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Torque vs Horsepower - VERY impressive commentary

Mac

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The first meaning of the word "rhetoric" is simply that of command of the language. To the extent that I may happen to have that quality, it isn't something that I would expect anyone to criticize me for. But I don't think that's what you meant. The second meaning is that of pomposity, but here subjectivity comes into play. It may be that you, like many others, were taken in by what Augenstein had written, and that you are put off by someone having the audacity to tell you that most of it does not actually make sense. If this happens to be correct (it might not be), you consequently might not be as unbiased as you might otherwise be. Even if that isn't the case (it might not be, and I don't assume that it is) you still are likely influenced by the fact that I have made a bunch of people angry. That isn't something that I could have avoided except by remaining entirely silent. And speaking of anger, the strongest anger that has been displayed here has not come from me. Nor by Augenstein, and in the interest of following my mother's advice and finding something nice to say, I will point out that as concerns Augenstein, there is no evidence of irascibility. (Had to look that one up ...) That said, I respectfully will remind you of this:

I'm not "taken in" by what Augenstein wrote. His account appears to me as an attempt to revert what could be a relatively complex comparison (considering the two concepts are intrinsically bound) into layman's terms with some descriptions to help visualize each concept. As is often the case in such attempts, the descriptions aren't designed to be scientifically precise- they're designed to be graphic and engaging. It is quite apparent Augenstein's article wasn't crafted for a peer-reviewed pubication.

In the interests of full disclosure, I did quite well in high school physics but I did not study the subject in post secondary. My son who studying mechanical engineering and taking physics as an elective so I suppose I could have him read through if it was important but we're talking about an article that someone posted into a forum for people to read for interest... nothing more... I'm unlikely to disturb his studies for such. I see that, since I started writing this note, you replied to the post by 1963SS. I haven't read through this yet. Hopefully, the tone will be less angry?

To be honest, I don't think you've made anyone angry by posting your lengthy rebuttals. Certainly, Augie1 doesn't appear angry... rather he seems amused! I suspect more people skimmed your posts and wondered why you sound so angry but gave little, if any, consideration to the content of your rebuttal. The problem with using emotionally charged words is they draw attention away from the rest of the paragraph which is less contentious.

I suspect the majority of those who read your posts wondered about your motivation in such a vigorous confutation of an article posted for general interest that laid inactive in our archives for years before you resurrected it. My theory is your underwear is one size too tight.


This is one of the least appropriate comments that has been made here, probably the least appropriate of any. It has no connection to anything that is real or actual, not even with respect to any real, actual conduct that I might have displayed. By intent it is a personal insult, purely for the sake of the insult, and like most insults that are designed by people with particular skill at that sort of thing, the target of the insult finds no easy way to respond. I do not possess that skill, i.e., the skill of designing insults of that sort. I lack that skill because I simply do not think in that manner. If I insult someone, there is no express intent to insult for the sake of the insult. When I insult someone, it is because I have said something that was obvious to me and that I thought needed to be said in a plain, straightforward manner.

I didn't perceive those comments as an insult or personal attack on you. I took Augie1's comments to indicate his amusement. It seems to me that Augie1 isn't taking your rebuttal too seriously. Indeed, in this whole matter, the only person who takes Augenstein's article seriously is YOU... and the only person who has a problem with it is, again, YOU...

You seem determined to create heavy gravity about a light-hearted article that was not designed to be taken seriously... and you're doing so in a Corvette enthusiast's forum rather than a physics enthusiast's forum (if such a thing exists)... and, for the life of me, I do not understand why you would bother. :confused

For some reason, "Dr. Sheldon Cooper" of the sitcom "Big Bang Theory" keeps popping into my head. ;shrug

-Mac
 

LLC5

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Which leads me to the question, and forgive me if I missed it somewhere along the way in the middle of this trainwreck of a thread...what exactly is your occupation and experience with the subject of this thread?

