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278mm circle d or ss3600?

This is a discussion on 278mm circle d or ss3600? within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Pretty touch choice here, I'm looking heavily into both converters and I just cant seem to make up my mind. ...

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    2002 Camaro Z/28 Pewter

    278mm circle d or ss3600?

    Pretty touch choice here, I'm looking heavily into both converters and I just cant seem to make up my mind. My concern is that the ss3600 will tank fuel economy which isnt all that great with gas being what it is. However I know the 3600 will be leaps and bounds better than the 3200 stalling higher and with better shift points. what are your all opinions on this? Here a few vids of both. The 3600 doesnt seem all that much looser until u dig into it which is what I'm concerned about I dont want to rev to 3k to pass people. Can the tune be set to not allow the transmission to leave lockup with just a certain amount of throttle?
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0FtFVvlGmU&feature=related[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsW9wOsbQ4s&feature=related[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5buSpRFirmM&feature=related[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVZF-KvmQPA[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp4z29SoKJE&feature=related[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQUiD9Feg0g&feature=related[/ame]
    Last edited by redbird555; 04-25-2011 at 06:57 AM.

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    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Yank please.
    The SS3600 is going in the TBSS early 2012.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Thats what I'm leaning towards I'm just really scared on how its going to drive lol. It looks like in the video that the guy barely touches the gas and it comes out of lockup but I think that all can be decided with the tune no? I just dont wanna be kicking myself in the ass at the pump or in traffic with the 3600 over the 3200. Also the vid up top is with an lt1 and 3.73's I have 3.42s in mine will the different torque curve of the ls1 make it feel any dofferent.

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    From everything I've read and seen, Circle D convertors are very comparable to Yank's, so I'm recommended based upon size rather than manufacturer here when I say get the 3600.

    IMO, if you're genuinely concerned about the gas hit, leave the factory converter in, because it seems like more of a waste to pay for parts and labor (or invest your time) in swapping out for anything less.

    I have an SS3600 and an FLT transmission going in as we speak, so if any additional input is needed, I'd be happy to share later this week. Granted it's a subjective thing and I am boosted, but the car behaves pretty normal under light driving situations.

    I think unless you're driving like a maniac you will only see a 1-2mpg loss in fuel economy in the city, and if you do more highway driving that will have an even smaller impact on your overall economy.
    Nick

    2002 Trans Am WS6 - 520rwhp
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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    I've talked a lot with people and your right both are great companies the reason I was looking at circle d's 3200 was that it isnt billet and is much cheaper than a yank 3200 and imo when you have a smaller converter like than with bolt on power a billet cover isnt needed as much. Anyway from what I was gathering people only lose 1mpg with a 3600 stall I guess just the idea of a stall and how it behaves makes it seem worse on gas than what it actually is lol. Did u have the yank 3600 in the car before or is this a first time deal? Either way i'd like to see the feedback

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'd personally pass on either of those companies and go with Vig, or Coan but that's just me.

    Either way they will accomplish what you are looking for. I ran a 3400 in my 02 SS with a 2.1 STR. It worked just fine. It drove around a little loose, but I only lost 1 mpg around town if you drove it easy. I went from 21 mpg to 20 mpg around town. Getting rambunctious more than once and you could drop it 2-3 mpg however. Small tradeoff in my opinion for the 1/2 second I picked up in the 1/4 mile.
    Highway of course was unaffected at 26 mpg.

    And yes,,,,you can play with the tune and change the TPS signal in the trans settings so it doesn't come unlocked as easily.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    why would you pass on those? I've never heard of problems with each and yank is supposedly even setting up a contract to sell their converters through gm performance parts. I know coan is a name brand but I havent looked into them much the vig is a good stall also but from what ive heard and seen on youtube it tends to be a bit loose compared to others. What kind of stall was in your ss?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    why would you pass on those? I've never heard of problems with each and yank is supposedly even setting up a contract to sell their converters through gm performance parts. I know coan is a name brand but I havent looked into them much the vig is a good stall also but from what ive heard and seen on youtube it tends to be a bit loose compared to others. What kind of stall was in your ss?
    I ran a Fuddle in the SS, tried it on the recommendation of a good friend of whom I trust. I'll leave nameless unless he wants to chime in
    I run Coan in everything else just because they have been great for me over the years.

    You are right, some drive around a bit looser than others do. It's in the design, everyone seems to have their own way of wanting to build it.

