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Old 12-23-2007, 09:40 PM
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Stall Converter

I really know nothing about automatic transmissions, but I'm trying to learn. One thing I don't get is how stall converter speed effects driveablility and performance. I'm pretty clueless; can anybody explain in easy terms how they work and how they make the car perform? Thanks!

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonRunaas
I really know nothing about automatic transmissions, but I'm trying to learn. One thing I don't get is how stall converter speed effects driveablility and performance. I'm pretty clueless; can anybody explain in easy terms how they work and how they make the car perform? Thanks!
If you have a 3000 stall you can hold the brake and rev it to about 2800 depending on your hp it can be a little deferent.And if you go to big for the street you will be riding and the stall point.Not sure how to explain it any better.Maybe someone out there can help me to explain it better.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:12 PM
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High stall converters work in allowing your engine to take off at a RPM point closer to your engines torque peak, making the car quicker.
In terms of driveability, a large converter when driven on the street will often be in a state of slip (not fully engaged... in general terms like a slipping clutch). This is both good and bad. It will put greater heat into your auto and it will chew through more petrol. However, it also will allow you to run more compression/timing/cam through the fact that it is not fully loading up the motor.
The converter stall needs to be considered in relation to engine characteristics, diff ratio, car weight, intended use etc...
I run a 4000 converter on the street and have no problems with it, however everyone is different. Best to deal with a good manufacturer that wants to know the specifics of your combo before selling you a converter.
..ie, don't just go for a B&M 2500 converter. Depending on your combo, this converter may stall at a higher or lower stall speed than advertised.
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Old 12-24-2007, 06:55 AM
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Torque Converters Explained...
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for the great answers guys! That has really helped. I still have a few questions, though. Does stall speed effect lockup in a lockup converter? As in, if I wanted my converter to lock up while cruising on the highway, would that limit my stall speed choices?
My second question is: how does stall speed effect other real world aspects of the car's performance? Does it only help from a standing stop, or if I'm trying to get the heck out of the way of somebody who doesn't see me in a parking lot, will my rolling acceleration be effected as well?
I read an article where they changed converters in an Impala SS (about the same weight as my 78) and improved ETs, but I noticed that they went through the traps at a slower top speed than with the stock converter. Obviously they improved their off the line acceleration, but why the drop in top speed?
Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the info!
(btw, here is the link to the article: http://www.gmhightechperformance.com...all/index.html
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:28 AM
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Nobody knows why top speed dropped, or how higher stalls effect roll on power, etc?
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonRunaas
Thanks for the great answers guys! That has really helped. I still have a few questions, though. Does stall speed effect lockup in a lockup converter? As in, if I wanted my converter to lock up while cruising on the highway, would that limit my stall speed choices?
My second question is: how does stall speed effect other real world aspects of the car's performance? Does it only help from a standing stop, or if I'm trying to get the heck out of the way of somebody who doesn't see me in a parking lot, will my rolling acceleration be effected as well?
I read an article where they changed converters in an Impala SS (about the same weight as my 78) and improved ETs, but I noticed that they went through the traps at a slower top speed than with the stock converter. Obviously they improved their off the line acceleration, but why the drop in top speed?
Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the info!
(btw, here is the link to the article: http://www.gmhightechperformance.com...all/index.html
Jon, the basic principal of a higher stall speed is to allow a more slippage at low speed to get the car up in its power band faster. The trade off is that there is a little more slippage at the top end too, practically. A lock-up can overcome that at cruise speed, but most higher stall converters are not lock-ups.

There are a lot of factors affecting the trade-off between ET and trap speed -- tire grip, tire size, engine and chassis tuning, rear-end ratios, on and on.

The article you reference makes a key point -- the high stall converter and higher launch RPM actually gave the car more power than it could handle, with wheelspin off the line. The money for the converter is wasted without the chassis and/or tires to transfer it to the ground.

For most street use, you don't want that converter stall speed too high, it affects your cruising and round town driveability (most cars spend a lot of time around 2000 RPM, for example, so a 2000 -2500 stall is going to be annoying). However, if the car is primarily for strip use with a little bit of street and show, you may be willing to tolerate it.

However, your stock converter may be stalling at 1000 rpm, so a 1500-1800 stall may give a performance improvement with acceptable driveability for a cruiser.

There are a lot of options in this area depending on your car, intended use, budget, etc., so reading and asking questions is better than spending money right away.

Do you have an intended vehicle or application in mind, or are you just generally curious?
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:37 PM
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hi stall will kill your driveablility. these days you get great torque pull from the trans' gear multiplucation. that is added from overdrive.

your downshifts wont happen right, to kick into passing gear. like rear gear, you want to figure out which ratio's and stall will work together to make it drive right.


i think my buddy used a 1900rpm, with 3.08 gears, 27" tire, th350, 350" 78' lesebre. it still downshifted correctly. he had to use a little bit of brake to get the tires spinning good.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:11 PM
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I'm planning a tranny swap for my 78 Impala Coupe. Though I want a T56 manual, budget won't allow it, so I've decided on a 700R4 with lockup. The car will be a daily driver but I want it to have some get up (planning on swapping in some 3:42 gears also; take advantage of the O/D). It will get a lot of highway use, some use pulling a small trailer, and then just general fun/screwing around. When my current set of tires wears out I'm planning on going with some Impala SS sized 255/50R17 tires for it.
My 305 runs well, so the only changes I'm planning on for the moment is a q-jet and performer intake and remove some of the more obnoxious emissions equipment (I love living in a state with no smog testing). When my 305 gives up the ghost I'm going to rebuild a 350 I have in the garage with edelbrock performer cam and intake and stock vortec heads...but that will be a few years down the road.
I'm trying to figure out what bits and pieces I need to get to have a quick, fun, economical car. My goal is to match the highway mileage of my current stock 2bbl 305 while increasing performance to something a little less pathetic
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:38 PM
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Sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do to start. A 4 speed auto lockup with those rear gears will give you some pep without huge power or poor driveability. If you have the ability to spec a converter without huge expense, for this combination I would be looking at a moderate stall speed, maybe 1500 rpm. If it was more of a street/strip combo I would go a little higher.

A lot of people run autos instead of sticks now, the autos are better performers and more durable than they used to be.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:00 PM
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The added performance is only part of why I want a manual, I just love to shift by myself. It is my experience that it is easy to drive slow with an auto tranny, and easy to drive fast, but not easy to drive moderately fast. I like having total control over where I want to drive in the powerband... but then again I was raised on sports cars and this is my first time with a big old V8 project car (though I've had a couple beater daily drivers). Maybe having a lot of torque and a flat powerband will make it less of an issue. Plus I only have experience with totally stock transmissions, maybe a good auto with a matched torque converter and shift kit would give me the control I desire. I also like the ability to easily engine brake while in the mountains on or steep river roads.
So I guess I'm just one of those weird people who just plain loves manual transmissions, even if they aren't really "better" anymore. But when I realized that I can do the entire 700R4 swap for what I would have in the core T56 tranny alone, I decided it wasn't worth it at this point in my life. Guess I'll just have to add a line item to my budget labeled "Stick shifts are better" and just start saving!
Thanks so much for all the great info, everybody, you really cleared stuff up for me and helped me to crystalize plans for this project. I appreciate it a lot!
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