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Old 07-22-2004, 09:16 AM   #1
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Question 6th gear

For all the non-tip S owners out there: How often do you reach 6th gear. I have had my boxster 4 months and rarely make it up there. In fact, for the most part I usually top out at 4th, which is more than sufficient for those bursts when I severely exceed the speed limit. 5th and 6th have been reserved for long, sustained interstate driving. How about the rest of you?

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Old 07-22-2004, 11:05 AM   #2
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i have yet to get into 6th at all. although i have only had the car for a week, but i have been to @ 85-90 and been in 5th. I can't imagine 6th being important until well into the triple digits. But i sure do love knowing its there waiting. Plus, 6 speeds just looks super cool on top of the stick shift
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Old 07-22-2004, 12:35 PM   #3
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just use it to cruise it on the highway...i think it's a bit too long for speeds below 100mph anyway....
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Old 07-23-2004, 11:31 PM   #4
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There's absolutely no need for 6th gear on the S. The 6 speed is a brilliant marketing gimmick by Porsche. Most people automatically assume the more gears the better. This is only true if the gear ratios are matched for the engine/drivetrain.

Unfortunately the S has exactly the same gear ratios as the 996. Problem: the 996 has 50+ more HP, more torq, and completely different powertrain characteristics than the S. Obviously this is not a good thing for the S!


"I've read that criticism ('S' tranny) in other reviews of the S over
the years since its introduction. The criticism is based on the fact that the S 6-speed gearing is the same as the Carrera 6-speed's gearing. Considering the S' considerably less power & torque than the Carrera's, it's easy to understand why either the S' engine is too little for its transmission or its transmission is too much for its engine. Many here & elsewhere have theorized Porsche did this intentionally, both to save $$ and to keep
the S way below Carrera performance territory IAW their marketing strategy.

All sounds reasonable to me...."
-John Brown of Northern Virginia (PPBB user)

Too bad, 'cuz if Porsche took the time (and money) to rework the 6 speed and optimize it for the S it would be a much better car. Even if they used the same 5 speed as the 2.7L in the S it would be a better car as the 5 speed ratios are matched better to the S's powertrain (deltas: base - S: 35HP increase vs. S - 996: 50+ HP).

"Drove 6000 miles in 2 years [Boxster 'S'] and the gearing was horrible in my opinion....I was unhappy with the Boxster 'S'...
The Boxster 'S' should have gotten the 5 speed gearbox of the 2.7..."
-Chris from Germany (CFG)
Admin for 996 board (http://www.funcarsonline.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php)
and very respected Porsche enthusiast on Porsche message boards.


I'm looking forward to the 987S. I'm sure Porsche will fix the tranny issue. Porsche had to cut all kinds of corners with the 986/996 programme. I think we'll get a proper Boxster 'S' with the 987S.
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Old 07-26-2004, 06:22 AM   #5
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The standard boxster could use a lower final drive as well
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Old 07-27-2004, 08:40 AM   #6
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Interesting post...anyone with track experience want to add a few words? After all, that's a different arena all together...
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:45 PM   #7
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I disagree with 'another s in s' about the 6 speed. I think the LESS power you have the more you need the extra gear - but we've had this discussion before so I won't go more into it.

just wanted to provide an alternate opinion (mine) that 6th gear is pleasant for cruising in flat places (Arizona) at 75mph or more and is nice for that exciting UPSHIFT at an indicated 150MPH. When cruising at 110-130 in mounatinous areas I tend to swap between 5th and 6th gear.

Having moved to NY last year, 6th is only for freeway cruising now
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Old 08-01-2004, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ad Sach
I disagree with 'another s in s' about the 6 speed. I think the LESS power you have the more you need the extra gear - but we've had this discussion before so I won't go more into it.

just wanted to provide an alternate opinion (mine) that 6th gear is pleasant for cruising in flat places (Arizona) at 75mph or more and is nice for that exciting UPSHIFT at an indicated 150MPH. When cruising at 110-130 in mounatinous areas I tend to swap between 5th and 6th gear.

Having moved to NY last year, 6th is only for freeway cruising now
LOL. Nice try hijacking my thread. My point was about the appropriateness of the S having a 6 speed. It wasn't about whether the base needs a 6 speed. Frankly it doesn't. I have never ever wished for a 6th gear, even cruising on the freeway. And if it did have 6 speed that wasn't tuned for the 2.7L powertrain it would be horrible, "rowing through the gears" as some have described the shifiting in the city in the S which has gearing tuned for the 996.

