Parachutes on a drag racing car can be a daunting and confusing topic for a first timer. Size of parachute, which style, deployment method, which brand, accessories such as release handle, cable and more all seem to have a lot of options that can be overwhelming.
This Blog is intended to answer those questions, so here we go!
Not all parachutes are created equal. Some are small, some are large, some hit HARD, some hit soft, you will see cars with single, some with dual, and all different brands shapes and sizes.
The simple answer is to consult your local parts supplier or chassis builder. Though I will fill you in on some info below.
We have always used Stroud Safety. Early on we learned and realized that a HARD hitting parachute is a dangerous parachute. While you want something that stops quickly you do not want it to upset the chassis. A hard hitting parachute that opens high for instance can lift the back of the car off the ground, and at 150+ MPH that is just pure dangerous, it often ends badly. We have found that Stroud parachutes deploy lower and open softer but still give you excellent stopping capabilities.
In the end of the day, different styles of parachutes work better or worse depending on the situations described above. If you have a question about your setup, we are always happy to consult. Give us a call during working hours (800) 878-9274 or Text us at (563) 202-6015.
To shop parachutes click here: https://www.motionraceworks.com/collections/parachute-systems
Release handles are relatively simple. Your push a handle, it operates a morse style cable, in turn removing the cable from the loop on the parachute pack which allows the parachute to deploy. The only difference in handles is there are manually operated handles, as well as CO2 activated handles. CO2 activated handles are essentially operated with a pneumatic ram so that you can push a button, a solenoid charges the ram, the ram pushes the handle. This allows you to deploy the parachute with your hands on the wheel. See the two styles below in pictures. (NOTE: you can operate the co2 handle manually in the event of an emergency or loss of co2).
Placement, you will want to place the parachute handle in a place where you can get to it without reaching or without much effort while going 150-200+ mph. It needs to be a natural motion to release the parachute handle as sometimes it is just a normal deployment, other times its an oh sh*t situation that can be the difference in the car stopping safely and not.
To order parachute handles click here: https://www.motionraceworks.com/collections/parachute-levers-mounts
There are a few accessories for parachutes that are a MUST HAVE!
Parachute cable holder: This clamps the parachute cable so that when pushing the handle release, the inner cable slides in and out, otherwise there is a chance the whole cable flexes without properly deploying/releasing the inner wire. Click Here
Parachute Billet End Cap: This screws on to the end of the cable to protect the wires from snagging the parachute which in turn prevents the parachute from deploying. This 9$ part can be the most important piece of safety equipment on your ride! Click Here
Believe it or not, Black seems to be the best parachute color, though we are a little partial to our red, white and blue "Merica" parachute pattern. Because these parachutes are getting deployed and then drug across asphalt and pavement that may have oil and grease and dirt from blown engines etc, parachutes seem to only last a few days at the track before becoming dingy. Black is just a good neutral color that looks good and matches everyones car. Just following Henry Ford's lead here.
Learn how to trim your parachute cable after installation, properly by watching this video.
Learn how to pack a parachute for the first time
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