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Old 11-18-2002   #1
"Firehawk" GTA owner
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Posts: 1,656

Umm, torque converter question???

Ok guys, I know squat about auto trannies. Can somebody explain to me exactly what a torque converter is, what it does, and what the effects are of changing it? And also, why would I want to change it? Thanks in advance.

1991 Trans Am GTA... Hopefully again

Last edited by Fred91GTA; 11-18-2002 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 11-18-2002   #2
GTA Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 44

Well I'll help you out here as much as I can. Essentially a tourqe converter is like to the automatic tranny what the clutch is to the manual tranny. The converter is what spins up to speed to cause the transmission to begin rotating. There are many reasons to change one, either for more strength holding, or for a higher stall converter. I'm not entirely sure how this all works out, but I know that a higher stall converter will give you more slippage at lower rpm's, meaning it goes to a 1:1 turning ratio at a higher rpm. This can be helpful in some cases, but it also will cause for sloppier shifts. The other problem with going for a higher stall converter, is what rpm you cruise at, on the highway I cruise at about 1500rpm, that's about right for the stock converter on my car..... any higher and it would be slipping the whole time creating more heat. I ended up getting a new converter when I got my tranny rebuilt this summer, but all I got was a slight upgrade to the stock one, They took the stock one apart, and welded the fins and such together for more strength, and it works great for my car, and with the shift kit I get good firm shifts..... I'm sure that all confused you more then it helped, sorry.

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Old 11-19-2002   #3
Multi-Vehicle Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Coatesville
Posts: 189

Yup...what he said Basically a T.C. uses the tranny fluid that is in the converter to make friction. For all intents and purposes its a turbine. But instead of moving air, it moves fluid. The faster the fluid is pushed through the turbine, the more friction that is produced. Eventually when the RPMs are right, and the friction is great enough you have total static friction. Then your tranny will start to spin with the speed of the motor. Its kinda weird thinking that the really isnt a huge mechanical connection between your motor and tranny....but its a fluid connection. Ive heard that the use of a higher stall converter is good if you have alot of racing planned. Its not really good if you just want to cruise around, because like Gaillen said, it will slip alot and make a ton of heat. Plus it just wont feel good. If your motor doesnt make much power or torque say until 2400rpm, then a stall converter that doesnt kick in til say 2200rpm would be helpful in a racing situation. Then again I could be talking out my ass. Im sure there is a better explanation somewhere around here.

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