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post #1 of 76 Old 06-15-2009, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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auto vs stick for turbo car

Ok guys,

My buddy just dropped a turbo into his car and he is thinking of going to an auto. I tell him its a bad idea because i dont think that he will like the car after running the same number a few times the car will be boring and just not any fun and go right back to a stick anyway.

Me personally i would rather have a stick and be a tenth or so slower and have more fun with the car (banging gears and constantly trying to better himself with better driving and such) and my buddy is just like me when it comes to these things, just like me. We both liek to blow donuts alot and burnouts on the street and other such variants of ragging.


i went the pro's and cons of both stick and auto for turbo cars.... please do not hijack this thread way off topic and try to be as objective as possible.


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post #2 of 76 Old 06-15-2009, 07:34 PM
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I still have to "bang" my gears and will not go back to a standard.


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post #3 of 76 Old 06-15-2009, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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yes but is it fun? I cant imagine that pushing a stick forwaard 3 times is nearly as fun as having to try and find a gear and work for what your doing. to me an auto car is boring and repetetive as hell.

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post #4 of 76 Old 06-15-2009, 09:04 PM
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the auto will be a lot more fun and consistent, especially if you break 5 speeds a lot. and you will go more than 1 tenth faster. from what i have seen you usually pick up around half a second or better
I thought i would never like an auto for the same reasons, but now i can go out and have more fun, consistently, and no heavy pedals from clutches
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post #5 of 76 Old 06-15-2009, 09:32 PM
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I have more fun driving my car now than I ever did with the 5-speed. Most guys with a lot of power that do make the switch wish they had done it sooner.

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post #6 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 06:10 AM
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I was considering autos, just wish the AOD's werent so god awful expensive

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post #7 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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i am prety hard headed to the subject, what makes it more fun? to me it sounds like just pushing one pedal and holidng on is not that much fun. is the fact that your a little faster the only reason its fun?

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post #8 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 07:16 AM
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i am prety hard headed to the subject, what makes it more fun? to me it sounds like just pushing one pedal and holidng on is not that much fun. is the fact that your a little faster the only reason its fun?
I guess it depends on what you consider a "little" faster. Lately I've been seeing people dropping .5-1 full second of their ET's with their turbo setups swapping over to an auto!

Sure, if you plan on running slicks with a fully built suspension.....it may not matter quite as much (unless your pushing MAJOR horsepower). For rest of us with mildly upgraded suspension running on drag radials....an Auto just can't be beat.

I once was had the same viewpoint as you...but in the end, banging gears only goes so far. So for now, my 3550 is out and soon up for sale....and a 4r70w will be going in its place!

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post #9 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 09:12 AM
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The automatic with the turbo is a good combination. Then put in a transbrake, a two-step, and slicks. Now that is what I'm talking about.
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post #10 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 09:31 AM
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I guess it depends on what you consider a "little" faster. Lately I've been seeing people dropping .5-1 full second of their ET's with their turbo setups swapping over to an auto!
About a full second is my experience, which I stated in another thread recently on here about this very same subject. Personally I think most all turbo cars, even factory, are more fun and consistent on the street with an auto over a stick.


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post #11 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 09:42 AM
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About a full second is my experience, which I stated in another thread recently on here about this very same subject. Personally I think most all turbo cars, even factory, are more fun and consistent on the street with an auto over a stick.
Clicking off a 10.35 would be nice!

Of course, without a transbrake or a hizoot uber expensive converter...I'd be happy with 1/2 second reduction.
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post #12 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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great responses guys i appreciate it.

I am having a hard time seeing a 1 second gain from just switching. Is the gain (and no offense to anyone) because you cant drive a stick so hot? or is it from the tranny being that much better? I dont see a tranny that only shifts a fraction of a second faster being a reason to pick up a second... correct me if im wrong.

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post #13 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 10:27 AM
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yes but is it fun? I cant imagine that pushing a stick forwaard 3 times is nearly as fun as having to try and find a gear and work for what your doing. to me an auto car is boring and repetetive as hell.
if you want to keep it manual trans you are going to need some beef in there. i got a turbo 306 and the only thing that holds up to it (that's cheap) is a modded AOD from an F150.

it makes 465lb/ft to the wheels, i can't afford a manual that will hold up to it. the car has shown me that automatics can be fun.

oh, i have a lentech shift kit in the trans, it really wakes it up, shifts are ####ing hard and fun. it's a blast to drive and i don't have to worry about replacing the trans or clutch every week.

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post #14 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 10:40 AM
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great responses guys i appreciate it.

I am having a hard time seeing a 1 second gain from just switching. Is the gain (and no offense to anyone) because you cant drive a stick so hot? or is it from the tranny being that much better? I dont see a tranny that only shifts a fraction of a second faster being a reason to pick up a second... correct me if im wrong.
I have no problems shifting…but the more power you make with a manual….the harder it get’s to launch without a compete drag suspension setup and slicks. I think those of us that typically benefit the most are the ones that are driving it to the track on radial tires.

