Auto vs Stick - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Auto vs Stick

So im curious and would like to know once and for all what the situation is...My dad told me that the whole controversy of automatic vs Stick is semi BS that the first generations of automatic transmissions were really not so great but that with current automatic transmissions and tuning they are essentially just as fast as a stick car minus the chance of missing a gear...On the other hand I've been told dozens of times that Stick is insanely faster and so much better and all of this stuff and get mocked for having a automatic vehicle...I was then also told that all the cars that hit times of like 7 seconds on the quarter mile are automatic cars and stuff by a guy at a local car show...So basically I would like to know what the truth of the matter is if you took two exactly identical cars same year same mods only variance being that one is automatic and one is stick with a exceptional stick driver so chances of him missing gears are slim who would win? or would it be a dead out draw like some people have been telling me?

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post #2 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 04:21 PM
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There are a lot of variables there....In terms of power generally a Standard car loses less power through its drivetrain so it essential will have more power at the wheels and should be faster, but if you can't drive for Sh*t then it doesn't matter. When your comparing cars at the track doing 7's that are automatic you right, but if a car is doing 7's it isn't doing it with the stock automatic transmission its probably some type of upgrade transmission or formula transmission, so when cars are that fast and shifting that quickly no human being can shift faster and more accurately then a computer. If you were going go race less modified cars like your basic WRX's like you see on the streets, then a standard car is faster unless the driver is awful. I've had the same car a 2000 2.5RS in auto and a 2000 2.5RS in Standard and the standard was much quickly i tracked them both as well with the same mods, just took one off the first car and put them on the second car and the auto i did a 16.2 in the standard i ran a 15.1.
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post #3 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 06:05 PM
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Most drag cars use a two speed power glide its great for drag racing. Not your run of the mill automatic that we use. As far as whats better I prefer stick so you can control what gear your in on the turns as opposed to a computer doing it for me. I know you can manually change gears to compensate in an auto but I always was told that wasn't good. My opinion is that you can spend money on either and make them what you want to be it only takes money.
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post #4 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 06:23 PM
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High Dollar automatics are faster than manuals and just as efficient. However, if your dad isn't talking about $75,000 transmissions, he's confused. The WRX, for example, is quite a bit faster with a manual than an auto and so are many similar cars. In the luxury market, we are just now seeing automatics released that are superior to manuals. BMW for example. Those ain't cheap though either nor can they handle high HP numbers. A 10,000hp drag car is not going to run a standard 5-speed, it's true. Course, the tranny they use is so different than the one you'd find in a 4-door passenger car it's not even funny.

Manuals are less complex which allows them to handle more power cheaply. They're easier to fix and offer many advantages over your average automatic in terms of power losses, gas miledge, overall cost of ownership, etc.

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post #5 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ah I see...I was just curious because a few of the guys in town who also have modded cars one in particular has a 1990 eclipse with a stock turbo to my knowledge all that has been done was a rebuilt engine CB or TBE not sure and a after market BOV he constaaaaaaaaaantly asks me to race him and I usually say no because its a street race and my mom made it very clear first speeding ticket car goes so im not looking to get a speeding ticket or a street racing ticket lol...but I got really fed up of his crap so I said fine and he refused because my car was automatic like it wasn't worthy of his car or something so I got kinda pissed and wanted to see if auto is so much slower then stick as he was exclaiming it to be.


Also semi off topic thing but if any one here lives in northern new jersey theres a pretty cool car show that goes on every Thursday night in edgewater, I acutally met a kid who lives a town over hes got a 2002 wrx his is stick mines 2003 and auto I was wondering like my car i've got the cobb stage 2 and soon a down pipe/dyno tune and I was curious allegedly right now I have 230 to the wheels according to what cobb as told me its approx 230 at the wheels and I was talking to this kid and he has the same mods but no tune allegedly like hes got the TBE and Doesn't that mean his car woudln't run to well because I was always told subaru's need a tune for every lil mod you do pretty much or maybe not so much that it wouldn't run to good but woudlnt he be getting very min. power gains? if any due to the lack of a tune it might have been opened up to much or something? I was curious because I was telling him he should get a tune but I want to get my facts straight before I open my mouth.

