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Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum and have been considering getting a new Challenger scat pack for some time now. I have read all the post about people arguing which of the transmissions to get based on performance vs preference when considering the 6 speed manual and the 8 speed auto. But what I am curious about is the common issues/ reliability of the two transmissions. I have found some people with issue with the 6mt and clutch failures or complete transmission failures but not much about the 8 auto. How does the reliability of the two transmissions compare? Can they handle similar power numbers? I am leaning toward the 6mt but based on what I have found they do not seem to be as reliable stock for stock which makes me think the 8 auto would be a better choice. What is your opinion on a reliability basis only. I do not care about getting 6/10 of a second faster shits or 1/4 mile times.

Thank you all for the replies.
 

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Welcome to the forum
Any issues with the six speed were from the earlier years and likely very rare on current years cars. Most people who have the 8 speed enjoy it.
The real question for you, do you prefer one over the other?
Next question is if you bought against your first instinct would you regret it?
 

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I have had 3 challengers with a 6 speed and never a transmission or clutch issue. All 3 I had for roughly 40,000 miles and the two SRT's, both probably had between 120-150 passes at the track. If you drag race get the 8 speed because it will be significantly faster in the 1/4 mile (and less likely to break things like a half shaft and you will be more consistent). If you plan to road race I doubt there is much of a difference anymore between the 8 speed with the paddle shifter vs the 6 speed but I have not really seen any postings to prove that. There is a lot of pleasure in shifting your own gears though.
 

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Last year I tried the MT and Auto and prefered the Auto since I am a MT snob and if it doesn't feel like a Honda Type R MT (try one if you haven't) then it puts me off. The Auto 8 with the paddles reminds me a lot of the SMG system in an M3 or a VW DSG box which are automated MTs so I went with it.
 

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My preference is for the manual. Much more fun to drive. NO MDS. You get a limited slip differential. I've always gotten better mileage with a manual. Three more hp with the manual. $1500 less then the auto ($500 less if you get a 392 since they charge $1000 for a gas guzzler fee). You can put the old style Hurst pistol grip shifter handle on there like it should have had from the start.
 

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Some people may say that a clutch is a wear item that will cost you in the long run. That may be true, however the cost of servicing an 8 speed automatic (fluid, pan/filter, etc) can actually cost more than a replacement clutch. Both of those things have no specified service interval or life expectancy, so it's very difficult to determine exact long term costs. All I can say is that I've never had an issue with a factory clutch in my 6 speed cars, and I haven't exactly been easy on them.

The 8 speed automatic is a very fast, smart transmission and will generally provide an advantage in acceleration over the manual. It pains me to admit it, but that's the way it is. Gone are the days when automatic torque converter slushboxes were slow to respond, guessed your intentions wrong and sapped the life out of the driving experience (at least in these cars). I'd say they're about 90-95% there with the 8 speed. The 8 speed is also used in trucks, so we know it's durable and built to work.

I still bought the manual, because I simply love the shifting. Also gone are the days when a manual wears you out in traffic or becomes a bother. Today's hydraulic clutches are smooth and easy. I've daily driven my 6 speeds for years and I can say once you get used to it, you barely notice it as a task. It's just fun.

That is my take on it, hope it helps.
 

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Welcome, and as others have stated, get what YOU like! Sometimes your gut feeling will be your guide. I have both...The A8 in the Charger and I have the M6 in the Challenger. Although, I just purchased in in January. I prefer sticks but thats me. I have to say, the A8 is super fun to drive with those paddles-shifters! I don't think you will have reliability issues either way.
 

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Over the service life of the vehicle: [ex: 1st 100K mi]

You'll have ~ 2x services of the automatic and perhaps one clutch replacement.
While Chrysler doesn't specify "routine" fluid changes and uses the language that fluid should be good for the service life of the vehicle, unless the A8 is disassembled for any service/repair.
-searching around for other maker's service comments (and ZF) it seems that 50K intervals are probably what you'd go with...
Other makers used to have this "lifetime" comment on fluid changes, but revised this since having the owner hand over $$$$ for a transmission replacement wasn't going over well.]

clutch life is going to be dependent on conditions (lots of stop/go driving, track use, and skill of driver). If you slip the clutch a lot, this is going to reduce service life of the friction disc. The manual transmission fluid changes are pretty straightforward and don't cost that much to do. [uses 3.6 qt of ATF fluid in Tremec TR6060]

Much like brake pads, some drivers can get a long service intervals others may be less.

