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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yank Racing Torque Converter

Just finished installing one this week. Haven't taken the car for a drive yet because of all the snow/salt still on the streets, but thought I'd share some pictures I took during the coarse of the install.



What I expect to achieve:

First and foremost, it's important to mention what my goals are for this car. If anyone reading is thinking along the same lines as me with their cars, then this post may be useful to some of you.

The car's a 1995 Impala SS. Aside from a cold-air intake, headers, cat-back and a 93 octane tune, it's an all original 30x mile car.


My goal is to make the most out of what I have, without sacrificing the cars street manors too much. I need it to retain as much of its original, factory reliability as possible.

This means the original engine will be left untouched.

Now that I've performed those upgrades, the two mods I'm looking to do next, is a lower rear gear and/or a higher stall speed to help put the car in its power band sooner for better grunt off the line.

I decided to go with the torque converter upgrade first and see how well the car drives. Depending on how things go, I may or may not switch out the stock gears next winter...



Yank Converter and other upgrades :

I wound up going with a "Yank" torque converter. Their "SS" series converter to be exact. It's a 9.5" billet model with a solid billet lock-up clutch.

There are a couple of companies out there, each with their own following, but the Yank line of converters seems to always get positive reviews, especially in terms of their streetability - which was a major reason I ended up choosing them.

Apparently, these converters are so efficient, you can retain the stock transmission cooler, as the torque converter itself doesn't get nearly as hot as some of the cheaper "off-the-shelf" brands do.

After discussing my needs with "Dave" over at Yank, he suggest a 3200 stall speed would meet my needs. This surprised me, because I would have thought a 3200 stall would be way too high for my needs. But he assured me that this converter would essentially be invisible during normal, everyday driving conditions and only make itself apparent during wide-open throttle runs.

Since he builds these things for a living, I took his word for it and placed an order. :grin2:

At $950 + shipping, it's a pretty expensive pill to swallow, but if it performs as good as everyone claims (and still retains stock(ish) street manors) - it'll be well worth the money.


I then took the opportunity to order a "TrickFlow" deep transmission pan. My reasoning for this was simple. Since the new converter was physically smaller (stock converter is a 12" unit) -the overall fluid capacity would be less throughout the system.

The deeper pan would make up for this loss and at least bring overall capacity back up to stock level. A TCI flexplate was also purchased as well and the appropriate Dextron III fluid and replacement filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Removal & Installation:

The job itself was pretty straight forward.

Disconnected the battery. Dropped part of the exhaust. Detached all the electrical connections going to the transmission itself. Disconnected the gear selector linkage on the drivers side and dropped the driveshaft.

Then wrestled the transmission cross member out. A 5 pound rubber mallet made removal a lot easier. With the cross member removed and the transmission hanging down, access to the upper bell housing bolts wasn't too difficult. Just needed a couple of extensions and a swivel socket to reach them.

I did end up leaving the dipstick tube in place because the bracket bolt that holds it in was a pain to reach. I'd just keep an eye on it when re-installing the transmission later, to make sure I didn't accidentally bend anything...

The hardest part of the entire job (for me) was reaching the two transmission lines located on the passenger side. Try as I may, I just couldn't loosen the fittings on the two hard lines. The fittings on the transmission itself started to turn, but the fittings on the lines that screwed into them, wouldn't budge. I wan't left with much choice in the matter, and ended up just cutting them to free the transmission.

Once the transmission was out, I gave it a good cleaning with some degreaser. Pulled the converter, filled the new Yank replacement with a few quarts of fresh fluid and slid it into place. 3 clicks later, the new converter was seated and ready to go, After swapping out the old flexplate for the new TCI piece, I was ready to start putting everything back together.

Pretty straight forward work up to this point, but it did take some time and patience to get there (I don't have a hoist, so all the work was performed laying down on the ground which can make things a bit of a pain sometimes)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
As far as the transmission lines I'd cut earlier, I ended up switching to 3/8" high-pressure braided line. New 6AN adapter fittings were installed on both the transmission and radiator sides, to allow the use of those new lines.

Then I ran into a second snag. There's a small brass "T" block of sorts, located a few inch's away from the transmission on the passenger side. One of the transmission lines goes through this brass block first (before it reaches the transmission) then T's off out to the transmission from there. On top of this small T-block was a electrical connection.

Obviously there was some sort of metering going on inside this brass piece.