You can preach to me all you want about what is and isn't fact....but unless you have the credentials to back up your statements - your words hold as much value to me as the rest of the posts in this thread.



I have been wondering the same thing since the begining of this debacle. :L
 

Augie1

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Mr. Papagiorgo, I'd like to try something here, and my hope is that you will go along.

I need to say that I find your invective to be confusing. Yes, amusing as well, especially as you start approaching hysteria, but please hear me out.

First, you think that I am somehow dishonest, disingenuous, engage in specious arguments, etc., etc. I state categorically that I believe every word of that original article, and of the last updated version written about ten years ago. Every word.

It's OK with me if you think I'm an ignoramus, as long as you also think I'm dead serious.

My opinion is that you and I are stating exactly the same thing, but in wildly differing ways. My article is written at the layman's level, while yours (sans invective) is at the classic physics level. In addition (and as I've stated before), I agree with the actual content of your posts, although as I've mentioned, your level of invective seems unwarranted, and one has to plow through that to get to actual content.

What I propose is that you engage me in conversation and abandon the childish invective, if you can. If not, we're done, but I believe that this string, taken as a whole, is an informative one, and can be even more so if we engage in conversation.

To sort of "test engage" on a relatively minor point, you've said:

...But you are very, very stubborn. You still insist that "what standard engine dynamometers actually measure is torque". This is every bit as specious as before, and at this point it becomes disingenuous to boot, because at this point you surely must realize that this is nothing more than a silly contrivance. What exactly constitutes a "standard dynamometer"? And what exactly is your definition of "actually measure"? There is no such thing as a "standard dynamometer". This is just something that you made up, just like your understanding of torque and power.

By "standard dynamometer", I mean one that measures engine output by applying a brake to the engine to keep rpm constant, and measuring the force necessary to do so. The type of dynamometer that automotive manufacturers use (with an SAE engineer in attendance, in the U.S.) in order to get publishable specs on power and torque.

These dynos measure torque, and calculate power by observing engine speed. Do you disagree?

Inertial dynos measure power directly - but of course incorrectly (they're low), since engine speed isn't constant. They then calculate torque from engine speed. Do you disagree?

Can we have an invective-free conversation?

Bruce
 

Augie1

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Oh....and while I'm at it....here's an article written by Jim Ingle, a retired GM engineer, who worked in Corvette Development since I believe, the early to mid seventies, and was responsible for establishing all of the Corvette's performance numbers:

Corvette Action Center | Tech Center | Horsepower vs. Torque

Nice find. I spoke with Mr. Ingle way back when I began getting strange results from my '93 LT-1 six-speed at the drag strip (12.97 @ 108.95), absolutely bone stock.

He was impressed with the ET (as I was), but suspected that my front spoiler might be screwing up the MPH figure. Turns out he was spot on. Doing the math showed me my front spoiler was clearing the first light of the top speed trap, but blocking the finish line light.

Impressive guy.

Bruce
 

Mac

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Nice find. I spoke with Mr. Ingle way back when I began getting strange results from my '93 LT-1 six-speed at the drag strip (12.97 @ 108.95), absolutely bone stock.

He was impressed with the ET (as I was), but suspected that my front spoiler might be screwing up the MPH figure. Turns out he was spot on. Doing the math showed me my front spoiler was clearing the first light of the top speed trap, but blocking the finish line light.

Impressive guy.

Bruce

What convinced you to make the leap from American to German, Bruce?

-Mac
 

Augie1

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What convinced you to make the leap from American to German, Bruce?

-Mac

Took a '95 M3 out for a test drive, and was blown away by how it handled mid-corner bumps. It was as if they weren't there. It was also quicker and more responsive in high gear out on the highway than my '93 6-speed coupe. Nearly a second slower than the Vette in the quarter mile (composite best of 13.76 @ 100.50 vs 12.87 @ 109.52), but it was a very good road course track day car.

