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Drag Racing General Drag Racing - Land Speed Stuff

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Racing and Track Days' started by Frankster, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. maelstrom

    maelstrom LiteTek Staff Member Premium Member 250cc Vendor Contributing Member

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    Allow me, I am really good at offending:
    Okay I am sure the big cheese might want to delete this post as being political but we often hear 'it is the way of the future' as though we are all morons and have to do what we are told, so I feel as though someone should be allowed to respond.
    But by all means delete it Mr Grey if I have crossed the line (again). :)
    Fact: 15% of Global CO2 emissions come from transportation. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/global_emissions_sector_2015.png So electric bikes to 'save gay whales' is just a load of crap by virtue signalling wankers. If everyone converted to electric vehicles tomorrow it would achieve nothing. The gorilla in the room is power generation. Now as for the guys who made or choose an electric bike for scooting around and commuting, I am 100% with you. Especially you project builders, like @soyachips, who did a great electric conversion of an FZR250 (no carby headaches for him). It is not my cup of tea, but I respect your work and I totally get where you are coming from. In fact I have often thought about how to setup an electric motor to operate as a power boost hybrid like the hypercars, McLaren etc.
    Cheers
     
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  2. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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  3. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    It's definitely impressive, I was doing cameras the night that Glenn Wooster broke this record, I think that may have been the night I asked him how many ponies his bike was putting out ~200HP according to them - impressive that it's an engine based on Suzuki GS engine cases, obviously the rest isn't stock - it's injected, naturally aspirate with huge lectron flat slides over throttle bodies for flow

    https://www.standard.net.au/story/6...adds-another-achievement-to-his-honours-list/

    Compare that IIRC I asked Chris Matheson how much power his top bike put out, I don't remember his answer clearly ~2000HP, I do remember gasping and my eyes bulging
     
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  4. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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  5. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    I've been watching Le Mans 24H over YT as many of the top teams are live streaming. I've been mostly watching from the Dragon Speed racing team. It's unbelievable that an engine can be hammered for so long and that drivers of the very fast cars weave there way through all the traffic. Anyway, I've stopped watching from Dragonspeed as about 20 minutes ago Montoya was driving and the thing just went off power. He rolled into the pits and that's the end of that chapter! You can rewatch onboard footage with this link.





    upload_2020-9-20_11-46-11.png
     
  6. maelstrom

    maelstrom LiteTek Staff Member Premium Member 250cc Vendor Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the warning Frank, saved me from filling up my vomit bucket. :)

    I like going to the drags to have my chest cavity compressed by the shock wave as the AA Fuelers (or whatever they are called now) rip the track up. Going to watch a toy car (electric) just doesn't do it for me.
     
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  7. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Yes, there's nothing quite like a top fuel dragster on full noise to let you know you're alive. I've come up with a better warning sign for posts that have electric vehicles in them. What do you think?

    Electric Vehicle.JPG
     
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  8. jmw76

    jmw76 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yep. Only ever seen the top fuelers in action once at Calder Park years ago.
    I do recall the feeling of the shock wave. Quite something.
    The amount of air and fuel those machines consume is mind blowing.
    I remember asking one guy why they didn't use multivalve heads.
    He told me it all comes down to mechanical strength. They just can not build a head strong enough to survive, at the power levels they run, with more than 2 valves. At least that is what I was told.
     
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  9. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    They just can not build a head strong enough to survive, at the power levels they run, with more than 2 valves.

    There's an element of truth in that statement, but a number of builders (McGees, Sainty etc) have developed multi-valve, OHC engines for Nitro applications over the years that have done okay. The biggest issue they face is in-between round maintenance. Nitromethane regularly burns pistons and valves, so being able to pull the engine down quickly, check for damage, replace any damaged parts, rebuild it, fire it up and tune it all in an hour is harder to do with a quad or triple-valve OHC engine. Not impossible, but can dissuade people from using them.

    stan-sainty-engine-2-nw.jpg

    If you're not running nitromethane fuel, then OHC is the way to go (IMO), but there is an entire industry built around big block chevs, chryslers and fords. It's only when you see how much power the Sports Compact guys are running with basically a 2JZ block that you realise just how much of a dinosaur the pushrod engine really is.



    McGee Quad Cam Top Fuel engine

    http://www.draglist.com/artman2/pub...Real_Story_of_the_McGee_Quad-Cam_Engine.shtml

    Sainty Quad Cam Top Fuel engine
    https://www.whichcar.com.au/events/drag-racing/sainty-team-crack-three-second-pass

    By the way, standing next to a Top Fuel motorcycle when it launches isn't exactly a calming experience either. Nitromethane is just a crazy fuel.

     
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  10. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    I asked one of mechanic, who was pulling a sleeve out of the block at the time during a rebuild between races, why they didn't install a new engine instead of rebuild in chassis - he said takes longer and they'll only do it as a last resort.

