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Fiero transmission - 4 speed vs 5 speed? by MalleableList
Started on: 12-09-2013 11:58 PM
Replies: 35 (4488 views)
Last post by: rogergarrison on 12-18-2013 09:24 AM
MalleableList
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Report this Post12-09-2013 11:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MalleableListClick Here to Email MalleableListSend a Private Message to MalleableListEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So just curious since I have no experience as of yet with this car - in your opinion, which one would you pick if you had to choose between the two? the 4 speed or the 5 speed?
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Report this Post12-10-2013 12:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I went through the trouble of swapping out a 4-spd for a 5-spd in my '84, so that should give you an idea of where I stand.
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Report this Post12-10-2013 12:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiackid86Click Here to Email pontiackid86Send a Private Message to pontiackid86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For the V6... 4 speed is a ton more fun, Its a tight shift Gearing is pretty close and in my opinion the car is a lot quicker,

5 speed is more of a comfortable ride easy going good on gas Quick but not neck jerking quick,

I owned 2 5 speeds one was an 87 GT the other was an 88, great transmission but I bought my cars to have fun and the getrag just dose not do it for me

I personally love the 4 speed in a V6. My 308 body is a 4 speed my old 3400SFI turbo in an 88 formula was a 4 speed and my old green GT was a 4 speed. Its a very strong transmission, it can take a ton of abuse and in my opinion its more of a good time than the 5 speed.

[This message has been edited by pontiackid86 (edited 12-10-2013).]

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Report this Post12-10-2013 07:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The general consensus is....

If you rarely drive on the highway and like stoplight to stoplight fun - 4-speed.
If you'll be driving the highway daily or on long trips - 5-speed (you'll want the overdrive).

I think in the long run, you're still better off with a 5-speed either way.
I swapped a Getrag 5-speed into my Indy.

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Report this Post12-10-2013 08:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For comparison, gearing for the 85/86 4-speed is as follows:

1---3.31, 2---1.95, 3---1.24, 4---0.81

86/87 Getrag 5-speed gearing is as follows:

1---3.92, 2---2.19, 3---1.38, 4---0.94, 5---0.72

88 Getrag 5-speed gearing is as follows:

1---3.50, 2---2.05, 3---1.38, 4---0.94, 5---0.72

If you're doing a lot of stop and go, the 4-speed gets you moving quicker. If you're doing some spirited driving out in the courves, either the 4 or 5 speed would be good, because you'll probably be in 3rd or 4th most of the time. For long highway runs, the 5-speed is the thing.

I have found that in hilly country, even on interstates, the 5-speed will give less gas mileage than the 4-speed. My theory is that it's because you have to put your foot a little deeper into the 5-speed to get up those hills, where if in 4th gear, you're putting more torque to the wheels and you climb the hills a little easier.
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Report this Post12-10-2013 12:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofool:

For comparison, gearing for the 85/86 4-speed is as follows:

1---3.31, 2---1.95, 3---1.24, 4---0.81

86/87 Getrag 5-speed gearing is as follows:

1---3.92, 2---2.19, 3---1.38, 4---0.94, 5---0.72

88 Getrag 5-speed gearing is as follows:

1---3.50, 2---2.05, 3---1.38, 4---0.94, 5---0.72

If you're doing a lot of stop and go, the 4-speed gets you moving quicker. If you're doing some spirited driving out in the courves, either the 4 or 5 speed would be good, because you'll probably be in 3rd or 4th most of the time. For long highway runs, the 5-speed is the thing.

I have found that in hilly country, even on interstates, the 5-speed will give less gas mileage than the 4-speed. My theory is that it's because you have to put your foot a little deeper into the 5-speed to get up those hills, where if in 4th gear, you're putting more torque to the wheels and you climb the hills a little easier.


Where did you find the info on the Getrag ratios?
Every source I have looked at shows the 86-88 Getrag to be the same.
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fierofool
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Report this Post12-10-2013 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It came from a specifications chart in Gary Witzenburg's book, "Fiero, Pontiac's Potent Mid-Engine Sports Car".
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Report this Post12-10-2013 03:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for x-thumpr-xClick Here to Email x-thumpr-xSend a Private Message to x-thumpr-xEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofool:
88 Getrag 5-speed gearing is as follows:

1---3.50, 2---2.05, 3---1.38, 4---0.94, 5---0.72


This is the gear ratio for the getrag which was used from 86-88

Been looking at other tranny gear ratios lately too, picked up an F23 transmission and might look into finding a F40 one day too.

[This message has been edited by x-thumpr-x (edited 12-10-2013).]

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MalleableList
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Report this Post12-11-2013 01:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MalleableListClick Here to Email MalleableListSend a Private Message to MalleableListEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So it sounds like there is a lot of different views on the subject.

