Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 1, 2004

Horse Sense:
We've seen nitrous activated through wide-open-throttle switches, horn buttons, momentary-contact buttons on the shifter, and even through electronic rpm controllers. The important thing to remember is to have a master shutoff switch that removes power from your solenoids, controller, bottle warmer, and so on. Even better is to invest in an electronic key switch (available at alarm and stereo shops) that prevents the system from being armed by anyone who doesn't have the key. It'll keep your friends, significant others, and valets honest.

Nitrous is an oxidizer, comprised of two parts nitrogen and one part oxygen. During the combustion of nitrous, oxygen is released. This extra oxygen alone would lean out the engine, thus a second solenoid is used to inject additional fuel into the process. This fuel and air combination is where the extra power is made. The nitrogen also helps dampen the load of the increased cylinder pressure, and finally, the -128 degree temperature of nitrous lowers the temperature of the incoming air. Making it denser packs even more power into the cylinder.

Nitrous oxide has been around in many forms for decades. Originally used in World War II on propeller-driven aircraft for more speed and higher altitude, nitrous has been bolted onto just about anything a hot rodder can think of, from personal watercraft to Gopeds. If the engine uses regular fuel for combustion, a nitrous system can be slapped on it. Early nitrous installations were often cobbled together from spare parts (sometimes not even automotive-based!), far from the engine- or manufacturer-specific systems found today. Their primary use was on the nation's dragstrips. It was rare for a street car to have nitrous installed on it. Times, they have changed.

One company that knows fuel systems and how to build a nitrous kit is the Nitrous Works division of Barry Grant. The company's EFI systems are available in several configurations. Basic single-stage kits, two-stage kits, plate systems, Power Wing nozzle systems, and a bunch of installation and tuning accessories fill the Nitrous Works catalog. For our nitrous installation, we opted for the newer Power Wing single-stage adjust-able system. This system is designed to give up to 125 hp reliably to your engine with the minimum of installation hassles. Mount the bottle, tap into the fuel supply, mount the solenoids and Power Wing nozzle, and you're ready to surprise the track regulars who think your Mustang is slow.

Purge Is the Word
While a purge kit is not required to run a nitrous system on your Mustang, you should seriously consider installing one, such as the Nitrous Works -4 system (PN 19006) shown here.

Using a purge kit is easy. Mount the purge solenoid as close to the nitrous solenoid as possible, with the best option being right on the nitrous filter inlet to the nitrous solenoid itself, as we did in this project. With the purge solenoid installed, you can quickly purge the long -4 nitrous line from the bottle to the nitrous solenoid of any nitrous in gas form. This prevents nitrous in a gaseous state from entering the nozzle and-ultimately-the engine.

You want nitrous to enter the engine while it is still in a liquid state, so purging the system removes all the gas and gets the liquid nitrous right up to the nitrous solenoid. This allows the liquid nitrous to make power as soon as the solenoids are engaged in those crucial first few tenths of a race. Otherwise, the nitrous gas will cause a momentary rich condition, which will result in poor off-the-line performance until the liquid nitrous comes in, costing precious time and possibly your race. And purging the nitrous through the cowl for spectators and the bewildered blue-hairs in the Oldsmobile next to you at the stoplight is a whole bunch of fun too!

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