Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2003
Photos By: Courtesy of Manufacturers

Nitrous oxide, N2O, juice, squeeze, giggle gas, spray. Call it what you want [As long as it's not "noss." - Ed.], nitrous is one of the best performance enhancements you can make to increase horsepower, lower e.t.'s, and widen your grin. It was just a few years ago that the typical nitrous system consisted of some braided lines with fuel and nitrous solenoids and either a plate or a nozzle to inject the mixture into the engine. Today's nitrous systems are much more elaborate and feature throttle activation, rpm activation (or a combination of both), and computer controls. There are also "dry" systems where the factory fuel system is tapped for the additional fuel-that is added at the injector-instead of a separate fuel line and solenoid as in years past.

These improvements, the expanding list of vendors getting into Mustang nitrous systems, and the options that abound, led us to creating this buyer's guide. We've included all the important info on each kit as well as a short description to help with your choices. While we're featuring only direct-fit EFI systems here, every manufacturer listed also sells universal EFI, direct port D-I-Y, and carbureted kits. Street prices are from the Summit Racing Web site or the manufacturer and were current as of January 2003 when this was written. So, instead of taking up more valuable space with our drivel [Agreed. - Ed.], let's get into the guide.

Part Number: N515R
System Type: Wet plate
Power Levels: 50-200 hp
Applications: '86-'93 5.0
w/Trick Flow
R-Series intake
Street Pricing: $679.95

The N515R kit is identical in power levels and uses the same solenoids as the Street intake system, but this plate is designed to work only with Trick Flow's R-Series manifold.

CompuCar

Part Number: 60310
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 20-100 hp
Applications: Any EFI vehicle
Street Pricing: $395.00

The CompuCar "Nitrous in a Bag" system (Pro Street Heat) was designed for simple installation on any EFI engine for weekend racing. The dry system injects only nitrous through its nozzle, then through the mass air meter into the engine, fooling the engine into cold-enrichment mode, thus giving the engine more fuel and adjusting other parameters such as timing. The kit includes a 10-pound bottle secured within a nondescript duffle bag, high-strength nylon tubing, and various jets.

Part Number: 810000
System Type: Wet nozzle
Power Levels: 50-150 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0
Street Pricing: $445.00

CompuCar's nitrous kits are well known for their low prices and con-cise parts lists. But this doesn't mean they don't make power. The basic system components do mean less to install and less hassle. Simply mount the nitrous and fuel solenoids, route the fuel and nitrous lines, hook up the throttle switch, and you're ready to spray. What's nice about the basic 5.0 kit shown here is that you can later upgrade to a dual-stage system-if your engine can handle it-with CompuCar's upgrade kit (PN 810502). Or, if you've just built a nitrous engine with enough fuel, you can start off with a complete dual-stage kit (PN 810500).

Part Number: 810010
System Type: Wet nozzle
Power Levels: 50-125 hp
Applications: '96-'01 4.6
Street Pricing: $445.00

The CompuCar system for 4.6 applications is similar to the 5.0 kit listed above except for some revised jetting (this kit tops out at 125 hp). Due to the factory engine specs, there is no dual-stage system or upgrade available. Both kits come with 10-pound bottles, braided lines, solenoids, adapter fittings, and more. What would a nitrous company be without a full complement of accessories? CompuCar has bottle warmers, gauges, bottle brackets, larger bottles, purge kits (shown here), and lots more to get your Mustang's nitrous system ready for the "big squeeze."

Edelbrock

Part Number: 70400
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 80 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0,
'96-'98 4.6
Street Pricing: $499.95

Edelbrock's lineup begins with its Performer EFI nitrous kit with a fixed 80hp shot. The system fits 5.0s and 4.6s (with a return fuel line) and can easily be installed with basic tools. Features include a single nozzle that flows only nitrous so there are less lines and wiring to install. The kit comes complete with a nozzle, a nitrous solenoid, electrical components, and a 10-pound bottle.

Part Number: 70402
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 125-150 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0,
'96-'98 4.6
Street Pricing: $882.14

Edelbrock's next Performer EFI nitrous system is basically the 70400's big brother. This system has all the same features of the 70400 kit, but it has a higher power rating due to the larger solenoid and jets.

