Nitrous Oxide Basics


Doctor Bob - Fastest Doctor Around
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May 21, 2009
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Fort Worth, TX
This thread will cover some of the very basics behind how Nitrous Oxide provides power.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O), or NOS as a lot of us know it by, is a quick and easy performance boost for any motor vehicle, regardless of whether it's a car, a bike, a boat or a plane. In technical terms, Nitrous Oxide is a chemical compound that consists of two Nitrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. Nitrous Oxide was first discovered by the British chemist, Joseph Priestly, in 1772 but it wasn't until 1942 that N2O was first injected in an internal combustion engine to boost the power output from the engine. Nitrous Oxide is not combustible in its liquid form when under pressure. When it is released into the combustion chamber the pressure is removed and the Nitrous Oxide becomes gaseous, releasing extra Oxygen that allows your engine to burn more fuel during the combustion process. At the same time, the chemical process of changing from a liquid into a gas absorbs lots of the heat from inside the combustion chamber, reducing the chances of detonation and pre-ignition. NOS thus provides an instant but relatively safe performance boost.

The major advantage of NOS is that it is relatively cheap when compared to all the other forms of car modification and the amount of work involved to install a full nitrous system is far less than that of installing high performance cam shafts, turbochargers or superchargers. The only drawback is that you must refill your Nitrous Oxide tank. The relative low cost of installing a NOS system makes it an ideal power boost project for anyone who can read and understand a little simple physics. As with anything in life, if you don't do it right, you're going to get problems. There is also more to installing NOS than just bolting a NOS tank to your trunk and connecting a long tube to your engine. Setup is very important. Everything from bottle angle, fuel system and safety switches have to be setup correctly to have a properly functioning and safe system.

There are 3 basic types of N2O systems...
1. Dry System- Just nitrous is sprayed into the intake system and NO fuel other than what the vehicle will supply. Relatively cheap systems, but very limited on the size of "shot" you can safely use.

2. Wet System- Nitrous AND fuel are added to the intake. This group includes most of the Plate systems out there. Much more tunable, more safety, and horse power increase of 350+ with a single stage.

3. Direct Port System - Also commonly known as a Fogger System. This is a wet system that has an injector for each cylinder. These a capable of BIG hp. Numbers in excess of 1200 hp.

****A quick note about the safety of a Nitrous Oxide system. Over the years NOS has built quite a reputation. I personally compare it to the "pitbull". Everyone has a story about one good or bad, you have a lot of power on hands that can be entirely safe if handled correctly. That is your daily Robertism.:ohnoes:
Nitrous as with any other forced induction system, will find your weak links. Setup properly you can have a very fast ride that will last just as long as it would have without nitrous, BUT you have to take your time and do your research and you can have a lot of fun with it.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have about setting up a N20 system. If I can't answer them, I know we have some very knowledgeable members on this site that will be glad to help.

Stay tuned for more update:tmc:


живи свободно или умри
Lifetime Supporting Member
May 17, 2009
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CJ Hungus

Lifetime Supporting Member
May 31, 2009
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Ham Lake, MN
Will my stock 5.3 handle a 450 shot? :jester:

Just kidding, yes good info and pretty much covers all the basics. :thumbs:

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