Basically I'm trying to figure out if 4 speed is satisfactory enough for my drive to work (I either take the interstate or the backroads, depending on my mood) AND is decent for autocrossing
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Report this Post12-11-2013 02:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MalleableList:

So it sounds like there is a lot of different views on the subject.

Basically I'm trying to figure out if 4 speed is satisfactory enough for my drive to work (I either take the interstate or the backroads, depending on my mood) AND is decent for autocrossing


You wouldn't want the 4-speed on the highway, it rev's the engine too high. If you have the V6 4-speed, with factory 215/60/15's on an 86 GT, you'll be turning 2800RPM (rounding) @ 70MPH.
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Report this Post12-11-2013 04:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CarcenomyClick Here to visit Carcenomy's HomePageSend a Private Message to CarcenomyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Depends on the 4-speed though, my fuel economy was pretty good with an MY8 behind an early 3800.
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Report this Post12-11-2013 07:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I agree with mattwa. Go with the 5 speed. You don't have to use 5th, but it's there when you need it. Never know when you might take a trip out I-8 or up I-5 or 15.
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ltlfrari
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Report this Post12-11-2013 08:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
With my current 4 speed I am turning at nearly 3000 RPM at 70 mph. With the suzzy 5 speed in ltlfrari the engine was turning at around 2450 at the same speed. When I put the DOHC in it'd still pull like a train from that speed in 5th. Only down side for that box, at least with the DOHC was a big step from 1st to 2nd and it was a lot slower to shift between those gears but it may just have been my box.
Just my experience.

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Report this Post12-11-2013 08:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The 4 speed will be great for autoX, giving you approx 60 MPH at the top of 2nd gear.
Even though the RPM is around 2800 at 70, the 2.8 is pretty happy on the interstate.
I drove my 86 SE 180 miles a day on interstate and averaged 27 mpg.

My vote is the M17 four speed. Every Getrag car I have driven seemed flat compared to the M17 cars.
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Report this Post12-11-2013 04:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for x-thumpr-xClick Here to Email x-thumpr-xSend a Private Message to x-thumpr-xEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Four those whole really like 4 speeds, I'd say you want the gears from an MY8 and the case of an M17. The MY8 shift like 1-2-3-5 & the M17 is a stronger case. You have the bottom three gears to play around the city while 4th gear is reserved for the highway. I had the MY8 in my 84 and I wouldn't put the car in 4th gear unless I was doing at least 80km/hr, never used it driving in the city.
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Report this Post12-12-2013 09:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Pete MatosSend a Private Message to Pete MatosEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Definitely four speed... Had one in my last Fiero an 86GT and it was tons of fun. Quick shifting and lots of get up and go out of the same old 2.8 V6. Really wakes the car up off the line. Yeah you do lose something on a freeway run but I never had any problems with it. Drove it to see U2 about two years ago and went to Nashville from Knoxville and hauled ass the whole way. Got a damn ticket too LOL. Great fun and IMHO the perfect tranny for the fiero having driven both four and five speed cars as well as the auto. Peace

Pete

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Report this Post12-12-2013 11:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I didnt like the shift pattern of the 4 speed.
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Report this Post12-12-2013 06:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for davegSend a Private Message to davegEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have an 86 and the 4 spd is great for auto cross. The engine has good flexibility so higher rpm's have not been an issue. I used to commute, and when I was younger and foolish, drove 100mph + every day for the whole summer -loved it. Gong from 60 up, no downshifting, just drive.

27 years and nearly 300,000 kms of abuse with almost 20 years of auto cross -this tranny is pretty good.

Dave
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Report this Post12-12-2013 08:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiackid86Click Here to Email pontiackid86Send a Private Message to pontiackid86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MalleableList:

So it sounds like there is a lot of different views on the subject.

Basically I'm trying to figure out if 4 speed is satisfactory enough for my drive to work (I either take the interstate or the backroads, depending on my mood) AND is decent for autocrossing


Get a 5 speed if you are going to be doing daily beating in it. the 4 speed will get old real fast on the daily grind.

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Report this Post12-12-2013 08:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Seems to me the fun part of Iron Duke driving is cornering. Off the line, 4 or 5 speed doesn't help much.
My 84 SE revs about 4000 RPM at 120 kph; my 86 2.5L 5 speed & 88 Formula 5 speed are about 2500 RPM.
For 30 years, I've wished the 84 SE had the 5 speed. I have a spare I might put in...
I think it'd be better if the 'low revving' Iron Duke had a 6 speed.
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Report this Post12-12-2013 11:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I FAR ISend a Private Message to I FAR IEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Four speed...all the way!

These are supposed to be sports cars, not commuter cars!