Squeeze Buffet

Part Number: 70404
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 80-100 hp
Applications: '03 SVT Cobra
Street Pricing: $571.47

New for 2003 is Edelbrock's system that is specifically tuned for the screamin' '03 Cobra. This system features a solid 80-100hp boost over the already stout, supercharged 4.6. It comes with everything you need to be spraying the night away at your favorite track.

Part Number: 70405
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 80 hp
Applications: '99-'03 4.6
Street Pricing: $721.95

For '99-and-later 4.6 owners with returnless fuel systems, Edelbrock engineers went back to the drawing board and configured this 80hp dry kit that works within the confines of the returnless fuel-system's parameters. The kit includes everything you need-braided lines, a nozzle, a 10-pound bottle, and more.

Part Number: 70057
System Type: Wet plate
Power Levels: 150-300 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0
Street Pricing: $650.90

Edelbrock's foray into wet nitrous systems for EFI applications brings you the company's new plate system designed to work with its own Performer 5.0, RPM, and RPM II manifolds. The plate is similar to others in that it sits between the upper and lower plenum. But, unlike many others, the Edelbrock plate is designed to have individually adjustable runners. This means each runner's nitrous and fuel flow can be custom tuned with different jet sizes for optimum power. The plate system includes nitrous and fuel solenoids, braided lines, jets for each cylinder, and a 10-pound bottle. Coming soon, Edelbrock will have plates for its Victor series manifold as well as Trick Flow and Holley manifolds.

Edelbrock's Performer EFI and race-level nitrous systems are backed by a full assortment of jet kits, purge solenoids, various bottle sizes, carbon-fiber bottles, quick-release bottle brackets, and much more to finish off your nitrous system install.

This dry kit features a fuel-enrichment harness and wide-open-throttle (WOT) switch to control nitrous and fuel flow. It also includes the typical 10-pound bottle and all jets and fittings for installation.

Holley/NOS

Part Number: 05116NOS
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 100-125 hp
Applications: '99-'02 4.6
Two-Valve
and Four-Valve
Street Pricing: $725.95

Part Number: 08100NOS
System Type: Wet direct port
(NOSzle technology)
Power Levels: 100-300 hp
Applications: '96-'02 4.6
Two-Valve
Street Pricing: $1,497.95

The newest nitrous kit to come out of the NOS secret test labs is this NOSzle system. The nitrous and fuel are injected through a special NOSzle that sits between the intake manifold and the factory injector. The system is adjustable (more than 125 hp requires internal upgrades to the engine) and comes with similar electronics and hardware to the aforementioned kit (PN 05116NOS).

<tr>
Part Numbers: 02115NOS,
02116NOS,
02117NOS,
02119NOS
System Type: Wet plate
Power Levels: 150-300 hp
Applications: '86-'95 EFI 5.0
Street Pricing: $679.95-$729.95

If you prefer a plate-style nitrous system, NOS has you covered with an adjustable plate system for most 5.0 intakes. This plate sits between the upper and lower manifolds and sprays the nitrous and fuel mix into the lower runners. The kit includes a bottle, wiring, and jets for up to 300 hp of "go-baby-go" power.

Nitrous Express

Part Number: 20210
System Type: Wet direct port
(NXL technology)
Power Levels: 80-200 hp
Applications: '96-'02 4.6
Street Pricing: Not available at
press time

The newest nitrous technology has found its way to Nitrous Express. Dubbed "NXL with Integrated Rail Technology," the system features the performance and safety of a direct-port nitrous system for owners of 4.6 Mustangs (and soon 5.0 Mustangs). The CNC fuel rails have the fuel and nitrous solenoids built in for easy installation, so there are no external solenoid brackets to ugly things up under the hood. Simply install the high-flow fuel rails and the direct-port nozzles, and you're ready to roll. The kit includes high-flow rails, eight nozzles, nylon tubing, wiring, and a 10-pound bottle.

