Knowing the symptoms of a failing torque converter can make diagnosing problems with a machine much easier.
Despite the excellent capabilities and reliability of the torque converters we provide, problems do arise from time to time—especially considering the extraordinary torque converter performance your extraordinary projects require. Here’s a guide of the most common issues that could arise with your heavy machinery torque converter, as well as a list of signs and symptoms to look out for.
3 common torque converter problems:
1. No Power from the Converter
You know the feeling—you ask for power and get very little of it. A problematic torque converter can play a big part in this because it plays a vital role in converting horsepower to torque. To get proper power from the torque converter, you need to allow enough time for converter pressure to form. If it doesn’t, you won’t get the power you need.
When the torque converter fails, it can cause the transmission to receive too much or too little fluid, which in turn causes the transmission gears to slip. This will result in a loss of power for the machine. If you notice the machine doesn’t have the amount of power it should have, it could be the torque converter. In cars, a sign of this would be a loss of fuel economy. Also, be sure to rule out low or dirty fluid. It may be the system just needs a fluid replacement.
2. Surging and Lagging
Surging is the flip side of the power-loss coin. If your machine “surges” or “lags” during operation—in other words, if it can’t seem to maintain a constant speed, power, or lift—it might be a torque converter problem due to erratic converter fluid pressure or flow.
A failing torque converter with high fluid pressure can cause more power to be transmitted than normal from time to time. This will cause the machine’s power to “surge” unpredictably. It may be a rare incident, or the engine might seem to be speeding up and slowing down in a cycle. The torque converter may be the culprit if the engine is functioning normally.
3. Power Loss due to Clutch Slippage
You’ll notice this when, especially after heavy acceleration, the clutch tends to slip. It will feel just like the converter is losing power while all along, the engine is making power, but the master clutch assembly is not transferring power to the torque converter.
A simple clutch adjustment and you can be up and running in no time. If this condition goes untreated for too long, excessive damage will occur to your master clutch assembly requiring removal and replacement. The key to saving money is maintaining your equipment and fixing problems quickly before they grow into bigger problems.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For
Diagnosing torque converter problems can be tricky because the symptoms often look like a problem with the transmission, but that’s not always the case.
Let’s take a look at a few symptoms that you can spot to detect when something has gone wrong. After all, spot the torque converter problems early on, and they’ll be much easier (and cheaper) to fix.
Symptom 1: Shuddering
A mechanical failure in a torque converter can cause serious shuddering. In a car, the shuddering can be severe enough that it feels like driving on a gravel road. The shuddering is caused by a misalignment inside the converter, and it can be intermittent. If you notice shuddering when a machine is operating, have the torque converter and transmission checked out immediately, as it can be a sign of an imminent failure.
Symptom 2: Strange Noises
Clicking, grinding, or revving noises coming from the torque converter are a sign of a mechanical problem. Have it serviced immediately.
Symptom 3: Contaminated Transmission Fluid
If the torque converters’ moving parts come into contact and grind against each other, the result will be contamination of the transmission fluid. Chances are, this problem will lead to other symptoms like noises and shuddering, but it may be subtle enough that it’s not detected until the fluid is checked.
Symptom 4: Overheating
A transmission that’s overheating can be caused by a failing torque converter. If the converter’s seals have gone bad, the fluid used to transmit power from the engine to the transmission could be leaking. A drop in fluid pressure will cause the transmission to overheat. Of course, the leak could be somewhere else, so check for a fluid leak before replacing the torque converter.
Symptom 5: Slow engagement
With a ruined torque converter, the transmission will take longer than usual to engage the engine. This slow engagement results in higher stall speeds. Check you engine’s stall speed specifications, then perform a stall speed test based on the specifications listed, in order to diagnose for any torque converter issues.
How to fix your torque converter problems
Using machinery with a bad torque converter is extremely dangerous, and doing so exacerbates the symptoms listed above. Once you have identified that the torque converter is the problem, you will need to get it replaced by professionals. This particular piece of the machinery is delicate and complicated. Therefore, it should not be fixed by the average person. Otherwise, more damage to the equipment could occur.
Take a second from time to time to inspect the torque converter for visible problems like fluid levels, pressures and clutch adjustment to catch potential problems before they exist, but know that we’re here for you when more serious problems arise.
At K&L Clutch, we provide only top-of-the-line torque converters from brands like Twin Disc, Allison, Clark, American, Link Belt, and Manitowoc. But when problems do arise, our unparalleled service department can get you back up in running again in no time — whether from our home in Hurst, Texas, or just about anywhere in the world you need us to be. It may be time for torque converter repair. If so, we are your go-to!
If you are in need of a replacement torque converter, we have a large selection for you to choose from that is ready to be immediately dispatched at an affordable rate. If you are currently experiencing torque converter problems, we offer a rapid turnaround on the necessary replacement parts for your equipment.
Contact us today and let us find out how we can serve you!
Here at K&L Clutch, we’re proud to offer a comprehensive line of torque converters for a broad variety of industries, from some of America’s leading industrial clutch manufacturers, including:
— Twin Disc Torque Converters
— Allison Torque Converters
— Manitowoc Torque Converters
— Clark Torque Converters
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The profit losses start mounting as soon as your transmission fails out in the field. When it happens (and it happens to just about everyone), you need transmission replacement and repair parts, and you need them fast.
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K&L Clutch and Transmission offers customers a solid investment for their industrial projects since our products are longer lasting, our work more efficient and our quality services mean less downtime.
1. Longer Life
The longer industrial transmission and clutch components last, the more you’ll save on your project’s bottom line.
