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5,408 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just some fun facts that I found. Enjoy!

A Top Fueler uses almost 23 gallons of gas for warm-up, burnout, and a single quarter-mile run. This is 85-percent nitromethane and 15-percent alcohol and costs about $18 a gallon.

It takes 900 b.h.p. just to turn the supercharger on top of the motor. It pushes 45.5 psi of boost. A Porsche 911 Turbo S does about half that.

Top Fuelers go from 0-60 in 0.84 seconds and cover the quarter mile in about 4.5 seconds.

The average Top Fuel engine puts out 7,500 b.h.p. This is up from the 3,000 they were putting out 15 years ago

… that one cylinder of the eight cylinders of a Top Fuel dragster or a Funny Car produces 750 horsepower, equaling the entire horsepower output of a NASCAR engine?

… that an NHRA Top Fuel dragster accelerates from 0 to 100 mph in less than .8-second, almost 11 seconds quicker than it takes a production Porsche 911 Turbo to reach the same speed?

… that an NHRA Top Fuel dragster leaves the starting line with a force nearly five times that of gravity, the same force of the space shuttle when it leaves the launching pad at Cape Canaveral?

… that an NHRA Funny Car is slowed by a reverse force more than seven times that of gravity when both parachutes deploy simultaneously?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars use between 10 and 12 gallons of fuel for a complete pass, including the burnout, backup to the starting line, and quarter-mile run?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars travel the length of more than four football fields in less than five seconds?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters can exceed 280 mph in just 660 feet?

… that from a standing start, NHRA Top Fuel dragsters accelerate faster than a jumbo jet, a fighter jet, and a Formula One race car?

… that a fuel pump for an NHRA Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car delivers 65 gallons of fuel per minute, equivalent to eight bathroom showers running at the same time?

… that the fuel-line pressure for NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars is between 400 and 500 pounds, about 20 times greater than the pressure on passenger-car fuel pumps?

… that depending on size and angle, the large rear wing on an NHRA Top Fuel dragster develops between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds of downforce?

… that the 17-inch rear tires used on NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars wear out after four to six runs, or about two miles? Some brands of passenger-car tires are guaranteed for 80,000 miles.

… that it takes just 15/100ths of a second for all 8,000 horsepower of an NHRA Top Fuel dragster engine to reach the rear wheels?

… that it's desirable for an NHRA Top Fuel dragster to race with its front wheels inches off the ground for about the first 200 feet of the run? This ensures proper weight transfer to the rear wheels, a crucial part of a good launch and quick run.

The engine of choice for the majority of teams is an aluminum replica of the famed 426 Chrysler Hemi. At least four manufacturers sell the engine blocks, which fetch $4,500 and will displace a maximum of 500 cubic inches once the crankshaft and rotating piston assemblies are in place. When equipped with cylinder heads and connecting rods carved from chunks of aluminum and when the intake manifold, supercharger, and fuel pumps are bolted in place, a nitro engine costs approximately $50,000.

Imagine you are driving a Lingenfelter-prepped ‘twin turbo’ Corvette (editor's note — 3300 pounds, 650 hp, $113,000). You are on a dead-straight road. One and a quarter miles away is a finish line. One mile up the road, a top-fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch as soon as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start of an entire mile. You run the ‘Vette up through the gears hard, and blast past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The moment you pass, the dragster starts after you. You keep your foot hard down, but within seconds, you are nearly deafened as the dragster blasts past you to cross the quarter mile finish line in front of you, going 100 mph faster.

5,408 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Some more facts (sorry if there's any repeats)

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 4times the energy volume.

The supercharger takes more power to drive then 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 nitro methane 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.

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 at1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting off 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 sentence. *

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

The redline is actually quite high at 9500rpm.

Premium Member
35,304 Posts
Those are some cool facts. I especially like the deafening roar of the dragster while flying in the Vette.

"Once I had this dream...I was driving a turbo Z car..."

1,497 Posts
Cool facts Dave. Pretty much all of which I didn't know!

I couldn't possibly imagine the adrenaline rush of being in one of those!
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