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How Torque Converters Work

Here is a quick review of how a torque converter works.

There are three main elements that combine to transfer the power from the engine to the transmission: the Pump, the Turbine and the Stator. The converter is completely filled with fluid which comes from the transmission. The fluid starts off its flow from the inside of the pump and then it is centrifugally pumped to the outside of the pump. The pump is welded to the front cover which is bolted to the flex plate.

The pump is rotated by the engine and the fluid is pumped towards the turbine where the input shaft of the transmission connects. The fluid then flows to the stator and is redirected and the combined momentum of the fluid helps to spin the pump. This is how a torque converter can multiply the output power which is known as STR or Stall to Torque Ratio.

The fluid then continues this movement as the turbine speed increases. Eventually the turbine is spinning about 90% as fast as the pump. The fluid leaving the turbine now has rotational momentum and will contact the stator which causes the one way clutch to freewheel allowing better coupling which translates into efficiency.