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Old 09-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Liberty toploader

Looking for driving experiences with a Liberty pro-shifted 4 speed toploader. I was under the impression that the dog ring tranny could not easily be down shifted but our track tech says that there is no special technique required. He said the design permits it, unlike the G-force and other modern clutched transmissions.

True or untrue?
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My little 65' Stang street car:



Dart 428W NA, 4 Spd, 4:33, on pump gas pushing 3550lbs.

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Old 09-20-2009, 05:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

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Originally Posted by dennis111 View Post
Looking for driving experiences with a Liberty pro-shifted 4 speed toploader. I was under the impression that the dog ring tranny could not easily be down shifted but our track tech says that there is no special technique required. He said the design permits it, unlike the G-force and other modern clutched transmissions.

True or untrue?
Hey Dennis, I believe they are like any other non synchro transmission (meaning in non-race applications). You just rpm match to shift either up OR down. I know I have no issue downshifting my pro shifted T5. I have a friend/customer over on www.robinsvillehotrods.com, John Holden. He actually owns a liberty pro shifted toploader, though he hasn't driven the car yet as the motor is being completed. Basically the method involves slightly revving the motor in neutral before clutching in on the upshifts, and revving a bit harder in neutral before clutching in for the downshifts. I've gotten MUCH better at it even since taking this video:



That video (which you may have seen), is me street driving in Phoenix rush hour traffic in 110ish (if I recall) degree weather. Just the few weeks since then have seen major improvements in the smoothness and ease of shifting.

One thing I will advise you, through my own experience...is that even if you're an adaptable driver (I like to think I am...), the learning curve can be sharp, and the 'lugs' on the pro shifted unit are all too easily damaged, requiring disassembly and dressing. Even in a track only application, they only supposedly last about 150 runs before requiring a redress. Then there's the fact that they can only be 'dressed' so far before they need replaced. If you can afford it, or if you are intending on a new unit...get a face plated setup. The durability factor on the street is SO much better as they have fewer, squarish, and larger crenelated lugs, rather than more numerous beveled, angled and smallish lugs. I have a good friend going SIX years now on a daily (spring/summer/fall) driven face plated T5 in an N/A 10.50 ET application.

Hope that helps man.

Cris
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

I have the Jerico DR4, its dog ringed and up shift and down shift with no issues.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

I sent an email to Liberty earlier this season. I wanted to know how "streetable" a warmed up toploader would be. Here's what I got back from them.

"We offer face plating for 3rd and 4th gear sections only on a Top Loader. 2nd gear would have to be pro-shifted. However, the pro-shifted 2nd makes the transmission not so streetable. Also, at your power level you will probably split the case on a Top Loader. I would recommend using a more durable transmission."

I had told them that I was using nitrous on my windsor which probably prompted the comment about the case. I sort of abandoned the idea of a pro-shifted toploader after that. I really want to chase the points next season, so I've been trying to save up the cash for a Jerico. If I can't swing the Jerico, I'll probably give the Liberty gear mods the go ahead for next season. The big in/out toploader has been working fine for me so far this year. I just can't shift it as fast as I'd like to be able to.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

Thanks Cris, I do remember watching the video and wondered if I would really want to do that all the time.

In all actuality, I have been inside my toploader 3 times this year due to missing a gear and ultimately hammering the engagement teeth on 2nd and its synchronizer. The tranny would still shift beautiful at 5K on the street, but I'd rather be power shifting it at 6.4K at the track. I have gotten pretty good at R&R'ing the tranny, plus freshen it up, in just a few hours. The problem is, this is my only complete big input/output tranny and I really needed a good backup to cut down on all the scrambling to be ready for racing each week.

To this end, I found and now own a very decent oldschool pro-shifted Liberty toploader and have just completed rebuilding it. If I got 150 track runs out of it (about a year and a half) between teardowns, I would be ecstatic. I am now ready to give the Liberty a workout during the 6 races that I have remaining this year. Although there are certainly better transmissions for racing, I was drawn to the Liberty since it is a 100% direct replacement for my toploader. Both use the large 10 spline input and the big 31 spline output shafts.

With my low gear rear, high torque motor, and rural location, I feel I might get brave enough to try it on the street eventually. For now I am just trying to figure out what to do at the end of the strip when I slow down and need to downshift to start down the return road. Although it uses a standard Toploader first gear, since the shift dogs are not used, there is no brass blocking ring to help engage the gear. I know that I could come to a complete stop, but ultimately hope that it will work much like mustang42782's Jerico (thanks)--which is what the track tech relayed.

Thanks Cain for the Liberty info. I would consider faceplating 3rd and 4th for longevity. Did Liberty give you a price for Faceplating? I know that it costs more than pro-shifting, which is about $88 a gear, plus $33 to machine a slider (if I supply all the parts.) I understand that Liberty is quite slow, so I might even send them some stuff to work on over the winter.
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My little 65' Stang street car:



Dart 428W NA, 4 Spd, 4:33, on pump gas pushing 3550lbs.

