Torque Converter Lockup Switch - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-05-2017, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Torque Converter Lockup Switch

Anyone figured out a way to make a torque converter lockup switch in a JK automatic (specifically Pentastar 3.6)?

Application being deep snow wheeling in 1st gear. A manual can break trail without a foot on the accelerator, while an automatic requires gas, the wheels spin if you press it more than a millimeter, and lose traction. Locking the torque converter would completely solve this.

I'm aware the torque converter clutch is fairly weak and this would be a terrible idea for any sort of rock crawling, but I'm pretty sure it'd last forever without a foot on the gas pedal!
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-06-2017, 08:25 AM
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what gears/ tires are you running?
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-06-2017, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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3.73 and 35", not sure if it really matters...
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-07-2017, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
3.73 and 35", not sure if it really matters...
Well there's your problem.

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Dana 60 front, 14 Bolt rear, ARB's, 5.38's, 40" sticky Trepadors, 3 link front and rear, 14" Sway-a-Way coilovers, Tom Woods 1310 front, Adams 1350 rear, PSC Hydro assist
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-07-2017, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
3.73 and 35", not sure if it really matters...
Well there's your problem.
I don't think so... It'd technically help the problem but it wouldn't come close to making 1psi tires spin buried in 3 feet of heavy snow without throttle. A locked torque converter would.

Based on discussion with a very experienced snow wheeler, this is a known issue with deep snow and automatics and you really want a lockup switch.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-07-2017, 05:51 PM
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This is done on a lot of other vehicles but, I didn't find anything JK specific. As you probably also found out in your research, it'll make a lot of heat fast if used incorrectly.

Maybe give Jon at RPM Extreme a call. Just a guess, but he's dug down pretty deep into the JK electronics.

Kevin
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-07-2017, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
I don't think so... It'd technically help the problem but it wouldn't come close to making 1psi tires spin buried in 3 feet of heavy snow without throttle. A locked torque converter would.

Based on discussion with a very experienced snow wheeler, this is a known issue with deep snow and automatics and you really want a lockup switch.
I dont do much snow wheeling, but I do a ton of crawling. I dont see how pushing through snow is very different from climbing a steep hill or pushing through rocks and mud. The traction is obviously different.

What I am getting at is I have proper gears to turn 40's and I just let off the brake and go uphill.

35's and 3.73's isnt really a good gear ratio for anything, gears will help.

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-07-2017, 06:40 PM
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Perhaps you can find a torque converter with a lower stall speed?
One is made for the 42RLE's predecessor, the 42LE, but, because of case changes, I can't say it will or will not fit.
If it does fit, you'll lose the 42RLE torque converter's ability to dampen harsh shifts - controlled through the TCM (transmission control module). Prolly throw codes, too, maybe even put you in limp mode.

Switchable lockup kits are available for many more common automatics and I think it could be done with the 42RLE, the question is where. At the solenoid or at the TCM? One route to pursue would be fooling the 4th gear pressure sensor...no idea how to do that.

Last edited by funfred; 02-07-2017 at 06:44 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-10-2017, 03:00 AM
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Do a search for NAG1 it's the same transmission they call it a WA580 in jeeps with the V6 bell housing. all SRT and LX V8 cars have the same trans until the recent 8 seed integration. Lots of aftermarket support its a Mercedes trans used in their big AMG cars. Paramount Performance is a good source and Southern Hotrod as well they make the Viking trans its its pretty bad ass. You can also search for the Mercedes blue top solenoids and shift kit or valved body replacement too.

Float like a Cadillac Sting like a Bimmer.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-10-2017, 11:06 PM
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Did anyone find out any more information on this? I'm pretty curious to see if this is possible.
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-11-2017, 10:17 AM
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our fellow JKOwners member @ronjenx , was involved in a post on this subject on another older forum a while back which details some pertinent facts rather well.
I have an '11 jku with auto 42RLE and the 3.8l running 5.13 gears and a massive plate B&M cooler . I have always manually shifted this since I got it and made heavy and regular use of the OD button. I can induce converter lockup easily and my tranny never exceedes around 150-170 į F even in extremely wheel spinning , icy action . I never get out of 2nd gear and have never used 4W Hi mode I dint think . Here is the old post from that other forum with a little pertinent info on this subject. I am not aware of the newer automatics TC lockup tendency,fwiw

Edit: addendum - ATS offers a sturdier TC for the 42RLE which the state has potential of 100% lockout ability. They have a valve body for it as well . I am forum and social media friend with Gerald Lee from Savvy and he has a guy take thier JKs that are automatic and actually fortifies the TC internally by resoldering or braising the tynes which evidently are poorly affixed to the inside of the TC so can break off during racing extreme temps and lockups . The guy beefs up the whole fluid path internally and they race the things hard which I find mind boggling. I'll try to find the thread or info . JJ


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Last edited by j3ff3ry_j33p; 02-11-2017 at 10:49 AM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-13-2018, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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As a follow-up to this a year and a half later, I finally built up the bravery to start grounding solenoid control wires to my transmission. I found the wire for the torque converter clutch solenoid. I cut this wire, connected a 1k 12V pull-up resistor to the TCM side to fool the TCM into thinking the solenoid is present (otherwise it enters limp mode). I then took the transmission side of the wire and grounded it out while in gear and the engine stalled as I'd hope. Unfortunately I then tried locking it in 4Lo and it threw incorrect-gear-ratio codes as well as a solenoid connectivity error. This puts the transmission into a limp mode until you clear the codes and unplug the battery.

It looks like a torque converter lock switch will live on forever as a dream of mine in the 3.6L auto. Too much computer code behind it making it not practical.
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-13-2018, 11:49 PM
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Ya, never know till ya try.

Perhaps you'd have more luck with the 6L80 behind a LS. There's a shit ton of parameters you can play with on the trans. How and when it lock up being one of them.

To hell with the mortgage......................do it.

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