I used to cut 1.7 60’s on nitto’s with a stock suspension, stock clutch and a nearly stock longblock. Fast foreward to today…and I have issues cutting 1.7 60’s with ET streets with upgraded suspension components, a 3550 tranny and my current turbo setup. Yes, I could get far better times immediately by swapping out to some slicks….but I don’t trailer the car to the track and at this point have no urge to. I could likely shrink those 1.7’s into the 1.6 range with a ##### ton of track time….but again, I have no urge to.

Don’t forget that those fractions of a second add up in the ÂĽ mile. It’s most noticeable in the 60’, but shifting with a manual will result in boost loss….regardless of how fast you are. It’s for that very reason rally cars have a anti-lag program that retards timing/cuts ignition in-between shifts…which results in virtually no boost loss (and some wicked backfires and shooting flames out the [email protected]@).
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post #15 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 11:02 AM
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great responses guys i appreciate it.

I am having a hard time seeing a 1 second gain from just switching. Is the gain (and no offense to anyone) because you cant drive a stick so hot? or is it from the tranny being that much better? I dont see a tranny that only shifts a fraction of a second faster being a reason to pick up a second... correct me if im wrong.
Primarily I believe it is from lack of boost loss(bigger deal on a turdbo car than a SC) between shifts and it is from being able to load up the motor better for a launch. I have seen a pretty consistent 1 second gain on a ton of turbo mustangs going from a stick to an auto so I think it is safe to rule out poor driving skills as the reason.

Go test drive a diesel VW stick and then an auto. I say diesel VW because it will be a ton more obvious during driving it.

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post #16 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 11:09 AM
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I am a dinosaur and will say that for a street car a stick has always been fun to me but if track times are your biggest goal then auto will (almost) always be best.

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post #17 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 04:46 PM
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<-----------auto, will never look back

I have a manual valve body so I shift it everytime I drive it, just no pedal to push. Im not knocking the 5 speed guys AT ALL, im just saying its not for me and for the main purpose of my car now. My buddy has a 97 Turbo Cobra w/ a Tremec and that thing is a damn blast to drive and there is something about rolling into boost in 3rd gear and blitzing the tires His car runs mid-high 10s but would absolutely go faster with an auto.

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post #18 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sick96gt View Post
great responses guys i appreciate it.

I am having a hard time seeing a 1 second gain from just switching. Is the gain (and no offense to anyone) because you cant drive a stick so hot? or is it from the tranny being that much better? I dont see a tranny that only shifts a fraction of a second faster being a reason to pick up a second... correct me if im wrong.
There are a few reasons people pick up with the auto.

#1. People can not drive a stick as well as they think they can. Your leaving something on the table.

#2 Torque converters can be built to actually multiply torque. So you are putting more torque to the tires.

#3 It is usually a softer launch and better gearing for a auto. Hooking better and being able to load the turbo makes a world of difference.

#4 Leaving off a trans brake with more boost = more power to leave off the line with.

Now other good reasons why an automatic is a good idea is no clutch to worry about replacing or slipping. No worry of a twin disc clutch snapping your input shaft. No shifting problems due to syncros getting in the way. Faster shifts. One less shift. Easier to drive. Easier to hook. I could go on too.

If you think a auto in a turbo car is boring you have never been in a car that makes a lot of power. Around here people I know are switching to the AOD and 4R70W like crazy. They see cars around here picking up a lot of ET and making life easier on themselves.

You can build a AOD or 4R70w in your garage with basic tools. There is a lot of info out there on what parts to look for. Even where the average Joe can buy the parts at wholesale prices. The VB and converter will cost you some money for good units. But what would a twin disc clutch set up cost you? And face plating your TKO when it doesn't shift under a lot of power? Then your driving around with a retarded clutch and face plated trans clunking loudly every where. Been there done that. I will pick an auto any day of the week.

Search this, the drag race and superchargers forums for auto debates.

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post #19 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 06:00 PM
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I will never go auto !!!!! NEVER if there is a option. we all know at sick high HP its a must but not at the lower levels.

it takes a bunch of time/practice to get a turbo stick car down !!!

IMHO its more about fun then track times for a STREET car. YES a auto would be faster but IF it was all about the track times I would run slicks in a gutted out auto/turbo car with way MORE then a STOCK motor lol



I agree snipe but at the same time drive 2 non turbo slow VWs and I bet the stick car is more fun to drive around

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post #20 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 06:07 PM
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IMHO its more about fun then track times for a STREET car. YES a auto would be faster but IF it was all about the track times I would run slicks in a gutted out auto/turbo car with way MORE then a STOCK motor lol


Two things turned me around from hating my car on the street. First was the AEM EMS made the car so smooth to drive again. The second was the auto. No heavy clutch pedal effort first off. And second it again made the car more smooth to drive. Not just cruising around either. I mean mash the gas and you sink into the seat and stay planted there. I have enough to worry about with out manually shifting the car.

And like the others at the track I picked up a lot, launched easier and was more consistent.

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post #21 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 06:18 PM
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I have enough to worry about with out manually shifting the car.


