Stand nearby when a "rail" car lights off and you can feel the ground shake. No other ground vehicle can out-accelerate a top-fuel dragster. Some of the clutch plates begin welding together, pulling the engine to its lowest rpm, 6500. With increasing vehicle speed, the tires expand to a final diameter of 44 inches. Interestingly, a gallon of nitromethane, which costs $58, has less energy content than gasoline (14 kilowatt-hours versus 34). They can go from 0 to 60 mph in half a second. So the engine is rebuilt after every run by a team of eight mechanics. Nitromethane is a highly combustible material that burns way hotter than natural gas. While the other side of the highly-developed and upgraded but ordinary sports cars like Porsche 919 Hybrid MKII holds the record of 8.3 seconds for a quarter-mile run in 2020, Tony Schumacher holds the fastest quarter-mile sprint in a Top Fuel model with an impressive record of 3.649 seconds. Is possible make a production car with a power/weight ratio of 2,000 hp per tone? Usually, before racing, the driver is locked in their seat, and the crew handles everything else from pushing the vehicle to the start line and even igniting the engine, which by the way, is done using a mechanic igniter. Usually, they are GM Powerglide 2-speed but with upgraded parts to handle the HUGE amount of horsepower and torque those engines put out. 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Funny Cars are also similar to Top Fuel dragsters in that they do not use a transmission but rather transmit power to the huge Goodyear rear slicks through a multistage clutch assembly that is activated by timers. Top Fuel dragsters are the quickest accelerating racing cars in the world and the fastest sanctioned category of drag racing, with the fastest competitors reaching speeds of 335 miles per hour (539 km/h) and finishing the 1,000 foot (305 m) runs in 3.62 seconds. The clutch is tuned according to track conditions. The fastest class in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag-racing series, these cars can rocket to 300 mph in less than 4 seconds. That seemingly physics-defying performance is why Jim Oberhofer, the VP of operations at Kalitta Motorsports, calls top-fuelers violence on wheels. Friction elements are resurfaced to within .001-in. That kind of flow requires a firehose-like fuel line. The crew has to be on top of their game for this matter for the car might need severe repairs after one race. 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The only downside of these brakes is that they have to be heated up to a specific temperature before they can work properly. The resulting grip is akin to driving on flypaper. The primary purpose of the invention of motor-vehicle transport was for people to get from point A to point B as convenient and as fast as possible. Who closes the door when the bus driver gets off the bus? 1 G is the amount of pressure that an object has to tolerate while being accelerated by gravity. A five-disc dry clutch is the only link between the engine and the locked rear end—there's no transmission. How much cheaper would a car be if they went back to basics and had all basic stuff in itlike a car from the 80S? It’s not like developing a usual sports car, and it sure is not similar to the development journey that a starter car goes through. So the engine has to be installed behind the driver, to ensure that the flames have no way to enter the cockpit. One reason that the Top Fuel dragsters are also known as land rockets is that they have to use a parachute brake to slow down from their massive speed that sometimes reaches up to 330 mph. A common engine breathes naturally, and a turbocharger and a supercharger are not so different basically but have different air intake methods to them. EDIT: Looks like emiller got me on that one. The world’s top engineers co-operate with each other so that they can design the next functioning land rocket, hoping that they can reach the records and break them. Where Are Abby Lee's Dancers From Dance Moms Today? This amount of downforce applied to the back tires might sound counterproductive, but the fact is that there is a fine line between high-speed acceleration and taking off the ground like a flying land-vehicle. That tragedy did not deter the Kalitta crew. The vehicle and its driver go through nearly 3 negative Gs of pressure while these parachutes are deployed. Still have questions? You can sign in to vote the answer. Similar to their Top Fuel counterparts but with a shorter wheelbase and a carbon-fiber body that loosely resembles a production-based automobile, Funny Cars routinely run in the 4.7-second range and are capable of speeds in excess of 330 mph. The bright yellow flame that we see coming out of the exhaust is the result of the burnt nitromethane inside of the engine. Aerodynamics increase tire traction so the throw-out bearing tightens its grip. Next, the driver pulls the chute and the crew then feverishly prepares for the next run. Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. Unlike a street or high-performance car that uses a manual or automatic transmission, a top-fuel dragster uses a centrifugal clutch and only operates in forward, high, and reverse. That is most likely one of the reasons that the powertrain on these cars need serious maintenance after each run. Today we have these fuel-guzzling beasts that can outrun any ordinary sports vehicle in acceleration and top speed, and they are called Top Fuel dragsters. NHRA Top Fuel dragsters are the world's fastest accelerating land vehicles. Here's a breakdown. The average cost of each second of a Top Fuel drag race is estimated to be more than $1K. The bias-ply tires also dramatically change diameter over a run, which has the effect of altering the overall gearing. The temperature of the flames has been measured to be around 7050 degrees Fahrenheit, now imagine how much temperature inside the engine would be. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. You may be wondering how it all works. Similar to their Top Fuel counterparts but with a shorter wheelbase and a carbon-fiber body that loosely resembles a production-based automobile, … The lightweight drag rails can travel a quarter-mile in 4.4 seconds while achieving speeds of more than 335 mph. The supercharger, which is just a belt-driven air pump that force-feeds the engine, is so massive that it takes 700 hp to run it. But nitro is an oxygen-rich compound that requires less air to burn, so the engine can consume more of it, thereby producing greater power. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The engine slightly bogs to 7200 rpm. Next: 10 Best Classic Mopar Muscle Cars (And 5 We Don't Talk About). The Too Hot To Handle Cast, Ranked By Instagram Followers, 10 A-List Ladies And Who They Revealed As Their Celebrity Crush, Everything We Know About Larissa Lima's Firing From 90 Day Fiancé, Every Celeb The Jonas Brothers Have Dated, Ranked By How Much Fans 'Stanned' The Relationship, Every Disney Princess & What Their College Major Would Be, Ryan Gosling's Best Movies (According to IMDB). The 58 nozzles in the intake tract are always open, dumping about 5 gallons of fuel in a 4-second run. Kasey - Powerglides are strong but not that strong lol. While many normal cars use up to 2 bars of pressure on their wheels to get a hold on the track, these dragsters use just 0.5 bar of weight pressure, and the main grip comes from the high friction level between rubber and tarmac. Top-fuelers burn a mixture that's 90 percent nitromethane and 10 percent alcohol. "This is the engine's toughest zone," Oberhofer says. Since the engine on these cars is the main reason they can perform the way they do, they have to be taken care of between two runs or a maximum of 2 hours. No sort of transmission will stand up to THAT kind of abuse. The starter car has a redline just short of 5,000 rpm, and the top sports cars can go up to 7,000 rpm, but the heavily tuned Top Fuel dragster engine doesn’t reach that threshold up to 9,500 rpm. Grooves on the tires decrease the conflicted surface between two objects and also the grip. The one thing that Top Fuel car developers aren’t worried about is the performance of their model on a bumpy road since the Top Fuel track is as smooth as tarmac can get. As the team prepares for the 2011 season, which starts Feb. 24, we peel off its top-fueler's bodywork to learn the secrets of its insane acceleration. Late in the run, many spark plugs have burned away, so the engine is dieseling, and some cylinders simply don't fire. Related: Detroit’s 11 Fastest Stock Cars From The NASCAR Circuit. Specially constructed Goodyears have the intimidating task of transferring all that rotational energy to forward speed. The motor screams at its 8300 rpm redline, and the tires buckle under the load of getting the 2300-pound dragster moving. You cannot find the dragster fuel in your local gas station as the primary fuel that is burnt inside the engine of these beasts is a chemical compound called nitromethane, which produces an extremely high temperature. So When Will We Know the Results of the Election? 5 Using Flat Tires To Get A Grip A centrifugal clutch … "Better Boot": Chevy's New Infantry Squad Vehicle. Powered by a supercharged and fuel-injected 500-cubic-inch adaptation of the famed Chrysler Hemi engine, Top Fuel dragsters can burn up to 15 gallons of nitromethane fuel during a single quarter-mile run. The clutch's throw-out bearing has moved through three of its five stages, increasing the pressure on the discs. The discs get so hot that at least two of them are welded together by the run's end. This way, the engineers don’t get worked up about the small waste of power caused by the bouncing body on top of the wheels.