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> N2O (Nitrous) F.A.Q.'s, In-depth explanation of how nitrous oxide works
GRiP_GAME
  Posted: Jul 18 2008, 03:25 AM


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Disclaimer: I am not a Nitrous guru. This was not written by me. However I am doing my best to learn about N20 so that I can hopefully answer some questions people might be throwing at me, since I posted this. This information was created with the 350Z in mind. But the same principles will apply to most other cars.

===================================================

Q: How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

A: 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, it breaks down and releases 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 effect" 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: Why Nitrous?

A: Nitrous oxide injection has become a very popular option for today's performance enthusiast for several reasons:

1) Nitrous offers you more performance per dollar spent, than any other performance modification.
2) Nitrous installations are relatively easy to accomplish.
3) Since Nitrous is used only when needed, it offers you the advantages of complete driveability and normal gas mileage while not "on the button" or "using other means to control your nitrous".
4) Systems available for virtually any power need from 25whp to 150whp for the 350z on a stock block.
5) It is one of the few performance options available for today's computer controlled, fuel injected engines.
6) Systems can easily be removed or transferred to another vehicle.



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 various components that must handle them. If the load increases exceed the ability of the component to handle them, added wear takes place. N2O kits are designed for use on demand and generally only at wide open throttle. Nitrous can be extremely advantageous in that it is only used when you want it, not all the time. All N2O 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, N2O systems are available for virtually any stock engine application. I use nitrous express products and they state:

Utilizing the patented "Shark" nozzle, these systems are fully adjustable, 35,50,75 horsepower for 4 cylinder and V-6 applications, and up to 150 horsepower for V-8 and V-12 cars. These systems require no engine modifications, operate on stock fuel pumps, and require no timing retards. The ultimate solution to make your import a "Rocket". Any horsepower settings above the recommended levels require "NX Power Booster" fuel additive to prevent detonation.

I will tell you that it has been the experience of MANY 350z owners that you are capable of up to a 150 shot on stock internals, provided you use an engine management system (i.e. UTEC) to retard ignition timing.

Q: What are some of the general rules for even higher H.P. gains?

A: Generally, forged aluminum pistons are one of the best modifications you can make. Retard ignition timing 1 to 1½ degrees timing retard per 50 horsepower gain. Spark plugs 1 to 2 heat ranges colder than normal with gaps closed to .025"-.030" are recommended.

Q: How much performance improvement can I expect with a nitrous system?

A: For many applications an improvement from 1 to 3 full seconds and 10 to 15 MPH in the quarter mile can be expected. Factors such as engine size, tires, jetting, gearing, etc. will effect the final results.


Q: How long will the bottle last?

A: This largely depends on the type of nitrous kit and jetting used. For example, a 125 HP Power Shot kit with a standard 10 lb. capacity bottle will usually offer up to 7 to 10 full quarter-mile passes. For power levels of 250 HP, 3 to 5 full quarter-mile passes may be expected. If nitrous is only used in 2nd and 3rd gears, the number of runs will be more.


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. I have UTEC set to open the solenoid switch at 3,000 RPM.


Q: Is nitrous oxide flammable?

A: No. Nitrous oxide by itself is non-flammable. However, the oxygen present in nitrous oxide causes combustion of fuel to take place more rapidly.


Q: Will nitrous oxide cause detonation?

A: Not directly. Detonation is the result of too little fuel present during combustion (lean) or too low of an octane of fuel. Too much ignition advance also causes detonation. In general, most kits are engineered for stock engines will work well with premium type fuels and minimal decreases of ignition timing. In racing applications where higher compression ratios are used, resulting in higher cylinder pressures, a higher fuel octane must be used as well as more ignition retard. This is important for 350z owners. Ignition retard is IMO imperative to successful spraying.


Q: Where can I get my bottle refilled?

A: There are many performance shops that can refill your nitrous bottle for anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00 per lb.


Q: Is it a good idea to use an aftermarket engine management system in conjunction with an N2O System?

A: YES!!!!! Use of an aftermarket engine management system that allows you to control ignition timing can only help you control how N2O is affecting your engine. A wideband is highly recommended as well.

Q: How long does it generally take to install an N2O kit?

A: The majority of N2O kits can be installed using common hand tools in approximately 4 to 8 hours depending on application.


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.


Q: Are there any benefits to chilling the nitrous bottle?

A: No. Chilling the bottle lowers the pressure dramatically and will also lower the flow rate of the nitrous causing a fuel rich condition and reducing power. On cold evenings you might run on the rich side. For optimal running conditions, keep bottle pressure at approximately 1000-1050 psi. Adding a nitrous pressure gauge will allow you to monitor this. If you live or operate a nitrous system in colder climates, it may also be a good idea to purchase a bottle heater. Generally, ambient temperatures of 70-90 degrees F. will allow for best power potential of N2O kits.


