How a Torque Converter Works

Torque converters are everywhere. All over the world, in different makes and models of vehicles, the torque converter has changed the way we live our lives. For an automatic transmission to work, it requires a torque converter. A torque converter replaces the traditional flywheel and clutch plate. That means that about 90% of all vehicles have a torque converter. Like most revolutionary inventions — TV, refrigerator, microwave — the majority of people have no clue how they work. Here is a simple guide to what a torque converter does, and how it does it.

Inside a torque converter there are 4 things: the pump, the turbine, the stator, and automatic transmission fluid.


Inside the torque converter there is a centrifugal pump, or impeller. Centrifugal pumps are used to change rotational kinetic (moving) energy to hydrodynamic (forced fluid) energy by transporting fluid through its turbines. These kinds of pumps are used commonly with water, petroleum and sewage. As the flywheel spins, fluid is flung to the outside of the converter by the engine torque. As the inner space is emptied it creates a vacuum that draws more transmission fluid to the center. 


The turbine is similar to the pump; it has an output shaft that connects to the transmission. When the impeller ejects the automatic transmission fluid, it is thrown against the outside of the turbine. Similar to a waterwheel, this causes the turbine to revolve. The more the engine turns, the more this process is repeated. Little by little, as the power of the engine increases, it is converted into power for the transmission. With the directional blade of the pump, the turbine has blades that change the direction of its rotation, and push the liquid back to the center.



There is a lot of force propelling the outermost edge of the impeller and the turbine. Because they are rotating in opposite directions, passing fluid between them would counteract what each one is doing. This would inevitably decrease the engine torque and waste power. This is where the stator comes in. The stator sits in the very center of the torque converter and acts as a buffer between them. It helps to change the direction of the fluid before it gets pummeled by blades going the opposite direction. This makes the transition between the rotating wheels smooth and seamless. The stator has a very unique job to perform. The stator is connected to the same shaft as the transmission. So, as the fluid hits it going the opposite direction, it has no choice but to change direction. This is very vital until the vehicle reaches about 40 miles per hour. At that speed, the pump and turbine are rotating at nearly the same speed. This causes the fluid to enter the pump in the same direction it was already going, essentially bypassing the stator.


The fluid is the key to making all of this work. Fluid has revolutionized the conversion of power in machinery. Just look at hydraulics. Automatic transmission fluid is thick and red. Without it, none of this would work.

Now you know a bit more about what is in your car. Share the knowledge, and for goodness’ sake, make sure you have enough transmission fluid.

Dragon Custom Torque Converters

Custom Torque converters can do wonders for any vehicle. They can take an ordinary car and make it extra ordinary. Gearheads know this, but they still have quite a wide range of choices: size, material, manufacturer, and the most influential, price. There are many differing opinions on the best torque converter, but data supports the custom torque converters from Precision Industries, specifically the Dragon converter.

The Dragon torque converter services foreign imported vehicles like Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. If you have one of these cars and need a converter, Precision is the place to go. They offer the best in custom torque converters. These converters have a multi-disc systems and custom single-disc lockup systems. They also have billet-made front covers. Like all the rest, the Dragon comes with a five-year unconditional warranty; that is great service. Precision ships products worldwide. Here is a bit more information about the features that are not specific to each car.


Multi-Disc Systems

There are advantages and disadvantages to the multi-disc system. These are friction discs that help lock the converter up. Because it has multiple discs, it will lock up more positively. Multi-disc systems are better used when the vehicle will be doing a substantial amount of work. The multi-disc system works best for large trucks that run 450 horsepower or more.

Single-Disc Systems

Single-disk converters are for vehicles that don’t receive a lot of stress, the kind of stress that trucks do with hauling and towing large amounts. They work well for everyday low horse powered driving cars. 

