Q&A / Tech

Monday Mailbag: Nitrous Basics for Big Block Performance

 

You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers—Mondays when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re talking about nitrous system setups.

T.H. Washington, D.C.

Q: I’m putting together my first engine for my 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It’s Chevy 454 with an Edelbrock RPM cam, heads, and intake package.

So, how much nitrous can I run on this engine safely? Should I run two fuel pumps? And finally, is the RPM cam a good one to use with nitrous? Keep in mind, I’d like to drive the car on the street now and then.

A: With that big block, you should be safe running a 150- to 175-horsepower setup. Anything above that and you’ll need to build the engine specifically to withstand the extra power (rod bearing clearances, ring end gaps, etc.). An NOS Cheater System will put you exactly where you need to be.

As far as fuel pumps go, the concern you need to address is proper fuel pressure. For a street vehicle, you’ll need 4 to 7 psi for the engine at full speed, and 3 to 5 extra psi to support the nitrous. To get there, you could run one large pump, or two small pumps, with the second activating when the nitrous does.

Finally, that cam should work fine with nitrous.

 

 

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