SEMA 2012: TCI Torque Converter Offers Lock-up for 6L80E

Street enthusiasts and weekend racers having problems with torque converter lockup on their 6L80E transmissions may not always find the answer at their local speed shop.

“Some tuners will simply tell you turn off the lockup function,” says Aaron Mick of TCI.

The problem stems from lockup clutches not being able to handle high horsepower LS engines. Drivers generally prefer the lockup to work properly to save fuel when cruising and also send more power to the rear wheels. To that end, TCI developed an all-new bolt-together, lockup torque converter for the GM 6L80E 6-speed automatic transmission.

“We started from scratch and took a different approach,” says Mick. “Ours is a modular design with increased surface-friction area using a woven-carbon friction material.”

The torque converter is available in three stall-speed ranges: 2600-2700, 2800-2900 and 3100-3200. 

“Stall speeds up to 4100 are available by contacting us,” adds Mick.

In addition to the triple-disc lockup assembly, the converter features high-speed, load-rated Torrington bearings, billet impeller hub and removable billet front plate. The TCI torque converter can be completely disassembled, allowing service of the lockup assembly, turbine, stator and bearings. Stator changes, pump replacement and other performance modifications can also be made with the converter unbolted.

The new TCI converter for GM 6L80E transmissions features bolt-together construction, increased lockup-clutch friction material and HDT coating for cooler operating temperature

Stall speeds up to 4100 are available.
         — Aaron Mick

Other features of the converter include special oil slots in the turbine hub and impeller flange to increase oil flow and reduce operating temperatures, and the converter has a proprietary HDT coating that promote cooler operating temperatures. Finally, all TCI converters are balanced and tested for run-out and leaks.

In addition, TCI offers a precision-ground, high-tensile-strength steel flexplate for the 6L80E transmission. SFI approved, it’s 33 percent thicker than stock, and the ring gear is welded from both sides. With a dual bolt pattern of 10.75 inches or 11.063 inches, it will mate with a variety of torque converters.


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About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World. He was the editor of four national automotive magazines, including Chevy High Performance, and has authored hundreds of automotive technical briefings. In covering nearly every type of motorsport, Mike has collaborated with many of racing's top engine builders and factory engineers.
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