How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
There are three points. First, nitrous oxide is comprised of 2 parts nitrogen and one part oxygen (36% oxygen by weight). When the nitrous oxide is heated to approximately 572oF (on compression stroke), it breaks down and release extra oxygen, However, it is not this oxygen alone which creates additional power, but the ability of this oxygen to burn more fuel. By burning more fuel, higher cylinder pressures are created and this is where most of the additional power is realized. Secondly, as pressurized nitrous oxide is injected into the intake manifold, it changes from a liquid to a gas (boils). This boiling affect reduces the temperature of the nitrous to a minus .127 Degrees F. This "cooling affect" in turn significantly reduces intake charge temperatures by approximately 60-75 Degrees F. This also helps create additional power. A general rule of thumb: For every 10 Degrees F. reduction in intake charge temperature, a 1% increase in power will be realized. Example: A 350 HP engine with an intake temperature drop of 70 Degrees F, would gain approximately 25 HP on the cooling affect alone. The third point, the nitrogen that was also released during the compression stroke performs an important role. Nitrogen acts to "buff or dampen" the increased cylinder pressures leading to a controlled combustion process.
Q: Will Nitrous affect engine reliability?
A: The key is choosing the correct H.P. for a given application. A kit that uses the correct factory calibration does not usually cause increased wear. As the energy released in the cylinder increases so do the loads on the variuos components that must handle them. If the load increases exceed the ability of the component to handle them, added wear takes place. NOS kits are designed for use on demand and only at wide open throttle. Nitrous can be extremeny advantageous i that it is only used when you want it, not all the time. All NOS kits are designed for maximum power with reliability for a given application.
Q: Can I simply bolt a nitrous kit onto my stock engine?
A: Yes, NOS manufactures systems for virtually any stock engine application. The key is to choose the correct kit for a given application; i.e., 4 cyl. engines normally allow an extra 40-60 HP, 6 cyl. engines usually work great between 75-100 extra HP, small block V8's (302/350/400cid) can typically accept up to 140 extra HP, and big block V8's (427/454) might accept from 125-200 extra HP. These suggested ranges provide maximum reliability from most stock engines using cast pistons and cast crank with few or no engine modifications.
Q: How long can I hold the nitrous button down?
A: It is possible to hold the button down until the bottle is empty. However 15 continuous seconds at a time, or less, is recommend.
Q: When is the best time to use nitrous?
A: At wide open throttle only (unless a progressive controller is used). Due to the tremendous amount of increased torque, you will generally find best results, traction permitting, at early activation. Nitrous can be safely applied above 2,500 RPM under full throttle conditions.
Q: Does nitrous oxide raise cylinder pressures and temperatures?
A: Yes. Due to the ability to burn more fuel, this is exactly why nitrous makes so much power.