Stan Poff - CHP Insider

Stan Poff Of TCI Shares His Insight On Transmission And Torque Converter Technology

Stephen Kim May 9, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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Testing
"TCI Automotive's method of testing transmissions is a three-step process. First we check the valvebodies by subjecting them to a 200-plus-psi hydraulic test to make sure they operate as designed. Next we use a transmission hydraulic tester. It bolts onto the transmission in place of the valvebody, and the transmission is then subjected to fluid-line pressure to ensure it seals properly in all gears. Finally, the valvebody is bolted onto the transmission and the entire transmission assembly is tested on our new ATS Electronic Dynamometer. The dyno utilizes a 40hp electric motor and a software program written specifically for each type of transmission we manufacture. The dyno measures the horsepower and torque going into and coming out of the transmission in each gear to make sure they're within an acceptable range."

Install TipsSince improper installation procedures can make expensive new hardware go kaput, here are some tips on how to avoid them. "The most common mistake we see is not flushing the transmission fluid out of the factory radiator cooler or an aftermarket cooler before installing a new transmission or converter," explains Stan. He also suggests thoroughly flushing out the torque converter when installing a new transmission. This prevents contamination that can lead to rapid parts failure. Furthermore, Stan recommends setting the converter-to-flexplate spacing at 11/48 inch. "With all the variances in engine blocks and transmission cases, this measurement may not be perfect for every application, but it will get you in the ballpark."

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Converter Selection
There's more to choosing the right torque converter than stall speed and multiplication ratio. The entire vehicle package needs to be taken into account. "In order to recommend the correct converter for your application, we need to know vehicle weight, engine displacement, cam specs, carburetor size, cylinder head and intake manifold specs, rearend gearing, tire size, and whether or not you're running a power adder," says Stan. "Dyno figures are always a plus, but the key is providing us with thorough information so we can make the proper recommendation."

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Converter Coatings
"Black has always been the best color to dissipate heat out of an engine or transmission, but it was hard to identify TCI converters from those of our competitors, since they also painted their units black. We tested many different colors to try to find something that dissipated heat as well as black, which would distinguish our product line from the rest. Eventually, we ran upon a coating that is gunmetal gray, with metal particles mixed in it. It proved to be better than any of the blacks we tested by running 10 degrees cooler and dissipating heat more quickly. Now called HDT coating, it is applied in a different environment from a typical paint booth, but it was well worth the investment."

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