Friday, April 10, 2015

Top Fuel Dragster Heritage

NitroAmerica 2015 Slingshot

The engine of a Top Fuel dragster generates around 150 dB of sound at full throttle, enough to cause physical pain or even permanent damage.  A sound that intense is not just heard, but also felt as pounding vibrations all over one's body and Les Mayhew is going to help with that!  

The engine used to power a Top Fuel drag racing car follows the basic layout found in the second generation Chrysler Hemi 426 "Elephant Engine" made from 1964-71.  Although the Top Fuel engine is built exclusively of specialist parts, it retains the basic configuration with two valves per cylinder activated by pushrods from a centrally-placed camshaft.  The engine has hemispherical combustion chambers, a 90 degree V-angle; 4.8 in. bore pitch.  The configuration is identical to the overhead valve, single camshaft-in-block "Hemi" V-8 engine which became available for sale to the public in selected Chrysler Corporation (Chrysler brand) automotive products in 1950 (model year 1951).  The block is machined from a piece of forged aluminum.  It has press-fitted, ductile iron liners.  There are no water passages in the block, which adds considerable strength and stiffness.

The engine is cooled by the incoming air/fuel mixture.  Like the original Hemi, the racing cylinder block has a deep skirt for strength.  There are five main bearing caps, which are fastened with aircraft-standard-rated steel studs, with additional reinforcing main studs and side bolts.  Here's a couple suppliers of these custom blocks.



NHRA regulations limit the composition of the fuel to a maximum of 90% nitromethane (Since 2008); the remainder is largely methanol.  However, this mixture is not mandatory, and less nitromethane may be used if desired.

Front engine Top Fuel Dragster the Heritage style of racing and still running!

All American Fuel Dragster 



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