A342
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ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:45 pm

Some sources have speculated that Mercedes would be the first company to produce a nine-speed automatic transmission for passenger cars. Instead, it now appears that ZF is going to win that title.
It is particularly interesting that the new transmission is intended for transverse engine apllications, a market ZF abandoned several years ago when they ceased prodduction of their four-speed 4HP series. This move should be considered as a full-force attack on dual clutch transmissions which are gaining ever more popularity.
Finally, the new transmission is going to be produced in the USA, so the US trade deficit might decrase, even if the effect will only be microscopic.  http://www.zf.com/corporate/en/press.../press_release.jsp?newsId=21795176


More info (German only):

http://www.heise.de/autos/artikel/Qu...gang-Automatik-von-ZF-1175318.html
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
474218
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:54 pm

The ZF nine speed transmission is scheduled to be built in South Carolina and first used in FWD 1012 Chrysler's.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:40 am

Quoting A342 (Thread starter):
This move should be considered as a full-force attack on dual clutch transmissions which are gaining ever more popularity.

I'm surprised this isn't a double-clutch. And hell if you're gonna have that many speeds may as well have a CVT. My experience with regular torque converter automatics has been horrid on the reliability side. Then again all those exploding transmissions I had were DaimlerChrysler products, doubt that was a coincidence.  
 
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falstaff
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:48 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
My experience with regular torque converter automatics has been horrid on the reliability side

They have been building them that way since 1938. Most most of them work great!

Quoting A342 (Thread starter):
a nine-speed automatic transmission for passenger cars

I would hate to have to replace that thing $$$$ yikes! I wouldn't want to be the rebuilder either.

Give me a THM-400, C-6, or 727 any day.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
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DocLightning
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:59 am

Why would you want a 9-speed transmission when CVT's are available? What's the advantage?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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A342
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:41 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
I'm surprised this isn't a double-clutch.

According to the German article, ZF's reasoning is that a conventional torque-converter automatic is significantly cheaper to build than a DCT.
However, companies like VW, Ford or Getrag have reduced the cost of DCTs by sharing many parts with their manual transmissions.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
My experience with regular torque converter automatics has been horrid on the reliability side. Then again all those exploding transmissions I had were DaimlerChrysler products, doubt that was a coincidence.

Maybe you could tell us the type of car and transmission?

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
And hell if you're gonna have that many speeds may as well have a CVT.
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
Why would you want a 9-speed transmission when CVT's are available? What's the advantage?

CVTs definitely have the advantage of always being able to provide the right drive ratio.
However, they suffer from internal friction losses, and aren't capable of transmitting high torque figures (currently the maximum is 400Nm in the passenger car market). Note that many of them use friction clutches instead of a torque converter as the means of connecting the engine and the transmission.

And finally, quite a number of manufacturers had less than stellar experiences with CVTs in terms of reliability. Just ask Audi (they probably continue to use it in their longitudinal engine, FWD models only because there are few alternatives).
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:06 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
Maybe you could tell us the type of car and transmission?

91 VW Passat Variant (took waaaaay more abuse than the Chrsylers though) the others were a 95 Chrsyler Concorde (went through 4 tranny rebuilds)   , Two 200x Chrysler 300Ms and a Dodge Neon (literally exploded, under no warning whatsoever and without any significant stress). Predictably all the chrysler trannies disintegrated at 50K mile intervals  


I actually quite dislike CVTs. On paper they are the perfect tranny. However in practice they are slow as hell. The worse CVT I've ever driven is in the Dodge Caliber. That car is quite the turd to begin with, then they decide to put some slushbox between the wimpy engine and wheels. I always seem to get stuck with one every time I need to rent   
 
474218
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:35 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 6):
Predictably all the chrysler trannies disintegrated at 50K mile intervals


I have had three (3) Chrysler Mini-Vans since 1986. The first (an 1986 Voyager) went 178K miles with no trans problems. The second (a 1994 Caravan) went just 68K miles and I had to replace the transmission with a re-manfactured unit (from Chrysler). However, the re-manfactured unit went 160K miles until the entire van was written off after it was rear ended by a F350 pick-up. My current Caravan (a 2006) has 85K miles and shits just like it was new.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 3):
Give me a THM-400, C-6, or 727 any day.


I have two cars that are equipped with 727's and they are by far the best performing and strongest automatic transmission ever designed and built.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:52 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 7):
and shits just like it was new.

excuuuuuuse me?           
 
474218
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:13 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 8):
excuuuuuuse me?


I could still change it but its too good!!!!
 
KevinL1011
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:48 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 9):
could still change it but its too good

I worked @ a VW Dealer back when the Beetle had an optional "Automatic Stick Shift". We used to call it the "Automatic Shit Stick". Actually wasn't a bad system if you knew how to adjust it correctly.