10.494@128.76

Last edited by dennis111; 09-21-2009 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

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Originally Posted by dennis111 View Post
With my low gear rear, high torque motor, and rural location, I feel I might get brave enough to try it on the street eventually. For now I am just trying to figure out what to do at the end of the strip when I slow down and need to downshift to start down the return road. Although it uses a standard Toploader first gear, since the shift dogs are not used, there is no brass blocking ring to help engage the gear. I know that I could come to a complete stop, but ultimately hope that it will work much like mustang42782's Jerico (thanks)--which is what the track tech relayed.
It sounds to me Dennis that that transmission is right up your alley. I know you're quite 'hands on' and if you've no issue with freshening the lugs and sliders on occasion, it's a very streetable transmission. I've watched my video again a few times, and man...it does look like a lot of work, but I'm here telling you it's not lol. It's just as natural as anything else we do in these cars. I hardly notice anymore to be honest.

As for downshifting...as you see in that video I downshift many times, and no...it's not necessary to be almost to a stop. You simply pull the gear lever into neutral (either with the clutch or without...I use the clutch...but it's not mandatory as long as you're off the throttle), let things equalize a split second, then...being sure the transmission is in neutral with the clutch pedal up...blip the throttle a bit, clutch in and downshift into the gear your motion speed is appropriate for. Usually second gear I would think.

Remember, I'm using this on the street and track, and my trans is fully pro shifted as well (first gear has no blocker). I think once you try it, and adapt to the few quirks it requires...you're going to absolutely love it.

Cris
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

Before I got the current faceplated TKO,I had a proshifted t5. IMO they drive very silimar. Regular upshifting is a breeze. Downshifting for me is a mixed bag-but I quickly learned to live with it. Overall,its not a matter of how hard it is to get it in gear,it's how much noise there is going(usually a clunk,not a grind) to be associated with the shift. I'd encourage you to take it out on the street and develope your own opinion since everones idea of "streetable" varies.But no doubt you will LOVE it at the track!


As far as faceplate cost,from my Nov 08 invoice the modification to the gear is the same cost for proshift and faceplate. I show $80 per gear but they might have gone up.The slider gets replaced,not modified,with faceplate. My 2-3 was $150 and the 3-4 was $100. You can give Paul @ Liberty a call and get exact numbers-very easy guy to talk to and will answer all your questions.

And yes,they are slow. My stuff was several weeks later than was originally said,but I still would recommend them.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

A Jerico crash box would have been ultimate, but for a fraction of the cost we installed a Liberty's Pro Shifted Toploader in place of the grenade waiting britney spears
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

jerico is junk. i have seen 2800lb fox bodies, running 331 inches at 7k, (low 10's) break them like twigs. thats just what i have seen.

g force gf5r can be downshifted in motion on the street. its a phenonimal transmission. that track tech must be on meth.

now the tranny in your car, if its a bb toploader than it wont need to be pro shifted. its plenty strong as it is, and your splitting hairs in terms of performance because it has a 2.32 first gear, ****ty for performance.

if its a sb toploader then it might not be strong enough to handle the torque of your windsor stroker, but in terms of performance, you will see more of a gain, but imo its not worth it. too noisey, hard to downshift....nasty stuff.

so heres what you should do. being realistic, the doug nash 5 speed (or richmond 5 speed) if the fricken way to go. phenonimal trannies. dont get the crash box one, because its essentially a pro shifted trans, and 5th gear is horrible, even with a v gate it has trouble going in at high rpm. the syncro version is excellent. quiet, reliable, and you can powershift at 7k all day long. i have driven this trans in a 9 second cleveland fox body at the track and on the street, it works like a charm. it can handle 600+ft lbs of torque (at least the nash can, not sure bout richmonds version) and they are cheap. they were designed for a heavier car with a big motor, and they work even better in light cars. i very strongly sugust you take a look at one of these. they can be had for a grand used, and they are quite common on classified sites.

hope that helped lol
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

Thanks for the advice guys and info.

I took it to the street and wasn't overly impressed with my my shifting ability. Grinds like hell most of the time. I did get a few good upshifts, and probably a few more good downshifts but it will certainly take more practice as I am not exactly sure what I did to get the good ones. One of the problems I have is that finding neutral is quite hard as there zero resistance between gears. Push/pull too far and there will be a loud clanking sound from the dog rings trying (or not trying) to mate. I certainly need to commit Cris's instructions to memory beter or at least print it out for the next trip.

