Column: The Rise of the Dual-Clutch Transmission

Photograph Courtesy Porsche

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Technology can be hard to accept, especially when it hints at our personal inadequacies. Perhaps that’s why some good ideas are a bit tough to swallow. 

I admit that I’m not immune to having such hard feelings toward a piece of hardware. The first time I felt this way, it was about a camera.

My first real camera was a Canon A-1. Production lasted from 1978 through 1985, and it has gone down in the history books as a really groundbreaking piece of equipment. Even though it didn’t come from Canon’s professional ranks, this camera still raised the bar for the entire industry regarding microprocessor controls. 

Don’t forget: If you go back a few decades, cameras were devoid of computer chips and little black boxes. If a battery was present, it just operated the light meter. For the most part, these were fairly simple machines by today’s standards. Focus and exposure were all handled manually. 

If I had to guess, I got my A-1 around 1983 or so. I was in junior high and my dad, also a photo buff, figured I was ready for a serious camera. He also had an A-1, but mine came courtesy of the used market.

My A-1 faithfully served me through high school and into my first year of college, the corners of its body picking up patina as the plastic wore away to reveal the metal below. Unfortunately, technology eventually caught up with the A-1.

Cameras made huge leaps during the 1980s, and Canon basically rebooted their SLR model line starting in 1987. The new line was known by the EOS name—their latest digital cameras are part of the same family—and one of the biggest changes was a new lens mounting arrangement. 

It wasn’t that I fell under technology’s spell, but if I wanted to add more lenses and accessories to my bag, I needed to upgrade. The new lenses didn’t fit the old camera. I was basically running an unsupported platform.

My parents took me camera shopping sometime in 1989. I can’t remember the store, but something wants me to say that it was on Route 110 on Long Island. What I do remember is the moment the salesman handed over the new EOS. 

 It was sleek and modern. Looking back, it was kind of like a Miata vs. an MGB. Sure, both will yield open-air fun, but obviously one is a later incarnation.

Functional upgrades, the salesman explained, included new shooting modes, LCD display, faster shutter speeds, built-in film winder and autofocus. And right there I started to lose interest. “We don’t need no stinking autofocus,” I said to myself. “I’m a seasoned photographer. I have already been through one full year of college. Of course I know everything.”

If there was a saving grace, it was a small button found on the barrel of the lens: The autofocus could easily be switched off. 

I saw autofocus as something unnecessary that also added weight, cost and complexity. On the other hand, there was no way to get away from it. Autofocus had become an industry standard, just like fuel injection and radial tires. I was eventually the proud owner of a brand-new Canon EOS 630 and matching lens.

The kicker to that story: I don’t think I ever used the manual focus mode. Autofocus let me do all kinds of cool things, like shoot with the camera held high above my head or down on the ground. I could also pop off photos more quickly—just compose and squeeze. Call me an instant convert.

Who knows how many photos I have shot since that day 21 years ago. A million? A zillion? A kajillion? Okay, maybe it’s a more manageable number.

One thing I am sure of is that the autofocus rarely let me down, and through the years it has only gotten better, faster and lighter. At the same time it has offered more control. The latest Canons offer 45 focus points, which is 44 more than my first EOS had. 

The dual-clutch transmissions showing up in so many showrooms may be the automotive equivalent of autofocus. These new transmissions have many benefits, yet are taking some heat from the hardcore enthusiasts. The complaints include the added weight, cost and complexity—all arguments I have heard before.

The dual-clutch transmission is an engineering marvel. Odd gears are housed on one input shaft, while the even ones live on the other. Each input shaft gets its own clutch, hence the dual-clutch designation.

This arrangement allows gears to be engaged before they’re needed. When the time comes to shift gears—bang—it happens right away. The gearbox’s ECU knows what is going on and the time needed to switch between gears is measured in milliseconds.

Manual control is also possible by using buttons mounted on the steering wheel and/or a lever that more or less resembles the traditional stick. However, there are only two pedals: stop and go. The traditional clutch pedal has been dismissed.

I think some of the bad rap comes courtesy of the sins delivered by the traditional automatic transmission, which in our automotive world has only really been favored by Jim Hall, drag racers and those campaigning F Stock Camaros. Aside from limited examples, for the most part automatic transmissions have been associated with slow performance, a limited number of gears, and not much manual control.