    Yank will probably work fine for ya and do what you want. It's all personal preference, I've just liked the customer service with Coan as well as their product. It's always done exactly what they tell me. Pricey, but they have never let me down. Their converter is the only one that got my 4100 lbs. chevelle to cut 1.5 60 foot times and still be very streetable. I've had 3 other brands in the car in the last 25 years.
    It's very hard to make a decision based on the videos. Although I didn't watch them for the simple reason that,,,a single converter will act completely different in different applications. Cam profile, cylinder heads, stock cubes or stroker motors. The same converter in each of those examples will change the characteristics of that converter.
    It's why any good converter company will want to "build" the converter rather than sell an "off the shelf unit". I always recommend calling the manufacture of your choice, and go over the entire car. They should have a lengthy questionaire to fill out from cam profile, engine specs, trans, gears, tire height all the way down to the actual weight of the car. Then they custom build a converter for that application. What's nice about Vigilante,,,is that if they don't get it right the first time, or you prefer something looser or tighter,,,,you get one free restall. Can't beat that.

    That is if you are serious about the car. If it's just a cruiser with little or no track time, a decent shelf unit would get ya by. It's all a matter of what you want and how much you care to spend.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 04-25-2011 at 05:31 PM.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I ran a Fuddle in the SS, tried it on the recommendation of a good friend of whom I trust. I'll leave nameless unless he wants to chime in
    I run Coan in everything else just because they have been great for me over the years.

    You are right, some drive around a bit looser than others do. It's in the design, everyone seems to have their own way of wanting to build it.

    Yank will probably work fine for ya and do what you want. It's all personal preference, I've just liked the customer service with Coan as well as their product. It's always done exactly what they tell me. Pricey, but they have never let me down. Their converter is the only one that got my 4100 lbs. chevelle to cut 1.5 60 foot times and still be very streetable. I've had 3 other brands in the car in the last 25 years.
    It's very hard to make a decision based on the videos. Although I didn't watch them for the simple reason that,,,a single converter will act completely different in different applications. Cam profile, cylinder heads, stock cubes or stroker motors. The same converter in each of those examples will change the characteristics of that converter.
    It's why any good converter company will want to "build" the converter rather than sell an "off the shelf unit". I always recommend calling the manufacture of your choice, and go over the entire car. They should have a lengthy questionaire to fill out from cam profile, engine specs, trans, gears, tire height all the way down to the actual weight of the car. Then they custom build a converter for that application. What's nice about Vigilante,,,is that if they don't get it right the first time, or you prefer something looser or tighter,,,,you get one free restall. Can't beat that.

    That is if you are serious about the car. If it's just a cruiser with little or no track time, a decent shelf unit would get ya by. It's all a matter of what you want and how much you care to spend.
    Yea i hear ya, I actually filled out the spec sheet on yank's and circle d's website spoke with Chriis and Dave at both companies and they both recommended anywhere from a 3200-3600 stall with a 2.25-2.5 str. I've always heard vig is a tad loose and yank/circled are tighter. Circle d also offers the one free restall but if for whatever reason I get one for a good deal used that wouldnt apply lol.

    The 1st vid is of a cammed lt1 with 3.73s so the rear is close to my 3.42's but as you said i dont know what the powerband of the motor is like compared to the ls1 do you think it would behave a tad looser or tighter on an ls1 vs a mild cammed lt1? From what Ive been gathering it looks like 2k on the 3200 to move around with traffic and 2100-2400 to move around with the 3600 does that sound about right?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    Yea i hear ya, I actually filled out the spec sheet on yank's and circle d's website spoke with Chriis and Dave at both companies and they both recommended anywhere from a 3200-3600 stall with a 2.25-2.5 str. I've always heard vig is a tad loose and yank/circled are tighter. Circle d also offers the one free restall but if for whatever reason I get one for a good deal used that wouldnt apply lol.

    The 1st vid is of a cammed lt1 with 3.73s so the rear is close to my 3.42's but as you said i dont know what the powerband of the motor is like compared to the ls1 do you think it would behave a tad looser or tighter on an ls1 vs a mild cammed lt1? From what Ive been gathering it looks like 2k on the 3200 to move around with traffic and 2100-2400 to move around with the 3600 does that sound about right?
    I would bet the converter would feel a tad looser behind an LT1,,,simply because they tend to make torque at a lower rpm than our LS1's.
    Ya those rpms could be in close proximity. My 3400 would move around town easily while staying at a constant 22-2300, I had 3.23's in mine.

