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V8 and V6 Transmissions / Driveline (6L80 / 6L50 / TR6060 / AY6) Driveshafts | Differentials | Gears | Rearends | Clutch | Shifters

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Old 09-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
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Converter VS. Gears, help please!

I have an L99 bone stock camaro. I'm going to do a full exhaust upgrade, including long tubes, high flow cats and JBA cat back. I also want a mild cam, thinking of going with the MAST stage 1 cam. Also getting a CAI. Now, my question is, which should i go with?
A Torque converter? or a Gear change?
I'm leaning towards a converter because it would be cheaper and less risky than having gears installed. From what i understand, both provide more or less the same function. Am i mistaken? Is there something i'm overlooking? I really think the car is lacking in bottom end torque in my opinion. These cars are rediculously heavy, and i'm more concerned with neck snapping acceleration than top end speed. I'd like to have both, but i know there will be a loss somewhere. If there is no huge difference, then obviously i will go with the cheaper option of converter. Any help appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
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A gd converter and gear change will be pretty close in price by the time you are done and out the door.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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I would go with a converter before gears for an L99.

Also, once you get your car tuned, you'll pick up a ton of torque down low.
With just an intake, full exhaust, and tune I'm making 50 ft lbs more than stock.

As soon as I can swing it, I'm getting a converter.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #4
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A higher stall converter will help the launch only. A gear change helps acceleration everywhere. Pick one or both.

That said, get a tune first THEN decide if you still want a TC or gear.

I did the A6 trans tune first and was satisfied. Then I did the rear center sections swap with a M6 car (3.45 gear). Now it's GREAT!
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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A higher stall converter will help the launch. A gear change helps acceleration everywhere. Pick one or both.
Both would be ideal and Roger Ramjet hits the nail on the head. The torque converter will give you torque multiplication and a gear swap will improve gearing/acceleration. By upgrading the factory 3.27s in the stock A6 equipped Camaro to 3.73s you will realize an equivalent improvement of approximately 15% or 61.5 rear wheel lb.-ft. of torque everywhere. By the time you purchase the parts and get them installed cost will be very close between the two.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:19 PM   #6
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Since you're local, call Ted at Jannetty Racing in Connecticut and see what he says. He will tell you the truth and the right way to go about it. Even if you don't end up having him do the work, he's here to help us all!

203-753-race - Jannetty Racing
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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Good info by the posters before me. I also agree, go with the TC. Will pick up .5-.7 sec in the 1/4 mile if it is the correct converter. If you want to learn search my threads for the one on the subject.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I find it hard to believe that the price between the two will be similar as someone posted earlier. Gears seem to entail a lot more work with installation. Anyhow, i want to know if there is any difference in seat of the pants performance between the converter or gears. If that is the same, then i'll have to go with the cheaper option.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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A gd converter will be around 8 or 9 hundred. You don't want a cheaper one, trust me. Then 4 or 5 hundred to install and they may charge extra for fluids. So you're ballpark $1300. And then you may want a trans cooler so add a few more hundred.

Gears and the install set are about 7 ish, right APEX. And then a gd installer is around another 7 or so. At least it is here in the northeast where nothing is cheap.

So it's pretty close to the same
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:55 PM   #10
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If you aren't drag racing all the time I'd look into some gears.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:36 AM   #11
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Converter, converter, converter, converter....................converter. Like said above both will be around the same price when all said and done. When has streetable gears givin .5 reduction in 1/4 times? Also why put a part in your rear end that has more chance of breaking than the stock pieces? Whoever said the converter is only good for launching is dead wrong. A good stall converter will "flash" to a higher RPM after each shift putting you right in the sweet spot of your powerband thus improving acceleration throughout a run. Just dont skip on the quality of the converter and get a Pro torque, Yank, Circle D, or Vigilante billet converter made to your driving and other mods.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:15 AM   #12
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A gd converter will be around 8 or 9 hundred. You don't want a cheaper one, trust me. Then 4 or 5 hundred to install and they may charge extra for fluids. So you're ballpark $1300. And then you may want a trans cooler so add a few more hundred.

Gears and the install set are about 7 ish, right APEX. And then a gd installer is around another 7 or so. At least it is here in the northeast where nothing is cheap.
About $775 for parts. Installation varies a lot (I've heard everything from $250-900) but $500 is about average.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:34 PM   #13
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I think i'm even less sure about which way to go. I just want the car to be really strong pulling when you mash the throttle. Right now i'm disappointed with the low end acceleration. The car feels like a tank, and although it has decent power, it just feels too sluggish. I don't know why these cars could'nt be built a little lighter. I don't mean to sound like i'm complaining, but i miss the overpowering feeling i had in my old simple 73 dodge dart with an almost bone stock 440 big block. I know it's apples to oranges, but i loved whipping that car around the neighborhood. I'm sure these cars are faster, but they don't "FEEL" faster.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:06 PM   #14
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I think i'm even less sure about which way to go. I just want the car to be really strong pulling when you mash the throttle. Right now i'm disappointed with the low end acceleration. The car feels like a tank, and although it has decent power, it just feels too sluggish. I don't know why these cars could'nt be built a little lighter. I don't mean to sound like i'm complaining, but i miss the overpowering feeling i had in my old simple 73 dodge dart with an almost bone stock 440 big block. I know it's apples to oranges, but i loved whipping that car around the neighborhood. I'm sure these cars are faster, but they don't "FEEL" faster.
I've had several different combinations in my car (2007 Corvette) so I happen to have a little experience with this subject. At various points in time I've had a 2.56, 3.15 and 3.42 differential as well as an 1800 RPM(stock), 3000RPM, 3600RPM and 4000RPM stall converter.

