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Old 09-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #1
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Question auto vs. manual

everyone says manuals will win in a street race, if the cars are the same. i always thought auto would be a little faster ? 1999-2004 mustang gt, did any come with 6 speeds. also the 5 speeds are suspose to be weak when stock?
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: auto vs. manual

Automatics the shifting is precise, preset and quicker than a manual transmission. The advantage for manual transmissions is that the driver has more control when the car shifts so the driver can use more of his powerband, and before he tops out or before the powerband can drop out, he can shift into the next gear's powerband. Basically he can shift into the powerband rather than before it. Does that make sense? I know there is a better explanation for it.

The 03/04 Cobra models were equipped with the T-56 6 speed transmission. All other models were equipped with one form or another of the 5 speed. The 5 speed models included the T-5/T45. The "T-" transmissions were Borg-Warner Transmissions. Then there was there was the Tremec 3650 which was found in the 01-04 GT, Bullitt, and MACH models. Tremec took over Borg-Warner in 1998, so (at least for the New Edge body style) BW and Tremec are the same company/made by the same company.

I don't know if the Tremec 3550 was in any Mustang or it's successor the TKO 500/600.

As for the 5 speed's strength I do not know how it compares off the top of my head, but Tremec says the 3650 has a Torque Capacity of 360 ft/lbs (390 for one particular model).

The T-5 was rated for anywhere from 175-300 ft/lbs Torque. It is noteworthy that there are Foxbodies which are equipped with the (more likely World-Class or WC) Borg Warner T-5 which are well above the 300 torque mark. So they can be quite strong.

The T-45 was used in the '96-'99 Cobra and was rated for 325 ft/lbs Torque. It was only 5 gears.

Also in mid 2001 production the Ford replaced the Mustang's Transmission from the T-5 to the 3650.

Hmmm... I think I will be attempting to start on a Transmission article now

As for the Automatic Transmissions, 1994-1995 saw the AODE transmission while the 1996-2004 had the 4R70W, but I don't have the specific details in front of me and will leave that up for another discussion.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: auto vs. manual

Stock for stock with equal drivers the 5 speed will be faster than the automatic, gearing is the major benefit for the 5 speed in 99-04 transmissions. stated before, you never have to worry about missing a gear with an auto.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:04 PM   #4
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Re: auto vs. manual

Throw an aggressive shift tune on the auto car, could make things interesting.

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Old 09-14-2009, 11:15 PM   #5
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Re: auto vs. manual

Automatics are precise, but a manual is way more fun to drive....unless you get stuck in traffic.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: auto vs. manual

Autos in stock form shift sluggishly (can be fixed via tune/etc just stock they shift to slow as to what they could)

They suck up more power so your RWHP/TQ numbers ar about 5-7% lower due to how much the auto sucks up.

The gearing is worse so ... the car does not accelerate as fast compared to the manual.

Its heavier not a huge issue but it does come into play

The auto cant rev launch like a manual which means they cant take off at 4k rpms where a manual can.

This is just ford mustang manual vs auto~ some autos are better some are worse.

In the end the auto is about a half second slower in pre 05 mustangs and not quite as slow as they improve din 05+ but still not that much better.

If you are talking about a straight up drag car transmission a well built auto will win and is consistent, but we are talking about street cars~
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: auto vs. manual

A well built auto will win bracket racing all day long, even if your car has 25hp

But yeah, production vehicles come with automatic transmissions built for longevity and built for comfort. They have built in slip so that you don't get jerky shifting while just driving around the city, which just isn't good for flying down the track.
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