Oh, how technology has drastically changed things. Yes, dual-clutch transmissions are heavier, pricier and more complex than the traditional stick shift, but there’s no denying that these new boxes offer quicker acceleration as well as better economy. Hey, let’s face it, a computer-controlled, seven-speed gearbox will generally outperform five or six gears being rowed by a human.

Where can you find this new technology? All over. It’s the only transmission type offered in the Nissan GT-R as well as all current Ferrari road cars. Porsche is quickly making it available in nearly their entire model line, while VW and Audi have shown that this kind of hardware isn’t limited to cars north of six figures.

I wonder if there’s a deeper issue fueling this ire, as gearheads rarely pass up something that makes them faster: It’s tough to admit that technology can best us at something that’s seen as a core element of a favorite activity. Rowing up and down the gears has been an integral part of sports car ownership for decades, and few are willing to hand that over.

Just like ABS, fuel injection, windup windows, automatic chokes, overhead cams and electric starters, dual-clutch transmissions may take some time to catch on among the hardcore drivers. However, I think I can see the attraction.

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Comments
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APEowner
APEowner Dork
11/18/20 10:36 a.m.

There's no question that a modern DTC is an engineering marvel and can shift faster than I can.  In addition the calibration in high end cars is amazing.  Most of them make gear selections on track that mirror what a good driver would be doing manually so there's no need to mess around with the paddle shifters.  Just let them do their thing, focus on your driving and enjoy the awesome sound track as they bang through the gears on the way up and rev match on the downshifts.

The thing is though, just being as fast as possible isn't necessarily the point.  Sure, if I'm racing then I want the fastest stuff that's legal but if I'm driving for the joy of driving then something that will shave fractions of a second (or even full seconds) off my lap times is largely irrelevant.  Particularly on public roads.  That's when a good manual gear box is irreplaceable.  I just enjoy making smooth fast upshifts, rev matching heal toe downshifts and selecting the right gear at the right time.  I don't care that a computer could do it better.

As far as autofocus cameras are concerned my eyesight makes is so I can't focus one manually anyway.

SammyPati
SammyPati New Reader
11/19/20 4:25 a.m.

APEowner , Im with you 100%

who cares that a computer can change gears in a nanosecond. If that what people want, then driverless cars will make them even more happy!

 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/19/20 5:57 a.m.

The comparison in the article is perfect. I like driving a manual and I'm glad I still get to do it in my race car. But the PDK in my Cayman has made me an absolute religious convert- such a superior technology.  So much more effective power when the car can always be in the power band. Such amazing sounds and performance.  So much less dreadful in traffic, meaning my "nice" car is enjoyable for ordinary life stuff too. 

This subject seems to bring out passionate responses from car guys, but I wish more of them had the chance to drive one of the really good DCT's before rushing to judgement. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/19/20 6:02 a.m.
SammyPati said:

APEowner , Im with you 100%

who cares that a computer can change gears in a nanosecond. If that what people want, then driverless cars will make them even more happy!

 

It's not all or nothing, it's a sliding scale.  I like to shift for myself but I giggle when the computers do it rapidly and seamlessly, with rev matching like no human could ever achieve. 

 

I like letting a computer control fuel mixture and ignition timing, too!  Some people probably have a problem with that and want to go back to having a mixture lever and timing lever on the steering column, like in the days of fuel of wildly variable quality and hand cranking, so they can be REALLY in control of the driving experience.

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
11/19/20 7:09 a.m.

Head over to the Porsche forum where folks with PDK failures at less than 50k miles are getting a $16-23k bill from Porsche for a replacement.  Ask how they like the new technology.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/19/20 7:25 a.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

The comparison in the article is perfect. I like driving a manual and I'm glad I still get to do it in my race car. But the PDK in my Cayman has made me an absolute religious convert- such a superior technology.  So much more effective power when the car can always be in the power band. Such amazing sounds and performance.  So much less dreadful in traffic, meaning my "nice" car is enjoyable for ordinary life stuff too. 

This subject seems to bring out passionate responses from car guys, but I wish more of them had the chance to drive one of the really good DCT's before rushing to judgement. 

The problem with the comparisons is that the dual clutch trans doesn't actually provide a brand new feature to cars.  Automatic shifting transmissions have been around for many decades, this is just a different way of doing the same feature.  For mass market car makers, it's a cheaper version of the auto trans.  For the niche makers, this is a way to provide an auto trans that makes it seems sporty.

