Beerhorst on boosted engines: the advantages of pressurized power

Beerhorst on boosted engines: the advantages of pressurized power

Written by Moore Good Ink Last month, in the February News Brief, engine builder Norm Beerhorst of Ultra Tech Racing Engines, Mishawaka, Indiana, discussed the following: • The advantage of the pressurized engine—centrifugally supercharged or turbocharged • Heat and its consequences • Preparing for the HOT ROD Drag Week™ • Testing valve train with a Spintron In this March issue Norm tackles two further issues: On the differences of the induction and combustion processes between the turbocharger and the naturally aspirated engine With pressurized engines you can achieve a more controlled combustion compared with the complexities of trying to manage reversion and detonation within the narrow RPM band of a maximum-effort naturally aspirated engine. Of course having access to the correct fuel ingredients can be helpful. Nonetheless, normally aspirated engines encounter reversion and pulsing and other complications. The column of air entering the cylinder is severely disrupted when the valve closes. Consequently, it bounces off the back of the valve head as it’s moving at full speed and then collides with the next incoming charge. Unavoidably, the engine is efficient only in a narrow rpm band In contrast everything in the induction tract of the boosted engine is under pressure. There is almost no reversion. As soon as the valve opens the mixture is pushed into the cylinder, the valve shuts, and the mixture is ignited. It burns smoothly and the spent gases are expelled completely from the cylinder, aided by the next incoming charge during valve overlap. In conclusion, with the naturally aspirated engine, it is crucial to find the rpm band where it runs best. The pressurized...

Courtney takes flight, survives 7.3Gs, accepts top Rookie honors

Written by Moore Good Ink Between this year’s Gainesville and Phoenix NHRA national drag racing events, Funny Car driver Courtney Force participated in an hour-long flight with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels in an F18 jet. “I had met U.S. Navy service people at the drag races,” she said, “and somehow they convinced me to take the flight, even though I told them I was terrified. “When we took off we immediately hit 6.1 G’s vertically. We reached speeds in excess of 700 mph and generated 7.3 G’s, twice the speed and G-force I’m used to in my Traxxas Funny Car. We also succeeded in breaking the sound barrier and going Mach 1. It was crazy! I will never forget the experience and give a big thanks to my pilot, Lt. Ryan Chamberlain.” Courtney conceded she briefly lost consciousness. To some, it seemed a bit like inviting the girl into a boxing ring and felling her momentarily with a well-aimed punch to the head. Fun for some maybe… Nonetheless, top marks to the girl for succeeding as gracefully as anyone could in such an amazing whirlwind experience. Courtney was also named Rookie of the Year by Racer magazine. Indeed this is quite the honor as she was selected from top NASCAR, Indy Car and F1 drivers. She is the first person from the NHRA to win the award. See Courtney’s Blue Angels experience online at YouTube...

Mighty Demon 850 annular carburetor for big-blocks and big small-blocks

By Bertie S. Brown: Few carburetors were courted as much as the Race Demons in the late nineties and in the early part of this century. They had the appearance and heritage and, to some, bewildering technology. But above all else they had performance. Now an 850 annular is available and it represents a significant step forward, not least because Race Demons are unavailable. For high performance big-blocks and big small-blocks here is Demon Carburetion’s 850 annular carburetor. Bowling Green KY: Demon Carburetion has made available an 850cfm carburetor with annular boosters for high performing big-block engines and large displacement or high-revving small blocks. Prepared with 1.560in venturii and intended to operate with 425 to 540cu in engines with camshaft duration of 240-plus at 0.050in valve opening, this carburetor demonstrates its talents in street car use, bracket racing, and heads-up class racing. With mechanically operated secondary throttles and equipped with removable air bleeds and idle-feed restrictors, it possesses all the features of the former Race Demon with the exception of removable emulsion bleeds and boosters. The removable idle-feed restrictors are particularly helpful for perfecting the idle mixture on individual engine combinations—useful with differing camshafts, cylinder heads, and intakes. For example, if the throttle plates are adjusted to the correct position yet the idle mixture is too lean or too rich and cannot be remedied by ignition timing, simply replace the idle-feed restrictors. Years ago Demon envisioned the possibility of increasing idle speed without disturbing the throttle plates from their correct position. The ingenious concept involved inserting a screwdriver in the air cleaner stud hole and making an adjustment. This...

