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Old 04-21-2003, 17:13   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Locking Lockup Torque Converter - manual like performance?

Hey,

I just read this article in the Zoom magazine, and was thinking about what was said re the locking of the torque converter under WOT.



Im thinking about trying this on a 4 speed BTR box - having a switch to manually lock up the torque converter when required, as well as the ECU controlling it as normal.

Apart from the electrical side of things, does anyone have any comments on the mechanical side of things, whether the BTR box will have any hassles with the converter being locked under wot, or at any other times.

Also what would the story be if and when the auto changes gear with the converter locked, it should change harder shouldnt it - and have the feel like a manual trans under acceleration.

Thanks
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Old 04-21-2003, 19:12   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm... I doubt the torque converter clutch would like that very much. Its not designed to be locked under heavy load therefor i would assume it would fail if kept in lock status under full acceleration. I cant see how it would be beneficial anyhow? Id much rather my TC run at stall speed at a higher rpm then locked at a lower rpm.

Brent
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Old 04-21-2003, 20:43   #3 (permalink)
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Brent,

The guy is running around 800 - 1000hp on his car and having the torque converter lockup at WOT (full load) so it must be able to handle it.

The reasons i am following up on it are:

1) At a steady speed, trans will run a lot cooler due to the torque converter not relying on the fluid for coupling, which generates heat.

2) Direct coupling will 'feel' like a manual when accelerating in 2nd or 3rd, even 4th gear on the auto - it gets rid of the few hundred rpm of slushiness that the converters produce....

3) Im going to put in a hi-stall anyway, so if i cook this converter now, i couldnt care less, and im sure dominator would put heavy duty lockup clutches in the newy which could handle the 300 odd HP going to it. Also getting a histall, i could go upto 2800rpm stall and still maintain street drivability by locking the converter when required.


Your standard converter will be 90% 'locked' anyway over 1900rpm in any gear, therefore by locking it at any revs over 2000, there will be many advantages - heat, torque, direct coupling, you name it.....
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Old 04-21-2003, 21:15   #4 (permalink)
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but dude, if u lock the converter when shifting between gears, your placing xrteme pressure on the bands in auto. It would be like shifting a manual without clutching! Even if your gearbox could handle it, your engine is going to go from high rpm to low rpm instantly, somethings gotta give. If your going to all this trouble, wouldnt it be easier (for you and your car) to slap a manual gearbox in?? Least with the manual you can rev up the engine and slip the clutch! I cant see the point?

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Old 04-21-2003, 21:28   #5 (permalink)
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Brent

Im not planning on having it locked all the time during gear changes etc...
Its no worse than my current box with the trans chip changing gears at 5500rpm as it is.

The chip increases the line pressure in the box so it kicks out sideways between 1st and 2nd anyway... I dint think you could put much more load on the bands and clutches than that..

I've had it like this for the last 2 years without any problems....
I cant see how it would make it worse, and if the box blows, well, i am planning on getting it rebuilt anyway, so its no great loss...

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Old 04-21-2003, 22:40   #6 (permalink)
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Fair enuf dude. Guess u wont know till u give it a try aye?

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Old 04-21-2003, 22:43   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Jamie,

I did just what you describe on a concept car we built at orbital(now on display at the discovery centre).
It was the orbital 2L supercharged straight six backed by a 97LE BTR trans. The reason we did it was because it was very difficult to calibrate the engine whilst on the dyno because of converter slippage(due to it being unlocked). So I rigged up a switch so we could manually lock the converter and hence give the direct drive needed.
Locking the converter will infact give you softer shifts because you have effectively eliminated the torque multiplication of the converter hence, at the shift point your torque will actually halve. The EEC will actually lock your converter at WOT once the load has dropped enough for it to be worthwhile. The main reason for locking it is of course fuel economy.
Several Lightning guys have done what you are refering to however. The Lightning uses the E4OD and with a Tweecer/EEC-tuner these guy's change the lock strategy like this;
1st gear converter unlock, 1-2 change unlock then lock,2-3 change unlock then lock,3-4 change unlock then lock. In effect this gives them a kind of 8 speed gearbox. The Turbo guy's love it because it gives almost seamless acceleration.
I have just installed a Tweecer on a Vortech S-trim blown '95 Lightning here in Perth. Next on the list is some trans programming Ive just talked about plus we're going to heave ho the FMU and use 42lb injectors on it.
You will increase load on the converter clutch if you lock it during gear shifts but as Ive said it is no benefit so it should handle it ok just after the shifts.

Pete.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:09   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply pete,

I think i will give it a go at some stage, i dont think there is any harm in trying, as it seems that there are a lot of people out there with a manual TCC lockup switch in their cars.

The main reason i want to do it is to still have some around town drivability when i get the hi-stall, and to get rid of the slushiness on moderate acceleration in 3rd and 4th gears that the torque converter introduces.

How far have you got with the MAF SEFI setup on your EB?
have you got it running yet or are you still working on it?

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Old 04-22-2003, 05:45   #9 (permalink)
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No worries Jamie,

Yeah do it,make yourself a led lockup indicator first and run around watching when it locks.
On the MAF SEFI front I actually started the car last friday and it ran but Ive got a couple of setup parameters wrong so I'm trying to sort that now.
I got some friggin virus in BALI three weeks ago which I can't shake so that's the main thing stopping me.
Wiring wise I made a Y-harness that allows me to plug the 4.0 EEC in to control the gearbox and the 5.0 EEC to control the engine. The 5.0 MAF fits perfectly into the stock inlet hose!
I have cut absolutley no wires and have an extra harness that goes through the vac line hole in the firewall. This harness has 4 extra injector wires and the MAF wires and PWR GND.
I just have to get these 6 cyl Parameters right and it should be a goer.
Ive done some changes using the EEC-Tuner to the cal used in your chip on my EB.
Give me a call.

Pete.
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Old 07-04-2003, 04:28   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Locking Lockup Torque Converter - manual like performance?

Only one small problem with locking the torque converter clutch manually - if the trans kicks down it's gonna take a pounding. You could use a momentary switch to engage the lockup & hold a relay until another circuit detects a shift then break the circuit I guess. I personally think that it's not worthwhile - if it were they'd probably have done it at the factory....

At higher RPM there's very little slip anyway in a convertor - they are an economy feature for 100km/h cruising. My Subaru has a lock-up convertor. Over 140km/h it's locked unless there's going to be a shift or you give the throttle a fairly violent stab (to change the trans from normal to power mode - hold the gears to the redline etc - works well)

As for you XR9UTE - hope that's not galloping knob rott you caught in Bali!!
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