In no way, shape, or form should the Ford Focus DST be considered sporty- that was never it's intention, ever.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
11/19/20 8:08 a.m.

McLaren isn't calling any of us.  Driving for us is about involvement and feel, the connection to the car and making it do what we want.  A DSG is just a fancy automatic transmission and doesn't give any of that.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/19/20 8:12 a.m.

Converting from a 5sp manual to a DSG myself this winter in my race car. Same $ as a dog engagement transmission without the wear issues. Taking over complete mech control with a standalone controller so I can program it how I want. Sure I don't get to shift, but I don't get to miss shifts any more either. Nothing quite sounds or feels like shifts that are tens of ms. I think some of the haters need to ride in a dsg car that's set on kill, it's wild.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/19/20 8:31 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

The comparison in the article is perfect. I like driving a manual and I'm glad I still get to do it in my race car. But the PDK in my Cayman has made me an absolute religious convert- such a superior technology.  So much more effective power when the car can always be in the power band. Such amazing sounds and performance.  So much less dreadful in traffic, meaning my "nice" car is enjoyable for ordinary life stuff too. 

This subject seems to bring out passionate responses from car guys, but I wish more of them had the chance to drive one of the really good DCT's before rushing to judgement. 

The problem with the comparisons is that the dual clutch trans doesn't actually provide a brand new feature to cars.  Automatic shifting transmissions have been around for many decades, this is just a different way of doing the same feature.  For mass market car makers, it's a cheaper version of the auto trans.  For the niche makers, this is a way to provide an auto trans that makes it seems sporty.

In no way, shape, or form should the Ford Focus DST be considered sporty- that was never it's intention, ever.

The DCT does provide a new feature to cars, It allowed for an automatic transmission without a drivability penalty and without performance penalty. having had to the chance to drive DCT/DSG cars in anger and on the street I've found myself a fan just like SHinygroove. You get all the performance benefits and it's still super tame to daily drive.

And this is NOT a cheaper version of the automatic transmission.

BTW, focus transmission was not a DCT, the focus used an automated manual transmission with a single dry clutch and is not related to the DCT.

 

350z247
350z247 New Reader
11/19/20 8:39 a.m.

In reply to APEowner :

I agree 100%. In a race class, I'd take a modern DCT or even an 8 speed ZF auto over a manual transmission; it's just one less thing to worry about while I'm trying to maximize the performance of the car. Yet my daily is always a manual. At 8/10ths on a mountain road, it's just one more level of engagement. Even just rowing through the gears after a stop is enough to make the morning commute a little more exciting.

APEowner
APEowner Dork
11/19/20 9:23 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

The comparison in the article is perfect. I like driving a manual and I'm glad I still get to do it in my race car. But the PDK in my Cayman has made me an absolute religious convert- such a superior technology.  So much more effective power when the car can always be in the power band. Such amazing sounds and performance.  So much less dreadful in traffic, meaning my "nice" car is enjoyable for ordinary life stuff too. 

This subject seems to bring out passionate responses from car guys, but I wish more of them had the chance to drive one of the really good DCT's before rushing to judgement. 

The problem with the comparisons is that the dual clutch trans doesn't actually provide a brand new feature to cars.  Automatic shifting transmissions have been around for many decades, this is just a different way of doing the same feature.  For mass market car makers, it's a cheaper version of the auto trans.  For the niche makers, this is a way to provide an auto trans that makes it seems sporty.

In no way, shape, or form should the Ford Focus DST be considered sporty- that was never it's intention, ever.

I get your point but the DCT in high end cars provides a shifting experience that is far superior to any conventional automatic that I've ever driven.  While some are better than others every conventional auto I've driven, including the C7 Z06 has noticeable latency when shifting manually.  To make maters worse it's not consistent making it difficult, if not impossible to know when to shift.  I've also never driven a conventional automatic that that had a really good track calibration but that's a separate issue that presumably could be resolved with some track focused development time.

In contrast every DCT I've driven responded in fractions of a second every time.  Some are quicker than others but they've all been so fast that I didn't have to consciously adjust for a delay.

infernosg
infernosg New Reader
11/19/20 9:27 a.m.

