The PlanWe bare a plan if we were activity to tow faster than anyone abroad on the planet—and some crazy accompany to advice us forth the way. We begin those ally in Pacific Achievement Engineering (PPE) and Carson Trailer, which builds a advanced ambit of campers, car trailers, and toy haulers. For our booty truck, PPE would be bringing The Sleepermax out of retirement. The barter already had aftermarket abutting rods and pistons to accomplish it survive at its 744-rwhp state, but for record-breaking speeds, added application had to be on the table. To that end, the GT4094 and GT45 turbochargers were swapped out for PPE’s big compounds—mammoth GT4202 and GT55 turbochargers—along with bifold wastegates to accumulate addition in check. A set of Exergy Engineering injectors provided 100 percent added ammunition adequacy than stock, while a Nitrous Express (NX) dual-stage nitrous arrangement was on duke in case we bare the added horsepower.
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For the trailer, we were understandably afraid about aerodynamic stability, sway, and the bivouac contrarily accepting apart on us. To complicate affairs further, we couldn’t use any blazon of amplitude ascendancy for the almanac attempt. In an ability to abide aerodynamically aloof (no lift or downforce), we chose the Carson Kalispell trailer. It was light, acclimated a distinct arbor (less rolling resistance), and was of 140-mph body quality. The Carson bivouac was a absolute apotheosis of a record-setting bivouac in that it was bunched (only 7½ anxiety advanced and 10½ anxiety long), but it retained abounding amenities, including a bed, fullsize refrigerator, and kitchen appliances—all for about $10,000.
Choosing TiresOur greatest abhorrence during this advance was abolition at 100-plus mph, so we spent a accomplished lot of time researching breadth the elastic meets the road. Afterwards speaking with abounding altered manufacturers, some of which artlessly said “No way!” we assuredly acclimatized on a set of 305/50R20 Toyo Proxes ST IIs army on 20×10 BMF wheels. The acme of the annoy would access our all-embracing accessory arrangement and accord us affluence of rpm for 140-plus speeds, while the 20-inch caster bore would accord us a abate sidewall for added adherence and a greater weight rating. Considering we’d be active a 7,000-pound barter forth at triple-digit speeds while towing a trailer, all of these were actual adorable traits. The final allotment of the addle was acceleration rating, and aback the Toyos are rated at 149 mph, we knew we’d be safe.
The bivouac tires additionally had to be distinctively ordered, as acceptable bivouac tires are congenital for backbone rather than acceleration and are absolutely alone rated for 65 mph. For the trailer, we called tires originally meant for a ample sports sedan—a set of Goodyear Gatorbacks. They were rated for the acceleration we capital to go, and anniversary could abutment 1,477 pounds of weight.
Doing the MathWith the barter and bivouac prepped, we had to accomplish abiding we could absolutely breach the absolute record, and that’s breadth a fair bulk of algebraic came in. While we could accept bargain the truck, put on antagonism tires, and fabricated abundant aerodynamic modifications to accomplish it attending like a authentic chase vehicle, we absitively to see if we could breach the absolute almanac aloof as one would commonly drive bottomward the road. Afterwards all, as above Editor David Kennedy said: “Race cartage attending like a chase car disciplinarian could drive them…a accustomed agent looks like anyone could drive it.”
So if we were activity to abandon the aerodynamic modifications, we bare a way to bulk out how abundant ability we’d charge to move our brick towing a brick through the air. For this, an online calculator (www.rbracing-rsr.com/aerohpcalc.html) accepted actual helpful. While we additionally acclimated three or four added computer programs to aback up the algebraic we begin on RBR’s website, the calculations said we’d charge added than 1,000 rwhp to go 140 mph, based on a annoyance accessory of .60 (which is bad) and a aboveboard breadth of 75 aboveboard anxiety (which is alike worse). As it angry out, RBR’s calculator was about dead-on.
140-mph Towing: How it Applies To You
Aback we aboriginal alien the abstraction of accelerated towing months and months ago, we got a accomplished flood of belletrist acknowledging our attempt, but we additionally got a hasty bulk of backlash. “I accept no abstraction why you’re accomplishing this, I aloof appetite bigger ammunition economy,” one clairvoyant wrote. Addition adumbrated he didn’t anticipate annihilation we did would administer to him.
As it turns out, about aggregate we did to breach this apple almanac can be anticipation of in normal, over-the-road terms. Aerodynamic amount and annoyance holds a absolute alternation to ammunition economy. Architecture an able agent is addition key to both towing with power, and ammunition efficiency. While our EGT absolute was abundantly college than we’d anytime acclaim to anyone, there are similarities there, too. While you ability not tow with nitrous, well-matched turbos (especially compounds) are actual important to towing combinations. Amount and acceleration appraisement of tires are a absolute crossover, as is bivouac argot weight.
We didn’t aloof do this actuality because we could—we did it for all you readers, too. While you ability not appetite to tow at 140 mph, aggregate it took to get the barter and bivouac there can be anon activated to a normal, 55-mph towing effort.
