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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Lookie What I got! in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Originally posted by Katshot Ok, it goes like this; Most cars that come with a stick like the ones we've ...
  1. #61
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    Originally posted by Katshot
    Ok, it goes like this; Most cars that come with a stick like the ones we've mentioned here, have been designed with that transmission in mind "primarily", rather than "secondarily". This means that the engine, final drive, suspension, even the engine management system have all been designed and calibrated to work in conjunction with the manual trans.
    The sales figures for automatic verses standard on all the models mentioned would seem to sink that argument.

    But even if GM did use a 6speed (When did that transmission arrive at GM?) as the basis for the F-Body development, they would certainly tune all the other componants before installing an automatic. I think we can at least give GM this much credit.


    In the case of the Cadillac Fleetwood, the engine was setup with a very broad power curve, favoring the lower rpm range.
    Why was the LT-1 tuned this way for the Fleetwood? Was it maybe because it weighs a over 1000lb more than the F-Body?

    Whats the differnce between a Fleetwood automatic and an F-Body? The F-Body auto should be optimized to better utilize that unique power curve, right? Or did they just swap out the rear-end?


    All of these items are different on the F-Body cars which were setup to optimize the 6- speed manual trans. They have a higher output mainly because the engine can be tuned for a tighter, higher power band that can be utilized due to the fact that the 6-speed allows for the driver to keep the engine in that smaller rpm range.
    So even though the F-Body car was sold with more automatic transmissions, they optimized the whole model line-up, including the V6 for the 6speed V8?

    The fact that it weighed less then an Impalla or Fleetwood, didn't factor into the reasoning why the engine was calibrated differently? It was solely based on the least likely to be purchased transmission option? (Like the Mustang currently does, didn't the F-Body sell more auto V6's?)

    This allows higher flowing engine components that can breath better at the higher rpms. You'll notice that the Fleetwood still has superior power to the F-body cars in the lower rpm range (better bottom-end).

    In the case of the Fleetwood, all the above items would have to be reset in order to get the most out of a 6-speed manual trans.
    So basically what you are saying is that a Fleetwood 'properly-tuned' to utilize the 6speed would beat your 'properly-tuned' automatic Fleetwood at the drag strip.

    That's all we wanted to know.
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  2. #62
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    What the heck do sales figures have to do with the way a car was designed?
    The Fleetwood was tuned with the powerband it has to satisfy the kind of driving the average owner does. It has little to do with the weight of the car.
    The F-body auto has a totally different calibration, different shift points, firmness etc. not to mention it also utilizes a "performance shift mode" that the B&D body cars do not.
    The weight of the car does not have any effect on how the powertrain calibration is done really. The main items considered are engine construction (mainly airflow etc), trans type, final drive, and what the expected driver type would be (what kind of driving they do). In the case of the F-body cars, the calibration was set for a higher overall level of performance as compared to the B&D body cars.
    Your final question would have to be answered yes. If you were to setup the engine with a higher, tighter powerband that could be exploited by the use of a 6-speed trans, and give it the ability to breath as deeply as it needed to at the higher flow rate, it should outpower the standard tune engine with an auto.
    There is just one last issue that you overlooked. The issue of traction. In another post, I had pointed out that I had foregone the addition of a higher stall-speed torque converter because I was already able to overwhelm my tires as is. This will also be a MAJOR limiting factor on a Fleetwood when it comes to drag racing. The rear wheel wells are VERY small and therefore severely limit the amount of rubber you can have back there. That would also severely limit the advantage a manual trans would have on that car as far as it's "launchability" shall we say. There won't be any "rev it to the peak power rpm and dump the clutch" launches, since all that would accomplish is breaking traction at the line and loosing the race. On any F-body car (or most any other car that is "designed for a manual trans w/big engine"), there's plenty 'O room back there for mucho rubber to be mounted so that you CAN do a high-power launch and maintain traction.
    Again, as I said before, it basically boils down to the fact that the Fleetwood and it's drivetrain do not lend themselves to the addition of a manual trans, especially a 6-speed. The more gears, the worse it will be.
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    Kat, you think a fleetwood with slicks would be faster with a 6 speed?
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  4. #64
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    Originally posted by Katshot
    What the heck do sales figures have to do with the way a car was designed?
    Sales figures play a factor in everything an OEM does.

