Can't make up my mind.. - LS1TECH



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Can't make up my mind..

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Old 04-18-2016, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Can't make up my mind..

Hey fellas! Doing a third gen camaro build (started a build thread) but I am flat out stumped on which trans to go with. I feel like I change my mind every week. Currently building a 6.0 ls that should put down some pretty good power. I wanna be able to highway drive the car, but beat on it on the curvy back roads. Maybe hit up a road course or two in the summer. Should I go 6 speed? Full manual valve body auto? Which auto 4l60 or 80, th400 and gear vendors OD? Jerico? I'm pretty well stumped they all have there positives, just looking for some advice. If I need to provide more info just let me know
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:12 PM   #2
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This can be a well debated question and it really comes down to personal preference. Most guys will run 6 speeds, but if you go with an Auto With paddle shifters I feel like that would be the best. You would need a very stout built transmission and I would recommend the 4l80e as its built stronger and you don't have as tall first gear as the 4l60e so dropping into 1st won't be as drastic coming out of a hairpin turn. Even still with a 4l80e I'd recommend getting it built up to handle the stresses of several up and down shifts. Hopefully that will steer you in some direction and mind you this is just my opinion.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:44 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for the reply, and I am just looking for opinions and recommendations. Along with some real life experiences to back some of it up. I like the paddle shifter thought, would also be very original too. I will start looking at that stuff also. (Prolly make it an even harder decision) lol
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ZOBETZ View Post
Thank you very much for the reply, and I am just looking for opinions and recommendations. Along with some real life experiences to back some of it up. I like the paddle shifter thought, would also be very original too. I will start looking at that stuff also. (Prolly make it an even harder decision) lol
I'd love to get the paddle shifter and TCI and twistmachine both offer great kits for about $1200-1500 which would work for any of the electronic transmissions. I AutoX and RR my 4l60e and needless to say 3rd and 4th gear clutch packs didn't like it too much 3rd started slipping bad on my way home after racing.... I am currently at the final stages of rebuilding the transmission with a rebuild kit for RR and autoX. If I was to do it again I'd probably look for a 4l80e instead but I didn't have the time to look for one.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:39 PM   #5
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Who did you have build your trans? What converter are you running?
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:42 PM   #6
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Who did you have build your trans? What converter are you running?
rebuilding it myself, and went with circle D High performance 11" 2600 stall converter. Installing transmission this weekend.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:02 PM   #7
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When I was young I was all about the six speed. Sure it was fun to shift my own gears.


but as the engines got more powerful, and the cars got lighter, I realized there just isn't enough reason to fool with changing gears yourself. If you have a fast, light car with alot of power you will have a hard enough time just watching the road.

Also it is nice not having to change the clutch every 50k (just keep driving )
automatic, it will be faster if built right, you want part throttle accumulation for daily drivers, and you can use boost vs speed to minimize wheel spin on high power turbo vehicles for a trouble-free operation. You can also ramp wastegate duty down as you approach the shift point for transmission longevity (shifting with less torque).
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:14 PM   #8
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I personally still like to row my own gears, so I'd say 6speed. You say you want corner carving and road courses, I'd always want to shift myself for that, can any automatic downshift to the right gear before or mid corner? You could go with a sequential shifter (seen em but not heard much about them long term). IMO a clutch is easier to replace than rebuilding a slipping automatic; autos are too much voodoo for me to understand, and more funny liquids to change than M6. Making a M6 nice requires getting the right clutch (power, feel) and clutch MC (not too heavy for cruising or traffic). Plus the shifter should be nice too. Corvette C5 shifters are so incredibly notchy, but I drove a VW wagon with M6 and it was fast and so super smooth yet felt precise. So look for a really nice shifter. Hinson sounds like a hot number now, or maybe the sequential if you want something exotic. My 2 cents.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:49 PM   #9
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I'm probably one of the few people on this site who uses their car the way you describe with a built stalled auto.

It's a 4l60e built up to be about the same as most big name builders "stage 2" with a Yank 3600 converter and the biggest trans cooler B&M makes. I have a Trans Go kit in it that allows me to manually hold gears but not the full manual only kit. It also has a valve to make the trans engine brake all gears if the shifter is in 3.

This setup works surprisingly well for backroads and autox. I haven't been able to road track the car yet but that's where it will start to show some limitations I believe both in generation of heat as well as not being able to manually hold 3rd without downshifting if throttle input gets too high for the speed of a corner. It will hold 1st and with the shifter in 2nd it will hold 2nd, but third is still set to be "D" mode so it will perform upshifts and downshifts like normal just not shift up again to 4th. For back road stuff this is fine...just put it in 2nd gear and as long as the engine has a good power band you can ride through a corner up in the RPMs. My cam and gear allow me to be able to hold 2nd until around 90mph IIRC which is more than plenty for sweepers in the countryside.

The car is serious fun and probably more than enough to satisfy a lot of people.


