Wet vs Dry Nitrous On Your Mustang

Wet vs Dry Nitrous On Your Mustang

Last Updated July 21, 2021 | Bill Tumas

What’s The Difference Between Wet vs Dry Nitrous?

The number one defining difference between wet and dry nitrous system is whether or not fuel is introduced into the foggers. To put it simply, a dry system consists of a single fogger typically placed in the intake tube area where straight nitrous oxide is introduced into the stream via the fuel injectors like normal. Dry nitrous kits are a great first step and require less work for installation and a small bump in power output.

A wet nitrous kit will deliver a fuel/nitrous oxide mixture into your intake tract. This can be done either in the intake tube, a throttle body plate or directly into the intake runners on your intake manifold. Being bit more serious, you can really up the power with a wet kit on your Mustang. However, with a wet nitrous kit, there is more risk of backfire. This is due to the fact fuel vapors can work their way into the intake tract, and if enough is there, they could ignite. This is most definitely bad and would not only potentially damage your engine, but it could potentially hurt you as well.

This is why it’s imperative that you get a tune to support the new nitrous kit on your Mustang after a proper installation. In most cases, tuners would actually prefer a wet kit due to the fact it’s easier to control fuel flow into the nitrous oxide stream, rather than relying on your Mustang’s ECU to calculate the proper amount of fuel required from a dry kit.

Wet Nitrous vs Dry Nitrous
Wet Nitrous KitsDry Nitrous Kits
Fuel mixes with nitrous stream at nozzle No fuel mixes in at nozzle, only nitrous
Better for higher power applications Fuel is mixed in with fuel injectors
Easier to tune More difficult to tune
Can result in nitrous backfire Requires more parts to work in unison - more risk for error

Nitrous Oxide Lingo Explained

A blue and black Mustang at the drag strip "Terminated" SN95 Mustang Launch

You’ve probably heard other enthusiasts talk about a “50 shot” or “100 shot” of nitrous. Maybe even a “125 shot” or “150 shot.” This is slang for the additional horsepower you’ll get out of a particular nitrous kit. Obviously, the more of a “shot,” the more risk there is for damage, but if tuned properly on an engine that can handle it, the results can be awesome!

In order to change the “shot” of your new nitrous system, you will need to adjust the tune as necessary, and possibly replace the jets to a larger or smaller size to support the changes desired.

Once you have your tune and jet size dialed in, it'll be time to hit the track and see what ET your Mustang puts down in the quarter-mile. For example, average gains seen on a 2011-2014 Mustang GT with basic ZEX Kit could equate to a second or more off your quarter mile time!

How Nitrous Works

"Cooler, denser air equates to more power..."

When nitrous oxide is added into the intake air going into your car, the benefits are two-fold. The nitrous oxide releases further oxygen into the intake stream, while simultaneously cooling the air which makes the air denser. Cooler, denser air equates to more power.

When adding additional air into the mixture, more fuel is demanded as well. That’s why a wet kit includes the addition of a fuel nozzle. With a dry kit, the Mustang’s ECU needs to calculate and tell the engine’s original fuel injectors to add additional fuel when nitrous is added to the equation. Regardless of a dry or wet setup, a proper tune is required for safe, proper use.

Other Nitrous Oxide Facts

A nitrous oxide kit is visible in a Mustang's engine bay Fox Body Engine Bay With Nitrous Oxide

Another factor when it comes to proper use of a nitrous oxide kit on your Mustang would be bottle pressure. Nitrous bottle pressure should run between 900-1000 PSI. This can be monitored using a gauge and adjusted using a bottle heater. Naturally, by heating up the bottle you will increase the pressure of the nitrous oxide inside.

In many Hollywood movies and even at the dragstrip you’ll see some racers push a button in the interior of their car to release a small purge of what looks like steam into the air, usually in small spurts. This action is called purging the nitrous system and is imperative to the proper operation of any nitrous kit. By purging the system, you’re ensuring that all of the nitrous lines are completely free of outside air.

Choosing The Right Mustang Nitrous Oxide Kit

Given the small price point and relative ease of installation, nitrous oxide seems to be an easy solution if you’re looking for quick additional power. This is especially the truth when you’re comparing price points against supercharger and turbo kits. And all of that is true, as long as you install everything correctly along with getting a proper, reliable tune to support the modifications. Adding nitrous to your Mustang can be the most bang for your buck when it comes to adding measurable power to your pony car.

Whether you choose a dry nitrous kit or wet nitrous kit for your Mustang, CJ Pony Parts carries a wide variety of nitrous kits from ZEX and Edelbrock that are ready to take your build to the next level!

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About the Author

Bill is our resident Mustang expert with over 25 years in the auto industry. He’s produced hundreds of videos as the host of the CJ Pony Parts YouTube channel. Read full bio →

Image Credit: OnPoint Images

Wet vs Dry Nitrous On Your Mustang

A common question for those who are constantly thirsting for more power is the difference between wet and dry nitrous. The explanation is actually quite simple, but there are also other factors to consider when shopping for Mustang nitrous oxide kits.