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Manual vs Automatic

This is a discussion on Manual vs Automatic within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Originally Posted by Firebirdjones I agree, they both have their place for specific applications. We are all car enthusiasts here, ...

  1. #141
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I agree, they both have their place for specific applications. We are all car enthusiasts here, at least I hope we are. We should all like any 4th gen just as much as the next one no matter which transmission is in it.
    ^This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurderedOutTA View Post
    i have a 1998 auto trans am. in drag racing auto's are faster, they only have to shift 4 times vs. the 6 speed. it shifts faster and you will never miss a gear! the only good thing about a six speed is that its is funner to drive around town, which is good. i have nothing aginst six speeds i just perfer auto for dragging
    Uh, basically, no.

    Automatics are more consistent, not faster, in 95% of the comparisons, since all you have to do is floor it and go, no human element involved. An AT F-body will not shift 4 times at the drag strip, 4th gear is OD. You will shift an MT car 4 times, it is comparably quicker because the engine is in its' power band more percentage of the time compared to the AT cars. At least, that's what I've been reading about stock, factory cars in magazines like Road and Track, Motor Trend, Automobile, etc. the past 25 years.

    Funner, indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by too fast View Post
    uh, basically, no.

    Automatics are more consistent, not faster, in 95% of the comparisons, since all you have to do is floor it and go, no human element involved. An at f-body will not shift 4 times at the drag strip, 4th gear is od. You will shift an mt car 4 times, it is comparably quicker because the engine is in its' power band more percentage of the time compared to the at cars. At least, that's what i've been reading about stock, factory cars in magazines like road and track, motor trend, automobile, etc. The past 25 years.

    Funner, indeed.
    ^this

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Uh, basically, no.

    Automatics are more consistent, not faster, in 95% of the comparisons, since all you have to do is floor it and go, no human element involved. An AT F-body will not shift 4 times at the drag strip, 4th gear is OD. You will shift an MT car 4 times, it is comparably quicker because the engine is in its' power band more percentage of the time compared to the AT cars. At least, that's what I've been reading about stock, factory cars in magazines like Road and Track, Motor Trend, Automobile, etc. the past 25 years.

    Funner, indeed.
    Well yes and no. I think he was not referring to stock vehicles since he mentioned aftermarket converters.
    The 6 speed doesn't really make these cars fast, it just has the advantage of a closer gear spread because GM equipped these cars with shitty automatics. The 4L60E has a horrible gear spread that starts with 3.06 and drops to 1.62. Not the best for drag racing. Converters help this but only to a degree.
    I think if GM got off their butts and stuck a real automatic in these cars the majority of public opinion would be completely flipped on which they like better.

    But when it comes down to it,,,people can't shift these 6 speeds very well, and that hurts track time. They weren't meant to be power shifted and run hard like everyone would like to think. The clutch and hydraulic system sucks, syncros and forks are cheaply made, the output shaft is weak, same spline count as the 4L60E (or 350 turbo for that matter).
    MurderedoutTA is correct in saying the 4L60 would be better suited for drag racing IF you want to compare it to a not so great T56, but there are better options out there for either transmission choice.
    My opinion, is both transmissions need work internally to be any good. If all you guys are worried about is how quick it goes, whether it be the auto group or the manual group, then you need to ditch what these cars came with completely and either stick in a 400 turbo or a Jerico,,,what ever your flavor is.

  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    They weren't meant to be power shifted and run hard like everyone would like to think. The clutch and hydraulic system sucks, syncros and forks are cheaply made, the output shaft is weak, same spline count as the 4L60E (or 350 turbo for that matter).

    they should have just put the same trans as the corvette..instead of putting sub par parts in it...or even more they should have took a lesson from the viper and went with the steel forks

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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    they should have just put the same trans as the corvette..instead of putting sub par parts in it...or even more they should have took a lesson from the viper and went with the steel forks
    Steel forks, better input shaft, solid synchronizer keys, mikronited parts, carbon fiber blocker rings...etc etc.

    That probably wouldn't go over very well with places like T56rebuilds, RPM transmissions, etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Steel forks, better input shaft, solid synchronizer keys, mikronited parts, carbon fiber blocker rings...etc etc.

    That probably wouldn't go over very well with places like T56rebuilds, RPM transmissions, etc
    dont need to go quite that far but for sure the forks, keys and them using the same input shaft they had on the vette wouldnt have been that bad for gm..jesus seems like it would have saved money just having the transmissions universal ..and would have cost the consumers what ...100-200 dollars more.

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    My 94 Corvette has the ZF in it. From what I see and am told they are pretty heavy duty.........is that true? I have yet to confirm that as I am pretty easy on my car.