As far as a 9 speed auto goes, it most likely will be a sealed unit and will have no required service interval. Only if there is a leak or performance problem will you mess with it. If an internal component fails, the entire unit will have to be replaced. Even a dealership will not have the tools or experience to perform an internal repair let alone be able to procure the needed parts. Many transmissions today are unit replacement only. Something people don't think about when looking to buy a new or used car.

Honda Odyssey mini vans have a pattern of trans problems. They'll start throwing DTC's and turning on the "Check Engine" light. Even though the DTC's aren't catastrophic, the "Check Engine" light being on will cause a fail in a state required emission test. So, to keep the vehicle registered, you'll either have to replace the transmission ($3500.00) or the vehicle. I guarantee you that anybody who says they can fix it will charge you at least $2500 and probably won't effect a repair that lasts a year. Transmissions have become so complex with extremely tight tolerances they are un-repairable. Go figure what the cost of replacement for a 9-speed tranny will be.

I question why a manufacturer would want to develop such a beast. Most likely because of CAFE penalties and wishing to present a "Green" public image when the MPG ratings are published. There's no way the consumer will benefit when you consider the increased cost of the vehicle and subsequent repairs.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 3):
Give me a THM-400, C-6, or 727 any day.

Ditto here!
I'll take 474218s' "Torqueflight 727" or Superflys' "C-6" any day over an electronic, 9-speed chunk of pot metal crap.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The ZF nine speed transmission is scheduled to be built in South Carolina and first used in FWD 1012 Chrysler's.

Ahem, 2012 Fiat / Chryslers'. I would think that this unit is for global production.

So, tell me 474218, I'm just curious. Exactly how do you feel about your awesome '69 Road Runner being the predecessor of a Fiat?     



[Edited 2011-01-24 22:28:55]
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
cargolex
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:06 am

Strange historical asides:

Chrysler once owned the french automaker Simca, which was originally a builder of licensed Fiats in France. Simca never contributed much to Chrysler's stateside operations under it's own name, but the basic technology of the Simca 1108/1204 (sold in the US from 1969 to 1971 in teeny tiny numbers) later became the basis for the Simca-Talbot Horizon, which itself was the basis for the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon.

Chrysler sold off Simca to Peugeot (along with the rest of Chrysler Europe, which consisted mainly of Simca and the former Rootes Group of England) during the hard times of 1979. Right up until the brand was cancelled in 1981, Simca was building cars with a direct relationship to Fiats past. Fiat 850 people seek out Simca 1000 suspension bits because they will bolt right on, and both cars were favorites of Carlo Abarth. Some U.S. delivered 1000's came with pentastars on the fenders. I think they might have been the first non-Chryslers to carry the Pentastar.

Quote:

I worked @ a VW Dealer back when the Beetle had an optional "Automatic Stick Shift". We used to call it the "Automatic Shit Stick". Actually wasn't a bad system if you knew how to adjust it correctly.

The worst semi-auto I've ever used is the shift-on-the-column Citromatic foisted on many Citroen DS's. Spectacularly more complex to put right than the VW semi-auto (hey, it's a Citroen DS, the only thing not complex about it is the engine). Even when working right it takes alot of getting used to - it's an awkward shift any way you slice it. The whole setup is, like many of the other components on the DS, tied into the main hydraulics. The all-manual ID19/D-Super is much easier for a newbie to drive because of this, but I'm getting way o/t.

Quote:
THM-400, C-6, or 727 any day.

Yup. They may not be the most efficient delivery system but these things are built seriously tough, and if they do break, they can be repaired.

9 speeds? That makes metallurgists and home mechanics cry. Don't we have enough complexity already?

[Edited 2011-01-24 23:18:04]
 
rwessel
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:07 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
CVTs definitely have the advantage of always being able to provide the right drive ratio.
However, they suffer from internal friction losses, and aren't capable of transmitting high torque figures (currently the maximum is 400Nm in the passenger car market).


Which is still a pretty big engine for most cars.

[Edited 2011-01-25 00:08:05]
 
KevinL1011
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:14 am

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 11):
Chrysler once owned the french automaker Simca

Whoa. I totally forgot about that. I believe that Rootes was also acquired by Chrysler about the same time. Talk about going full circle except now Chrysler is FIAT's bitch.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 11):
9 speeds? That makes metallurgists and home mechanics cry.

Home mechanics? The entire auto repair industry is crying not to mention the owners of any vehicle with a 6 speed + tranny.
Good post dude.
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
MD-90
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:04 am

Big deal, Toyota already made a reliable 8-speed automatic.
 
Superfly
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:59 am

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 10):
Quoting falstaff (Reply 3):
Give me a THM-400, C-6, or 727 any day.

