Lock It Down! ProTorque’s New Pro EV-1 Lock-Up Torque Converter

Racers are all about smashing as much power to the surface of the track as possible, so finding new ways to make that happen are a top priority. Advancements in torque converter technology have made power application easier, and ProTorque Performance Products is pushing that even further along with their latest release. The Pro EV-1 lock up torque converter takes a proven ProTorque design and mixes in the magic of lock-up technology to create a powerful driveline product.

When ProTorque introduced the original Pro EV-1 to the racing world, it quickly showed how capable it was by lowering elapsed times and putting racers in the winner’s circle. With the landscape of the torque converter market ever-changing, Joe Rivera of ProTorque saw an opportunity to take the Pro EV-1 to the next level.

“We saw a need because the lock-up market was growing and even though we are holding a lot of records in many classes with non-lock Pro EV-1’s, it was time to see if we could pick up some performance with a lock-up.”

ProTorque showed the new Pro EV-1 lock up converter to the world at PRI 2017.

With a new mission in mind, ProTorque put pen to paper and started the design process, but not before bringing in some big names to help make the new Pro EV-1 lock-up a beast. To help with putting a clutch inside the new converter, Boninfante Friction was brought in to provide input. To assist with the lock-up portion, diesel pulling expert Ron Wolverton from Suncoast Transmission came onboard with the project. “This clutch technology has already been put to the test in extreme diesel applications with over 4,000 foot-pounds of torque, and collectively we knew this was the only approach to what we were trying to accomplish,” Rivera says.

The beautify part about the Pro EV-1 lock up converter is that it behaves similarly to its non lock-up cousin. ProTorque made it their goal to have the converter work independently of the clutch inside, so the end user could run the same stator from their non lock-up EV-1 in the new converter. “This entire design is modular for the Pro EV-1 Series, so many of the current EV-1 parts will work on the new Pro EV-1 lock up unit. By doing this it would make working with the new converter easier and allow them to run a tune-up that was nearly identical to the original EV-1, making the learning curve less steep,” Rivera says.

Inside the Pro EV-1 lock up is very similar to the non-lock up version.

“One of the most important features of the new converters design is the ‘zero drag clutch design’. What this basically means is the lock-up clutch doesn’t have any parasitic loss or clutch drag when it’s in non lock-up mode. Another benefit of this new converter is we will have different clutch pack setups available for this system so those racers that are using a lock-up for this first time will have options they can use to tune the clutch. Traditionally when using a lock-up type converter, many racers will use a looser converter to compensate for the drag on the lock-up system. Our Pro EV-1 lock-up doesn’t work that way. In fact, when we tested back to back a non lock-up and lock-up Pro EV-1, the Racepak graphs overlay each other with lock-up and non lock-up, proving that we can use the exact same build for the converters,” Rivera explains.

The Pro EV-1 lock-up torque converter has many of the same design features of the original EV-1 including a 7071 aluminum billet cover, billet steel stator, anti-ballooning plates, reinforced blades, and replaceable pilots. The lock-up clutch features a replaceable clutch hub, captured O-ring design, spring-loaded piston, and is designed to be very serviceable by the racers.

According to Rivera, this new converter is geared towards the most hardcore racers out there looking to gain an edge in their class where lock-ups are allowed.

“This is not for the faint-hearted, but like anything else, this technology trickles down with time. I would think that we really created this for the outlaw racing market in classes like Radial vs The World, Pro Mod, X275 and so on. In theory, if we can use the torque multiplication of the converter in conjunction with the efficiency of a lock up, we will be able to have the best of both worlds.”

The new clutch system that ProTorque developed is the secret to the new Pro EV-1 lock-up’s success.

Getting the new Pro EV-1 lock-up to work in your combination will take a little bit of work, but that’s the price you pay to go fast in heads-up racing.

“A racer will need to invest in a lock-up style transmission to get this converter to work. They should expect that they can possibly run the car, gearing, and tune up a little different to take advantage of the new converter. The best part is if the racer prefers to run the converter in a non lock-up, they just need to remove the clutch or not activate the lock up function. This ultimately expands tuning options within the same transmission/converter combination.”

Racers Scotty Guadagno, Brian Chin, and Jeff Miller have all been testing the new converter with promising results.

ProTorque has taken another leap forward in converter technology with their new Pro EV-1 lock-up unit. This allows racers to get the best of both worlds from their torque converter as they learn how to make a lock-up function with their car. Make sure to check out the ProTorque website to learn more about this converter.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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