The A8 ZF unit has an integral filter/transmission pan and and "fill and spill" procedure, so this isn't a DIY project at home [requires specific temperature range to get level correct] and its going to cost for those services.

So the costs are going to be similar to one another.
 
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I had a 2016 R/T with M6 and I now have a 2017 R/T with the A8. If you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter, the M6 can be hard shifting when cold. The A8 is a fantastic transmission and I get better gas mileage than I did with the M6. I much prefer the A8 and it is definitely faster.
 

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"To shift, or not to shift"............I always say that it's a personal choice.


As far as reliability, I can only speak about the A8, as that's what I have in my Scat Pack. Zero issues with 13K (s)miles on it, and it just feels as solid as a rock, and is a blast to drive for me.


Best of luck deciding.
 

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Over the service life of the vehicle: [ex: 1st 100K mi]

You'll have ~ 2x services of the automatic and perhaps one clutch replacement.
While Chrysler doesn't specify "routine" fluid changes and uses the language that fluid should be good for the service life of the vehicle, unless the A8 is disassembled for any service/repair.
-searching around for other maker's service comments (and ZF) it seems that 50K intervals are probably what you'd go with...
Other makers used to have this "lifetime" comment on fluid changes, but revised this since having the owner hand over $$$$ for a transmission replacement wasn't going over well.]

clutch life is going to be dependent on conditions (lots of stop/go driving, track use, and skill of driver). If you slip the clutch a lot, this is going to reduce service life of the friction disc. The manual transmission fluid changes are pretty straightforward and don't cost that much to do. [uses 3.6 qt of ATF fluid in Tremec TR6060]

Much like brake pads, some drivers can get a long service intervals others may be less.

The A8 ZF unit has an integral filter/transmission pan and and "fill and spill" procedure, so this isn't a DIY project at home [requires specific temperature range to get level correct] and its going to cost for those services.

So the costs are going to be similar to one another.



wow...you know stuff. :cheers:
 

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I had the M6 in my 2010 R/T and drove it for 70K miles with no issue. Made around 15 passes with it at the track. Really enjoyed driving that car. The Tremec is a really nice transmission.

I now have the A8 in my 2015 Scat Pack, about 14K miles on the car. No issues to day. Made around 45 passes with it at the track. Also really enjoy driving this car as well. From what I can tell the ZF 8 speed is a good trans as well.

It really comes down to preference. The M6 will be more fun to drive on the street. You'll be more connected to the car, have more control over the shift points, etc. The A8 is also a lot of fun though. It's definitely the best automatic transmission I've ever owned. It downshifts perfectly in Sport mode and has lightning fast shifts that you simply can't beat shifting yourself with a clutch. It really just depends on what you want out of the car. Both transmissions are great in their own way and both seem to be reliable from what I've seen overall.

I went with the A8 this time as I wanted my wife to be able to drive the car (she could drive the M6 but hated shifting) and I wanted to drag race it more an the A8 blows away the M6 in the 1/4 mile without a doubt (over 1/2 second easily if not more). But if you're not concerned about tenths on your ET at the dragstrip then the M6 may be for you.

I would test drive both, see which one really speaks to you the most, and then go with that. On the Scat Pack it's almost a wash. The A8 is a $1400 option, but the M6 has a $1000 gas guzzler tax, so you effectively only pay $400 for the A8 on the Scat Packs with the 6.4L.

Good luck with your decision. You really can't go wrong!
 

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I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone for your input. This has got to be one of the best forums I have ever seen. Not one person with the troll/mean response, so thank you.

