New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel
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Cadillac ATS-V Series Forum Discussion, New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel in Cadillac V-Series Forums; Hey guys, new M6 sedan owner. I did not test drive this car, but something is going on that I ...
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    ChrisEdwards's Avatar
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    New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Hey guys, new M6 sedan owner. I did not test drive this car, but something is going on that I don't think is normal. I only test drove one another M6 car and unfortunately it was in busy traffic so I have no basis for comparison on the car I did actually buy. Anyways, the car is very difficult to shift smoothly under acceleration (without jerking/ thudding the driveline). It feels like the throttle plate shuts completely in between shifts so the car noses over really bad. I've found that even cruising around town, I need to have throttle applied during low speed shifts just to keep the car from clanking around. Feels like I'm a first time manual shift driver, except I've had dozens of manuals including a 10 second C5Z. This is by far the least enjoyable car to shift at WOT. The transmission itself is smooth, goes into gear no problem. Clutch engagement / disengagement feels fairly normal. No binding or weird noises, although the travel is quite short. That's probably normal for this twin disc. It just feels like there's something going on with the throttle body itself or the tune? I'm seeing 13lbs of boost @ WOT and car feels reasonably quick / normal for an ATS-V. The A8 I test drove feels way faster than this, probably because this M6 falls on its face between shifts. I tried a couple no lift shifts but tbh they didn't feel that great and I prefer the feeling of letting off the throttle. But the car feels impossible to shift smoothly. No codes or check engine light. Car has 2000 miles on it and is pristine. Not a V-Lab car. Bought from original owner.

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    tta1456 is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Don't blame you... IMO the clutch feel on these cars is a bit tricky. There's very little pedal movement to go from "just enough slip to be smooth" to "way too much bite" and then things get rough and jerky. It's probably just the friction characteristics of the clutch in these cars. One of my other cars has a rather broad pedal travel range for the "feathering area" of the clutch, and that clutch has very progressive engagement-- and if I drive that car for a couple days then switch back to the ATS-V I'll often stall the V in the first few minutes of driving because the V clutch goes from "slight slip" to "hard bite" very suddenly with very little pedal movement compared to my other car.

    Are you driving with or without active rev match engaged? Active rev match works for upshifts too, but you have to take your foot almost completely off the throttle for it to work. If you keep your foot on the throttle, active rev match won't work and you're in control of the engine speed during the shift.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Chris,
    Try putting the car into one of the Track Modes, perhaps Sport 1, and try the no lift shift feature. Keep the car floored between shifts just before hitting the rev limiter and you should not see a fall off in boost. I have noticed that if I don't do this then I need to manually keep the revs up to avoid the "falls on its face" feeling. Also this car builds revs so quickly it is really easy to hit the rev limiter if you are not careful, which also makes the car "fall on its face". The tach is so hard for me to see when driving hard that I installed a Holley Sniper shift light.
    If you drive in Tour mode, then at WOT you will need to use your right foot to keep the revs from falling too much between shifts.
    I'm old school and never use the active rev match paddle, but I do use the no lift shift feature when driving at the track.
    Good luck.
    Blessings.
    Roy.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Thanks guys! I think by putting the car in Track mode and Rev Match on, traction control off, the car started behaving "as it should." Whether I like the way the car drives or not, is another matter lol. I probably should have put more driving time in an M6 before I bought one. The M6 doesn't feel right with this turbo motor somehow. The rev limiter is soooooooo low and the revs climb so fast, the throttle response is soft, and the car falls flat on its face unless I "no lift shift." It's not a relaxing M6 to drive. And I've driven lots and lots of TR6060 equipped cars... Camaros, Vipers, SS Sedans, and pro touring swaps (yep, all V8 powered).

    If I no lift shift, it's a violent experience. It's powershifting with a fancy name lol. I didn't spend $50k on a car to powershift just so the shifts are smooth. I'll put a few more miles on it before I consider trading on an A8. I actually drove an A8 that I absolutely loved but the car had too many miles and the only one I could find that was reasonably priced and wasn't a V-lab car was the M6 that I bought. Live and learn LOL.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Hey Chris,
    I see you are in SoCal. You should come join me at the Streets of Willow Springs June 2 with the LA Shelby Club. We can show those Mustangs what the ATS-V can do. On the track we can power shift all we want.
    https://www.lashelbyclub.com/dralle-...&utm_source=so
    bucolic and Renaldo1 like this.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisEdwards View Post
    Thanks guys! I think by putting the car in Track mode and Rev Match on, traction control off, the car started behaving "as it should." Whether I like the way the car drives or not, is another matter lol. I probably should have put more driving time in an M6 before I bought one. The M6 doesn't feel right with this turbo motor somehow. The rev limiter is soooooooo low and the revs climb so fast, the throttle response is soft, and the car falls flat on its face unless I "no lift shift." It's not a relaxing M6 to drive. And I've driven lots and lots of TR6060 equipped cars... Camaros, Vipers, SS Sedans, and pro touring swaps (yep, all V8 powered).