Ditto here!
I'll take 474218s' "Torqueflight 727" or Superflys' "C-6" any day over an electronic, 9-speed chunk of pot metal crap.

Damn right!
I wouldn't be surprsied if this new transmission would be made of plastic.
Bring back the Concorde
 
KevinL1011
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:23 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 14):
Toyota already made a reliable 8-speed automatic.

Also a ZF unit. Toyota doesn't make transmissions. Aisin/Warner, Jatco, ZF, Getrag and maybe some others do for Toyota.

Reliable?
Way too early to say.

Big deal?
You bet. It's like Nigel Tufnels' amplifier going up to eleven.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
I wouldn't be surprsied if this new transmission would be made of plastic.

Ahem..that would be composite NOT plastic!  wink 

[Edited 2011-01-25 02:28:06]
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
Superfly
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:06 am

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 16):
Ahem..that would be composite NOT plastic!

Same thing.
Just like that new outsourced aircraft Boeing is gluing together.   
Bring back the Concorde
 
KevinL1011
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:29 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Just like that new outsourced aircraft Boeing is gluing together.

Oooooh. How to make friends and impress others by: Superfly!
At least it has a yoke!
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
Superfly
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:35 am

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 18):
At least it has a yoke!

That's true.
The other company is copying the same idea too.
Bring back the Concorde
 
A342
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:28 pm

Quoting rwessel (Reply 12):
Which is still a pretty big engine for most cars.

Correct, but try to explain that to many of your fellow US citizens...

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 14):
Big deal, Toyota already made a reliable 8-speed automatic.
Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 16):

Also a ZF unit. Toyota doesn't make transmissions. Aisin/Warner, Jatco, ZF, Getrag and maybe some others do for Toyota.

The 8-speed unit used by Toyota/Lexus is made by Aisin, which is a partial subsidiary of Toyota. This was the first 8-speed auto to be introduced on the market, followed by the ZF 8HP series. Both are designed for longitundinal engine and either RWD or AWD configurations.


I see many of you are sceptical about the complexity of this new trnasmission. But IIRC, ZF was able to REDUCE the number of components when they went from 6 to 8 speeds, so the same might apply here.
Also, it is interesting to see that new automatic transmissions are more reliable than their predecessors with less gears, or at least that's my perception.
I've heard of substantial reliability problems with 4- and 5-speed transmissions, but nearly no complaints regarding the 6- or 7-speed trannies which have been on the market for several years, regardless of the manufacturer. Go figure...
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:24 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
However, they suffer from internal friction losses, and aren't capable of transmitting high torque figures (currently the maximum is 400Nm in the passenger car market).

400 Nm is probably way too much on front wheels anyway and such torque in passenger cars is only important in "overdieseled" Europe. And as far as the friction losses are concerned, Nissan is claiming 97% efficiency on it's CVT. That's basically equal to manual trannies.

Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
And finally, quite a number of manufacturers had less than stellar experiences with CVTs in terms of reliability.

Nissan now has 200k km drivetrain warranty on CVT equipped vehicles.

That said, I drive a Nissan with a M6 tranny

Quoting 474218 (Reply 7):
has 85K miles and shits just like it was new.

Yes, that's what I think about automatic trannies too  
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
Kiwirob
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:07 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 21):
400 Nm is probably way too much on front wheels anyway and such torque in passenger cars is only important in "overdieseled" Europe.

My wifes Volvo V70 2.4D has 421 Nm of torque running through a 6 speed auto to the front wheels, no problems with that cars tranny to date.
 
Flighty
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:35 pm

A CVT has even greater pumping losses than an Automatic. An 9-speed automatic will be more efficient, and probably more durable than a CVT.

That's what they are shooting for; fuel mileage. The new BMW 7 (?) speed 5 series gets incredible high mileage. For that and probably other reasons. 32 MPG highway for 2011 528i.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
My wifes Volvo V70 2.4D has 421 Nm of torque running through a 6 speed auto to the front wheels, no problems with that cars tranny to date.

Nice car. My mother has a series of Volvos, and no transmission problems yet. Remember to change the fluid once in a while.

Quoting A342 (Reply 20):
but nearly no complaints regarding the 6- or 7-speed trannies which have been on the market for several years, regardless of the manufacturer. Go figure...

Here's hoping that is correct. The stresses may be lower during shifts and kickdowns, given that the gap in gear ratios is smaller. We have a couple of 6 speed auto cars at the house now (Volvo and BMW). So far, so good.
 
474218
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 10):
So, tell me 474218, I'm just curious. Exactly how do you feel about your awesome '69 Road Runner being the predecessor of a Fiat?



I think its like years ago when someone drove an AMC Javelin or AMX. I asked them how do you like your "NASH".
 
ozglobal
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:40 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 6):
went through 4 tranny rebuilds...

