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Extending the life of a Honda converter clutch

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 07:00
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Figure 6
Figure 7

Now, this is where you really need to pay careful attention, because whether you are the rebuilder or the installer, this is the point where you can make or break this trans:

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Release oil goes down the input shaft, past the clutch lining to the rear side, then out the rear side exhaust circuit where it becomes COOLER supply. It then goes through the cooler and is dumped down only the gear train where the return line is connected. The cooler itself is the main restriction, and cooler is connected to converter rear side oil. If the cooler is restricted, cooler pressure, and consequently, converter rear side pressure rises. When this happens you increase the probability that the lockup clutch will DRAG! Friends, this means you can take a superbly rebuilt trans with upgraded technology, and install it with a partially blocked cooler, AND RUIN THE TRANS (kill the lockup clutch)!

If you have understood everything so far, then technically speaking you are above average, and the following should be within your perception:

PRESSURE = RESISTANCE TO FLOW. With no resistance, you have unrestricted flow. That is, flow with no pressure. When it comes to Honda cooler systems, we do not want high pressure. We want high FLOW, with low pressure. How do we achieve this?

The goal is three-fold:

1. remove any and all restrictions from the cooler lines

2. flush the original cooler as best as you can

3. add an external aftermarket cooler in PARALLEL (not in series) with the original.

The whole aftermarket transmission industry knows that when the Honda trans fails the internal filter gets plugged with lockup clutch lining, but you may not realize there’s another filter that also gets clogged. This one was in the cooler line of a 2001 Odyssey B7TA 4 speed automatic [see figures 6 and 7].

Not every vehicle has it. But you must check, because it can drastically shorten lockup clutch life! So make sure you show these pictures to whoever will be installing the trans. Point to the filter and say.. “Do you see this? Go find this filter and remove it from the cooler line! It may be buried underneath the lower radiator hose!”

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