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post #6 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 06:43 PM
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It's about a full second slower on the WRX. Or more. The advantage of the platform is it's AWD giving grip from a dead stop where most cars would just spin the tires. However, with an automatic, you cannot raise the starting RPM of the car before disengaging the clutch so you cannot "launch".

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post #7 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Accccctually....Idk how true this is I might be 100% talking out of my ass...There was a guy at the car show who used to have a subaru or something like that I forget the exact story but any ways he was telling me that with automatic wrx's that if you are going to race from a dead stop they have a cool trick where you can put it into N and rev it up to like 4 grand while holding your foot on the break then drop it into drive it will drop down to like 3 grand and then you can get a nice launch and allegedly its not to bad for the transmission according to him like it doesn't count as a neutral drop since your foot is on the break idk how true that is but my dad was also saying that what you could do is keep it in drive while holding your foot on the break and and rev it up to about 3000 is when my breaks lose control and get a nice launch i guess idk if that counts as a "launch" persay but that is what everyone is calling it and I decided to try it on this like dead end road with my dad in the car and I have to say I noticed it took off a ton faster.

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post #8 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 07:50 PM
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My buddy was telling me about that trick. He used to do it in his 87 supra. This goes without saying, but obviously that is not even close to the kind of launch you can get with a manual. And I would guess that that is one of the quickest ways to break things, namely your transmission.
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I mean I kind of figured that one coudlnt be so great for your trans...How ever my dad was saying if your off a dead stop and just rev it up to like 3grand it wont mess your trans up how ever it isn't the greatest thing in the world for breaks and I mean Im not really planning on doing it any time soon but I was curious if that is benificial in a race to do that if your going from a dead stop?

Little sub question I also heard that automatic cars hold boost better at higher rpms true? false? Which was why my theory was if I were to race a wrx with the same mods as me if I launched and he launched I assumed I'd be able to keep up with him decently off the line and then beat him in the higher rpms?

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post #10 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 08:49 PM
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i've never heard that. I don't see how the transmission would factor into how much boost a car could hold...
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post #11 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 09:04 PM
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I dont see why you can't stage an automatic wrx. Put your foot on the brake and give it gas like your going to power brake. Pretty sure your not going to break your tires loose. Try and see if that will help launch you granted it won't be as fast as a manual but it should take right off. Granted this is all done on the track
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post #12 of 25 Old 07-25-2008, 11:16 PM
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Automatics are not designed to be out of sync like that. You'll destroy it very quickly. You need a torque converter (which you CAN buy) to do what you're talking about. That is, unless you don't mind a broken auto. Seriously one of the dumbest things you can do to your car right there.

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post #13 of 25 Old 07-26-2008, 12:08 AM
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ok i am not knowleadable in all those transmission stuff.but nowadays auto are pretty quick.
for instance , i sat in my cousin's nissan GTR.when set to "sports" mode ,the experience is mind blowing and quick.
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post #14 of 25 Old 07-26-2008, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well the sports mode is alil different then your old school automatic like I don't have that as a option sadly lol my friends bmw has it so much fun I could be wrong but that is essentially exactly the same as stick minus the clutch...I mean don't get me wrong i KNOW my car is NOT slow it just deff isn't with the way it moves just curious how much better a stick is.

Going back to something I believe mosc said...So if you launch with a automatic car revving it in drive while holding down the break it will mess up my transmission? My dad was saying it should do any harm other then wear the brakes a bit or break pads i guess?

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post #15 of 25 Old 07-27-2008, 12:22 AM
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If you rev an auto in drive and it is not moving, you're ####ing with the transmission.

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