Dry vs. Wet: Choosing the Right Nitrous Kit for Your Project Car
Posted: January 10, 2018
Categories: Technical Articles
Do you want to soup up your project car and give it that extra bit of power? The easiest way to do this is by using a nitrous kit.
Nitrous oxide (also known as N2O) is a compound which is made of one oxygen molecule and two nitrogen molecules. Also known as laughing gas, it's also used as an anesthetic. However, this non-flammable gas can also be utilized to create extra power in combustion engines.
Nitrous oxide can give your ride a boost of anywhere between 15 to 150 horsepower, so it's easy to understand why it is popular with racing enthusiasts.
There are two types of nitrous kit you can choose from - a wet kit and a dry kit. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
But what are they?
Read on to discover why you should use nitrous oxide on your car and which kit would best suit your vehicle.
Why Use a Nitrous Kit?
Nitrous oxide offers a fantastic power boost for your ride. This occurs in two ways.
In a wet nitrous system, when the compound is heated above 570 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit) the nitrogen and oxygen molecules pull apart. This releases oxygen into the combustion chamber, adding more combustible material and thus giving your car more power.
The second way nitrous adds more power to your car is outlined below.
In a dry nitrous system, the cooling effect of the nitrous oxide allows the air to become denser in the combustion chamber, ensuring more of the gas can be packed in, providing you with optimum power.
Having learned the basics, let us now look at the two available nitrous oxide options and the pros and cons of each.
One type of nitrous kit you can get is a wet kit. Below are some of the pros and cons of this system!
1. Offers a Mix of Fuel and Nitrous Oxide
A wet kit mixes nitrous oxide with your already existing fuel and injects it directly into your intake tract near the throttle body. This can be achieved through a throttle body plate or an intake tube, but it can even be done directly into your intake manifold.
2. Provides Large Amounts of Power
As a whole, wet kits are generally seen as more powerful than dry kits. Unlike the dry kit which injects the nitrous in separately, a wet kit allows the nitrous oxide to mix with your fuel directly. The result is that there is always an extra boost when you burn the fuel.
3. Easier to Tune
Wet kits are very simple to tune. The air to fuel ratio is all controlled by a computer, so you don't need to worry about maintaining this yourself.
The nitrous is also mixed directly with your fuel, so you don't need to worry about adding additional fuel to what is lost.
For this reason, most Mustang owners prefer wet kits!
Enough of the pros of this kit. Let us have a look at its downsides.
a. Bottle Pressure Needs to Be Monitored
Wet nitrous kits use a bottle in order to inject nitrous oxide into the combustion chamber. It's considered important to use a bottle heater to ensure the bottle's pressure is kept constant and at peak level.
If the bottle's pressure gets too low, this can result in a loss of horsepower for your vehicle. So it's important that you monitor this device if you do choose to get a wet kit!
b. Incorrect Installation = Nitrous Backfire
It is of the utmost importance that your wet kit is installed correctly, otherwise, the results on your beloved car can be devastating.
Since there is nitrous oxide in the fuel line, there is more fuel vapor inside hanging around the intake. This leads to an increased risk of the vapor igniting, perhaps from a spark. If it does, the results won't be good for your car's tank and engine.
Overall, wet kits are more of a risk than dry kits are. However, if you play it safe and ensure this nitrous kit is well maintained, you'll end up with a powerful, nitrous fuelled car.
The Dry Kit
Unlike a wet system which connects directly to your intake tract, a dry system utilizes a single forger to inject nitrous oxide through the fuel injectors. Let's break this down further below.
This kit Injects Only Nitrous Oxide
In contrast to the wet system which mixes the fuel and nitrous together, a dry system injects only nitrous into the intake. This is where it gets its name from.
One consequence of this is that you need to ensure that you are continuously adding fuel to the combustion chamber. This can be achieved via the stock fuel system.
This kit has one major advantage.
1. Less Installation Work
A dry kit is often considered the easiest nitrous kit to install. This is due to the fact it only requires a few important parts that need to be added.
However, dry nitrous can have its downsides. We have listed some of them below.
a. More Difficult to Tune
Despite its easiness when it comes to installation, a dry nitrous kit is far more difficult to tune than a wet kit. The system can be temperamental and quite often the injectors will need to be swapped out for a type with higher flow.
This is one of the reasons why tuners are not particularly fond of dry kits, so if this relates to you, go with a wet kit.
b. Requires More Parts to Work Together at the Same Time
Even though it doesn't require many parts to install, a dry kit needs everything to be in tip-top working order. This includes the MAF, the injectors, and the computer. If even one of these important parts fails to function, the engine will refuse to run.
Do You want Power or Performance from Your Nitrous Kit?
If you're after a powerful boost that is easy to maintain, your best bet is to go with a wet kit. If you prefer safe performance over time, your most likely choice should be a dry kit.
When you finally decide which one you want, make sure you buy yourself a quality nitrous kit from car performance experts.
For more information on nitrous systems and which one would suit your car, contact us.