The compound dinitrogen monoxide was discovered in 1772 by English chemist Joseph Priestley. Later renamed "nitrous oxide," this substance achieved widespread use in the medical community, thanks to its calming and mild anesthetic properties. When it comes to internal-combustion engines, nitrous oxide first gained notoriety in World War II. Aviation engineers determined that the concoction could greatly (if only temporarily) increase the performance of warplanes operating at very high altitudes.
How does this all relate to Corvettes, you ask? Well, you can never have enough power, and you should never underestimate your enemy-unless, of course, you like the idea of falling victim to a Pentastar or Blue Oval blitzkrieg. Although nitrous-oxide systems have undergone significant technological advances in the last 70-odd years, the basics remain the same: Inject a given quantity of nitrous into a gasoline engine, and hang on!
Enter Nitrous Outlet, a Waco, Texas-based manufacturer of nitrous-oxide systems and related accessories. Formed in 2002 by "Nitro Dave" Vasser, the company initially sold racing fuel, nitrous, and fuel accessories. As the business expanded, the company began selling nitrous systems and accessories by companies such as Nitrous Express, NOS, and ZEX.
"Customer service is our trademark, and our technicians work with customers to provide them with the right system and accessories for safe nitrous use," Vasser says. "As the company grew, we began developing and manufacturing our own systems, and [we] now feature an extensive lineup of EFI systems for LS-series engines and the C5 and C6 Corvettes.
"The Nitrous Outlet LS1/LS2 90mm EFI Plate System was specifically designed for LS engines that utilize a 90mm throttle body. The kit being installed for this article is [our] basic system, but we now have kits that are based on these components and specifically engineered for the C5 and C6."
According to Vasser, all of Nitrous Outlet's LS Corvette kits can be configured for horsepower gains of 50, 75, 100, 150, or 200. The EFI Plate system is classified as a "wet kit," since supplemental fuel is added to the nitrous. This approach is different from that of a "dry" system, which relies on the engine computer to add extra fuel.
"The LS1/LS2 90mm EFI Plate system has several advantages over traditional 'nozzle'-style wet nitrous kits," Vasser says. "First, the custom, billet-aluminum EFI plate that mounts between the throttle body and intake has superior fuel and nitrous distribution and [better] atomi-zation characteristics. Nozzle systems are typically mounted in the intake tube, and the fluid dynamics of spraying nitrous and fuel in one discharged flow can sometimes lead to uneven distribution at higher horsepower levels.
"In addition, mounting a nozzle in the air-intake tube can be less attractive due to limited space and [the need for] hoses stretching across the engine bay. Along with a cleaner install and superior atomization characteristics, our kit components utilize heavy-duty, high-flow solenoids rated to 400 hp, while the EFI plate will support more than 400 hp.
Vasser recommends maintaining nitrous-bottle pressures of between 1,000 and 1,050 psi. He also suggests using a bottle heater, a nitrous pressure gauge, a fuel-pressure safety switch, and a window switch to ensure the system operates safely and to its potential. "On the LS engines, we strongly recommend having the car professionally tuned in order to optimize power and ensure safe engine operation with any nitrous use, no matter the size of the horsepower gain," he says.
Now that we've introduced the Nitrous Outlet system, let's get into the specifics of our test car. The '07 C6 is owned by Clint Allen of Waco and features a stock LS2/six-speed automatic powertrain combo. The car has but a scant 7,500 miles on it and is nicely optioned with both the Z51 and 3LT packages.
This month's article will cover the nitrous system's installation, performed at Nitrous Outlet. In our next installment, we'll head over to Real Performance Motorsports in nearby Lewisville for tuning and dyno testing.