    It sounds like you have your head around it. It's better you at least filled out a spec sheet so they can steer you in the right direction. I think you'll be happy with whatever you wind up with.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I would bet the converter would feel a tad looser behind an LT1,,,simply because they tend to make torque at a lower rpm than our LS1's.
    Ya those rpms could be in close proximity. My 3400 would move around town easily while staying at a constant 22-2300, I had 3.23's in mine.

    It sounds like you have your head around it. It's better you at least filled out a spec sheet so they can steer you in the right direction. I think you'll be happy with whatever you wind up with.
    I know this is slightly off topic but wouldnt a lt1 feel a little tighter around 2k being that it does make more torque around there and torque x str rate is what gives you the power to take off? Then again the lt1 is cammed which would move the powerband up lol. I know it seems like a lot of arbitrary questions but I just want to make sure I get it right once and am happy with it. Also what do you all have your lockup set at? Is the stock lockup point ok?
    Last edited by redbird555; 04-26-2011 at 08:00 AM.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    I know this is slightly off topic but wouldnt a lt1 feel a little tighter around 2k being that it does make more torque around there and torque x str rate is what gives you the power to take off? Then again the lt1 is cammed which would move the powerband up lol. I know it seems like a lot of arbitrary questions but I just want to make sure I get it right once and am happy with it. Also what do you all have your lockup set at? Is the stock lockup point ok?
    Generally speaking, an engine that makes peak torque sooner,,,(or more torque for that matter), will work the converter harder or drive into the converter harder. Therefore it raises the stall speed slightly or makes them feel a tad looser. Not to mention stall speed ratings are just a guess or approximation at best. There is no real set number for any given converter because they vary so much behind different engine/trans/gear combinations. Although I would have to guess that converter manufactures have gotten better at this over the years.

    I had my lockup at the factory setting of 38 mph in 4th gear. It worked beautiful for my setup but I was still running the stock camshaft so I could get away with it.
    If you run any sort of aftermarket cam, especially one that has a mild lope, or tighter LSA you'll more than likely have to move up the lockup speed in small increments until the engine is happy. Usually you get bucking and kicking if the lockup speed is too low for a camshaft application. Much like lugging a stick car in high gear with a camshaft.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Generally speaking, an engine that makes peak torque sooner,,,(or more torque for that matter), will work the converter harder or drive into the converter harder. Therefore it raises the stall speed slightly or makes them feel a tad looser. Not to mention stall speed ratings are just a guess or approximation at best. There is no real set number for any given converter because they vary so much behind different engine/trans/gear combinations. Although I would have to guess that converter manufactures have gotten better at this over the years.

    I had my lockup at the factory setting of 38 mph in 4th gear. It worked beautiful for my setup but I was still running the stock camshaft so I could get away with it.
    If you run any sort of aftermarket cam, especially one that has a mild lope, or tighter LSA you'll more than likely have to move up the lockup speed in small increments until the engine is happy. Usually you get bucking and kicking if the lockup speed is too low for a camshaft application. Much like lugging a stick car in high gear with a camshaft.
    I gotcha, the most the car will have is an ls6 crate swap so I dont think it will be much an issue in that sense. Does your still lockup in 3rd too or did you disable that

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    I gotcha, the most the car will have is an ls6 crate swap so I dont think it will be much an issue in that sense. Does your still lockup in 3rd too or did you disable that
    Yes it still locks in 3rd. It only does that however if I have the shifter in 3rd gear, which is usually never. It's also the stock settings for 3rd as well which I think is 26 mph lockup, but I'd have to check to be sure.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Ok thanks jones heres my predicament so all ideas are welcome...I've got a few things going on the car this summer. I'm going to need new tires at which point I'm ordering a set of wheels and I'll be putting in my ls6 motor thats in my garage hence why I want to do the stall also this summer. With all of this stuff going on and school I dont have the spare cash to spend on a new billet converter.

    So my options are either get a used billet converter from yank or whatever company and spend about that.. The cons are no warranty, and I dont know how the unit performs until I install it. The pro's to it would be that I get the best performance out of the car and have a billet cover.

    The circle d on the other hand is also a proven converter and is priced at 400 new, and it has a warranty however it doesnt have a billet cover, and I will lose about .2 seconds compared to the 3600. What do you all think is the best option. The circle d has been known to pull low 1.7's to high 1.6 60ft times and will still net about a .4 gain in the 1/4 so it is still a stout converter

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Wow, it's so hard to modify any car on a budget. It's a tough call.

