Do It Yourself: BD Diesel’s Hi-5 Torque Converter Adjustment In Shop

I realize that a bolt together torque converter may not be applicable to every single one of you but I still think it is important to share why they are unique and helpful for someone with a truck that is a jack of all trades. Torque converters have failures, torque converters sometimes aren’t appropriate for your setup, and sometimes you want to test different settings. With the BD Diesel Performance Hi-5 unit, that is made possible.

Over the winter, my drag truck has gone through some different changes. We have deliberately tried to lighten the truck up as much as possible to ease up some of the stress on all of the driveline components. These trucks are heavy and the more you push it, something has to, and will, give. We have removed the wounded 5.9-Liter Cummins engine that the truck originally came with and replaced it with the newer 6.7-Liter.

With that being said, we also changed the forced induction setup. Before, the truck utilized a set of 64-mm and 80-mm compound turbochargers. The torque converter was already using a “stock” stall stator and with our turbo configuration, that was appropriate. Now, we’ve headed into another direction. In an attempt to furthermore lose weight and create less stress, we are using the 80-mm turbo in our compounds and using it as a single charger.

The new, larger displacement engine will no problem getting up on boost with this 80-mm on the manifold. However, it will take some time with the current torque converter settings it has. Since this Hi-5 converter is adjustable, we can make the appropriate changes to better prepare the truck for efficiency and faster spool up times.

About The Hi-5

With five clutch surfaces, the Hi-5 increases your torque holding capacity by five times. In fact, his has been tested to handle up to 3,480-lb-ft of torque. With a Hi-5, you’re eligible to unbolt the o-ring sealed cover, rebuild or replace your clutch pack in the pits, in your shop, or anywhere you want. What this does is allows you to eliminate shipping a converter to and from a transmission shop, labor for the shop to fix and repair your converter, and rids you of inspection charges.

Unsure of what exactly is appropriate for your build? The professionals at BD Diesel can assist you in choosing which configuration is best suitable for you. The Hi-5 comes with many different input shaft options as well as different stator options. This allows you to perfectly dial in your converter settings for the best performance.

Also, like all BD torque converters, the Hi-5 comes with a furnaced-brazed turbine and self-centering clutch teeth for added strength and durability.

Features Are As Follows:

  • 5 large diameter frictional surfaces
  • Fully rebuildable between races (clutch rebuild kits available)
  • Saves the user costly and timely rebuilds
  • Ability to switch stator/stall speeds
  • Full machined piston and Billet cover
  • Heavy Duty springs absorb the shock of engagement and NVH
  • Self-centering trapezoid teeth design increases contact decreases wear and chatter
  • Uses only steel roller thrust bearings – no plastic thrust washers
  • New sprag components ensure long term durability
  • Furnaced brazed turbine and impeller fins increase strength and efficiency
  • Fits 6 or 12 bolt flexplates (12 Bolt BD Flexplate available)
  • Kit includes a bell housing spacer and dowels for bolt-in fit

The Teardown

I think it goes without saying make sure you’re using the correct tools on these bolts. We all know how Allen-headed bolts can be.

Because I want you all to see how easy this is, we’re going to show you exactly what was done to make these changes. First, thanks to the crew at Maverick Diesel, we’re using their workbench they use to do transmission work on and we got the converter set up on the table. Once we had it flipped over, it exposes all of the allen bolts that need to be removed to get this cover off.

Once the twelve bolts are removed, the cover comes off but it will take some force. After all, it is an o-ring seal so it’s meant to be tight. We carefully pried it open little by little until the cover became loose. Next, without losing a finger, you can lift the cover off exposing its internals. What’s inside? There are many working parts inside this unit.

You will have your clutches, steels, stator, bearings, and the turbine inside. Once the outer shell is removed, or in our case, individual pieces taken out of the housing, you can see all of these parts. Be careful if you take these items out versus flipping the unit over. You can, and will, hurt some fingers.

After further inspection, everything inside looks perfect.

As you can see, we pulled the factory stall stator out of this converter and even though we knew already that the new stator is different, you can tell a huge difference in the two. It’s only a matter of replacing the new stator inside and putting it all back together. It’s really that easy. If your torque converter is laying there on the table, you can rebuild it or make adjustments to it in five minutes.

Different stators make for different volumes and flow variations of fluid. This is what makes your changes in how many RPM’s your trucks make before they move and how they work with turbochargers in building boost.

For those of you who used to carry extra torque converters around in the trailer, that is no longer necessary. Just buy a couple of rebuild kits, which are much cheaper than just shipping on converter alone, and you’re ready to go.

Power Proof

In an interview at the Ultimate Callout Challenge, Derek Rose discusses where the Hi-5 came from and why it was a must. “In UCC 2016, we went out and ran a 9.20 something and sheared all of the converter bolts off. I worked with Brian and Christian and said guys we need to make a change,” said Rose. “It wasn’t that they weren’t good parts it was just because the power we’re making.”

He continued, “So, they went to work on a serviceable, 12-bolt design which now has 12-bolts holding the converter to the flexplate. Now it is as simple as yanking it out and rebuilding it. A few years ago, we couldn’t have done that. If we thought we hurt a converter, we would’ve just thrown it in a box and shipped it to whoever built it and they would just have to fix it. For me, as a racer, it’s awesome.”

Rose went on by saying he’s just glad that there is an option for the competitors out there that can make stator changes and be able to rebuild their converters right there and save all the money on shipping them back and forth. I know from personal experience that shipping a torque converter was almost $100 one way. Right now, on the BD website, the rebuild kit is $175. No hassle with the heavy box, just order your kit and you’re ready to go.

Although Rose has since gone full race car and replaced his factory transmission with a TH400 transmission, he’s always trusted this system and used it.

We’ve got the torque converter back together and it is sandwiched between the engine and transmission, harness down to the flexplate, and now we’re ready to go racing with an appropriately setup torque converter. If you’re looking to make your life easier as a drag racer, puller, or even a daily driven machine, you need to head over the BD Diesel Performance website right here and get yours today.

What are your thoughts on these rebuildable torque converters? Are you glad we’re starting to see more consumer-friendly options out there to help save us money? Let us know in the comments below. For more information about performance parts, truck features, and event coverage, stay tuned right here on Diesel Army.

 

 

 

 

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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