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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've built this mild 350 that will probably only make about 325-350hp with the Chevy 350/330 crate engine cam. 212/221 435/460 112.5 HYD The stall speed I'm looking at is 2000 rpm to keep the mpg reasonable. I know I don't kneed one but after pricing an 1800 rpm stall at $130 locally, I figured I might as well spring for just a little more for a higher quality part.

I'm looking at the Hughes street rod converter.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/HUP-GM20/

TCI Saturday Night Special.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/TCI-241500/

I was going to consider an ATI or Coan but after looking at their prices for this mild of a converter decided against it. $266+

I'm kinda leaning toward the Hughes but I've heard about a lot of their racing stuff having problems.
 

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I have a TCI "PRO-X" converter, but that's an entirely different application, and a very expensive piece at that ($1,300 to be exact), but 90+% of guys will agree that ATI has a fantastic reputation in the torque converter market, and are probably the top dog. I don't know about Hughes, but the TCI run of the mill "Streetfighter" this, and "streetfighter" that converters are considered by many to be considerably lower on the food chain so to speak. Some like them, some don't.

It's all relavent to how much you're willing to spend I guess. I look at ATI as the best. But I don't understand your comment about converters which cost $266(did I read that right?). Are you saying that $266 is too much for you to spend? You might find decent converters for under $300, especially for the mild set-up thay uo have, but I don't know if I would neccessarily be ruling out the purchase of a $300 converter if I were you. You only get what you pay for in the world of torque converters.

EDIT: in light of the fact of your application being such a mild one, I can honestly conclude that the second converter that you've listed in your post (the TCI saturday night deal) looks like a pretty decent piece for what you need. The 12" diameter should keep the stall speed RPM range pretty low, which is obviously where you'll need it with such a mild camshaft. And with your mild cam specs, you're not going to need features like anti-ballooning plates which the more expensive converters usually have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying man. I'm not new to ATI's stuff.

My intent with this car is for it to be a daily driver so no need for a custom converter.
3.08 gears, mild cam, Performer intake, small tube headers, yadda yadda yadda

I'm really wondering if it's worth it to go with a more expensive converter since this thing isn't being built to launch to the moon.
 

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I had the Sat Night Special one behind a similar 350 for many years of daily driving (300+ miles/wk) and at least a few track trips each year. It eventually was used behind a 450hp 383 (probably just under 400hp in real life:p), survived some time with a 150hp nitrous shot, and is now running behind a 400-450hp 383 in a friend's Camaro. This converter is now about 15yrs old and hasn't skipped a beat.

For your combo it helps to have a little more than what is stock and both units you picked would work out.

The issue with the Summit/Jegs high-volume converters is quality control. If 99.9% are perfect, that still means 1 of 1000 people get screwed (and these end up being pretty vocal people).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The issue with the Summit/Jegs high-volume converters is quality control. If 99.9% are perfect, that still means 1 of 1000 people get screwed (and these end up being pretty vocal people).
Are you speaking about their house brand converters?..Not sure I want to go that far.
 

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remember theses converters are one size fits all, they will stall diff in diff engines, im sure you already know-something tight, pretty much what your looking at is in the ballpark
with the 3.08's, it will stall a little more than 3.73's, prob better to error on the tight side
should make a nice driver with that engine
 

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The higher end converters dont necessarily mean you will "launch to the moon" its the quality of parts/workmanship inside. ;) A bad converter comes apart and trashes the transmission too. We report, you decide:yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MILD combo converter choice. What would you pick based on experience

im sure you already know-something tight, pretty much what your looking at is in the ballpark
with the 3.08's,
Correct

I guess I'm just not to reassured about Hughes as a brand. Everyone I know (in a face to face basis) that has used one of their converters has had to send it back because it was too tight and let them take another stab at it. I'm just wondering if it's going to be that way for their mass produced stuff too. Sure it says 2000 stall but will it actually be 1800 or less. I don't really want that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The higher end converters dont necessarily mean you will "launch to the moon"
That's controlled by diameter, clearances, fin angle, and stator design if I remember right.