What its function was, I didn't know. It was the first time I'd ever seen this thing on a 4L60. After doing some research, I discovered the electrical connection is a "Converter Over Temp Switch" - which apparently is activated only if the converter itself, reaches catastrophic temperatures.

The sensor grounds out at that point and does something or another. Whatever.

I decided to just bypass this "over-temp" switch/block all together.

So the new set-up is as follows. Two AN adapter fittings have replaced the original fittings on the transmission. They attach to a pair of high-pressure braided hoses which head straight to the factory radiator/cooler. No more hard lines. No brass block. No over-temp sensor.

Oh, and another AN adapter was needed to screw into the radiator. It's a different thread then the ones on the transmission...

Overall, its a cleaner set-up and makes dropping out the transmission in the future much easier, because the lines are now flexible.

Installation of the transmission is the opposite of the removal. Everything was torqued town to factory spec and double checked. Then triple checked.

Once everything was installed on the car, the final step was to drop the transmission pan. Replace the filter and add a filter extension si it would work with the new, deeper pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
While I was at it:

Since the cross member and driveshaft were out, I took the time to clean up both pieces. The cross member was stripped down and powder coated semi-gloss (chassis black) to match the factory look and the driveshaft was completely stripped of its surface rust (taking special care to damage the original UAW sticker on the driveshaft) - then clear coated to prevent any future rust from occurring. I also took the opportunity to replace the U-joints with new Spicer units.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Where I am now:

Haven't gotten a chance to drive the car just yet, but I had it running a good 45 minutes while topping off the transmission fluid and making sure the fluid level was where it should be.

Harder to do then you'd think because the new fluid is so clean, you can barely see it on the dipstick. Must have pulled out the stick fifty times or more.

No leaks on the new lines that I could see and no check engine light or trouble codes present, from the deletion of the Over-Temp Switch so that's a good thing.

So far so good.

I noticed that when the transmission was put into gear, whether forward or reverse, the car would immediately start to move under its own power even BEFORE I fully took my foot off the brake and that's definitely a good sign. I've driven (and owned) cars with some pretty sloppy converters in them, and they all required throttle pressure to get the cars to move at all.

This Yank doesn't appear to suffer this trait. Things are looking good but I wont know for sure until I can put some miles on the car, break-in the converter and give it a hard run. That's when I'll know whether this was all worth it or not.


Stay tuned. I'll update this post once I get to test drive the car.
 

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I bought that same Yank convertor for my 96 Impala, my engine is bone stock but the is an aftermarket CATback system. That convertor works VERY well. I also swapped to 3.73 gears and between both it is now a screamer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's awesome to here. Is your stall speed the same 3200? How close to stock does it actually drive?

I'm still toying around with the idea of swapping gears but I wanted to wait and see how the converter performed by itself. I'm running the factory 3.08's still, but with the shorter tire, the effective drive ratio is closer to 3.23. I thought about running 3.73's but again, with the shorter tire I'm running, a 3.73 would act like a 3.90 gear - which is more then what I'm looking for since I do a lot of highway driving. Maybe a compromise and go with 3.42 instead? I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Are you still running the stock tire size with those gears?
 

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My tires are 25.75" tall 275/40-17's... The 3.73's are the way to go regardless. This torque converter will perform best with it. With 3.42's you'll make more trans heat,than trans performance,and probably would be better of with the stock one...
 

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Yes mine is the same 3200 stall. The car drives like a stock convertor until you mash the skinny pedal. Yes I'm running the factory tires still. I pondered quite awhile about even doing a gear swap at all but eventually I just decided to go for it and i dont have any regrets. I still manage 24-25 MPG at 75 with the cruise control set so no complaints here. I do have a mail order tune done by Bryan Herter and asked to maximize fuel economy over HP with 89 octane fuel.
 

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Wow this 1 hurts as it's a mod I really want to do. Great writeup by you and curious to see how it performs with 3.08's in your opinion. Just hard getting that kind of funding together but have settled on the same for my car (running 3.73's now) when the time comes.

I do think you said you want to keep it somewhat stock but a couple of suggestions to consider. Especially since you got all this ca$h burning a hole in your wallet....mine wallet has Moths flying out when I open it.:frown2: 1) you should consider a Tubular Crossmember. They are nice, you lose some weight and much easier to get in and out of the car. The Stocker is sort of like 1 of those Puzzles getting out of there. The 2nd, and only if you look to a Gear Chnge, you'll want to get a different Driveshaft like 1 from DynoTech. You will notice more vibration in the car if you go to a 3.73 as it spins much faster and stock is not well balanced. I got a (not violent) vibration at about 65 MPH on the Highway before replacing the Shaft.