    If I no lift shift, it's a violent experience. It's powershifting with a fancy name lol. I didn't spend $50k on a car to powershift just so the shifts are smooth. I'll put a few more miles on it before I consider trading on an A8. I actually drove an A8 that I absolutely loved but the car had too many miles and the only one I could find that was reasonably priced and wasn't a V-lab car was the M6 that I bought. Live and learn LOL.
    Chris,
    I've not only seen your post here, but also on FB. I come from 4 cylinder & 6 cylinder Alfa Romeos (2L & 3L NA engines respectively, and I've dealt with abused 2nd gear synchros and all manner of maladies with both manual trannies and clutches in my 20+ years ownership of various vintage Alfa Romeos ). So I'm not a 'Caddy fan boy', ready to excuse all manner of errant behavior in the effort to promote the marque. I've bumped up against the ~7K rev limit on the LF4 on the track, and rarely on the street. That said, I always use 'Sport' mode in normal street driving and various degrees of 'Race' on the track (multiple road coarse events). I've NEVER encountered the symptoms you describe, street or race. I'd say either you have a mechanical or s/w issue with the tranny (perhaps why the car was sold with such few miles...?), or... and no one wants to hear this, fancying themselves as competent sports car drivers... your technique lacks something. Whether high spirited street conditions, or in low speed street and stop/go freeway traffic, I've not experienced what you describe... and I am VERY attuned to how my car acts/responds to my inputs. The car can be sublime, with seamless shifts, if one takes the effort to be smooth.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'd error on a car problem(hardware or software). Other than some recalcitrant cold tranny 2nd gear shifting (well documented with the Tremec T6060) my '16 ATS-V has been sublime in all manner of road & track manual shifting scenarios. As far as I know, NO other 6sp manual owners have reported what you have reported. Certainly we are not all daft in the ways of manual transmissions and how they affect our inputs and driving experience...

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Never heard of such an issue. Take it tothe dealer to have it looked at. Its no reason to throw in the towel on a great tranny.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisEdwards View Post
    Thanks guys! I think by putting the car in Track mode and Rev Match on, traction control off, the car started behaving "as it should." Whether I like the way the car drives or not, is another matter lol. I probably should have put more driving time in an M6 before I bought one. The M6 doesn't feel right with this turbo motor somehow. The rev limiter is soooooooo low and the revs climb so fast, the throttle response is soft, and the car falls flat on its face unless I "no lift shift." It's not a relaxing M6 to drive. And I've driven lots and lots of TR6060 equipped cars... Camaros, Vipers, SS Sedans, and pro touring swaps (yep, all V8 powered).

    If I no lift shift, it's a violent experience. It's powershifting with a fancy name lol. I didn't spend $50k on a car to powershift just so the shifts are smooth. I'll put a few more miles on it before I consider trading on an A8. I actually drove an A8 that I absolutely loved but the car had too many miles and the only one I could find that was reasonably priced and wasn't a V-lab car was the M6 that I bought. Live and learn LOL.
    Just an FYI, no lift shift is active in all drive modes per the owners manual. I know it keeps boost built between gears and it's the fastest way to go, but I don't care to use it either... just feels like I'm being abusive to the car even though I'm using a feature GM built in and supposedly would cover under warranty if it were to break a driveline component, LOL

    Regarding falling on its face between shifts-- my experience is if you have a rough upshift at WOT, the engine will indeed fall on its face and seem to have very low power for what seems like 1-1.5 seconds after the shift before picking back up. First gear to second gear is where I really notice this behavior when I screw up. I have a hunch that the rough upshift triggers a bunch of knock retard (possibly crankshaft acceleration/deceleration based knock detection-- the rough shift results in crankshaft acceleration/deceleration events that are consistent with knock) so the ECM pulls a ton of timing and possibly closes the throttle a bit on the rough shift thinking it's knock then starts feeding timing and throttle opening back in slowly once it sees what it perceived to be a knock event has passed. I need to do a rough upshift on purpose with HPtuners logging and see if that's really the case-- but that's certainly what it feels like the ECM is doing when it happens. If you nail smooth upshifts, the engine will not "go flat" for a second after the upshift.
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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Lots of good info here guys! Looks like these LF4's when stick shift equipped have a lot of ECM tools built in to prevent overboost and subsequent engine destruction. I totally understand the need to assess things from all angles; possible mechanical issues, driver skill (or lack thereof), and shift methodology unique to the LF4 powerband and built-in safeguards. That being said, I'll come out and say right now I have a pretty solid resume when it comes to manual shift vehicles. SCCA Miata's, Corvette challenge C5 Z06's, 10 second C6Z's, even my previous daily driven Fiat Abarth 500 turbo and Mark III Supra turbo. I've never once come across a vehicle so finnicky to shift as this LF4. I became smitten with the ATS-V after the local dealer gave me an A8 car to take home overnight. But that particular car had high miles and a bunch of options I didn't want. So I began scouring the area for another car, and since most of the cars out there are V-Lab cars ridden hard and put away wet, or 2016 lease returns (I really didn't want a 2016), I didn't find my perfect A8 car so I settled on an M6. I'm a drag racer at heart, and I think I'll probably enjoy this M6 for a few months while continuing to look for my perfect A8 car.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Before my M6 Ats-v i had a 13' mustang with a 6 speed, i could shift that as quick as i could move my feet and it wouldn't upset the powertrain

    now that i have the V i was pretty excited to use the no lift feature, but during my first month of driving, all my upshifts at WOT were pretty harsh and i could hear a loud cluncking noise coming from the rear end, and the car did sorta "fall on its face"

