When GM released it's new 6 speed transmission (6L80E) fitted to the VE Commodore, I was chaffing at the bit to get my hands on a transmission and converter so I could design the first Hi Stall for it. It was a very different transmission with different splines and a different pump drive. It needed some big investment in tooling to be able to make anything to fit the trans.
I have always worked in with Sonnax and Tri Components to design better converter parts, their design guys hate me because I will call then 10 times a day until they fix a problem or start thinking about a solution. I am constantly trying to push the boundaries of designs to get the best value for money, best performing converter parts. Now some people say I'm crazy because after I do all the hard work Sonnax finally decides that there is a market and then everyone can buy the same parts to build their own converters. Well I don't care if other companies copy our designs, I mean I sell a lot of other Australian companies my parts, I care more about the parts not failing and the customer not getting ripped off.
Sonnax opted out of getting involved with the design of the new 6 speed Hi Stall. But I don't keep all my eggs in one basket. I deal with a lot of US companies, so eventually I found someone that would make the parts we needed to be able to go into production. So 4340 splines, pump drives, billet bases and other parts were soon available for converter manufacturers to start building the new 6 speed Hi Stalls.
And then I realised how much of a bunch of tight arsed idiots we have in this industry, particularly in Perth!! You would think that if the parts were available then the companies would buy them and everyone would build a similar converter not the same but at least similar. You see the reason I have never been phased about selling our parts to other companies has always been the fact that the combination of Lid (pump) Stator and clearance is the key to making the converter perform the way it needs or the customer wants it too. I have spent over 10 years so far (doing R&D) and will probably keep doing research and development till the day I die. You can't make a better product unless you keep trying new stuff.
I can sell my splines, pump drives, billet covers to any converter shop in the world but still make a better performing converter. What I never imagined was that these tight arses won't pay for the quality parts. Like I said earlier, anyone can call one of our suppliers and buy the exact same parts we use to build our products, but these idiots choose to re-use second hand parts so that they can make more money. Not only that, but because of their lack of knowledge they end up making a converter that is that heavier than standard and the combination is so wrong that it performs worse than a standard converter! They are more than happy to charge the customer the same price (as a quality product) but give them a crap product, they are crooks and because they spend so much money advertising with certain magazines, they get glorified and you the customer gets ripped off!
Now everyone that knows me knows I'm right into my maths and physics so here is the equation:
(Shit parts + Shit combo + shit workmanship) / High Price = Large profit for the manufacturer + shit converter.
We use a different equation:
(Quality parts + Calculated combination + excellent workmanship) / Median Price = Happy Customer + Quick Car.
So a few years have gone by and we have a few hundred VE 6 speeds spread out all over Australia and our design kits are sold world wide and then I read in a local mag that someone has released and I quote "The First VE 6 speed Hi Stall". Now even if they had of put the "The First CRAP VE Hi Stall!!" they would have been wrong. So the local guru converter company designs the first "Tight Arse" VE 6 speed converter. This converter is so bad that your car will actually go slower than a standard converter!! To top it off they charge more than we do!!!
So how did they make such a bad converter, easy, follows these easy steps:
1. Hire the delivery driver from a rival converter company to be your chief converter builder, a man that uses a eastern states brand converter (not his own) in his own race car. A man who was not allowed (by his former employer) to do anything to any converter other than load and un load it from the back of the delivery ute.
2. Buy a converter balancer that doesn't have a supported centre shaft so all your converters end up out of balance and you can't figure out why because the readings keep changing. But advertise it as the latest in technology and make sure everyone knows you have a balancer (even if it doesn't work) because you have to make the most out of the money you have spent.
3. Send your turbines off to get furnace brazed and then mig weld them as well so that you change the way the oil flows through the veins, you do this because you are too lazy to do it the right way which is spot bronzing or heli arcing (which you can't do because you don't own a tig welder).
4. Don't buy any parts from the US, none at all! This way you are limited to a 4 possible lid and stator combinations (instead of 45) using Australian parts, including, wait for it, parts from a Camira? Yup use Camira parts, because the converter in the Camira worked really well just like the whole car did!!!
5. Because your so much of a tight arse (see point 4), and there is no way your going to buy any parts out of the US, cut up the original torque converter (from the customers car) and use the standard base (instead of a billet one), the original spline (instead of a 4340 one) and the original spout (pump drive, also instead of a 4340 one) for good measure use the old bearings and old lock up plate (instead of a billet one) as well. This should bring your parts cost down to nothing.
6. Because the 9.5" lid and the 13" base now have a huge gap around them, get a 1" thick piece of steel plate and cut it into a circle and use that to fill the gap. This will ensure that it weighs MORE than the standard converter and also ensure that it performs worse than the standard converter. Note this style of converter WILL work well on a diesel!!!
7. Finish your converter off by balancing it on the dodgy balancer and there you have it, the biggest piece of shit VE converter that anyone could ever have built. Total parts cost: About $100.00 Profit: about $1400.
8. Get a equally dodgy magazine with a notorious reputation for supporting inferior products to do a feature story claiming that you were the first company in the world to make a 6 speed converter for the new VE range and remember the age old adage, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!!" and also remember if you read it in a magazine it must be true!
So if you are thinking of building really crap converters for VE 6 speeds then follow these 8 easy steps and you will be up there with the worst converter manufacturers in Australia, even Perth! You will become very rich very quickly and you'll never have to worry about a warranty claims because within a few weeks of the customer driving around with your Crap Converter and being blown off by cars with stock converters, they will have it clinically removed and it will end up at the bottom of a rubbish bin where it can't harm others.
The moral of the story, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!!!!!