If there is one thing that is certain, when something is moving, it eventually needs to stop. Such is the case with a race car. Hopefully that stop occurs as planned, and not after sliding through the sand and gravel at the end of the track, or the end of the track itself. That’s why the NHRA mandates parachutes on cars traveling 150 mph or faster.
A while ago, we introduced our Chevrolet project car True SStreet, and then we installed a rollcage in the car. Since the plan is for the Camaro to run in the NMCA True Street class and travel the ¼-mile in roughly 8.5 to 9.0-seconds, traveling at roughly 150 mph is a distinct possibility. Therefore, we need to install a parachute, and a mount to hold said parachute. We ordered our parachute mount from the same company that we called to get our rollcage, Rhodes Race Cars, and now that we have it, we need to get it installed.
When installing a parachute, a secure mounting location is a must. Just mount it to your bumper, pull the handle to release the parachute while driving, and see what happens. We’ll wait for you to go back and pick up your parachute—and your bumper.
Parachutes must be securely mounted to the car’s chassis, frame, or differential, and the actual mounting location of the predeployed parachute on the rear of the car is a critical part of the installation.
When you throw the lever to open the parachute, you want the parachute to be “captured” by the air flowing over and around the car. If you mount your parachute directly under the spoiler, there is no way it will “capture” enough air to deploy.
In order to ensure that the parachute is in the path of the air flowing over the rear of the car, it should be mounted out from under any spoiler, and at an angle of 45 degrees from horizontal when packed. As far as the structural mounting of the parachute, it is recommended that the mounting location be nearly straight back from the engine’s crankshaft or camshaft centerline. This centers the pull of the deployed parachute against the moving car, and will keep the rear of the car from lifting while slowing.
When it comes time to actually mount the parachute to True SStreet, we will be sure to show you the dos and don’ts of mounting the “laundry” to the car so you can be sure of a solid connection. For this installment however, we’ll only be showing you the installation of the bracket that holds the parachute when packed. So with our bracket in hand, the guys in the tech shop got started with the mounting of our parachute’s mountings.