Adding Nitrous to your Corvette: Here's What It Does
Whether it’s a Corvette or some Brand X machine, when it comes to the internal combustion engine, big horsepower comes down to fuel and air. Adding nitrous oxide to your Corvette engine contributes to that equation on the ‘air’ side of things – oxygen, to be specific.
You know adding a supercharger or turbocharger to your Corvette packs more air into that LS or LT V8; put in enough fuel to be able to use the extra air, and you get more horsepower at the crankshaft. Consider nitrous oxide to be sort of like a chemical supercharger. When it’s heated to a certain temperature, nitrous oxide breaks into its component parts (nitrogen and oxygen) inside the combustion chambers. The nitrogen is inert, but when that free oxygen meets gasoline, the net result is the face-melting acceleration we all know and love.
Nitrous oxide has another cool trick up its sleeve. The pressurized gas stored in the rear of your Corvette expands when it hits the plate on your intake. The rapid expansion causes cooling, which results in a denser mixture – more horsepower yet again! Coupled with intercooled forced induction like on a Corvette Z06 or ZR1, you get a significant increase in oxygen density going into your V8.
Of course, a successful Corvette nitrous installation requires extra fuel to take advantage of all the free oxygen floating around. In fact, you need the extra gasoline to keep from destroying your engine – a lean condition in your LS or LT V8 will quickly burn pistons and cause other negative side effects. That’s why a proper Corvette nitrous system takes fuel supply into account, along with other factors needed to ensure repeatable, reliable horsepower.
While it may sound complicated, adding nitrous to your Corvette C5, C6 or C7 doesn’t have to be. Start with a reputable nitrous plate system designed for your Corvette engine, like our Nitrous Outlet wet plate systems. Once everything is installed correctly, tune with a dyno starting with the lowest power jetting and slowly dial in the nitrous from there. If you find you need more fuel above a certain point, you can either upgrade your Corvette’s fuel pump and injectors right away or stop at that level until you’re ready to move forward.
Whatever path you want to take, a Corvette nitrous oxide system is still the most cost-effective way to build big horsepower. Put together a plan with your tuning shop of choice, use reputable nitrous parts like Nitrous Outlet components from Vette Lab, and work your way forward step-by-step. Killer quarter-mile times are within reach!
If you’re near the metro Detroit area, or are willing to send your Corvette to us, Vette Lab has lots of experience customizing Corvette nitrous installations. We’d be happy to help with yours too: drop us a line and let us know what you want to do.