Commonly asked questions about nitrous oxide.

Q: Will nitrous oxide affect engine reliability?
A: The key to engine reliability when using nitrous oxide is to choose the proper horsepower increase for a given application. Kits using the correct factory calibrations do not usually increase wear. Increased cylinder pressures also increase loads on the supporting components. If load increases exceed the load capacity of the supporting components the result is increased wear. Nitrous oxide kits are designed for use on demand only at wide-open throttle. Making nitrous oxide extremely advantageous in that it is used only when needed, not at all times. Nitrous oxide kits are designed for maximum power with reliability for a given application.

Q: Can I bolt a nitrous oxide induction system on my stock engine?
A: Yes NS manufactures systems for virtually any stock engine application. You should choose the correct system for the given application; i.e., four cylinder engines normally allow horsepower increases from 40-60 horsepower, six cylinder 75-100 increased horsepower, small block V8s to 400 cid up to 140 horsepower, big block V8s up to 454 cid might accept from 125-200 increased horsepower. These suggested horsepower ranges provide maximum reliability from most stock displacement engines using cast pistons and a cast crankshaft with few or no engine modifications.

Q: Will I have to re-jet the carburetor on my car when adding nitrous?
A: No! The NS system is independent of your carburetor and injects its own mixture of fuel and nitrous.

Q: What are some of the general rules for even greater horsepower gains?
A: Generally, forged aluminum pistons are a prerequisite for large horsepower increases with nitrous oxide induction. As a rule of thumb, ignition timing should be retarded 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 degrees retard per each 50 horsepower gained. In many cases a higher flow fuel pump may be necessary, along with 100 plus octane fuel, as well as spark plugs that are one to two ranges colder than normal with gaps closed to .025” – 030”. Horsepower gains over 250 horsepower may require additional modifications such as a forged crankshaft, forged connecting rods, an additional high out put fuel pump to supply additional fuel demands, and a racing fuel with high specific gravity rating and an octane rating of 110 or more. For more specific information about your application, please contact
the NS technical department at (714) 373-1986.

Q: Will the use of nitrous oxide produce a negative effect on the catalytic converter?
A: No. The increase in oxygen present in the exhaust may actually increase the efficiency of the converter.
Because the continuous use of nitrous oxide is normally limited to 10-20 seconds there are usually no appreciable effects. Temperatures are typically well within acceptable standards.

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: Can pump gas be used for street/strip nitrous oxide use?
A: Yes. Use a premium grade type leaded or unleaded fuel of 91 octane or greater, octane is recommended for most applications. Many NS systems are designed for use with service station pump gas. However when higher compression or higher horsepower levels are used a racing fuel with an octane rating of 100 or more must be used.

Q: How much improvement in performance with nitrous oxide induction can I expect?
A: For many applications and improvement of from 1-3 seconds in elapse time and as much as 10-15 miles per hour in 1/4 mile can be expected. Factors such as engine size, tires, jetting, and gearing will have influence on final results.

Q: When is the best time to use nitrous oxide?
A: At wide open throttle only (unless a progressive controller is used). Due to the tremendous increased amount of torque you will generally find the best results with early activation (traction permitting). Nitrous oxide can safely
be applied above 2,500RPM under full throttle conditions.

Q: What kind of pressures are components subject to in a typical nitrous kit?
A: Pressures often exceed 1,000 psi. This is why NS uses only high-pressure tested aircraft quality components like stainless steel braided Teflon lines throughout its systems.

Q: What type of nitrous oxide induction system is best; a plate system or a direct port injection system?
A: The advantages of a plate system are the ease of installation and removal, ability to transfer easily to
another vehicle, ability to change jetting combinations quickly, and in most cases provide all the extra horsepower you will ever need (75 to 350 more horsepower). In some cases such as inline engines with long runners a direct port type system is advisable for maximizing distribution. Where more than 350 horsepower is desired the NS direct port fogger type systems will provide the ultimate in distribution and power (up to 500 + horsepower). Direct port systems are also desirable when the system is hidden under the manifold.

Q: Should I modify my fuel system to use nitrous oxide?
A: Most stock fuel pumps will work adequately for smaller nitrous applications. It is important to test your fuel pump. Making sure the pump will flow enough fuel to supply your fuel system (carburetor or fuel injection), as well as the pumps ability to supply the additional fuel required for the use of the nitrous oxide system under full throttle. When in doubt it is always better to error on the side of caution with a dedicated fuel pump for the nitrous oxide system.