BTW - Went 3.73 and love how much it waked up the car. I know a new converter will only enhance that feeling but just not there financially yet.
 

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I see no mention of an outboard transmission cooler. You will need one ASAP. Stalls make heat, and heat kills transmissions.
 

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I see no mention of an outboard transmission cooler. You will need one ASAP. Stalls make heat, and heat kills transmissions.
While I would typically agree with you, I installed an Autometer trans temp gauge (sensor located in pan) and so far the hottest I've seen the trans fluid was 185* and the is with a 9.5" 3200 Yank convertor with factory trans pan.
 

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I see no mention of an outboard transmission cooler. You will need one ASAP. Stalls make heat, and heat kills transmissions.
He did touch on that with regards to the Yank....

Apparently, these converters are so efficient, you can retain the stock transmission cooler, as the torque converter itself doesn't get nearly as hot as some of the cheaper "off-the-shelf" brands do.

.....Not sure if this info was from Yank....I dunno would probably be a good idea to consider beefing up the cooling capacity anyway. I added the Truck Pan to my setup a while ago. Not the nice Pan like "ole Money Bags" Impala_95 has but it helps.

Impala 95 - I hope you know I'm kidding with you but got to admit I'm a little jealous of what you're doing here. Car should be a blast to drive when you get it finished up.
 

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He did touch on that with regards to the Yank....

Apparently, these converters are so efficient, you can retain the stock transmission cooler, as the torque converter itself doesn't get nearly as hot as some of the cheaper "off-the-shelf" brands do.
I have the same converter, and I didn't interpret the deep-pan as adding any cooling capacity of any substance. Here in Atlanta, the stock cooler wasn't enough. The ginormous stacked-plate B&M 70268 wasn't enough to keep it below 230-250 in the ATL summer traffic. I had to add a custom shroud and trans cooler pusher fan to it as well. With that set-up, it never gets more than 100 degrees above ambient.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
1) you should consider a Tubular Crossmember. They are nice, you lose some weight and much easier to get in and out of the car. The Stocker is sort of like 1 of those Puzzles getting out of there.
Yeah, the stock cross-member was a bit of a pain to take out by myself. Ended up using a heavy rubber mallet that I used to knock the thing loose.

Wasn't really looking forward to re-installing it and did consider a tubular cross member just for its ease of installation.

As far as I knew there were only two options. A forum member on here makes and sells his own design and the second option was through one of the forum's sponsors who have their own design.

Well, one wouldn't ship to me because I'm in Canada, the other said he'd check inventory and never got back to me.

0 for 2. Better luck next time, I guess...

So I just cleaned up and powder coated the stock one. Re-installation actually wasn't bad at all. Easier then the removal. Especially with a second set of hands to slide it back in place evenly.


The 2nd, and only if you look to a Gear Chnge, you'll want to get a different Driveshaft like 1 from DynoTech. You will notice more vibration in the car if you go to a 3.73 as it spins much faster and stock is not well balanced. I got a (not violent) vibration at about 65 MPH on the Highway before replacing the Shaft.

BTW - Went 3.73 and love how much it waked up the car. I know a new converter will only enhance that feeling but just not there financially yet.
Yes, I read about that vibration issue with 3.73 and lower gears on here.

In regards to the driveshaft, my first choice was one from Denny's. I had them custom make one for me (and a pair of 4" half-shafts) for my 'Vette a few years back and the quality was awesome.

When I discovered they actually had driveshafts made specifically for these cars listed on their website, I immediately tried to place an order through their website, but when I tried to submit it, nothing would go through.

Tried to get in touch with them via the "contact us" portion of their site and that's when I read in big bold letters "We no longer ship to Canada".....

So there went that idea.

If I switch to a lower gear next winter, I guess Dynotech will be my only option.
 

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Yeah, the stock cross-member was a bit of a pain to take out by myself. Ended up using a heavy rubber mallet that I used to knock the thing loose.

Wasn't really looking forward to re-installing it and did consider a tubular cross member just for its ease of installation.

As far as I knew there were only two options. A forum member on here makes and sells his own design and the second option was through one of the forum's sponsors who have their own design.

