Top Fuel Engine Explodes On Startup. (1 Viewer)

luxexpress

Nitro Member
If I remember correctly, Clayton Harris had one do that on the start up at an IHRA event in NY. Blew out the windows of a return vehicle sitting nearby. Sounded like a bomb going off.
 

fueller42

Nitro Member
People, please, if you’re going to speculate on something, then proceed to reply, PLEASE, know of what you speak.

More than one here has speculated that it “hydraulic’d”. Unless a cylinder somehow got filled with fuel, then another cylinder fired, it’s not possible. To hydraulic (lock) a cylinder, it means there is more fuel in the cylinder before the cylinder is at TDC than there is room for when said cylinder reaches TDC. Since liquid nitro can’t be compressed, it hydraulically locks that cylinder from moving.

Detonation on the other hand, is a strong possibility.
Having been the guy running the starter when this happens, I know first hand how dangerous it is. I just happened to be on the opposite side of the engine that grenaded. One guy had his leg cut up pretty good by the copper shrapnel from the head gasket. As near as we could find out, there was a leaking check valve, and one banana clip on one mag ground wasn’t tight. It was still there, but not a good connection.
The explosion was powerful enough to bend a cylinder head a full half inch.
 

TF CREW

Nitro Member
People, please, if you’re going to speculate on something, then proceed to reply, PLEASE, know of what you speak.

More than one here has speculated that it “hydraulic’d”. Unless a cylinder somehow got filled with fuel, then another cylinder fired, it’s not possible. To hydraulic (lock) a cylinder, it means there is more fuel in the cylinder before the cylinder is at TDC than there is room for when said cylinder reaches TDC. Since liquid nitro can’t be compressed, it hydraulically locks that cylinder from moving.

Detonation on the other hand, is a strong possibility.
Having been the guy running the starter when this happens, I know first hand how dangerous it is. I just happened to be on the opposite side of the engine that grenaded. One guy had his leg cut up pretty good by the copper shrapnel from the head gasket. As near as we could find out, there was a leaking check valve, and one banana clip on one mag ground wasn’t tight. It was still there, but not a good connection.
The explosion was powerful enough to bend a cylinder head a full half inch.
Yeah like this, best we could determine leaking check dribbled some fuel into cylinder.
 

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TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
That’s an incredible picture Sean. Thanks for posting it.
A blown fuel engine is an awesome piece of machinery.
But, when things go wrong, bad things inevitably happen.
 

TF CREW

Nitro Member
It did almost everything Jim mentioned, frame rails were bent and broken it ruptured main fuel line and ignited fuel causing the fuel tank to explode
 

Butch

Nitro Member
Sean Thanks for the pictures, from the looks and what you and JO have explained. It should've been much worse on the human injuries. Thankfully my understanding is there was no permanent injuries.
 
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