[BiturboS4] re: transmissions (mrdezign@netscape.net)

Erik J. Engstrom engstrom at rawbw.com
Tue Dec 31 12:11:22 EST 2002

Thanks very much for your insights into where my issues may be. I am a
mechanical novice and talk with feeling and jack shit for technical
knowledge. Every little bit helps me understand the details more. If I had
time and garage space I would love to learn how to put up and take apart my
Audi. I've learned a bit about the older BMW's, but I am confused as a
spanked monkey with Audi engineering.

Have a good New Years.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ian McCloghrie [mailto:ian at codrus.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 12:00 PM
To: Erik J. Engstrom
Cc: Michael Kuriger; David Pramanik; biturbos4 at audifans.com
Subject: Re: [BiturboS4] re: transmissions (mrdezign at netscape.net)

On Dec 31, 2002 "Erik J. Engstrom" wrote:
> You know, that I can believe. I would be CRUSHED if Getrag designed and
> built the gearbox in my car. It churns like butter, the throws are
> incredibly long. Considering I had both a "Getrag-5" and "Getrag-6" in new
> bimmers in the past two years, the entire mechanism feels distinctly
> different. The BMW clutch/gearbox is smooth, clicks and never has any
> delay - very direct and clean. In the S4, toe-heel is impossible without a
> neckbrace and divine intervention.

Heel-toe is made very difficult in the S4 by the drive-by-wire
throttle.  The throttle doesn't respond the same way that it does in a
car with a mechanical linkage, especially when the computer thinks
you're applying both brake and throttle at the same time.

It sounds to me like you're complaining more about the shift LINKAGE
than about the transmission itself.  On a traditional front
engine/rear drive car, the transmission is located such that the
shifter is directly connected to the transmission.  On the S4, the
engine is pushed very far forwards, such that the transmission box
(which includes front and center differentials) can have the two front
driveshafts coming straight out the sides and driving the front
wheels.  This means that there needs to be a linkage mechanism to
translate movement of the shifter to the transmission.

In any event, the S4's shift feel is pretty crummy.  I'd still take it
over a slushbox tiptronic ANY day of the week though.

For transmission shifting feel, there isn't much that beats a Miata.

'01 Nogaro Blue S4
'99 Mazda Miata FM2 Turbo

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