The biggest secret about racing torque converters revealed

The biggest secret about racing torque converters revealed

BTE and every other racing torque converter builder in the world have a secret.  From the 4,000 horsepower ADRL Pro Mods to 10,000 RPM competition eliminator 6 cylinder dragsters or even the Baja endurance trucks, the torque converters selected for performance applications are derived directly from the large automaker's OEM designs.

There are no clean slate design torque converters in the most popular forms of auto racing.  

Every one of the automatic transmission powered racing cars use updated designs that were originally designed for cars like this:

Yes, your grandmother's Cadillac is just one vehicle of many that had a torque converter designed by General Motors  for smooth operation and fuel efficiency.  Yet its core design is behind most Pro Mods (even the expensive 100% billet aluminum converters are based originally on such designs).  Some other examples of torque converters include:

-The 8" torque converter popular for all kinds of sportsman and class racing was originally created for Opel passenger cars in Europe

- Your 3500 stall lock up converter behind your LS motor inside a 4L65E transmission?  That was originally a front wheel drive torque converter engineered for 4 cylinder cars

- 9.5" converters for nitrous and turbo cars that ride on radials started life inside of Nissan Pathfinder SUvs

Why do we as an industry rely on these OEM designs?  The R&D budget required for new torque converter designs that would suit a wide variety of race cars is simply too high for the aftermarket.  Racing torque converter companies do their real magic by finding these passenger car and truck torque converters and adapting them to high performance applications with parts and components that increase durability to live behind much more powerful engines or modify the stall speed and torque multiplication.  In this way, we actually are all on a very similar playing field - internal components for most of the leading companies are all comparable and interchangeable.  

Why should you choose a company over another?  With parts and core components being mostly equal, the answer is service and experience.  BTE has been building torque converters since the 1960s, and as were a company made up of racers ourselves, we feel we are among the best when choosing and "speccing" a torque converter for a race car.  Contact us at 662-851-3213 or fill our our converter application sheet for a professional torque converter selection.

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at 10:03 AM