Forged Front Cover

Most front covers are made from stamped steel. Stamped steel, because of the way it’s made, can have problems with cracking and leaking. Precision, like its name, doesn’t stand for that kind of quality. Instead of buying premade stamped steel covers, they take time to make the front covers out of forged steel. They can forge the steel to the desired form and strength. This makes better and more precise products. Forged steel is capable of being stronger than stamped steel. The metal itself is forged to the initial shape of the part that it is to be used for so that the grain of the metal conforms to the shape of the cover. The only downside to forged steel made parts is the fact that they have to be completely machined, which takes more work, and by extension costs more for the consumer. However expensive they may become, forged front covers are superior to stamped or cast front covers for a many reasons. They can be made to have a greater amount of surface area for the clutch, and they have more uniform weight and thickness.

Precision Industries has custom-made Torque converters for almost every make of vehicle. The Dragon is simply the one for imported automobiles. Precision takes pride in doing things right, even if it costs more.

The Basics of Choosing the Optimal Torque Converter for Your Vehicle

The majority of drag racing and high performance vehicles are equipped with an automatic transmission, but with the addition of an aftermarket torque converter, the car owner can enjoy the peak level of performance from the vehicle. Choosing the best torque converter has a number of benefits for the vehicle and its performance including better speed and acceleration.

A torque converter is essentially a fluid coupler that allows power to be transferred from the engine to the transmission. With the use of a torque converter, the vehicle has the ability to idle without actually moving forward.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Higher Performance Torque Converters

When selecting a torque converter, the first factor to assess is the weight of a vehicle. In general, guidelines for selecting a torque converter specify that the heavier the vehicle, the higher the stall that is required.

The second consideration is the amount of torque produced by the vehicle’s engine. Bigger cubic engines, such as diesel engines generally create more torque than engines that have a smaller cubic size. Before selecting a torque converter, the RPM made by the motor at its torque should be examined. Larger cubic engines will generally make more torque at a lower level of RPM, as compared to smaller engines.

The final important factor to be considered in the selection of a torque converter is the use of the vehicle in which the converter will be in—for example, will the vehicle be used for drag racing, as a street car or for towing? Additionally, it’s wise to consider whether maximum performance or maximum mileage is most important with the use of the vehicle. Each of these considerations will play an important role in the torque converter that is chosen. With regard to torque converters, a one-size-fits-all mentality is not the best way to approach the decision, because vehicles have unique and specific requirements.

Additional Considerations

As well as the primary factors of engine size, vehicle weight and applications, there are other ways that vehicle owners can determine what torque converter is going to be most appropriate for their unique purposes.

The gear ratio also plays a pivotal role. The gear ratios of a vehicle are required in order to calculate output gear ratios, engine RPM and vehicle RPM.

Custom vs. Off-the-Shelf Converters

The best course of action when selecting a torque converter is to work with a professional manufacturer in order to ensure all calculations and specifications are properly addressed. Because of the specific nature of the design process required to ensure that a torque converter matches the needs of a vehicle and its applications, most people opt to have custom torque converters built, rather than choosing an off-the-shelf torque converter that may not provide the maximum level of performance.

Custom Torque Converters

Torque converters are all made to work. Just like anything else, if it’s made right and installed right, it will work just fine. That being said, they still don’t hold a candle to custom torque converters. Anything custom made comes at a price, but often times the benefits thoroughly outweigh the price. Out of all of the pros and cons, here are a few things that might help you decide what kind of system and parts work best of you.

Stock converters are generic. They do the job; they suffice, but they aren’t by any means the optimum or ideal part for your engine. The lifespan of these will of course differ from one vehicle to another. The Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord seem to have quite a track record for this, but eventually they wear out, too. When driving, the torque converter is under a lot of stress. Catching its failure is highly important if the rest of the transmission is to remain undamaged. It’s best to deal with it too early than too late. When the time comes that the stock torque converter needs to be replaced, a choice arises. You can: A. Buy another cheap torque converter, or B. Buy a custom torque converter and avoid trouble later.