I hear that !! thats why I made a reference to use 2 SLOW cars lol I dont make enough power to have it be a "fun" auto lol lol mine still drives/idles like stock and running the easy push stock clutch too lol

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post #22 of 76 Old 06-16-2009, 06:55 PM
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I just recently did the auto swap in mine, should of done it yrs ago! My car is a dd and swapping out clutches and throw out bearings gets old. Plus one leg is twice as big as the other from all the yrs of heavy clutches.
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post #23 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 06:54 AM
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I think its pretty obvious his friend should go auto

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post #24 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 08:58 AM
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I will never go auto !!!!! NEVER if there is a option. we all know at sick high HP its a must but not at the lower levels.

it takes a bunch of time/practice to get a turbo stick car down !!!

IMHO its more about fun then track times for a STREET car. YES a auto would be faster but IF it was all about the track times I would run slicks in a gutted out auto/turbo car with way MORE then a STOCK motor lol



I agree snipe but at the same time drive 2 non turbo slow VWs and I bet the stick car is more fun to drive around
Thank God I will have someone else to BS with about my choice! My thing is I'm going to get kicked off the track for not having a 1,000 point cage in my daily. Whatever.... I think I'm kind of on the outside of this conversation though. I think if the OP is looking for track cred then he should go AUTO and be done with it. Good luck.
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do all of you auto guys enjoy driving stick shifts? or are you content with having an auto because you dont like it.

I drove my buddies car the other day and did not feel the car fall on its face at all between the 2-3 shift (the only shift i got on it for). so i am finding it hard to believe that the auto is going to help down track.

And i dont know why you guys go through clutches so quick but i am only on my second one in 6 yrs (2.5yrs since the car has run 12.5 or faster and i only run on slicks 90% of the time)

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post #26 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 10:15 AM
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do all of you auto guys enjoy driving stick shifts? or are you content with having an auto because you dont like it.

I drove my buddies car the other day and did not feel the car fall on its face at all between the 2-3 shift (the only shift i got on it for). so i am finding it hard to believe that the auto is going to help down track.

And i dont know why you guys go through clutches so quick but i am only on my second one in 6 yrs (2.5yrs since the car has run 12.5 or faster and i only run on slicks 90% of the time)
I’m on my way to swapping over…and I fully enjoy driving a manual. My DD has been an auto for the better part of the last 10+ years (previously contour and now Pontiac g5). If I were building this car for the twisties or still using it as a DD….hands down I’d be keeping my 3550.

FYI, I've had no issues with my clutch...as it's lasted 4+ years of turbo abuse flawlessly. Clutch Dynamics FTMFW!
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post #27 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 10:17 AM
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I am not going to reread the thread but has anyone who DD's their car and swapped to an automatic made a complaint about going that direction? Seems like on all the forums, all the turdbo goes who have actually done the swap to an auto do nothing but praise the decision. I am sure someone hated it and went back but they are so far in the minority pool it is not even funny.

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post #28 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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i appreciate all the comments but for me i would still stick with the stick.
I enjoy banging the gears too much, its just to much fun and mine has always run good so i dont think an auto would be a good choice for me.

It may be for my buddy but i still want him to run it with the manual before he makes his decision.

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post #29 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 12:53 PM
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it is not that they run bad with a stick, it is they run even better with an auto setup for the combination

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post #30 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 01:04 PM
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i appreciate all the comments but for me i would still stick with the stick.
I enjoy banging the gears too much, its just to much fun and mine has always run good so i dont think an auto would be a good choice for me.

It may be for my buddy but i still want him to run it with the manual before he makes his decision.


And then…. right before he’s about to make his final decision…show him “engineered”s video here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx8FF1eW79Y

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post #31 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 04:08 PM
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it is not that they run bad with a stick, it is they run even better with an auto setup for the combination
99.5% of the time this is true. It is all in the driver and what they like. I love driving a manual way too much to contemplate it. If 1/4 or 1/8 times were my goal I would do go auto hands down. It's just more reliable. But since I have a high hp daily (still not together but had 550 - 565 rwhp depending on the day for about 3 months) stick is my choice. I do it because I choose to.
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does a torque converter actually multiply torque? my understanding is that it prevents the car from moving at a stop and canbe adjusted for launch rpm similar to a 2 step.

I have not heard any downsides to an auto and i know they are there.... if you get the wrong converter once or twice that is more work and an SOB than a clutch switch....

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post #33 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 04:11 PM
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I find a high hp turbo automatic car a ton more fun and controllable on the street than a 5/6 speed. That is my opinion and I am sticking too it Most people I see bad mouthing the automatics have never had one in a turbo car yet are such firm believers that the standard trans is the way to go. Yet most people I see who have done the swap so that they have the experience with both, will say hands down the automatic is the way to go.

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post #34 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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And then…. right before he’s about to make his final decision…show him “engineered”s video here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx8FF1eW79Y

i know that run has to be fun because of how fast it is, but it still looks boring, just stab and hold on. not for me.

My runs (not to sound to conceited) defiently look so much more fun with the car lurchuing out of the hole and having to drive to get a better time. IF that car was a high 10 low 11 car then it would be boring i think.

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post #35 of 76 Old 06-17-2009, 04:18 PM
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If you think all he is doing is stabbing and holding on then you definitely would be in for a wake up call if you drove a car like that.

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