The 4 spd can run right up to redline and will pass or run away from many other long geared cars on the highway. I've hit 140 mph in my 4 spd. 85 GT with ported manifolds, gutted cat and CAI when it was naturally aspirated.

If you want good mileage, get a diesel golf. If you wanna have FUN, get a V6 Fiero with 4spd Muncie!

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Report this Post12-12-2013 11:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MalleableList:

Basically I'm trying to figure out if 4 speed is satisfactory enough for my drive to work (I either take the interstate or the backroads, depending on my mood) AND is decent for autocrossing


Oh sure, the 4-spd is "satisfactory enough" (good way to describe it) for your drive to work, but if if you want something better, go for the 5-spd.

In regards to autocrossing, you're not going to get past 2nd gear no matter which tranny you have. However, the 5-spd has a lower 1st gear, so getting off the line quicker is a benefit.
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Report this Post12-12-2013 11:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Big PaulClick Here to Email Big PaulSend a Private Message to Big PaulEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by daveg:

I have an 86 and the 4 spd is great for auto cross. The engine has good flexibility so higher rpm's have not been an issue. I used to commute, and when I was younger and foolish, drove 100mph + every day for the whole summer -loved it. Gong from 60 up, no downshifting, just drive.

27 years and nearly 300,000 kms of abuse with almost 20 years of auto cross -this tranny is pretty good.

Dave


I have an 86 5 speed and I don't have any complaints about it! Works out great for when you want to push your car, but also has the 5th gear for highway cruising. Maybe it's because I'm still young and foolish, but I LOVE downshifting on the highway when it comes time to pass someone! Something about hearing the RPM shoot up and then accelerating quickly! My little brother has the exact same car as me except his is a 4 speed. I've only driven it once around the block so I can't say too much about it, but next time I go home I'll race him and let you know who wins (On a closed track of course! I'm not that foolish!)

241,500 MILES on my 5 speed and it's still going strong with only needing a clutch. I've put about 30,000 miles on it myself. I autocross it and like to push it on the street as well (Accelerating to the speed limit as fast as I can, shifting quickly, chirping the tires on shifts, etc). Either one will be more fun than an automatic

[This message has been edited by Big Paul (edited 12-12-2013).]

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Report this Post12-13-2013 12:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I FAR ISend a Private Message to I FAR IEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
IMO, the perfect tranny in a Fiero would be a 5 spd with the 5th gear ratio equal to 4th gear (.81) in the Muncie. Then when you upshifted from 4th to 5th, the car would still accelerate strongly instead of fall on its face.

Can it be done...cracking the Getrag case and swapping out the .72 fifth gear for a .81 from the Muncie?
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Report this Post12-13-2013 02:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fformula88Send a Private Message to Fformula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I find my 85 SE V6's 4 speed far more entertaining than the Getrag in my 88 Formula. It could use an overdrive for better highway mileage and lower RPM, but it's not that bad either.
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Report this Post12-13-2013 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a 3.94 gear in my 93 Getrag and I can tell you that my car was running 2800 RPM in 5th at 70. Swapped in a F40 and when in 5th gear its only running at 2200 RPM. It drops down to 2050 in 6th. (@70) So the final drive gear (and 5th gear) makes a big difference.

For the money, do a F23.

Rob

[This message has been edited by qwikgta (edited 12-13-2013).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post12-13-2013 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by I FAR I:

Then when you upshifted from 4th to 5th, the car would still accelerate strongly instead of fall on its face.


Except for when you're on the Bonneville Salt Flats, where would that be an issue?

Seriously, where do you drive that you'd be concerned about pulling hard in 5th gear after redlining in 4th?

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Report this Post12-14-2013 07:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WKDFIROClick Here to Email WKDFIROSend a Private Message to WKDFIROEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've had an 87 coupe with a 5 spd, an 85 GT 4 spd and currently own an 87 GT with a 5 spd.

For California freeways the 85 was was fun to be able to punch it and accelerate but ultimately, I would find myself not more than a few times actually push the clutch and pull it out of 4th looking for the next gear in total futility.

I would agree that for fun the 4 speed, but for practicality and maybe just a bit of refinement, the 5 spd.
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Report this Post12-14-2013 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Screw the 4-speeds and 5-speeds, 6-speed is the way to go. You get the best of both worlds. My DD (chevy cruze) has a 6-speed and my Fiero will have an F40. In case anyone was wondering, the Cruze does not have an F40, it has an M32, a much more compact and lighter duty transmission. And if you thought the F40 or F23 had short first gear, try the M32, now that's a short first gear with an overall ratio of 16.35:1 (3.83 FD * 4.27).
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Report this Post12-14-2013 09:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I ordered my '84SE in Sep '83 I wanted the economy final drive, but that combo wasn't on the menu.
When the '84 SE is on a highway, it's spinning like crazy for nothing.
It shares DD duty with an '86 2.5L 5 speed and has an '88 Formula 5 speed for a barn mate as well, so of course I occasionally catch myself reaching for 5th. (There is a 5th gear, but it's sitting on the floor of the barn - maybe I should swap that tranny in ..)