I enjoy modern DCTs a lot more than a traditional auto. I'd by lying if I said the DCT in our 10 year-old Jetta TDI doesn't make me giggle from time to time. It's definitely not a sporty car but it's more fun to drive than our other cars with traditional automatics. While I certainly enjoy the 5 speeds in my RX7s I can appreciate the speed of the DCT while I'm waiting 1-2 seconds for every shift in my 79.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/19/20 9:33 a.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

The comparison in the article is perfect. I like driving a manual and I'm glad I still get to do it in my race car. But the PDK in my Cayman has made me an absolute religious convert- such a superior technology.  So much more effective power when the car can always be in the power band. Such amazing sounds and performance.  So much less dreadful in traffic, meaning my "nice" car is enjoyable for ordinary life stuff too. 

This subject seems to bring out passionate responses from car guys, but I wish more of them had the chance to drive one of the really good DCT's before rushing to judgement. 

The DCT in my 135i was fussy in traffic, but when banging up and down through the gears it was a delight. I also like shifting my own gears in certain cars. 

GASP, we can like different things! Who knew?!?!

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
11/19/20 9:52 a.m.

When I drive a car I want this experience.............hence my having a 6 speed manual in my daily.

https://www.goodwood.com/grr/event-coverage/festival-of-speed/2020/5/video-1905-darracq-200hp-land-speed-record-car-seriously-sideways/

 

350z247
350z247 New Reader
11/19/20 10:01 a.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I'd say it's all a sliding scale. On the street, you have spare attention span to be more involved like these brave gentlemen; at 10/10ths on the track, having less things to worry about allows for more focus on proper line, braking, weight transfer, ect. DCTs shift faster while also requiring less attention; in the final hour of an endurance race, I'd say that would be much appreciated.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/19/20 10:29 a.m.

I love DCTs in theory.   The successful implementation depends on tuning.  I've driven two different 911s with PDK that were completely different experiences. 

I would love to buy a 14-16 Cayman and now I don't have to filter search results by transmission type.  It's all good these days!  

Nobody (at least with a straight face) thinks they can out-brake ABS.  Nobody is going to shift faster than PDK, and if you're honest with yourself -- even the best drivers miss some shifts.  

Executing perfect rev-matched downshifts is a rewarding thing in it's own right, but that's now a rewarding aspect of vintage motoring.  The future is here, and the clutch pedal doesn't have a place in it.  

 

 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/19/20 10:37 a.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

Yes, it is a dual clutch.  I know the people who worked on it.

 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
11/19/20 10:42 a.m.
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) said:

 

Executing perfect rev-matched downshifts is a rewarding thing in it's own right, but that's now a rewarding aspect of vintage motoring.  The future is here, and the clutch pedal doesn't have a place in it.  

Some of the fastest drivers I follow don't even bother rev matching some of the time - too hard in important brake zones to over slow while pedal dancing. The less shifting I have to deal with on track, the better. It's ok fun on the road, but I care more about turn-in then rowing my own gears. 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/19/20 10:43 a.m.
APEowner said:
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

The comparison in the article is perfect. I like driving a manual and I'm glad I still get to do it in my race car. But the PDK in my Cayman has made me an absolute religious convert- such a superior technology.  So much more effective power when the car can always be in the power band. Such amazing sounds and performance.  So much less dreadful in traffic, meaning my "nice" car is enjoyable for ordinary life stuff too. 

This subject seems to bring out passionate responses from car guys, but I wish more of them had the chance to drive one of the really good DCT's before rushing to judgement. 

The problem with the comparisons is that the dual clutch trans doesn't actually provide a brand new feature to cars.  Automatic shifting transmissions have been around for many decades, this is just a different way of doing the same feature.  For mass market car makers, it's a cheaper version of the auto trans.  For the niche makers, this is a way to provide an auto trans that makes it seems sporty.

In no way, shape, or form should the Ford Focus DST be considered sporty- that was never it's intention, ever.

I get your point but the DCT in high end cars provides a shifting experience that is far superior to any conventional automatic that I've ever driven.  While some are better than others every conventional auto I've driven, including the C7 Z06 has noticeable latency when shifting manually.  To make maters worse it's not consistent making it difficult, if not impossible to know when to shift.  I've also never driven a conventional automatic that that had a really good track calibration but that's a separate issue that presumably could be resolved with some track focused development time.

In contrast every DCT I've driven responded in fractions of a second every time.  Some are quicker than others but they've all been so fast that I didn't have to consciously adjust for a delay.

