ATF Torque Converter Installation Guide

Posted by Jason Gatlin on 7/5/2018 to Tech Help
ATF Torque Converter Installation Guide
The installation of your ATF Torque Converter is not always as easy as it looks. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you read these instructions and follow them carefully so that you avoid any unnecessary problems due to improper installation.

STEP 1: Once you have removed the converter from the box, take a minute to make sure that it is the correct converter for your application. To do this, hold the converter onto the flex plate to check that the converter pilot fits properly into the rear of the crank shaft with no excess clearance. Check to make sure that the bolt holes or the studs on the converter line up with the bolt pattern of the flex plate.

STEP 2: After you check the converter for fit to the flex plate and crankshaft, check the flex plate itself for cracks or excessive wear on the starter teeth. It would be a shame to go through the trouble of removing the transmission and not replacing the flex plate if necessary. We strongly recommend that you replace your stock flex plate with a heavy duty flex plate. Also, check your starter bendix gear, especially if the flex plate is found damaged.

STEP 3: When installing the converter into the transmission, pour approx. 1 quart of transmission fluid into the converter before installing it into the transmission. Using light grease, coat the transmission seal, front pump bushing and converter neck or hub.

STEP 4: Install converter into transmission, carefully trying not to damage the front seal and bushing. Once you are into the pump, support the pilot of the converter with one hand to center the converter and rotate the front mounting pads in a clockwise direction. This will allow the splines and hub slots or (flats in case of Ford type) to engage into the transmission. At this point, use a light lithium grease or equivalent and grease the torque converter pilot, and crank shaft pilot hole so that the converter slides into the crank without binding up.

STEP 5: Before installing the transmission onto the engine, make sure that the engine dowel pins are free of rust, and that the dowel holes in the transmission are free of dirt or corrosion. Grease both lightly to avoid any type of bind up.

NOTE: If you are using a mid-plate, make sure that your dowel pins are long enough. In case the of a .090” mid-plate, you can get away with using the stock engine dowel pins. Anything thicker than a .090” mid-plate, purchase and install longer dowel pins to accommodate.

STEP 6: Position the transmission onto the engine dowel pins and install transmission mounting bolts. The transmission housing should contact the engine block squarely. If it does not, LOOK FOR THE REASON. DO NOT attempt to draw the transmission against the block with the bolts. The converter is probably not all of the way into the transmission.

NOTE: The Torque Converter sits about 1” Inch into the Transmission when fully Installed (Cummins Diesels with 47RE & 48RE Torque Converters will stick out). It does not sit flush with the Face of the Transmission!                                                                                                
Do Not Install Transmission onto the engine until the Torque Converter is all the way in.

STEP 7: After the transmission housing bolts are tight, check to see if the converter can turn freely (except Ford applications with studs). Now it’s time to measure to gap between the Converter and Flex plate. Push the converter into the transmission as far as possible. Using a ruler or scale, check the distance between the converter pad and the flex plate. This gap needs to be a minimum .150” to a max of .180”. If this gap is bigger than.180” use flat washers or spacers to remove any additional space between the converter and flex plate.

NOTE: In case of Ford applications with studs, measure from end of stud to flex plate. Tighten converter nuts and measure again. The difference should be within the tolerance.

STEP 8: Finish the installation of the transmission. When finished, pour 4 quarts of transmission fluid into the transmission. Start the engine and immediately add two more quarts of transmission fluid. Continue adding transmission fluid until it is properly filled.

We recommend changing the Transmission Fluid after 20-30 runs in full race applications.

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