Patent Number: 7,785,229

Title: Variable K-factor torque converter

Abstract: A controllable hydrodynamic torque converter is provided for use within a vehicle having a detectable throttle level, the torque converter comprising a first stator having a first outlet angle and a second stator having a higher second outlet angle. The second stator is selectively engageable with the first stator using a hydraulic clutch to thereby vary the torque converter K-factor during idle and high-throttle conditions, and is permitted to freewheel during low or part throttle conditions. The first outlet angle is at least five degrees lower than the second outlet angle. A vehicle is also provided including an engine having an engine torque and a detectable throttle level, a transmission, a torque converter operable to transmit the engine torque to the transmission and having a stator assembly with two stators, a selectively controllable clutch, and a controller configured to selectively actuate the clutch to vary the K-factor depending on the throttle level.

Inventors: Maddock; Donald G. (Ypsilanti, MI)

Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.

International Classification: F16D 33/00 (20060101); F16H 61/58 (20060101); F16H 61/52 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/31/12018