Torque Converter Tech Tips
- Subject: Formation of TCRA technical committee
- Essential Reading: Rebuilder, Shop Owner, Center Manager, Diagnostician
- Author: Ed Lee
If you read this column regularly, you have likely noticed that most torque-converter issues don’t rear their ugly heads in only one shop. If you have seen a problem in yours, it is likely that someone else has seen or will see it in theirs.
You also have likely noticed that many of the suggestions and solutions offered in this column do not originate from a single source but are the result of collective research and effort. Those who read and contribute regularly to this column understand the importance of this effort and are aware that it can greatly affect the success of our individual shops and our industry.
The Torque Converter Rebuilders Association (TCRA) recently formed a technical committee to address the technical needs of torque-converter rebuilders and funnel technical information to its members. This information will be presented on the TCRA Web site and in the TCRA newsletter, among other publications.
The technical committee’s current focus is on the overheating-converter problem plaguing the four- and five-speed Acuras and Hondas. The committee is working with five or six shops across the country to get at the root cause of this issue. Countless road-test miles have been logged with flow meters installed in cooler lines and pyrometers (temperature gauges) recording converter temperatures. Recording the changes in the flow rates and temperatures following repair attempts has been very beneficial in determining which fixes are working and which are not. One shop even bought an Odyssey as a test vehicle, and another shop is conducting dyno testing to help zero in on the problem. Other issues that have been brought to the committee include 4R70W/4R75W front-seal leaks, numerous bearing failures and some TCC-shudder problems.
The TCRA technical committee presently draws input from only a very small segment of the torque-converter rebuilding industry and recognizes the need for expanded domestic and international input. Rebuilders in other parts of the globe are experiencing problems caused by broader temperature extremes and the effect of different engine configurations. The European countries, for example, use more diesel-powered vehicles and are experiencing problems that will never be seen in the United States. The same goes for the heat of Saudi Arabia and the cold of the Tundra.
The present chairperson for the TCRA technical committee is Larry St. Amand from Florida. The committee also includes familiar names from the industry such as Dick Lewis, Don Randolph, Mike Souza, Dave Roe, Ed Lee, Lowell Caltrell and Chris Horbach. Jeff Stuck, TCRA president, and Len Wack, executive director, also sit in on the committee meetings. Len Wack is the primary contact person for the committee, and you can reach him by telephone at 973-293-8925 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Anyone with input on technical issues or who is interested in participating in future testing may contact any committee member for more information. Collectively evaluating the torque-converter problems and solutions can only benefit the entire industry.
Ed Lee is a Sonnax Technical Specialist who writes on issues of interest to torque-converter rebuilders. Sonnax supports the Torque Converter Rebuilders Association. Learn more about the group at www.tcraonline.com.