    I think the same would probably apply to OHC multi valve engines - they run really tight schedules between passes

    When I haul myself back to the pits to switch off cameras, they've got the blower off and usually heads removed as soon as the car is on the stands and the poor bugger that pulls the still smoking hot clutch pack, well what can I say

    FWIW with the air fuel ratio so low for Nitro, they're probably not pushing flow limits with the boost in place

    A really impressive element is that the flames out of the exhaust provide several thousands pounds of thrust, forwards and downwards, that's why they get hard to handle when the drop a cylinder, the back end goes sideways

    First time I did the drags, I stood just off to the side of the track for the nitro, everyone had said louder when I asked about the other classes, it was a warning of sorts, because when they launched it's like being too close to an explosion, literally - it just goes straight through you
     
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  11. Gen

    Gen Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago, I took my son to the AIR to watch top fuel dragsters,,we were about 100 mtrs from the lights, as the cars staged, people started putting their fingers in their ears (soft corks I thought), the lights went thru their thing, my eyes tried to shut, my ears hated me, and all the tobacco shook out of my packet of Winnie reds, rendering them useless,,,next run I became yet another soft cork,,,,,,fan bloody tastic,,,,,:minigun:
     
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  12. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    The Nitromethane compound (CH3NO2) contains two oxygen molecules. And, due to its mass it does not need a high air/fuel ratio like pump gas (14.7 to 1). I recall Nitro is about 1.5-2.0 to 1 and the amount changes based on the percentage of nitro you're running in an engine. The NO2 part of the compound would be familiar to anyone who has run Nitrous Oxide in their motors. It's the N molecule (acid) that burns your eyes and makes it hard for you to breathe when you inhale it. If you pour some on the ground and throw a match at it, nothing will happen. If you hit it with a hammer, it will explode. Nitromethane needs "load" to work properly in an engine. Wheelspin and "peddling" a nitro motor is a surefire way to turn it into a giant grenade.

    I think Drag Racers use it because it's not as unstable as some of the exotic rocket fuels (like Hydroxyzine) they tried to run in the early days. Until recent times, the percentage of Nitro wasn't restricted and racers would run up to 100% nitro in their motors. Those days are thankfully gone, as the governing bodies try to limit the amount of mechanical carnage (and oil downs) that running high percentages brings. I think they now have a limit of 85% nitro, but I haven't been keeping up with the rules. As @Gen would probably know, some salt racers will tip 10 or 20% nitro into their mix for that little bit of extra go, but you have to know what you're doing to tune with it. Those racers run in exotic fuel classes. Nitro motors run low compression and as @ruckusman would have seen, they regularly push the head gaskets out (greenish gas) during a run. Nitro is literally exploding inside the combustion chamber. You're turning the internal combustion chamber into an internal exploding chamber. The header flames are the oxygen molecules in the air being ignited by the extreme heat being emitted from the exhausts. I could go on and on about what a mechanical marvel a nitro engine and racing them is, but I'll sign off and just say that Nitro funny car drivers are a lot braver than their top fuel buddies (FED racers are excluded) since they have that bomb sitting right in front of them. Top Fuel motorbike riders are the bravest. I'm pretty sure the ballistic chest armour they wear, while it's better than nothing, isn't designed to withstand an explosion.

    Nitro Boom1.JPG Nitro Boom2.JPG Nitro Boom3.JPG
    Nitro Boom4.JPG
     
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  13. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Very good post and you've also observed why they back off when the tyres shake and rarely get back on the peddle save to give it a wee squirt to get across the line sometimes - I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in one with tyres shuddering - riding a personal, 9 on the scale, earthquake at several hundred kilometres an hour might be a close equivalent.

    Of the runs I do get to watch if I'm not playing headless chicken, you do see a surprising amount of green flames, the mechanics are rarely, if ever concerned

    I definitely think they all sit too close to an explosion and the Top Bikers are the _____est something, we can call it bravery, but I think it's well past that to be honest
     
  14. Gen

    Gen Well-Known Member

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    I gave the postie a 15% tip, it made bugger all difference as the pipe limited the engine's ability to rev past 7,000
     

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  15. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    This was my Front Engine Dragster (FED) that I restored and ran for a couple of years in the mid 1990's.
    xxx 011.jpg

    It was a copy of a sixties Woody Gilmore chassis and used to run at the old Castlereagh strip with smallblock Chev power and direct drive. It had passed through many hands (and bodgy work) before I got it and restored it and fitted a 3.8Lt Mustang v6 and modified/shortened/manual shift C10 auto.
    So to answer some of the above questions; sitting over the differential and with 'box between my knees never worried me. Remember that the diff was from a '59 Galaxie (which would of had much more torque put through it and pushing a two ton car) and my little rail weighed 560Kg so was never going to stress it, the trans was enclosed in a 6mm thick alloy shield and the engine was basically stock. My best was a 6.45 for the 1/8th.
    I did have a very violent tyre shake one meeting at Inverell airstrip that caused the roll bar to hit my helmet so hard that it knocked me senseless for a few seconds, and I came to heading for the grass. Never wore that helmet again as the side was cracked from the bars.
    Have never had anything to do with Nitro, only plain methanol.
     
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  16. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Sitting over the differential and with 'box between my knees never worried me.

    I think a small-block normally-aspirated FED like yours would have been pretty safe. It's rare for a diff to let go (explode) and your C10 gearbox would have been plenty strong. I have never seen a normally aspirated FED blow anything to be honest. The original Nitro FED did blow up a lot and often covered the driver in hot burning oil even if they didn't. Even the great Don Garlits didn't escape the FED dangers when a clutch explosion in his Swamp Rat 13 blew half his foot off.

    Read all about it here https://wediditforlove.com/BigDaddy.html

    ClutchExplosion.JPG
    ClutchExplosion1.JPG

    This classic Steve Reyes photo shows just how bad things can get when all hell breaks loose. I'm guessing the driver of this Fueller was glad the motor and drivetrain was in back!

    ClutchExplosion2.JPG

    Also, side note, that Fueller is from the seventies and shows early streamlining experimentation in that it ran a covered canopy style cockpit. It didn't catch on, but DSR (Don Schumacher Racing) started using one few years back and continues to use them even though all other teams have stayed with the open cockpit and cage setup.

    canopy.JPG
     
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  17. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Have never had anything to do with Nitro, only plain methanol

    We used to run a 40% nitro mix in our R/C cars. The first time I saw a nitro funny car do a pass was in 1975 and I've been obsessed with them ever since.

    NFC.JPG
     

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