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.