    One thing I do know I'd do is stick to buying a new converter. Used converters are a scary proposition unless you know exactly who you are buying from.
    Ultimately you'll have to do whatever fits your situation.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Tell me about it haha. Overall I think I'll be happy with either one the circle d is new and I feel a lot more comfortable with that than buying a used converter that could destroy my tranny. My main concern is to get rid of the dead spots in the rpm band and make it pull from a roll at speeds that are usually regarded as as dead for the stocck stall can the 3200 accomplish that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    I've talked a lot with people and your right both are great companies the reason I was looking at circle d's 3200 was that it isnt billet and is much cheaper than a yank 3200 and imo when you have a smaller converter like than with bolt on power a billet cover isnt needed as much. Anyway from what I was gathering people only lose 1mpg with a 3600 stall I guess just the idea of a stall and how it behaves makes it seem worse on gas than what it actually is lol. Did u have the yank 3600 in the car before or is this a first time deal? Either way i'd like to see the feedback
    Just got the car back from Speed Inc. after work today and I'm already a huge fan of a bigger stall car. To be fair, the last thing I care about with this car is mileage and I know that's one of your considerations, but from a throttle response perspective it's absolutely worth the sacrifice in fuel economy. You should also take into consideration converter size, as I'm pretty sure that Circle D is 278mm at that stall.

    I still have to break in the Yank, but pedal feel and throttle response is GREATLY improved over stock even in normal driving. Yes, the car revs higher to get going, but it's not that significant and this is only after my first drive. It's definitely a subjective thing, but I can easily see getting used to this size stall. I can tell I'm going to get into boost almost instantly since the car gets up into the powerband much more quickly.

    I'll be more scientific in a new thread with some videos once the weather gets better and I'm through breaking everything in, but I wanted to humbly reinforce my previous suggestion that a 3600 is the way to go if you're going to do it. Especially on a N/A car, you'll want a little bit bigger of a stall anyway. Personally, I pay a little more for reliability and piece of mind, so a billet cover was a no-brainer for me, but I see your logic in not necessarily needing that strength if you're keeping things fairly basic.

    We may be coming at this upgrade from different perspectives, but that's my $0.02

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    ya I completely understand where your coming from if i was boosted or had a badass heads/cam upgrade a billet cover wouldnt even be a question. but as I stated above with all the other stuff I need to do a lot of things this summer plus school so I cant justify spending the 700 on a new yank or whatever the circle d 278 isnt a billet unit and should still net me some good gains im just hoping it will get rid of dead spots and take on m6's from a roll. I would go with a used 3600 but I'm just skeptical about them. do you need a lot of rpms to ove around with the 3600

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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    Ok thanks jones heres my predicament so all ideas are welcome...I've got a few things going on the car this summer. I'm going to need new tires at which point I'm ordering a set of wheels and I'll be putting in my ls6 motor thats in my garage hence why I want to do the stall also this summer. With all of this stuff going on and school I dont have the spare cash to spend on a new billet converter.

    So my options are either get a used billet converter from yank or whatever company and spend about that.. The cons are no warranty, and I dont know how the unit performs until I install it. The pro's to it would be that I get the best performance out of the car and have a billet cover.

    The circle d on the other hand is also a proven converter and is priced at 400 new, and it has a warranty however it doesnt have a billet cover, and I will lose about .2 seconds compared to the 3600. What do you all think is the best option. The circle d has been known to pull low 1.7's to high 1.6 60ft times and will still net about a .4 gain in the 1/4 so it is still a stout converter
    Sorry, Redbird, I just jumped on with an update and didn't notice the most recent discussion. With your investment into wheels, tires and a new motor I would say just wait until you have the $2-300 to get the better stall (whatever brand that may be). Unless installation is an issue down the road I think it would be worth it. You're obviously comparing two fairly different converters when you take into account stall, converter size and billet vs non, so it's not an issue of manufacturer since Circle D offers comparable stalls to the SS line.

    Any improvement in track times will depend on the 60' you were cutting to begin with. I guess it comes down to how badly you want those extra couple tenths/seat of the pants feel. I don't think there's much of an argument about which of those two will perform better, it's just a question of what you value most (i.e. performance, cost, reliability, mileage, etc.).

    I've probably typed too much already between these last two posts, so I'll shut up. Whatever you end up doing, I hope you enjoy it. That car should be fun with the LS6 in it!

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