TCRA members attend ATRA Expo

Recently we attended the ATRA expo in San Antonio. The purpose of this trip was to stay in touch with industry happenings. It was an opportunity to see what issues the transmission industry is facing. If you are strictly in the converter business, sometimes it is hard to get away to an event like this that may not seem specifically related to what you do. Of course, that is one way to look at it. On the other hand, these are your customers and knowing their needs is critical to your success. We sat in on several technical seminars, and although none were torque converter related, we gained some valuable information. Mike Souza presented a seminar on the RE5RO5As. The key concern with this unit tends to be water/coolant contamination. The problem is it is not the typical pink milky condition you may be accustomed to seeing. In fact, many times visual inspection will not give you any indication there is contamination. This is only a problem if you are reusing frictions or bearings in the converter or your customer doesn’t solve the contamination issue during rebuild.

Another important topic that was brought up several times was OE fluid. It is common in the converter industry to pre-lube converters after rebuild with transmission fluid. There are several different opinions on mixing fluid and the impact that may have. This of course is a technical article in itself, but I will give you this thought. If you are pre-lubing your converters with a bulk fluid that is red in color and your customer is using an OE fluid that my be blue in color (some CVTs) even if you don’t develop a driveability problem when the fluid is mixed it tends to turn purple and it resembles fluid that has had some type of failure involving an aluminum component. Maybe you get to cut this converter open again to prove it didn’t fail or maybe you don’t. Either way it’s something to think about.

Moving on from fluids there were several other converters discussed. The 722 and all the issues covered at the TCRA seminar in Dayton this past year were a big topic as well as 4F27E units and the ever increasing shift to CVTs. Of course the one constant about these events is the opportunity to network with the industries best. Not unlike TCRA seminars people who attend other industry events have plenty of ideas to share. It is opportunities like these that make these events priceless in my opinion. Sitting here writing this article is making me look forward to TCRA 2011. We were able line up a couple of commitments while we were in San Antonio as well. I can’t give you all the details yet but it looks like the city will be windy so keep your calendar clear for mid May and expect a formal announcement soon.

Jeff Stuck
TCRA President

-Found in November 2010 Newsletter