Top Fuel Dragster facts

Yuccadoo
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This is probably a repost but thought it was interesting. I spot checked a couple of the assertions and found that they were true or very close to accurate, but hey....I'm not taking responsibility for any of these claims. This is at least 5 year old data...and I fully expect to be eviscerated for posting this, but what the hell, half of you probably know what is and isn't BS about it and will set me straight:



Ever wonder why a Top Fuel dragster gets a rebuilt engine after each run?


* One Top Fuel dragster outfitted with a 500 cubic-inch replica Dodge (actually Keith Black, etc) Hemi engine makes more horsepower (8,000 HP) than the first 4 rows of cars at NASCAR's Daytona 500.

* Under full throttle, a dragster engine will consume 11.2 gallons of nitro methane per second;
a fully loaded Boeing 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate but with 25% less energy being produced.

* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to merely drive the dragster's supercharger.

* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lockup at full throttle.

* At the stoichio metric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.

* Nitro methane 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.

* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. Which is typically the output of an electric arc welder in each cylinder.

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

* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with enough sufficient force to blow the cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half !!

* Dragsters reach over 300 MPH +... before you have completed reading this sentence.

* In order to exceed 300 MPH in 4.5 seconds, a dragster must accelerate an average of over 4 G's. In order to reach 200 MPH well before reaching half-track, at launch the acceleration approaches 8 G's.

* Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!

* Including the burnout, the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

* The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.

* THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid for, the pit crew is working for free,
& NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run will cost an estimated $1,000 per second.

0 to 100 MPH in .8 seconds (the first 60 feet of t he run)
0 to 200 MPH in 2.2 seconds (the first 350 feet of the run)
6 g-forces at the starting line (nothing accelerates faster on land)
6 negative g-forces upon deployment of twin 'chutes at 300 MPH

An NHRA Top Fuel Dragster accelerates quicker than any other land vehicle on earth . .
quicker than a jet fighter plane . . . quicker than the space shuttle....or snapping your fingers !!

The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.420 seconds for the quarter-mile (2004, Doug Kalitta).

The top speed record is 337.58 MPH as measured over the last 66' of the run (2005, Tony Schumacher).

Let's now put this all into perspective:

Imagine this...........You are driving a new $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered Corvette Z-06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged & ready to 'launch' down a quarter-mile s trip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard, on up through the gears and blast across the starting line & pass the dragster at an honest 200 MPH.... The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that exact moment. The dragster departs & starts after you. You keep your foot buried hard to the floor, and suddenly you hear an incredibly brutally screaming whine that sears and pummels your eardrums & within a mere 3 seconds the dragster effortlessly catches & passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it - from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 MPH.....and it not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the planet when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race !!!!



[This message has been edited by Yuccadoo (edited 11/1/2013 6:07a).]
Ag for Life
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AG
Cool stuff. I know the total HP rating is hotly debated. Some claim 11000-15000 HP.

If you haven't been to one of these races in person you need to go. TV does it no justice at all. The people watching is worth the price of admission too!
VitruvianAg
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Still,

A slam bam thank you ma'am...or dinner, a movie (one of hose romantic comedy chick flicks) and sex all night?

I'll take a ride in your Ferrari...alone!
Dr. Doctor
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i remember seeing a show on History/discovery channel with a clear engine mock-up. Water was being sprayed in for idle vs. running. The fact about being in hydraulic lock up is pretty spot on.

The idle looked like watching clothes wash in the laundromat. When they switched it was just a solid cylinder of water.

~egon
Buck O Five
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That is eye opening.
The Wonderer
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I remember watching the History Channel show. It was shocking to see just how much fuel (represented by water) was poured into that motor at WOT.
Cibalo
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I have seen that circulated a few times over the years and very impressive. The records are a bit out of date though.

1/4 mile 3.701 seconds
top speed 332.18 mph

http://www.nhra.com/points/national-records.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Dill-Ag13
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Fascinating
moore42
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Went to the Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in September. One of the greatest experiences of my life! What a rush!

Video does not do it justice, you must be there to witness this in person.

Oh, and its only 1000' now. They were going too fast in the 1/4.

[This message has been edited by moore42 (edited 11/1/2013 10:40a).]
SpicewoodAg
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A somewhat less sensationalized overview of top fuel dragsters:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/vintage-speed/anatomy-of-a-top-fuel-dragster

I didn't know they now race 1000 ft. not 1/4 mile.

The article above says the supercharger takes 700 HP to power it.
jbeaman88
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One fact I haven't seen before that would be interesting to me is how much thrust (in pounds) is contributed by exhaust gasses coming out of the pipes at max revs. I would think it would be substantial but maybe not significant when compared to the power sent to the ground through the rear tires.
SpicewoodAg
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Yet another time killer for today on this topic. A really nice narrated walkthrough of TF drag racing. The part about the clutch is particularly interesting.

http://www.dragzine.com/videos/drag-racing/intriguing-top-fuel-dragster-tech-video-from-popular-mechanics/
Goose
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quote:
One fact I haven't seen before that would be interesting to me is how much thrust (in pounds) is contributed by exhaust gasses coming out of the pipes at max revs. I would think it would be substantial but maybe not significant when compared to the power sent to the ground through the rear tires.


According to wikipedia: "At maximum throttle and RPM, the exhaust gases escaping from a dragster's open headers produce about 900–1100 pounds (3.6 kilonewtons) of downforce."
madd_ag_05
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Good stuff, but yeah those facts are out of date. The cars are even faster now, and they've been going 1000ft for a couple years. The distance change was less about the speed and more about giving the drivers more opportunity to slow down.

Here's a (recent) up close look at Top Fuel technology and capability.

http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticles/ID/3099/Nerds-Eye-View--Inside-10000-horsepower.aspx

[This message has been edited by madd_ag_05 (edited 11/1/2013 11:27a).]
Rexter
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i'm headed to bradenton next week for the manufacturer's cup finals. this guy will be there. i think it would be more fun than a top fuel car. skip to 1:48 to miss the cheez.


http://youtu.be/hWxjUDEYIiw
[This message has been edited by Rexter (edited 11/1/2013 6:09p).]

[This message has been edited by Rexter (edited 11/1/2013 6:09p).]

[This message has been edited by Rexter (edited 11/1/2013 6:09p).]
robertcope
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Top Fuel fuel pump test. Amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGTbQuhhluY

robert
silverado_lover
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Gallons per white knuckles
Sweet Kitten Feet
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Love going to top fuel races
Dill-Ag13
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That pump test is awesome!!
sts7049
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no weak stream coming from that pump
Aggiemike96
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Accounting nerd here, so I had to crunch the Vette's numbers:

200 mph = 293.33 feet per second = 4.5 seconds to cover 1/4 mile running 200 mph.

Yep, you're going to get blown away by the dragster!
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