Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Bob Watson, Induction Solutions
This is Edelbrock's Super Victor Direct Port Nitrous kit (PN 71852). With the titanium E3 nozzles, this system can deliver 500-plus horsepower. Some assembly is required.

Nitrous Madness!
Nitrous oxide injection is one of the best bang for the buck mods you can make to your muscle Mustang or fast Ford, and there are a lot of ways to add the giggle gas to your hot rod, from plates to nozzles, to dry and wet systems.

When it comes to adding a lot of nitrous to your engine, you can go with a plate system or a direct port system. Most EFI 5.0 Mustangs feature a long-runner intake manifold, and most plate systems aren't designed for this application. You can also run into an issue where the massive amount of nitrous and fuel has a hard time taking the 180-degree turn that most 5.0L-based EFI Ford manifolds have. Fuel puddling and backfiring can occur if this happens. In this instance, the direct port would be the best way to go.

When we ran into Victor Cox of Keystone Heights, Florida, he had problems with his current nitrous system going lean in certain cylinders, and subsequently burned up some pistons. Modifying and racing cars are what most of us do for fun, so when your engine goes up in smoke, it's time to rethink things. No one wants to repair the car all of the time.

Having had great results with Edelbrock Victor Jr. cylinder heads and the Victor 5.0 intake manifold that topped off his 331ci small-block Ford, Vic turned to Edelbrock's Steve Johnson and Induction Solutions for a nitrous system. That led to a single E1 nozzle setup squirting 150 hp. It worked perfectly, but eventually the need for speed demanded something more. It must have something to do with being named Victor, as both Vic Edelbrock Sr. and Vic Edelbrock Jr. have had a passion for going fast, and our Victor is no different.

To satiate Vic's need for speed, we called up Edelbrock's Director of Motorsports, and proprietor of Inductions Solutions, Steve Johnson. Johnson recommended a direct-port Super Victor nitrous system to provide our fix. The Super Victor system (PN 71852) is rated at 100 to 500-plus horsepower, depending on the nozzles you choose to use, and includes the Victor Pro bottom exit nitrous solenoids for improved flow characteristics as well as billet aluminum distribution blocks and stainless steel tubing. Stainless steel jets offer better longevity and tighter tolerances, and the E3 titanium nozzles are made to endure the tough racing environment. As Edelbrock puts it, it's nitrous made better. We also ordered an Edelbrock bottle kit (PN 72305) to provide us with the happy gas.

In addition to the extended amount of nitrous that a direct port system can supply, it also offers the ability to tune each cylinder. This is especially important in small-block Ford engines where the corner cylinders (1, 4, 5, and 8) have a tendency to run leaner than the rest of the octet. In a street application, this isn't as important, as there is plenty of cushion in the tuneup to compensate for this. In a racing application, where fine-tuning the air/fuel ratio is critical to get every ounce of performance from the engine, this is more of a problem, but it can be corrected by using the right nitrous jetting.

"Basically you are tuning eight individual engines," says Johnson.

The Super Victor direct port system includes 56 jets in seven different sizes. The system is designed to be run with a low fuel-pressure fuel system, usually a dedicated system. We didn't have time to install a separate fuel system for the nitrous--though it does sound like a great tech article on its own. Induction Solutions was able to provide us with a different set of jets to run the direct port off our high-pressure EFI fuel system.

We turned to Induction Solutions of Brooksville, Florida, for the installation, as the guys at IS have years of nitrous experience and spend much of their day plumbing everything from your average street EFI manifolds with a single stage of nitrous to one-off sheetmetal manifolds with up to five stages. They are also an Edelbrock distributor and extremely familiar with the product line.

Our first order of business was to find a location for the nozzles. On the Edelbrock Victor 5.0 EFI manifold, you can only really install them in the bend on the top of the runners. There is also the plenum plate, but the nozzle is far enough away from the runner that it could jump runners, which sort of defeats the purpose of a direct port setup. Installing them in the bend of the runner isn't a problem, but hood clearance may be. We measured our engine deck-to-hood height and then mocked the nozzle up on the intake and measured that. We're cutting it close, even with a six-inch tall cowl hood, but we've got enough. People with Windsor engines with a taller deck height may have to make further modifications.

Once the location was chosen, Induction Solutions started with the installation. Turnaround time for a manifold like this is generally one to two weeks, depending on how busy it is in the shop. Sure, it is possible for the enthusiast to plumb the system on his or her own, and most of the time this works fine. If you want a professional result that comes with 24/7 tech support, then you're better off having a company like Induction Solutions perform the installation.

In addition to the manifold modifications and plumbing required to do such a job, IS also has a blueprinting procedure for their systems that they have developed over years of experience with nitrous systems. This blueprinting ensures that the system flows what it is expected to, and that it does it with proper distribution. They flow test the systems and map out jetting sizes so that the end user will know exactly what changes will do what, and that everything is repeatable. They also offer tech support, and the staff can be found at most of the major heads-up races rendering fender-side help and advice.

With that said, and the new direct port-injected Victor 5.0 manifold bolted back on the Fox-body Mustang, it was time to go back to the track. The coupe's previous best elapsed time was a 10.12 at 126 mph. Fast for sure, but a little over the edge, as it resulted in a burned piston. That's when our man Vic installed the single E1 nozzle for 150 hp. Distribution problems were relatively solved and the car, with a new piston, throttled to a 10.28 at 130 mph. Our first time out with the fogger, Steve Johnson jetted the direct port for 200 hp. You don't want to go hog wild right out of the gate if you don't have to. The Mustang responded with a quarter-mile time of 10.21 at 132 mph.

After Johnson looked at the plugs, we pulled two jet numbers from the No. 6 cylinder to richen it up. We also pulled 2 degrees of timing to see if the car slowed.

"With the small block Fords, I like to pull timing until the car slows," says Johnson. "If you pull it and it goes the same, then you were probably close to detonation." A better 1.36-second 60-ft time netted a 10.01 at 132 on attempt number two, and after pulling two more degrees of timing (22 total), we ran a 10.13 at 132.58 on pass number 3. A bit of tire shake caused the short time to slow to 1.44 seconds.

We reviewed the plugs again, and even though we had yet to see the speed drop off from the pulled timing, Johnson felt comfortable enough to let us bump the jets two numbers for an additional 50 hp. We also pulled two more degrees of timing and with a 1.42 short time, the coupe charged to a best ever 9.98 at 135.01 mph. We backed up the 9.98 with a 10.01 at 134.89 and a 10.13 at 134.58. The latter was with a wheel-spinning 1.51 short time.

We called it a day, and a successful one at that. What's better than the improved track times is the fact that the motor was in perfectly good shape and ready for more action. If you're looking to step up your nitrous game, the Edelbrock Super Victor Direct Port system will get the job done. We'll be bringing our little black notchback back to the track with more nitrous in an upcoming issue, and we'll also be installing Edelbrock's progressive nitrous controller to keep a handle on it.