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Nitrous Express | NX

How It all began at Nitrous Express

Wow, how do I start to tell the world why NX is different and better than any other company?  Lets start with the NX philosophy:

  • All components must be of the highest quality, no off shore junk!
  • 99% of NX products are produced and assembled in the USA!
  • All NX components and systems must be tested and proven before they are shipped to any customers!
  • All horsepower claims must be accurate and dyno proven at the wheel!
  • NX copies no one; we lead the industry in technology and innovation!
  • Never be satisfied with the status quo!
  • Always give the customer more than expected!

Now lets get to who NX really is, I’m Mike Wood.  I own 100% of Nitrous Express and have been involved with the nitrous phenomenon since 1978.  I started with a small nitrous kit on my TransAm.  I thought this is the greatest thing since the invention of the automobile!  Soon thereafter I installed an original blue bottle direct port kit on my racecar, man was I disappointed.  It popped, and backfired all the way down the track and tore up more parts than I could afford!  Out of necessity I got involved with the science and hardware used with nitrous oxide.  I soon discovered the design flaws in the system, corrected them and earned a reputation of being the “Go to Guy” if you wanted to run nitrous.  This was pretty easy, in 1979 few people in the racing world had even heard of nitrous. 

After working out the bugs in my racecar’s nitrous kit I decided that something needed to be done about controlling the tremendous power that nitrous could produce.  Camshafts seemed like the logical place to start, by increasing or decreasing certain parameters of camshaft design we thought we could get a handle on the power curve and apply it to the track in a more suitable manner.  We were involved in the camshaft development phase of nitrous usage throughout the early 1980’s.  We experimented with what has become the standard in camshaft designs today.  Wide lobe centers, huge exhaust lobes, outrageous duration numbers; nothing was too weird to try.

Soon I discovered the next weak link in the drive train, torque converters!  I hooked up with one of the finest converter manufacturers in the world and they endeavored to build me a converter that would stall but not slip on the top end charge.  What a learning curve that was, first 8”, then 9”, then 10”, then 11” converters.  From wild to completely crazy we tried it all and the result is the great nitrous converters that are available today from manufacturers like Coan Converters, and Neil Chance Racing Converters, just to name a few.

Through the 1980’s and early 90’s jetting patterns and tune-up information were hit and miss at best and the manufacturer of choice, the blue bottle guys, did not use a flow bench to precisely measure the amounts of nitrous and fuel.  They guessed at it and the end customer paid the price. Only a few individuals had the intelligence or the thirst for knowledge to find out why their nitrous system worked or why it didn’t.  I was one of those thirsty guys who wanted to know and I still have the drive today to move nitrous safety and performance to the next level.

We started NX in 1996 because there had been no really new nitrous innovations introduced since 1985.  That’s when blue bottle guys introduced the first two into one nitrous nozzle and while it was great for its time it quickly showed its design flaws.  Poor atomization of the fuel and small internal dimensions left racers confused and at a loss on how to tune their engines without blowing up everything they owned!

Nitrous Express had an advantage though; we got to start with a blank sheet of paper.  We could design anything we wanted, we weren’t bound by the past or by past mistakes.  We didn’t have to defend poor technology from the past or have to continue selling poorly designed hardware just to save face with the public.  It was like a breath of fresh air!

If you have investigated Nitrous Express at all you will notice we manufacture no street oriented “DRY” nitrous systems.  There is a very good reason for this, they are bad news and guaranteed to damage engine parts.  Why you ask?  Every intake manifold made, either by the factory or the aftermarket is a compromise.  No two cylinders get the same amount of air.  Try as they might even the best sheet metal race intakes flow differently across all cylinders.  When dry nitrous is introduced into the intake air stream of any intake manifold every cylinder will get a different amount of nitrous.  Some will get more, and some will get less.  Now, where does the fuel come from to utilize this nitrous? It comes from the stock injectors.  Being an inanimate piece of hardware all it knows to do is introduce a predetermined amount of fuel into the cylinder that the ECM tells it to.  This is without regard to how much nitrous actually got to the cylinder.  Therefore every cylinder will be either rich or lean, but none will have the correct air/fuel ratio.  Depending on how far this ratio is off will determine how much damage is going to happen to this cylinder.  Very small amounts of nitrous can be successfully introduced without damage but the resulting imbalance of nitrous/fuel is always harmful to the engine.

The proponents of “DRY” nitrous systems claim that modern intake manifolds were not designed to flow fuel therefore they cannot.  What a load of crap!  The air speed inside of an intake manifold operating at wide-open throttle is more that the speed of sound, 750 MPH give or take.  When properly atomized fuel is introduced into the intake stream it will follow the airflow, it would be impossible for this atomized fuel to condense into a liquid and form a “Puddle” anywhere in the manifold.  The key to wet technology is complete atomization of the incoming fuel charge.  Some nozzles on the market today will actually drip liquid gasoline off the tip when operating, if you use this type of flawed design on a wet system trouble will surely result.  The patented NX nozzle designs will fully atomize all fuel before it leaves the nozzle body, therefore guaranteeing that no un-atomized fuel with enter the air stream.  Another seldom talked about advantage of wet systems is the tremendous increase in torque compared to a dry kit.  The superior atomization of the wet systems allows a complete burn of all fuel present in the combustion chamber resulting in tremendous torque production.  Often a wet system will produce 50% more torque than a comparable “Dry” kit.  You should all know by now that torque is what propels your vehicle forward and nothing does it better than a wet nitrous system from Nitrous Express!