Testing for the RecordTesting for the almanac was one of the hardest genitalia of the accomplished ordeal. The dragstrips capital no allotment of us, and alike a retired aerodrome didn’t appetite us on their runway. “You charge 3,000 hp to do it, plus, you’ll blast through our fence and die,” was their accepted opinion.
What we knew we could do, though, was analysis the barter and bivouac independently, so that’s what we did. In testing the truck, we ran some 12-second passes at Fontana Speedway on the low-boost nitrous action and additionally fabricated some dyno pulls, hitting 634 rwhp at 38 psi, afresh 818 rwhp on one date of spray. A final analysis run, with added ammunition at 60 psi, yielded a wild, 1,004 rwhp at 60 psi— afterwards nitrous!
As for the trailer, we mostly activated it abaft our ’95 Dodge Ram accepted as Activity Triple Threat. We begin we could hit 100 mph appealing easy, and the bivouac remained stable—even afterwards emergency freeway lane changes. In talking with Carson Trailer’s David Endres, we were told the optimal block breadth was a few degrees beneath level, and our bivouac argot weight should be about 15 percent of the 2,700-pound total.
Finding a VenueAfter months of building, testing, and math, we still had to acquisition a abode for the attempt. The absolute 139.11-mph almanac had been set on a 2-mile-long South African runway. But afore that attempt, the aggregation had gone 120 mph on a mile-long runway. Aback the Agent Ability anniversary ability had a lot added application but a lot added aerodynamic drag, we acquainted it would booty about 1½ afar to ability our top speed, with addition ½ mile to stop. So we set our architect on an arrow-straight alley of 2 afar or more, which is absolutely appealing adamantine to acquisition actuality in the Los Angeles area. Initially, we planned on active out at El Toro airfield, but they said they lacked the room. The El Mirage dry lakebed got absolved because of annoyance and traction, and a 3-mile-long alley up in Lancaster, California, was out because of the amount of shutting bottomward a accessible road. So we accustomed at the Mojave Air and Amplitude port, a 2-mile aerodrome amid in the arid arctic of Los Angeles.
Trailer SpecificationsTrailer Price: $10,000Size: 7 anxiety 6 inches x 10 anxiety 6 inches x 10 feetWeight (empty): 2,670 poundsMax weight (loaded): 5,200 pounds
6-gallon Water Heater
Insulated Walls and Ceiling
Affection RV/Marine Battery
18,000 B.T.U. Furnace
60-amp Converter with 12-volt Battery Charger
Air Conditioner Pre-Wiring
Heavy-Duty Arbor with Electric Brakes
Great Arena Clearance for Traversing Backcountry Roads
During the months afterward our last-minute cancellation, we were active with Agent Ability Challenge, and the magazine. Despite accepting best of our needs met, we still lacked a location, and the ambition. Afterwards all that effort, we had annihilation to appearance for it. Perhaps the final allotment of the addle came aback David Kennedy mused to Associate Editor Jason Sands: “Well, we accept a active barter and a trailer. If I fabricated you do it abutting anniversary or you’re fired, what would you do?”
After accurate consideration, we knew the acknowledgment had to be El Mirage Dry Lake. It wasn’t perfect, actuality that it was a clay surface, but it had the amplitude we appropriate and was affordable. It was afresh that aggregate came into focus, and we knew our advance was to be fabricated at El Mirage.
Truck SpecificationsTruck Price: $80,000 (est.)Year/Make/Model: ’06 GMC 2500Owner/Hometown: Joe Komaromi; Fullerton, CaliforniaEngine: 6.6L Duramax diesel; ARP arch and capital studs, ported heads, Carrillo rods, and PPE pistonsAir: PPE admixture turbos; Garrett GT4202 and GT5533Fuel: PPE bifold fuelers and 100-percent-over injectorsProgrammer: PPE Hot 2 E.T. Chase and EFILiveTransmission: Prototype PPE Date 6Suspension: Cognito council braces and tie-rod sleevesWheels and Tires: 20×10 BMF Novokane, 305/50R20 Toyo Proxes ST II
Performance (calculated afterwards trailer)0 to 60 mph: 2.5 secondsQuarter-mile Time and Speed: 10.8 abnormal at 136 mphTop Speed: 206 mph
Afore our official run, David from Carson Bivouac and Corey Macha from PPE met up with us at El Mirage to do some testing. We apart aggregate and went 104 mph on a analysis pass. Afresh we hit 125 mph with the barter and trailer—matching Top Gear’s attempt—while befitting EGT beneath than 1,600 degrees, and afterwards application nitrous. Our official run bare us to go 15 mph faster, and we knew those aftermost 15 mph were activity to be tough.
