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Transmission Gear Shifts


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I'm pretty much naive when it comes to the workings of automatic transmissions but I've been wondering about a few things on the way it shifts gears and the effects of those shifts on the transmission. This may be too broad and/or complicated of a topic to get in too much detail but I thought it could make for good conversation.

 

The main thing is does certain driving techniques such as making the transmission down shift numerous gears for hard acceleration hurt the transmission? I've been curious on this one for when you are cruising 20-30 mph and then go to WOT causing the transmission to downshift 3-4 gears very hard. On the opposite end of the spectrum sometimes you can drive lightly and almost make the shift stretch itself out much longer than normal driving shifts. Is this equally as bad if bad at all?

 

More recently, I've been wondering how firming up shifts via tuning affects the transmission mechanically and does it reduce the longevity of it? Note, I plan to eventually get tunes so this is not being asked for whether I should or shouldn't do it but rather a curiosity of how the firmed shifts affect the transmission mechanically.

 

My knowledge of auto transmissions is weak but I feel like I have a decent understanding of mechanical things. I have found myself wondering about these while I drive, not just in the SHO, so I thought maybe others do as well. Obviously I know that the harder you push things the more likely they are to break but I'm looking at more of the mechanical reasons of why and or how these different scenarios come in to play. Thanks for any insight.

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I can't speak for the tranny in this car, but the 4r70w I had in my Tbird was a hard shifter. It was a stock Mustang trans, with an upgraded pressure solenoid, a 'homegrown' shift kit, a 3800 stall converter, and no lower 1-2 or 2-3 lower springs. It would break the tires loose on the 1-2 and 2-3 and jerk your neck it would shift so hard. Never had any issues out of it while running 12's.

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Honestly, todays automatic trannys are electronic. They coordinate with the engine controls to temporarily reduce engine torque during the actual shifting. That's how they can shift more quickly. You are correct that it is very complex. Tuners can modify this torque management and effectively make the tranny shift harder/and often quicker. It's all part of getting you better ET's. All of this likely does effect the longevity of the tranny and engine, but not much in the overall picture.

 

I would guess there are many good articles available on the internet, if you do a thorough search.

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I would also think that with the electronic transmissions, that the ECU will "learn" how you drive and adapt and shift the transmission accordingly. I am not very strong or knowledgeable about transmissions, but the one thing that I was taught and still seems to be apply is keeping clean fluid and filter (if applicable) in the transmission. I have gotten in the habit of having the fluid and filter in my automatic transmissions changed at 30,000 mile intervals. I am convinced that new, clean fluid really helps keep transmissions alive and well.

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I'm pretty much naive when it comes to the workings of automatic transmissions but I've been wondering about a few things on the way it shifts gears and the effects of those shifts on the transmission. This may be too broad and/or complicated of a topic to get in too much detail but I thought it could make for good conversation.

 

The main thing is does certain driving techniques such as making the transmission down shift numerous gears for hard acceleration hurt the transmission? I've been curious on this one for when you are cruising 20-30 mph and then go to WOT causing the transmission to downshift 3-4 gears very hard. On the opposite end of the spectrum sometimes you can drive lightly and almost make the shift stretch itself out much longer than normal driving shifts. Is this equally as bad if bad at all?

 

More recently, I've been wondering how firming up shifts via tuning affects the transmission mechanically and does it reduce the longevity of it? Note, I plan to eventually get tunes so this is not being asked for whether I should or shouldn't do it but rather a curiosity of how the firmed shifts affect the transmission mechanically.

 

My knowledge of auto transmissions is weak but I feel like I have a decent understanding of mechanical things. I have found myself wondering about these while I drive, not just in the SHO, so I thought maybe others do as well. Obviously I know that the harder you push things the more likely they are to break but I'm looking at more of the mechanical reasons of why and or how these different scenarios come in to play. Thanks for any insight.

 

Actually... HARDER shifts are in fact EASIER on you tranny!!! Soft, slow shifts is accomplished by letting the "bands" inside the tranny slip... this slippage will cause the bands to wear over time... FIRM shifts actually reduce this slippage! Less slippage means less wear!

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Actually... HARDER shifts are in fact EASIER on you tranny!!! Soft' date=' slow shifts is accomplished by letting the "bands" inside the tranny slip... this slippage will cause the bands to wear over time... FIRM shifts actually reduce this slippage! Less slippage means less wear![/quote']

 

Is it harder on other parts of the transmission though?

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I would guess there are many good articles available on the internet' date=' if you do a thorough search.[/quote']

 

I'm definitely going to start researching but thought I would start something on here as well in case anyone here had a lot of experience with this.

 

 

 

I am not very strong or knowledgeable about transmissions' date=' but the one thing that I was taught and still seems to be apply is keeping clean fluid and filter (if applicable) in the transmission. I have gotten in the habit of having the fluid and filter in my automatic transmissions changed at 30,000 mile intervals. I am convinced that new, clean fluid really helps keep transmissions alive and well.[/quote']

 

I completely agree and plan to do the same.

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