The main reason more people don’t have nitrous oxide systems (“Nitrous”) in their cars are that they think it is dangerous. Here are some safety tips to help you feel more comfortable with that big pressurized bottle next to you.
Installing a nitrous oxide system in your car is a quicker, easier and cheaper alternative to gain 100 horsepower than an engine rebuild. It will give you a boost of power when you need it and can save on fuel if used at the right time. No other engine modifications are necessary and if you don’t want to be fast and loud you don’t have to.
Nitrous bottles have a safety locking pin so they can’t get accidentally turned on. Just like a fire extinguisher you have to pull the pin before anything comes out.
One common image of nitrous is the exploding nitrous bottle. Nitrous oxide is not flammable but an open flame on the bottle will soften the aluminum bottle and make it more likely to explode from the pressure inside.
Why would you put an open flame to a nitrous bottle? The reason is because the heat will raise the pressure of the gas inside so it will come out faster and be more efficient. That is why companies such as Design Engineering Inc. sell bottle heaters. It will keep the bottle warm without compromising the integrity of the bottle.
That being said, the pressure going through the fuel system will be about 1000 psi, so all the hose fittings must be very tight.
Mike Thermos, the former co-founder of NOS and current president of Nitrous Supply located in Huntington Beach California wants everyone to know:
“A bottle is designed to be filled to 68% of its capacity and must have an “Air Bubble” of 32% to allow for expansion of the nitrous when it gets warm.
“Speaking of temperature, when nitrous is discharging out of the bottle, it will be at minus -127 degrees and will freeze burn you almost immediately! Care should be taken to wear gloves and goggles whenever filling a nitrous bottle.”
Companies like Nitrous Supply make it easy to install nitrous oxide systems because not only do they sell all the parts for it but they offer technical support and since they are located right in Huntington Beach, you shouldn’t be afraid to use it.
Nitrous controllers made by companies like Nitrous Supply and Design Engineering Inc. deliver the nitrous in pulses so it will be a smooth increase in speed instead of a jerk. They can also be set to make the nitrous output either rpm, speed, or time- based so if your car gets too fast, your engine gets too overloaded or the nitrous has been released for a certain amount of time it will turn off.
Another thing to know is that nitrous should not be used from low or zero rpm. In other words, you already have to be going fast to go faster.
One more thing to know so you can get the maximum benefits of nitrous oxide — 91 Octane or higher fuel should be used with nitrous. No other engine modifications are necessary, but if you are looking for high horsepower, 110 octane racing fuel, stronger pistons, crankshaft, connecting rods, spark plugs and a high output fuel pump will be needed to keep up with the excessive power.