Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am in the market for a torque converter for a 78 C4 automatic, a case filled unit. It is going into a 68 Fairlane with the following combo.

The new engine is a 302 with 9:2:1 compression, GT-40p heads, a 204/214 (@ .050) duration .448/.472 lift cam, Hi-Po exhaust manifolds with 2 1/4 pipes and turbo mufflers, Edelbrock Performer intake with a 600 cfm carb. The car is a daily driver, 99% cruising usage. The 8-inch rear has 2.79 gearing which will have to stay for highway driving (I do a lot of interstate driving at 75+ mph). About 26 inch tires.

Based on research and discussions with converter manufacturers, I am shooting for a converter with about 2000-2200 rpm stall speed. TCI recommended their Saturday Night Special; however their reputation seems somewhat less than stellar. I am also considering a Hughes Street Rod Converter or the low-end Broader Performance converter. I have also looked at the Summit House brand converter and the ACC Boss Hog converter, but these, like TCI, seem to have hit and miss reputations. I know a lot of folks recommend a custom built unit ($500-ish), but this seems like overkill for my application. My budget is in the $250-300 range.

What do you guys recommend? Thoughts, recommendations, and experiences on mild converter selection are much appreciated.

Thanks,

Nate
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
your rear gear ratio ... stay with a stock oem tq/conv
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
443 Posts
Ditto what Dan said. With those high gears and a loose converter, you would be slipping the clutches too much and causing heating, I would think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. I've considered getting a rebuild stock unit. But if I'm going to spend the money, I would like to get a mild aftermarket unit as these usually have superior torque multiplication over a stock unit (2.5 versus 2.0 for stock). Supposedly even higher stall converter should engage at lower RPMs under low throttle driving and should limit the slippage under street conditions, thus acting like a stock unit until you floor it. I also will be running a good trans cooler.

Thanks again,

Nate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I've been running a TCI StreetFighter 10" converter for over 10 years and like it, but I'm running 4.10 gears. Right now it's behind a stock compression 302 with an RV cam and it's a blast on the streets.

I'd say go with 3.55 gearing at least ?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
Thanks for the replies. I've considered getting a rebuild stock unit. But if I'm going to spend the money, I would like to get a mild aftermarket unit as these usually have superior torque multiplication over a stock unit (2.5 versus 2.0 for stock). Supposedly even higher stall converter should engage at lower RPMs under low throttle driving and should limit the slippage under street conditions, thus acting like a stock unit until you floor it. I also will be running a good trans cooler.

Thanks again,

Nate
Then get the TQ/Conv of your dreams . why not get a 4500 stall it will work , so will a 6500 stall .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
DanH, your sarcasm is priceless. Obviously, my previous comment would only apply to a unit with an advertised stall slightly higher than that of a stock unit, not a race unit with stalls 3000 rpm and higher.

To clarify my question-lots of manufacturers advertise converters with stalls around 2000 rpm for near stock and slightly modified applications. Does anyone have experience or brand preferences with this type of converter, particularly for a 302/C4 combo similar to mine listed above?

Thanks again,

Nate
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
Thanks for the replies. I've considered getting a rebuild stock unit. But if I'm going to spend the money, I would like to get a mild aftermarket unit as these usually have superior torque multiplication over a stock unit (2.5 versus 2.0 for stock). Supposedly even higher stall converter should engage at lower RPMs under low throttle driving and should limit the slippage under street conditions, thus acting like a stock unit until you floor it. I also will be running a good trans cooler.
I tried having my old stock converter "modified" years ago that was supposed to stall in the 2,500 rpm range and it never worked right. I finally went with a TCI Street Fighter which is supposed to be in the 3000 range depending on engine specs, etc.

I really like it and have been running it for several years and with two different engines. The prior 289 (9.5:1) was making around 320 HP and the latest being a 347 stroker (10.5:1) at roughly 450 HP. I've always been running 3.50 gears.

With both engine combinations the converter has worked very well. At off idle and lazy driving it's barely noticable but at wide open it flashes to 3,000-3,200 and the tires are-a-blazing quickly!

With that being said I'm still not sure a loose converter is what you really need. Those gears are pretty tall so if you're looking for more off-the-line performance I'd swap them for a lower ratio and go with an overdrive trans.

I hate to say it but you really aren't going to get strong low end performance and still cruise at 75 mph with your current gears, engine set-up and trans. Something other than a converter swap is in order I think.

John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
At one time I had your combo except 3.25 gears. Used a stock converter and a TCI street rod type 2000 or so converter. The mild converters are not much more than stock in price but if you had a good stock one I would use it with your setup and save some money. If you have to buy one any way get a low stall cheapy.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
DanH, your sarcasm is priceless. Obviously, my previous comment would only apply to a unit with an advertised stall slightly higher than that of a stock unit, not a race unit with stalls 3000 rpm and higher.

To clarify my question-lots of manufacturers advertise converters with stalls around 2000 rpm for near stock and slightly modified applications. Does anyone have experience or brand preferences with this type of converter, particularly for a 302/C4 combo similar to mine listed above?

