GM’s 4L80 transmission was featured in a host of production vehicles from the General from the early 1990s through 2013, and as a longer, heavier, overdrive version of the famed Turbo 400, it is both a durable design and a plentiful one. As such, a large contingent of GM street/strip enthusiasts have upgraded the 4L80 to handle four-digit horsepower and torque numbers, but as they’ve climbed the rung in power and attempted to apply a lockup for even greater performance they’ve been met with attrition in the torque converter. Neal Chance Racing Converters is working, as we speak, to resolve those challenges, as it tests and refines a new 10.5-inch, bolt-together, billet aluminum converter that it hopes to release in the spring of 2022.
This hulking new triple-disc lockup converter features what Marty Chance describes only as “massive clutches” — clutches he could show us but then he’d have to kill us. So you’ll have to simply trust him when he says this will be the end-all, be-all 4L80 converter, and as history has shown at Neal Chance, it surely will be.
“The lockup clutch design is designed to hold even a 2,000 horsepower combination, and we believe this is the converter that will take over the upper end street market — the guy who has 1,500 horsepower street car and he’s tired of burning up lockup clutches,” Chance says. “His car is faster when he applies the lockup clutches, but he smokes them every time he does it. He’s tried the triple disc, the quad disc, the five-disc converter, and he just burns them all up. This one will run all season long and never burn the clutches up.”
Chance adds, “Anyone who has a boosted car with a 4L80 — whether you make 1,000, 1,500 horsepower, whatever you make — you know your car goes faster when you lock it up under wide-open throttle, but you’re tired of burning up clutches. Here’s the answer. It’s bolt-together, buy it once, it’ll live longer than you will, abuse it, do anything you want. It’s built off of our Pro Modified torque converter platform..this is the same converter than we had in Carl Stevens’ Pro Mod car that set the speed record in the 1/8-mile at over 230 mph, and in the Moits car that went 278 mph, but we’ve put it in a 4L80 format with the biggest clutch system anyone has ever seen. The clutches are massive, and that’s why it looks like a 14-inch converter.”
Chance is putting this bad-boy through its paces on his company’s in-house hub dyno to refine it the nth degree before it hits the market and, he believes, change the game. Look for this converter, as he noted, to land in the middle part of the year.