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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nitrous Oxide

While there has never been any question as to the wonderful power inducing performance gained by injecting nitrous oxide into your engine, it has also been surrounded by some total misconceptions. So we’re here to clear the air. The following are what we believe to be the top three myths about nitrous injection and its effects on your engine. Myth number 1: Nitrous will blow up my engine!Simply stated, nitrous, properly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, will not blow up your engine. Today, nitrous is still the easiest and safest way to greatly increase your engine’s horsepower. Where people run into problems is when they get greedy. With today’s modern nitrous systems, all that is required is approximately two minutes to change the nitrous and fuel jets, which will add an additional 50, 100, even 300 horsepower. Often, beginners try to push the window, figuring if everything appears to be running fine, a “little” more nitrous can’t hurt their engine. Caught up in the excitement, the novice nitrous user often forgets to make the proper (and safe) engine adjustments in accordance with the increased nitrous jet sizing. The most commonly overlooked adjustments include forgetting to retard the ignition timing, not changing to “colder” heat range spark plugs, and in some cases, not installing an increased flow capacity fuel pump to deliver sufficient fuel flow. The result is a nitrous system that is not correctly installed for safe operation, making engine damage inevitable. As long as the installer follows the manufacturer’s tuning instructions and advice with regard to engine adjustments and vehicle upgrades, they will have safe, reliable power gains that will not harm their engine in any way. Myth number 2: Blowers and turbos are safer than nitrous injection!A properly installed nitrous system offers virtually the same level of engine safety as supercharger and turbocharger enhancements. Forced induction engine kits are most commonly complete packages that include fuel system and computer tuning upgrades. This allows the manufacturer to build a safe computer “tune-up” into the system they provide. That concept is fine, but adding all those extras dramatically raises the cost of the upgrade by thousands of dollars. With a nitrous system, the manufacturer provides precisely what is required to safely use nitrous, as well as detailed recommendations when fuel and ignition upgrades are necessary. The beauty of this information is that the customer makes the decision as to how far they can go with their nitrous system based on their specific upgrades. A person spraying a 75 hp shot of nitrous doesn’t require a fuel pump upgrade, so why should they have to pay extra for one? But a person that wants to spray a 200 hp shot will definitely need to increase the fuel flow as well as the ignition system performance. When it comes right down to it, a nitrous system is just as safe as a blower or turbo kit as long as it’s installed with the fuel and ignition system upgrades needed for the power level you want to run. Myth number 3: Nitrous oxide is the same thing as nitro methane!Nitrous oxide and nitro methane are not the same thing - not even close! Many people, especially those casual spectators of Top Fuel/Funny Car drag racing competition, think that nitrous and nitro are the same fuel. Having watched their favorite racers explode engines while making a 300mph run down the quarter mile, they believe that nitrous will also cause their engines to blow up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nitro methane used in Top Fuel competition is a very volatile liquid fuel and only racing engines designed specifically for this fuel can handle its huge power and destructive force. In these applications, nitro methane is the main fuel source, constituting as much as 90 percent of the total fuel burned. Nitrous oxide, on the other hand, is injected into the engine in comparatively small amounts and delivers smooth burning characteristics that enhance the fuel’s combustion process. Nitrous oxide can be safely used even with bone stock engines. Whether it’s a small 55 hp shot of nitrous added to a four cylinder engine or a 300 hp shot added to a properly built V8 racing engine, nitrous allows you to add just the right amount of power without fear of damaging your engine.

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