Q: What effect does nitrous have on an engine with considerable miles on it?

A: This depends largely on the actual condition of the engine components. Any performance modification to an engine that is worn out or poorly tuned will have detrimental effects. However, an engine in good condition, with good ring and head gasket sealing, should be able to use nitrous without any abnormal wear.


Q: Will the use of nitrous oxide affect the catalytic converter?

A: No. The increase in oxygen present in the exhaust may actually increase the efficiency of the converter. Since the use of nitrous is normally limited to 10-20 seconds of continuous use, there usually are no appreciable effects. Temperatures are typically well within acceptable standards.


Q: Can high compression engines utilize nitrous oxide?

A: Absolutely. High or low compression ratios can work quite suitably with nitrous oxide provided the proper balance of nitrous and fuel enrichment is maintained. N2O kits are used in applications from relatively low compression stock type motors to Pro-Modifieds, which often exceed 15 to 1. Generally, the higher the compression ratio, the more ignition retard, as well as higher octane fuel, is required. At 10.3 to 1, we 350z owners need to pay close attention to this.


Q: Can service station fuel be used for street/strip N2O applications?

A: Yes. Use of a premium type leaded or unleaded fuel of 92, or greater, octance is recommended for most applications. Many N2O systems are designed for use with service station pump gas. However, when N20 is used on higher compression engines, it is important to monitor ignition timing retard levels and the level of octane fuel we use.


Q: Should I modify my fuel system to use nitrous oxide?

A: Generally, the 350z stock fuel pump can handle N2O shots up to 150whp.


Q: Which is the best position to mount a nitrous bottle?

A: It is recommend mounting the bottle at a 15 degree angle with the valve end higher than the bottom of the bottle. The valve end of the bottle should point to the front of the vehicle and the valve knob and label should face straight up. This isn't gospel. As a roadster owner, I have my bottle sideways in the trunk. I have had great results with this location.



Q: What are the advantages of using nitrous compared to other performance options?

A: The cost of many other performance options can put you in the poorhouse. Dollar for dollar, you can't buy more performance with less money than N2O. With a nitrous system, performance and reliability can be had for a much more reasonable price while retaining the advantages of a stock engine during normal driving. And, nitrous offers tremendous gains in torque without having to rev the engine to excessive rpm's. These factors help your engine last longer than many other methods of boosting horsepower.


Q: How do I know how much nitrous is left in the bottle?

A: As the bottles gets low, a surging effect will occur. If you have an electronic N2O gauge, pressure will oscillate between 800 and 1000 psi.

Q: What is the function of the blow-off safety valve or tube?

A: It is very important not to overfill a bottle; i.e., a 10 lb. capacity bottle should not be filled with more than 10 lb. of nitrous oxide by weight. Over-filling and/or too much heat can cause excessive bottle pressures forcing the safety seal to blow and releasing all the contents out of the bottle.


Hope this helps!!!!!

This post has been edited by GRiP_GAME on Jul 18 2008, 03:26 AM
wing_0
Posted: Jul 18 2008, 05:24 AM


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I'm no expert in the subject, but it's very good technical FAQ and hmm... should be pinned?
GRiP_GAME
  Posted: Jul 18 2008, 07:16 PM


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I dunno, up to the Admins?
sideways
Posted: Jul 18 2008, 07:23 PM


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QUOTE
Q: Is nitrous oxide flammable?

A: No. Nitrous oxide by itself is non-flammable. However, the oxygen present in nitrous oxide causes combustion of fuel to take place more rapidly.


110% Farse and completley wrong. Ive seen FatF.
GRiP_GAME
  Posted: Jul 18 2008, 07:34 PM


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QUOTE (sideways @ Today at 7:23 PM)

110% Farse and completley wrong. Ive seen FatF.

Sadness overwhelming. sad.gif
HorizontalMitsubishi
Posted: Jul 18 2008, 09:25 PM


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QUOTE (GRiP_GAME @ Today at 7:34 PM)
Sadness overwhelming. sad.gif

lol, hes joking. I've played with nitrous on my black starion. i have a NX generic import efi kit with then genx upgrade (bottle warmer, purge and guage). i have the 100 shot jets in it and boy is that fun.


also is that a picture of a stock starion 12a turbo as your avatar?
GRiP_GAME
  Posted: Jul 19 2008, 11:57 PM


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I think I'm also going to write a basic Forced Induction F.A.Q. (how a turbo or supercharger system works), a basic engine F.A.Q., and maybe some others.
sideways
Posted: Jul 21 2008, 07:10 AM


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Might be a fun idea- check some of the pinned threads though. Also just giving a nod for you adding some good material around here- always appreciated.