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Paddleshift Transmission

This is a discussion on Paddleshift Transmission within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hey everyone, I'm trying to find someone knowledgeable who can give me a few tips on modifying the A4 in ...

  1. #1
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    Paddleshift Transmission

    Hey everyone, I'm trying to find someone knowledgeable who can give me a few tips on modifying the A4 in my 2002 Trans Am.
    While I love the A4 for an everyday car I do get very frustrated with it at times when I want more control over the timing of my shifts.

    Is there a simple mod out there that will let me control the A4 with something like a paddle shifter or even a "slapstick" like you see in a lot of dodges. The idea being that the transmission is still fully automatic but it only stays in one gear until the driver gives it some input (via the paddles, or by slapping the stick) which then signals an upshift or downshift.

    I think I've read a comment or two about something like this out there for our cars, but I've never seen any real info on it...like where to get it, how to install it, or even if it really works. It would be great to talk to someone who has actually done this to thier F-body already.

    Just a note, most of these systems still have "fully automatic" upshifts at "redline" and also they disallow downshifts above certain speed...as a safety feature to keep the engine from being damaged. I'm hoping if there is a product out there for our cars it would include such features as well...can't afford a new engine evertime I bump a paddle. LOL

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    Member JAX04's Avatar
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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    Check out TCI. they have a automatic 6 with complete paddle shift. not sure if there seperate transmission controller will work in this case or not. worth a shot though. my .02

  3. #3
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    79 T/A -91 Firebird
    1998 Trans Am -Oynx Black

    There is a kit and a controller somewhere but I think you have to install a manual valvebody. Subscribed

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    If you have a shift kit installed and have the shift points raised you should be able to hold the gear as long as you want. What mods do you have to your car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrondownhiller View Post
    If you have a shift kit installed and have the shift points raised you should be able to hold the gear as long as you want. What mods do you have to your car?
    ??? Huh? You mean just pulling the gear selector from 1 to 2 to 3 or down from 3 to 2 to 1?

    So then the idea would be to reprogram the transmission so that it still shifted at the usual points while in D but when put into one of the lower gears it would hold there until the maximum RPM that you think is safe before upshifting (or just hold there indefinetly regardless of how high you reved)


    I suppose that would probably do the trick for me. But I always think of 2 things when someone suggests taking this route.
    Some cars already work pretty much like this (other models I mean) but the shifts don't exactly feel great...they usually hesitate and shift slowly compared to "normal shifting"....perhaps the shift kit and programming would solve that though?

    And #2, when your just running the gear selector up and down between 1 and 3 there aren't really any points that stop it are there? You'd have to be careful not to skip right over 2 (or 3 for that matter) as you slide it back and forth. I haven't been in my F-body for months now, and my memory is failing, but its all one continuous slide between D and 1 is it not? F'ups on the drivers part could be pretty easy to do it thats the case.
    Last edited by Intrepidman; 03-10-2009 at 06:17 AM.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    i see, i have an email into tci to see if there controller will work on our stock a4's or what exactly theyll do. ill hopefully have more info soon.

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    ??? Huh? You mean just pulling the gear selector from 1 to 2 to 3 or down from 3 to 2 to 1?

    So then the idea would be to reprogram the transmission so that it still shifted at the usual points while in D but when put into one of the lower gears it would hold there until the maximum RPM that you think is safe before upshifting (or just hold there indefinetly regardless of how high you reved)


    I suppose that would probably do the trick for me. But I always think of 2 things when someone suggests taking this route.
    Some cars already work pretty much like this (other models I mean) but the shifts don't exactly feel great...they usually hesitate and shift slowly compared to "normal shifting"....perhaps the shift kit and programming would solve that though?

    And #2, when your just running the gear selector up and down between 1 and 3 there aren't really any points that stop it are there? You'd have to be careful not to skip right over 2 (or 3 for that matter) as you slide it back and forth. I haven't been in my F-body for months now, and my memory is failing, but its all one continuous slide between D and 1 is it not? F'ups on the drivers part could be pretty easy to do it thats the case.
    A shift kit and some programing will firm up and speed up the shifts. You would have to be carefull when shifting up. You could make an aftermarket shifter fit. They used to make one that fit the 3rd gen console. The shift pattern is the same for the 4th gen. You would probably have to modify the console to fit it. Is your car stock? If not what mods?

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    Mods are currently only underway...but, intake, exhaust, headers, sway bars, SFCs, 315s in the rear, tranny cooler, thermostate...and of course somewhere, somehow I will need a custom tune (thats going to be the hard part)

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    ok, per TCI they make a TCU that adds paddle shitfters to your stock a4 and eliminates the auto shift. you will manually go from P, R, N, and D. but when its in drive you flip a toggle shift and BAM ur in paddle mode. or flip the toggle back off and Bam grandma can drive your car again. $1549.57 just got it quoted from TCI directly. it also firms up your shift for faster and more precise shifts. or you can decrease line pressure if thats your cup of tea. im buyin one for sure

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    Wow....$1500 plus, that would hurt a bit. I guess I'm going to have to think of how much I really want it.
    Did they send you any details of how it installs, what it looks like...or how it actually functions.
    To firm up the shifts there must be either a mechanical adjustment required with the transmission or a programming change built into the unit's software.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    yes, its a piggy back for the tranny. you plug it inline wit the factory ecu. and it will increase the hydrolucs

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    as far as what it looks like. maybe 10x12 inches

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    wow a paddle shifter would be a fun thing to have

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    yeah, im on board with that already. best part is, if i decide to go to a 4l80 or something six speed auto. itll run it as well. you just download the new software via usb port. and blam blam blang. no your running six gears.

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    Wow a six speed auto...wouldn't that be something for the old Tran Am. I'd love to have a real overdrive. I've never actually compared to see but I'm sure my uncle's M6 gets better MPGs than my A4, afterall it runs about 600RPM lower at highway speeds.

    BTW, I found the TCI website...it says the actual paddle shifter mechanism fits all 5 and 6 bolt aftermarket steering wheels. I wonder if it will fit the stock one on our F-bodies?


    Oh, while the wheels are turning in my head this morning...I wonder if we could get a discount from TCI if a half dozen of us sprung for this at once.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    i sure they would. and to answer the steering wheel question, he told me that it would not fit on my steering wheel. (Stock GTO steering wheel) but since my radio controlls dont work anymore i could wire them to do the shifting if i wanted to. but im gonna splurge for the aftermarket wheel. Loose alittle weight that way, and with 5 point harness no need for the airbag.

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    I suppose it couldn't be that hard to engineer some means of fitting the factory wheel back on....perhaps an adapter plate would do it for me.

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    Let me know if ya'll decide to do a group order!

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    ill be sure to do that.

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