You haven't driven all of the automatics that high end cars do.  20 years ago ZF had an auto (which was massive, heavy, and expensive) that shifted really, really well- fast, smooth, it was amazing (this was the V12 DB7).  Then AML went to the dual clutch set up, and the Vanquish I drove with it was rather clunky in comparison.  And it's actually really easy to make more conventional automatics shift at light speed- but real customers would not really tolerate that.

IMHO, the fact that exotic cars have it is to sell cars to people that don't have the skills, and market it that it's more like a race car.  Which is fine- lots of people can't operate a clutch, including the hyper rich.  That should not prevent them from owing an aspirational car.

But in terms of comparing the dual clutch auto to an auto focus, I still don't think it's the right comparison in reality, as the actual feature does not bring anything new to the table- it just does it in a different way.  And pretends to be more sporty.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/19/20 10:45 a.m.
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) said:

Converting from a 5sp manual to a DSG myself this winter in my race car. Same $ as a dog engagement transmission without the wear issues. Taking over complete mech control with a standalone controller so I can program it how I want. Sure I don't get to shift, but I don't get to miss shifts any more either. Nothing quite sounds or feels like shifts that are tens of ms. I think some of the haters need to ride in a dsg car that's set on kill, it's wild.

What are you using for a controller? I noticed that MaxxECU supports DSG as well as a whole lot of engine controls I am interested in.

 

i generally thought the concept was neat, then I rode in an Evo X on course and witnessed the driver's ability to upshift and downshift in places where in a traditional manual you'd run to the limiter, and was stunned, shocked, and realized what I needed in my life.

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/19/20 10:56 a.m.

Back to back impressions from the passenger seat on track, in order.

C7 Z06 auto: pretty darn good, I can see how people say it’s as good as a manual

Ferrari 488 dual clutch: wow I can tell a difference in shift speed over the Z06

911 GT3 RS dual clutch: holy crap, everything else is put to shame

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
11/19/20 11:32 a.m.

In reply to 350z247 :

I race two cars; one with a traditional box (Datsun) and one with what is basically an automatic (CVT in the F500).

On track I prefer cars with gearboxes that let me left foot brake; the F500 & motorcycle engined cars let me do that. On bike engines cars other than exiting the pits you don't need to use the clutch pedal, the other plus to them is you simply preload the gear lever and once the motor falls out of the powerband the trans instantly slides into the next gear.

As for focus; having started riding and racing on peaky two stroke motorcycles I pretty much go up and down through the box subconsciously.

Now as for the aforementioned 911 GT-RS; having driven one on track................yes everything about them is amazing. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/19/20 1:42 p.m.
maj75 (Forum Supporter) said:

Head over to the Porsche forum where folks with PDK failures at less than 50k miles are getting a $16-23k bill from Porsche for a replacement.  Ask how they like the new technology.

I've read those threads and agree that the financial severity of a broken PDK is high.  But it's also important to note that a tiny, tiny fraction of the cars that have PDK have had an issue.  And that the implementation gets better with each generation.  The 987's had a higher rate of issues due to inadequate cooling; the 981's have much better cooling and much fewer failures.

There are many many people, including pro drivers in pro race cars, that are absolutely slaying PDK's on the track with no issue at all.

350z247
350z247 New Reader
11/19/20 2:08 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed. If I were building a racecar Cayman, I would 100% start with a PDK car; if I were buying a weekend Boxster, I'd get a manual. Same goes for an M3 or anyother car that offers both options.

iceracer
iceracer MegaDork
11/19/20 2:21 p.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

The Ford transmission in the Focus and Fiesta was indeed a DCT.  It used a dry clutch unlike others

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/19/20 7:13 p.m.
350z247 said:

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed. If I were building a racecar Cayman, I would 100% start with a PDK car; if I were buying a weekend Boxster, I'd get a manual. Same goes for an M3 or anyother car that offers both options.

It's also worth noting that Porsche's manual transmissions have had their own set of issues.  A bunch of the 981 GT4's had the third gear ring shearing off.  It was a big enough deal that they had a recall to address it.

