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Old 06-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
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Default Turbo vs Nitrous

Hi all! New to LS1-tech,

I just acquired a 94 3.4, 700r4 camaro from a buddy for free. Figured it would be a good start for a mainly strip, minimal street build. We started to rip the engine/drivetrain/accessories out while i weigh my options on what to put in it. I'll definitely be going with a 9" and a th400 for the drivetrain. Full tubular suspension components as well. But as far as powerplant, i'm torn. A few years back i would have 100% built a turbo 5.3 or 4.8, but recently i really have been thinking about carb/h/c/i on an LQ and possibly a nitrous plate down the road. Considering i'm going from a blank slate, i would think it would be easier and much more inexpensive to go carb than injected/turbo. I realize people run carb'd turbo, but i'm not familiar as much with that application.

Opinions welcome! I'm just trying to narrow my decisions!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Wanna go fast either way dont ya? Lol If you go boost you will spend more. Is there a set budget you have?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Boost cost more up front, but does not need to be heated up and turned on to work lol. Nitrous bottle refills can get expensive depending on how much you spray every time and how often
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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I do keep hearing that nitrous is cheaper up front, but becomes exceedingly expensive as time goes on... As far as budget is concerned, i don't have one per say, but since i did get the shell for free, it gives me a bit of leeway with the goodies that go in it. I would like to keep the initial build as low budget as i can for it to be reliable. My goal at the moment is to run mid-high 10's, and most of the budget will be spent on suspension. If i could spend what i would on turbo parts/efi, on a carbed 6.0 setup and some nice heads and cam, i probably would. The boosted option would have more potential for power down the road, but i would need a harness, car intake, and upgraded fuel system for boost, and i dont know if its worth the extra dough. Even as i talk myself out of it.. it makes me want it more...
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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I've used nos all my life I raced 10.5 shoot out classes and when u use 2 bottles a night it get $$$ turbo buy it once and have all the hp your car can handle all the time look at it this way if u can take a 4.8 and boost it and make 700+ hp turbos has me hooked
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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Nitrous is cheaper to set up and if you do not use it a lot of the time would be the way to go!
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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Depends on your abilities, budget, and goals. If you can fabricate, a turbo setup gets much cheaper than box kits. Nitrous can also get expensive as there are a LOT of safety items you need for big hp and track rules. Nickels and dimes for both options really.

Just for 1/8 and 1/4 runs you can run a massive shot with minimal weight penalty (single bottle). Figure entire nitrous setup might weigh 40-50 lbs including bottle, more if you run a standalone fuel setup. In a purpose built car for drag strip I'd run same fuel from your tank/rails.

Consider how much a turbo weighs, how much piping you have to add, big intercooler adds weight to the nose, completely different kind of build, HEAT, and then how to control it all.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the posts so far guys!
This is helping me put things into perspective.. i have a guy that sells engines and he's got a few 5.3s for $700 a pop with harnesses, both well under 100k miles. And 1 '07 6.0 with very low miles with no harness for $1k. I forgot to ask if he had any 4.8s, im sure he does, but im tempted to get the LQ. If i were to go N/A for a while with a carb setup, that would be a good choice... but if i wanted to go boosted, i'd need a working wiring harness and ecm, or an expensive aftermarket one, which would add that much more the the cost of turbo.

thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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Id go turbo
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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I say go turbo..I have also used Nitrous for a long time and wish I would have listened 10 years ago when I was first told to go turbo.. As most guys say its a cheaper cost up front.... I'm not sure thats completely true depending on what your goals are? If you plan on using a small 150 hit and your happy with it then yes you can get away cheap.. but if your like most guys power is addicting that 150 kit turns to a fogger...the bottle runs out to fast well you need two, or like me ended up with 6-10 at the track for the day because nobody filled and when they did it was 3x the cost...then traction is an issue so I got the progressive timer and then the list goes on and on... when I scrapped the nitrous I had over 5k in nitrous parts in the garage.... you figure starting from scratch long block and induction as a wash out you may end up spending about the same for the forced induction or nitrous if you build and shop smart... just food for though I sold my Gen 1 chevy iron headed long block, carbed with a power shot plate earlier this year and used the money to build a ls1 turbo, I'm almost done and still in the black!
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:02 PM
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