    But we aren't talking about design, we are talking about engineering. You stated that the car is engineered to be a V8 6speed. Since drive train and chassis engineering are seperate departments, then the chassis was engineered first (How old is an F-Body chassis?).

    You seem to be saying that basically the computer is reprogrammed. No argument here. I would only argue that the engine is engineered first with emphasis on the power then the transmission is tuned to utilize that power.

    The Fleetwood was tuned with the powerband it has to satisfy the kind of driving the average owner does. It has little to do with the weight of the car.
    You need low-end torque to move a heavy car in order to satisfy the 'off the line' power the average Fleetwood buyer desired. The weight of the car played a very large (no pun intended) role in that decision. If it the car was lighter, then it would have been tuned differently.

    The F-body auto has a totally different calibration, different shift points, firmness etc. not to mention it also utilizes a "performance shift mode" that the B&D body cars do not.
    The weight of the car does not have any effect on how the powertrain calibration is done really.
    The B and D car's weren't really supposed to be performance car's, so it's not a surprise that the auto on the F-Body is tuned for sport mode.

    Certainly the F-Body V8 engine was tuned for a broader powerband because of the car's performance nature, and the transmission was calibrated to shift faster at a higher RPM for the same reason. Add those to a lighter weight car, and you have a performance combination.
    Ok, here's where you start to stray because you aren't giving weight an important place in the tuning. If you take a stock Fleetwood and a Fleetwood fitted with a F-Body LT-1, the stock Fleetwood will do better in a quarter mile race.

    This is also the place you stray with your 6 speed transmission argument. The engine isn't tuned for the transmission, so much as the desired performance of the vehicle, taking weight and the intended users driving style into consideration.

    The main items considered are engine construction (mainly airflow etc), trans type, final drive, and what the expected driver type would be (what kind of driving they do). In the case of the F-body cars, the calibration was set for a higher overall level of performance as compared to the B&D body cars.
    Setting breathing aside (intake and exhaust). To adjust the power curve, that's more the job of the cam and PCM.

    But, on a heavy car you want lower end torque to move it. After that, the transmission just effects the drivability. A rear end change can adjust most of that.

    Your final question would have to be answered yes. If you were to setup the engine with a higher, tighter powerband that could be exploited by the use of a 6-speed trans, and give it the ability to breath as deeply as it needed to at the higher flow rate, it should outpower the standard tune engine with an auto.
    Again, this is where you seem to stray. If I made my car breath better, I'm not adjusting the power curve. I can tune it with the PSM to a certain degree. But my guess, is the F-Body has a different cam.

    But, setting that aside. Stock FW LT-1 to stock FW LT-1. You tune the auto to shift optimum. I use a 6 speed, I will be faster. I can adjust my shifts to the power curve using a tach to optimize my shift points.

    There is just one last issue that you overlooked. The issue of traction. In another post, I had pointed out that I had foregone the addition of a higher stall-speed torque converter because I was already able to overwhelm my tires as is. This will also be a MAJOR limiting factor on a Fleetwood when it comes to drag racing. The rear wheel wells are VERY small and therefore severely limit the amount of rubber you can have back there. That would also severely limit the advantage a manual trans would have on that car as far as it's "launchability" shall we say. There won't be any "rev it to the peak power rpm and dump the clutch" launches, since all that would accomplish is breaking traction at the line and loosing the race. On any F-body car (or most any other car that is "designed for a manual trans w/big engine"), there's plenty 'O room back there for mucho rubber to be mounted so that you CAN do a high-power launch and maintain traction.
    I agree about the traction. But as you said, your auto experiences loss of traction. This is where the ability to find the proper launch RPM turns that manual into an advantage.

    Again, as I said before, it basically boils down to the fact that the Fleetwood and it's drivetrain do not lend themselves to the addition of a manual trans, especially a 6-speed. The more gears, the worse it will be.
    Personally, I didn't buy a Fleetwood to drag race. I bought it for it's body style, Chevy Impalla roots and towing capacity. So only Bill can prove you wrong at this point. I think he will.

