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Jag Transmission Love

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Old 11-04-2018, 01:53 PM
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Default Transmission; I Love this ZF auto-manual

I have decided I love the ZF auto-manual 8-speed even more than a manual.

Unless I am driving at speeds that I really shouldn’t be, my right hand is on its shift lever in sport mode. Then that little lever is a veritable slap-stick shifter -- with an automatic clutch that my left leg could never match for smoothness nor speed.

The wrist needn’t move: the fingers alone move the short throw enough to shift up or down – which I do more often than necessary purely for entertainment of slight G-force forward and back – in-and-out, if you will -- and for more-than-slight exhaust grunt entertainment.

In slow-and-go traffic, with a manual, that constant shifting between first and second is a patience-tester of even a bodhisattva. With this magnificent auto-manual in sport mode, it’s actually a joy (with this particular toy, it’s between 2nd and 3rd) – at least in part because you get to make a little, not-obnoxious, exhaust noise while you’re at it.

But also because the shape of the handle has become tantalizing; like having your finger on a trigger. (“Happiness is a warm gun.” - John Lennon)

I have decided those arguments negate the argument about how a manual makes for more involvement of the driver.

Of course, there’s no argument about comparing shift speeds of manual vs auto.

And then there’s this: married to my 5-litre, it affords a laugh-out-loud-inducing range of optional gears for in-town highway speeds.

Regarding that aspect of it, a quick story:

A younger guy in a hopped-up, school-kid's, car, wearing his cap sideways (he was no school kid), sped up to try to get to the not-quite-safe-to-merge-into-length-opening that I prefer to leave in front of me, before his lane ended due to its merging into mine.

He evidently intended I would use my brake pedal.

Well, the magnificent combination of 550 horses set to 502 lb-ft of torque routed through this wonderful transmission afforded me to instead use my go pedal, regardless the gear I was already in. An instant, not-too-deep, tap, and the cat lurched. And snarled. Loudly.



The gap closed faster than he was moving, placing him beside me in the shoulder lane with a look on his face that justified, all by itself, just this time alone, the cost difference between a six-pot and this raucous eight.

Now closer to the car in front of me, I flicked the ZF down a gear; by then the line had begun moving a bit faster, so it was just a tap on the brake pedal before flicking back up a gear again. He fell in behind me. And then, when traffic soon slowed again, I had the pleasure of letting off at not quite 3000 rpms, causing that piquant pop-pop -- aimed at him.

Tantalizing trigger, indeed.

That probably shouldn’t please me like it did.

I love this lusty thing.


Now for a question:

Is it my imagination that a paddles’ input sometimes has a lag that the shift lever does not?
 

Last edited by Forrest Keith; 11-04-2018 at 02:44 PM. Reason: add attachment photo
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:10 PM
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😂 Very fun read. Thanks for that.

As for the delay from paddles to shifter. I have not noticed a difference, but that's probably because I only use the paddles and rarely use the shifter itself. Both took a little getting used to though. Ive always driven manual, so the paddle was a shock to me. But Ive learned to love it.

Dave
 
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:36 PM
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I love the shifter too. I don't keep my hands at the same place on the wheel, so the paddles aren't always handy for me. But I can just throw a hand over and slap the shifter very easily - spent a lot of time drag racing in my misspent youth.
 
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:38 PM
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:08 PM
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double

I use the paddles so far...when tried to use the shifter I kept turning off the traction control. (Only had the car 6 weeks and my wife drives it the most.)

My big complaint about the ZF is that it starts in second gear. If I 'downshift' the paddle to make it start in first for a quicker launch, I can't grab the paddles when turning a corner. If I start it in any D mode, the second-gear start makes the start 'lazy'.
 
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbuff2 View Post
double

I use the paddles so far...when tried to use the shifter I kept turning off the traction control. (Only had the car 6 weeks and my wife drives it the most.)

My big complaint about the ZF is that it starts in second gear. If I 'downshift' the paddle to make it start in first for a quicker launch, I can't grab the paddles when turning a corner. If I start it in any D mode, the second-gear start makes the start 'lazy'.

