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Thread: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

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    Forum Regular Groper1's Avatar
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    Default FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    I have read with interest all of the posted comments about the positive feedback on the 6 speed auto fitted to the latest FG's, and 90% agree.

    I have just taken delivery of a new FG XR6 50thy anniversary (600 km ago), which replaced a 2006 VE SV6 5 speed auto, and prior to that a 2004 BA XR6 4 speed auto. While the transmission is good, I am surprised at the lag (almost flairing) when changing from 1st to 2nd under moderate to heavy acceleration, and an obvous clunk (diff backlash?) when backing off quickly at 70 kmph or so after the same moderate to heavy acceleration. Being a Ford person, I am sorry to say the Commodore transmission was a considerably more seamless change (bairly noticable) from 1st to 2nd.

    Has anyone else had the opportunity to compare this FG XR6 situation to the VE SV6 (heaven forbid!)?

    Apart from a coulple of minor finish / trim issues which I will report on the first service I am pleased to be back in an XR6. The ride / visibility / low down torque / general comfort is streets ahead of the GM equivalent (even after taking into consideration the 'free' sunroof currently on offer by the general).
    Last edited by Groper1; 10-08-2010 at 10:47 AM.

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    The 1-2 shift is always the hardest shift to calibrate as it is a short ratio going to a short ratio. Saying that, the ZF does it better than any other gearbox I have ever driven (including the Aisin 6 speed in the aurion, and 6L80 in the VE SS). Yours might have a jammed soleniod, so better let your service dept know. The clunk is diff clunk, as the torque converter is calibrated to be locked up at those speeds as a fuel saving measure. The FG's biggest weakness is actually its rubbish diff and diff bushings. Holden use the same diff, but with different gearbox calibration, you have different problems with them. Not less problems, just different ones.

    Also, for the record, there is no such thing as a BA XR6 5 speed auto. Its either a 4 speed auto, or 5 speed manual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPD80 View Post
    What can I say, Holden's gearbox capability is only out shone by the V6's peformance.

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    Forum Regular Groper1's Avatar
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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Thank for the informative response jPod. I'll see how it acts in the lead up to the first service and if it still apears to be an issue I'll highlight it then. My neighbor has an FG G6E so maybe I should also take that for a thrash around the block to compare ......

    I have also corrected my typo re. the BA XR6 transmission. Maybe that was just wishful thinking!
    Last edited by Groper1; 10-08-2010 at 10:55 AM. Reason: correct English now used!

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Quote Originally Posted by Groper1 View Post
    I have read with interest all of the posted comments about the positive feedback on the 6 speed auto fitted to the latest FG's, and 90% agree.

    I have just taken delivery of a new FG XR6 50thy anniversary (600 km ago), which replaced a 2006 VE SV6 5 speed auto, and prior to that a 2004 BA XR6 4 speed auto. While the transmission is good, I am surprised at the lag (almost flairing) when changing from 1st to 2nd under moderate to heavy acceleration, and an obvous clunk (diff backlash?) when backing off quickly at 70 kmph or so after the same moderate to heavy acceleration. Being a Ford person, I am sorry to say the Commodore transmission was a considerably more seamless change (bairly noticable) from 1st to 2nd.

    Has anyone else had the opportunity to compare this FG XR6 situation to the VE SV6 (heaven forbid!)?

    Apart from a coulple of minor finish / trim issues which I will report on the first service I am pleased to be back in an XR6. The ride / visibility / low down torque / general comfort is streets ahead of the GM equivalent (even after taking into consideration the 'free' sunroof currently on offer by the general).
    Mate I found the same thing with my BF XR6 6 speed auto, large pause between 1st and 2nd gear change. When I had it tuned a few years down the tarck they firmed up the transmission which changed the whole character of the car. Instead of a pause it actually launched into 2nd gear, was awesome. This ofcourse puts a bit more pressure on the transmission, but I serviced it twice as reguarly, not a hiccup.

    I now have an FG XR6 Turbo with the 6 speed auto. Absolutely brilliant, cant fault it, its shifts so incredibly fast, might be a bit different to the NA versions. I drove my mates car the other day, he just bought an 09 VE SV6 with a 5 speed auto. I couldnt believe how long it took to change gears, in manual mode you'd shift it and what felt like 2 seconds later it would shift.

    Either way mate, the transmission is pretty solid, sounds like maybe just a software issue, a reflash might help.



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    Forum Regular Aussie Scotty's Avatar
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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    There's a bit of a difference in gear ratios when you compare it to the Commodore, 1st gear ratio in the Falcon (6speed) is 4.17:1 then has to change up to 2.34:1, so it has quite a big step up, as for the Commodore it's 1st gear is 4.03 and changes up to 2.36, so it doesn't have such a big difference as the Falcon.
    You'll find if you put it in performance mode it won't lag as much,it'll tighten up the shift. If you really hate it that much you can put it in manual mode and start off in 2nd gear.
    The lag is there because the motor has to lose a lot of revs before it can change into second and make it smooth.

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    I am the owner of an FG ZF N/A and was only driving an SV6 with the SIDI engine and 6sp auto yesterday from Hertz. I did 600km from Adelaide to Port Augusta and back. The new SIDI engine has heaps of stick and revs very agressively and sounds good doing it. The auto is also pretty good and 1st to 2nd change was a lot better than my ZF i'm sorry to say. Mine tends to lurch when shifting from 1st to 2nd under WOT which makes for some rough progress when going hard. I also find it terrible on roads with 90km/hr speed limits as it hunts between 5th and 6th and the torque convertor locks and unlocks. The SIDI engine and 6sp auto it a pretty formidable combo but its not quite as smooth when driving at 25%. There you have it, my 2c worth!!

