The Nitrous 101 video experience
For those of you who follow our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/neverdoneusa you're probably already familiar with this video:
However there's a story behind this video that you almost certainly are not familiar with, here it is:
It was the Summer of 2013 and our new YouTube channel was on a roll, we were collecting views and subscribers like nobody's business. Jeff (my business partner) and I were bound and determined to keep our media momentum going and that meant coming up with new ideas for videos, videos that hadn't been done before or at least videos that we felt like we could do better. When it comes to doing things I do them one way and that's BIG, as big as I humanly possibly can or I don't want to do them at all. I'm a dreamer, so when I think of new video content all I can come up with is nitrous and wheelies and burnouts and space ships and backflips and fire and and...... you get the idea. Jeff on the other hand is the voice of reason, he's the guy that stops me from blowing my house payment and personal retirement account on videos about $100,000 top fuel dragsters doing backflips out of airplanes on fire as they parachute into a demolition derby with oompa loompa drivers and cgi unicorn snipers shooting at them. Long story short I come up with crazy ass ideas and he brings them down to earth in a budget friendly way that helps keep our doors open and new videos coming out regularly without putting me in the poor house.
After some discussion Jeff and I decided that after the success of our How to do a burnout video:
we really needed to look at doing another "Informational" video. We threw a few ideas back and forth but I was absolutely stuck on the idea of doing a Nitrous 101 style video, why you ask? You see that blue chevy pickup burning the hell out of it's tires in the thumbnail on the video above? That belongs to one of the owners of Thunder Racing Engines (long time friends of ours) Ashley McCammon and during a quick filming session (I don't even remember what it was for) Ashley took me for a ride in that truck which at the time had a *mild* (cough cough bullshit) 350 with a 175 shot of nitrous. A quick disclaimer, the guys at Thunder Racing Engines are some of the best engine builders on the damn planet, when they say something is mild that means it'll have you squeeling like a school girl with pee dripping down your leg. If they say it's built you'd better bring your depends because it's gonna blow your panties off and slap you around until you cry. Yeah, they're cooler than your engine builder. Anyway, Ashley took me for a ride in his truck, it started as a leisurely cruise on some country back roads. He talked about his suspension setup and his "mild" street motor (which by the way was INCREDIBLY smooth running), then as we got back to the straight open road he mentioned something about being up to operating temperature and being ready to show me the spray. I hadn't ever been in anything with nitrous up to that point so my only experience was what I'd seen on the Fast & Furious movies and let me tell you it's a little different that what you see in the movies! Ashley took the truck to about a 35 or 40 mph roll, looked over at me with a smile and kicked the gates of hell open! His tires INSTANTLY went up in smoke and his "mild street motor" ROARED to life as the nitrous entered its veins. It was AWESOME!!! And needless to say it made an impression on me, such an impression that I was completely convinced that every automotive enthusiast in the world should have nitrous on their vehicle! BTW if you look up at the top of your screen you'll see that we sell nitrous on our website, yes you REALLY need to experience it!
Back to the story, Jeff and I had made a decision we were going to do an entry level nitrous video to help inform people who were previously unfamiliar with nitrous and to help dispel myths and bring some truth to this wonderful performance product. We wasted no time putting the necessary pieces to the puzzle together, we were going to need a sponsor for the nitrous, we needed some expert help, we needed Jeff to film (he lived 4 hours away at the time), we needed some vehicles to put the nitrous on, a few more helping hands, a script, and finally a pretty girl to make it worth watching (in case you don't care to learn about nitrous)
After a great deal of research, consideration and several phone calls it was decided there were only 2 nitrous companies we wanted to work with one was Nitrous Express (NX) and the other was Holley's NOS. Both of these companies offered the highest level products on the market and good track records but at the end of the day NOS wasn't able to play ball with us and NX was so we not only used their products in the video but we became an authorized NX retailer and dedicated a HUGE portion of our website to their products.
Once we had the details hammered out and the paperwork in place with NX it was time to get some automotive experts on board with our project. This was the easiest part of the entire process, I got a hold of the infamous Bill Schultz, the founder of Thunder Racing Engines and told him what I had in mind. Bill has been a long time supporter of Never Done Industries and our wild ideas so it came as no surprise that he said "Hell Yeah, let's do it!" I was thrilled but Bill had one more surprise up his sleeve, he offered up his 98 Camaro as one of the vehicles for the video! SWEET! Talk about the perfect vehicle for a nitrous 101 video, this is one of the most popular motors on the street today and a great example of what nitrous can do on the average weekend warriors car. Now that we had the perfect example car for the video it was time to have some fun. We needed one more vehicle, what is the least likely candidate for nitrous that I can get my hands on? I had 2 ideas:
The Never Done Alero would be cool, or:
How about my big ass v10 f350 super duty crew cab pickup? NOBODY would expect us to put nitrous on that thing! We decided to put it to the vote and let our fans decide so we made this little video to help stir up a little excitement and see what everyone else thought we should do:
When the voting had ended the winner was clear, it was the Super Duty 10 to 1.
So it was decided, Bills camaro and my super duty were going to be the lucky recipients of some top quality nitrous systems from Nitrous Express.
