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After driving a stick for 6.5 years, it is nice to be in an automatic. With that, I find the transmission acts almost exactly like the automatic in my HEMI Ram I owned in 2004. Everything that people experience with this transmission is pretty much the same as it was 7 years ago with the 5 speed auto. (However, I noticed I can FEEL the automatic downshift when coasting to a stop (NICE) which I feel is due to the performance modifications done to the SRT8 tranny by Dodge.)

When in autostick mode, the precise up and down shifting is outstanding. The shifts are very FIRM and quick (love the baby sonic boom shifting at higher RPMs) and make you feel good about the car you are driving.

When in normal mode, the up-shifting under moderate to heavy acceleration is equally as good as when in autostick mode. However, it is a bit soft shifting driving under what one may consider normal to light acceleration but it just makes it more like a cruiser and I like that. When you gas it a little, I found that you have to sometimes play with the pedal to get the transmission to down shift (when you really want it to). Seems like it does not want to get out of what I call "sleep mode", just like my 2004 Hemi Ram automatic.

All in all I like the automatic even with it's soft up-shift and quirky downshifting. BUT, those two issues are easily overcome by using the auto stick mode. For me, I will leave it in automatic mode until someone wants to mess with the Challenger or I want to do some spirited driving. THEN I ENGAGE THE AUTOSTICK!!! :thumbsup:
 

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When it comes to autostick, I've whittled it down to this:

At sub-hwy speeds, you pretty much only have to worry about managing 2 gears for lively acceleration...1st and 2nd. Can't get much simpler than that. Remember the Chevy Nova's from waaaaay back? ;)

At slow to medium hwy speeds, again, there is pretty much only 2 gears you should be seeking for lively acceleration...2nd and 3rd.

4th is pretty much only for gentle acceleration whilst on the hwy, and 5th is just overdrive cruising, of course.

The wildcard in all of this is the torque-converter clutch engagement. If you don't get hard into the throttle early while dropping to 3rd, the TCC will assertively engage, and the gear will then seem much taller (which could awkwardly drop you below the 3000 rpm area).

As far as normal automatic mode, it's all in the foot (how much you press the throttle). Quickly squeeze the throttle to 50%, and maybe it drops to one lower gear (maybe rising to 2600 rpm or so?), which likely won't be much difference if you are already at higher speeds and coming from upper gears (4th or 5th). Quickly squeeze it to 75% or more, and it drops to 1st or 2nd, as if you kicked a banshee in the balls (4000-5000 rpm?). It's really hard to get something "in-between", if that is what you are shooting for. For that, you really have to dip into autostick to select your own gear and combine with moderate throttle.
 

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When it comes to autostick, I've whittled it down to this:

At sub-hwy speeds, you pretty much only have to worry about managing 2 gears for lively acceleration...1st and 2nd. Can't get much simpler than that. Remember the Chevy Nova's from waaaaay back? ;)

At slow to medium hwy speeds, again, there is pretty much only 2 gears you should be seeking for lively acceleration...2nd and 3rd.

4th is pretty much only for gentle acceleration whilst on the hwy, and 5th is just overdrive cruising, of course.

The wildcard in all of this is the torque-converter clutch engagement. If you don't get hard into the throttle early while dropping to 3rd, the TCC will assertively engage, and the gear will then seem much taller (which could awkwardly drop you below the 3000 rpm area).

As far as normal automatic mode, it's all in the foot (how much you press the throttle). Quickly squeeze the throttle to 50%, and maybe it drops to one lower gear (maybe rising to 2600 rpm or so?), which likely won't be much difference if you are already at higher speeds and coming from upper gears (4th or 5th). Quickly squeeze it to 75% or more, and it drops to 1st or 2nd, as if you kicked a banshee in the balls (4000-5000 rpm?). It's really hard to get something "in-between", if that is what you are shooting for. For that, you really have to dip into autostick to select your own gear and combine with moderate throttle.
As a new owner of a SE I am not realy educated on how that paddle shifting goes. I ran it into the shop because I put it into 1st gear on a hill and was going around a bus ...I was up to 45 and that engine was just screaming. They first told me it was a shift module.. then while fixing it they told me it was the shifter. Now I can still open that thing up in 1st gear and red line it. Is this normal?..are they pulling my leg? What is the fastest speed that trans should be allowed to take a first gear paddle shift?
 

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my opinions are mixed with the automatic....knowing what i now know i probably would have chose the stick shift.

5 speed is out dated and runs at 2,100 rpms on the freeway...definitely needs the 6th speed...where is it?