If you know anything about Boxster history you will know that the 2.7L has the most perfected transmission in the Boxster line. When Porsche increased the engine size in '00 to 2.7L they re-tuned, re-optimized, the transmission to perfectly match the 2.7L engine powertrain. In the case of the S, they just bolted on the same transmission as the 996 as a marketing gimmick.

Many S owners will say you need to learn how to shift the 6 speed. It takes some getting used to. Translation: it takes time to live with a mis-matched transmission.

"I've just concluded -- agreeing with many -- that the 6 speed transmission in the S is just not that smooth. "
-JLR
(posted by S owner JLR last week on PPBB.com)
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Old 08-01-2004, 01:09 PM   #9
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This is "your" thread? mmmm.... I thought someone else started it. I've heard you tout the greatness of your 5-speed for a long time. In fact, it seems thats the only time you like to chime in. Why so fixated on the boxster transmission? You sound like you are trying to justify the fact that you got a regular boxster instead of a S.
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Old 08-01-2004, 04:29 PM   #10
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Another S in S has some issues.

He keeps bringing up subjective comments like "not shifting smoothly" and somehow equating it to "not being the correct ratio for the S". But then again notice these guys will also claim that the clutch is so heavy in the S. LOL!

I've posted countless facts refuting his nonsense on PPBB. But he will continue bashing the S. If it's not the tranny then it's the S not being any quicker than the Base model.

Here's the FACTS once AGAIN:

Boxster S Ratio:
13.1408
7.568
5.2288
4.1968
3.5088
2.8896

2.7L Base Ratio:
12.46
7.5472
5.0908
3.8804
2.9904

1st gear: S is shorter. Shorter is better for a car with low torque. Gee, if anything the base is geared too high.
Advantage: S

2nd gear: S and Base are same. Again, with the Base having significantly less torque, the gearing is better in the S.
Advantage: S

3rd gear: S is slightly shorter. Again, with the Base having lower torque it should be the one with the shorter gear.
Advantage: S (see a theme here?)

4th gear: OMG. A HUGE difference. The S' 4th gear is significantly shorter than the Base model's 4th gear. Matter of fact, the S' 5th gear is almost equivalent to the Base's 4th. With the Base already lacking in torque, I can't even begin to imagine how wrong this is.
Advantage: S (by a large margin)

5th gear: The base model has already gone into "overdrive" gearing due to its too tall 4th gear whereas the S is at 1:1 ratio.
Advantage: S

6th gear: This one's easy...Advantage S!

So using Another S in S' logic, the 6 speed is designed for the 911 which has more hp/torque. So basically he's saying that shorter gears is the way to go. Yet the Base models gears are taller than the S with the Base having less torque. That's solid ground you're standing on.

Way to OWN yourself. Care to refute these numbers? I didn't think so.

ps. You have to be the thread starter to actually claim someone hijacking your thread.

Last edited by Lux; 08-01-2004 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 08-01-2004, 06:07 PM   #11
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Yeah, i dont know why someone who doesn't own an S can really know about the 'non-smooth shifting' or the gearing is not right -- both comments are subjective, and would usually be better given by someone who has actually driven an S day in and day out.

I went 130 today in the desert -- and i will tell you i shifted into 6th @ 120, and it just kept pulling. im glad it was there.
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:22 PM   #12
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This might be wrong, but I think last time someone called him out for having marginal logic(at best) he said that he used to own an S. He then said he sold it because he hated it and he just "loved" the 2.7L boxster and it's oh so great 5 speed. Sure. lol

If anything, it sounds like the 2.7L needs the 6 speeds more to make up for the lack of power and torque. Like Lux said, a car with limited power and torque and a peaky engine needs closely spaced gear ratios and shorter gearing to extract the most out of the engine's output. This is sound logic to me.
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Old 08-02-2004, 06:07 AM   #13
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Before I bought my '01 base Boxster, I drove a 6-speed Acura RSX and before that a 5-speed Acura Integra GS-R. I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but quite honestly the transmissions in those cars blow away my Boxster's 5-speed. The throws in the GS-R's 5-speed are shorter, slicker, and easier (and quicker too) than the Boxster's 5-speed, and the GS-R is geared quite short. By contrast the boxster's throws are longer and a bit ropy, and the clutch has way more travel. Often I found myself wishing for a 6th gear in the Integra - 75 MPH would spin 5th gear at about 3600 RPM. We got one in the RSX, and that was probably the nicest combination of transmission and gearing of any car I've ever driven.