its the quality of parts/workmanship inside. ;) A bad converter comes apart and trashes the transmission too.
You did notice I didn't mention B&M and was staying away from Summit/Jegs house brand right :)
 

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There is nothing wrong with a B&M or even a Summit/Jegs brand...it all depends on your intended useage.
I have had a B&M 2400 Holeshot in my car for 8 years and can't complain about it.It actually flashes to 3000 rpms..and has reasonable slippage too (about 7%)
It has also performed well at the track.
Wouldn't mind a ATI or Dynamic to maximize 60 ft. and reduce slippage to 4-5% but for what I use it for (90% street) it works for me.
The problem with some of the cheap convertors are when you use one behind a motor that makes alot of torque...example..do not use the B&M Torkmaster line behind a 500 HP/500+ ft/tq BBC or something running nitrous...but it will be fine behind a 300-350 HP small block making up to 400 ft/lb tq
 

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Are you speaking about their house brand converters?..Not sure I want to go that far.
Sorry, I didn't mean to direct that at Summit/Jegs units in particular in my comment about quality control. I meant any converter that is mass produced to be low-cost (versus calling a manufacturer and ordering a unit for your specific application, which always costs more), which includes most of the units we're talking about.
 

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The problem with some of the cheap convertors are when you use one behind a motor that makes alot of torque...example..do not use the B&M Torkmaster line behind a 500 HP/500+ ft/tq BBC or something running nitrous...but it will be fine behind a 300-350 HP small block making up to 400 ft/lb tq
I think this is right on.

Also, with a lot of low-end torque and a cheap higher stall (3000+), the car will want to get close to the stall to get it moving, whereas a better made unit won't slip as much at part throttle below the stall speed. At the hp levels and stall speeds we're talking about here, I don't think it makes as much a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You guys make a good point about slippage. I am trying to somewhat maximize the mpg in this combo. That's why I'm running the 3.08's, Performer, and mild cam timing with low stall speeds.

I think I'm either getting the TCI Saturday Night Special or calling ATI for a real quote.
I did run a TCI Breakaway in the last combo and had no issues. That same converter would probably run great with this cam but alas back to the mpg thing.
 

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In my opinion I'd get the Hughes, Summit, Jegs, or B&M rated at 2000 stall. I ran the cheap B&M Tork Master (20400) behind a 350 rated at 330hp & 390tq with no problems at all. That engine had a tad bigger cam than yours and I was running a 3:73 rearend, but the converter worked great for the street. Heck, a stock replacement converter for a Corvette would probably do you good. Most of those are rated at 1800 stall.
 

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Here's what looks like a great an inexpensive 12" ATI converter ($226 ). This is a custom order from Summit racing, and requires you to fill out a questionaire about your vehicle. Read the description below, and click on the link at the bottom.....

Improve your gas mileage and lower your transmission temperature with a Fuelmaster torque converter.

Fuelmaster torque converters are tighter than conventional stock converters and have been modified to provide more stall speed for help in initial acceleration without sacrificing normal highway operation. They improve gas mileage, while lowering transmission temperature and cruise rpm. Fuelmaster converters incorporate quality features such as furnace-brazed fins in both the impeller and turbine. Their new precision alloy pump drive tube is pressure tested and fully balanced.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ATI-358200/
 

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In my opinion I'd get the Hughes, Summit, Jegs, or B&M rated at 2000 stall. I ran the cheap B&M Tork Master (20400) behind a 350 rated at 330hp & 390tq with no problems at all. That engine had a tad bigger cam than yours and I was running a 3:73 rearend, but the converter worked great for the street. Heck, a stock replacement converter for a Corvette would probably do you good. Most of those are rated at 1800 stall.

I agree with the stock corvette converter at 1800 stall. Perfect for your application. IMO
 
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