Prev Article Next Article

Tech Review—FTI Gen 3 XPM Billet Bolt-Together Torque Converters

Posted By: Steve Baur
Written by Steve Turner
Photography by the author

 
Torque converters are complex beasts. Thanks to the mechanical magic of pumps, fins, turbines, and flowing fluid, they allow the transmission to couple to and decouple from the engine at the appropriate time. In high-performance environments, this application of fluid dynamics allows planting earth-shaking levels of power to the racing surface — if you select the right combination.
 
To that end, transmission specialists created specialized converters for racing applications. Some are sealed units that make selecting the proper setup for your combination. For more flexibility, there are bolt-together units that the end user to swap out parts to change the characteristics without sending the unit back to its creator for servicing.
 
FTI Performance’s Gen 3 XPM billet bolt-together torque converters are laden with high-end features, including triple Torrington bearings, a 3/8 steel anti-balloon plate, a 4140 hardened impeller hub, and a chrome-moly turbine hub with hardened input splines. It is furnace brazed and fully tig-welded.

 FTI Performance’s Gen 3 XPM billet bolt-together torque converters are laden with high-end features, including triple Torrington bearings, a 3/8 steel anti-balloon plate, a 4140 hardened impeller hub, and a chrome-moly turbine hub with hardened
input splines. It is furnace brazed and fully tig-welded.


An interesting entry in this category is the Gen 3 XPM billet bolt-together torque converter from FTI Performance, which retails for around $3,500. What makes these units so special is unlocking a much greater degree of post-purchase customization. 
 
“The industry needs technology that the end-user can capitalize on without the help of a freight truck,” said Greg Samuel, FTI Performance Chief Technical Officer.  “When they need it and how they need it.  This converter allows interchangeability as well as tunability beyond any other converter available.”


Rather than just allowing the swapping of the stator, these converters offer more fitment configurations and more internal-part interchangeability. FTI describes these capabilities as making the converter self-tunable, which is a boon to racers dialing in their combinations for the given conditions, be they power-adder levels or track conditions. Moreover, the bolt-together style allows for making repairs at the track in the rare instance that is necessary.
 

Fitted with a proprietary, computer-designed billet steel stator the FTI Gen 3 XPM can be customized with stator designs for centrifugal-supercharger, roots-blower, screw-blowers, turbocharger, nitrous, and naturally aspirated combinations with outputs as high as 4,000 horsepower.

Enabling this capability is the Gen 3 XPM’s are CNC-machined billet parts that are precisely machined to ensure each part is exact and repeatable. The benefit of this process is a billet front cover compatible with every imaginable flexplate combo without changing covers, which is possible thanks to its six-pad cover and billet adapters.

“After we weld the hub, we’ll go back sample and take a pass off of every surface so everything is exactly 100-percent true from the surface here to the bearing surface here. And the pump and the stators are always the same,” Justin Cooper, Sales/Converter Specialist at FTI Performance, told us.
 

The Gen 3 XPM converter’s billet aluminum six-pad front cover trims its rotating weight by up to 10 pounds. The billet allows this converter to fit any possible flexplate configuration. Bolt-on billet adapters allow choosing the bolt pattern and proper height. It will clear block plates up to 1-inch thick.

That exacting machining continues inside the converter, where multiple turbines are available to fit Lenco, GM, and Ford transmissions. Likewise, FTI offers multiple pump configurations to fit those same transmissions. These converters can even be reconfigured from a 10-inch to a 9-inch unit. 
 
The design of those internal parts benefits from FTI’s experience building these for a wide variety of drag racing applications from bracket cars to X275 radial machines. It could even work well in the big-power street machines that run in the True Street ranks.
 
“We’ve made this converter where it will fit virtually anything from a 1,200-horsepower car to 4,000-horsepower car,” Samuel said.
 

Gen 3 XPM turbines are available with spline and pump configurations for Lenco, GM, and Ford transmission. They are also available in sprag and sprag-less versions. Each piece of the convertible is interchangeable allowing for end-user tuning in the field without the need to ship the converter back and forth, which comes in handy on a race weekend.

Moreover, the exacting production of the pieces ensures worry-free parts swaps in the field, as each piece is a direct fit for the converter. They are also balanced and sold separately for around $600 each, so you can have an extra pump and stator on hand for about $1,200, which could mean the difference between winning and losing on a race weekend. Conversely, you can build up the converter as your budget allows, just like an engine build. 
 
“I can send this pump out to you, bolt it on there and you're good to go,” Cooper explained. “Or if you decide to change the input splines on your transmission to go from a standard small shaft to a big shaft confguration, I can send you a turbine... Everything’s interchangeable.”

Source
FTI Performance
(386) 736-5816
FTIPerformance.com


join our

email list

You’ll be first to know about Race Pages Digital latest news!