    For the last 1,000 miles I was trying to do as well as I could to average my gas consumption. Turns out I did well. I averaged 24.6 for the entire 1,000 miles, which was a mix of around town, 90+ mile trips each way, and even a 140 mile each way trip. I took it golfing, to the store, pretty much everywhere and it performed fantastic. I think maybe its the .50 6th gear that does it on the highway!

    Auto or stick? Just take your pick, as long as you are happy to hell with everyone else.

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    they should have just put the same trans as the corvette..instead of putting sub par parts in it...or even more they should have took a lesson from the viper and went with the steel forks
    Ya I hear ya. I would have liked to see the viper output shaft used as well (which is 400 turbo style).

    But I guess the F-bodies were the low man on the todem pole, you had to pony up more money for the big brother cars, so here we sit stuck having to upgrade everything.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Ya I hear ya. I would have liked to see the viper output shaft used as well (which is 400 turbo style).

    But I guess the F-bodies were the low man on the todem pole, you had to pony up more money for the big brother cars, so here we sit stuck having to upgrade everything.
    Not everything, I tell people Corvettes have my Trans Am engine in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Well yes and no. I think he was not referring to stock vehicles since he mentioned aftermarket converters.
    The 6 speed doesn't really make these cars fast, it just has the advantage of a closer gear spread because GM equipped these cars with shitty automatics. The 4L60E has a horrible gear spread that starts with 3.06 and drops to 1.62. Not the best for drag racing. Converters help this but only to a degree.
    I think if GM got off their butts and stuck a real automatic in these cars the majority of public opinion would be completely flipped on which they like better.

    But when it comes down to it,,,people can't shift these 6 speeds very well, and that hurts track time. They weren't meant to be power shifted and run hard like everyone would like to think. The clutch and hydraulic system sucks, syncros and forks are cheaply made, the output shaft is weak, same spline count as the 4L60E (or 350 turbo for that matter).
    MurderedoutTA is correct in saying the 4L60 would be better suited for drag racing IF you want to compare it to a not so great T56, but there are better options out there for either transmission choice. My opinion, is both transmissions need work internally to be any good. If all you guys are worried about is how quick it goes, whether it be the auto group or the manual group, then you need to ditch what these cars came with completely and either stick in a 400 turbo or a Jerico,,,what ever your flavor is.
    First, this is exactly why the manual trans cars have almost always been faster than AT cars. Since, like, forever. More ratios before 1:1. New auto transmissions have really closed that gap, tho.

    Second, the public opinion flip, the jury is still out on that, since it's not happened.

    Third, true!

    I just knew this thread would turn out to be another epic Manual Vs. Automatic discussion!

  11. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    First, this is exactly why the manual trans cars have almost always been faster than AT cars. Since, like, forever.

    Going back that far to the muscle car days, there were alot of other things happening then worth mentioning.

    For starters, most of your hot muscle cars back then weren't even available with automatics because torque converter technoligy wasn't there. So a comparison of "forever" is a mute point.
    For instance, all your solid lifter engines throughout the 60's (up through 1968 from GM were only available with manual transmissions. Not because it was better, but because as I mentioned (torque converters) sucked and the cars simply couldn't be made to idle for starters among other things.
    In 69 things started to come around in technoligy, and the tables started turning. By 1970 auto's were becoming more common, and alot of your stock and super stock record holders were automatics.
    Alot of your chryslers of the mid 60's embraced the auto's even sooner. And in the mix was your clutchflites,,,,,doubt if anyone here even knows what those are, but giving a hint, it was before torque converters made it full circle with the benefit of an auto (man I'm showing my age now )

    Sorry, just reminiscing the better times.

    Nowadays, you don't get as many options as you had then. On the 4th gen you were stuck with either a 4L60 or a T56. Neither of which have a real advantage in my eyes for reasons I won't detail again.

    Now if GM gave the option of say,,,,a 400 turbo with a gear vendor unit for the auto guys, or maybe a viper spec 6 speed for the stick guys,,,,then we'd be talking about some decent transmission options that might make or break which 4th gen to buy. Otherwise, I just don't see much difference in either.

  12. #152
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    ^^^I've seen some of those Clutchflites...first time I heard of it I was like WTF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    ^^^I've seen some of those Clutchflites...first time I heard of it I was like WTF?
    That makes me feel better I kinda figured there wouldn't be anyone here that knew what I was talking about.
    They did that with 400 turbo's too. I see them every once in a great while at some of the bigger swap meets like Pomona, but they are mega dollar now, since Nostalgia has come back in a big way and those guys are snatching them up.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    That makes me feel better I kinda figured there wouldn't be anyone here that knew what I was talking about.
    They did that with 400 turbo's too. I see them every once in a great while at some of the bigger swap meets like Pomona, but they are mega dollar now, since Nostalgia has come back in a big way and those guys are snatching them up.
    Yeah we're old LOL. The Googguys are in town this weekend, they got rained out pretty bad last night, and I wonder how some reacted to the tornado siren that went off at 7:45, ruining everyones party in the hotel parking lots. My guess is some, being out of state, may never have heard that. There may have been a touchdown about 10 miles South of me.

