Shifting the automatic transmission - Nissan Forum
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#1 Old Dec 30th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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Question Shifting the automatic transmission

My sister has a 1997 Nissan Altima GXE. It has the 4-speed automatic transmission Overdrive.

Can you manually shift this automatic transmission?

Recently, we thought about trying out shifting the automatic transmission in this car like a manual transmission because she was kinda wanting me to show her how to do it. I had been doing it a bit lately in my car, which is a 91 Plymouth Sundance RS. So, she wanted to see about giving it a try in her Nissan Altima since I told her about me doing it a bit in my own car.

Theoretically, what I think "could" be done is:

From a stop light,

First turn "O/D" off with the toggle button on the shifter.
Then put the selector to "1".
Accelerate, rev the engine to max RPM right before it redlines, and hold 1st gear to highest speed possible.
Then bump the shifter up to "2" to get you into 2nd gear.
Do basically the same thing; getting engine to max RPM and holding 2nd to highest speed.
Next, flick shifter to "D" to get you into 3rd gear.
Go to whatever speed you like in 3rd gear.
Then turn "O/D" on to get into 4th gear.

Do you think it would affect this transmission in any way to shift it like a manual transmission? Would it help performance?

Has anyone tried this some before in your Nissan Altimas?

Last edited by Robby2612; Dec 30th, 2005 at 05:51 AM.
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#2 Old Dec 30th, 2005, 07:25 AM
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I have. I've also tried it in a '91 Chevy Pickup

Upshifting is generally accepted. Although if you're bringing it to redline you're not too smart as the reason why an automatic doesn't want to get that high is because redline means you're maxing the engine out and unless you want to see the innards of your engine on the road behind you its not a good thing to be doing. I personally find that just turning overdrive off in my 2000 SE gives me a little more umpfh. But I have on the occasion pulled off in 1.
Downshifting is where you will really hurt an automatic transmission, they generally don't like the abuse associated with it as its using fluid go move not gears where in a manual you're counting on the gear/road drag to slow the vehicle down. Even turning O/D off while moving at high speeds can piss off an automatic (I know that one personally).
As for pushing a Chrysler transmission around.... you're a brave soul indeed. Chrylser transmissions are NOW known for being the crappiest transmissions the world has to offer opposed to "back in the day" where if you had a Chrysler transmission you had something that'd never die. *shrug* that's the brakes though.

so I guess what I meant to say is this
Manual Upshifting is ok (as long as you don't push it too hard)
Manual Downshifting is not smart
There ya go. Have fun with it.

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#3 Old Dec 30th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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The transmission in my Sundance is based on the older Chrysler model. It's the 3-spd automatic. The early Chrysler 4-spd's were known to be problems.

I think the only time our Nissan has been 'manually' shifted was when going from "OD Off" to OD on at times when going down the highway. Another time was when it was 'downshifted' manually when going down a 2-lane road. We popped it in "1" and went 100 MPH in supposedly 1st gear. It was at 7000 RPM. My old friend was riding w/ me, got pushy and wanted me to go fast to challenge someone. The car wasn't my sister's at the time; it was my mother's, and I was driving it that day.
One person said later it was probably really in 2nd gear at that speed. How could it have been in 2nd gear if the selector was in "1"?
Those are the only two times the auto transmission in that car has been manually shifted. It has never been manually upshifted.
#4 Old Dec 30th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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The likelihood of you even being in 2nd gear is really out there. Even with O/D i'm pretty high on my TACH when I hit 100mph with my 2000 Altima SE. If you were indeed going 100mph in 1st or 2nd I'll be stunned but I don't think its possible. Downshifting at high speeds will most likely blow your transmission to pieces. *shrug* I was riding with a friend in a Chevy station wagon and he downshifted from drive to 2nd at 45mph.... we continued on for about 15 minutes. Ranging from 455 to 60mph (even though I repeatedly told him that he'd regret it and why he would regret it). But we had no drive (the tranny wouldn't shift into it, and he refused to pull over) so he continued on. Until *boom* I saw chunks of his transmisson all over the highway. Wasn't a pretty site, especially since I was the unlucky b*s**d who had to push the turd to the closest off ramp and down it (luckily God was looking over us and it was only a couple hundred feet away). That's why I'd say downshifting hurts automatic (and even manual) trannies. Granted his tranny was having issues before hand... but even a brand new tranny would've lasted only a few minutes longer. You make the call. :-)
#5 Old Dec 30th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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My advice is (if you wanna have fun buy a manual car or a manual transmission) It's ok to UpShift but not to DownShift. Although i wouldn't recoment either. You should have noticed that the automatic transmission change gear from around 2000-3000RPMS with no stress driving like an old man. Redlining your motor only means you breaking something (wont get into details what can happen) Also, it's more economic and efficient when you dont shift gears at so high RPMs

About going 100MPH on 1st gear IMPOSIBLE!! if not we all would have 1gear automatic transmission LOL!!