My Boxster pulls 73mph at redline in 2nd gear. That's absurd. The lower gears should be much shorter, and that would allow for much better acceleration. I'd gladly trade 500 RPMs higer cruising speed on the highway for better low end acceleration where I need it for street driving.

As to the question of 6 versus 5 speeds? A 6 speed will always let you lower the ratios of your lower gears and result in better acceleration, while the extra gear on top means you don't sacrifice comfort on the highway.

While we're at it, does anyone know if there's a shorty final drive on the market for Boxsters? I bet you could take 3/4s of a second off a base boxster with better gearing and still not sacrifice too much in cruising speed in 5th gear.
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Old 08-02-2004, 08:56 AM   #14
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Glad to see there's people that can use logic on this board.

F1, I agree with your comments. But you have to remember that the Acura trannies have to handle less torque and are direct-linkage (vs cable for the Boxster due to location). Same with the S2K and Miata, both of which have awesome shifting feel. Get the B&M short shift. I will help immensely with getting rid of the the loose, ropey feel.

Also, I did a quick calculation with the Boxster's weight/torque/transmission ratio vs the 911's weight/torque/transmission ratio. For S owners, if you install the 2.7L shorter rear end ratio then you will be within 2% of the 996. If you install the 2.5L rear end ratio you will be right at the 996 numbers. Base 2.7L owners can install the 2.5L rear for a little more zip.

I'm not sure if the rear gear is swapable although I'm thinking they should be. Anybody know for sure? Paging Toolpants...

It would be interesting to see someone do it if the parts are interchangeable (especially S with Base).
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:01 AM   #15
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I don't know if there is a gear kit for the boxsters but I do know that you can shorten the throws with the B&M short shifter kit. You can pick one up new for 200 bucks on e-bay. Most people seem to like them. Plus, install is pretty easy I hear.
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lux
[B]Glad to see there's people that can use logic on this board.

F1, I agree with your comments. But you have to remember that the Acura trannies have to handle less torque and are direct-linkage (vs cable for the Boxster due to location). Same with the S2K and Miata, both of which have awesome shifting feel. Get the B&M short shift. I will help immensely with getting rid of the the loose, ropey feel.
Actually, the RSX Type-S 6-speed is a cable shifter, and had even tighter throws than the GS-Rs transmission. And 192 lb. ft. in the '01 Boxster in my case vs. 162 lb. ft in the S2000 isn't really that big a difference design-wise, plus the S2000 tranny has 240 hp going through it as opposed to my 217. It's a wash.

Besides we're not really disagreeing. All I really meant to do was debunk the "perfect 5-speed" argument.
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lux
Another S in S has some issues.

He keeps bringing up subjective comments like "not shifting smoothly" and somehow equating it to "not being the correct ratio for the S". But then again notice these guys will also claim that the clutch is so heavy in the S. LOL!

I've posted countless facts refuting his nonsense on PPBB. But he will continue bashing the S. If it's not the tranny then it's the S not being any quicker than the Base model.

Here's the FACTS once AGAIN:

Boxster S Ratio:
13.1408
7.568
5.2288
4.1968
3.5088
2.8896

2.7L Base Ratio:
12.46
7.5472
5.0908
3.8804
2.9904

1st gear: S is shorter. Shorter is better for a car with low torque. Gee, if anything the base is geared too high.
Advantage: S

2nd gear: S and Base are same. Again, with the Base having significantly less torque, the gearing is better in the S.
Advantage: S

3rd gear: S is slightly shorter. Again, with the Base having lower torque it should be the one with the shorter gear.
Advantage: S (see a theme here?)

4th gear: OMG. A HUGE difference. The S' 4th gear is significantly shorter than the Base model's 4th gear. Matter of fact, the S' 5th gear is almost equivalent to the Base's 4th. With the Base already lacking in torque, I can't even begin to imagine how wrong this is.
Advantage: S (by a large margin)

5th gear: The base model has already gone into "overdrive" gearing due to its too tall 4th gear whereas the S is at 1:1 ratio.
Advantage: S

6th gear: This one's easy...Advantage S!

So using Another S in S' logic, the 6 speed is designed for the 911 which has more hp/torque. So basically he's saying that shorter gears is the way to go. Yet the Base models gears are taller than the S with the Base having less torque. That's solid ground you're standing on.

Way to OWN yourself. Care to refute these numbers? I didn't think so.

ps. You have to be the thread starter to actually claim someone hijacking your thread.
Ah I was wondering when you would show up Lux. I see you have found me on another forum to defend your Precious. Yes, I have my issues. But you know what, you have stooped to my level and shown to have your own issues as well. It's funny how you stay quiet for days, weeks, and when someone posts anything negative about the 'S' you pop up with your defense. Yes, you are the "anti-Another S in S" A mirror reflection of myself.


