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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 thomasterrible I am surprised how this thread kept going. 154 now. FYI I had driven both transmissions ...

  1. #161
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    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.
    Well thought out, and looks like you got a good car.

    I just knew this would be an epic manual vs. automatic thread, the first time it was posted. People are very passionate about this, as you've found out.
    Also, I had some Goodyear GSD3s, loved them as well. I have F1 all seasons now, I bought those to maybe get low 30k mileage instead of high 20s like I ususally do, but I don't like them as much as the GSD3s.
    Last edited by Too Fast; 07-17-2010 at 03:12 AM.

  2. #162
    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    Yes I was not surprised either

    I knew it would be an opinionated topic when I posted it but so have some other threads, yet even though they have often gone off topic it was still just cool guys who like the same sort of cars communicating and sharing information.

    It is really nice up here right now, but when it rains I am really hoping that directional tread will work like it is supposed to, they are new and came with the car but I was planning on trying those if it had not, a bonus for me. The only drawback is I cant afford to use them to leave long black marks down my neighborhood streets. A second set of wheels with drag radials may become necessary for my times of weakness.

  3. #163
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    I knew it would be an opinionated topic when I posted it but so have some other threads, yet even though they have often gone off topic it was still just cool guys who like the same sort of cars communicating and sharing information.

    It is really nice up here right now, but when it rains I am really hoping that directional tread will work like it is supposed to, they are new and came with the car but I was planning on trying those if it had not, a bonus for me. The only drawback is I cant afford to use them to leave long black marks down my neighborhood streets. A second set of wheels with drag radials may become necessary for my times of weakness.
    I feel ya, brother! Nothing better than some long black marks (both tires, of course!) in front of a friends house. I did a burnout, it lasted for almost 18 months, my friend said it looked like a Nascar pit lane exit. I have to admit it was very nice looking, about 100 feet long. He asked me to not make the marks so long in the future LOL.

  4. #164
    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    Ha it is fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    I feel ya, brother! Nothing better than some long black marks (both tires, of course!) in front of a friends house. I did a burnout, it lasted for almost 18 months, my friend said it looked like a Nascar pit lane exit. I have to admit it was very nice looking, about 100 feet long. He asked me to not make the marks so long in the future LOL.
    Yes it is fun and one of the most consistent remarks from people as been about this cars laying rubber for a long time in first and a little bit in second, for stock cars.

    It looks like you are working on a Tic Tac Toe design in your photo by your name there

    My last car was a sleeper of sorts, a 93 Lincoln Mark VIII, nice car, had the 4 cam 4.7L V8 putting out about 300Hp, with that car I did a burnout a few blocks away from a friends house then parked it in his gravel driveway and when I went to leave the next morning my rear tires were coated with gravel from the stickiness generated by the heat of the burnout, looked funny.

    It is only money that is preventing me from testing the smoke signals I can make with my car. I will do that at some point, with other tires or when these are going to need to be replaced soon for sure if not before. Taking photos of it will be nice to have too. Just one more fun aspect of these neat cars.

  5. #165
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    My avatar was made from pictures taken as I was getting my burnouts done and over with because I was putting new tires on that day. Like you said, quality tires are not cheap, I think I was putting on my GSD3s that time.

  6. #166
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    I wish I could run street tires.....


    Funny the debate between auto and manual. Never ending....with no reason.

  7. #167
    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    It went astray

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    I wish I could run street tires.....


    Funny the debate between auto and manual. Never ending....with no reason.
    The thread went astray but thats ok. There is no single right or wrong answer really so an end is impossible.

    The most realistic solution I think to the tires is if you run street tires and have a spare set of drags for drag racing.

    It also depends on where you live and what you are trying to do with the car. I need good wet weather tires living in the Seattle area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    The most realistic solution I think to the tires is if you run street tires and have a spare set of drags for drag racing.

    It also depends on where you live and what you are trying to do with the car. I need good wet weather tires living in the Seattle area.
    As for the tires...
    I have two sets of wheels. One with slicks and one with Nitto DR's.....at least for the rears.
    The ones with the Nitto's are the street wheels. Tried 3-4 sets of different street tires and none of them hooked my car up in 3rd gear.

