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Automatic or Manual Transmission?

This is a discussion on Automatic or Manual Transmission? within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I am planning to buy a Trans Am soon, but I can't decide whether to go with an automatic or ...

  1. #1

    Automatic or Manual Transmission?

    I am planning to buy a Trans Am soon, but I can't decide whether to go with an automatic or manual transmission. Are manual transmissions really superior for acceleration? Any opinions would be helpful.

  2. #2
    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    It depends on what you like.

    If you enjoy driving manual, then get the 6 speed. Its an excellent transmission, and its got a great feel to it. You'll also get much better fuel economy with the 6 speed, as well as better acceleration and top speed. The T56 is also much more durable than the 4L60E automatic. If you plan on doing any autocrossing or road racing, a manual trans is pretty much a requirement. The automatics don't fare to well for that kind of racing.

    If you live in an area with dense traffic, the auto might suite you better if you don't like working the clutch all the time. You can also make an automatic LS1 much faster than stock just by getting a stall converter. With bolt ons, cam, stall, and drag radials you can pretty easily break into the 11's.

    Personally I prefer the 6 speed because I think it suites a sport car better, and I enjoy driving it.

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    I don't sell out! blackSS01's Avatar
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    Depends, a manual is faster from a roll. A auto if stalled is a lot more consistant in the 1/4 mile and easier to make faster. I picked the 6 speed, because to me it is a more exciting driving experience. Its all on preferance. If your hung up on 1/4 times, get the auto and stall it. If you don't care as much, just get the 6 speed, it gets better gas mileage. Best I ever got was 32.6 mpg on interstate. Average is 26.4 or so.
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    Member DemonSpeed's Avatar
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    I have an a4 and wish i had gotten a six speed. Ive got it stalled and its great, however they just arent durable and its currently giving me grief.
    LS6 Engine swap, Custom Predator Tune, Lid, SLP Cold Air, Ram Air H.O. Hood, Hooker Long Tubes, !Cats, 3" True Duals w/Dynomax Bullets, Performabuilt stage 2 w/3600 stall, B&M Trans. Cooler, Moser 12 Bolt w/ 3.73's

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  5. #5
    Ok thanks guys, that helps a lot.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    auto and stall it.
    ive had mine stalled for over 4 years with zero problems.
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    a few bolt ons, 379 rwhp
    11.96 @113.25

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    Member One_Bad_TA's Avatar
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    M6 ftw

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    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    Personal preferance really. at time I love my manual, but when trying tomanouver in a tight spot ro creaping ins slow traffic. I would much love to have the auto.

    As for Autos not being durable, that comes down to set up, materials invested in and driving style. If you beat on an auto its gonna fail, same with a manual beat on it nad not look after it will fail. Neither tranny is bullet proof, thay ahve weak links.

    Its all in the set up.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    M6 FTW for me. I like to control my car, not be controlled by it lol. Yes, stock vs stock M6 is quicker, and better MPG.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    M6 FTW for me. I like to control my car, not be controlled by it lol. Yes, stock vs stock M6 is quicker, and better MPG.
    on paper yes, but in reality not really.

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    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhraformula View Post
    on paper yes, but in reality not really.
    So you're saying stock vs stock an M6 won't get better fuel economy and isn't any faster?? Thats simply not true, period. M6 most definitely is faster (just look at trap speeds) and a 6 speed manual sure as hell is going to get better fuel economy than a 4 speed automatic.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhraformula View Post
    on paper yes, but in reality not really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wesman View Post
    So you're saying stock vs stock an M6 won't get better fuel economy and isn't any faster?? Thats simply not true, period. M6 most definitely is faster (just look at trap speeds) and a 6 speed manual sure as hell is going to get better fuel economy than a 4 speed automatic.
    Thanks for the backup, Wesman.

    NHRA, you are almost as old as me, I bet you have been reading Motor Trend, AutoWeek, Road & Track almost as long as I have (since my mid-20s). Stick shift cars are quicker 95% of the time and 90% of the time they get better MPG. Stock vs. stock, of course. Yeah, you can make an AT car more consistent at the drag stip, it is easier to drive. And stalled it is as fast as a M6, but a stalled AT car is not stock. You can pick any stall you want with a manual trans....

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Thanks for the backup, Wesman.

    NHRA, you are almost as old as me, I bet you have been reading Motor Trend, AutoWeek, Road & Track almost as long as I have (since my mid-20s). Stick shift cars are quicker 95% of the time and 90% of the time they get better MPG. Stock vs. stock, of course. Yeah, you can make an AT car more consistent at the drag stip, it is easier to drive. And stalled it is as fast as a M6, but a stalled AT car is not stock. You can pick any stall you want with a manual trans....
    gents when driven perfectly, they are faster. the problem with stick is that alot of people never can get them out of the whole without bogging or dumping the clutch at to high of an rpm. also while moving, missing a gear and no power shifting will totally hurt performance.

  14. #14
    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhraformula View Post
    gents when driven perfectly, they are faster. the problem with stick is that alot of people never can get them out of the whole without bogging or dumping the clutch at to high of an rpm. also while moving, missing a gear and no power shifting will totally hurt performance.
    You're right, its all in the driver. A competent driver who knows their car well enough should easily be able to beat an automatic though, stock for stock. No need to powershift either, many people can shift plenty quick without the need to keep the throttle wide open between shifts

  15. #15
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Wesman, did you upgrade your stock Hurst shifter? I think I read in another thread you did. What did you get and do you have any rattles and how do you like it? My stock Hurst is starting to get a little vague after 72k.

    And no, I never powershift. I did get my TA girdle yesterday, my differential makes no noise and I am trying to keep it that way, no slicks for me. So us stick shift drivers are superior LOL!

  16. #16
    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Wesman, did you upgrade your stock Hurst shifter? I think I read in another thread you did. What did you get and do you have any rattles and how do you like it? My stock Hurst is starting to get a little vague after 72k.

    And no, I never powershift. I did get my TA girdle yesterday, my differential makes no noise and I am trying to keep it that way, no slicks for me. So us stick shift drivers are superior LOL!
    Yep, getting rid of the stock Hurst was one of the first mods that I did. I upgraded to a Pro 5.0, which I'm very happy with. Its got a very positive, direct feel, and its extremely precise. You'll never miss 3rd gear again, either. I've had no issues with rattles at all, just make sure you use RTV silicone between the shifter base and transmission, Ultra Black is good for that.

    Fot the price of the 5.0, it was worth every penny!! You won't believe the difference in shifting.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Alright, it is on my mod list now, maybe sometime this spring. I am putting on the girdle today or tomorrow, and going to the track this Tuesday, weather permitting

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