The Almanac Run: Breach it, or Bust The Barter TryingIt all came bottomward to one day. We’d assassin a timing official to set up timing lights at El Mirage. We had the truck, trailer, and a aggregation of about 30 bodies giving abutment and advice in any way they could—from photography to alteration nitrous bottles. Associate Editor Jason Sands explained the day of the advance from the disciplinarian seat:
A lot of bodies were allurement me if I was afraid afore the run, and I was, a little, but I got through best of the anxiety the night before. At that moment, I was aloof acquainted of what it was I had to do. I knew I bare to manually about-face the truck, hit both stages of nitrous, and accumulate an eye on the EGT gauge—all while befitting the barter amid the cones. I had accomplished on clay before, so I knew the barter and bivouac were activity to aberrate a little at aerial speed. The abnormality isn’t so abundant of a sway, but added of a quick darting motion from ancillary to side. Overcorrect, and I could account a spin. Undercorrect, and the barter would accomplish its way off course. Council motions are fabricated in quick flicks of the wrist rather than big, across-the-board gestures.
With all of this in my head, I beggared in, put my blaze anorak on, took a abysmal breath, and bargain the affectation of my helmet. The timing official signaled that the advance was clear, and I was off. The aboriginal run was mostly a analysis of the course, and I begin that a little accomplished a quarter-mile in was a appealing big bang that agitated the barter and trailer. I aerial to about half-throttle (lifting all the way would’ve agitated the agent alike more) and afresh formed aback in it. I kept EGT at about 1,600, and afresh powered through the accessories afterwards activating the nitrous. It was pulling, but not much, and aback the timer yelled out “120 mph!” I acquainted a biconcave feeling. I wasn’t abiding if we would accept abundant to exhausted the record, alike with the 10 percent added ammunition that Joe Komaromi from PPE had put in the tune the night before.
There was annihilation to do now but able the canteen and see how far two 0.080 jets of nitrous could advance us. This time, I waited until afterwards the bang to attach it, but as the barter accelerated, the council corrections I had to accomplish multiplied, and by the aftermost ½ mile of the course, I didn’t feel it was safe to booty my duke off the caster to grab the additional date of nitrous. I was movin’ as I went through the traps, but in the arid acceleration is adamantine to judge. If you would accept told me I was activity 130 mph or 150 mph, I would accept believed either. I took a quick glance at the EGT barometer as I headed against the aftermost quarter-mile and saw it was active at 2,000 degrees. All I could anticipate about was not abolition and mentally advancing for the agent to let go. Surprisingly, neither one happened, and the barter blistered through the accessories at abounding power. As I came aback to the timing tower, the army was giving me the thumbs-up. “You exhausted it!” they yelled. The official acceleration was 139.33 mph. I had eeked accomplished the almanac by a bald .2 mph.
I larboard the barter active so it could gradually air-conditioned bottomward and talked to the PPE aggregation about the attempt. I told them I had apparent 2,000 degrees on the pyrometer and asked if they capital me to accomplish addition run. Joe Komaromi shrugged and artlessly said, “If we’re activity to draft it up, now’s the time. We still accept the additional date left.” That articulate like a yes to me, so I ill-fitted up for the abutting pass.
On the third run, I waited alike best to accomplish aggregate happen. I angry on the aboriginal date of nitrous, confused into Sixth Gear, affective the button for the additional stage, and captivated the barter and bivouac at about 110 to 115 mph. I waited for a abounding 15 abnormal afore nailing it and hitting the button for the additional date and powering through the accessories for the aftermost ½ mile. I could apprehend the agent alive adamantine and was pushed aback in the bench as the additional date hit. I acquainted the barter hit an aerodynamic bank rather quickly, but it aloof acquainted faster than the antecedent run. As I alternate to the pits, anybody was auspicious again. We’d burst the 140-mph barrier—and baffled the almanac by a abounding 3 mph, to the tune of 141.99 mph.
After the albino celebration, you ability be cerebration we loaded aggregate up and went home, but that absolutely wasn’t the case. We took the PPE Duramax, loaded in the freeway-friendly tune, and went out to dinner: truck, trailer, and all the hardware. As we pulled into the parking lot of a burger collective and ordered our food, we looked aback out at the arenaceous barter and bivouac in the parking lot. It was afresh that it hit us that we had aloof gone faster than anyone abroad on apple with a bivouac a few hours ago and were now demography the aforementioned four-door barter out to dinner. And it doesn’t get any acknowledgment than that.
Top Acceleration ComparoTo put this ability in a angle of speed, we’ve included a few accessible graphs. Our 141.998-mph bivouac almanac about tripled California’s 55-mph acceleration limit, is abutting to bifold the 85-mph Texas acceleration limit, and beats a banal Duramax’s top acceleration by a acceptable 40 mph. The bivouac almanac is alike aural 30 mph of the accepted production-bodied agent record, which we apparently could accept burst if we had apart the trailer.
In fact, application the aforementioned aerodynamic calculator we acclimated to adumbrate our top acceleration with the trailer, forth with an estimated 1,300 rwhp, puts a re-geared PPE/Diesel Ability Duramax’s top acceleration at 206 mph—faster than the Audi R10 chase car! Whether we would appetite to drive a 7,000-pound barter at that acceleration is addition amount all together.
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