Question:

what makes a torque converter fail?

by Guest11415123  |  9 years, 9 month(s) ago

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i was driving happily, then the enginw just reved-up and no power. i pulled of the road and couldebt get going again. so the car (nissan bluebird CA18 engine) was towed to the garage. Am told i need to change torque converter. cant it be repaired?
dave

 Tags: converter, FAIL, makes, torque

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2 ANSWERS

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  2. Ali Abdullah
    Hi, As with a basic fluid coupling the theoretical torque capacity of a converter is proportional to r\,N^5D^2, where r is the mass density of the fluid, N is the impeller speed (rpm), and D is the diameter. In practice, the maximum torque capacity is limited by the mechanical characteristics of the materials used in the converter's components, as well as the ability of the converter to dissipate heat (often through water cooling). As an aid to strength, reliability and economy of production, most automotive converter housings are of welded construction. Industrial units are usually assembled with bolted housings, a design feature that eases the process of inspection and repair, but adds to the cost of producing the converter. In high performance, racing and heavy duty commercial converters, the pump and turbine may be further strengthened by a process called furnace brazing, in which molten brass is forced into seams and joints to produce a stronger bond between the blades, hubs and annular ring(s). Because the furnace brazing process creates a small radius at the point where a blade meets with a hub or annular ring, a theoretical decrease in turbulence will occur, resulting in a corresponding increase in efficiency. Overloading a converter can result in several failure modes, some of them potentially dangerous in nature: * Overheating: Continuous high levels of slippage may overwhelm the converter's ability to dissipate heat, resulting in damage to the elastomer seals that retain fluid inside the converter. This will cause the unit to leak and eventually stop functioning due to lack of fluid. * Stator clutch seizure: The inner and outer elements of the one-way stator clutch become permanently locked together, thus preventing the stator from rotating during the coupling phase. Most often, seizure is precipitated by severe loading and subsequent distortion of the clutch components. Eventually, galling of the mating parts occurs, which triggers seizure. A converter with a seized stator clutch will exhibit very poor efficiency during the coupling phase, and in a motor vehicle, fuel consumption will drastically increase. Converter overheating under such conditions will usually occur if continued operation is attempted. * Stator clutch breakage: A very abrupt application of power can cause shock loading to the stator clutch, resulting in breakage. When this occurs, the stator will freely counter-rotate the pump and almost no power transmission will take place. In an automobile, the effect is similar to a severe case of transmission slippage and the vehicle is all but incapable of moving under its own power. * Blade deformation and fragmentation: Due to abrupt loading or excessive heating of the converter, the pump and/or turbine blades may be deformed, separated from their hubs and/or annular rings, or may break up into fragments. At the least, such a failure will result in a significant loss of efficiency, producing symptoms similar (although less pronounced) to those accompanying stator clutch failure. In extreme cases, catastrophic destruction of the converter will occur. * Ballooning: Prolonged operation under excessive loading, very abrupt application of load, or operating a torque converter at very high RPM may cause the shape of the converter's housing to be physically distorted due to internal pressure and/or the stress imposed by centrifugal force. Under extreme conditions, ballooning will cause the converter housing to rupture, resulting in the violent dispersal of hot oil and metal fragments over a wide area. Thanks

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