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Old 02-06-2008, 09:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How Many Automatics out There? (FE techniques discussion)

Just a quick poll, how many automatic drivers do we have out there?

Of course, the challenges are a bit different:

EOC or Not?
Shifting...
Tricks and Tips...
Power and Load...

Here's what I've done to "make-do" with what the car has (of course I'd like a manual, but the auto stays until it fails):

Low-speed EOC to enhance City FE (coast down / engine stops at longer lights)

Shifting is, well, automatic for the most part. I do have control over the first 2 gears with 1 and 2 gear selections. Before warmup, 2nd to 3rd requires 2500 RPM which begs the question: accelerate to 2500 to get that next gear to coast, or trod along at 1500 until warmed??? Lately I've given it a quick burst to 2500 and coasted in 3rd as the coolant warms. Even with the EBH, it takes 5 minutes of driving to full operating temperature. The heater blower is OFF with the temp selector in the coldest setting to preserve heat, and a modified rad-block is installed.

I've tightened the throttle cable to allow shifts when the transmission control unit has determined the lowest available RPM, and to allow firmer shifts -- this generally happens with a lift of the throttle at a reasonable RPM. In full TC lockup, a "lug" action of the engine can occur at 1200 RPM or the minimum 35 MPH engagement point -- good for FE with high engine loads. Downside: vehicles with little power or torque may be quick to downshift with throttle input and increased cable input (and increased fluid pressure). It all depends on involvement of a TCU processor and load.

I highly recommend obtaining a shop manual to figure out what your auto likes. It turns out that the Hill-Logic Control on the 'Teg gets quite confused with engine-off coasting, and doesn't allow TC lockup until the math checks out for distance vs. RPM/Load/Accel-Decel/TPS (which includes when the engine is off). Another factor in EOC decision.

Any auto gurus out there -- what have you tried, and what works, and what hasn't?

RH77

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Old 02-06-2008, 09:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an automatic with D and an OD shift positions (don't know if it's a true OD Drive unit or just an extera transmission gear)

No mods to my shift and RPM equipment, I'm afraid to touch it because of my current tranny leak situation. (up to 2 gallons a week.)
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaxyChicken View Post
I have an automatic with D and an OD shift positions (don't know if it's a true OD Drive unit or just an extera transmission gear)

No mods to my shift and RPM equipment, I'm afraid to touch it because of my current tranny leak situation. (up to 2 gallons a week.)
Yikes -- I had a '77 Olds that I put that stop-leak purple stuff in all the time. It still leaked and got stuck between shifts when cold. Had to sell it for that reason.

Have you tried the stop-leak product? Which car, BTW?

RH77
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, it leaks that bad? have you tightened all the nuts and bolts to correct ft-lbs or in-lb's? Whens the last time you did a tranny fluid drain? the gasket could be bad and it's leaking.

As far as auto's go, getting it to shift earlier is to quickly let off the gas and go back to the throttle you had before, before your speed drops too much with rpms and it's too low rpm's to shift.

I don't have an overdrive shift position, but I do have an O/D off button on the dash near the steering wheel and near the rear window defrost. I've only used it when i got it (The Jeep) to see if everything was working right.

Also, another good way is to find out when everything shifts at. For mine I can do the throttle pulse and shift at these speeds:

1st-2nd: 15
2nd-3rd: 25
3rd-4th: 35
4th-O/D: 50

What you wanna do with the cold engine/tranny situation is get through your gears as quickly as possible, and by quickly I mean accelerate as slowly as possible and let your engine shift when it wants. You live in similar weather that I do, and I go there every summer, so I know about that too. In the morning, I go to about 1750 rpm and it shifts around there, and when it drops below 1500, let it slowly go back up to 1750 rpm, where it will shift again.

I don't know when yours will shift if you accelerate as slow as possible, but find that rpm, and go that fast until it shifts. You want to go as fast as you can with the lowest RPM's you can, it won't give the engine hell, it'll warm up the engine and you'll get better mpg's.

You said you have the heater off and special rad-block is installed. Best advise, do a grille block. I got one hole in my lower grille block the width of only about a 2x4 inch rectangle, but going down the highway the temp would DROP 20-30 degrees, just from that amount of cool air comming in. If I blocked the whole upper top grille, I'd be warming up even faster, and keeping warm. do one from something, cardboard spray painted to the cars color will work. I'm using duct tape. Do something to prevent cold air from cooling the coolant in the RAD.

I'm strapped for time, so I gotta get heading out. good luck!
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My Camry is an automatic and it does pretty well, but it has relatively little torque compared to it's weight so it's very shift happy on hills.