Your secret is safe with us  
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
MD-90
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:38 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 23):
32 MPG highway for 2011 528i.

But isn't that almost entirely from having a taller top gear? How many gears do you need to justify a lower ratio 5th/6th/9th gear?

And the Grand Caravan that I drove went through 5 transmissions in 227,000 miles of driving so I think I win the Worst Transmission Award.
 
Flighty
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:05 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 26):
But isn't that almost entirely from having a taller top gear? How many gears do you need to justify a lower ratio 5th/6th/9th gear?

Yes, but the EPA figures are 22/32. 25 combined cycle. For a large German sport sedan, with 6 cylinders, you have to give the transmission some props for that. An E320 gets 20 MPG combined. The BMW out-performs by 25%.

Edit: The Benz has a 7 speed automatic and the BMW 8 speeds. Clearly that's a tiny difference. But BMW has a new EfficientDynamics design priority. Whatever they are doing, it is getting results.

[Edited 2011-01-25 13:13:49]
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:05 pm

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 25):

Your secret is safe with us
 
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RayChuang
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:44 am

Why go to the complexity of a nine-speed conventional automatic, especially when you still have to deal with the power-robbing torque converter?

A company named Fallbrook Technologies developed the NuVinci continuous variable planetary (CVP) transmission, which can easily scale up to handle even a V-8 turbodiesel engine. And unlike conventional CVT's, the NuVinci CVP doesn't suffer the power losses associated with conventional belt-drive CVT's, and the acceleration "feel" can be adjusted by programming the computer that controls the transmission. And all in a transmission design that in theory could be quite compact even in FWD applications.

I'm surprised that some major automotive transmission manufacturer has not licensed this technology, because it would certainly help fuel economy minus the mechanical complexity of conventional automatics and no more trying to "guess" the right gear ratio to use in the higher gears.
 
A342
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:25 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 29):
especially when you still have to deal with the power-robbing torque converter?

On modern automatics, this has become a non-issue. For example, on ZF's 8-speed unit, power is routed through the torque converter only in 1st gear up to 1500rpm. The rest of the time, the lockup clutch is engaged. (That applies to normal driving conditions, I suspect in cases such as launching on a steep grade while towing a heavy trailer it could be different.)

Edit:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 29):
A company named Fallbrook Technologies developed the NuVinci continuous variable planetary (CVP) transmission
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 29):
I'm surprised that some major automotive transmission manufacturer has not licensed this technology

Just watched the demonstration video. Their moethod of torque transfer, a fluid that momentarily solidifies while passing through the microscopic gap between the balls and the casing, seems rather suspect to me.
Even if it works as advertised, there seems to be no long-term experience, and car manufacturers don't like that at all...

[Edited 2011-01-27 15:32:04]
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:59 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 30):

Just watched the demonstration video. Their moethod of torque transfer, a fluid that momentarily solidifies while passing through the microscopic gap between the balls and the casing, seems rather suspect to me.
Even if it works as advertised, there seems to be no long-term experience, and car manufacturers don't like that at all...

It also seems like a minuscle amount of surface area where you'd want friction. Gives me the impression it may be very prone to slipping.
 
speedygonzales
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:54 am

On a somewhat related note:
Rohloff has a very good description of the internal workings of their 14-speed bicycle hub gear:
http://www.rohloff.de/en/technology/technical_cd/index.html
Las Malvinas son Argentinas
 
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mayor
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:29 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 7):
shits just like it was new.

Wish I did.  
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
N1120A
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:19 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
According to the German article, ZF's reasoning is that a conventional torque-converter automatic is significantly cheaper to build than a DCT.
However, companies like VW, Ford or Getrag have reduced the cost of DCTs by sharing many parts with their manual transmissions.

DCTs are like 75% traditional manual anyway. I don't see how there is much of a difference over a conventional planetary.

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 10):

I'll take 474218s' "Torqueflight 727" or Superflys' "C-6" any day over an electronic, 9-speed chunk of pot metal crap.

I'll take a real, 3 pedal manual over all of that.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 12):

Which is still a pretty big engine for most cars.

Newton Meters are a different scale than lbs-ft.

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 16):
Also a ZF unit. Toyota doesn't make transmissions. Aisin/Warner, Jatco, ZF, Getrag and maybe some others do for Toyota.

Mercedes does, however.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 26):

And the Grand Caravan that I drove went through 5 transmissions in 227,000 miles of driving so I think I win the Worst Transmission Award.

FWD automatics are always a dicey proposition, even from the Japanese (though, those are better). American FWD autos are the worst
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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mayor
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RE: ZF To Develop 9-Speed Auto Transmission

Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:29 pm

I've got a '65 Corvair in my drive with a 3 speed manual on the floor. Wonder how many still know how to drive those OR a 3 speed manual, on the column?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen

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