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Mike Finnegan, BlaspHemi, G-Force, and a grenaded tailshaft. Solution? Bangshift Billy (like HitMaster)

biomedtechguy

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I'm sure some of you will recall the HitMaster launch control system I had installed on my Roadrunner. It requires a hydraulic throwout bearing to operate, and a clutch and pressure plate that can handle slipping under significant power without scorching the friction material, in my case a McLeod RXT dual disc setup with sintered iron and ceramic materials. I would NOT think that any organic friction material would hold up, certainly not over any length of time.
The HitMaster has a mechanical adjustment (knob) that adjusts how much "bite" the clutch gets upon activation, AND an electronic timer that determines how long the clutch remains at that "slipping" position before it fully releases, at which point you have full engagement.
I have been following BlaspHemi, the '55 Chevy w/the supercharged Hemi and it has a G-Force transmission (6 speed) and an even more elaborate clutch/pressure plate than the RXT.
Bangshift Billy is a product that works in a similar way to the HitMaster, but has an app and Bluetooth control to set "bite" and "dwell" time.
The function seems the same.
This is part of the video that Finnegan posted after grenading his G-Force from sidestepping the clutch and dead hooking. He WAS NOT using the Bangshift Billy (or a HitMaster) although he had the former, it wasn't wired up.
Go to the 33 minute mark:
 
Here's a video from the Bangshift Billy website. I can tell you that at $850-$975 it is WAY more expensive than the HitMaster, and it appears as though the only difference is the app and Bluetooth control. Now that is a REALLY cool feature, but it is up to the user to decide if it's worth spending that much more over the HitMaster.
@weedburner I'm so disappointed that I never made the time to use the HitMaster, but I am a HUGE fan of your products. Would you please fill in any gaps I may have left in my evaluation of the Bangshift Billy product and the HitMaster?
I believe you are offering a better value, and the function seems to be the same.
Do you have any plans of incorporating Bluetooth control and an app? As a one man small business, I am also wondering how 2 products can function in such a similar manner and not have an patent violations. I know the ClutchTamer and HitMaster have been around for some years.
I'm only presenting the Bangshift Billy product because it was in the video on BlaspHemi, but I want to let our 3 pedal "row your own" racers know there's a way to get consistent 60 ft times, launches, AND prevent breakage!
This Ford is a TOP contender in Drag Week events, and his biggest competition is an awesome twin turbo 65 GTO that also uses a manual transmission!
 
A friend used the clutchtamer with mixed results. It would work great one pass and the very next pass it would either be too tight or too loose. I believe the best way to do this is with a slipper clutch and adjustable pp. That's what I used and kept an old TKO alive behind some serious torque.
 
The Bangshift Billy and the Hitmaster do not function the same, although the end result can be similar. The main difference is the Bangshift Billy pulses a solenoid to control where the throw-out bearing lands during launch (timed fluid flow), while the Hitmaster uses the travel distance of a piston (fluid volume control) to do basically the same thing.

With timed fluid flow, fluid temp affects how much fluid flows thru the solenoid in a given period of time. There is also centrifugal feedback pressure from the clutch levers/fingers acting against the throw-out bearing. That feedback pressure changes with launch rpm, and also effects how much fluid can be pushed thru a solenoid in a given amount of time.

With fluid volume control, neither fluid temp nor the amount of feedback pressure will affect where the throw-out bearing lands during launch.

Another difference between the two is Bangshift Billy's use of a phone to change settings vs the Hitmaster's manual turning of a knob. Some racers will adjust the clutch setting before staging the car depending on what they see, easy to turn a knob with your gloves on. Hard for me to see any advantage to getting out your phone, opening an app, and typing out changes to a clutch setting over just reaching over and turning a knob.

Grant
 
A friend used the clutchtamer with mixed results. It would work great one pass and the very next pass it would either be too tight or too loose. I believe the best way to do this is with a slipper clutch and adjustable pp. That's what I used and kept an old TKO alive behind some serious torque.

I've got a customer that uses the 'tamer to control the hit of an adjustable Black Magic slipper clutch, used it to win A/S at NHRA's US Nationals on radials.

Grant
 
Hey Grant! Thanks a LOT for posting up!
Man, as much as I have talked up, described your 2 "launch control" solutions, and I was SO excited to get my car all set up with a good clutch and the HitMaster....
...and I never got to use it.
I won't go into it, it grieves me to my core, but if I have another manual transmission I will visit w/your AWESOME products again.
 
Nothing like a 7k rpm burn out to make sure everything works properly.
 
Hahaha dude slipped in a line from fast and furious.

IMG_2345.jpeg
 
It’s also pretty stand up that Tick Performance warrantied the trans. I wouldn’t expect it to live behind a super charged hemi.

Maybe they just did it because of the YouTube exposure.

I broke a new ring and pinion purchased from one of our well known vendors and was basically told to pound salt.
 
It’s also pretty stand up that Tick Performance warrantied the trans. I wouldn’t expect it to live behind a super charged hemi.
I could be mistaken, but Tick is the shop that did the labor, machine work, etc. G-Force, the manufacturer, is who warrantied the transmission.
There used to be a LOT more manual transmission equipped race cars, and I know a lot has changed, in particular WAY more power available to "ordinary" racers vs only the sharpest mechanics or teams who had the deepest pockets.
There used to be an advantage to hitting the power curve 4 times in a quarter mile vs 3 or staying in the "fattest" part of the power band, plus not as much loss of power to the wheels w/a manual transmission vs an automatic.
So many BOOSTED engines now have made automatic transmissions a "better" choice.
Still, those who enjoy rowing their own gears are usually the people who can best describe their reasons why.
I posted this thread for a few reasons, to show the tech/products (HitMaster and Bangshift Billy) that address some of the biggest drawbacks of manual transmission use in drag racing. Consistent launches, 60 ft times, parts breakage prevention, and more can be greatly improved by using these products, and even experienced people with high end builds can have breakage problems.
The reasonable cost of the HitMaster especially, and Grant's tech support, make the HitMaster an easy decision vs the cost of broken parts, and frustration of inconsistent performance.
 
I could be mistaken, but Tick is the shop that did the labor, machine work, etc. G-Force, the manufacturer, is who warrantied the transmission.
There used to be a LOT more manual transmission equipped race cars, and I know a lot has changed, in particular WAY more power available to "ordinary" racers vs only the sharpest mechanics or teams who had the deepest pockets.
There used to be an advantage to hitting the power curve 4 times in a quarter mile vs 3 or staying in the "fattest" part of the power band, plus not as much loss of power to the wheels w/a manual transmission vs an automatic.
So many BOOSTED engines now have made automatic transmissions a "better" choice.
Still, those who enjoy rowing their own gears are usually the people who can best describe their reasons why.
I posted this thread for a few reasons, to show the tech/products (HitMaster and Bangshift Billy) that address some of the biggest drawbacks of manual transmission use in drag racing. Consistent launches, 60 ft times, parts breakage prevention, and more can be greatly improved by using these products, and even experienced people with high end builds can have breakage problems.
The reasonable cost of the HitMaster especially, and Grant's tech support, make the HitMaster an easy decision vs the cost of broken parts, and frustration of inconsistent performance.
I ran most of the races with United Manual Transmission Racers (UMTR) North in 2023. From what I've seen and experienced, a manual trans drag car will take way more maintenance and will get out of tune (drive line / chassis) more often than an automatic car. Even the guys with pro level equipment have problems.

I'm not say racing an automatic is easy, just that racing a manual is more masochistic.
 
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