What I have done so far is mainly just try not to accelerate much past 2000RPM if I can help it. When I am on the highway is the only time I make an exception to that rule because it goes to 2100RPM at 65mph which isn't terrible, but again it's very happy to shift out of O/D if it finds a small hill.

I also knock the car into neutral at the slightest downhill, even if I don't think there is enough hill to allow me to maintain speed, I always try since I'm still trying to learn what hills it works on and which it doesn't, but I try to read the hills and judge if I will be able to maintain speed in neutral and usually, since my car coasts rather well, I can get away with it so I put it in neutral to keep the RPMs down as much as possible since coasting down a hill at 55mph puts the engine at 1900RPM, but in neutral it idles back down to 800RPM.

One thing I'm considering doing, and I still need to do more research on this before I do it, is remapping the ECU controls for the transmission to make it want to stay in gear longer before it tries shifting down. I have noticed many times that I merely want to maintain speed going up a hill, but it down shifts unnecessarily, forcing me to lose speed to observe my 2000RPM self limit. There are commercially made computers that you can plug into the OBDII port under the dash that can do this pretty simply and many performance auto shops will have special computers that they can plug in and do the same thing, but often times a bit better since they tailor it to your car and your preferences. This only works on certain, OBD2 cars though and that is the part I need to do more research on.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mine is a 4-speed auto; the top gear is OD.
No lockup, the car is too early for that.
Wish it was a stick.

I got a tach into it last March. If you don't have one, I recommend it.

Much of my driving is long highway commutes, about an hour each way. Sometimes I coast in neutral with engine running. Owners manual says I can EOC (OK, flat tow) but only up to 40 mph and 40 miles distance (!!!). So on highways the best I can do is neutral coast with engine idling; I'm not really sure if it's helpful. Sometimes it seems to make sense, as when coasting downhill.

Next car will likely be a stick - but so far I'm running this one. It's been very faithful.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
Yikes -- I had a '77 Olds that I put that stop-leak purple stuff in all the time. It still leaked and got stuck between shifts when cold. Had to sell it for that reason.

Have you tried the stop-leak product? Which car, BTW?

RH77
My SkuttleButt. (96 Ford Taurus) I could call it "S**tButt" because all that
transmission fluid ends up on the rear bumper and the sides of the car as it's
driving and leaking. So all the fluid i put in eventually winds up dried out on
the butt of the car.

The stop leak didn't work, i only tried 2 doses of the stuff (i don't want TOO
MUCH clotting in my transmission) The problem is a (cracked?) transmission
line where a nut joins it to the (engine? transmission? don't remember for sure
where it's joined.)

I tried to tighten it with a wrench to see if maybe it was just loose, but no
luck. it's on stiff and there is almost no room for a wrench.

BTW, it's been leaking this way for about 2 years. ($6 a gallon of transmission, you do the math) I'll be glad when i get my EV done.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
but it has relatively little torque compared to it's weight so it's very shift happy on hills.
That's one of the ONLY upsides to a big engine with a low redline. I don't ever remember a time where my Jeep down shifted trying to go uphill.

If you find that it down shifts all the time going up a hill, the best way is to GAIN speed just before you go up the hill, and maintain that throttle until you get to the top, then neutral coast down, or EOC down the hill.

There's this on downhill that goes into a long low slope hill, and the speed limit is 40 going down, but I try and hit 50 by the time I get to the bottom, let it shift into O/D, then keep 50 mph up the hill. The speed limit changes to 50 before you get to the top anyway. So I try and get there so I don't have to accelerate later, The downhill basically accelerates for me.

Quote:
exception to that rule because it goes to 2100RPM at 65mph
That's RPM I very rarely get to at any time. I don't get to 2000RPM until 70mph. I don't know how higher in gearing I can go without sacrifice in other area's.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Waxy, have you tried putting sealer on the tranny line itself to stop the leak? or getting a new tranny line? (you'll end up, or already have ended up spending more on tranny fluid instead of replacing some parts).

A/C fixed yet?
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DifferentPointofView View Post
Waxy, have you tried putting sealer on the tranny line itself to stop the leak? or getting a new tranny line? (you'll end up, or already have ended up spending more on tranny fluid instead of replacing some parts).

A/C fixed yet?
Heh, i skipped fixing the AC for now because i spend the money instead on that motor. (you know, the dead one that was too small?)

I thought about putting a band-aid on the line like JB-Weld or something, but when i tried that with a metal radiator line that didn't hold. Isn't the tranny under pressure, too?

I think we're off topic, btw. I'll start a new thread for this since a lot of curiosity seems to be out there.

EDIT: RELOCATED OFF TOPIC THREAD


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