Glad to hear both transmissions will be similar in reliability. Doesn't make my decision any easier but first world problems I guess. The only manual in stock at the dealership I went to was a hellcat and didn't think that would be a fair comparison. :p

I guess I will have to find one in my area to fully test. I have always been a big manual fan. One last question and please don't hate me if this is a dumb question, and kinda off topic from the subject but what is everyone's opinion about the new T/A vs a Scat pack?

Thank you everyone!!! :)
 

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I will throw one thing out there. I think the 6M will hold it's value better in the long run and be more sought after as a collectable.

Even if you look at used mustangs for sale online, the manuals always command a higher price. Same goes for any of the pony/muscle/sports cars, enthusiasts want to "row their own".

On a personal note, I wouldnt consider a car like this with an automatic, PERIOD. Regardless of the A8 being faster, that's of no importance to me. A manual transmission connects you more to the driving experience and to me, that's why I drive in the first place.

Really with any car Ive considered, if a car had a manual option, that's always what I bought.
Even when I had a Camry, it had to be stick simply because they made it with one. Ive had a few Crown Vics and Grand Marquis with an automatic naturally, but I accepted that because there was no manual option.

To each his own
 

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You really need to drive both and drive them as often as possible at different dealerships. I really thought I wanted the 6 speed this time after owning the A8in my last Challenger. I drove 3 of them and could not get comfortable with the manual. I've had many in my driving life but just could not get this one to shift smoothly enough for my tastes (maybe it has something to do with how heavy the Challenger is and moving that much mass from a stop with a clutch, I really don't know for sure) Bottom line, you need to drive them enough to see which one is going to give you the most thrills every time you get into the car.
 

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Your best bet is to test drive both, in the same day if possible. They are two different experiences. The M6 definitely connects you to the car more. But the A8 is not your average boring automatic either, it's quite fun to drive and it's unbelievable how fast it shifts! I had both and enjoyed both, it's really a subjective thing, only you can really decide what you'll like more, and the best way to do that is test drive them both.

Regarding Scat Pack vs T/A, that's subjective too. The T/A is just an appearance package. It doesn't have any performance difference over the Scat Pack or SRT that I'm aware of. They look cool, but cost a little more. I liked the Scat Pack because it seemed like a good value relative to the car you were getting. You can pick one up for under $40K if you search around a lot and these cars will run high 11's with nothing but a drag radial and good air.
 

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I have never thought of any car with an automatic as a "real" performance car. I've owned two Mustang GTs, both with manuals. when I was looking at the Challenger, in doing research I kept coming across folks swearing up and down that the A8 was a blast to drive, 95% as fun as a manual with none of the downsides in traffic, and faster.

After a lot of back and forth , I ordered the A8 on my 2016 SPS. I could not be happier. The transmission really shifts well, and FAST. It just feels right, and with the paddles you can play around with it like a manual, but never miss a shift (unless you hit the wrong paddle!). I find myslef rarely using the paddles though, because the transmission usually does a better job than I do!

In the end you won't go wrong with either. Don't think so much about which is "better", think about how you will use the car. if you drive it daily, or want to drive it in traffic or at the strip, the A8 wins hands down. If you will only drive it in good weather on the weekends for fun, and don't care that it won't be the fastest option, the M6 might be a better choice.

It all comes down to what you want.
 

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I prefer to "Row my Own" as us old guys used to say . Almost any muscle car I've owned over the last 40 years has been a stick. I had a 70 Chevelle SS and a 68 Goat (his n hers) with turbo 400's and both cars were fast and fun and my ProStreet Monte had a full reverse valve body in it that was a blast. I think I'm too old to deal with the paddle shifter. Plus my wife can't drive and refuses to learn stick. One more reason to stay with manual.
 

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My previous Challenger (2011 R/T) was equipped with the 6-speed.

No issue at all about the reliablility in 60000Km.

But the shifter was too much "on rubber" (don't know how to explain).
I solved the problem with a Barton shifter kit.

When I decided to replace my R/T, I hesitated between M6 or A8 what I did not do with the 2011, because the A5.

I finally choose the M6... but as said above, I think it's a personnal choice.

Also, on my new Challenger (2017 ScatPack) the stock shifter feeling is better than on the 2011 one.

In Canada, the M6 cost 1000$ over the A8. Stange...
 
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