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Drag Racing Terminology

Supercharger:  This is an air pump that compresses air (including the needed oxygen) into the engine to increase horsepower. They can be driven by a belt, exhaust gas or a shaft. They've been used for many years, even making World War II fighter aircraft able to operate at very high altitudes, escorting the bombers.

Sub-frame connectors:  Most modern cars are built as unibody vehicles that have no frame, the structure being provided by the design of the total body. But the car has to have front suspension, steering, and rear-end that have to be hung on the main structure. So the unibody has sub-frames front and back. Sub-frame connectors are structural beams that are (usually) welded to the unibody and connect the front and rear sub-frames... providing a substitute frame for added strength.

Strut Tower brace:  A car like a Mustang has a front suspension that includes struts (like modern shock absorbers) in towers just inside the front wheels. It's worth the cost and extra weight to strengthen the front end by adding a brace that connects the two towers with the unibody at the firewall beneath the windshield. This is even more important for a convertible like my car.

Intercooler:  Superchargers, including turbo chargers (exhaust driven superchargers) compress the air and as a side affect, the air gets hot. An intercooler is a device that cools the air, usually after the supercharger has compressed the air. Most are similar to a cars radiator, and cools the air with water or air. My intercooler is an air-to-air style with 3 cores or levels of cooling.

ET:  Elapsed Time in drag racing is the time it takes for the vehicle to cover the racing distance, usually 1/4 mile or 1/8 mile. Speed is usually measured at the same distances.


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