Thanks again,

Nate
you asked for advice but you got your mind made up . a stocjk conv is your best bet . The above post by 65 falcon covers it also . your car , your money . a rear gear set up to 3.50 is your best bang and I doubt you will loose any mpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,551 Posts
Had a Maverick once with a little NA MILD 302. Had a C4 with a stock converter and 2.79 gears. Ran well once it was moving. But from dead stop to about 25 mph it was a bloody pig. I knew frome experience that the converter and rear gear are the two biggest and most important changes we can make to aid in driveability and putting power to the ground. So I removed the converter and sent it to a converter guy-who builds some high end drag converters. Told him what I needed and where I was at with that particular converter, he said he had what I needed. Cut it open, replaced the stator and tweaked the vanes a little then welded it up & sent it back to me. At the time it was like $90 plus shipping (somewhat local so I just pick them up). The difference was nothing short of amazing. Stall speed didn't change much...maybe 100-200 RPM at the most but the off idle acceleration was a LOT better as was anything involving accelerating from steady cruise transitioning into wide open, like say, passing a car on a 2 lane road. It JUMPED rather than just ran through the RPM band like it used to.

Point being....stall speed is not the ONLY thing that makes a converter. There's lots of little tweaks that can be done and most of the time only a GOOD converter builder knows what the tweaks are. Most don't just give out that information either. You have to trust the builder and KNOW that he's good. The stator design has changed in recent years and new designs are out now that are far better than what we had back then and 10x better than what builders put into stock replacement converters.

In that old Maverick I did not want to change the rear gear as it was perfect for the street, but without overdrive, running down the freeways would have been less than comfortable screaming 3000+ RPM the entire time. That's why I chose the converter first. Glad I did. Eventually the hotrodder in me got the best and I turbo'd it...and used a 3000 RPM stall saturday night special converter which worked really well for that setup. Probably not optimal but it worked good.

I have said it once already but I'll repeat it because it's worth repeating. The two most influencial changes that can be made to any automatic trans equipped car are the rear gear ratio and the torque converter...99% of the time one or the other (or both) are mismatched. Once the match is found, a good automatic is hard to beat!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies and input! I don't to re-use the existing stocker with 200k+ miles on it, so a replacement is getting bought anyways. Just looking for the best bang for the buck. If I can get a replacement that offers some performance benefits along the way that would be great.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
443 Posts
If you want a good, remanufactured low mileage stock converter out of a '70 Mustang let me know, I have one boxed to ship - $75. It stalls at about 1800.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,506 Posts
If you want a good, remanufactured low mileage stock converter out of a '70 Mustang let me know, I have one boxed to ship - $75. It stalls at about 1800.
Does a '78 and '70 C-4 have the same number of splines on the input shaft?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hello all,

I am in the market for a torque converter for a 78 C4 automatic, a case filled unit. It is going into a 68 Fairlane with the following combo.

The new engine is a 302 with 9:2:1 compression, GT-40p heads, a 204/214 (@ .050) duration .448/.472 lift cam, Hi-Po exhaust manifolds with 2 1/4 pipes and turbo mufflers, Edelbrock Performer intake with a 600 cfm carb. The car is a daily driver, 99% cruising usage. The 8-inch rear has 2.79 gearing which will have to stay for highway driving (I do a lot of interstate driving at 75+ mph). About 26 inch tires.

Based on research and discussions with converter manufacturers, I am shooting for a converter with about 2000-2200 rpm stall speed. TCI recommended their Saturday Night Special; however their reputation seems somewhat less than stellar. I am also considering a Hughes Street Rod Converter or the low-end Broader Performance converter. I have also looked at the Summit House brand converter and the ACC Boss Hog converter, but these, like TCI, seem to have hit and miss reputations. I know a lot of folks recommend a custom built unit ($500-ish), but this seems like overkill for my application. My budget is in the $250-300 range.

What do you guys recommend? Thoughts, recommendations, and experiences on mild converter selection are much appreciated.

Thanks,

Nate
I run a 302 ford racing crate engine GT40 heads and weiand 174 blower
TCI c4 streetfighter and TCI StreetFighter 10" converter ford 8" with 3.25 gears ..car weight 1200kg or 2650 lbs Drives great on the street and strip ..best et 10.72 @124.5mph .heres a pict o ma launch on the brakes
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
I run a 302 ford racing crate engine GT40 heads and weiand 174 blower
TCI c4 streetfighter and TCI StreetFighter 10" converter ford 8" with 3.25 gears ..car weight 1200kg or 2650 lbs Drives great on the street and strip ..best et 10.72 @124.5mph .heres a pict o ma launch on the brakes[/QUOTE you saying get a 10"tci with a blower ? why not . lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Parky33- Nice Ride!

As for the input shaft question, as far as I know the 70 and 78 C4 both have the 26 spline input shafts. Except maybe for C4s in 1970 Ford Falcons, which I've heard had the earlier the type C4 for that model year.

Mtnmotorrider- Thank you for the offer, but I think I may talk with Broader Performance about one of their mild converters for my application.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top