    Over time i learnt that you will actually shift quicker if you let the clutch out a tad bit slower when doing no lift shifts, the clunking noise is gone and its stays in boost!
    justinschmidt1 likes this.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Quote Originally Posted by MuricanV View Post
    Before my M6 Ats-v i had a 13' mustang with a 6 speed, i could shift that as quick as i could move my feet and it wouldn't upset the powertrain

    now that i have the V i was pretty excited to use the no lift feature, but during my first month of driving, all my upshifts at WOT were pretty harsh and i could hear a loud cluncking noise coming from the rear end, and the car did sorta "fall on its face"

    Over time i learnt that you will actually shift quicker if you let the clutch out a tad bit slower when doing no lift shifts, the clunking noise is gone and its stays in boost!
    Yep, different cars take different techniques....Sounds like you just need to spend some more time driving and practicing Christ, maybe try to ride the clutch a bit slower and smoother like he is saying, try some different techniques to learn what the car likes better.

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    marktanner is online now Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    I rarely shift at WOT except when I was driving the Tail of the Dragon, and have never had any problems. That said, it's not always the smoothest when driving at normal speeds. However, a tip I got at the driving school was to use the rev match all the time, and it would smooth things out. It actually works! I don't know why it would work on low RPM upshifts, but it does. It also does a very good job on low RPM downshifts, which are difficult to do with your feet on any car due to the minimal difference in revs. So, for street driving I keep it on rev match, and when I'm doing performance driving, I do it myself. At least we have options. In '17, the M2 I was considering did not have an off switch for the rev matching. I hope this helps. I love my manual sedan.
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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Quote Originally Posted by marktanner View Post
    I rarely shift at WOT except when I was driving the Tail of the Dragon, and have never had any problems. That said, it's not always the smoothest when driving at normal speeds. However, a tip I got at the driving school was to use the rev match all the time, and it would smooth things out. It actually works! I don't know why it would work on low RPM upshifts, but it does. It also does a very good job on low RPM downshifts, which are difficult to do with your feet on any car due to the minimal difference in revs. So, for street driving I keep it on rev match, and when I'm doing performance driving, I do it myself. At least we have options. In '17, the M2 I was considering did not have an off switch for the rev matching. I hope this helps. I love my manual sedan.
    After talking to quite a few different people, it turns out the M6 cars were not meant to be WOT speed shifted, unless you use No Lift Shift. I'm not really one to powershift my Cadillac around town unfortunately, so I'm basically unable to ring the gears out unless I want to powershift LOL. This all comes from the ECU implementing its overboost strategy the moment the clutch pedal sensor is activated. Talking to some tuners, they agree that not being able to speed shift is a very frustrating part of the car.

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    Re: New M6 Owner - Little Help Needed on Shift Feel

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisEdwards View Post
    After talking to quite a few different people, it turns out the M6 cars were not meant to be WOT speed shifted, unless you use No Lift Shift. I'm not really one to powershift my Cadillac around town unfortunately, so I'm basically unable to ring the gears out unless I want to powershift LOL. This all comes from the ECU implementing its overboost strategy the moment the clutch pedal sensor is activated. Talking to some tuners, they agree that not being able to speed shift is a very frustrating part of the car.
    Technically you arent powershifting because the ECU cuts basically all power when you NLS lol

    I really dont know where this is coming from because you are the first person ive ever heard make these claims.

    The car shifts like any other manual car ive ever driven and I have never had any issue "speed shifting" as you say either man so idk if theres something wrong with your car or your technique but it doesnt seem normal

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    Quote Originally Posted by justinschmidt1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisEdwards View Post
    After talking to quite a few different people, it turns out the M6 cars were not meant to be WOT speed shifted, unless you use No Lift Shift. I'm not really one to powershift my Cadillac around town unfortunately, so I'm basically unable to ring the gears out unless I want to powershift LOL. This all comes from the ECU implementing its overboost strategy the moment the clutch pedal sensor is activated. Talking to some tuners, they agree that not being able to speed shift is a very frustrating part of the car.
    Technically you arent powershifting because the ECU cuts basically all power when you NLS lol

    I really dont know where this is coming from because you are the first person ive ever heard make these claims.

    The car shifts like any other manual car ive ever driven and I have never had any issue "speed shifting" as you say either man so idk if theres something wrong with your car or your technique but it doesnt seem normal
    Certainly possible on both ends! I’d love to see an incar 0-100 speed shifting blast with LS (lift shifting) and a camera on the tach as well. There definitely might be something screwy with my throttle body or clutch switch.

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