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Top Fuel

Top Fuel

Top Fuel

Top fuel dragster engines, any idea what maximum cylinder pressures they run at?

RE: Top Fuel

I have heard 4500 psi but don't have a source to back that up.

RE: Top Fuel

I realize that I am not answering the question, but instead asking an associated question. My apologies if this offends anyone. Let me know and I won't do it again.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of in-cylinder high speed pressure data (such as Kistler probe data) for high power diesel engines (such as a tractor pull engine)?


RE: Top Fuel

Andy Cowell said the F1 pistons have the equivalent of four elephants on top of each one. That is about 400 bar or 6,000 psi.

This page says 6,000 psi for top fuel. Link

je suis charlie

RE: Top Fuel

Turbomotor, your question is great and on topic.
I'm thinking this maybe better?

And best of all it doesn't put up a cookie box.
I wish I could use some Ideas I have for the tractor pull engine crowd.

RE: Top Fuel

We used Kistler in cylinder pressure sensors in diesel engines over 4 decades ago. We had peak cylinder pressures of about 2000 PSI but that was for over the road class 8 diesels that had to last 500k miles between rebuilds, not 1/4 mile. We photographed the scope traces with Polaroid cameras and scaled them with Gerber spring scales. No high speed digital scopes back then.


The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Top Fuel

Top fuel is an interesting world.
When your cylinder heads, pistons, and rods all have a 15sec service life then 10,000HP sounds realistic.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Top Fuel

The parts do actually last a lot longer than that. The teardown is mostly an inspection.

RE: Top Fuel

Yes, but 100% inspection and full re-manufacture is the standard practice.
It is common for pistons, rods, valves, springs, and keepers to see some of them damaged after one run.
You just hope that they don't actually fail.
The block and crank are the big ticket items.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Top Fuel

I was developing a diesel block based natural gas bus engine about 15 years ago. Our PCP limit was 1500psi over the normal operating range.
Incipient knock would get above that 100-200 psi. While calibrating, I once saw knock peak at 3000psi surprise

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: Top Fuel

Another data point, state of the art high BMEP heavy duty diesel engines run north of 200bar PCP by quite a bit. Rods, pistons, main bolts, head bolts head gaskets and the block itself are all critical at this level.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

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