Q: Which type of manifold is better for a plate fed nitrous oxide system, single or dual plane manifold?
A: As long as the manifold does not interfere with the spray pattern of the spray bars, either will work fine in most cases. Single plane manifolds provide better distribution at high RPM ranges. If your goal is to increase horsepower over 200 horsepower a single plane manifold is preferable.

Q: How does nitrous work?
A: Nitrous is made up of 2 parts nitrogen and one part oxygen (36% oxygen by weight). During the engines combustion process, at about 572 degrees F, nitrous breaks down and releases oxygen. It is this extra oxygen that allows more fuel to be burned, thus creating additional horsepower. Additionally nitrous entering the manifold at -130 degrees F. Creates an intercooling effect dropping the inlet charge by 60 to 75 degrees
(Every 10 degrees of decrease in inlet charge is a 1% horsepower gain).

Q: Is it a good idea to use an aftermarket computer chip in conjunction with nitrous?
A: Only if the chip has been designed specifically for use with nitrous oxide. Most aftermarket chips use more aggressive timing advance curves to create more power. This can lead to potential detonation. You may wish to check with the manufacturer of the chip before using it. The top manufacturers, do make special chips for use with nitrous.

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: Will I have to change my ignition system?
A: Most late model ignition systems are well suited for nitrous applications. In some higher HP cases, it may be advisable to look into a high performance ignition system with retard capability.

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. For optimum running conditions, keep bottle pressure at approximately 900-950 psi. NS has a nitrous pressure gauge that allows you to monitor this. If you live in or operate a nitrous system in colder climates, it may also be a good idea to purchase a bottle heater kit. Generally, ambient temperatures of 70-90 degrees F. will allow for best power potential of NS kits.

Q: Will the percentage of performance increase be the same in a highly modified engine compared to a stock engine when using the same NS kit and jetting?

A: Not really. In most cases the percentage of increase is greater from a stock engine because
it is not as efficient as the modified engine in a normal non-nitrous mode. However, since the effects of nitrous oxide magnify the output of any engine, the total power output will be much higher in the modified engine.

Q: Can high compression engines utilize nitrous oxide?
A: Absolutely. High or low compression ratios can work quite suitably with nitrous oxide providing the proper balance of nitrous and fuel enrichment is maintained. NS kits are used in applications from relatively low compression stock type motors to Pro-Modified, which often exceed 15 to 1. Generally, the higher the compression ratio, the more ignition retard, as well as higher octane fuel, is required. For more specific information, talk to one of our technicians.

Q: Which is the best position to mount a nitrous bottle?
A: NS bottles come with siphon tubes and, in order to maintain proper nitrous pickup, it is important to
mount the bottle correctly. We 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.

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 nitrous. With a nitrous system, performance and reliability can be had for a much more reasonable price while still 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: What is the function of the blow-off safety valve on the bottle?
A: It is very important not to overfill a bottle; i.e., a 10lb capacity bottle should not be filled with more than 10lbs. 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.


Q: Is there an ideal compression ratio?
A: There is a relationship between the compression ratio, nitrous flow, and cubic inches. At competitive levels of one nitrous horsepower per cubic inch and greater, compression ratio should be at least a couple of points of compression lower than a naturally aspirated combination.

Q: Do I need a modified torque converter?
A: Torque converters play an important role in a successful nitrous recipe. They control the rpm range and where the load will be applied to the engine. It is important not to apply load to the engine at too low of rpm. Torque output from the engine varies greatly from naturally aspirated to the introduction of nitrous. Don’t start from too low of rpm, as natural power range of the
engine must be achieved.

Q: What is the ideal spark plug?
A: There are two aspects when it comes to spark plugs. The first must be that the plug has the correct heat range. This will allow the plug to survive the temperatures encountered in the combustion chamber. The second is the construction of the plug. The ground strap needs to be substantial in mass to transfer the heat and avoid heat sinking.

Q: Is plenum volume important in high horsepower nitrous applications?
A: It may be beneficial in some applications to review plenum volume. Plenums are scaled for naturally aspirated applications. When large amounts of nitrous are introduced, volume is displaced and the atmosphere within the plenum is dramatically affected.

More Questions?

Call Nitrous Supply for FREE technical support. (714) 373-1986

Nitrous Supply
5482 Business Dr. #D
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Phone (714) 373-1986 • Fax (714)373-5365