Now lets discuss one type of “Dry” system that is acceptable.  Direct Port; the direct port distribution of the nitrous charge eliminates the rich/lean cylinder draw back on the dry technology. Many of the top Pro-Mod teams have gone to this type of system for ease of tuning with the electronic fuel injection systems.  However they are still giving up a ton of torque by using this technology.

If you are not asleep yet I will continue with the reasons NX’s technology is superior.  Nitrous is a cryogenic, expansion gas.  This means that under pressure the nitrous is a liquid, looking much like water.  When this pressure is released nitrous boils off at minus 127 degrees Fahrenheit in the form of an invisible gas.  What you see when nitrous is vented, such as a purge, is the ice crystals being frozen in the air by the super cold nitrous.  Any turbulence in the flow path of nitrous whether under pressure or not will cause some amount of boiling, resulting in a mixture of gaseous and liquid nitrous.  The company that can deliver the purest charge of nitrous to the discharge point will make the most power with a given jet size. 

Nitrous Express has spent countless hours on the flow bench eliminating these turbulence points in its systems to minimize the boiling of the nitrous charge.  NX has designed its own bottle valve, which differs in many ways from the standard or even custom valves offered by the other companies.  First, the siphon tube that picks up the nitrous from the bottom of the bottle is integral with the bottle valve. There is no compression fitting attaching the tube to the valve as almost all of the other companies do.  This eliminated the first turbulence point in the NX system.  Secondly the flow path of the NX “Pure-Flo 45” bottle valve has only one turn, a 45-degree angle to the discharge point.  This eliminates the harsh 90-degree turn present in most bottle valves.  One company who boasts of their “Super High Flow Valve” has designed in one 45-degree turn and one 127-degree turn inside the body of the valve.  This severely restricts the flow and causes a turbulence point that sends a diluted flow of nitrous downstream to the nitrous solenoid.  Finally, the style of bottle nipple used by NX allows the nitrous to transition from the valve to the supply hose with no internal steps or restrictions.  These things may seem small or insignificant to the layperson, but on the dyno NX systems make more horsepower per pound of nitrous than anyone.

Still interested?  The nitrous solenoid is a big offender in the turbulence area.  Most companies use an industrial solenoid brought from the soft drink business.  When you fill your Pepsi from a soft drink dispenser you are using the same solenoids all of the other nitrous companies use.  Design wise, the worse case scenario is the nitrous solenoid that has the inlet on one side, and the opposite side is the outlet. The nitrous flow path takes four 90-degree turns from inlet to outlet creating massive turbulence and boiling.  The next worse offender is the bottom outlet nitrous solenoid, it has three 90-degree turns, and this helps by reducing the turbulence by 25%.  NX manufactures its own solenoids, the Lightning Series, which have been redesigned to have only one 90-degree turn in the flow path, thus reducing turbulence by 75% and significantly increasing flow.

Now this brings us to the metering jets.  Some companies brag about stainless steel jets and warn that the nitrous can erode the metal in brass jets causing erratic flow numbers.  Wow, you know I guess they are right, given enough time the flow of nitrous through a brass jet can erode the orifice size.  The only thing they don’t tell you is that it would take about a million years, not a concern for most of us and the same can be said about stainless steel given enough time!  Lets talk about the real issue here, accuracy.  NX jets are produced on the finest CNC machines in the world and every tenth jet is hand gauged to be sure every jet is plus or minus two ten thousandths of an inch within its stamped size.  Some of our competitor’s jets are not within two thousandths of an inch in accuracy!  The basic design of the NX jets allows them to flow more nitrous and fuel than most of our competitor’s designs.  Sometimes up to 34% more!  Accurate and efficient metering jets are the heart of every safe reliable nitrous system.

Now we have discussed the hardware side of NX, still want to hear more?  If not just hit the back arrow. 

Even with the best hardware on the planet it means nothing if you do not have the science side of the nitrous equation correct.  Every nitrous system NX creates is set up and calibrated on a sophisticated flow bench that mimics the nitrous/fuel system on your vehicle.  First the nitrous side is flowed, metered and calculated to ascertain pounds of nitrous used per hour and to assign horsepower levels.  Then the system is connected to the fuel side of the flow bench to match the fuel delivery to the nitrous delivery.  Every horsepower level is run on the bench to be sure that the customer will receive a safe reliable nitrous system.

If you have read this entire piece you may have notice that I always refer to an NX product as a “system” and to other manufacturers products as “kits”.  There is a reason for this.  A system is a product that works when you unpack it, all the technical points have been worked out and all you have to do is bolt it on and go have fun.  A kit, on the other hand, is something where you get a box of parts and you must figure out how to assemble it and make it work by trial and error.  Sometimes this can be a very expensive trial and error procedure.

In closing, on the Wet/Dry controversy, check out the companies who have the dry kits.  Their latest advertising touts their new “Safe” wet kits.  Anyone who knows anything about nitrous will tell you that wet is the only way to go.

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