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Discussion Starter #1
I know enough about automatic transmissions to be dangerous. Maybe not even that much.

I have a few questions.

1) Is the oil in the torque converter shared with the oil in the rest of the transmission ? If so, what is the route of the oil, ie how does it get to and from the torque converter ?

2) Is the bellhousing around a torque converter dry or wet ? Ie is it sealed to the engine and does oil slosh around in it or is the oil in the torque converter contained all within it ?

3) How does the signal get to the electric lockup clutch in the torque converter ? Is there a slip ring ? Does something actuate it from outside ?

4) Does the torque converter attach to the input shaft of the transmission via splines on the input shaft like a clutch attaches to a manual transmission ?

5) Why do engines with automatics use flex plates rather than flywheels ?

6) Why don't torque converter lock up clutches slip like regular manual transmission clutches ?
 

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1) Is the oil in the torque converter shared with the oil in the rest of the transmission ? If so, what is the route of the oil, ie how does it get to and from the torque converter ?
The ATF is sent from the valve body through a hollow input shaft into the torque converter. Another passage in the input shaft returns the fluid to the transmission.
2) Is the bellhousing around a torque converter dry or wet ? Ie is it sealed to the engine and does oil slosh around in it or is the oil in the torque converter contained all within it ?
It's dry until a seal leaks. :ford:
3) How does the signal get to the electric lockup clutch in the torque converter ? Is there a slip ring ? Does something actuate it from outside ?
There are no electronics in the torque converter. The electronics are inside the transmission. The solenoid and valves in the valve body control the fluid flow to and from the torque converter to apply and release the lockup.
4) Does the torque converter attach to the input shaft of the transmission via splines on the input shaft like a clutch attaches to a manual transmission ?
Yes it does.
5) Why do engines with automatics use flex plates rather than flywheels ?
Because the torque converter grows at higher RPM. If there was a flywheel it would apply a lot of thrust to the engine crankshaft and quickly destroy the thrust bearing. The flex plate flexes to absorb the change in size of the torque converter.
6) Why don't torque converter lock up clutches slip like regular manual transmission clutches ?
I don't understand this question. If the clutch in a manual slips it's failed and needs to be replaced. The same thing applies to a torque converter clutch.
 

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me2 ,,,, Mark typically makes all His answers up

We should wait for confirmation
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.LOL
 

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That's generally my policy...who would know the difference? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You just never know who hangs out on these sites. Thanks for the replies, Mark.

I still don't understand how the converter locks up. What controls it ?

My questions in the first post were just the tip of the iceberg. I'm frustrated with the transmission options in modern diesel trucks.

Can you think of any way to put a torque converter in front of a T56 or its derivatives ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremec_TR-6060_transmission

Thanks
 

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The computer controlling the transmission locks the torque converter. It uses inputs such as vehicle speed, engine speed, pedal position, engine temperature, transmission temperature, and a few others that I probably forgot. There are many algorithms that take that data and determine if it is time to lock.

Once that decision is made the computer provides a ground for the lockup solenoid inside the transmission. Hydraulic pressure now passes through the solenoid and moves a valve in the valve body. This changes the pressures going to the torque converter. There is a clutch inside the converter. When the pressures are changed to make it lock there is more pressure on the apply side of the clutch piston which forces the two halves of the clutch together.

I could put a torque converter in front of a manual transmission. How much money do you have to spend? If you want to make this an operational unit it's going to get expensive. I mean REALLY expensive.

To be able to shift it you will need a computer to control things. You will need to control the throttle and engine speed to be able to shift it. You won't be able to control speed fine enough to be able to disengage and reengage the gears. It will take a feedback computer system that can control engine speed AND move the shifter for you. A development program that could make a functional prototype, not a production ready version, should not be more than 1/4 to 1/2 of a million dollars.

You want to just cobble one together in the backyard? I'll bet it will never work, but you should be able to get this done for no more than $20k. And that wouldn't include any type of lockup, so it will be about 10% less efficient than a manual trans.

This demonstrates that ANYTHING is possible given enough time and money. The question to ask at the start is why would anyone want to do this? What advantage would this have over a manual transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How would you do it mechanically ? I'll handle the electronics and controls. And yes, I'll need to be able to lock the TC.

Why ?

Because I'm tired of reading about slipping clutches in autos when used with a high torque (read non stock) diesel engine. I'm tired of reading about guys sending off their transmission, spending $4K and then having to send it back a couple years later.

I'm actually a manual transmission man at heart, but

1) don't want to cut the floor in my pristine 08 King Ranch

2) can't find a decent (size, price, transfer case mounting...) manual transmission to sit behind a 900 ftlb Cummins 6.7 that will do a lot of towing.

3) can't find a manual transmission with the right ratios, ie 1.33, 1.0, 0.8, 0.64. as the top gears. The TR6060 has about those gears and its rated for 600 ftlbs (of gasoline) torque, but it doesn't have a low gear for starting a load.

Have you ever thought of automating a ZF6 ? Small air cylinders to push the shift rails, an air actuated clutch (in addition to the clutch pedal for starting out) and some computer controls to make everything work ?????

Can you tell me if the ZF6 behind the 6.4 is different from a pre 6.4 ZF6, other than the obvious things, ie bellhousing ?
 

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The way to do it is to fabricate the front part of an automatic transmission onto the manual trans. You'll need to have the pump and everything in front of it. I'll bet I can get this done for not much more than the truck cost brand new.

What you are going to end up with is a transmission that captures the worst parts of both an automatic and manual transmission into one.

Since the torque converter will multiply engine torque by about 2:1, you'll need a transmission that's rated for 1800 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions used in class 8 (semis) trucks are what you need to be looking at. Something like the TR6060 or any ZF6 will grenade the first time you get more than 1/2 throttle with a torque converter in front of them.

I've never thought about automating the ZF6. The technology to do that is available. This is a MUCH better path than attempting to install a torque converter in front of a manual transmission.

I don't know if there are any differences between an earlier and later ZF6. Not my area of expertise.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've never thought about automating the ZF6. The technology to do that is available. This is a MUCH better path than attempting to install a torque converter in front of a manual transmission.
I'm interested in hearing anything you have to say.

I was thinking of 4 small dual acting air cylinders with springs to return to center could shift all 4 shift rods. I'll have a compressor on the truck for air suspension anyway. Does away with the bulky and complex XY box used on road rangers.

I'm not sure there is room under the cab for the cylinders. Might have to connect them via 4 push-pull cables.

I was going to use a hydraulic solenoid to tie the power steering pump into the clutch slave cylinder so that either the clutch pedal or a micro controller could run the clutch. I haven't checked on the pressure in the slave cylinder circuit or what stops the slave cylinder travel.

And a micro controller and controls in the cab, of course.

My main motivation for doing this is to not have to cut a hole in the floor of my King Ranch. I actually like manually shifting my ZF6. Maybe I should just get over it and cut it.
 
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