Written by Moore Good Ink
Taylor, MI: Sporting a new custom-made Liberty 7-speed transmission, the Poteet & Main Speed Demon continued to capture top Bonneville honors at this year’s Speed Week (422.509mph) and the subsequent FIA meeting (439.024mph) on September 17, 2012.
Engine builder Ken Duttweiler said that the original Liberty 5-speed gearbox had all the strength we needed but the new 7-speed provided two additional lower gears. “They enabled the Speed Demon to accelerate away from the push truck much quicker.” They also reduced drive train loadings, as the rpm drop between first and second gears is now minimal.
Duttweiler added, “We ran the 300cu in engine at Speed Week and the 368cu in at the FIA event. Both engines, which are Chevrolet-based with twin turbos generating 38psi of boost, are identical except for stroke length.”
Earlier in 2012 Liberty’s Gears opened a metal enhancement division at their Taylor, Michigan factory, near Detroit’s Metro airport. Their enhancement procedures, which have been developed over the past 40 years in transmission development, improve the longevity of highly stressed racing components. Processes, including cryogenics, shot peening, and thermal stabilization, are used to increase the performance and the longevity of racing parts. Typically, these include drive train components, valve train components, and gears and the internals of shocks and pumps, etc.
The cryogenics process, pictured at left, which lowers the temperature of the parts to 300 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, increases resistance to wear and fractures. Shot peening improves the part’s load capacity and fatigue life. Thermal stabilization improves resistance to surface fractures.
NHRA 2011 Pro Stock champion Jason Line comments, “Liberty’s brings a fresh new presence to metal enhancements. They’re uniquely qualified and have sound reasons for engaging in it—they already apply these proven technologies to our own racing components.”
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