For example, our torque converters are tough, durable, and long-lasting, meaning you’ll spend less on equipment repairs and replacement parts, and more on investments that are actually profitable. But beyond their own integrity, our industrial torque converters actually extend the life of heavy equipment engines and transmissions themselves, thanks to smooth operation at optimum efficiency speed ranges, and shock protection from load and equipment damage.
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Here at K&L Clutch, we don’t just supply our clients with critical industrial transmission parts like pneumatic clutches and torque converters. We keep companies drilling, digging, dredging, and doing the work that powers the world.
In other words, our goals exist to make it easier for companies to achieve their’s.
Just take a look at Norfolk Dredging — a company we’re proud to support, especially in the most demanding work environments. According to Building and Construction Northeast Magazine:
One of the company’s most recent triumphs, for example, was the Hubline Project for Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. — a 29-mile long, 30-inch steel pipeline installed under Massachusetts Bay. It is the longest undersea gas line in New England, and was built to carry natural gas for local and regional markets. […]
Complicating matters was the location of the work, the company adds. “The uniqueness of this restoration project is that Norfolk Dredging Co. had to perform this work some five miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, in the middle of winter, digging to depths of 120 feet over an active high-pressure gas pipeline, while working under a rigidly defined time frame for completion,” it says. Nevertheless, the work was completed on time and without incident.
No excuses. They just got the job done.
We’ve been working with crane and dragline companies like Norfolk Dredging for more than 30 years — and this company typifies the sort of relationships we aim to build with our clients.
The key is customer service, because professional service capabilities can make the difference between project profitability and failure — especially since so many industries we work with are hard at work around the clock in hostile work environments.
In the end, customer service is a state of mind. From our headquarters in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, this mission revolves around a series of service capabilities:
- Fully-equipped service trucks that come to you.
- 24/7, round-the-clock readiness.
- Expert technicians and staff.
- An innovative in-house machine shop that provides customized solutions to unique challenges.
- A comprehensive catalog, including parts from companies like Twin Disc, Clark, Allison, Rockford, and Oil States.
- Same-day shipping.
- An ideal location just nine miles from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport
- The willingness to go anywhere in the world we’re needed, and the experience to do so effectively.
Our service department will come meet you just about anywhere in the world, and we’re proud of our commitment and reach. But we’re pretty proud of the service role our home location in Dallas-Ft. Worth plays as well.
Here are three reasons why:
We know it.
We’re located smack dab in the middle of one of the most powerful, innovative, high-growth industrial regions on the planet, and our fully-staffed service department reflects and benefits from such a concentration of expertise and capability. Simply put, we offer better, faster, and more comprehensive service than those who can’t capitalize on these advantages. We can figure out any problem, and come up with customized solutions for your unique needs.
Time is money, and our quick turnarounds minimize your project’s down time. We know how to get you back to work.
We stock it.
At our base in Hurst, Texas (a small suburb of Ft. Worth), we stock a comprehensive catalog of parts from the best brands in the business—like Twin Disc, Young, Allison, American, Clark, Bucyrys, Funk, Industrial Clutch, Link Belt, Lima, Manitowoc, Murphy, P&H, Oil States, Northwest, Quincy, Rockford Powertrain, and WPT—including parts for:
- Dredge Pump Drives
- Stationary Power Units
- Mud Pumps
- Rock Crushers
- Drilling Rigs
- Tub Grinders
- Marine Units
- And more…
Better stock equals better turnaround time, and our product catalog will have your project moving again in no time. But if it can’t…
We can build it.
At K&L Clutch & Transmission, we have a fully functional on-site manufacturing and production facility that gives us tremendous flexibility and the capability to meet your needs on the fly.
Just think about some of the problems that you run into out in the field. Often, there are no simple, by-the-book fixes. Our machine shop provides unusual, customized solutions for unusual, complicated problems, and leaves you with the peace of mind that any problem can solved.
Contact us for more information.
K&L Clutch Dallas Service Shop
No matter where you are in the world, our office in Hurst, Texas will seem like just a local call away.
For years, we’ve been leaders in the worldwide sales of torque converters , PTOs and service parts. But with energy demands around the world growing, and with rapidly developing economies creating new business opportunities in the most remote corners of the earth (plus the improved internet services needed to reach those corners), we’ve expanded our international business reach from our head office here in Dallas-Ft. Worth to South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.
This means that nearly anywhere in the world you can get industrial service and power products , units, and service for:
- Oil Field Units
- Stationary Units
From such manufacturers as:
But beyond our comprehensive product catalog and service capabilities (including sales and service staff with more than 150 years combined product knowledge), we offer extensive overseas experience, and this matters as much as anything when it comes to international industrial power projects. Here’s why:
As you probably know, each country can have a dizzying web of laws, cultural factors and customs that can complicate your project. With our experience comes the ability to anticipate where unexpected problems might arise and to address them with minimal project disruption. We know what to expect, how to react, and how to work effectively within complicated cultures. Flexibility, international savvy, and a keen eye for potential problems are key.
So when you’re looking for the best service, best pricing, best on-time delivery, and most experienced personnel—both here in Texas and on the other side of the globe—we at K&L Clutch International Sales know how to get you what you need. This is why so many of our clients and customers have to come to rely on us for their international industrial power needs again and again.
Contact us for more information. We’ll be there whenever and wherever you need us.
Great Industrial Product Support & Service all boils down to a commitment to three factors: service, product availability and shipping capability.
Basically, we can repair or replace almost anything you need, and we can do it anywhere. Our goal is to help you minimize your down time after breakdowns with off the shelf exchange, replacement, or on-site field service. This is made possible with our extensive parts and units inventory. Read Full Article →