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Old 02-21-2012, 01:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Torque converter lock up?

Just reading about torque converters and lock up programers. I have a bit of an idea how a converter works but dont understand how lock up works or how a lock up programer works or how you would set one to how you like it. If someone could explain it to me in the simplest way possable it would realy help me, im not sure if i want to get a lock up programer yet or not seeing as i have no idea how it is used. Any help would be great! Thanks to anyone that trys to help
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It is not a programer but rather a simple switch. Do a search as there are several informative write ups on how to install one.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Your TC recieves RPM from the flexplate of the engine. It uses and oil splash design to multiply the torque and that turns the center splines to turn the input shaft of the trany which is at a lower rpm. When it is in "lock up" it is just that Locked together so the TC is just a 1:1 coupler between the engine & trany.
When the TC is multiplying torque it is also building heat. I found for towing over the mountain passes in western washington, if the truck won't pull in OD locked up I hit the OD off button but then flip the switch (I installed) to re-lock the TC in 3rd gear. It gives me a few more miles per hour and keeps the trans temps cooler.
These engines don't have much compression braking. that being said, the TC lock up swithc also keeps the engine from "free wheeling" (like it goes into neutral) when coasting down a hill. If you have any plans to install an exhaust brake the TC has to be locked up for the exhaust brake to work.
Did that answer your questions?
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Good explanation and a nice write up.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Back when I first bought my 98, I did a TC lockup. It was nice locking the TC at 25 MPH, but a pain when I stopped and forgot to flip the toggle. AFter a year of this and trying to haul my 13K pound 5er, I hooked up a POTS and bypassed the TPS that was the real problem. When I am towing and have the OD off, I can dial the POTS and get the TC to lock at 30 MPH. Now when I stop, the TC unlocks with the brake and no more shaking stops. I still slide into OD at 50 MPH on level ground.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
I hooked up a POTS and bypassed the TPS that was the real problem. When I am towing and have the OD off, I can dial the POTS and get the TC to lock at 30 MPH. Now when I stop, the TC unlocks with the brake and no more shaking stops. I still slide into OD at 50 MPH on level ground.
Does the tc still unlock like a stock truck when the fuel pedal is released? I want my tc to not unlock just because I let off the foot feed at 60 mph or faster going downhill gaining speed.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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They do make a lock up programmer so to speak the ats commander I belive its called
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by country_hick View Post
Does the tc still unlock like a stock truck when the fuel pedal is released? I want my tc to not unlock just because I let off the foot feed at 60 mph or faster going downhill gaining speed.
Once the TC is locked, it stays locked until--

1. I step on the brake
2. I drop below the MPH threshold (under 30 with OD off, under 50 with OD on)
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Adding to this, I'm also unfamiliar with the lock-up. Is there a certain point that it automatically locks in a stock truck, also is there a way to tell when its locked?
Sorry for the newbie questions, but I am in fact a newbie haha
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by midwestcummins View Post
Adding to this, I'm also unfamiliar with the lock-up. Is there a certain point that it automatically locks in a stock truck, also is there a way to tell when its locked?
Sorry for the newbie questions, but I am in fact a newbie haha
Stock the computer is programmed to lock at 47 mph as long as you aren't heavy on the throttle, the tranny is warmed up and nothing is broken or out of adjustment.

You can tell when it locks because your rpm will drop 100-200 instantly.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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BE VERY careful adding a lockup switch. We have literally seen hundreds of converters destroy input shafts by improper use of the switch. If you do the switch get a billet input shaft for peace of mind!
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