|Nitrous oxide install on a 2003 Dodge Ram|
Nitrous oxide: the chemical compound that invokes fear into the hearts of some while raising the hair on the back of the neck of those who have felt its unruly power. Despite the horror stories, most likely well-exaggerated, nitrous oxide can be as safe as any other form of power adder and by far the greatest bang –for-the-buck modification. So why do so many fear the juice? Presumably, it is due to lack of understanding and a wealth of misconceptions and myths on the streets. Whatever the case may be, the key to running a safe and dependable set-up is knowledge. Here were going to install a basic wet nitrous system, compliment it with a stand-alone fuel supply and a host of accessories for a trick set-up that safely adds 125 extra tire-melting ponies.
The subject chosen for the giggle gas mod is a 2003 Dodge Ram with the 5.7L Hemi engine. For some the stock 345 horsepower would be sufficient, but when is factory horsepower ever enough? For the nitrous system we went with the new Zex Hemi kit, which can be used on all year 5.7 Hemi trucks thanks to Zex’s innovative fuel line adapter, which provides a source of fuel on ’06 and later trucks that do not have a factory fuel rail test port. For the fuel supply on this install, however, we’ve consulted the expertise of the pros at Aeromotive so we can feed the beast with race gas while on the bottle as opposed to pump gas from the tank. The higher octane fuel is for both performance as well as a safety; the increased compression provided by the nitrous thrives on slower burning fuel thus making more power, and the high octane will help us avoid detonation.
This system we’re installing is more complex than most, yet can be completed in the typical 20x20 garage in less than a weekend’s time. However, the basic Zex nitrous systems can be installed on any truck, gas or diesel, in a few hours using common hand tools. Whether you’re an accomplished pro or a budding gearhead, you can turn your truck into a rubber-shredding freak in a single afternoon without sacrificing driveability or the headaches of tuning a supercharger/ turbo.
Part One: Mounting the Hardware
Mount the pump with the supplied bolts and insulated brackets – use blue thread locker on the mounting bolts. Install a -6 hose end on the pressure line coming from the engine compartment and thread onto the pump outlet. Be sure to support the fuel line as needed to keep it clear of the differential.
Part Two: Wiring
14. To monitor the system, we’re using electric fuel and nitrous pressure gauges and a air/ fuel gauge from Dynotune to ensure we don’t run lean while on the gas. Auto Meter also offers a trick 3-gauge dash pod to cleanly mount the three gauges in the otherwise useless dash cubby.
15. We can pick up fused 12V power and ground for all three gauges by t-tapping into the two wires leading to the cigarette lighter.
The Final Word:
On track performance yielded over a second drop in 1/4 –mile ET with the truck in full street trim. However, there was more to be lost as the factory speed limiter ended the fun early on the nitrous runs. Extending the speed limiter and adding some sticky rubber could easily turn this mid-14 second street truck into a nasty 12-second screamer thanks to Zex.
How Much Did It Cost?
Zex “Hemi” Wet
Nitrous Kit: $659.95
Zex “Hemi” Wet Nitrous Kit: $659.95
Zex Bottle Warmer : $125.95
Zex Bottle Opener: $224.99
Zex Dual Outlet Purge: $115.95
Aeromotive Pump: $305.95
Aeromotive Regulator: $168.79
Auto Meter Gauges: $379.90
Dynotune A/F Gauge: $89.00
Jaz Products 1-Gallon Fuel Cell: $134.99
VP Racing C12 Fuel (5-gal): $40
Nitrous (10 lbs.): $45
Fuel Lines and Fittings: $281.49