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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NOTE- I'm not in the business of building transmissions for customers, just thought I would put this info here for HotRodders.com members that might be interested. I built this small in/out Toploader out of a 390 powered '65 Ford Galaxy back in 2011, it's been behind a string of SBC's ever since.

If you decide to faceplate your own Toploader (or have a local shop do it for you), here are the gap dimensions I use which tighten up the slider travel distance quite a bit over what you get when Liberty does it. My shifter knob travel is 1-1/2" from neutral in each gear, which translates to 3" overall arm movement when shifting...

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I re-work the shift rail detent slots for the shorter travel distance, also add internal shift stop sleeves to the rails. These internal stop sleeves eliminate fork stress due to over-travel of the shift rail, which in-turn seems to have eliminated the root cause of broken stock shift forks. Here's a shot of the stop sleeves installed on the shift rails, this pic was taken after a couple years of service...

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I originally bought 3 TKO dog rings and 2 TKO faceplate sliders from Liberty. At the time, the dog rings were $65/ea, the sliders were $100/ea....

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Machined the gears to accept the dog rings. Liberty slider for 3rd/4th gears was used as-is, no modifications. For the 1/2 slider, I slit one side off the extra 3/4 faceplate slider, then welded it onto the 2nd gear side of a stock Toploader 1/2 slider. Retained the original synchro setup on the 1st gear side. Ended up with synchro 1st, faceplated 2/3/4. Here's a pic of the parted off section of Liberty faceplate slider sitting on the stock slider...

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Here's a pic of the slider after welding on the faceplate ring. Note that reverse gear teeth on the stock slider were narrowed to make room for the weld, the inner teeth of the faceplate ring were also removed...

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All this was skip welded using common .035" MIG wire, air blast cooling between welds to protect the heat treat of the engagement lugs.

This transmission has been in the car for almost 10 years now, no broken gears, shafts, or shift forks to date. I have replaced faceplate parts a few times due to wear/tear, also replaced a few twisted small input shafts and Spicer 28spl slip yokes. Still has the same 28spl SROD output shaft that was installed in 2011, it's splines are still straight. Went to a 28spl billet Sonax slip yoke a few years ago, it's splines are still straight as well. Car is currently using a Hitmaster clutch hit controller. It's configured to soften the hit for around 1.0 sec during launch, but also comes on for 0.5 sec after the shifts. Without the unit active for WOT shifts, the Toploader's small input shaft splines twist.

Here's a pic of the car back in 2011, dead hooking 700whp/radials with a 1.30 60' on the front straightaway of an asphalt oval track. It was the first night out for the faceplated Toploader in the pics above, same transmission is still in the car today. Not unusual to see shifts occurring at 8600+...

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Just in case you missed it, clutch hit control is KEY to making this small in/out Toploader live at it's current power level. I usually don't even bother to tell anyone that the car also uses a 2-1/2" x .065" driveshaft (shaft is only 26-1/4" c/c), as i'm pretty sure when i do it is met with skepticism. Back in 2013 I did a spur of the moment back/back with/without clutch control test at the track for my ClutchTamer product, the car barely moved off the line after the "without" hit. 2800lbs of clamp on a 900 series puck style disc, probably would have broken the Toploader if the shaft had been more substantial...

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Pushed the car outside the gate, had one of my kids come pick me up at the track. Went home and built another identical shaft, had him take me back to the track about 3am to install the new shaft. Drove the car home. Although I keep material on hand to build a 2-1/2" x .083" shaft when the time comes, that same 2-1/2" x .065" replacement shaft from back in 2013 is still in the car 7 years and countless controlled test hits later.

Grant
 

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Wow, several things here that I'd like to argue about, but I can't. You've proved yourself. Nice work. Is the Hitmaster something that you made? I'm still using your Clutch tamer in my car and it seems to make a difference, although I don't think I ever mastered getting it set correctly. You can see it under the dash in this video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys!

Nice video Freddy, i would suggest adjusting the hit to a higher stage rpm. Seems counter-intuitive as far as wear/tear on the clutch goes, but tuning to a higher rpm hit will slip less after the shift vs a lower rpm hit. In the end you'll get a better 60' without increasing wear/tear on the clutch. Every single car in Coyote Stock uses a 'tamer, they launch as close to their 7800rpm throttle cut limiter as they can without triggering it. Not unusual for them to get 100+ runs out of an iron disc. Some even use organic discs, still competitive but with less disc life. ET isn't so much about the clutch itself, it's more about controlling the rate that it pulls inertia out of the engine.

The Hitmaster is something i'm in the process of getting a patent on, it's an in-line hydraulic valve that allows you to easily adjust the volume of fluid that is allowed freely return from the slave to the master when you dump the clutch. Then after a timer times out, a bypass solenoid opens up and the rest of the fluid is allowed to return to the master. Basically gives the car a fixed amount of time to gain speed before the clutch locks up. Using the solenoid/timer allows the clutch to hit closer to the sweet spot than my original 'tamer, without blowing past that sweet spot too quickly. Because it's electrically controlled, it can easily be configured to be active on launch only, or even turned off completely for casual driving. Some modern musclecar customers configure it to be active on launch + shifts as I do, helps protect a fragile oem diff. Had a customer install the system on his C6 'vette, clicked off five 1.43 60's in a row during his first test session. Much easier to master the adjustment than my original 'tamer. Downside is that guys like Freddy with mechanical clutch release will need an additional hyd cylinder attached somewhere in the linkage.

The original 'tamer works great for NA applications, even been used under the radar to win class at the US Nats a few times... this year even won on radials! That said, boosted cars like the Hitmaster better. There's a very well nationally known record setting 4 cyl fwd Honda team that had been using my original 'tamer since 2016, now using the Hitmaster to run mid 7's @ 215 :)

Grant
 
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