All that said...some people prefer manuals. A manual is still going to offer more control over the car. The extra gears will put the car in a better part of your power band more often. The manual will probably hold up better to road course abuse as the auto will build a lot of heat.

So while I have no plans to swap my car's auto for a manual, I also sometimes find myself hankering for a C5 or C6 Corvette with a manual. I had an Audi TT for a dumb ex for a bit and even though it was slow as ***** the manual trans made it decent fun on the backroads.


Just to give you an idea here is a video of the car on a closed course, but it was my first time there and even though it was a closed course I found myself in a mindset of driving like to do on public backroads so everything is very converative...just having fun, not being competitive:


Bumper view for a better sense of speeds


Last edited by thunderstruck507; 04-22-2016 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:18 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replays again. How long have you been running the 4l60 for thunderstruck? What kind of power does the car make? And how much does it weigh? Thanks for the videos too.

Can I do a 4l60 without all the electronics on it?
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replays again. How long have you been running the 4l60 for thunderstruck? What kind of power does the car make? And how much does it weigh? Thanks for the videos too.

Can I do a 4l60 without all the electronics on it?
Any reason you want an auto? Pretty unusual to see one running a road course. They're awkward and can downshift at unusual times and throw the balance of the car off.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:54 PM   #12
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I've been running a 4l60e for about 8 years I think. It's a built one and I've put 3/4 clutches in it twice (found out the hardway a Lokar dipstick is not correct for level and it was starving for fluid under extended time at WOT).

Car weighs 3750 race weight with me in it and the car started off with 360ish RWHP and now it making 440rwhp converter unlocked.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by thunderstruck507 View Post
I've been running a 4l60e for about 8 years I think. It's a built one and I've put 3/4 clutches in it twice (found out the hardway a Lokar dipstick is not correct for level and it was starving for fluid under extended time at WOT).

Car weighs 3750 race weight with me in it and the car started off with 360ish RWHP and now it making 440rwhp converter unlocked.
I enjoyed your video, thank you,

Now just imagine if you could get that weight down to 2800lbs and increase power to 550rwhp~ using a little boost, and thats how I imagine such a transmission being fully advantageous, for a lighter weight vehicle it can be scary, I dont care if its on a road coarse or drag racing, it will be an ice skate missile = fun
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:24 AM   #14
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I like N/A for how I use the car. Now that I've gone solid roller cam it's even better.

It's definitely fun though.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:34 PM   #15
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They're awkward and can downshift at unusual times and throw the balance of the car off.
Not if you set them up right and know how to tune/use them.

I've roadcoursed my 4L60E and while it's not the best or most fun out there, it can certainly be competitive.

For a novice/enthusiast it's not much different than running a T56 and staying in 3rd gear for 90% of the track and only going to 2nd/4th on short occasions.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:40 PM   #16
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I agree, a lot can be done with tuning and learning how the car operates. While it won't be optimal compared to a manual I can't remember the last time I had an unexpected downshift while dicking around with the car.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:41 AM   #17
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I can't remember the last time I had an unexpected downshift while dicking around with the car.
Exactly. First of all, using the 1 and 2 slots of the shifter 100% locks out any other gear besides the one selected. With my setup, that was good for up to 90mph and would get me through 95% of the track besides the long straightaway where I had to go into 3rd.

But even then, a simple change of the shift tables would keep it locked into 3rd all day long without downshifting to any other gear. So for all intents and purposes, it acted as a full manual valve body where the only thing that would allow for gear changes was physically moving the lever up and down. And with the built transmission and proper tuning, these shifts were firm and quick.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:26 AM   #18
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I could hear mine squeaking the Hoosier DOT radials at a prepped drag strip, both on the 1-2 and 2-3 shift.

The shifts themselves are quick, however there is a slight lag when manually shifting the trans so I just have grown accustomed to shifting at a lower RPM than I intend to hit if I'm WOT. It's second nature at this point and I don't even think about it.

My biggest concern with tracking a 4l60e would be heat during long sessions. The rest is easy to deal with enough to have fun and be decently quick. If you watched the video above you notice that day we were taking turns and did a power lap then a cool down lap before parking. It was in the dead heat of summer and around 100* outside. Everything was fine with no signs of issues, but we were playing it safe with everything that day.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:30 PM   #19
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My biggest concern with tracking a 4l60e would be heat during long sessions.
How long exactly were the sessions?

I found that even with a small stall (26-2800) using a good size stacked plate cooler mounted right in front of the car the trans temp would never go over 210-220 even in 80 something degree weather after 20 minutes.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:41 AM   #20
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How long exactly were the sessions?

I found that even with a small stall (26-2800) using a good size stacked plate cooler mounted right in front of the car the trans temp would never go over 210-220 even in 80 something degree weather after 20 minutes.
This strikes me as extremely odd. I've heard of people with coolers running much, much hotter than that. Hell, I've gotten my T56 into the 270s on my Z06. Had the rear axle boiling in my Z28, I'm certain its T56 gets far north of 210 and it has no torque converter to cook the fluid. You not pushing the car that hard?
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