FCA investigates Dodge Demon differential failures at drag strip [Video]by Justin King
No less than four Demon diffs were nuked at a recent drag event.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has reportedly launched an internal investigation after viewing videos of Dodge Challenger SRT Demon differential failures at a drag strip.
No less than four differentials were reportedly destroyed at a private drag event hosted by the Legion of Demons car club in Texas. Out of 42 stock Demons attending the event, four are said to have suffered catastrophic rear differential failure. A fifth failure was experienced by a modified vehicle. Slow-motion video shows the chassis shuddering as the differentials fail, sending gear pieces and other parts onto the track surface.
FCA has yet to comment on the matter, though claims the videos of the failures have been viewed by company executives and the incidents are under investigation.
Notably, drag strip surface prep specialist Mass Traction was at the event to give the cars a chance at beating pro Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett's 9.65-second benchmark in a stock Demon. Company owner Brandon Mass placed videographers behind the cars just in case the differentials blew, claiming he "knew it was gonna happen."
Mass says the failures may have occurred in cars that had been launched first on unprepared track surfaces, perhaps causing stress fractures that resulted in complete failure when accelerating on a sticky surface that does not lower peak drivetrain loads via tire slip.
"The Demon powertrain itself is bulletproof... but we did see if the car saw some prior trauma from a rougher launch, we would see part failures [on our treated surface]," he told The Drive.
The explanation appears plausible but should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.