One other thing on my mind with respect to the PDK.  In terms of skill development, the PDK has actually made me a better driver on the track.  Like other complex activities like playing piano or golf, the only way to learn to be fast on the track is to take the process apart into small pieces and work on each one individually.  Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule is also in play.  After several years of driving manual transmissions on the track, the PDK let me focus 100% on steering, throttle and braking.  Most good drivers would admit that those activities alone take many hours (months? years? lifetimes?) to really master.  Now when I go back to the manual tranny, the steering/throttle/braking are much more in my muscle memory, and I can devote more mental energy to proper shifting and heel/toe.  Without a doubt my lap times have dropped even when I'm not in the car with the PDK.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/19/20 7:42 p.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

Yes, it is a dual clutch.  I know the people who worked on it.

 

For the record, I don't actively hate them.  I'm sure they were just working to a spec.

 

But DAMN.  The implementation was clearly an American one.

 

Let me explain.  American automatic (automated) transmission shift schedules are generally obstinate in how they are tuned for CAFE numbers over all else.  All of my really good automatic experiences have been European, specifically Volvo.  They calibrate to make a good driving experience, and fuel economy numbers fall where they may.

 

My direct experience was with a '14 Focus 2.0/auto, that I spent much time with while my current Volvo was between engines.  There were many times, going uphill, where depressing the accelerator was mainly depressing the driver, as the engine was already producing all the torque it was gonna at that speed but the trans controller would REFUSE to downshift, and the car was slowing more and more, until finally it would kick down and go from about 1500rpm to near redline, at which point that was WAY TOO MANY GEARS, and it would upshift again.  Atrocious.  And no manual flappy paddles to bypass that programming, because, as you pointed out, that wasn't the point.

 

An aside... I got free rein with the Focus, because of the two loaners we had at the time, we always gave out the '13 Fit first, specifically because people complained so much about the Focus's trans, so it was generally always there for the taking.  People didn't like that it doesn't drive like a "normal" automatic.  IMO it drives like a manual trans, and people who creep 6-12 inches forward every few seconds at traffic lights should get a special level of hell in the afterlife)

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/20/20 8:19 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

What are you using for a controller? I noticed that MaxxECU supports DSG as well as a whole lot of engine controls I am interested in.

 

i generally thought the concept was neat, then I rode in an Evo X on course and witnessed the driver's ability to upshift and downshift in places where in a traditional manual you'd run to the limiter, and was stunned, shocked, and realized what I needed in my life.

I am using HTG's DCT controller, it's a full standalone controller that deletes the stock mech computer. Most standalone will only output CAN messages to a stock mech/TCU and offer absolutely no control. In testing some of these "solutions" it usually is only outputting a few simple things like engine load, rpm, brake signal and nothing else. Many times the TCU needs to be custom tuned to deal with it, and the flash solutions are IMO pretty crappy for a race car where you may want to change things depending on conditions (even in my simple drag racing setup). So "supports DSG" is generic and CYA before pulling the trigger on a solution. That being said the maxxecu seems like a decent standalone from the few that I've tuned. Only advantage I see vs the ms3 pro I normally use is native DBW and some pre-populated CAN setups.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/20/20 11:13 a.m.

I've invented a new TLA: LLP!

Left Leg Privilege.

This thread? We gots it. laugh

iceracer
iceracer MegaDork
11/20/20 11:17 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

There seems to be a lot variation in the quality of shifting in the Focus/Fiesta dct.   Apparently I was lucky.   I had two. The '11 was flawless for 42k when it got totaled.  the earl '13/late'12 was ok until I got an oil leak.  I got the clutch and seal replaced under Fords program.   It shifted fine and I intended to keep it but the FiST showed up.   No regrets.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/20/20 11:24 a.m.

I recently drove my buddy's mid-90s Caravan that we turbo and manual swapped. It has a ceramic puck clutch and it's almost impossible to avoid SOME clutch chatter towards the end of the release. Since we're talking about early DCT Fords, it reminded me of that van and a made-up scenario where i chatter the clutch out to get rolling and say "wow, this thing drives like a car 20 years newer!". 

It also drives like a car breathing three atmospheres of pressure, so.. upside. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/20/20 1:05 p.m.

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

Drive by wire and CAN setups are exactly the things I am interested in.  Also, on board wideband control

I might bend your ear about their systems when I get more serious (meaning, have free funds available so making a decision is relevant)

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/20/20 1:26 p.m.

Honestly on board wideband should be at the bottom of the list. If you need a cheap one, sure it's integrated but if you need one that's actually pretty good, you need to buy a good one anyway and the hw in the ecu (if using the Bosch chips) drives up the price a good bit. Most of the cars I tune have at least two, or many, so really not an advatage either.

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