Some interesting Top Fuel Dragster facts...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Mike N, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    * One dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower then the first 8
    rows at Daytona

    * Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 1/2 gallons of
    nitro per second, the same rate of fuel consumption as a fully loaded 747,
    but with 4 times the energy volume.

    * The supercharger takes more power to drive than a stock hemi makes.

    * Even with nearly 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger
    on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into nearly-solid form before
    ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock.

    * Dual magnetos apply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output
    of an arc welder in each cylinder.

    * At stoichiometric (exact) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture (for nitro), the
    flame front of nitromethane measures 7050 degrees F.

    * Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above
    the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric
    water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

    * Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2
    way, the engine is dieseling from compression-plus the glow of exhaust
    valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting of
    it's fuel flow.

    * If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds
    up in those cylinders and then explodes with a force that can blow cylinder
    heads off the block in pieces or blow the block in half.

    * Dragsters twist the crank (torsionally) so far (20 degrees in the
    big end of the track) that sometimes cam lobes are ground offset from front
    to rear to re-phase the valve timing somewhere closer to synchronization
    with the pistons.

    * To exceed 300mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an
    average of over 4G's. But in reaching 200 mph well before 1/2 track, launch
    acceleration is closer to 8G's.

    * If all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for
    once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs $1000.00 per second.

    * Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have read this
  2. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    $1000 per SECOND?! sounds like some women i know :D

    is that just in gas and mechanical wear then?

    i just can't get into drag racing - i'm more a turning kind of guy.
  3. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Excuse my ignorance, but what's a Hemi? I hear this word a lot with gear heads.
  4. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    ...talking about speed, and Top Fuel a few years back compared the hapless ability of a stock Corvettes' 0-60 speed to Top Fuel.

    Paraprhasing...C'N'D magazine...

    "When viewing a top fuel Dragster perpendicular at the starting line...before you can blink your eye that dragster is GONE!!!!! from view":eek: :D

  6. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hemi is short for hemispherical...usually the top of a cylinder is flat...having a hemispherical top section increases surface area without having a bigger bore, if that makes any sense...

    interesting facts, seems to be like there is a lot of room for hit and miss for tolerances that are required to be so tight to preclude any damage to an engine....well, to keep the engine from blowing to shreds, rather...i'm sure a normal pass damages the heck out of a motor, hence all the rebuilding that goes on. where's hammy at? :D
  7. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Gas, oil, sparkplugs, valvesprings, etc.......
    Some parts have to be replaced every pass, like valvesprings, pistons, etc......where some parts will last the weekend, like tires, crankshafts, connecting rods........

    Its not cubic inches, its cubic dollars.
  8. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I'm usually into twisting and turning too, but the awesome brute force of dragsters is just as cool. I think my car is trying to achieve that price range, BTW
  10. I always love the slo-mo pictures of the way the tyres deform as they start having to take all that power!

    Drag racing has a limited appeal with me, it's all over too quick. I'm more of a Moto GP and WSB person!:)
  11. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    And I thought MY motorsports addiction was expensive... autocrossing in a Stock class, my main expense is DOT race tires. I made some rough calculations awhile back that my local event/practice tires (Kumho) cost me about $6 per second, and divisional/national/must-get-that-trophy tires (Hoosier) cost $10-12 per second.

    I calculated that to properly finance my 2003 autocross season, I'd need $3500 to $5000 (That's in addition to payments on a streetable but impractical car). That's why my plan for this year is to stay busy with music and race only enough to keep from getting rusty. The wife just might get that vacation in Europe this year if I can stick to that plan and keep my music G.A.S. under control (or at least try to fund it only with gig money). :) My wife makes little secret of the fact that her encouragement for me to get back into a band was largely in hopes that I'd put the car thing aside a bit (guess I'm taking the hint now).

    And to think that my year's budget would only get me about 5 seconds in a dragster :eek:
  12. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I love drag racing. NASCAR bores me to no end. INDY is more tolerable but still b-o-r-i-n-g! I like to watch some of the road races but other than that, no.

    Interesting facts, Mike.
  13. You left out how deafening they are! The first time I went to National Speedway at exit 68 off the Long Island Expressway about 30 years ago to see funny cars and top fuel, no one told us to cover our ears when the cars were burning out. When the cars idle they sound like a very loud typewriter, but when they hit the throttle, the noise they make is indescribeable. Loudest thing I ever heard.

    I miss it. :(

  14. ..but lots of fun too"

    I prefer corners and no tarmac though.
  15. You might be able to add these to the list:

    1. In the first 100 feet a AA/F dragster will out-accelerate an F-16 fighter.

    2. The rear tires are so flexible that they will grow to nearly twice their size during a run. Centrifugal force makes them enlarge. Only 6-10 lbs. of air pressure are used in the rear tires

    3. In case of an explosion, the fire from the nitromethane can exceed 3000º. In the old days when magnesium was used as a lightweight alloy, the metal itself would ignite and burn even hotter.

    4. The current design of rear engine-front driven wasn't done for aerodynamics. It was primarily created for driver safety.

    5. A top fuel race engine has no cooling other than it's fuel. They will only run continuously for about 5 minutes before melting down.

    6. The youngest driver to win a national NHRA Top Fuel event was 17. And a young lady no less!

    All Hail Don Garlits, Art Malone, Don Prudhomme, Chris Karamasines, Tommy Ivo, Gary Beck, Shirley Muldowney, Connie Kalitta and all the others that shook the ground and made our eyes water through the years. Top Fuel racing is one of the best motorsports ever.
  16. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    "Big Daddy" Don Garlits
    Don "The Snake" Prudhomme
    Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney
    But what was Kalitta's nick name? Can't remember.

    BTW, why don't drag racers have nick names anymore? I mean, would you rather cheer for a guy called "The Snake" or some cat named Ron Capps? Come on! Capps is an outstanding driver, but is that any kind of name for a drag racer? What say you, Hammy?
  17. Nothing is more orgasmic than the vision of a set of slicks expanding.
  18. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Is that healthy?
  19. Eddie Hill and the Nuclear Banana!

    Injection is nice but I would rather be Blown ! :p
  20. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Top fuels are cool, but IMO dirt sprint car racing takes the cake. 1100 pounds, pushing 900 horsepower...this is like putting a 350 on a skateboard. 160+ MPH, pitch it sideways, and muscle it through the turn wide open. At a track close to here (Eldora Speedway), they cover the HUGE high banked 1/2 mile oval at a track record of 12.7 seconds....