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Old Oct 24, 2007, 07:37 AM   #1
Fearless Leader
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5 Speed or 6 speed, Whats the difference?

I can't seem to find an answer other than HUH? or 1 gear. I can look at the gear ratios but I'm not entirely sure how that equates to actual driving. Can someone give me a good answer? what the advantag? cause the 6 speeds I looked at just had a little higher gear ratio in first but 6th and 5th were the same.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 07:45 AM   #2
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It can often be related to something like torque for example, a car with good torque often doesn't require more gears because you'll lose time through changing, or gain no benefit in other words.

Or a car with comparatively little torque can benefit from an increased ratio range.

Sometimes 6th (or 7th) is used as an overdrive so that the previous gears can be narrower to allow increased acceleration (and thus performance) in the lower gears, but still be able to obtain motorway speeds whilst achieving double digit economy figures.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 11:49 AM   #3
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the top gear (5th or 6th) will have the same gear ratio. The differnce is there are more gears in the 6th speed. This allows them to be a little closer together.

I drive a 6 speed. I can tell you part of the reason my care has a 6 speed was it was marketing (more than likely a huge part) but it does allow all my gears to be a little closer together. It a close ratio gear box and this allows me to stay in the power band more easily.

The difference I noticed between my older 5 speed and my 6 speed now is where the shift points on at red line.

On the 5 speed it was
25, 60,90 (I I believe in 4th I would run out of horse power before I top it off) those numbers where the same on my dad 5 speed manual as well and they where different makes of cars

My current 6 speed
20,50,75,110 (I think only did it once and it been a while)

If you noticed each of the first 3 gears have about 5mph less range than the 5 speed so it starts adding up. But at the same time if I run it to red line I and I shift I stay in a slightly stronger part of my power band. Not like that 5mph makes much of a difference.

Lastly come on 6 speed is just cooler. I will say in actional daily driving it really does not do much. Means I may have one extra. It nice when I need the extra power to just drop it to 5th at highway speeds but then again my car has a lot of low end torque for a sporty 4 banger.

I hope this long answer answers your question.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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It has to be said.

The difference is one speed.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 12:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGav View Post
It can often be related to something like torque for example, a car with good torque often doesn't require more gears because you'll lose time through changing, or gain no benefit in other words.

Or a car with comparatively little torque can benefit from an increased ratio range.
Which is why some American musclecars, with very torquey engines, had 3 speed (or even 2 speed) transmissions...and also why Honda was an early adopter of five and six speed transmissions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGav View Post
Sometimes 6th (or 7th) is used as an overdrive so that the previous gears can be narrower to allow increased acceleration (and thus performance) in the lower gears, but still be able to obtain motorway speeds whilst achieving double digit economy figures.
I've noticed that cars with a six speed often do have a very tall 6th gear - useful only for highway cruising. I once drove an Acura (Honda) Integra GS, and the 6th gear seemed way too tall, though it probably was very good for fuel economy.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 02:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lord Blackadder View Post
I've noticed that cars with a six speed often do have a very tall 6th gear - useful only for highway cruising. I once drove an Acura (Honda) Integra GS, and the 6th gear seemed way too tall, though it probably was very good for fuel economy.
Yeah I noticed any 6 speed car I been in the 6th gear is a little tall. But then again it is like Overdrive on an automatic. Only useful for highway cruising.
Now Honda/Acrura engines have crap for low in torque. There is a reason why things like the S2000 unless you drive it like you stole it is just picks up very slowly.

Cars with a fair amount of low end torque have enough mussel to be able to do minor passing power in 6th gear. On my Sentra Spec V has a lot of low end torque and at high way speed (70mph) it will be around the bottom side of it where it enters it power band (3k) but even down to 2k it has quite a bit of gusto.

But like you point out if the car power band is very narrow and very top end the tall overdrive gear means no power beside cruising speed
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 02:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by saltyzoo View Post
It has to be said.

The difference is one speed.
Thank you. You said it so I didn't have to.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 03:11 PM   #8
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On my Jeep, the 6th speed is for highway.
In 5th, I probably am at 3500 RPM for crusing, versus 2500 in 6th.

Here are some specs on engine and tranny, just to compare.
http://www.jeephorizons.com/tech/2005_tj_specs.html

I have 4.0 liter 6spd manual Rubicon.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayb2000 View Post
On my Jeep, the 6th speed is for highway.
In 5th, I probably am at 3500 RPM for crusing, versus 2500 in 6th.

Here are some specs on engine and tranny, just to compare.
http://www.jeephorizons.com/tech/2005_tj_specs.html

I have 4.0 liter 6spd manual Rubicon.

That could be a different situation, though. Is your jeep's first gear a creeper for off-roading?
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 09:49 PM   #10
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That could be a different situation, though. Is your jeep's first gear a creeper for off-roading?
Yes, but just stock. I have not done any mods except a soft top and a few stickers.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 11:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
There is a reason why things like
A friend of mine has an Integra GSR. It's fast - but you have to rev it aggressively to get the most out of the engine.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 11:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltyzoo View Post
It has to be said.

