Building A Big Block for Nitrous Oxide - Building For A Big Hit

An ounce of prevention is worth big, reliable nitrous-assisted power.

Mike FinneganAug 1, 2009
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Over the years, we've printed quite a few stories in ST covering the addition of nitrous oxide to sport trucks. In nearly every case, the engine was stock, and the hit of N2O was a small, safe one. That's cool, but what happens when you want to throw a larger shot of laughing gas at your engine? Is it safe? Can you repeatedly feed your engine 200, 300, or more extra horsepower without melting pistons and blowing the air cleaner through the hood of your truck? The answer is yes! There is a catch though: If you want it to live longer than a few seconds after you hit the fun button, then you're gonna have to build your engine a bit differently than you would otherwise. You're also going to be spot-on when tuning your engine.



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Injecting more than a 100 horsepower shot of nitrous into an engine requires the engine to be built to handle the extra cylinder pressure and heat that will be produced. So where do you start? The build tips presented here apply to any forced-induction application, including supercharged or turbocharged engines, as well as a nitrous engine. Follow along as we turn the Big Block From Hell into a guinea pig for large-dose N2O testing. Next month, we'll address the various ways to tune your engine for safe and reliable nitrous operation.
Part One: The Bottom End
Part Two: The Valvetrain
CAM SPECS
INTAKE EXHAUST
LOBE LIFT .516 .498
DURATION @ .05 277 285
LOBE SEPARATION 116.0 116.0
GROSS VALVE LIFT .877 .846
Part Three: The Nitrous System
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Part Four: The Ignition
The last piece of the puzzle is a high-tech ignition system that we bought from Summit Racing designed specifically for using N2O. The MSD 7531 programmable Digital 7 ignition system features MSD's world-famous capacitive discharge ignition, but that's not the cool part. The cool part is that this ignition will automatically retard the ignition timing of the engine whenever the nitrous button is activated. It will also ramp the extra timing back into the engine at a programmable rate after the button is released. This allows any extra nitrous to be spent from the cylinders before the timing is back to full advance. You bracket racers out there will love that you can also program this ignition system to turn the nitrous on and off at a specific time or rpm for repeatable runs. Combine those features with the 7531's data-logging capability, and you've got a box that will do it all for years to come.
Photo 27/27
The Final Word
We've rebuilt the Big Block From Hell to be a bulletproof nitrous-swilling monster. The tips and tricks we learned along the way will help you build or rebuild your own engine into a stout nitrous machine. Next month, we'll take a look at the various methods for tuning your engine to get the most out of it and to make it last.

Sources

Lunati
662-892-1500
www.lunatipower.com
Akerly and Childs
Valencia, CA 91355
661-702-1999
http://www.akerlychilds.com
Brodix
Mena, AR 71953
479-394-1075
http://www.brodix.com
Calico Coatings
Denver, NC 28037
888-236-6079
http://www.calicocoatings.com
Cometic Gaskets
Concord, OH 44077
800-752-9850
http://www.cometic.com
Comp Cams
Memphis, TN 38118
800-999-0853
http://www.compcams.com
CP Pistons
Irvine, CA 92614
949-567-9000
http://www.cppistons.com
Induction Solutions
Brooksville, FL 34604
815-341-8853
http://www.induction-solutions.com
Jesel Valvetrain Innovation
Lakewood, NJ 08701
732-901-1800
http://www.jesel.com
Nitrous Oxide Systems
Bowling Green, KY 42101
800-465-5391
http://www.holley.com
Nitrous Supply
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714-373-1986
NitrousSupply.com
Paul Pfaff Racing Engines
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714-894-7573
http://www.pfaffengines.com
Quick Fuel Technology
Bowling Green, KY 42101
270-793-0900
QuickFuelTechnology.com
Summit Racing
Akron, OH
800-230-3030
http://www.summitracing.com
Proform Parts
Roseville, MI
586-774-2500
http://www.proformparts.com

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