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Super Duty's super tranny

01/25/2011 @ 8:55am

Transmissions get little attention – until they shell out under heavy work. Realizing that a lot of that work takes place at low engine rpm, Ford engineers created a new TorqShift design (shown above with the 6.7-liter diesel) fashioned to better manage the low-end torque produced by their new Power Stroke diesels. The 6R140 transmission employs a Lepelletier-style power flow, which reduces the complexity in connecting the gear sets and clutches. The six speeds require only five clutches, and the speeds of the clutches relative to one another are low, which increases efficiency.

To handle the torque of the 6.7-liter diesel, Ford strengthened the tranny by utilizing a powder-metal carrier in the compound planetary gear set. The carrier consists of four pressed powder-metal components brazed together for a rigid structure. “The sinter-brazed gear set enables more torque capacity and greater engine speed capability,” explains Ford engineer Al Bruck. “Also, a deep first-gear ratio and two overdrive gears create a wider ratio span. This is combined with available lower-axle gear ratios and a control system that automatically selects the most efficient shift schedule.”

Then, too, the TorqShift is feature-rich. For example, it includes the Progressive Range Select feature, which allows you to reduce the range of available gears while in drive mode. This feature will allow for limited use of upper gears when heavily loaded or while towing on grades.

And for full manual function, you can pull the shift lever into “M” for manual mode and use the Range Select toggle to change gears. The control system locks the torque converter, holding a particular gear for a full manual transmission operation.

Hey, It’s Got A PTO Drive!

Another addition (and a good fit for agriculture) is the Live Drive PTO. This option (available only on diesel engines) is linked through the torque converter to the engine crankshaft. The PTO’s output gear is linked through the torque converter to the engine crankshaft and is available anytime the engine is running.

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