The Ultimate Nitrous Gauge: Innovate's PSN-1

March 17, 2017 / by Evan Smith

Nitrous isn't a forgiving power adder if the tune up is wrong. Innovate's PSN-1 nitrous gauge can shut off the nitrous flow if air/fuel ratio becomes too lean and even has a built-in window switch! We install one on a brand new Mustang GT350.

Injecting nitrous is a guaranteed way to drastically increase horsepower and torque. Basic nitrous kits cost way less than forced induction and they provide the punch of 100-plus horsepower in an instant. Advanced kits require more plumbing and careful tuning, as the stakes are raised at higher power levels, but the payoff can be 400, 500, or more horsepower at the flick of a switch.

The PSN-1 Power Safe Nitrous Gauge kit features a nitrous safety over ride and wideband air/fuel ratio gauge w/RPM window switch making it an all-in-one affordable unit. A Bosch LSU 4.9 wideband O2 sensor ties to the gauge and is compatible with multiple fuel types. You can calibrate O2 sensor for maximum accuracy and there is a configurable linear 0-5v analog output for wideband O2 for use with piggy back or stand alone ECU’s as well as external data loggers.

But no matter your power level, every nitrous user wants the security of knowing his or her nitrous system will shut down should a fuel solenoid fail, or if bottle pressure or air/fuel ratio falls out of check, thus, preventing catastrophic engine damage.

Thankfully, security can be found in the PSN-1 Wideband Power Safe Nitrous gauge kit from Innovate Motorsports that’s designed specifically for nitrous users. The kit comes in a small package, but don’t be fooled, its wide range of capabilities will absolutely enhance your nitrous experience.

The GT350 sported twin 10-pound nitrous bottles so the first order of business was to remove them to access the feed line. This allowed us to install the 1500 psi nitrous pressure switch. . With a single bottle, it’s preferred location for the pressure switch would be in the bottle, however, we choice located the switch near the Y-block connecting the feed lines from the bottles.

The name “Power Safe” is fitting because the system’s main function is to shut down your nitrous should your bottle pressure or air/fuel ratio fall out of the proper operating window. Adding to that, the unit allows you to set up the OLED screen to display bottle pressure and air/fuel ratio in a variety of configurations depending on what you want to see.

These displays include AFR, Lambda, PSI, kPa or BAR and, as an added bonus, there’s a built-in, RPM-activated shift light. The gauge is also designed to operate immediately once you wire it; there is no need to download or upload any software.

The Brains

The heart of the PSN-1 kit is the smart-looking 2 1/16-inch gauge with interchangeable white and black faces and black and silver bezels. You also get a Bosch LSU 4.9 wideband O2 sensor that works with the patented DirectDigital wideband sensor control to give you deadly accurate Lambda readings. There are four channels of data-logging capabilities, and with the powerful LogWorks PC Software, it can display air/fuel ratio or Lambda, inHG, PSI, kPa, or BAR.

The Bosch sensor is equipped with plug-and-play cables. This wiring mates the O2 sensor to the gauge. After connecting the O2 sensor cable under the car, we fed it up the firewall and into the interior.

Should you want to download your info, the kit is equipped with an MTS serial in/out cable (for use with other Innovate and 3rd party MTS enabled devices to add additional logging channels). And since the O2 sensor is compatible with multiple fuel types, the kit will work great with pump gas on the street or strip, or with leaded racing gasoline at the track. It will also work with E85, diesel and other fuels.

Window Switch Built In

The aforementioned window switch adds the safety your looking for, as it allows the nitrous to turn “on” when the engine is within the pre-set RPM range, and/or it will shut the nitrous solenoid should the air/fuel go lean or if bottle pressure drops. And the RPM range is adjustable in 10-RPM increments. Along with the window switch, the system monitors (and can record) air/fuel ratio. Best of all, the kit is universal and installs in a few hours.

We drilled a hole in the firewall to connect the RPM signal wire. At this time we also wired in the Innovate single device relay (not shown). The gauge was wired in the ground along with 'key-on' power and the plug-and-play connections were matted together.

Installation

We put the Innovate PSN-1 gauge kit to the test on an unlikely subject, a 2017 Shelby GT350 with the flat-plane crank 5.2-liter engine. The high-winding Shelby was modded with a JLT cold-air intake, long-tube headers and a tune, and was producing 460 rwhp and 365 lb-ft of torque on E85 fuel. With the nitrous flowing, the Shelby kicked out 617 rwhp with 577 lb-ft of torque.

As you know, this is a pricy car so you wouldn’t want to hurt the engine under any circumstances. The “Voodoo” 5.2-liter engine really sings in stock form, and you should hear it with an additional 150-plus horsepower!

With one touch of the button, the readout can be swapped to show air/fuel as the more prominent display.

Installation requires you to fit the O2 sensor into the exhaust, do some basic wiring, and mount the gauge somewhere in the cockpit. The kit comes with a weld-in bung for the Bosch sensor, but it can be located in an existing bung as long as it's 1-inch in length, and there are detailed instructions included in the box. Of course, we recommend you read through them before getting started.

Our install went smooth and in no time flat we had our eyes on the gauge as it displayed air/fuel ratio and bottle pressure. We went with an A-pillar mount, which looked cool in the Mustang. 

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Evan Smith

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