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Budget Performer - Tech Scene

Apr 9, 2007

If I received a nickel for every time someone asked me "how could I make my car faster without a lot of money," I would be a millionaire by now. Too bad they didn't fork up that nickel. This segment of "Tech Scene" will explore the option of nitrous oxide-boost in a juice.

Unfortunately, within the import industry, nitrous systems have received a bad rap over the years. Many have the misconception that nitrous is uncontrollable; that it will blow up your engine once you hit the juice-a big no-no when it comes to performance. The reality? Any performance product not properly installed can result in engine damage. However, a properly installed nitrous system has the potential for more horsepower per dollar spent than any other product on the market. The other frequent question that leads to a nitrous installment is, "I want to make my car go fast, but no one make performance parts for my car." Not true. If you have the drive, you can go fast. A nitrous system can be adapted to almost any gasoline-powered engine. I have even seen systems on go-peds!

A little background on nitrous oxide (NO2). Nitrous Oxide is two parts nitrogen and one part oxygen. There are two types of nitrous systems available: a dry manifold system and a wet manifold system. On a dry system, only nitrous is injected through the spray nozzle and fuel is introduced into the combustion chamber by the injectors, using higher fuel pressure. On a wet system, nitrous and fuel is injected through the spray nozzle. Either system works great, but from an installation standpoint, a dry manifold set-up is a lot easier to install.

To prove our point, we tested a nitrous system from ZEX Innovation. Our guinea pig was a 1991 Acura Integra equipped with a Japan-spec B16A engine. Baseline figures checked in at 140.9 hp and 102.6 lb-ft of torque. Installation was straightforward and only took three hours to install from start to finish. When the nitrous kicked in, power figures rose to 167.3 hp and 141.7 lb-ft of torque-an increase of 27.4 hp and 39.1 lb-ft of torque.

More impressively, the dyno curve showed an improvement of nearly 40 hp at 5000 rpm. Where else can you gain 27.4 hp in peak power at the wheels from $525? The next time you start complaining about not having any performance parts available for your car, check out the possibility of nitrous oxide. NOS (270) 781-9741, Nitrous Works (706) 864-7009, Nitrous Express (888) 463-2781, Venom (714) 828-1406 or ZEX (888) 817-1008.

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