I think the design phase for the Fiero may have been influenced by the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Law...
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Report this Post12-14-2013 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mattwa:

Screw the 4-speeds and 5-speeds, 6-speed is the way to go. You get the best of both worlds. My DD (chevy cruze) has a 6-speed and my Fiero will have an F40. In case anyone was wondering, the Cruze does not have an F40, it has an M32, a much more compact and lighter duty transmission. And if you thought the F40 or F23 had short first gear, try the M32, now that's a short first gear with an overall ratio of 16.35:1 (3.83 FD * 4.27).


The short first gear in the F40 is overstated in my opinion. It's no worse than the 1st gear in the "performance" 4 speed in the '84. That transmission is horrible by today's standards. Yes, 6 speed is the minimum in my opinion. What's the new "vette have? Seven speed manual and paddle shifters on top of it!
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Report this Post12-15-2013 08:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My Coupe had a 4 speed and I loved that car, it was more fun than the 5 speed in my GT with the same engine.

But I hated reverse and I was always wishing for a 5th gear. I don't have the coupe anymore and I am now looking for a 6th gear in my GT
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Report this Post12-15-2013 10:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have never been much of a fan of the 4 speeds and normally swapped them for 5 speeds as soon as possible. The best part of the 4 speed is 1st gear, but that isn't much to get excited about. 4th gear is an overdrive, but not much of one. So once you get into 4th, your acceleration suffers and you don't get the fuel economy from a deep overdrive - which makes it a lose-lose in my book.

With my engine swaps, I found myself using 5th gear even in town. The engines had plenty of torque to pull 5th at 35mph. When on the interstate I would find myself trying to grab 6th gear with the 5 speed because the revs were too high or the engine too loud. Now that I have upgraded to the 6 speed, I find that my engine can pull 40 mph in 6th (but can't accelerate from it due to the aggressive camshaft).

The low 1st gear ratio of the F40 works well with an aluminum flywheel and aggressive camshaft (minimal off idle torque). I use it more just to get the car rolling from a dead stop and then quickly grab 2nd. If the car is rolling, I never downshift to 1st. At the drag strip 1st isn't an issue because I launch in 2nd gear.

Those who think the 4 speed is the most fun to drive are likely speaking about performance in the 30 to 80 mph range (5K redline) which would be 2nd and 3rd gear for the most part. The effective 2nd and 3rd gear ratios (gear ratio X final drive) between the 4 speed and the F40 are nearly identical with the F40's being 1.7% and 3.5% lower than the 4 speed's effective ratios. Plus the fun can continue with the F40 once you shift to 4th because its effective ratio is 14% lower.

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masospaghetti
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Report this Post12-17-2013 02:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for masospaghettiClick Here to Email masospaghettiSend a Private Message to masospaghettiEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I prefer the 5-speed, although I liked the 4-speed too. They really give the car a different character. The shifter feels a lot different, the 4-speed uses that spring-loaded shifter and has a very mechanical feel to it. The Getrag has a more standard shifter.

I can't comment on fuel economy since I changed engines at the same time, but I don't see how the 4-speed could do better than the 5. I did get about 27 mpg on the freeway at 65-70 mph with the 2.8/4-speed, not great, but not terrible.

I think most Getrags will need a replacement input shaft bearing so keep this in mind if you get one. Rodney makes a retrofit kit which works amazingly well and priced very fairly, especially considering all of the tooling included. That said, it is still $100 and a decent amount of work.
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I FAR I
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Report this Post12-17-2013 07:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I FAR ISend a Private Message to I FAR IEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Except for when you're on the Bonneville Salt Flats, where would that be an issue?

Seriously, where do you drive that you'd be concerned about pulling hard in 5th gear after redlining in 4th?



Come on out to Ontario and run on the 400 series of highways!
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rogergarrison
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Report this Post12-18-2013 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For me its ONLY 4 speeds. 5 speed is only any good to me to save gas on long freeway trips. My real preference is automatic now...as long as its not a TH125. My 2 kits had 4 speeds and I thrashed on them without any trouble at all. I ran the one in my Ferrari kit for a year before I found out the axle seals were gone and there was no oil in it. Replaced the seals and filled it up and still never had any problem or noise with it for 100K. I never checked it because I never saw a leak. Apparently didnt show a leak because it was already empty.
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