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Quote Originally Posted by rustydog View Post
    I am the owner of an FG ZF N/A and was only driving an SV6 with the SIDI engine and 6sp auto yesterday from Hertz. I did 600km from Adelaide to Port Augusta and back. The new SIDI engine has heaps of stick and revs very agressively and sounds good doing it. The auto is also pretty good and 1st to 2nd change was a lot better than my ZF i'm sorry to say. Mine tends to lurch when shifting from 1st to 2nd under WOT which makes for some rough progress when going hard. I also find it terrible on roads with 90km/hr speed limits as it hunts between 5th and 6th and the torque convertor locks and unlocks. The SIDI engine and 6sp auto it a pretty formidable combo but its not quite as smooth when driving at 25%. There you have it, my 2c worth!!


    The converter should lock up at 70ish and stay there, and at 90 its 6th all the way baby. Get it checked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPD80 View Post
    What can I say, Holden's gearbox capability is only out shone by the V6's peformance.

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    Forum Regular Aussie Scotty's Avatar
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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Quote Originally Posted by rustydog View Post
    I am the owner of an FG ZF N/A and was only driving an SV6 with the SIDI engine and 6sp auto yesterday from Hertz. I did 600km from Adelaide to Port Augusta and back. The new SIDI engine has heaps of stick and revs very agressively and sounds good doing it. The auto is also pretty good and 1st to 2nd change was a lot better than my ZF i'm sorry to say. Mine tends to lurch when shifting from 1st to 2nd under WOT which makes for some rough progress when going hard. I also find it terrible on roads with 90km/hr speed limits as it hunts between 5th and 6th and the torque convertor locks and unlocks. The SIDI engine and 6sp auto it a pretty formidable combo but its not quite as smooth when driving at 25%. There you have it, my 2c worth!!
    That doesn't sound right, the ZF is the smoothest auto I've driven,I have never felt the locking and unlocking of torque convertor.
    When I drive from Brisbane to Ballina,a 200Km trip, it stays in top gear 99% of the time. In fact I only mentioned this the other day to my wife how it never hunts and is incredible how it sits on 1500RPM just about the whole distance . You need to get yours checked out.
    You'll also find that if you use the cruise control this will prevent it from hunting gears(has a higher thresh hold before it has to change).

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Well done Groper on your new toy.
    Get them to look at the box on your first service. Might just be as simple as a reflash on your ecu. Could be the torque settings. Who knows.
    I agree with on the 6 speed and the way the new injection makes the V6 rev in the sidi. But the ZF under pressure is a better box. It takes a hell of a lot to stress it. You can easily learn to blip it on down changes, so it loses nothing really. And blipping it yourself and getting it perfect is the whole point, well for mine anyway.
    Last edited by bretto61; 13-08-2010 at 12:19 PM.

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Mine turns at 1500rpm at 100 in 6th so at 90 it must be turning a little slower say 1350 or thereabouts. No doubting the I6 has heaps of torque but it cant climb hills at 1350rpm and hence it drops back to 5th. Its not a problem with the box itself just the fact that its got 6 speeds. Its easily fixed by putting it into sport mode where it stays in 5th. This is a "problem" i find with all modern transmissions tuned for economy and the 6spd in the holden is no different. The worst i have driven is a golf GTI with the DSG gearbox, it gets into 6th at 50kph and shifts constantly with the slightest whiff of throttle or hill. I took my XR for a drive today and left it in sport mode and it makes a big difference, it feels faster than the holden but it doesn't sound quite as tough and is still a bit inconsistent on the 1st to 2nd change. Overall i reckon the XR is a better car but i was surprised at the huge step holden has made over the old V6 non SIDI engine and 5spd auto, they're like chalk and cheese.

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Yeah, up a hill it will drop a gear (what gearbox wont?), but the TC will remain locked. That long dodgy 1-2 is still a worry... I would have it looked at. Its a fantastic gearbox, with good reliability but some will have issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPD80 View Post
    What can I say, Holden's gearbox capability is only out shone by the V6's peformance.

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    Default Re: FG XR6 6 speed auto concern (50th anniversary)

    Quote Originally Posted by rustydog View Post
    I am the owner of an FG ZF N/A and was only driving an SV6 with the SIDI engine and 6sp auto yesterday from Hertz. I did 600km from Adelaide to Port Augusta and back. The new SIDI engine has heaps of stick and revs very agressively and sounds good doing it. The auto is also pretty good and 1st to 2nd change was a lot better than my ZF i'm sorry to say. Mine tends to lurch when shifting from 1st to 2nd under WOT which makes for some rough progress when going hard. I also find it terrible on roads with 90km/hr speed limits as it hunts between 5th and 6th and the torque convertor locks and unlocks. The SIDI engine and 6sp auto it a pretty formidable combo but its not quite as smooth when driving at 25%. There you have it, my 2c worth!!
    I also drove the SIDI SV6 Commodore around McLaren Vale & the Barossa recently, I found the whole experience a total disappointment, the vehicle was noisy & rough compared to the Ford equvalent. When pushed only a little the transmission shifted down a couple of cogs & the engine noise was intrusive, it would have been a different story if the note was sporty but it wasn't, maybe the downshift is to compensate for the seeming lack of bottom end torque that we enjoy in Fords (not just the turbo's). The best thing about the SV6 was the economy.

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