5 speed shifts like a grandma in normal automatic mode...when you floor it many times it just sits there, sometimes it never downshifts to the lowest gear

autostick...very good....i drive exclusively in auto stick now...i treat it just like a stick shift w/o the clutch....sometimes the shifts still seem delayed...i want to tap it and have it switch...there's a tiny delay there and sometimes is more than tiny...

i chose the automatic because its faster and its easier to be faster

the automatic should have a button....sport and grandma/mileage
 

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Good observations and comments Randycat.. Pretty much in line with what I see. For the longest time, I would drive in normal mode, just because autostick has the potential to get me in trouble. Im finding myself more and more in autostick mode. Biggest problem for me is I like to wind it up before I shift, therefore Im going 45 in a 35 by the time I hit 3rd. Thank god for Radar Detectors.

The mini sonic boom sounds awesome with the Solo Performance exhaust....

Mike
 

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Add the blue tops to the auto and your shifts will be significantly more firm.

Edit - changing it up for fun before someone else does.

Add the blue pills to your junk and your ............... more firm. lol
 

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As a new owner of a SE I am not realy educated on how that paddle shifting goes. I ran it into the shop because I put it into 1st gear on a hill and was going around a bus ...I was up to 45 and that engine was just screaming. They first told me it was a shift module.. then while fixing it they told me it was the shifter. Now I can still open that thing up in 1st gear and red line it. Is this normal?..are they pulling my leg? What is the fastest speed that trans should be allowed to take a first gear paddle shift?
Dropping down to 1st at 45 mph does seem a bit extreme, but if the computer "let" you do it, I suppose it must be Ok (because theoretically it shouldn't let you do anything that would be destructive to its mechanicals). ;) I wouldn't do that on a regular basis though.

Being able to open it up in 1st all the way to redline seems to be normal/plausible operation. That is what it is supposed to do when you have the throttle pinned (as if in a race). It should automatically upshift upon reaching redline, but if you have altered the programming using a 3rd party device, then all sorts of other things are possible, I'm sure you are aware.
 

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Another thing I wanted to add is, though I don't know exactly what is meant by this "sonic boom" thing, I do have a new comment about when it drops from 5th to 3rd under aggressive throttle on the hwy (speeds around 70-85 mph). It feels like Paul Bunyan was standing behind my car and kicked it in the rear bumper. I'm serious- the whole car jolts and recoils with that kind of violent vibe. I was on a hill, too, so maybe that adds more to the process.

I'm not really complaining, because it adds to the visceral, brutish appeal of this car when you want to boogie. It just seems so out-of-character from how all other downshifts are typically handled on this car...almost like if you dropped the clutch from a neutral state under heavy throttle to slammed into gear in a manual car. That's gotta be pretty rough on the driveline, I'm guessing though.

It also seems like, while there is a fluid-coupled torque converter involved in this transmission, effective operation in 3rd/4th/5th is much more like an automated-manual style transmission. That is, the converter clutch is pretty aggressive to stay/remain engaged, so it is pretty well a direct mechanical connection even as you move between the aforementioned gears. It's only upon extreme application of the throttle where you might find 3rd in pure torque multiplication mode with the TCC disengaged. Once again, I'm not really complaining...just making another interesting observation born out of extensive drive time on the car. :)

As for the earlier comment made by a different poster, citing how a 5-spd is ancient and obsolete, I would counter that it is no more "obsolete" than using ohv in an engine as ohc is used in an engine (ohc being used as far back as the 1930's when long inline engines were very popular). The number of gears is really besides the point, rather how effective those gears are utilized in a particular vehicle. If it already works well, adding more gears doesn't automatically make it "modern". When it all comes down to the end result, 4-cylinders in operation in mds mode, running 2500 rpm at 80 mph seems about right. These engines aren't cam'd to be torque monsters on the low end like a truck, either, so while they can still pull on the low end, it still isn't where they are most comfortable or responsive.

A Viper gets away with such a ridiculously tall top gear because, while it's cam'd for higher rpm performance, it is still an s-load of torque on the low end out of 8 L of engine displacement on a low-slung, 3400-ish lb car. The 6-spd manual Challengers are pretty much forced into needing that super tall 6th gear because there is no mds mode to kick in on those Hemi's. It's not particularly ideal for an engine that is cam'd for 4200-4800 rpm torque peak (as opposed to a more truck-oriented engine that aims for a wide torque peak at around 2700-3500 rpm). It's just the most practical thing to do to optimize engine load for economy, short of employing mds.
 

