A top fuel dragster makes impressive use of a 500-cubic-inch engine block machined from a solid chunk of aluminum. That 10,000-horsepower engine propels a 2,300-pound car from the starting tree to 100 mph in less than a second. And it needs a lot of fuel to do it.

Some visitors to the NHRA Museum caught a dragster fuel pump in action. The red Lego-like contraption at the lower left is a Waterman Super Bertha fuel pump, set up to deliver more than eight gallons per minute at wide-open throttle to each of the eight cylinders. You can see what the resulting jet of nitromethane looks like in the video after the jump.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      dea21970
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this article has some facts seriously wrong. A Top Fule dragster can actually consume 1 1/2 gallons of fuel per second. So 1.5 gals * 4.5 seconds = 6.75 gallons of fuel. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20271
        montoym
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dea21970
        Sounds roughly accurate to me, your numbers and AB's numbers aren't terribly far off. By your figures, the fuel pump would be pumping about 90 gallons of fuel per minute. The story stated this, - "set up to deliver more than eight gallons per minute at wide-open throttle to each of the eight cylinders." - So, 8gal/minute times 8 cylinders = 64 gallons of fuel/minute. So it's 64gal/min vs. 90gal/min. A difference to be sure, but not enough to be considered "seriously wrong" in my mind. Were you thinking they only meant 8gal/min and missed the "to each of the eight cylinders part"?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        Comparing anything to a top fuel dragster is like comparing apples to sharks.
          mawhalen53
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          A shark a day keeps the... well...
          Steveo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          That's some funny ****
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        Let's not bring logic into this argument so early. The European fanboys just won't be able to handle it so soon.
          Commentotron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          Euro fanboys? Watch out for the vtec. Yo. It's all about HP/L. Get ya on the loser drive by! Ned a new intercooler! BOV leak!
        Paul
        • 2 Years Ago
        you forgot the asterisk. *for ~4 seconds - and then it needs to be rebuilt
        Ben Kolodner
        • 2 Years Ago
        ....Same reliability, right? RIGHT?
          jonnybimmer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ben Kolodner
          "After every pass, a Top Fuel engine is completely torn down and rebuilt in an amount of time that most engine builders find is barely enough to gap rings." - http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/top_fuel_engine_rebuild/viewall.html I have a feeling he was referring to this. It's not that they're unreliable, they're usually very reliable to for specifications that they're built to. Unfortunately, those specifications is to make as much power as possible for just over a quarter mile. It doesn't matter how unreliable a street car is, if it can go more than a few miles at full throttle without destroying its internals, it'll last longer than a Top Fuel dragster.
          k_m94
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ben Kolodner
          To those moaning about VW and Veyron reliability, the Veyron is by far the most reliable 1000hp car ever. And the only one any sane person would trust doing 250mph, something it could do every day of the week and twice on Sundays. A Top Fuel dragster runs nitromethane in combination with massive RPM (8000-10000) and tons of boost. Let's just say that halfway down the track (1/8 mi) it is "dieseling" because it has just melted its own spark plugs. The whole engine lasts barely more than a mile, and that is with serious rebuilds each time. Also, nitromethane isn't so much a fuel that combusts as it is a liquid detonator. So the cost of doing 4 second quarter miles at 330mph is being strapped to a live bomb. A long, narrow, 2300lb one with 2 foot wide rear slicks. The Veyron might as well be a 20 year old, perfectly running Corolla in comparison in terms of reliability (and acceleration).
          snap_understeer_ftw
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ben Kolodner
          LOL VW product and reliability LOL
          Dark Gnat
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ben Kolodner
          LOL 'cause reliability is so important in drag racers? "We may not win very much, but we don't have to rebuild our engines either!" - Bubba Ledbedder, Driver, Kolodrag Racing
      cmnork
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw this on the History Channel like 10 years ago.
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cmnork
        I saw your mom kissing a man that wasnt your dad like 5 years ago.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      skypilot
      • 2 Years Ago
      So what your trying to say is, its a pretty powerful pump...
      Dins
      • 2 Years Ago
      Always liked that video, don't really know why it's brought up again. So old it's still in 4:3.
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