Over the years, we've printed quite a few stories in ST covering the addition of nitrous oxide to sport trucks. In nearly every case, the engine was stock, and the hit of N2O was a small, safe one. That's cool, but what happens when you want to throw a larger shot of laughing gas at your engine? Is it safe? Can you repeatedly feed your engine 200, 300, or more extra horsepower without melting pistons and blowing the air cleaner through the hood of your truck? The answer is yes! There is a catch though: If you want it to live longer than a few seconds after you hit the fun button, then you're gonna have to build your engine a bit differently than you would otherwise. You're also going to be spot-on when tuning your engine.

Injecting more than a 100 horsepower shot of nitrous into an engine requires the engine to be built to handle the extra cylinder pressure and heat that will be produced. So where do you start? The build tips presented here apply to any forced-induction application, including supercharged or turbocharged engines, as well as a nitrous engine. Follow along as we turn the Big Block From Hell into a guinea pig for large-dose N2O testing. Next month, we'll address the various ways to tune your engine for safe and reliable nitrous operation.

Part One: The Bottom End