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I got an 08 A6 Vette and the 392....the A6 in the Vette is horrid!!!! The A5 in the 392 shifts so much smoother and more consistent! I've had times in the Vette when I'm cruising around and stomp on it and it seems like 2-3secs before it decides what it wants to shift into! Shifting from 2-3 feels like someone hitting the breaks in the middle of the shift before it finally gets in gear! Even while using the paddles, it shifts like poo...specially under WOT and trying to shift at redline and hitting the rev limiter! HAHA! Chevy has a lot of catching up to do with their auto-trannys vs Dodge!

As far as the issue of power...both are beast but when it comes down to it, the Vette just seems to pull so much harder than the 392 in all the gears!

Ride wise, the 392 has a smooth and comfy ride on long trips vs the Vette which is rough and the seats are even rougher! Thats why the Vette has 7100miles on it and the 392 has 9000 already! Though the Vette is a lot more fun to ride through the crazy winding roads of Arkansas! 392 just seems to have too much body roll.

All this is purely off driving both as to wear I have the only 392 (that I've seen) with-in 100 miles and have never got a chance to run against another Vette while in the 392.

Next up for me is getting the MN6 "Green With Envy" 392 even though the wheels are ugly and the green horizontal stripe on the seats looks lame! Needs the IE wheels and 392 stripe job and "392" on the seats like the IE.
 

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I got an 08 A6 Vette and the 392....the A6 in the Vette is horrid!!!! The A5 in the 392 shifts so much smoother and more consistent! I've had times in the Vette when I'm cruising around and stomp on it and it seems like 2-3secs before it decides what it wants to shift into! Shifting from 2-3 feels like someone hitting the breaks in the middle of the shift before it finally gets in gear! Even while using the paddles, it shifts like poo...specially under WOT and trying to shift at redline and hitting the rev limiter! HAHA! Chevy has a lot of catching up to do with their auto-trannys vs Dodge!

As far as the issue of power...both are beast but when it comes down to it, the Vette just seems to pull so much harder than the 392 in all the gears!

Ride wise, the 392 has a smooth and comfy ride on long trips vs the Vette which is rough and the seats are even rougher! Thats why the Vette has 7100miles on it and the 392 has 9000 already! Though the Vette is a lot more fun to ride through the crazy winding roads of Arkansas! 392 just seems to have too much body roll.

All this is purely off driving both as to wear I have the only 392 (that I've seen) with-in 100 miles and have never got a chance to run against another Vette while in the 392.

Next up for me is getting the MN6 "Green With Envy" 392 even though the wheels are ugly and the green horizontal stripe on the seats looks lame! Needs the IE wheels and 392 stripe job and "392" on the seats like the IE.
I'll agree with just about every thing. My 07 Vette pulled harder than my 392 and it "only" had 400HP. It was just so much lighter. 2 totally different cars and really not directly comparable. The Challenger is obviously a much better daily driver, much more comfortable to use every day. The Vette suspension could be punishing at times, but boy did it ever handle. Take the same roads and turns every day now, and no contest handling wise. But I like the Challenger so much better as my daily driver, just a much more all around better car for my purposes.

The A6 in the Vette was much less aggressive and needed a tune to get it to shift quicker and better. I left mine stock and around town driving was fine, although it had a dead spot or 2, especially in turns where you could catch it downshifting and almost in neutral. The 5 speed on the SRT does need 1 more gear for highway use, but around town, I really like it for how it stays in gear during a turn and at least for me, seems to downshift fairly quickly when I need it to.
 

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I'll agree with just about every thing. My 07 Vette pulled harder than my 392 and it "only" had 400HP. It was just so much lighter. 2 totally different cars and really not directly comparable. The Challenger is obviously a much better daily driver, much more comfortable to use every day. The Vette suspension could be punishing at times, but boy did it ever handle. Take the same roads and turns every day now, and no contest handling wise. But I like the Challenger so much better as my daily driver, just a much more all around better car for my purposes.

The A6 in the Vette was much less aggressive and needed a tune to get it to shift quicker and better. I left mine stock and around town driving was fine, although it had a dead spot or 2, especially in turns where you could catch it downshifting and almost in neutral. The 5 speed on the SRT does need 1 more gear for highway use, but around town, I really like it for how it stays in gear during a turn and at least for me, seems to downshift fairly quickly when I need it to.
I'm still researching a good place to get it tuned without resorting to an email tune! If I go with an email tune, I'm looking at the DiabloSport Trinity simply b/c it will support the Vette (soon they will have the TCM tune along with the PCM) and the 392 once they crack the computer. I prefer a dyno tune but I'm waiting til I decide to pull the trigger on headers and a few other engine mods. I just put on a HallTech Super Bee CAI! I've noticed a huge difference in the upper RPMs!
 
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