Besides having better durability, it can add performance. Cars and trucks, specifically trucks because of their usage, can lack the desired performance. These problems can often times be fixed by a custom torque converter. In a normal vehicle the stall speed is preset, and not very negotiable. High or low may not be what you want. A custom torque converter allows a change in stall speed. Low stall speed is great for towing and hauling. It makes for lower RPM and better mileage. Meanwhile, a high stall converter has slip and more RPM, and by extension more heat. A custom torque converter also permits the back wheels to have more power. The more overall torque it has, the more power it has. A custom torque converter opens up a wide range of possibilities so that your truck can get more done than before.

Another advantage to a custom torque converter, over a generic one, is the clutch surface area. Typical clutches, and even those that come from some replacement companies, don’t have enough surface area. Only an expert analysis, followed by a custom-made part, can achieve a larger and better clutch. The other clutch assembly parts can also use improvement. Buying custom manufactured parts ensures that they were designed for your vehicle, and that they are tougher.

The only noticeable disadvantage is the price. Paying that extra amount can be painful, even when it’s helpful in the long run. Anyone thinking about getting a custom torque converter should always do a bit of studying up on the company they intend to get it from, that way they get exactly what they want, without errors and hassles.

The Truth About Vigilante Converters

In Tennessee we like three things: Music, shooting stuff, and performance cars! The question then becomes, “what gives the best performance?” There seems to be sizable debate on what brand and model is the best. Here is some information that should shed some light on the subject.

Torque converters in general are quite complex because of their nature, but also how they fit into an automatic transmission, which is in and of itself a mind-blowing advance in automotive technology. The vigilante converters seem to be the byproduct of a great deal of study and master of the torque conversion process. The first vigilante lockup converter was designed by Precision Industries in 1992. Instead of buying cast steel covers, which lead to weight problems and density problems, Precision took time to build front covers for this converters out of billet steel. The use of billet still allows them to manipulate the steel to their specifications, which results in more precise products from them. These front covers are superior to traditional front covers for a few reasons. They have a more uniform weight, but they also have a greater amount of surface area for the clutch. The clutch in turn has a lining that makes the lock-up both durable and efficient.

Vigilante is also known for having customized converter builds to fit the vehicle, and all the modifications that have been done to it. Stats aren’t always drawn up on all the brands and styles, many times because of all the additional variables, but pricing can usually tell the consumers something about the product, its durability, and its popularity. Vigilante has torque converter prices that are generally about 30% to 40% more than other brands. The fact that they are significantly more expensive, and yet quite popular, shows that they have something exceptional that the others don’t have. Something that makes consumers say, “It’s worth that much and more.”

Ultimately it comes down to quality and durability versus needs and finances. In most things related to tools and machines, the old principle, “You get what you pay for,” rings true. If there isn’t a great need for tough durability and longevity, having an expensive invincible part isn’t practical. Much of this decision depends on use. If a cheap torque converter goes out and needs to be replaced, quite often the price of one dependable one, in the long run, is less than buying two or even three replacements.

One of the greatest reasons for the Vigilante’s raised prices is the CNCmade billet cover. This is made from scratch by Precision Industries. It is something that other companies aren’t capable of doing. This cover has a manufactured cost of about $300 — talk about quality. With that extra $300 taken off, the Vigilante isn’t that much more expensive than its competitors. At that new price it still retains the qualities of the special turbine hub, special lock-up clutch and lining, and special impeller hub, which the competitors don’t have.

So, the truth about them is, it’s really a personal choice between quality and budgeting.

Why People Choose Precision Industries Again and Again for High Quality Torque Converters?

It can be seen again and again in the racing and performance markets that Precision Industries is the leader in high quality torque converters. There are several reasons why Precision Industries continues to be a leader in the torque converter industry.


Precision Industries has the experience to be able to offer the best products possible for your high performance vehicles. Whether you are modifying a diesel truck or a hot rod, we have what it takes to help you choose your converter wisely.


With our 5 year unconditional warranty, you can rest easy knowing that we will have your back now as well as down the road. Others may claim to offer a similar warranty, but it likely is not unconditional which is almost impossible to find in the aftermarket industry.

Custom Built

At Precision Industries, all of our high performance torque converters are built to order. This allows us to customize them to your needs. We are not in the business to crank out as many torque converters as possible each and every day. We focus on quality not quantity.

