Ohio trans shop cracks another code Jim Currier Jr. is no stranger to the industry. His father, Jim Currier Sr. started a transmission shop in Akron, Ohio, in 1958. Jim Jr. joined the business in 1972, and a decade later moved the business to Cuyoga Falls, Ohio, and took over the management responsibilities of the business. He’s still running it today. In 1998 Jim wanted to take control of the quality of the converters that he was using, and purchased a converter rebuilding system. Jim realized that there were three different types of friction material: paper, carbon, and woven graphite. He also recognized the fact that each one of the friction materials had its own unique properties and those properties had specific uses. It was apparent that the correct friction material needed to be used for each application. But he wanted to know more.
On some of the converters, simply knowing the clutch apply strategy would point him to the correct friction material to be used. Other converters could use any one of the three friction materials available. This dilemma was especially problematic when it came to the 245mm GM B21 converters. The FLHB converter for instance, came with with paper, carbon, or woven graphite friction material.
Jim began to notice subtle differences in the colors and patterns of the colors on the I.D. stickers of converters with the same I.D. code. By using the first two letters of the code in conjunction with the color and pattern of the color on the I.D. tag, he was able to I.D. the friction material used in the converter. This method worked well until an FJ9B converter with green diagonal stripes was found with a paper lining, and a FJHB converter with green diagonal stripes was found to have a woven graphite lining. At this time he added the third and fourth digits of the code to his I.D. decoding process. He was soon able to say with certainty that a FYHB converter with a solid pattern/light blue tag would have paper friction material on the clutch and the same FYHB code with a solid pattern/light brown tag would have woven graphite friction material on the clutch. Jim continues to have good success with this system today, provided the I.D. tag is present.
Five of the patterns for the late model B21 converters are listed on our web site along with the codes and colors and the friction material that they identify. Please note that many of the early B21 patterns that were only used on the 125 lockup converters have been left out because they all had paper linings.
It’s great that individuals like Jim Currier take the time to explore new areas of our industry, and it’s even better when they are willing to share the knowledge that they have learned. Jim Currier has earned the right to be named the third winner in our “Help Break the Code" contest, sponsored by Sonnax and judged by the Torque Converter Rebuilders Association Board of Directors.
– Found in August 2006 Newsletter