of additional power required to accomplish your performance goals.

There are various factors to consider.

  1. How much additional horsepower can the engine handle? A huge V8 engine is capable of producing more horsepower than a little four-cylinder engine.
  2. How much additional power can the fuel system support? A supplemental fuel pump may need to be installed.
  3. How tuneable is the vehicle’s ECU? Increased horsepower levels may necessitate tweaking, such as retarding the ignition timing.

As a result, it’s best to contact a nitrous system manufacturer to determine whether your vehicle requires any additional equipment. While a nitrous kit includes all of the components necessary for operation, certain accessories, such as a purge kit or bottle warmer, enhance the system.

Installation is straightforward. Nitrous systems should be installed in roughly 2-4 hours by a performance shop. An enthusiast working in his driveway or garage on a Saturday should be able to install it. Only a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, wire stripper/crimper, and hand drill are required. Additionally, it is a good idea to keep a voltmeter on hand for testing electrical circuits.