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Old 07-30-2011, 11:25 PM
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TCI Transmissions - worth a second chance?

I just got my custom made torque converter in today from TCI transmissions - a 3400 stall "Super streetfighter" one that was "custom" because I am running a 1/4" mid plate in the car. Turns out the one they sent is probably for a 'glide and not the turbo 400 I am running. I talked to 2 different techs during the ordering process, one who insisted that I measure the bolt hole spacing in the flywheel despite me telling him that it was drilled for both patterns, and the second one who was repeating the order and said "Turbo 350" and then said that 400's were the same when I corrected him - so I know I never uttered the word "Glide".

It's not even close to fitting - it engages the transmission with 1 3/32" depth to the pad (supposed to be 1 3/16") and the pads are about 3/4" away from the flywheel. It's small too..... Thickness-wise.

So here's the overall question: I go perusing the 'net and find horror story after horror story about these folks. I basically went with them because they were a lot less expensive that other places due to the mid plate customization. I understand that mistakes happen, but this is a monumental time waster that's keeping me off the street on the tail end of a 5 year build. Has anyone had a good experience with them? Bad? If I am just another in a long line of advertising victims, it'd be nice to find out.

I have a 3000 stall that will work for now, the problem with it is the front "snout" doesn't engage the crank (about 1/8" air gap)... can I just tig the right sized od spacer on there or will that screw up the balance or the converter internals?

Of course TCI is closed on weekends... so I am left to try and guess at what they are going to do to remedy the situation... if it's another 3 and 1/2 week wait for a part that comes with no part#, paperwork, invoice or receipt, and a blank QC checklist (but it had stickers!!!!) I might just have to pass.

Thanks!

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Old 07-30-2011, 11:47 PM
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Have you had the backup converter installed on this vehicle before? Wondering if the flex plate is installed backwards.
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion... nope, it's in there correctly. The new converter appears to be spaced correctly as far as the hub snout to pad ratio... it's just way too far away from the flywheel to be useful. I have the spacer washers to make the old converter work, it just doesn't engage the crank (with the center snout) and I know better to try and run it like that.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:35 PM
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Hmm, this sounds like a Ford thing that was brought up recently in another thread, that's the only application I'm aware of that uses a crank bushing with a torque converter. Maybe some Ford guys can chime in.

You mention spacers being needed for your backup converter to work, is it a TCI as well?
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:26 PM
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The old converter is a hand me down 3k stall Boss Hoss (?) from my brother. It will work on a temporary basis, but I need the anti-ballooning plates (trans brake) and the slightly higher stall to work well in my car. Apparently TCI sells the snout (Hub) extender for $5. They admitted that they just sent me an off the shelf unit instead of making it for a motor plate equipped car like I paid for. After I asked for an RA# to send it back the gentleman on the phone he said that he was going to check into it and see what he could do...

I am still waiting for that call.

You'd think in this economy people would be trying harder, or at least making an attempt at being decent after screwing up like that. Turns out it's the right converter, just welded up completely wrong for what I need. I'll give them a chance to do the right thing, but if I have to buy a $5 piece that will at least get me on the road while I look for a converter company that actually wants customers, then so be it.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:48 AM
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If I had the money, Id ask for a return, pay the stocking fee, and get a Hughes or the like.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:50 AM
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If I were you, I'd return that thing and give the folks at JW Performance Transmissions a call, (Makers of the Wheel, the Ultra Bell, etc.) I've used their converters a lot over the years, and they are great folks to deal with. www.racewithjw.com ,
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:10 PM
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JW makes a good converter and my TCI 3500 blower converter has been good as well (although I think it is a little loose). Maybe call Lenny at Ultimate.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:14 PM
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Thanks so much - I'll look into the other places if this thing isn't spot on. After I called in today, they informed me that the process was started yesterday with a "rush" put on it. We'll see - they are doing what I was expecting... just making it right.

I am really hoping that it's not too loose - after all the information I had to provide (cam size, compression, gear ratio, weight, "inny" or "outie", sock color, favorite color, etc) I really expect this thing to be right.

So -1 for the screwup, but +1 for getting me another one and no return freight charges.

I should've asked here to see what the recommendations were first.... I'll certainly remember that next time. Appreciate the input/advice/help.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:33 AM
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I see TCI is up to their usual Parts & Service.
I don't deal with them anymore.
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