Torque convertor issues with 9/11 stall and valve train destruction.


May 24, 2001
Hello all. Been gone for years but am back.

I'm getting my '86 WH1 back out and done right. It's been sitting for years off and on with some issues which I'm fixing it all this month. The combo is good and so is the car minus replacing the perfect headliner that fell apart as well as the bumper fillers which I have new ones for.

So basically I have a low 11 sec car with 91 octane and alchy injection at 24 psi boost. Old school stuff.

My problem is I have a 9/11 3,700 stall convertor which is snappy and great which was custom made for the car but if I push boost more than 21psi the transmission shift points start going above the engine ability. So much so I've broken valve train parts. I've given up on the convertor and just need something solid for a TE-63E turbo that holds for 30+ psi. I want to keep the old school turbo cause PTE&E rebuilt it for me and it's a perfect turbo for the car.

What convertor do you recommend for a 200R4 with lockup?

I need the lockup cause ultimately it's a street car I can drive anywhere. Street/strip car with street as a priority.1

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Sounds like that converter is pretty loose. I remember those being considered as one of the best available at the time...
I think you're looking at getting your unit re-stalled if you want to keep the lock-up, or going with one of the good non-lock units available now. I switched both of my cars (street cars) to non-lock and I really don't miss it at all. One has a PTC 9.5 and the other has a FTS Rev X 9.5. When I switched the 2nd car I wasn't at all concerned about losing lock-up, I knew that's what I wanted for sure after driving the first one.
Finding a lock-up that couples well when unlocked is going to be difficult for sure.
Then there's also your governor and TV / TV limit valve tuning in the transmission that plays a huge part in all of this too.
Get a 2800-3000 stall that couples good up top and has a sprag if going non lock. That cam and combo, betting its out of breather around 5300-5500
Consider the advice given, my next converter will be a non locking unit. They stall relatively high, flash right into the fat part of the power, and couple up extremely well up top. If your trans is in good working order, a converter change may be all you need.
That is really loose! I am running 11.25 with a 2800 9x11 and it did a 1.65 60ft leaving at 2800/0 boost. My friend ran a billet 9x11 3k and an Edge 9.5 lu and went 10.6 with both and didn't lock at track. He now has a PTC non lock but no track time yet. I bought the billet 9x11 and Edge 9.5 from him and am going to have the Edge restalled for my sons 69 Firebird 400.
The PTC, Rev X, Dave's, or Lonnie's converters are all good choices.
My problem is I have a 9/11 3,700 stall convertor which is snappy and great which was custom made for the car but if I push boost more than 21psi the transmission shift points start going above the engine ability
I had the same converter and same problem , only I was hitting the revlimiter on my TR6 @ 6000rpm , and this was after getting my boost issues fixed so I could make 29psi up from 24psi . I also thought it was the converter , so I got one from Dave Husek and still had the same problem after the change . It turns out that the trans was slipping slightly at the shift points causing me to over rev , which I noticed after I looked closer at my powerlogger files from the track . I had Dave do a Pro Plus build on my trans and the problem went away .
I would make sure the trans is rock solid before throwing parts at it . Sam
I'ld chose a vendor and give him your specs to see what he recommends for you. I'm guessing it will be something in the 3200 stall range. BTW, I would seriously look at replacing that old SMC alky kit.
Not sure if this is a concern for you or not. I went to a non lock up and love the way it drives. However there is one annoyance. Cruise control...up and down, up down lol...

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"Street strip car with street as a priority".

Call Dave husek and get one of his lockup converters. They're cheaper, they have better fuel economy, and you don't have to modify the transmission to accept one. Modern nonlocks are faster at the strip but it sounds like you'd rather keep the oem street manners.

You COULD get the 9/11 restalled but you'll be nearly in a new converter when it's all said and done.
Thanks for all of the info!! Lots to ponder and think about!

Little more background info. The trans was built by Dave Barns in Omaha, NE. Same guy that built transmissions for Ken Mosher and friends of the area. He is long retired.

Last time the car was at the track I made 4 passes (fresh Dave Barns rebuild and 9/11 convertor). On the 4th pass I bounced off the rev limiter and broke the pump in 8 pieces. I had the convertor cleaned up by Bruce and the transmission redone again right before Dave retired.

I had many problems with the 1-2 shift not shifting when I put power to it on the street. At the track it would shift but would shift higher than with less boost. On the street with boost turned down it would shift ok.

With Bruce's input I tried putting more weight on it to shift sooner with no luck on the street.

I'm not exactly sure what Dave Barnes does with transmissions but far as I knew it was a better hardened pump, B&M shift kit, hardned stator, and some extra clutch(s).

The alchy kit seems to work fine so far. I had it modified for 2 injectors instead of one. I have to run it wide open to keep for 24 psi boost. I should convert to E-85 overall to be safer probably.

How good is this as an option?
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For anything Turbo Buick transmission, be it rebuild or converter , call the guy that lives & breathes these things
Dave Husek @ Turbo Buick Performance . He always answers 7 days a week & up to 9-10 pm
Oh, crap. Forgot to mention I think there is Type F fluid in my tranny from advice long time ago. Wondering if it's too thin or something that could be causing some issues??

I noticed the thread on thicker fluid and jogged my memory.
I wouldn't chase the fluid issue. The convertors have come a long way. Dex 6 is good stuff, you can read for hours the debates on fluid. Some guys run tractor fluid with the NLU. The right convertor with Dex 6 is what you want. I run Dave's 3021 LU, and it works really well. If I decide to try and do an all out ET effort, I will change to a NLU. I am getting about 9% slip on the big end, a good NLU is less than 5%. A lot of guys drive them on the street with no problem.
To me 9x out of 10 fluid never fixes anything. My thoughts is get a proper setup convertor and probably go back to Dex and be done.

Still wondering if this convertor would be a good option to go to:

3,700 stall is nice but not good when the engine is good to about 5,500 at best. These engines are very much what I call a "gas diesel" engine. Low rpm, lots of boost. Not made to rev high with stock bottom ends and valve train.
I don't have any first hand experience with the PTC LU convertors, but I have not seen especially good reports. If you really want a LU, talk to Dave Husek. If you decide to go NLU you have a couple options. Talk to Bison, if you want to go the NLU route. My current convertor foot brakes to 2200 rpm. It flashes to 4650ish. Shifts stay right around 5200-5300 RPM. I am trapping 118+ at 5550 on 255/60 -15s. Low 1.5s so far with good traction. I have not seen any reports of a better LU. A good NLU will beat those numbers. I street drive my car a fair amount, and my next convertor will be a NLU.
So, it sounds like the NLU is the way to go these days?? I can't remember what has to be done to the trans to run one. Got any links? Is it something the garage guy can do or is it a trans specialist type of thing?

I'm a little rusty on the turbo Buick world these days.

Wish I could run the stocker but it is soooooo laggy with it.

Maybe I just need to send it back and get the 9/11 tighter or go to a NLU.

First step is I have to fix my motor. Got the parts that I think I need from Mike Licht. Lifter tick. Found the problem. Hoping it's easy fix and not major. If major going back to stock cam. Still have it in storage.
Chris at CK Performance sells the NL kit. Any transmission shop can do the swap for you. Call Dusty at PTC convertors and have him spec a NL convertor for you.