Bruce
 

Mac

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Took a '95 M3 out for a test drive, and was blown away by how it handled mid-corner bumps. It was as if they weren't there. It was also quicker and more responsive in high gear out on the highway than my '93 6-speed coupe. Nearly a second slower than the Vette in the quarter mile (composite best of 13.76 @ 100.50 vs 12.87 @ 109.52), but it was a very good road course track day car.

Bruce

I haven't road raced and the few times I drag raced, it was in a Plymouth but I can appreciate both of those factors would be huge. A couple of my friends are firmly BMW. I must admit they handle well but then anything handles well compared to my 73...

-Mac
 

Augie1

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I haven't road raced and the few times I drag raced, it was in a Plymouth but I can appreciate both of those factors would be huge. A couple of my friends are firmly BMW. I must admit they handle well but then anything handles well compared to my 73...

-Mac

As far as being in anyone's camp, car-wise, I am a promiscuous badge whore. :)

If it's good, I like it, no matter who builds it.

Bruce

PS - If dim memory serves, there was nothing wrong in regard to the handling of the '73 cars, and they were still fairly quick. No?
 

Mac

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As far as being in anyone's camp, car-wise, I am a promiscuous badge whore. :)

If it's good, I like it, no matter who builds it.

Bruce

PS - If dim memory serves, there was nothing wrong in regard to the handling of the '73 cars, and they were still fairly quick. No?

Nothing wrong with their handling that wasn't wrong with all of the C3s (68 through 82) as far as I know. Driving a C3 compared to the newer generations of Vettes or Bimmers is an easy way to convince oneself that the automobile is a work in progress. If you think your 93 did poorly on mid-corner bumps, you wouldn't much like a C3.

Brand loyalty is a fine concept but when I go shopping for a car (or truck), I know my budget and I get the most I can for it regardless of the marque. I've had vehicles from all of the Big Three and many others. Right now, my daily driver is a Tundra, the wife drives a VW plus the Corvette, a CJ7, a Harley and a Honda in the garage.

-Mac
 

Yoda

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:chuckle :chuckle
I ran across this and thought of this "Thread" :chuckle :D :w

Tongue in Cheek ;) and no I don't know if it is true or not, just a good read ;)

There are no rockets or airplanes built by any government in the world that can accelerate from a standing start as fast as a Top Fuel Dragster or Funny Car..and that includes any aircraft launched by a catapult from an aircraft carrier. Nothing can compare!

DEFINITION OF ACCELERATION

One top fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows of stock cars at the Daytona 500.

It takes just 15/100ths (0.15) of a second for all 6,000+ horsepower (some believe 8,000 HP is more realistic - there are no dynomometers capable of measuring) of an NHRA Top Fuel dragster engine to reach the rear wheels.

Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1-1/2 gallons of nitromethane 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 drive the dragster's supercharger.

With 3,000 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 (stoichiometry: methodology and technology by which quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions are determined) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture of nitromethane, the flame front temperature measures 7,050 deg F (Oxy-acetylene on "cut" is 6,300)

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 one pass. After halfway, the engine is dieseling from compression, plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1,400 deg 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.

In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.

Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

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.

Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimate $1,000.00 per second.

The current top fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.428 seconds for the quarter mile (11/12/06, Tony Schumacher, at Pomona , CA ). The top speed record is 336.15 mph as measured over the last 66' of the run (05/25/05 Tony Schumacher, at Hebron , OH ).

Putting all of this 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 and 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 and pass the dragster at an honest 200 mph.
The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that instant.

The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds, the dragster catches and 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 and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1,320 foot long race course.


...... and that my friend, is ACCELERATION! :dance :w ;shrug

Bud
 

LLC5

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:chuckle :chuckle
I ran across this and thought of this "Thread" :chuckle :D :w

Tongue in Cheek ;) and no I don't know if it is true or not, just a good read ;)

There are no rockets or airplanes built by any government in the world that can accelerate from a standing start as fast as a Top Fuel Dragster or Funny Car..and that includes any aircraft launched by a catapult from an aircraft carrier. Nothing can compare!