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    As everyone else is saying, both has their ups and downs. IF you're gonna be driving through heavy traffic alot, you might want to go with an auto, but if traffic won't be an issue, go with the manual. I LOVE my 6spd. Yes, i'm a woman and I can drive a 6spd, lol

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Yeah we're old LOL. The Googguys are in town this weekend, they got rained out pretty bad last night, and I wonder how some reacted to the tornado siren that went off at 7:45, ruining everyones party in the hotel parking lots. My guess is some, being out of state, may never have heard that. There may have been a touchdown about 10 miles South of me.
    That sounds ugly. I don't miss the severe weather and tornadoes at all out there. My father told me they have been getting alot of rain. It stinks when there are some good car events going on. I loved all the events out there, but plaining around the weather was hit or miss.

    We haven't had rain here in 2 months?? Maybe more, I can't remember exactly. We are starting to get into Monsoon season, but that's still nothing compared to the rain we got in Ohio. I'm not even sure how they came to the conclusion to call it monsoon season You might get an afternoon shower,,,,but out here a 1/2 inch is a monsoon,,,,in Ohio a 1/2 inch is a drissle Shucks a good thunderstorm in Ohio can drop 4 inches in a couple hours. I think people here would crap their paints and start building an ark
    With car events year round, and weather to support it, it's something I'm not that used to, but I like it. There is so much car stuff going on 24/7 and 365 that you don't have much down time to work on the cars.

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    WOW this went on a long time!

    I am surprised how this thread kept going. 154 now.

    FYI I had driven both transmissions in several 4th gen WS6 cars. I was driving a manual car I had been loaned. I ended my search for my car July 1st when I found a black 98 that had 30,000 miles on it for 10 grand that happened to be an A4. The car is like new. It was owned by some collectors that also have a Grand National and original stock 1970 Charger and 1970 Hemi Cuda's with that orange paint and the black stripe down it. I got lucky I think.

    This is my only car (I have a fast street bike though) but I live near Seattle so with the rain I use the car far more, now that I have a top off car again I dont park my car for the summer while I bike every single day, the car is also fun in the sun. Being a daily driver and having an ugly traffic area in a commute I am glad the car has the auto. A manual would be more appropriate for my style driving when I get aggressive, more like road racing than drag racing (which appears to be the most popular use from those answering other threads I posted) so during those short periods of time I would like a manual to have the transmission help control the car when cornering. But for MY use the auto is much easier on me. In slow heavy traffic either my left hand or left leg suffers after a couple hours of slow go while pumping a clutch.

    I still love my car with the auto though, the wide F1GSD3's have good grip which helps when having an auto car.

    It comes down to usage and preference. Plus I was only talking auto vs manual in relation to 4th gen TA WS6 cars...very specific.

    For a long time the least expensive route to strength for adding way more power than stock has been a TH400 and a Ford 9 Inch for non IRS cars.

    I consider my former muscle cars to be plenty of fun with a TH400, like the 1970 GTO with the HO 455 my parents bought new in 1970. Or my first car a 1971 Mustang Mach I. But in my Corvettes I always felt I needed a manual for that handling characteristic.

    I have also had a tranny in a vette that was ironic for a thread like this, the 4+3 remember? Its an auto/manual. What an oddball transmission that was. Interesting but how I actually used it was in manual mode just hitting the button atop the shift knob as an OD.

    So while my buying decision was based on a low mileage awesome condition car I am not unhappy to have an automatic in this car.

    As I had thought it comes down to both which auto and which manual are available and what the preference and perhaps even more the purpose of the drivers desires for driving the car are.

    It is sad that there will be no more Pontiac F bodies to allow GM to style them more aggressively than their counterparts or give us a choice. A 5th gen TA would have been really neat.

    Also I think GM has had to consider justifying the cost of its Vettes by making sure they always had an edge over the less expensive F bodies from the factory IMO. I love them both myself.

    At the end of the day the SS or WS6 4th gen F body cars have been considered the best performance bang for the buck for a factory car by many when they came out and also as a used car including Motor Trends 10 best used 300 Hp cars under 10 grand (when that issue was printed) and I have to agree. Depending on if you are a collector or a drag racer or a SCCA type of driver you have a good base to modify (or not) your car to do what you like to do pretty well with the base we were given to work with. As I see it everybody that owns one of these cars wins.

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