I put in our orders and patiently waited for our kits to arrive, it was the longest few days of my life!!! Then finally the day had come, you haven't known joy until you've come home to 2 nitrous kits sitting in your living room (unless you've ever been in a vehicle with nitrous, then you DEFINITELY know joy!). As soon as the kits arrived I headed to the Thunder shop to get these babies installed on the vehicles! FYI if you buy a nitrous system of any brand I HIGHLY recommend getting it installed by professionals, Thunder Racing Engines will install nitrous in just about anything you can think of and they'll do it at the top level of quality. Beyond that if you buy your kit from us they'll knock $50 off the installation cost.
Installing a nitrous system can be a total pain in the ass if you don't know what you're doing but these guys made it look like a breeze! They even built me a custom mounting bracket for my solenoids and purge system.
Once the systems were installed it was time for some testing and my big red truck was up first! We decided to start small to make sure everything was functioning properly so we went with the 50hp jets. Bill and Ashley and I loaded up in the truck, took it up to operating range, found a nice straight stretch of road and gave it the beans! It was.................OK. There was no doubt that the behemoth had more power with the nitrous but I wanted more! I wanted the Brian O'Connor Mitsubishi Eclipse experience and this just wasn't enough to get me there. After a few hits Bill looked to me and said "what do you think?", "I want MORE!" I said, "Lets jump it up another 50 to the 100hp shot!". Not one to be threatened by a good time Bill agreed and we headed back to the shop to turn that bitch up! With the 100hp jets installed it was time for another test and I was excited to say the least! By the time we got to the test spot I couldn't contain myself, there was no discussion or buildup, I just stabbed the throttle to the floor and let the horses run! WOW! The difference between the 50hp and the 100hp shot was night and day, the truck went from a lumbering hunk of steel to a powerhouse! It pushed us back into our seats as it launched and the cab rang out with the sound of 3 grown men giggling like school girls as our tummies tickled with joy.
Here comes the good part (I'll probably regret telling you this)
Now anytime you get 3 male gearheads together in a giant truck with nitrous (beer could have also been invovled) you know it won't be long before one of them does something stupid! With a big smile on my face and the smell of freshly burnt nitrous in the evening air I was in no condition to be making responsible decisions. We were just pulling up for another nitrous hit but this time I was going to do it from a dead stop to see if I could get the 37" Toyo M/T's to break loose during launch. I got the truck stopped and a silence fell over us as we were blessed with an opportunity to act like adults, then Bill looked over at me and said "Do a nitrous burnout!" Not taking the time to consider the fact that I was in a 9,000+ pound truck on big sticky tires on a hot road in the country the night before our big nitrous video shoot nor the fact that I had no idea what the hell might be required to accomplish a successful nitrous burnout I responded "OK, check this shit out!" Like most idiots caught up in a "hold my beer" moment I reached for my transfer case shifter and selected 4 low, with the front hubs unlocked this would give me a great advantage in gearing and would certainly help me on my quest to doing the most awesome nitrous burnout of all time! Without another thought I held one foot on the brake and put the other pedal to the floor knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that tire smoke and the envy of my peers was in my immediate future. Except that's not what happened. The second the throttle hit the floor the full 100hp shot of nitrous came on and was immediately transferred to the rear tires which were nice and warm. The big tires wrinkled and grabbed the pavement like a lion catching a gazelle, with the front tires locked firmly in place there was only one place for all that power to go, the rear axle wrapped the leaf springs in the back of the truck and forced the truck into a violent hop! It felt like the back of the truck was a full 2 feet in the air at it's highest point. Not one to turn away in the face of danger I kept my feet firmly planted, one on the brake pedal and the other holding the gas pedal to the floor. Now I'm not 100% sure how fast the rear tires were spinning when they came back in contact with the earth but I'd guess it at somewhere near the 50mph mark (we were in the air for a while). BOOOOOOOOM CLANG CLANG BANG CLANK CLANK CLANK!!!!!! The second my tires hit the ground and tried to grab again something had let go, it sounded like a damn grenade had exploded under my truck! My moment of glory had passed and left me wishing I'd just held on to my own beer. The big bad 1 ton f350 that I thought was indestructible had met it's match and it had gotten it's ass kicked!
The drive shaft had snapped like a twig and the pinion shaft and gear set in the rear end was trashed. It was late (see the bags under my eyes), my truck was broken and we had a big video shoot in a few hours. There was nothing left to do but laugh and take a picture! Afterall we did get a pretty good story out of it.
To anyone with any common sense it would have appeared as though we were done, this project would have to be rescheduled but that's just not how I do things. We had a video to shoot in a few hours and come hell or high water we were going to shoot it.
Jeff had made the 4 hour trip to film, Never Done Girl Becca had driven a couple of hours from Utah and the Thunder Shop had given up a TON of their time and resources to make sure we got this thing done, so what did we do? We dropped the rear drive shaft, locked in the hubs and filmed the entire video with the Super Duty in front wheel drive! How about that? a giant front wheel drive v10 nitrous powered pickup in a nitrous 101 video! YeAintHerdADat.
To be fair it was not the nitrous that broke my truck, it was me being a dumbass. To date the nitrous system is still installed on the truck and has never had a problem. I'm still a big supporter of nitrous as a cost effective power adder and still believe it has a place under everyones hood!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible, I couldn't have done it without you.
And thank you for reading this weeks blog post.
Clint J. Grover