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Dragster Trivia

Old 07-01-2007, 06:59 AM
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Default Dragster Trivia

Did you know that...

One TF dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower than the first 8 rows at the Daytona 500.

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.

A stock hemi will not produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.

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 the 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 split the block in half.

To exceed 300 mph 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 completed reading this sentence.

Top Fuel Engines turn ONLY 540 revolutions from light to light!

The redline is actually quite high at 9,500rpm.

Putting all of this in perspective:

You are driving an average Lingenfelter powered "twin-turbo" Corvette. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start, but you still run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph.
At this moment, the dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot hard down, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you passed him.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:43 PM
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Default RE: Dragster Trivia


Yes those are certainly things to keep in perspective, but you have know these engines are in a whole league of their own.

NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars produce approximately 7,000 horsepower, about 37 times that of the average street car?

We think it is cool to have an engine in the 400-500HP range but dragsters are are not even on this same chart and they are not street driveable either.

That is like comparing a Boeing 747 jet with the Space Shuttle.
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:11 AM
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Default RE: Dragster Trivia

Humm, interesting tib bit of information.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:39 PM
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While I'm not a diehard NASCAR fan, a top fuel engine must live for 1/4 mile and a NASCAR engine must live for 500 miles. BOTH of which are very impressive. During one event they had a plexiglass mockup with a top fuel injector hat on top of it to simulate the amount of fuel going through those engines. It didn't seem possible that the volume of fuel flowing could even be ignited. It was pretty incredible! I guess that's why you taste the nitro for days afterwards.
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