The Best Way to Make Big Power on a Junkyard Buick V6: Nitrous or Boost?

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By Car Brand Experts

The Best Way to Make Big Power on a Junkyard Buick V6: Nitrous or Boost?

When it comes to squeezing out maximum power from your engine, options like nitrous or supercharging can significantly boost performance. Richard Holdener, an engine enthusiast, conducted a thorough experiment on a Buick 3800 V6 to determine whether nitrous or a supercharger is the superior choice.

Testing Methods

Holdener started with a 3.8-liter Buick L67 Series II V6, initially equipped with a supercharger from the factory. After converting it to a naturally aspirated setup with E85 fuel, the engine produced 247 horsepower and 241 lb-ft of torque. Further modifications included adding nitrous, which pushed the power output to 351 horsepower and 372 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, a Gen V M90 supercharger with increased boost levels and better fuel flow resulted in a staggering 400 hp and 384 ft-lbs of torque.

Combined Power

To explore the limits further, Holdener combined both nitrous and supercharging, achieving an impressive 565 horsepower and 549 lb-ft of torque, showcasing the potential of the Buick V6 engine from the 1990s.


While each method has its pros and cons, the supercharger showcased higher power gains without the need for regular nitrous refills. However, Holdener suggests that for a nitrous-focused build, a higher compression engine with suitable modifications would be more beneficial.


Which method, nitrous or supercharging, is more suitable for my engine?

Both nitrous and supercharging offer significant power gains. Nitrous provides instant power increase, whereas supercharging offers consistent boosts without the hassle of refilling nitrous bottles.

Can I combine nitrous and supercharging for even more power?

Yes, combining nitrous and supercharging can yield substantial power gains, as demonstrated by Holdener’s experiment on the Buick V6.

Are there any disadvantages to using nitrous or a supercharger?

Nitrous requires regular refilling, while supercharging may necessitate additional modifications to the engine for optimal performance.

The experiment conducted by Holdener proves that the Buick V6, known for its affordability and reliability, can achieve remarkable power figures under different power-adder setups. Though more common in front-wheel-drive applications in the US, its potential shines through in performance-oriented builds.

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In conclusion, whether you opt for nitrous or a supercharger for your engine depends on your power goals and preferences. Both methods have their strengths and can offer substantial power gains when implemented correctly. Ultimately, Richard Holdener’s experiment on the Buick V6 showcases the versatility and potential of different power-adder setups in maximizing engine performance.

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