Lifting the Shroud: Jon Kaase’s Canted-valve P-38 Windsor Cylinder Heads Aims For Better Cylinder Filling

by Ro McGonegal Engine philosopher Jon Kaase (Jon Kaase Racing Engines, Winder, Georgia) had an idea, an idea that nagged. For too many years, he’d watched the ubiquitous 302 amass part upon improved part, but observed nary a deviation from the original cylinder head configuration. He thought he could produce cylinder head castings that looked like ordinary Windsor 302/351 parts on the outside but inside would be entirely different from the original blueprint. Being a racer, he knew the value of stealth. But more importantly, being an engine builder he knew the prime advantages of canting the valves to open towards the center of the cylinders and so mitigate the natural shrouding effect of the cylinder wall. Read the entire story as it appeared in Street Fords...

Two daughters embark upon journeys of a lifetime

Written by Moore Good Ink Courtney Force, the twenty-four year old and youngest daughter of the 15-time NHRA Funny Car national champion John Force, scored her first victory of the year by winning the NHRA 2013 Winternationals at Pomona, California. She was driving the Traxxas Ford Mustang. In a remarkable start to the season she prevailed as No.1 qualifier. Rewarded with the accompanying bonus points, she then propelled her way to victory through four rounds of eliminations on Sunday, February 17. She defeated Phil Burkart Jr., Matt Hagan, Bob Tasca III and finally Ron Capps to earn her second career victory in the Funny Car category. Coincidentally, it was during the Winternationals of 2012 at Pomona, California where Courtney made her Funny Car debut. Later in the year she recorded her first Funny Car victory at Seattle where she defeated Matt Hagan in the finals and by year end she was bestowed the Rookie of the Year award. Courtney’s older sister Brittany (26) is the third daughter of the Force family to become a professional drag racing driver and the first to drive a Top Fuel dragster at John Force Racing. Coming from a household where racing has always been first and foremost, one can only imagine the motivation for this particular career would be high. John Force, a racer who is universally well liked, has nothing if not a complete passion for the sport. Making her Top Fuel driving debut at this year’s Winternationals, Brittany is a college English major trained as a schoolteacher and a rookie driver of one of the world’s fastest race cars, capable of...

How the Jeep dazzles as its power doubles

Written by Moore Good Ink Oceanside CA: Turn Key Engine Supply recently introduced a vibrant, new conversion for Jeep Wranglers, JK models 2007 to ’11. Switching from the original lackluster V6 202hp engine to a General Motors’ LS Gen 4 unit with attendant 6L80E six-speed transmission has introduced nearly twice the power and torque to the popular Jeep Wrangler. Provided in Builder Kits or in a finished, ready-to-run condition, the adaptation also dramatically improves the Wrangler’s driveability. Two engine variations of GM’s Gen 4 V8 are offered: 5.3 liter (330hp) or the 6.2 (440hp). Both aluminum engines feature variable valve timing and active fuel management. In addition, the kits include an aluminum heavy-duty two-row cooling system, exhaust system with OEM catalytic converters and engine accessories, comprising alternator, air conditioning, and power steering. Of particular interest, Turn Key ensures the shifter, which is provided with cruise control and tap shift, remains stock in appearance as do all of the Jeep instruments. Even more reassuringly, the conversions comply with the emission requirements of 50 states, including California. In fact California customers receive the CA BAR emissions certificate when Turn Key’s conversion is completed in-house. Clearly with over 600,000 Jeep Wranglers in production these vehicles are popular. However, some owners contend they suffer from a chronic lack of power, and it looked like it might remain this way. But fate decreed otherwise when Kolby Enger’s Turn Key Engine Supply firm took the initiative and launched their conversion kits during last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Predictably, their enterprise was rewarded with much interest and orders stemming from the show continue to...