Another reason I like the shift lever. I did have to get through the learning curve to not have the heel bone of my hand press the traction control or the exhaust valves control buttons. But it didn't take long at all. And now I can click the exhaust on and off with the heel of my hand.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:26 PM
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I've learned to use both the "stick" and the paddles, at different occasions. Regular routine driving, in the city and in traffic (like the wonderful merge-tale you told) I use the stick. If I'm out for a more spirited drive, the paddles seem to serve me better except the occasions when the left paddle is a bit out of reach on a turn -- at which point I just leave it in the current gear, or grab the stick.
I did the JCNA IJF Rally on Saturday, and my Navigator was often giggling at the delightful sounds and performance of the Jaguar, conducted by yours truly.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:51 PM
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I too, am in love with this wonderful transmission. I wasn't aware of the lineage prior to buying the Jag, but have been continually impressed since buying the car.
Coincidentally I bought a BMW 650i X-Drive Gran Coupe in 2015 for my wife, and one of the strongest advantages it had over the CLS AMG we tested along side the BMW was the transmission. Crisp, immediate shifts that always seemed to land in the perfect rev range for the situation.
After researching the trans on the Jag I found out they were the same transmission.

This is the highest rated conventional automatic transmission currently being built. Many rate it better than twin-clutch transmissions.

Here is a great article on it:
https://www.caranddriver.com/feature...zf-eight-speed

 
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbuff2 View Post
My big complaint about the ZF is that it starts in second gear.
Oh, does it? Never caught my eye... I only used the paddles once, but the shifter manual in sport mode quite often.
So far, this auto trans never disappointed me - it always seems to do what I expect/want it to do.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:23 PM
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List of vehicles sharing this gearbox and variants

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_8HP_transmission

Kev
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:25 PM
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Regarding your story - as a rule, I try not to risk my car to make a point to idiots. What if that idiot's outward characteristics are representative of his internal state of mind and he would make idiotic decision to merge into you?
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:00 PM
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Is there any risk or problem starting from a stop in second? I virtually always use the paddles unless highway cruising and never bother to shift down to first when stopped at stop lights etc. Never shift into first when moving as I never used when I had a manual car as it was kind of brutal, assumed it was a general rule.

​​​​​​Clearly plenty of torque to take off but wondering if there is any risk. When trying to launch as quick as possible I use S mode which I assume launches from 1st but that's maybe 1% of the time if that.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:13 PM
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On our '14 the trans only shifts down to second gear on its own, at a stop. If you are in S mode (even S Dynamic) it stays in second as well... unless you downshift it yourself.

This won't hurt anything, but it surely is slower 'off the line' unless you give it a LOT more throttle. Then, you can feel it downshift...but only after 15 or 20 feet.

I've read that staying in second reduces 'creep' at a light. But our other cars with this type of programming change to first when you let off the brake!
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:53 PM
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"What if that idiot's outward characteristics are representative of his internal state of mind and he would make idiotic decision to merge into you?"

My excellent insurance policy.

 

Last edited by Forrest Keith; 11-06-2018 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:03 PM
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I believe if you have the car in Dynamic mode and the shifter in sport, it will start in 1st. However, I use the paddles.
Starting in second improves gas mileage and makes the start a smoother transition. The R has enough power to start like this all day without even noticing the difference, but starting in 1st will launch like mad!

I finally found a good use for the Ice/Snow setting, which starts in second, and starts much softer (I think it stops smoother as well)... it is a great "hangover mode". My wife got sick when we were coming back from the Oregon Coast and I needed to make the Jag as soft as possible. This worked pretty well!
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tork Monster View Post
I
found a good use for the Ice/Snow setting, which starts in second, and starts much softer (I think it stops smoother as well)... it is a great "hangover mode". My wife got sick when we were coming back from the Oregon Coast and I needed to make the Jag as soft as possible. This worked pretty well!

I'll remember that!
Thanks!
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SinF View Post
Regarding your story - as a rule, I try not to risk my car to make a point to idiots. What if that idiot's outward characteristics are representative of his internal state of mind and he would make idiotic decision to merge into you?
I would have let the person merge in. You might have forced him off the road. Gee, that’s big and bad. What later occurred appeared to be a brake check. That can be cited and in case of a collision be considered assault. Enjoy the car and be safe. Isn’t it good enough knowing what that wonder 5 litre is capable of?
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Tork Monster View Post
I believe if you have the car in Dynamic mode and the shifter in sport, it will start in 1st.
I need to verify that on the '14. I SWEAR I tried all modes looking for that first gear start...but I might be mistaken.
 

Last edited by Carbuff2; 11-06-2018 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:11 AM
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I have no trouble starting in 1st all the time , but either 2nd gear is too tall or 1st is too short. Probably the latter, since the first shift comes up in well under 2 seconds and engine revs drop too much between 1st and 2nd.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbuff2 View Post
I need to verify that on the '14. I SWEAR I tried all modes looking for that first gear start...but I might have be mistaken.
Same experience here with a MY15 R.
The only way to take off in 1. is by using paddles or stick and manually select 1. from standstill.
 

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