DEFINITION OF ACCELERATION


One top fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows of stock cars at the Daytona 500.

It takes just 15/100ths (0.15) of a second for all 6,000+ horsepower (some believe 8,000 HP is more realistic - there are no dynomometers capable of measuring) of an NHRA Top Fuel dragster engine to reach the rear wheels.

Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1-1/2 gallons of nitromethane 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 drive the dragster's supercharger.

With 3,000 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 (stoichiometry: methodology and technology by which quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions are determined) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture of nitromethane, the flame front temperature measures 7,050 deg F (Oxy-acetylene on "cut" is 6,300)

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 one pass. After halfway, the engine is dieseling from compression, plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1,400 deg 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.

In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.

Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

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.

Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimate $1,000.00 per second.

The current top fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.428 seconds for the quarter mile (11/12/06, Tony Schumacher, at Pomona , CA ). The top speed record is 336.15 mph as measured over the last 66' of the run (05/25/05 Tony Schumacher, at Hebron , OH ).

Putting all of this 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 and 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 and pass the dragster at an honest 200 mph.
The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that instant.

The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds, the dragster catches and 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 and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1,320 foot long race course.


...... and that my friend, is ACCELERATION! :dance :w ;shrug

Bud




That is cool stuff.

44 actual amps per spark plug is unreal.

Does line number 20 under "Definition of Acceleration" mean that I read too slow?
 

Augie1

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A note from the stands...

As a personal cut at this from an observer's viewpoint, my son, grandson and I recently attended an NHRA Nationals event held in nearby Maple Grove, Pennsylvania, in order to watch the Top Fuelers and Funny Cars run. I've been at drag strips many times over the last thirty years or so, but it has been at least that long since I've gone to actually watch an event, instead of participate in time trials or some such (Corvette Days, etc.).

We get a parking spot somewhere within the zip code
, and on the trek toward the stands, I get to ogle the assembled automotive collection.

There must be a ton of hard-core drag fans around the country, because there are hundreds of mobile homes, fifth wheel and standard trailers in attendance, many with out-of-state plates. Most seem to be top-end luxury models, with a fair number of converted top-end buses as well.

Note that I didn't conduct a tour of the parking lots, but automotively speaking, the rest of the assembled multitude that I passed by seemed to be tilted toward the performance spectrum, with quite a few Vettes, Camaros and Mustangs (from various years) around, but also a surprising (to me) number of German executive hot rods around, including Audis, a sprinkling of "63" cars from Mercedes, two M5s and two current M3s - one of which deserved special mention. It was an Alpine White model parked next to a major pathway, and it was pristine enough to make you think it had been washed right after it was parked.

The thing is, this drag race crowd tended to be ogling the car as folks passed by, and I'm hearing "Nice", "Wow!", "Thumbs up!" and other such positive exclamations, some of which were M3-technical in nature, leading me to believe that many folks in attendance were pretty broadly focussed in terms of automotive fandom.

I found this a bit surprising, since I probably had some preconceived notions that I wasn't aware of.


In any event, I don't know how drag race fans compare to, say, Raiders fans in terms of overall decorum, but I can tell you there was a bunch of beer being consumed at tailgate parties and in the stands. Yet all seemed fairly calm. Never gave my parking spot a thought - unlike when attending a pro football game in Oakland. :)

Meanwhile, a word (or two, or...) about watching professional drag racing.

If you haven't done it, do it.

There are four classes in professional drag racing. In order of speed and quickness, they are: Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Stock, Fuel Competition (funny cars) and Top Fuel (dragsters).