This Liberty shifted toploader is a BB (big in, big out) wide ratio 2.78 first gear, just like the sychro'ed BB version that I just swapped out. It has the same long input shaft as the small block versions but uses the 1 3/8" clutch parts. It was a direct swap, except I needed to use my tailhousing to maintain the stock shifter location--5 bolts and one gasket. It was beautiful inside, but after my jaunt to town I am not so sure. . . . It is actually a rare tranny, having come from one of the 1800 or so 1971 429cj or 429scj toploader cars. One neat thing about it is that the Lima engined cars, unlike the FE cars, used an input shaft that is the same length as the small blocks but with the larger diameter. Although all these toploaders were built with a 2.32 close ratio first gear, this one was converted to being a wide ratio some time ago.

Was going to give it a whirl at the track on Friday, but now it looks like rain.

Although a Jerico sounds good on paper, this is G-force country as Leonard Long give us local racers a nice deal for his trannies. Even better is his tech support--I've seen his guys tear down his customer's cars at our track just to replace a dog ring between rounds. Even so, a Gf5r is out of my reach and not in the cards. They are sweet though.
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My little 65' Stang street car:



Dart 428W NA, 4 Spd, 4:33, on pump gas pushing 3550lbs.

10.494@128.76

Last edited by dennis111; 09-30-2009 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

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Originally Posted by dennis111 View Post
Thanks for the advice guys and info.

I took it to the street and wasn't overly impressed with my my shifting ability. Grinds like hell most of the time. I did get a few good upshifts, and probably a few more good downshifts but it will certainly take more practice as I am not exactly sure what I did to get the good ones. One of the problems I have is that finding neutral is quite hard as there zero resistance between gears. Push/pull too far and there will be a loud clanking sound from the dog rings trying (or not trying) to mate. I certainly need to commit Cris's instructions to memory beter or at least print it out for the next trip.

This Liberty shifted toploader is a BB (big in, big out) wide ratio 2.78 first gear, just like the sychro'ed BB version that I just swapped out. It has the same long input shaft as the small block versions but uses the 1 3/8" clutch parts. It was a direct swap, except I needed to use my tailhousing to maintain the stock shifter location--5 bolts and one gasket. It was beautiful inside, but after my jaunt to town I am not so sure. . . . It is actually a rare tranny, having come from one of the 1800 or so 1971 429cj or 429scj toploader cars. One neat thing about it is that the Lima engined cars, unlike the FE cars, used an input shaft that is the same length as the small blocks but with the larger diameter. Although all these toploaders were built with a 2.32 close ratio first gear, this one was converted to being a wide ratio some time ago.

Was going to give it a whirl at the track on Friday, but now it looks like rain.

Although a Jerico sounds good on paper, this is G-force country as Leonard Long give us local racers a nice deal for his trannies. Even better is his tech support--I've seen his guys tear down his customer's cars at our track just to replace a dog ring between rounds. Even so, a Gf5r is out of my reach and not in the cards. They are sweet though.
The G101 is really nice!!!
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

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The G101 is really nice!!!
I agree, they are nice and that is what my track friends run. They run them clutchless, which helps them be consistent enough to be #1 and #2 in points. My good ole toploader has been good enough for me to hold onto 3rd.

During a Prostick race one friend had a problem with shifting his G101 into 2nd gear. It got taken down between qualifying rounds for a new slider. I found it amazing how fast and easily they come apart. He got it all back together just in time for eliminations and was runner up for the event.
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My little 65' Stang street car:



Dart 428W NA, 4 Spd, 4:33, on pump gas pushing 3550lbs.

10.494@128.76
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

Dennis, I bought a "re manufactured" GForce GF4A - was told it is the newer/better version of the G- 101 - for a better price. It was still a LOT of $$ but made it not so CRAZY expensive.They apparently have a large supply of NASCAR cores all the time. Haven't run it yet but, it looks brand new. Give em a call and check it out.



Got the package deal trans/shifter/Quicktime bell and McLeod Soft-Lok
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

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Originally Posted by Briansshop View Post
Dennis, I bought a "re manufactured" GForce GF4A - was told it is the newer/better version of the G- 101 - for a better price. It was still a LOT of $$ but made it not so CRAZY expensive.They apparently have a large supply of NASCAR cores all the time. Haven't run it yet but, it looks brand new. Give em a call and check it out.



Got the package deal trans/shifter/Quicktime bell and McLeod Soft-Lok
From where???
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Liberty toploader

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From where???
Gforce sells them outright, although they are not listed on their website. They are offered in different gear ratios and can be gotten for around $2500-2700 (with a new inline Long shifter.) They seem to hold up decently under week to week abuse.
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My little 65' Stang street car:



Dart 428W NA, 4 Spd, 4:33, on pump gas pushing 3550lbs.

10.494@128.76

Last edited by dennis111; 10-01-2009 at 01:54 PM.
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