The 6F35 was introduced in 2009 in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. The original torque converter for this transmission was a typical design with a single plate, dampered clutch system. It looks similar to the GM 6T40, as these units were a joint venture between the two companies.
Later it moved onto other vehicles with little change. Most are probably building these units routinely at this point. But recently we discovered a new variation of this unit. The most recent version was from a 2016 Ford Explorer with a 2.3L.
As with many of these converters, the OE cores are easily identifiable with a tag ID or paint mark. This particular unit has a label with a “J” on the cover and a black paint stripe on the impeller (figure 1). At first glance, there’s nothing unique about this converter, which sports Ford’s typical four mounting studs and flat pump drive hub. But once it’s cut open, that’s when the fun begins.
The impeller, stator, and turbine hold no surprises, but you’ll quickly find that the cover holds all the secrets. As with many late model converters, this newest version contains a captive clutch (figure 2), similar to some of the 6R80 designs.
One difference is the input seal is free-floating and riveted between the piston and a steel plate. Figure 3 shows the breakdowns.
You’ll find this converter a little more challenging to build because these captive clutches involve quite a bit of labor. Once disassembled, you’ll find a dual friction clutch plate that engages the damper system in the turbine.
Is all the labor worth your time, or should you just flush the cover out and try to re-use it? If the fluid looks decent, you might consider this, but be careful: The core used for this article looked pretty good, but when we got the clutch apart, we found quite a bit of metal contamination in the friction material.
The unit itself includes a furnace-brazed impeller, bearings on each side of the stator, and a hardened, 24-spline turbine hub. Watch www.tcraonline.com for a complete spec posting soon.