Part Number: 05115NOS
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 75 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0
Street Pricing: $469.95

If you're looking for an easy installation and a little boost of safe power, then this 75hp fixed kit is the ticket. The dry system injects nitrous via a nozzle into the inlet for a nice kick in the pants. The kit includes a 10-pound bottle, solenoids, wiring, and more, for easy, do-it-yourself installation. Besides these Mustang-specific systems, NOS also sells universal EFI kits (great for your tow rig) and carbureted plate systems. The company also carries a full line of accessories, including purge kits (shown here), bottle warmers, jets, bottle brackets, bottles, and more.

The newest nitrous kit to come out of the NOS secret test labs is this NOSzle system. The nitrous and fuel are injected through a special NOSzle that sits between the intake manifold and the factory injector. The system is adjustable (more than 125 hp requires internal upgrades to the engine) and comes with similar electronics and hardware to the aforementioned kit (PN 05116NOS).

Part Number: 20100-20107
System Type: Wet plate
Power Levels: 50-300 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0
Street Pricing: $1,100

The Nitrous Express plate systems for 5.0 applications have always been big sellers. These easy-to-install plates fit between the upper and lower intake manifolds, offering stealthy installation (oh, that-it's just an intake spacer!) and feature the option of upgrading to dual-stage capability for up to 600 hp of giggles. Now that's a lot of laughs! Nitrous Express has kits for all the popular manifolds, from stock to Trick Flow R and everything in between. Kits include the plate, lines, wiring, solenoids, and a 10-pound bottle. Nitrous Express also offers universal EFI systems for Fords. Accessories include the company's popular electric remote bottle opener, nitrous filters, gauges, bottle warmers, purge kits, and a whole lot more to make installation and use of a Nitrous Express kit go smoothly.

Nitrous Works

Part Number: 13007
System Type: Wet nozzle
Power Levels: 75-125 hp
Applications: '96-'02 4.6
Street Pricing: $495.00

Nitrous Works has grown to become a big part of Barry Grant's business. While Demon Carburetion is the lead dog, Nitrous Works, Rush Filters, and other divisions are still cranking out new products. This 4.6 wet kit is an example of such. Simple in its design, effective in its use, the single nozzle is installed into the inlet tubing for 75-125 horses worth of acceleration and power. As with most kits, this system is shipped with solenoids, braided lines, electrical components, and a 10-pound bottle.

Part Number: 13005
System Type: Wet plate (70 mm)
Power Levels: 50-175
Applications: '86-'93 5.0
Street Pricing: $513.00

The Nitrous Works list of accessories is constantly growing. While a purge kit, larger bottles, fuel regulators, jet kits, safety systems, and more have been available for a while, Nitrous Works unveiled its first bottle heater kit (shown here) at the PRI show.

Trick Flow's latest foray into Ford performance includes these brand-new plate systems that utilize the popular plate-style, sandwiched between the upper and lower Trick Flow manifold halves. This system is designed strictly for the Trick Flow Street intake and can be increased in 50hp increments. The kit comes complete with solenoids, a plate, braided line, wiring, and a 10-pound bottle.

Venom Nitrous

Part Number: VCN-2000
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 10-175 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0,
'94-'00 3.8,
'96-'01 4.6
Street Pricing: $1,399.95

The VCN-2000 is a sophisticated nitrous system that offers plenty of flexibility and performance. It is completely computer controlled and is adjustable via the included Palm Pilot handheld PDA. The user can easily control the amount of nitrous and the length of time the nitrous is on. There's even a linear mode that ramps the nitrous as more throttle is fed. A dash-mounted display shows rich or lean conditions, rpm, injector pulse width, throttle angle, and system status.

Part Number: VCN-1000
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 60-100 hp
(depending on engine application)
Applications: '94-'02 V-6,
'96-'01 4.6,
'86-'95 5.0
Street Pricing: $699.95

Longtime mainstays of the Nitrous Works catalog, the company's wet-plate systems are popular among the Mustang faithful. Instead of sandwiching between the two intake halves, the Nitrous Works plate design is situated between the throttle body and the upper plenum in a machined spacer. Depending on the kit type, the solenoids are either mounted on the plate via a bracket or they're mounted separately and connected with -3 braided lines. Nitrous Works offers 75mm and 80mm plates as well. Kits are available in various jet sizes and fixed horsepower ratings. Kits include appropriate solenoids, plate, gaskets, longer mounting studs, braided lines, wiring, and a 10-pound bottle.

