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Frequently Asked Questions

What does billet mean?

Webster Definition of Billet - 

a : a bar of metal

b : a piece of semifinished iron or steel nearly square in section made by rolling an ingot or bloom

c : a section of nonferrous metal ingot hot-worked by forging, rolling, or extrusion

d : a nonferrous casting suitable for rolling or extrusion

We take a Steel Alloy forging, proudly made in the USA, and machine it on our in house CNC equipment to make what is known as a billet part.  We make billet fronts, which is the engine side of the converter, lock up pistons, turbine hubs, stators, and balloon plates for the trans side.  We love our CNCs.

 

How to make sure I am getting a billet front?

A billet front is a one piece front, so you will not see any welded tabs, feet or ring adapters.  It is made from one piece, so it is incredibly strong.

 

Why do I need a billet front?

Number one reason is strength to prevent flexing under high RPM and HP.  Second is it allows for a bigger clutch area in a single disk.  It is the only way to get a multi disk.

 

Are all billet fronts created the same?

Absolutely not.  Our CDS fronts have several advantages over the mass produced fronts. They combine CAD design for increased strength, better curves, longer bolts, more flow, smoother finish, tighter tolerances, and a deep groove ball bearing system to create one of the best front covers in the industry. 

 

What is lock up?

There are 2 different ways a late model converter transmits power to the transmission input shaft, hydraulically and mechanically.  The hydraulic way is where the stall comes into play. It converts the engine power into fluid power and transfers the power to the input shaft.  This is what the stall of the converter is referring to.  The second way is a mechanical coupling, much like a standard transmission.  Most modern converters have a clutch inside that is controlled via fluid pressure from the transmission.  This pressure is activated by a solenoid inside the transmission that is commanded by the car's computer.  So depending on your vehicle type and computer strategy, there are several ways you can taylor the lock up to your driving style.

 

What is a multi disk and why do I need it?

A multi disk setup is all about durability.  It allows you to use the clutch under power, commonly referred to as WOT lock up.  So as you are powering down the 1/4 mile you can actually apply the lock up clutches to achieve a 100% efficient converter and in many ways be just like a manual clutch at that point.  Forced Induction setups really like this and some NA as well.  It depends on your torque curve and gear ratios.  It is also a good upgrade for a heavy truck or someone doing some towing.  Shoot us an e-mail, and we would be glad to help you decide what's best for you!

 

What is furnace brazing and TIG welding?

Furnace Brazing is a method used to solidify the internal fins of the turbine and impeller.  We use an exothermic atmosphere brazing furnace to ensure a good clean bond of the copper to the steel.  TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) is a welding process we use on the critical parts of the blades.  We hand weld the blades on most models to ensure that there is no movement of the blades that might result in a failure.  We have found this combination to be the best method for a high performance torque converter.

 

Why so many diameters?

We have several diameters to pick from depending on your specs and driving habits.  The diameter of the converter is a huge factor in determining how the converter will act and how it stalls.  General rule of thumb is the smaller the diameter, the higher it will stall.  Picking the right diameter is critical and we have about 7-8 choices depending on the transmission model.  And that is not even getting into pump or stator choices yet.  Just shoot over an ask CDS email and we will help, it can be a little overwhelming.

 

What does your 2B and 5C mean?

That is the CDS Part number system.  We custom spec each converter we build.  So we don’t just sell a 3200, we sell what will be a 3200 in your setup.  Which might be a 245mm 2B or a 258mm 3C.  Depends on HP, torque curve, gearing weight...several factors.  With the multiple diameters, pumps and stator choices available, single and multi disk - there are about about 100 different combinations for your setup.  Don’t worry, we are here to help.

 

What is Shift drop?

That is what your RPMs fall back to when you change gears.  Example would be if you shift at 6500 on the 2-3 shift and it falls back to 5300, that would be a 1200 RPM shift drop.  This is another huge benefit of a stall converter. It keeps you in the powerband and we all like power right?! This is also referred to as a shift extension or shift recovery.

 

What is Flash stall?

 This is the rpm the engine will flash to when launched from rest at WOT.  It can be hard to determine if you have traction issues.  Best method to test is at the track with a data logger.  

 

Why do you put so many pictures of your converters on the web?

 We like to educate. You know the expression a picture is worth a thousand words?  It saves us a little typing.  We use a lot of unique build techniques, custom CNC'd parts and hand assemble each converter to our tolerances, so we are often imitated but never duplicated.  An educated consumer is our best customer.

 

Why will a CDS performance converter make me faster?

 Several factors.  The biggest is it will have a higher stall so you will be at a higher RPM when you take off.  So it does not technically add engine horsepower, it lets you use what you have more effectively.  Most of our Pro Series converters are lighter and have a smaller diameter, so the rotational mass is a secondary benefit.  

 

How do I calculate converter efficiency?

 Converter Slip percent = [((RPM * Tire Height) / (Rear end Ratio * Trans Ratio * MPH * 336)) -1] * 100

 If you have a late model trans it is even easier...Simply log RPM and TCC slip when in 3rd or what ever 1:1 is and divide the TCC slip by the RPM - unlocked of course.

 

How long after I order until my converter is shipped?

 Our typical build time is about two weeks.  It depends on the time of year, could be a little more or little less.  If you need something faster let me know and we will see what we can do to accommodate you. Ask about our Expedited Service!  

 

How do we ship?

We ship in a double wall 275# box and use custom cut packaging foam so the converter has a nice little nest for its ride.  We want to make sure it arrives to you it perfect condition.  

 

Do you have Military Discounts?

Absolutely, we love our armed forces and try to help when we can.  Discounts vary by model, let us know what you are interested in and we can get you your price.