Give our office a call today to learn more about all of the different converters that we offer to car enthusiasts around the globe.


Tips When Installing A Torque Converter

As a car enthusiast you realize that installing a torque converter can greatly improve the performance of your car. Before you install one of these in your hot rod or high performance vehicle make sure to keep the following issues in mind. We understand that you are literally dying to install the new torque converter in your vehicle, but if done incorrectly you could be dealing with problems down the road.

Prepare The Crankshaft

When you are installing torque converters it is important to prepare the crankshaft for installation. This includes checking the crankshaft for abnormalities including burrs and a shaft that is not completely round.

Check The Flex Plate

You should also check the flex plate for cracks as well as teeth which have worn down significantly. All of these can result in a converter not performing as expected.

Prepare The Converter

When installing a torque converter it is recommended that you use about one quart of transmission fluid which should be poured into the converter prior to installation.

If you follow these simple steps you will reduce your converter problems significantly. For any other questions about the installation process, give the professionals at Precision Industries a call today.


How do Diesel Torque Converters Differ From Gasoline Models

While high performance torque converters can benefit both diesel and gasoline engines, they are much different based on the type of engine for the following reasons.

Diesel Torque Converters Must Be Optimized

Diesel torque converters must be made quite differently so that they can be tailored to the torque characteristics of a diesel engine. Diesel engines produce much more torque which makes torque converters very important when looking at ways to boost performance.

Lower Stall Speed

Because diesel engines often perform better at lower RPM’s when compared to gas engines, diesel torque converters typically have a much lower stall speed than their gasoline counterparts. Stall speed is a commonly misunderstood term in the high performance automotive industry, but is really just the point at which an automatic transmission actually shifts gears.

As you can see there are several differences between diesel torque converters and gasoline converters. If you are still unsure as to which torque converter will work best for your vehicle, contact Precision Industries today. Our talented staff will help you select the perfect torque converter for your individual needs.

Precision Industries Dyno Crucial in the Manufacturing of Torque Converters

The manufacturing of torque converters can be difficult and many companies claim that they are experts in this field when in fact they are producing an inferior product. Precision Industries has years of experience producing high quality torque converters and manufacturing a product that is superior to their competitors. One of the primary benefits of purchasing a torque converter through Precision Industries is due to their dynamometer which gives them a significant advantage over their competitors.

Precision Industries CNC Dept.

To be a leader in the manufacturing of torque converters, Precision Industries has made a huge investment in CNC machines so they do not have to depend on other outside sources for their torque converter parts. This allows them to design and make parts that are superior in quality and operation to anyone else in the torque converter industry. Precision Industries proprietary designs allow them to increase torque multiplication and lower slippage for every different torque converter they manufacture. These machines also allow Precision Industries to keep their parts cost to a minimum so the customer is not shocked by the price of the torque converters.

If you are a car enthusiast looking to install a high quality torque converter, contact the professionals at Precision Industries today. It is ok to shop around, but after talking with the professionals at Precision Industries there will be no reason to purchase from anyone else.

Tips When Comparing Torque Converter Manufacturers

Not all companies that build torque converters are the same. Some of them have only minimal working knowledge of how a torque converter works. There are several signs that are going to be great indicators of who is and isn’t a company you want to buy your torque converter from.

Racing and high performance: A company that actually knows something about torque converters will also know that there is a significant difference between a racing torque converter and a high performance torque converter. While a high performance torque converter may be periodically used for racing, it is not built to withstand constant high throttle, unlike racing ones.

Warranty: This one just takes a bit of common sense. If you have a short warranty, such as less than a year, don’t expect the converter to last any longer than that. When you meet with a company that has an unconditional warranty that lasts over four years, you know this has to be a quality product for them to stay in business.

Knowledge: When you are discussing torque converters with someone who knows what they are talking about, you will probably experience some element of confusion. While you may know a lot about cars in general, they should know the ins and outs of a torque converter and not only be able to baffle you with the details, but should also be able to explain why their high performance parts are perfect for knowledgeable car enthusiasts.