Throwback Thursday: Torque Converter Selection Tips To Help Choose

Wow, can you believe Thursday is here once again? That means it’s time for us to celebrate another editorial throwback. As you know, each week we jump into the way-back machine and open the vault that houses our vast collection of articles. This week, we’re taking a step back in time to bring you an article that you guys might have either forgotten about or might not even know exists. Whichever the case, we are certain that you will enjoy this piece of editorial flashback.

torque converter

I decided that this week, we will take a short trip back to April 2013, and check out, Torque Converter Sizing – What’s Right For Me?  This article was put together by Jason Reiss and dives into everything you need to know when selecting a torque converter.

torque converter

One of TCI’s lockup converters designed for use with the 6L80E transmission found behind many LS engines. It uses a fluid-activated clutch to assist in lockup.

Jason starts out by admitting he had the same thought process that many possess when choosing a converter, and that is, the less horsepower a car makes, the smaller dimensionally the torque converter can be. He was surprised to learn that as he discussed the topic with four specialists, he discovered that wasn’t necessarily the case. Those specialists – TCI Automotive’s Jeff Reed, Pro Torque’s Joe Rivera, ATI Performance Products‘ David Caine, and Neal Chance Racing Converters’ Marty Chance, gave him a better understanding of how torque converters work and what goes into their parts selection.

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One of the common things discovered during the conversations with the professionals in the original article, was that size is not necessarily the most important thing about a converter, but on the same level, it plays an important part.

Basically, what you’re trying to achieve during converter selection is to ensure that the converter itself has enough volume to handle the power level while still retaining a physical size that will not be too large – a delicate balancing act that is at the forefront of what each company does to provide the proper unit for power transfer.

Did you also know that power-adder combinations will require a different physical converter due to their inherent manner of power application? For example, Reed says, “In a supercharged X275 car, the converter will typically be a 10-inch size, but a turbocharged car might use a 9.5-inch converter. The key to making horsepower in a blown car is getting the supercharger spinning into its happy place, somewhere around 7,000 to 7,500 rpm. But in an X275 turbo car, you’ll want a lower stall speed, and the flash will typically be somewhere around 5,700 rpm. It all comes down to efficiency and getting the engine in the RPM it needs to be in order to apply the power.”

Do you need a mac-daddy billet converter like this one from Neal Chance Racing? You might, and the original article explains why.

Each professional Jason spoke with also stressed the idea that the first converter you get may not be the best torque converter for your car. That is especially true if you’re a heads-up racer looking for that last bit of elapsed time to keep up with, or be quicker than, your competition. Providing your manufacturer of choice with as much data as possible is the single most important element of selecting the proper torque converter for your application, and maximizing its performance on the track.

There is a lot of in-depth information in the original article, and because of that, I thought it a great piece for this week’s Throwback Thursday flashback. So, check out Torque Converter Sizing – What’s Right For Me?

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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