    With power comes having to drop money to keep it moving forward rather than sitting and spinning.....
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  9. #169
    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    That is what I think

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    As for the tires...
    I have two sets of wheels. One with slicks and one with Nitto DR's.....at least for the rears.
    The ones with the Nitto's are the street wheels. Tried 3-4 sets of different street tires and none of them hooked my car up in 3rd gear.

    With power comes having to drop money to keep it moving forward rather than sitting and spinning.....
    As you noted that was my suggestion for traction if one wanted to use the car for drag racing duty. It is relative as to the cost. The price of production supercars with sophisticated suspension and traction devices and even bigger tires is far more expensive than a set of sticky tires for the strip on cars such as we have. It is still a great bang for the buck I think. I dont use my TA for drag racing and most of my use of power is when the car is already in motion which helps maintain traction with high end street tires and more linear acceleration.

    I am very satisfied with what my car does for the price I paid as well as the cost of improving performance in the areas I desire.

    These cars are simply a great deal for those of us that appreciate them no matter what your desired performance use is for them.

    Last edited by thomasterrible; 07-18-2010 at 04:57 PM. Reason: spelling error

  10. #170
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    What mods?

    With power comes having to drop money to keep it moving forward rather than sitting and spinning.....[/QUOTE]

    If you care to share I am always interested in what mods were done to attain a given ET.

    It will be a while before I decide whether to mod my TA or not, I own much faster vehicles right now which still does not detract from how much I like my WS6. If I do decide to go for it I would most likely consider a Procharger from what I know and have learned from others experiences. Not cheap but I have never had a blower car I did not enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    If you care to share I am always interested in what mods were done to attain a given ET.

    It will be a while before I decide whether to mod my TA or not, I own much faster vehicles right now which still does not detract from how much I like my WS6. If I do decide to go for it I would most likely consider a Procharger from what I know and have learned from others experiences. Not cheap but I have never had a blower car I did not enjoy.
    I went an expensive route.
    Forged 402, big cam, heads, intake, 9 inch, etc....

    Racing in Denver has its drawbacks. It would likely be a 10 second car with decent air if I could drive it to that. The power is there.
    The altitude KILLS me here.

    Like you said above though....great bang for buck. Ideally, I built my car to do a little of everything if I want too.
    It does okay with drag....but it spends most of its time on the street. But still like to have traction.

  12. #172
    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    I went an expensive route.
    Forged 402, big cam, heads, intake, 9 inch, etc....

    Racing in Denver has its drawbacks. It would likely be a 10 second car with decent air if I could drive it to that. The power is there.
    The altitude KILLS me here.

    Like you said above though....great bang for buck. Ideally, I built my car to do a little of everything if I want too.
    It does okay with drag....but it spends most of its time on the street. But still like to have traction.
    Yes when I read your HP ratings I suspected some significant modifications.
    I am sure your times would be better here at track around here which is close to sea level.

    Do you use anything besides the slicks for traction?

  13. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasterrible View Post
    Yes when I read your HP ratings I suspected some significant modifications.
    I am sure your times would be better here at track around here which is close to sea level.

    Do you use anything besides the slicks for traction?
    Full OEM replacement location suspension stuff under the car.
    UMI mostly.

    SFC's, Torque Arm, LCA's, brackets, etc...

  14. #174
    Member thomasterrible's Avatar
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    You did go all out

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    Full OEM replacement location suspension stuff under the car.
    UMI mostly.

    SFC's, Torque Arm, LCA's, brackets, etc...
    You did go pretty far in your mods.

    I picked up on your Hp ratings and you ET's which did not quite mesh with what others have reported with far less dramatic changes, the mile high altitude obviously makes a big difference.

    Then with that amount of power having trouble hooking up in 3rd with street tires made me think you had more than just tires helping traction.

    Thanks for sharing it is always good to hear what others have done and the results.

    For now I will continue to research. Will probably either keep it stock if I think there is a possible increase in value in the future since the car has such low mileage. If I do decide to do a power mod I would likely go with the procharger kit from what I know right now. Until then when parts need replacing I will put what I like best in.

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