Trick Flow

Part Number: N5150
System Type: Wet plate
Power Levels: 50-200 hp
Applications: '86-'93 5.0
w/ Trick Flow
Street intake
Street Pricing: $659.95

ZEX Innovation

Part Number: 82015
System Type: Dry nozzle
Power Levels: 75-125 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0,
'96-'98 4.6
Street Pricing: $525.00

Part Number: 82023
System Type: Wet nozzle
Power Levels: 75-125 hp
Applications: '86-'95 5.0,
'96-'02 4.6
Street Pricing: $585.00

The Venom nitrous kits are interesting in that they operate in "closed loop" mode-as does your factory EFI-monitoring throttle angle, O2 sensors, and so on to control the amount of fuel and nitrous for a safe performance boost. The VCN-1000 is Venom's entry-level kit that works with interchangeable nozzles. The kit includes a 10-pound, powdercoated bottle; electronics; braided lines; and vehicle-specific instructions. Venom's accessories list includes fuel injectors, nitrous jets, and more to complete or upgrade your system.

ZEX's "smart" nitrous system uses computer-controlled hardware to adjust nitrous flow according to bottle pressure and throttle angle, thus ensuring the proper flow rate of fuel to the nitrous pressure being used. The nitrous solenoid and electronics are encapsulated in a CNC-machined aluminum housing. The kit comes with a nitrous nozzle, jets, bottle, and lines for a quick and easy installation.

The newest product from ZEX is its wet system for the Mustang. Nitrous and fuel solenoids and all electronics are contained within the Nitrous Management Unit for easy installation and a clean look. An advanced sensor that "learns" the throttle angle of your vehicle handles the activation of the system.The nitrous kit includes the braided fuel and nitrous lines, an NMU, a nozzle, a powdercoated bottle, and all wiring and instructions.

Nitrous Accessories
There are dozens of accessories for nitrous systems available from well-known manufacturers. Their catalogs include gauges, electronics, controllers, safety equipment, filling equipment, tools, and so on. Due to space constraints, we have room to list only a few, but these are some of the popular pieces tuners add to nitrous installations.

Squeeze Buffet
ZEX is one of the newcomers to the nitrous market, having been around only a few years, but that hasn't stopped it from having some great accessories. The company offers an electric remote bottle opener, as well as purge kits, pressure gauges, bottle warmers, safety kits, and more.

Diablo Sport Delta Chip
When it comes to nitrous systems, ignition advance is not a good thing to have. Many of the nitrous kits require stock timing-so if you have your 5.0 advanced to 14 degrees, you'll need to bring it back down to 10. Even less timing is required for the really stout systems. Of course, this is only when you're "on the bottle." When you aren't spraying your engine with the gas, the naturally aspirated performance can suffer from not having more aggressive timing. Using a computer performance chip with more than one program is the answer. The DiabloSport Delta chip allows for just such programming. The chip offers one program for normal driving with a more aggressive timing and fuel curve, and another for when you have the nitrous ready to rock.

Jacobs Nitrous Mastermind
The Nitrous Mastermind is a driver-adjustable nitrous controller and safety system rolled into one. The safety side monitors engine rpm, throttle angle, and fuel pressure, while the controller side of the device pulses the nitrous solenoids to control the flow of nitrous for a gradual application of power. The system includes a built-in rev limiter and will shut off the nitrous solenoids before the ignition to prevent a buildup of nitrous in the engine.

Painless Mustang Hide-a-Panel
One reason nitrous is such a popular addition for the go-fast crowd is that it's a power-on-demand system. But mounting all sorts of switches, purge buttons, and lights on your dash is a surefire way to let others know something is up. Instead, use a switch panel such as the Painless ashtray model (PN 50422) shown here for nitrous applications. The panel comes with three lighted rocker switches and one momentary switch (useful for purge functions or a second stage of nitrous). Similar panels are available from other companies with various switch options as well.