The difference is one speed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atari1356 View Post
Thank you. You said it so I didn't have to.
Source?
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 12:27 AM   #13
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A 16.6% increase in speeds.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 12:38 AM   #14
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One thing to keep in mind is that you need to look at a car from a holistic perspective - the engine/drivetrain must be well matched, and that combination must be mated to the appropriate chassis to produce the best possible car.

5 speed gearboxes are not inherently inferior to 6 speeds. Well-chosen gear ratios matter far more than the number of gears in a drivetrain. Also, a transmission might have excellent ratios, but have a crappy linkage that sucks to operate, so it's a more complex question than the number of gear ratios.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 06:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Blackadder View Post
A friend of mine has an Integra GSR. It's fast - but you have to rev it aggressively to get the most out of the engine.
i believe that applies to all cars.

anyway, the 6th speed is for better gas mileage while keeping better horsepower at the same time
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 07:15 AM   #16
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i believe that applies to all cars.
It's all relative, an average TDi has a torque peak often between 1500-4000rpm, a marked difference from a Honda VTEC for example so there's no need to rev a TDi as aggressively, in fact it's often to the detriment of performance if you do.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 08:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGav View Post
It's all relative, an average TDi has a torque peak often between 1500-4000rpm, a marked difference from a Honda VTEC for example so there's no need to rev a TDi as aggressively, in fact it's often to the detriment of performance if you do.
but for most cars you get the max horsepower at the higher RPMs. give me a link that says otherwise?
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 09:49 AM   #18
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but for most cars you get the max horsepower at the higher RPMs. give me a link that says otherwise?
Not for diesels. And while it is true that maximum power often occurs at higher rpms, an engine with a flat torque curve doesn't necessarily need to rev that high even when driving flat out, since it might make 90% of it's power and 100% of its torque at just 70-80% max rpm. The Honda engines tend to make all their power and torque around 6-7k rpm.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 09:52 AM   #19
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Not for diesels. And while it is true that maximum power often occurs at higher rpms, an engine with a flat torque curve doesn't necessarily need to rev that high even when driving flat out, since it might make 90% of it's power and 100% of its torque at just 70-80% max rpm. The Honda engines tend to make all their power and torque around 6-7k rpm.
give me a diesel with a 6-speed transmission?

even at 60-70% max, that's still pretty high
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 09:59 AM   #20
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but for most cars you get the max horsepower at the higher RPMs. give me a link that says otherwise?
Vtec typically doesnt kick in until the last 1500rpm before red line.

So, it stands to reason you gotta really get the rpms up before a Honda/Acura really gets going.

Sit in a Civic SI, take it to the highway onramp in 3rd gear, when you are about to shift to 4th, keep holding the gas steady, watch when it hits near 1500 under redline the burst of acceleration Vtec gives you.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:02 AM   #21
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give me a diesel with a 6-speed transmission?
I believe the Golf TDI has a 6-speed.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:11 AM   #22
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I've noticed that cars with a six speed often do have a very tall 6th gear - useful only for highway cruising.
Yup. 6-speed Getrag tranny in my CooperS, and as you say, last gear is useless (performance-wise).

And I agree, all depends on powerband. Higher RPMs does NOT always mean more power.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:21 AM   #23
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give me a diesel with a 6-speed transmission?

even at 60-70% max, that's still pretty high
The entire Diesel range for Land Rover?

Which by the way when cruising at 110km/h (~68mph) in 6th gear is running at roughly 1200-1400 rpm, seriously low, but then again it redlines at about 4000rpm i think.

In petrol cars, higher RPM generally means more power, since (again, as a rule of thumb) Power = torque x revs. But higher revs has more losses etc. In a diesel engine, the torque band comes in really early and fairly large, meaning low power (low rpms). Low rpms is more efficient. That is why loads of torque early on is good for pulling heavy stuff.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:40 AM   #24
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My Audi A3 2.0ltr TDI has 6 gears, very low revs at ~90mph, i can still drop it to 5th to pull away (over taking etc).
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by sammich View Post
The entire Diesel range for Land Rover?

Which by the way when cruising at 110km/h (~68mph) in 6th gear is running at roughly 1200-1400 rpm, seriously low, but then again it redlines at about 4000rpm i think.

In petrol cars, higher RPM generally means more power, since (again, as a rule of thumb) Power = torque x revs. But higher revs has more losses etc. In a diesel engine, the torque band comes in really early and fairly large, meaning low power (low rpms). Low rpms is more efficient. That is why loads of torque early on is good for pulling heavy stuff.
thanks for that, and i agree with you here. that makes sense.

and again, higher RPMs usually equal more power.

sorry, some people make statements without explaining it. (including myself)

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My Audi A3 2.0ltr TDI has 6 gears, very low revs at ~90mph, i can still drop it to 5th to pull away (over taking etc).
and when you drop it to 5th, the RPMs go up, giving you more power! ha!
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