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T3/T4 60-1
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in an atx you notice how your car dosen't stall when you are stopped and you are still revving like 1000rpm... that's becaue of the torque converter, it essentially wastes the first 1000 rpm away, mind you once you get on the gas it dosen't waste 1000rpm anymore, the higher you rev the more efficient it gets... essentially it's like two windmills pointing at each other with a fluid between them, the first windmill is connected to the engine and spins the fluid, after the fluid starts spinning so much it spins the other windmill which is your transmission.... what your friend was talking about is a high stall torque converter... you can kiss gas mileage away, and driveability somewhat, but it's much more responsive and funner to drive once the car is in motion
 

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Torque converters do not increase horsepower. A torque converter acts as a kind of clutch for an automatic transmission, it's a fluid coupling between the engine and the transmission. Basically, it allows you to stop without stalling the motor. The one thing a torque converter can do it "magnify" the amount of torque being produced by the motor. Some torque converters can multiply the torque of the engine by two to three times (most converters multiply the engine torque by 2). This only happens when the engine is turning much faster than the transmission. At higher speeds, the transmission catches up to the engine, eventually moving at almost the same speed. Ideally though, the transmission would move at exactly the same speed as the engine, because this difference in speed wastes power. This is part of the reason why cars with automatic transmissions get worse gas mileage than cars with manual transmissions. To counter this effect, some cars have a torque converter with a lockup clutch. When the two halves of the torque converter get up to speed the clutch locks them together eliminating the slippage and improving efficiency. Another thing you have to look into with a converter is the stall speed. The stall of a converter is determined by placing the transmission in forward gear, applying and holding the brakes, and depressing the throttle until the engine can no longer increase RPM or the brakes no longer hold the car. The maximum RPM the engine developed is considered the stall speed of the converter.

Hope that helps.
 

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T3/T4 60-1
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for the sacrifice of gas mileage and driveability
 

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If you are going to be drag racing, a lock up torque converter with a high stall speed would be great (good for quick hard launches) but for road use the one in the car is probably the best one for it.
 

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I second all that except the part about the brakes and reving. As long as your brakes are in good order, if you hold the brake pedal down and floor it in fist gear the brakes should ALWAYS keep the car there even at full throttle.... This was part of evidence that disproved the infamous Audi "run away car" phenomanon. Suposedly older Audi's would sudenly go to full throttle when started and placed into gear. Audi proved that what really happend was people were putting there foot on the gas instead of the brake. This is 90% of the reason why we have shift/brake interlocks now. A young child died as a result of this... kinda sad really. Anyways... working brakes.. all of em.. should be able to hold the car even at full throttle.
 
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