LS1GTO Forums banner

Transmission preference

3382 Views 21 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Lumina ss
What do you people think is better in the 2004 GTO for a transmission, the auto or manual?
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
There's tons of threads discussing this out there - but ultimately it's a preference thing. I want to mesh gears when I'm having fun, and have always driven a stick in traffic for 16+ years and am not sick of it yet - so M6 for me. Obviously if you are planning a strip car, A4 is much more consistent. If you are planning a road course car - it's be goofy to get an A4. Ultimately, whatever you like is best for you.
It depends.

Drag racing;
For consistently low 60' and E.T.'s = Automatics
For consistently higher MPH = Manual

Now with that said, a crazy guy like myself who osn't afraid to launch his M6 hard can achieve nearly the same 60ft times and same E.T.'s as a comprable automoatic. It just simply takes more driver skill! M6's are also harder on their drivetrain in this type of racing as they hit everything with 100% power. COnversely an automatics torque converter will take the brunt of the power therefore saving some of the remaining driveline.

In auto-x/road racing and for simple driving enjoyment.......there is NO question that the M6 is the choice. Plain and simple. There is nothing like the feel of rowing your own gearbox and and 100% in control of the car.

And of course, it's all preference.
I made the decision for the auto because it will be my daily driver.
Another advantage to an auto, especially if you are in a major urban area.
From what I understand the auto tranny in the 2004 is the best GM has to offer. From the reviews I'm reading about the auto, it seems to only get an ok review.
Automatics will always get an Ok review because they are a compromise between performance, reliability and most importantly....convience.

This version of the 4L65 or 4L85E will undoubtedly be the best version from the factory, but it maintains it's smooth, seamless shifting via torque management and it's driveability via a slack converter.

Removing TM, putting a better converter in, increasing line pressure for better shifting, adjusting shift points, and beefing up the cooler will net unbelievable resuits from a performance standpoint.
I'd say manual because, then you won't have to pay $1000 gas guzzler tax...... :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
I would like to know how you Auto owners like the M4. Does it hit hard from the factory, or is it mushy. Either way I would like the Auto box due to its ability to win a street race when the stick guy misses a gear. Custom tuning can be cut for the Auto's ECU also to make it firm up. While the 6-speed people will be buying shifters, Auto guys will be paying to re-program the M4?
Let's compare costs shall we.

Once clutch costs me $500. Since the Hydraulics on this car are already the ZO6 unit, no need to upgrade them. That is solely the M6 owners choice. A shifter maybe $200. Then if you do the labor yourself, that's free.

Conversely, for an A4 lets run down those costs;
- Torque Converter = $450 - 1,000 (depending on which brand and stall)
- Aftermarket cooler = $50
- Shift kit = $100
- Deep pan (optional) $130

Not to mention the tool you use to eliminate Torque Management, increase line pressures and adjust shift points. After an extended period of time, you will wear the transmission out and of course a performance rebuild will be in order.

- Trans rebuild = $1,300 - 2,000 (depending on what level you go with)
- Core charge if they don't use your trans = $600

Hmmm, I can replace several clutches in the same period of time and still come out ahead. :)
See less See more
The A4 hits hard alright, in a good way. I nailed it for the first time tonight from about a 15mph roll, it barked the tires, hit second and barked the tires again. And that was in drive, I wasn't shifting it manually (spur of the moment decision to nail it - you know how it is). :D :D
It sounds like the A4 is a good transmission for those that like it. I'm glad that it has firm shifts, as opposed to the crappy slushboxes that most cars are saddled with. (Chrysler Torqueflite transmissions always had good, firm shifts, but nowadays, people think that a car with butter-smooth shifts are higher quality.)

For me, I'll choose the M6 (or M5, if I get the '05 Mustang instead). All my cars (to date) have been automatics, since each one offered ONLY that selection. I love shifting a manual transmission car, and I also love the idea of road trips with a .50 top gear -- 29 mpg. Woo hoo!
Either way I would like the Auto box due to its ability to win a street race when the stick guy misses a gear.
If you are relying on that you will lose a lot of the time :bubbrub
CMNTMXR57 said:
Removing TM, putting a better converter in, increasing line pressure for better shifting, adjusting shift points, and beefing up the cooler will net unbelievable resuits from a performance standpoint.
I was doing some surfing and came across your comments on automatics.

My question is this: Can one do the mods you mentioned to the auto on the GTO and still have it be streetable with no problems?

Detroit metropolitan has some bad-ass street machines and I want mine to be one of them. The only problem is that it will be my daily driver.

It'll shift noticably firmer (rougher to the occupants) and more precise (where you want it to). A converter will slightly lose some of it's driveability but will reward you with performance. The stock converter is very sloppy and of course has a low stall speed (which makes it driver friendly).

A cooler will keeps things in check as heat will be increased via converter, increased line pressure and higher shift points.

Remember, at one point in time long before computer controlled transmissions we had just regular vacuum and hydraulic controlled units and somehow we survived. :D
Cool......................thanks for the information. :)
A Transgo shift kit will surely be available for the A4. It increases shift stiffness and allows you to hold in any gear as long as you like or wind out as high as you like. There are 3 settings for the firmness. It can be installed by dropping the pan.

Well now that the performance axle ratio is the same for both autos and manuals (unlike the f-body and vette) the debate over which to get comes down to what you want to do with the car.
I like manuals and the ability to chose the gear i want and downshift braking. The A4 GTO isn't that bad in this car. Good tranny, with a higher stock stall, performance axle and doesn't suck power as bad as the fords.

For drag racing you can't beat the consistancy of an auto. For road course racing you have to have a manual.

I think the manual is the better way to go for a fun driving experience. A4 isn't bad though, i've done if before.
The Tranny code on my car is M30. Is this still the same as the A4??? Also what other GM products use this A4/M30?? Any one know. Thanks
Any thing with the 4L60e is an M30 which means just about all rear drivers.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.