The bikes are comprised mostly of Harley Davidson, Buell and Suzuki entries, essentially pitting cubic inches against rpm. The current composite record is a 6.777 @ 199.26 MPH, held by a Buell and Harley Davidson, respectively. The thing about Pro Stock Motorcycle is, I simply cannot imagine holding onto a critter that is essentially hitting 200 MPH from rest in less than seven seconds. I haven't ridden in a bit more than a decade, but I can tell you that opening up my last 11-flat at 120+ motorcycle from rest was a heart-pounding experience. 6.777 @ 199.26? There'd be a yellow mist following me on such a run.


Pro Stock is fascinating in that these cars are full-bodied door slammers running normally aspirated on carburetors and gasoline. Granted, they are running 500 cubic inch (max) V8s, but a composite 6.477 @ 213.57 mph? Normally aspirated on gasoline? Incredible.

When it comes to the fuel cars, I can capture the experience in two short sentences:

You don't watch the fuel cars run. Instead, they happen to you.


Let me talk about Top Fuel in regard to numbers. They run the cars for only 1000 feet now, because they were getting so fast that they were having difficulty slowing them down within the confines of the runoff area after the finish line at many tracks. This change gave them another 320 feet of parachute/braking time, which turns out to be an ample amount for safety. At least currently.

The current record for Top Fuel at 1000 feet is a 3.735 @ 327.90 mph.

Think about that. Doing some elementary arithmetic, that's almost exactly four Gs of average acceleration over that distance.

Average!

Furthermore, using data from the 660 foot (1/8th mile) measurement to the 1000 foot finish line shows that these cars are averaging over 2.5 Gs from around 280 mph to the finish, which is hard to believe. Of course, they're said to be making somewhere around 8000 horsepower from their 500 cubic inch V8s and are amazingly traction limited. They run a giant spoiler mounted high above the rear axle, and as they hit speed (100 mph in just under a second), that increasing downward pressure allows them to sequentially engage a multi-plate clutch as speeds rise, only giving full power to the wheels as they approach the finish line. You can watch from behind as they launch, with clutch dust billowing out from between the giant rear slicks. Engine speed is nearly constant from the start through the finish line, and the clutch plates are all done after a single sub-four-second run.

These cars are said to burn about seven gallons of fuel in a single, sub-four-second pass.

Think about seven one-gallon cans of fuel sitting in front of you.

You couldn't spill it that fast.


OK, that's just data. The thing is, sitting perhaps 250 feet up-track from the start, halfway up the stands and around 65-70 feet from the track's edge, the sheer physical sound pressure as the cars passed by at somewhere over 200 mph was more than palpable. It was pretty much overwhelming. They say that if you stand by the fence at the finish line, the sound wave will actually force you back as the cars pass by.

All that said, these words can't fully convey the stupendous fury of a Top Fuel car during a full pass, much less two Top Fuel cars side by side during a run.

Funny Cars are nearly as quick (current composite record is 3.995 @ 318.99) and just as loud, plus they are said to accelerate even a bit harder than the Top Fuelers between the 660 foot mark and the finish line because of better aerodynamics. We're talking an average acceleration of 3.6 Gs here, with better than 2.6 Gs at the top end.

For me, the thing about Funny Cars is that the driver sits just behind the engine, rather than in front of it as in the Top Fuel cars, and he or she is essentially enclosed within a tiny compartment with a roof, shared with an 8000 horsepower raging beast.

Not me.


Bottom line in my opinion is that regardless of your interest in drag racing, or even general interest in either racing or things automotive, you ought to go watch the NHRA National drags at least once. Remember. You don't watch. They happen to you.


Bruce
 

Mac

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Bottom line in my opinion is that regardless of your interest in drag racing, or even general interest in either racing or things automotive, you ought to go watch the NHRA National drags at least once. Remember. You don't watch. They happen to you.


Bruce

Agreed! Likewise with "Monster Truck" exhibitions. When engines that massive get fired up, it's a full-sensory experience like none other. I like my hearing so I'm unlikely to go to either again but it's worth the experience at least once!

-Mac
 

Toms007

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Augie, I tell people the same thing. You MUST experience it, at least once. :w
 

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