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1981 Torque Converter Lockup

 
Old 04-13-2019, 09:57 PM
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rwelchiv
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Default 1981 Torque Converter Lockup

Hi All,

New to the site! Looking forward to the collaboration! Need some help!

Sorry if this has been discussed - don't really see what I am looking for, but may have missed it. If so, would appreciate someone sending me the link!

1981 - I removed the ECM - Holley 4160 - Vacuum Dist. - but not sure what to do about the Torque Converter Lockup.

Can someone please explain to me what a torque converter lockup is, how it works, and why I need it. Still not sure what to do here since removing the ECM.

Thanks much!
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:17 PM
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Welcome to the site! Wealth of information here and always helpful.
I have done a couple of conversions as you have done, this kit is perfect and keeps the transmission alive and 4th gear functioning as intended. Very adjustable, and easy to install.
This will make the car shift properly as long as you have the kick down cable geometry set up properly on the carburetor. Many speed shops sell this kit.
Good luck and be sure to get the kick down cable properly set or you can burn up a transmission fairly quickly.
Other members will have other options and chime in, but this kit has been great for me and my customer's cars.
Welcome to the site!

Last edited by CMD1; 04-13-2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:36 PM
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All,

Just FYI, the transmission is the 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:45 AM
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7T1vette
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Yes it is....with Lockup.

Lockup feature is built into the converter. It is a hydraulic clutch which, when applied, connects the input side of the torque converter to the output side, so that the converter becomes a direct-drive device with no hydraulic losses. But, that clutch is not sturdy enough for much torque...maybe 200 ft-lbs...max. Overdo it and the clutch fails....or the converter fails.

Lockup is supposed to drop out (go back to hydraulic converter mode) when going up a hill or applying more than so much accelerator movement when in high gear. The ECM managed that so the lockup system would survive. Oh.. BTW....running that transmission without applying lockup is also not a good idea. When not using lockup, the converter generates more heat that expected and, if left that way for long highway runs, can fail the transmission. So, lockup NEEDS to be applied when called for; and it NEEDS to be dropped when significant acceleration is required. That means [for most folks] a lockup controller should be installed to correctly manage the lockup clutch.

That's what it is: that's what it does; that's how it works; and that's what it needs. What you decide to do will determine if your transmission will live--or die prematurely.

Last edited by 7T1vette; 04-14-2019 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:49 AM
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There is also a kit that is external that uses a pressure switch an a toggle switch so you can turn it on or off yourself. That is what I use. Lockup is definitely best to use especially if you do alot of highway driving. It helps keep the heat down in your transmission. Alot of back and forth discussions out there about how you will kill your transmission of you do not have your lockup hooked up.


The main thing is to make sure your TV cable is adjusted correctly or you will kill your transmission in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:16 AM
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rwelchiv
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7T1vette and scrappy76,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the most extensive explanation I've seen yet on what the lockup does and how it works.

I will ensure my TV cable is connected correctly and install an external kit.

Thanks again so much for taking the time, sincerely appreciated!
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rwelchiv View Post
7T1vette and scrappy76,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the most extensive explanation I've seen yet on what the lockup does and how it works.

I will ensure my TV cable is connected correctly and install an external kit.

Thanks again so much for taking the time, sincerely appreciated!
look on you tube, for monsters transmissions they also have video on the external lockup with toggle switch.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:11 PM
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The problem with an external switch is that no one remembers to flip it off in an 'emergency' situation (panic stop,. something in the road, etc). A controller will do that for you.

Not having it drop out can be a dangerous thing in some unusual circumstances. Let "Bubba" be Bubba and throw a toggle switch in there. Not for me....
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:33 PM
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rwelchiv
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Originally Posted by 7T1vette View Post
The problem with an external switch is that no one remembers to flip it off in an 'emergency' situation (panic stop,. something in the road, etc). A controller will do that for you.

Not having it drop out can be a dangerous thing in some unusual circumstances. Let "Bubba" be Bubba and throw a toggle switch in there. Not for me....
7T1vette - understood and agreed; doubtful I would remember to flip the switch when needed.

Hope you don't mind one last question, I could probably Google this but.....I was hoping not to have to bust into the tranny. Are you aware of an external controller that I can throw in my Vette to "mimic" the ECM in this case.

Hope I'm asking the right question...

Thanks again for your time!
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:08 PM
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Transmissions with lockup clutch have electrical connectors that are accesses on the exterior of the main case. All aftermarket lockup control modules are external to the transmission and use that connector to link with the transmission.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:20 PM
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Got it. Was hoping that was the case. Thanks again 7T1vette!
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