The general rule of thumb is that if you're looking for an improvement on the street, go with gears but if you're looking for an improvement at the track then go with a higher stall converter.

In my car I went from the stock 2.56 diff to 3.42's and the car felt like it had an extra 100HP. A couple of years ago a buddy wanted to check out my Borla exhaust so we drove each other's car for about a 15 minute test drive both on the street and freeway. At the time I still had a 411rwhp LS2 in the car with 3.15's and he had a 535rwhp supercharged LS2 but still with the stock 2.56's. After the test drive we both agreed that my car felt like it pulled noticeably harder (despite a lot less HP) and I think he upgraded his differential that very same week.

Unless you're planning on racing the car I wouldn't recommend a higher stall converter, especially without a corresponding gear swap at the same time. Although a higher stall can significantly help your ETs, it can be a little annoying on the street depending on how you like to drive the car. A torque converter works in two ways - torque multiplication and by allowing your engine to get into the powerband faster so if you're not careful you could find yourself lighting up the tires all the time.

Hope that helps but feel free to e-mail me in case you wanted to talk offline about it.
Christopher
syclone98@hotmail.com
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:59 PM   #15
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As I have said before, find a M6 guy that wants to do gears. Swap the 3.45 gears into your A6 and share the cost - everybody wins!

Get a good trans tune including the part throttle shift speeds and you might not want gears anymore. I'll send you a HPT tune if you have a way to install it.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:15 PM   #16
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As I have said before, find a M6 guy that wants to do gears. Swap the 3.45 gears into your A6 and share the cost - everybody wins!

Get a good trans tune including the part throttle shift speeds and you might not want gears anymore. I'll send you a HPT tune if you have a way to install it.
Swapping from the stock 3.27s to 3.45s wouldn't be worth the install cost. You would only see an equivalent gain of about 6% versus 15% with 3.73s. I do agree that a good trans tune goes a long way though.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:09 PM   #17
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Swapping from the stock 3.27s to 3.45s wouldn't be worth the install cost. You would only see an equivalent gain of about 6% versus 15% with 3.73s. I do agree that a good trans tune goes a long way though.
You missed the point! Take the rear center section from the M6 and install in the A6 car. Take the A6 center section, install 4.10 gears, and install in M6 car. Did the center section change in 40 minutes. Give the M6 guy a couple hundred bucks - everybody gets a good deal.

I agree that it's not a big gear change but with the A6 deep 4.03 1st gear - a little becomes a lot.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:31 PM   #18
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I am now leaning towards the 3.73 gears because it will be a daily driver and i think it will compliment the cam as well. Hopefully the combo i mentioned putting together along with this gear will give me the performance i'm hoping for.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:40 AM   #19
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I think i'm even less sure about which way to go. I just want the car to be really strong pulling when you mash the throttle. Right now i'm disappointed with the low end acceleration. The car feels like a tank, and although it has decent power, it just feels too sluggish. I don't know why these cars could'nt be built a little lighter. I don't mean to sound like i'm complaining, but i miss the overpowering feeling i had in my old simple 73 dodge dart with an almost bone stock 440 big block. I know it's apples to oranges, but i loved whipping that car around the neighborhood. I'm sure these cars are faster, but they don't "FEEL" faster.
Sounds like you need a trans tune. There is so much torque management in the stock tune of this car it is like a big boat anchor is on the rear bumper holding the car back until 3500rpms. People have reported huge huge gains in low end torque output and low end feel with a new tune that takes some or all of the torque management out. When I first got this car I was very disappointed in the low end power feel. I got out of my OHV 4.6 3v Mustang because I longed for that big displacement pushrod motor feel of the Chevy and then was like WTF when I got the car. I later learned why. It was the factory tuning that was holding this car way way back. With a tune you might only gain 10hp and torque at the peak of the rev range but you will gain a tremendous amount in the lower rev range when tuning out TM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:19 AM   #20
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I am now leaning towards the 3.73 gears because it will be a daily driver and i think it will compliment the cam as well. Hopefully the combo i mentioned putting together along with this gear will give me the performance i'm hoping for.
The 3.73s bring the A6 cars to life. I would check into that trans tune as well.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:27 AM   #21
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Converter, converter, converter, converter....................converter. Like said above both will be around the same price when all said and done. When has streetable gears givin .5 reduction in 1/4 times? Also why put a part in your rear end that has more chance of breaking than the stock pieces? Whoever said the converter is only good for launching is dead wrong. A good stall converter will "flash" to a higher RPM after each shift putting you right in the sweet spot of your powerband thus improving acceleration throughout a run. Just dont skip on the quality of the converter and get a Pro torque, Yank, Circle D, or Vigilante billet converter made to your driving and other mods.

I agree.
Take a stock Camaro with a good stall and race it against a stock car with gears and see who wins that drag race.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #22
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I just thought about an added benefit of going with the gears. I think that the drone of the exhaust would be moved down to a lower speed, rather than where you would cruise under a longer sustained rpm. If you cruise around 2000 to 2200 rpm to maintain 65 to 70 mph for example, would'nt you now cruise at a higher rpm to maintain the same speed with 3.73 gears? Would that lessen the time spent in drone mode? Just a theory, but perhaps this would be an added benefit. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:06 PM   #23
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True that a high stall converter can keep the engine around peak torque with a 3 speed or 4 speed trans. But with the 6 speed, the engine stays within 800 RPM of peak torque after ALL shifts. It would take a 3800 RPM stall converter to gain any torque. That much converter is not always fun to drive on the street, will need a trans cooler, and will have trouble locking the TC clutch.

If you want to spend some more money, there is an after market TCM operating system that will control TCC lockup and get the cruise MPG back.
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