North American Turbocoupe Organization

turbot4 Offline
One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic-inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.

Under full ! throttle, a dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate 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 lock at full throttle.

At the stoichiometric 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. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

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 the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow 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, dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4 G's. In order to reach 200 MPH well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8 G's.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000 per second.

The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter-mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 MPH (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03, Doug Kalitta).

Putting this all into perspective:
You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged & ready to launch down a quarter-mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard 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 moment.
The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums & within 3 seconds the dragster 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 & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race!
That's acceleration !
NATO Member
1984 Turbo Coupe
Rebuilt Engine
New T3/T4 Hybrid Turbo
Large Spearco Intercooler with Bypass valve.
Adjustable cam gear.
Kirban adjustable fuel pressure regulator
K&N fender mounted filter.
8.8 readend with Ford Motor Sport 4.10's
Replaced entire brake system
Replaced entire fuel system
Replaced entire suspension
87' or 88' TC hood
Completely redone leather interior.
Turbo boost adjuster from Tiny Avenger
3" Exhaust - DP, Cat and Ultra Flo Dyno Max.
and just about every thing else...

DonH Offline
Posting Freak
The rest of the story:

The Top Fuel car, its fuel gone, its spark plugs melted, its engine needing a total rebuild is passed by the Corvette, still going 200 mph, stereo on, air conditioning keeping out the desert heat, heading for Las Vegas and another night of fun.
1987 TC stock except ATR 2.5"
1983 Pontiac Transam T-top 5.7 T56 [email protected] top speed: 176mph
1978 Fairmont 2.3 4-spd Big-top S/W
1946 Willys CJ2A 134.2ci L4 No-top

Pete D Offline
Thanks guys. I've seen the first part several times before. Don's finish wonderfully illustrates the tradeoffs involve in building a dedicated purpose vehicle.
Pete Dunham


Glenn 88TC Offline
Posting Freak
Quote:Originally posted by DonH:
The rest of the story:

The Top Fuel car, its fuel gone, its spark plugs melted, its engine needing a total rebuild is passed by the Corvette, still going 200 mph, stereo on, air conditioning keeping out the desert heat, heading for Las Vegas and another night of fun.
The rest of the rest of the story.

Sell dragster after having ride of your life. Use money to buy one Ford GT and custom twin turbo it. Say bye to ANY Corvette period. You'll also have plenty of monewy laft over for Vegas.
NO TC and NO headaches.

Matt S Offline
Posting Freak
Wow I've never seen the whole thing put out like that with top fuel cars. I am still amazed at motors, and the tens of pounds of stuff that changes direction hundreds - or thousands - of times a second and still gets all that work done without flying apart. I was hooked when, at 10 years old, I saw a hemi without the valve covers, idling. I knew how it worked, but I had no idea it did it that fast!
Sold it Sad*

Hurff Offline
Senior Member
I'd be happy just to get to the track someday. (sigh)

And be able to drive home in the same car (still running properly)
1987 TC - RIP

Michael Jordan Offline
Senior Member
Great bunch of information. I really enjoyed ready this.

1986 TC stock with full option package. K&N, DIY boost valve at 14 psi, Walbro 255.

xcrunnerbd Offline
Posting Freak
Car and Driver Magazine did perhaps the best write up about Top Fuel I've ever seen. It was written back in the late 80's shortly after Gary Ormsby had gone 4.88 @ 296. The stats given then are still amazing now and the cars are almost half a second quicker and 35+ mph faster. I need to go dig it up now. Stuff like pulling 1.6 G's at the finish line when at the time the Porsche 911 AWD was the king of G's in 1st gear at 1.2 ... Using up 8 gallons of fuel in a run, which is burnt faster than you can spill 8 individual gallons....
Project 13 sec. / 30mpg in '88 TC 5Speed : [email protected] / 32+ mpg

On The Car: KN cone, 2-stage [email protected] 15psi wired to fuel switch, Kirban AFPR @ 39psi, Walbro 255 HP FP, 130A 3G Alt., Full 3" Stinger Exhaust incl. cat. no muffler,

Shelf: .48 T3, ported E6, BPV

Glenn 88TC Offline
Posting Freak
Here are a few more I had on the same list.

* 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 9,500 rpm.
NO TC and NO headaches.

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