Laughing gas: Hemi Nitrous Install pt 2

So I have received all of my bits and bobs from Nitrous Outlet as mentioned over in Part 1. Their shipping was stupid-fast, and my stuff got here in <1 day. So the most daunting thing I think for me, and probably for other new guys is the question ‘What do I need?’ now obviously you can start with a basic kit from Nitrous Outlet or just about anywhere and get the basics to have a functional nitrous system, but I think most folks still have some questions, particularly about safety.

Keeping it safe:

This should go without saying, but any sort of compressed gas is dangerous (yes, I know that nitrous is technically liquid when compressed). The risk with nitrous is not like the movies, it’s not considered flammable on its own, but the major worry is the bottle over-pressurizing and rupturing.

I imagine everyone by now has seen this infamous picture:

Nitrous bottle explosion aftermath here.
Nitrous bottle explosion aftermath here.

This is what happens when you install your nitrous bottle in a place where it is exposed to direct sunlight. Pieces of that car were found 3+ houses away from where it exploded. Anyone inside or standing next to that car could have been killed. Don’t install your nitrous bottle in view of the sun. If this means not installing nitrous, then this means 2 things: You’re not very creative, and you’ve made a good decision when it comes to your safety.

Assuming you’re following the manufacturers recommended install tips…

One of the first things I would recommend would be an NHRA pressure disk and blow-down tube.

Basically what happens with these is that if for ANY reason your bottle over-pressurizes, the disk ruptures, and allows the nitrous to be safely vented out of the blow-down tube. The blow down tube should be routed outside of the car to avoid filling the vehicle with nitrous oxide.

Speaking of pressurizing the bottle, you know you have to heat them up to get the right pressure for consistent runs, right? If anyone ever suggests using a blowtorch to pressurize the bottle, do yourself a favor, back away, and never speak to them again. In all seriousness, you need a controlled, consistent, steady heat source to get the right pressure, and to avoid over-pressurizing or causing a weak-spot on the bottle.

How to heat without overheating? Well, the most popular method is to use the aptly named bottle heater, which basically wraps around the bottle and heats it up based on a thermostat that is set with a target pressure. Flip the switch to turn on the bottle heater, and it will automatically cycle your bottle heater on/off as needed. I would recommend a kit like this, if you are in need. 

Alternatively, a popular option now are brackets with the bottle heater built right in, like so:

 

Nitrous outlet bottle heater bracket system.
Nitrous outlet bottle heater bracket system.

Now the main advantage of a heater like that would be the ease of changing the bottle, one less thing to worry about when swapping bottles, just bolt the new one in place and go. These are a tad more expensive than a traditional heater wrap, at around 250 for the base kit over at Nitrous Outlet. 

Keeping your motor safe

To do this, you’ll need a couple of things. One of them should be included with your kit, which is a WOT switch. This prevents the nitrous from being sprayed at any time other than wide open throttle.

The next one is rarely mentioned from what I have found: A nitrous filter. It’s a simple, lightweight canister that filters out any crap that accidentally got into your bottle and prevents it from getting into your delicate (and expensive!) solenoids. You can get one of those from Nitrous Outlet for around 60 bucks.

Keeping yourself safe

A purge system will help you have predictable nitrous output and performance from the car and nitrous system. Basically what it does is safely evacuates the nitrous lines and ensures they are filled with properly-pressurized nitrous. The reason this is important in keeping YOU safe is that it prevents air pockets from causing you to have a surprise AFR shift or power loss, which would then be immediately followed by the rest of the nitrous, resulting in a possible surprise surge in power after you thought it was done spraying.

A final note

This shouldn’t be read to suggest that nitrous is somehow unsafe or a poor choice. On the contrary, it’s a great choice, and is extremely safe, but it is still dealing with a pressurized gas, which should always be treated with caution.

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