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  • Torque converter question

    Hi all
    I dropped the transmission this morning and have a question. If I hold the centre of the torque converter I can move the converter maybe 1/8 inch or more up and down. Is that normal ? Doesnít seem right to me but Iím not familiar with COMís. As always, appreciate your comments.
    Jon
    Jon
    Deepest Hertfordshire
    Old enough to know I'm right...
    1960 Hardtop T'bird
    1961 Hotchkiss M201

  • #2
    Many times the front pump bushing is worn. I would replace it along with the front pump o-ring and the front seal. A worn bushing will cause even a new seal to wear and leak.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Thanks John
      Are all the bits readily available through the usual suppliers ?

      Jon
      Jon
      Deepest Hertfordshire
      Old enough to know I'm right...
      1960 Hardtop T'bird
      1961 Hotchkiss M201

      Comment


      • #4
        The front seal is readily available. My local transmission shop was able to get the other parts without any problem but I don't know what source they used.

        John
        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

        Thunderbird Registry #36223
        jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks John
          Jon
          Deepest Hertfordshire
          Old enough to know I'm right...
          1960 Hardtop T'bird
          1961 Hotchkiss M201

          Comment


          • #6
            You're welcome. If you can't find the parts let us know. I'm sure we'll be able to track them down.

            John
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

            Thunderbird Registry #36223
            jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Your torque converter is centered and bolted directly to the flex plate (and the crankshaft). The transmission case is dowel pinned and bolted to the engine block.

              If you think about it, 'slop' between the two is very confined. I've seen plenty of failed seals but never heard of 'slop' as being a cause or an issue. When transmission bearings wear, it's the internal end that is usually the cause because those parts slide on a splined shaft. Worn engine bearings can cause the transmission's front bearing and seal to fail. - Dave
              My latest project:
              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
              --Lee Iacocca

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              • #8
                Mmmmm good point Dave about the converter being fixed so there shouldnít be any run out that would cause an issue with the pump bushing. Iíll investigate a bit further next week.
                Jon
                Jon
                Deepest Hertfordshire
                Old enough to know I'm right...
                1960 Hardtop T'bird
                1961 Hotchkiss M201

                Comment


                • #9
                  Right Joh, it's a 'system' because the engine and trans are dependent on each other.

                  The center crankshaft bearing is a thrust bearing that allows a little lateral motion. The torque converter uses a center-shaft that is splined to allow for that same crankshaft motion.

                  When ever I marry the engine and trans, I always install the torque converter to the transmission first, then rotate the flex plate as I offer the trans to the engine and tighten the four converter nuts. This prevents damage between the pump and converter.

                  I also mark the flex plate and converter before disassembling, just so I don't cover the converter's drain plugs by using the wrong flex plate holes. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All that being said when I had the transmission in my '59 redone he showed me the old front pump bushing and there was very little left of it. He said that caused the new front seal that I put in to leak. Since he's been doing Ford transmissions for over 50 years I have no reason to doubt him.

                    John
                    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                    Thunderbird Registry #36223
                    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      Your torque converter is centered and bolted directly to the flex plate (and the crankshaft). The transmission case is dowel pinned and bolted to the engine block. If you think about it, - Dave
                      And, when one does, and or examines the components involved, you are correct. Except, unfortunately the flexplate in its' plane perpendicular to the centerline of the rotation, is not intended nor of adequate design to locate or support the converter from deflexion or "whip" at the snout where it enters the transmission's front pump section, hence the purpose of the bearing surfaces at this juncture, and impending loads, and consequential wear, which if excessive will lead to leakage as the radial movement permitted will exceed the capacities of the seals' design.

                      Scott.

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                      • #12
                        Thank You for your explanation Scott but, many millions of cars are a testament that converters and flex plates are engineered correctly. There should never be any 'whip'.

                        A front transmission bearing failure is unusual unless something is terribly wrong. Converters are welded, machined and balanced. They're also very heavy when filled with transmission oil. Add 5,000-6,000 rpm, and you better hope this thing runs true. If it doesn't, the engine will usually vibrate as an early warning.

                        Considering a history of hundreds of millions of cars and trucks of all brands, most go to their graves with the original front trans bearing and seal. That tells me the front bearing rarely sees friction unless any of these converter problems exist:
                        • An internal vane broke loose in the converter,
                        • A mounting stud was welded off center,
                        • The converter was never correctly balanced or it came out of balance from a weight that flew off,
                        • The converter bloated and distorted its shape. (I've seen witness marks from crankshaft flange bolt heads embedded into the face of converters.)


                        John, your trans guy may have identified the effect but not the cause of a failed bearing. I would ask him 'why', to continue troubleshooting to the root cause. Changing a bearing and seal only fixes the leak temporarily. I'm surprised he didn't see all that metal glistening in the old fluid. BTW, OEM torque converters are reasonably priced. - Dave
                        My latest project:
                        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                        --Lee Iacocca

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Since Ford and other parts manufacturers sell the front pump kit that includes a new bushing, seal, o-ring and gasket I assume it's something that has a failure rate from normal use.

                          John
                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                          • #14
                            Crikey, what have I started.....!
                            I’ll let you know what I find.
                            The only thing I would add is that Dave mentioned that converter problems could manifest themselves as engine vibration. My engine runs (before I pulled it apart) like a Swiss watch..
                            Jon
                            Last edited by mh434; March 12th, 2018, 12:46 PM. Reason: Stuff added
                            Jon
                            Deepest Hertfordshire
                            Old enough to know I'm right...
                            1960 Hardtop T'bird
                            1961 Hotchkiss M201

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mh434 View Post
                              Crikey, what have I started.....!
                              Iíll let you know what I find.
                              Jon
                              There's nothing wrong with differences of opinions as long as it's kept civil.

                              John
                              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                              Thunderbird Registry #36223
                              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                              Comment

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