Giggle gas - something to put a smile on your face.

"Giggle Gas - Nitrous Oxide (N20) the power button!"

NB: NoS is a brand name of a company but many confuse this with the name of the gas Dinitrous Monoxide AKA – Nitrous Oxide N20, Dinitrous Monoxide, Dinitrogen oxide also referred to as Nitrous or giggle gas (from its medical usage as an anaesthetic.

It was used in wartime to boost the engines in aircraft and later became a big hit in drag racing in the Pro Mod class. Not a flammable gas in itself it is injected into the intake manifold where it mixes with air & fuel.  The main benefit of Nitrous comes as it burns and becomes an oxidiser releasing more oxygen into the engine.

An interesting side benefit of using Nitrous is the cooling effect it has.  It rapidly changes from a liquid to a gas and produces a cooling effect (when you get out of the bath the water starts to evaporate or turn into a gas vapour and takes the heat from your body) this cooling effect reduces the temperature of the air taken in by 60 degrees F. Colder air carries more oxygen which is required for combustion to take place - more oxygen means you can burn more fuel.

Nos Bottle

As the Nitrous gas is heated up in the combustion process it breaks down releasing additional oxygen and increases the burn rate allowing more fuel to enter the combustion chamber. Different size nozzle jets offer larger boosts to the power ranging from 20bhp more to over 200bhp more.

As well as sending Nitrous to the engine you will also need to supply additional fuel (Nitrous provides a cooler denser air charge, more oxygen, so will run Lean if more fuel is not delivered.) Obviously the engine has to be able to cope with this increased pressure and power so the jets are matched to the application.

Most standard engines can cope with a 20 - 40 bhp shot. Forged pistons, forged steel rods and a heavy-duty cylinder head with up rated gasket and performance bolts and full balancing are required if you go for a major power increase.

A full range of Nitrous delivery systems are available for all applications of vehicles and engine types and can be matched to each cylinder in the engine. The common delivery systems are:-
WET (The fuel and Nitrous are mixed and introduced together to the primary part of the intake. This system produces slightly more power than dry but cannot be applied to an engine with a dry intake typically most fuel injected engines.)
DRY (The extra fuel required to maintain the burn balance from Lean to Rich is delivered by the injectors of the car. The primary part of the intake is kept dry of fuel.)
FOGGER (Named after the Fogger Nozzle mixes the fuel and Nitrous mixture and sprays it directly into the cylinder. Each cylinder can be set up separately and additional foggers can be added creating a dual stage kit. Foggers generally produce the most significant power gains.)

A bottle warmer can assist with maintaining bottle pressure and delivering smooth power. To get an idea how much Nitrous remains in your bottle you need to weigh it – as the pressure gauge just indicates the pressure in the bottle and this can vary depending on temperature. 

Adding Nitrous is a very easy high power modification. The refills can be a hidden cost though.

It is fairly easy to fit Nitrous to a vehicle within 4 to 6 hours although most insurance companies will not provide cover for road use. (As with all modifications your insurers must be notified.) A 10 lb bottle of Nitrous is good for about 3 minutes of boost (7-10 ¼ miles runs) but shouldn't really be operated for more than 10-15 seconds at a time if you don’t want to blow up your engine.

Nitrous can also be applied to diesel engines a 130ps Golf TDI got almost double the power - but boy racers don’t buy diesels – well not until recently.

Medical grade NoS does not have a smell added like automotive grade Nitrous (incidentally the smell added to car grade Nitrous is Hydrogen Sulfide, a very nasty additive that will cause permanent damage to lung tissues and nerve endings if deliberately inhaled for recreation!) So you can use medical grade Nitrous in a car but not vice versa!!!

When to press the Nitrous boost button –
At or over 2500 RPM with the throttle fully depressed – you can buy a progressive boost system which matches the Nitrous shot to the throttle position and regulates the flow. You will receive an enormous increase of torque and this can result in a loss of traction – so be careful at speed as a loss of traction usually equals an impressive spin and crash.

Pressing the Nitrous button and then starting the engine can cause catastrophic engine damage. If the button is accidentally pressed - disengage the coil and turn the engine over a few times to clear the cylinders.

Suppliers of Nitrous injection systems are:- NOS, Wizards of NOS, Nitrous Express (NX), ZeX, Edelbrock, Holley Nos, Venom,Nitrous Solutions and MJS (You will find NOS, NX and Wizards of NOS in  online part shops.)

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