When is a torque converter not a torque converter?
Midwest Converters has been building and testing a”Hydraulic Converter” for over seven years, designed for insanely equipped high horse powered drag cars. We use the words Hydraulic and Converter only because we have not determined just what the device is to be called.
Midwest’ basic description is a “torque converter substitute” that connects or couples the engine to the transmission instead of a conventional torque converter or clutch. It does not contain a stator. It does have an impeller and a non-conventional turbine. It has a chamber that is clutch-less in design, yet totally locks up under the driver chosen pre-sets, using a time vs torque management system. Obviously the transmission has to be modified and a few electronics added. The entire weight of the Coupler is only 18 lbs and another non-rotating 4 lbs to the transmission. It also uses 1 quart less fluid, again helping to reduce rotating mass .
We have seen door slammers powered by over 2500 HP turbo systems drive these cars into the high five seconds in the 1/4 mile @ over 245 mph, but we cannot seem to nail the torque management systems settings from coming in to quickly. On most attempts the tires break loose to easily by the 33o ft mark or beyond making recovery futile. Kind of like a Funny car with the clutch coming all in too soon. The beauty of this “converter” or “Coupler” is there are no clutches to wear out, no internals to fail or component to replace. It also runs very cool compared to a torque converter equipped car.
Currently we need to use a Midwest produced GEN III™ steel input shaft of 1.250 diameter with 38 splines. Continue to watch us perfect this Coupler as we install one in our “Project 53” using a Midwest built SuperGlide transmission. It may just add conventional torque converters to the list of Disco and the Dinosaurs.