Peak Torque vs TC Lockup - Fuelly Forums

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Old 08-11-2008, 08:04 AM   #1
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Question Peak Torque vs TC Lockup

I was told in a few eariler posts that a Gm V6 3.8 (which is what I have) gets it's best milage right at tc lockup which is 50 mph and just below the the 1500 mark on the tach. However a new post i read (which is said to be stickyed soon) says that a FE "sweet speed" happens at peak torque which according to the post, happens at a much higher rpm to match piston speed. This is very confusing so I hope someone could clear this up for me.

http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?p=87202
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=7130
These are the posts I'm refering too.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by backslash View Post
I was told in a few eariler posts that a Gm V6 3.8 (which is what I have) gets it's best milage right at tc lockup which is 50 mph and just below the the 1500 mark on the tach. However a new post i read (which is said to be stickyed soon) says that a FE "sweet speed" happens at peak torque which according to the post, happens at a much higher rpm to match piston speed. This is very confusing so I hope someone could clear this up for me.

http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?p=87202
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=7130
These are the posts I'm refering too.


Thanks in advance.
TC lockup is a good place to be, because there is a direct like between the engine and the drive wheels, like in a stick shift. There are no losses of energy in the fluid of the transmission when the TC is locked. However, if your car has overdrive then I'd say OD is were you want to be for best economy. My 1981 Buick w/ the 3.8 V6 gets its best economy right at 50-60 MPH in OD.


I think what the 2 posts are referring to were the best mechanical efficiency, and the best thermal efficiency. I believe your best mileage lies somewhere in the middle.

-Jay
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
I think what the 2 posts are referring to were the best mechanical efficiency, and the best thermal efficiency. I believe your best mileage lies somewhere in the middle.
...or, somewhat simplified, best engine efficiency vs. best whole car efficiency.

Though I think the idea that peak torque is the most efficient was proven wrong, too.

The best way to find your optimum efficiency is through experimentation...try driving with one strategy, then try driving with another, and compare results.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:52 AM   #4
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also remember that a torque curve will be very different on a truck than a car for many reasons. a trucks peak torque will be at low RPMs and could also have a large platueau in it. as far as the TC lockup, I don't know.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
...or, somewhat simplified, best engine efficiency vs. best whole car efficiency.

Though I think the idea that peak torque is the most efficient was proven wrong, too.

The best way to find your optimum efficiency is through experimentation...try driving with one strategy, then try driving with another, and compare results.
At the end of the day the best whole car efficiency is the only one that really matters.

-Jay
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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You are probably right about the highest efficiency RPM being at peak torque, however that varies with throttle position. The manufacturer only gives you the Peak Torque numbers at Wide open throttle. Peak torque is diminished at lower throttle settings (duh) but the RPM that the torque occurs also lowers. So at 1/4 throttle (cruising) the peak torque may be at only 1500-1700 RPM.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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There have been several good points made in this thread about varying ways to measure efficiency.

One that I feel is missing is that some people are discussing "optimal efficiency" in a scientific or technical sense: i.e. the engine is doing the most work per (something), where (something) could be a unit of time, a revolution of the engine, a unit of fuel, or something else. That is the true "peak efficiency" of a vehicle. However, it is not the way to get the best mileage.

Example: For you vehicle to be operating at its absolute peak efficiency, you would have to be at the best spot on your BSFC map (probably peak torque), in your top gear, at WOT (wide open throttle), in perfect environmental conditions, AND you would have to have that much load on the vehicle (i.e. pulling a trailer uphill, or something). In other words, "true peak efficiency" never happens. Nor should we really care what it is (the engineers designing the vehicle probably did, though).

All we (members of GasSavers.org) really care about is fuel efficiency, which can be achieved by following some basic rules:

1) Whenever reasonable, operate in your highest gear, usually 5th
1a) If you vehicle has an automatic transmission with tc-lockup, operate in lockup whenever possible.

2) Keep your engine speed (RPMs) as low as is reasonably possible. The most commonly recommended shift-point I see is 2500RPM, but that will vary from vehicle to vehicle.

3) Keep your vehicle speed (MPG) and acceleration within reason. You don't want to be either the tortoise or the hare. "All things in moderation".

4) Don't use the brakes if you don't have to. "Predictive" driving helps a lot with this. Pay attention to when traffic lights change and to what the cars in front of you are doing. Keep a large buffer space between yourself and the car in front of you--this lets you slow down by simply letting off the gas instead of having to hit the brakes every time there is a minor change in the speed of traffic.

Corollary to 3 & 4) Use smooth motions with the pedals, not sharp jabs. Some people call this "driving like there is an egg under the pedal". Brake sooner and with less pressure, and accelerate smoothly instead of short bursts.

Everything after that is nuance or minutia. There are small tweaks that will bring small gains, and large tweaks that will bring small gains. Much time is spent on this website seeking to eek out the last 2-3% that can be found using these nuances and minutia, so sometimes newcomers may not realize that you need to practice basic efficient driving until you are proficient at that before trying to maximize with these nuances. If you think you always need to be at 50MPH for optimal efficiency, that may lead to poor choices try to get to (or maintain) that speed, and can leave you at a loss for what the best choice is when 50MPH is not a safe (or legal) choice.

Sorry... I'll get down off the soap-box now.

No slight is intended against any of the previous posters.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:43 PM   #8
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the first link was mine.

before i sold the car, i was avg ~28mpg(35% city, 65% hwy). i achieved this by driving 60-65mph on the FL turnpike(50-55 is not cool in a 70 zone).

being a 1995(not scangauge compatible), i couldn't get hard #s, but 1500rpm @ ~50mph is your best bet IMO. i'd estimate if i drove 100% hwy @ 50mph i would get WELL over 30mpg in that boat.

newer, more aerodynamic models w/ the 3.8 certainly could get 35-40 w/ hypermiling.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:05 PM   #9
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backslash, you've told us what engine you have, but not what car.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:17 PM   #10
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