About downshifting on a manual transmission, it can be safe if you know what the heck your doing. Remember that with a manual transmission you have a Clutch to engage and disengage your gears. Even if your stupid enough to downshift to 2nd going 100MPH (first u dont let go the clutch too quick) once you see the RPMs going high up like crazy while your disengaging your clutch just press it back in.

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Last edited by KraZThug; Dec 30th, 2005 at 08:26 PM.
#6 Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 10:20 PM
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The manual shifting of an auto just causes higher seal and valve body fluid pressure (the same principle behind a shift kit). Is it hard on the trans?, it can be. Is it faster or is better performing?, it should be somewhat. Is it necessary to go to redline?, almost never because your torque falls off greatly after 4500 RPM (from a max of 167 lb-ft @ 4000).

Try doing basic mods if you want better performance from the auto.

Troy

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1992 S13 240SX SE Fastback KA24DE 5 spd
1993 U13 Altima SE KA24DET 5 spd
1990 Z32 300ZX VG30DETT 5 spd
Still trying to import a 1988 R31 Skyline GTS-R w/ RB20DET-R
#7 Old Jan 7th, 2006, 11:12 PM
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alot of people think that shift an auto manually is faster but its not, most autos are fastest when left in drive. Also shifting high up in the rpm band is dangerous when "trusting" a factory tach. Factory tachs on some cars are notorius for being off by several hundred rpm.

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#8 Old Jan 7th, 2006, 11:41 PM
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I have a 95 altima gxe auto, and I went through the phase of shifting. The highest I had in the low gears was almost 70mph in second, and it was redlined at like 7500 RPM's ! I thought my engine would blow. That was an accident, because I got in the habbit of shifting, and then I tried to quit, and forgot to shift to drive lol.
I have been downshifting in my alty for quite some time, that may be why my tranny slips and jerks occasionally. Granted, my tranny has 250,000 miles on it, I think it would last longer if I didnt downshift. I would turn the overdrive off at 60mph, shift to second at around 40-45 mph, and hit first at around 20-25mph. Now when I down shift to first at 20mph, it doesnt downshift til about 10 or 15
I agree with one of the previous posters, if you wanna shift, get a manual.
#9 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Trade your car in for a stick and be done with it. I love driving a manual but my wife freaked out on me cause she only drives auto so I had to get rid of it.
#10 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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I am selling my alty and trying to buy a 300zx 5sp. manual for like 2500 or something
#11 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:33 PM
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If you are interested in buying a Z, I suggest reading this article;
http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/fe...0zx/index.html
and check out the Z section of the forums. Lots of good people in there too.

Troy

SHIFT_Happiness
1992 S13 240SX SE Fastback KA24DE 5 spd
1993 U13 Altima SE KA24DET 5 spd
1990 Z32 300ZX VG30DETT 5 spd
Still trying to import a 1988 R31 Skyline GTS-R w/ RB20DET-R
#12 Old Jan 25th, 2006, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarsage
I have a 95 altima gxe auto, and I went through the phase of shifting. The highest I had in the low gears was almost 70mph in second, and it was redlined at like 7500 RPM's ! I thought my engine would blow. That was an accident, because I got in the habbit of shifting, and then I tried to quit, and forgot to shift to drive lol.
I have been downshifting in my alty for quite some time, that may be why my tranny slips and jerks occasionally. Granted, my tranny has 250,000 miles on it, I think it would last longer if I didnt downshift. I would turn the overdrive off at 60mph, shift to second at around 40-45 mph, and hit first at around 20-25mph. Now when I down shift to first at 20mph, it doesnt downshift til about 10 or 15
I agree with one of the previous posters, if you wanna shift, get a manual.
Hmm..I've had my '91 Plymouth Sundance up to almost 80 MPH in 2nd gear (floor shift in the "2" setting), and the engine was only at around 5,200 RPM.
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