When it comes to innovation, not many companies are on the frontline of innovation and design like ZEX™. Always known for its industry leading innovations in nitrous systems and other supporting products, ZEX™ is at it again.
This time it’s the sophisticated and revolutionary new LSX™ Engine Perimeter Plate Nitrous System for LS engines. And best of all, it’s designed for the entire family of LS engines. The new system is the brainchild of Product Manager and Chief Engineer for ZEX™, Matt Patrick.
In speaking with Patrick, he provided an account of why and how this new system has come into being. Here’s what he had to say:
WHY DO IT?
The GM LS engine market is made up of hard core performance enthusiasts seeking serious technology. They expect a notch above the standard. For the most part, traditional single nozzle nitrous systems were not really unique enough, and to the LS enthusiast, pretty common.
Even though nitrous nozzle systems work well, LS enthusiasts wanted a throttle body plate system that performed like our original perimeter plate carburetor design. So in analyzing the LS intake manifold, we determined that there is a real benefit to having a plate system sandwiched between the throttle body and the intake manifold.
The idea of a throttle body type perimeter plate was not a new thought for us. In fact, for years we looked at how to come up with a perimeter plate, but the cost of the production looked too high, so we didn’t move on the idea. That was until within the last few years or so, and then a couple of things came together that pointed to the possibility of making an LS perimeter plate system happen.
By using the knowledge and engineering from our original ZEX™ perimeter plate carbureted design, we began the new design process for a throttle body plate system that would fit onto an LS intake configuration. We knew there were a couple of other plate designs for specific engine combinations on the market. However, there was not a design that was compatible with every 90mm and up throttle body/manifold configuration.
Our decision was to create an advanced perimeter plate design that would fit every 90mm and up combination of OEM and aftermarket intake combination. That, of course, made it very challenging because there are so many intake and throttle body combinations on the market.
We already knew we had an edge because our existing perimeter plate’s design advantages. No other plate system offers the benefits of superior nitrous distribution quality from Perimeter Injection™ Technology, Cryo-Sync™ Technology and Airflow Enhancement™ Technology. We just needed to use these advantages in a perimeter plate design that would fit every 90mm and up manifold and throttle body combination for the LS engine.
Of course, this was no easy undertaking, but as a company, we are not dissuaded by a challenge. So we went to work and invested substantial resources to make the design happen. This new plate system is among the most engineered products ZEX™ has produced to date.
HOW DID YOU DO IT?
To get started, there were two main objectives that were fundamental to the design. First was the challenge of creating a system that fits every combination of 90mm and up LS throttle body and intake manifold. However, we were up to the challenge. That’s because our R&D department has every known OEM truck and car intake and throttle body that’s been done for the LS engine, including the LSXR™ and LSXRT™ Intake Manifolds from our sister company FAST™. So we knew we could find a way to make a design able to mount to any LS intake and throttle body combination. We were also aided in this objective through the acquisition of OEM throttle body blueprints that gave us the bolt patterns and specific dimensions of each manifold from the factory.
The other objective was to design a perimeter plate delivery system that would work in a circular pattern, rather than a square carb style pattern. Since we already had the best square perimeter plate design, we knew how to do a functional delivery system design; we just had to adapt the design to a radial configuration to work with the throttle body opening.
The combination of both objectives took a great deal of time and effort to arrive at a final design, which in turn led to computerized 3D modeling. From there, we went to rapid prototyping to create initial parts in plastic that we could study and do preliminary analysis on to ensure correctness of dimensions and design integrity.
Once the dimensions were verified and all the critical fitments were accurate, we had the part made out of aluminum as a fully functioning prototype. This final prototype was used for in-depth analysis to make sure that the plate functioned exactly the way it was designed before we went into production.
During the analysis phase, the plate was studied both in the R&D lab and in the field to determine the accuracy of design and ensure it performed at peak levels. That took a lot of minute adjustments, which was a huge issue because this was the first time we had done a circular spray design. We took all the formulas and engineering information and applied them to the new plate design, and in the end we arrived at the right geometry for peak performance.
The main plate is designed for a 102 mm throttle body opening, but our objective was to have the plate fit all sizes down to 90mm. To do that, we designed a radial insert ring that’s fully machinable. The ring opening is 92mm, but can be port matched to any size required, based off of throttle body size. The insert ring makes this perimeter plate an easy fit for any of the 90mm and up LS family of engines.
One of the defining features of the ZEX™ LSX Perimeter Plate Nitrous System is the Cryo-Sync™* technology it employs. Simply stated, Cryo-Sync™ uses the cryogenic properties of nitrous to cool the throttle body as it sprays. We all know cool air makes for more power, and since the nitrous chilled throttle body helps to achieve this, even greater power gains are realized with the ZEX™ LSX Perimeter Plate. This feature, along with the revolutionary design of the Perimeter Plate, has produced a nitrous system like no other.
WHAT KIND OF HORSEPOWER GAIN WILL IT DELIVER?
From a performance stand point, when the system is activated, it will deliver up to 250 additional horsepower. It’s incredibly easy to get this performance because the system is so easy to install that it can be done in about four hours. So when you add it all up, this is a must have for LS engine performance enthusiasts.
Cryo-Sync™ describes the cooling feature of the perimeter plate design. It occurs when nitrous, passing through the tuning jet, becomes super chilled. This super chilled nitrous then flows through the perimeter plate’s internal flow channels. As nitrous pressure drops, the chemical compound converts from a liquid state to a gaseous form. In that process, nitrous drops in temperature to as much as -127 below zero. That dynamic does two things; first, it instantly cools the air that nitrous is mixed with when the system is activated; second, it rapidly cools the perimeter plate, as well as the throttle body it is attached to. In terms of engine performance, it is a fact that cool air provides greater performance.