Why Do I Need A GENII Torque Converter Lockup Kit
About the Author
Ashley "Ash" has been a part of the company for 5 years. During this time he has become an integral part of the company handling all face to face customers and answering our customers calls. Ash is our primary customer support staff and is also excellent at sorting through various administrative hurdles. He is currently studying Interior Design.
For the grey nomads out there, who tow their whole house behind them while travelling Australia, the Torque Converter Lock-Up Kit is going to be your Automatic Transmission and your wallets best friend. Whether your towing vehicle is a 4, 5 or 6 speed, out on the open road while towing you may find that your transmission is constantly causing your tacho to jump up and down, creating a potential overheating scenario and a stressful driving environment.
Automatic Transmission Computers are re-active systems and so will not react until a certain condition has been met. The transmission doesn’t understand that there is such a heavy load on the back or that you are on a slight incline or that you have a stronger than normal headwind. The result of all of this is a transmission that will repetitively jump between torque converter lockup and unlock, excessive heat and excessive fuel consumption.
The power provided by the engine is transferred to the transmission via fluid. This will naturally create lots of heat if under load which is essential wasted power. This is why the Lockup Clutch was added to torque converters so that the fluid inside the torque converter could be kept cool. This also produced an added bonus of now transferring all of the engines power to the transmission and not wasting it which in turn keeps fuel consumption down.
It is this last function that we want to have more control over for the purpose of towing or 4WDing. By having manual control over the torque converter lockup using our GENII Torque Converter Lockup Kit, you will gain notable improvement on fuel economy, transmission heat reduction and drive-ability.
The most common use of the GENII Torque Converter Lockup Kit is while towing a heavy Caravan, Horse Float or Boat on the highways. When you are at your desired speed, activate the system by pressing the switch. Once activated the tacho will stabilise and maintain revs just like a manual vehicle even if you take your foot off the accelerator. This is where you get 100% engine braking for giving you more control on downhill descents like the Toowoomba Range or the Adelaide Hills.
Naturally our 4WDing customers haven’t missed out either, as the GENII Torque Converter Lockup Kit is also great for the 100% engine braking in Low Range-Low Gear to prevent the run-away often experienced on VERY steep downhill slopes. However bear in mind that some transmissions won’t allow first gear lockup from the factory, we provide this modification as part of our Nomad and Extreme Heavy Duty Valve Body upgrades.
While the GENII Torque Converter Lockup Kit sounds awesome, there is some guidelines that you need to follow while using our kit:
Avoid using the lockup under heavy acceleration: This might sound strange but let me explain why. While the Lockup Clutch and transmission clutches are capable of holding under the maximum factory power output of the engine, during a high throttle gear change the locked torque converter can cause quite a harsh and uncomfortable gear change to occur. Normally during a gear change the torque converter acts as a shock absorber because it is unlocked which eliminates the harshness. If you can see a hill coming up and you have the lockup engaged and you know the vehicle will want to downshift, then make the downshift at the bottom of the hill while under light acceleration then continue up the hill. Once over the hill and you have backed off the accelerator, you can then shift back to your cruising gear.
Be careful using in slow moving and/or rough terrain environments: This is mainly for the 4WDer’s. Because we are locking the engine to the transmission (by activating the Lockup Kit) this is exactly the same as letting the clutch out on a manual. If you engage the lockup while standing still, you will possibly stall the engine (Remember not all vehicles have 1st gear lockup capability without our valve body upgrades). For most situations, there is no need to use the lockup kit over slow or rough terrain except for the downhills. So if you have the lockup engaged during slow moving or rock crawling environments please be careful.
Please Note: We have worked very hard to provide a product that mimics exactly what the factory ECU sends to the transmission to ensure reliability and functionality. While in earlier years such as 80 Series LandCruisers and GQ Patrols, the use of a couple of relays and basic switch might work relatively well. However from the year 2000 onwards, manufacturers made changes to the automatic transmissions to improve shifting and control. These changes mean that a basic relay system no longer is a reliable alternative as this WILL result in solenoid burnout. Believe me… We Know!
Read some commonly asked questions on lock-up kits here.
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