Well, one wouldn't ship to me because I'm in Canada, the other said he'd check inventory and never got back to me.

0 for 2. Better luck next time, I guess...

So I just cleaned up and powder coated the stock one. Re-installation actually wasn't bad at all. Easier then the removal. Especially with a second set of hands to slide it back in place evenly.




Yes, I read about that vibration issue with 3.73 and lower gears on here.

In regards to the driveshaft, my first choice was one from Denny's. I had them custom make one for me (and a pair of 4" half-shafts) for my 'Vette a few years back and the quality was awesome.

When I discovered they actually had driveshafts made specifically for these cars listed on their website, I immediately tried to place an order through their website, but when I tried to submit it, nothing would go through.

Tried to get in touch with them via the "contact us" portion of their site and that's when I read in big bold letters "We no longer ship to Canada".....

Geeze, what's with all these US vendors not wanting to do business with Canada? What the heck did we ever do to you? :p

So there went that idea.

If I switch to a lower gear next winter, I guess Dynotech will be my only option.
For what it's worth, I'm still running the factory driveshaft with NO vibrations through 100mph. I'm sure it would be fine even at a higher MPH but I dont have a need to see how fast I can go without a vibration.
 

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Because shipping products to Canada is a huge hassle. You don't have any friends in Detroit products could be shipped to? Then drive down,and have parts installed. That's what I would suggest,as few if any are willing to put themselves though the hassle when it seems you could simply drive down a couple times a year to get all the parts you could ever want.
 

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What is the part number on the TCI flexplate you ordered? I need to order up a Yank SS3600 here soon and figured a new flexplate is cheap insurance while I'm there...

I'd also love to see some more on your flex lines, how you routed them, and how you secured them. The hard lines really are probably the biggest PITA of dropping the transmission!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
What is the part number on the TCI flexplate you ordered? I need to order up a Yank SS3600 here soon and figured a new flexplate is cheap insurance while I'm there...

I'd also love to see some more on your flex lines, how you routed them, and how you secured them. The hard lines really are probably the biggest PITA of dropping the transmission!

The new lines were routed exactly as the factory lines were. Out transmission, and up and over the engine cross member to the radiator. There's a small hold-down bracket just below the accessories that secure the factory hard lines. I just opened it up a bit and re-used it to hold the new 3/8" line.

The car is down on the ground again and it'll be a while until I'm back at the shop to lift it up again. I'll take some more pictures then but it's pretty straight forward.

Braided Line: (10ft roll was just enough)

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/111912/10002/-1?trk_msg=GT1JV40SO4I4TBQSNAKJ93A1JC&trk_contact=V9R263QE5CR7978DMVSOCFJ8AK&trk_module=tra&trk_sid=IDGC6IR6H4G3GKCFAVC2GHKDKC&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Product&utm_campaign=Transactional&utm_content=Order+Confirmation


AN adapters that screw into the Transmission (x2)

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/113601/10002/-1?trk_msg=GT1JV40SO4I4TBQSNAKJ93A1JC&trk_contact=V9R263QE5CR7978DMVSOCFJ8AK&trk_module=tra&trk_sid=IDGC6IR6H4G3GKCFAVC2GHKDKC&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Product&utm_campaign=Transactional&utm_content=Order+Confirmation


45 degree AN hose ends (x3) - (2 on the transmission + 1 for the radiator)

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/105011/10002/-1?trk_msg=GT1JV40SO4I4TBQSNAKJ93A1JC&trk_contact=V9R263QE5CR7978DMVSOCFJ8AK&trk_module=tra&trk_sid=IDGC6IR6H4G3GKCFAVC2GHKDKC&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Product&utm_campaign=Transactional&utm_content=Order+Confirmation


AN inverted flare (x1) - (this replaces the stock fitting on the lower radiator)

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/rus-640381/overview/


The second line wasn't screwed into anything. The stock hard-line ends with a rubber hose and clamp and that's how I attached mine. With the same clamp. If someone wants to keep the brass block (over temp sensor, they will need at least two more of the above inverted flare adapters.



TCI Flexplate:

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/tci-399173/overview/


ARP Flexplate Bolts:

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/arp-200-2906/overview/


ARP Torque converter bolts: (The yank comes with a set but I didn't know the make. Played it safe and went with ARP)

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/arp-230-7304/overview/


ARP Bell Housing bolts (Didn't want to re-use the stockers)

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/arp-429-0902/overview/


Hope this helps.
 
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