    At least you aren't like that Scourge guy, who didn't use an ounce of logic or thought to make his argument.
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    A Fleetwood (notice the CAPITOL "F" Brett) with ANY trans would be quicker with slicks. That goes without saying. Virtually ANY car would be quicker w/slicks. Unless it's such an enemic POS that it can't spin the tires in stock trim of course.
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    Originally posted by Katshot
    A Fleetwood (notice the CAPITOL "F" Brett) with ANY trans would be quicker with slicks. That goes without saying. Virtually ANY car would be quicker w/slicks. Unless it's such an enemic POS that it can't spin the tires in stock trim of course.
    Or it's raining!
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  7. #67
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    Or snowing!
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    Yeah, No Kidding. My question was do you think a six-speed fleetwood would be faster than the same car with an auto, if it had slicks. i do realize slicks make most any car faster. i was more interested in what you thought about this particular scenario.
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  9. #69
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    The only thing left in my PCM program from the original FW programming is my traction control and climate control interface. The rest is a F body (Camaro) program.

    So there goes that theory.

    And Kevin, you are right, I DO agree with you about the autos being the more consistant of the two types of tranny. It eliminates the possiblity of human error (unless it's a manual valvebody auto), so you are correct about that.

    But, more consistant doesn't always mean quicker.

    I know more power is now getting to the rear wheels than before. The t56 has less of a parasitic loss than the 4l60 does. I think I picked up like an 8% gain at the rear wheels if I'm not mistaken. And I can feel the difference too.

    I assume at the track that my ET's will be quicker, but I'm sure my 60 foot times will be about the same as before, as it's a bit tough to get it to hook. Maybe a set of drag radials is in my future?

    So... Where was I going with this again????

    Oh yeah, it's still a hell of a lot more fun to drive now than it was before.
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    Take two "stock" Fleetwoods, add a 6-speed and drag radials to one. Is that the scenario? If so, yeah, probably. But if your scenario was that "both" should have the drag radials, then I'd say it's a toss up since the T56 WILL net a slight increase in itself as Bill said through a reduction of parasitic loss, but the engine and drivetrain will hinder it (especially since the "stock" Fleetwood would have an open rear). The auto Fleetwood "might" be close. I think the big reason here is that the stock transmission flash for the Fleetwood leaves a lot to be desired.
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  11. #71
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    And to some it all up, a stock manual car will be faster than it's stock automatic sibling, all other things being equal.
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  12. #72
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    Originally posted by toomanytoyz
    I know more power is now getting to the rear wheels than before. The t56 has less of a parasitic loss than the 4l60 does. I think I picked up like an 8% gain at the rear wheels if I'm not mistaken. And I can feel the difference too.
    This is why the manual version of those previously mentioned 'sporty' car's, post faster times than their automatic siblings.
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  13. #73
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    Have you been SLEEPING through this whole thread?

    In a stock vs. stock scenario, it's going to depend on which transmission the car design favors, that's it.

    Multi-speed transmissions were originally designed to make it easier to keep an engine in the meat of it's powerband through the broadest amount of it's operational envelope. PERIOD.
    Designing, building, and tuning for a broad power curve is more expensive and requires many trade-offs.

    Keeping this in mind, understand that as the number of gears "increases" in the transmission, the more freedom it gives the powertrain engineers to "optimize" the engines output by tuning it to a tighter power curve. Understand that in any given engine, the power curve is generally either a tall sharp curve, or a low, broad one. The lower, broader curve makes it less of a requirement to have a lot of gears. And the taller, sharper curve is dependant on more gears. It's a REAL simple equation actually.

    So to sum it up again for all you non-believers.........
    A vehicles choice of transmission does not in and of itself determine how well it will do in a drag race, or even a road race. Case in point would be the Ford SHO which posted a better lap time with the automatic than the stick.
    As I said ORIGINALLY, a properly tuned and setup automatic will beat a manual in a drag race any day.
    BTW, what kind of transmissions do you think are in the top drag racers cars in the country? That's right, you'll see more 2-speed automatics in those cars
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  14. #74
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    Originally posted by Katshot
    Have you been SLEEPING through this whole thread?
    Yea I kinda got tired talking to myself.
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    I agree with Katshot....If you have an automatic tranny set up right, you WILL be faster than a manual transmission. Just think about it...it is a machine that is shifting the car, not you. Like everything else, the machine is faster than the man. And yes, Katshot is right, there are mostly 2 speed automatics out on the drag strips these days, and guess what they're running........high 4's low 5's......thats fast!
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