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Nitrogen Assisted Nitrous Oxide
You've heard us mention the Performance Racing Industry trade show on various occasions in the past. We've explained how the show is the premier event for manufacturers to display and debut the latest, greatest, hard-core racing equipment.
Naturally, seeing and learning about new products designed to improve a Mustang's performance is our primary mission while we walk the rows of booths at PRI. While there's a huge amount of products to see, we try to give you an overview of the 'Stang-related highlights each year in our annual report on the show ("Hardcore Gear," May '07, p. 131). Each year, the show brings us a few standout parts that 5.0&SF editors make note of and consider for Tech Inspection or other tech-related articles.
One of the new companies on hand at the '06 PRI show was Nitrogen Assisted Nitrous Oxide of Lawrence, Kansas. NANO debuted its latest in nitrous-oxide tech-nology at last year's show. The company came out with a unique support system for nitrous injection that's centered on a nitrogen charge; it overcomes variations in bottle temperature and pressure. A nitrous system's performance is all about bottle temperature and nitrous pressure. Inconsistency in either area radically affects the performance of a nitrous system.
Company co-owner, Tom Darnell Jr., gave us an overview of how this system works. A nitrous bottle typically loses pressure near the end of a quarter-mile run, and also as the amount of nitrous inside the bottle decreases. A system may be pilled for a 200 shot of nitrous, but the shot's potency is decreased as the run progresses and bottle pressure drops.
While heat is used as a method of increasing pressure, maintaining a consistent pressure level and nitrous hit is difficult each time the bottle cools or uses a few pounds of nitrous per run. It's rare to use all the nitrous inside a bottle, and when it's low, it's all but impossible to raise pressure to the 950 to 1,050 psi necessary for an optimum shot simply by trying to warm it.
Through as much as 5,000 psi of forced nitrogen pressure, NANO makes nitrous shots consistent during the course of several runs by keeping bottle pressure steady for however long a nitrous solenoid is open and juice is being sucked down. Maintaining continuous and consistent pressure also promotes using the entire contents of the nitrous bottle, so an empty bottle is truly an empty bottle.
The '01 GT test mule we're using is motivated by a D.S.S. 4.6 with Patriot heads, Comp camshafts, and other assorted go-fast goodies, with one of the more important accessories for this test being a Nitrous Express Shark S.H.O. wet system.
We plumbed an Auto Meter pressure gauge into the 'Stang's nitrous feed line and made a total of eight full-bore passes on one of our local test streets to see if there was any discernable difference in pressure or performance. Four of the runs used the pre-existing NX bottle and bottle warmer, while the other four used the NANO Nitrous Pressure Compensator bottle. Pressure for each run was 1,050 psi and both bottles were full when our tests began.
Check out the photos and captions for details on how things went.
We decided to bypass the dyno and go for a real-world street test of NANO's performance. We hit it hard, making four 200hp (nitrous jetting), four-gear passes using a full nitrous bottle warmed by an electric bottle warmer. We then made four additional passes with NANO's equipment in its place. Using a nitrous gauge to monitor pressure, by the time we made our third pass without NANO, we saw a distinct drop in bottle pressure and slight engine sputtering when nitrous was activated-despite having warmed the bottle to 1,050 psi prior to each run. The problem persisted on the final hit. On the other hand, NANO proved to be all that it's said to be. After boosting pressure in the compensator (we used nitrogen) and establishing 1,050 psi at the liquid-filled gauge on NANO's bottle and our in-car gauge, we made another four full-tilt laps and saw no waver in pressure. The Mustang's hopped-up Two-Valve never missed a beat, and the car may have moved a bit faster with consistent nitrous pressure and full shots of 200 horses.