Any way, your "facts" and your own subjective impressions of the gears don't prove anything except you lack common sense when it comes to automotive engineering. Don't you remember John Brown's common sense:

"I've read that criticism ('S' tranny) in other reviews of the S over
the years since its introduction. The criticism is based on the fact that the S 6-speed gearing is the same as the Carrera 6-speed's gearing. Considering the S' considerably less power & torque than the Carrera's, it's easy to understand why either the S' engine is too little for its transmission or its transmission is too much for its engine. Many here & elsewhere have theorized Porsche did this intentionally, both to save $$ and to keep the S way below Carrera performance territory IAW their marketing strategy.

All sounds reasonable to me. But the actual gear ratios of the S can pretty easily be compared to the Carrera specs & then we'll all know for sure. Data's probably even available on the net."
-John Brown of Northern Virginia

Go ask any Porsche mechanic what he thinks of bolting on the 996 tranny in the 'S'. And let's not forgot the great CFG's experience with the 2.7L base and his S that he had to sell in 2 years b/c he couldn't live with the gearing:

"Drove 6000 miles in 2 years [Boxster 'S'] and the gearing was horrible in my opinion....I was unhappy with the Boxster 'S'...
The Boxster 'S' should have gotten the 5 speed gearbox of the 2.7..."
-Chris from Germany (CFG)
Admin for 996 board (http://www.funcarsonline.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php)

So let's see, who to trust and believe:

1) Porsche experts like John Brown, CFG (and many others)...

or

2) Lux. S troll par-excellence.

I pick #1!


Here's the actual gear ratios data comparing the base and S's gear ratios:


Raw Normalized Gear Actual Gear Base S Base S Base S Difference
1 3.50 3.82 12.46 13.14 1 1 94.8%
2 2.12 2.20 7.55 7.57 2 2 99.7%
3 1.43 1.52 5.09 5.23 3 3 97.4%
4 1.09 1.22 3.88 4.20 4 4 92.5%
5 0.84 1.02 2.99 3.51 4 5 110.6%
6 0.84 2.89 5 5 85.2% 5 6 103.5% Final Drive Ratios: Base = 3.56 S = 3.44


You can see the difference between the base and S gear ratios. Now, the delta in HP between the base and S is 35HP. The delta between the S and 996 is over 50 HP. So while the difference in gear ratios between the base and S is small the deltas show that the base gearing fits the base better than the S gearing fitting the S. The base has better gear matching than the S. Oh yeah, nobody really uses the 6th gear in the S, so there's no advantage of the 6th gear.


P.S. there's one other Boxster board where I visit occasionally. Can you find me there? hehehe


P.P.S. I was my "subthread" that was hijacked. Go back and read my first response (subthread).
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:04 PM   #18
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I drive an S. I use 6th all the time. The S will smoke ANY 2.7 (without either being modded). And I would garner to say that 99.9% of all non-S boxster owners would have taken an S -- all things being equal (i.e. price, mileage, condition, etc).

no matter what you believe, the S can outrun and out perform the 2.7. So what's there to like more about the 2.7?
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:19 PM   #19
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Another S in S,

Yes, we meet again.

Even though you do these long-winded post with extravagant quotes there are never any facts. Common sense means nothing when it is applied with false assumptions. What I try to show you is simple physics. You do know what physics is, right?

What you don't seem to want to understand is that the difference between the Base and S isn't the 6th gear. Re-read that last sentence ten more times. Now go look at your own ratios that you posted.

S' 6th gear = Base's 5th gear.
S' 5th gear = Base's 4th gear.

The problem with the Base is the big gap between 3rd gear and 4th gear. Especially with the Base lacking the S' torque.

You see, the paragraph above is NOT subjective. The physics prove it out. There IS NO DEBATE.

There are no facts in your idols John Brown and CFG's comments that support the Base is better geared than the S.

Riddle me this:
Tell me why a Base car with significantly less torque is better off having taller gears than a car with more torque and shorter gears? Is it so that you can go slower? Bwahaha.
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Old 08-03-2004, 06:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lux
Another S in S,

Yes, we meet again.

Even though you do these long-winded post with extravagant quotes there are never any facts. Common sense means nothing when it is applied with false assumptions. What I try to show you is simple physics. You do know what physics is, right?

What you don't seem to want to understand is that the difference between the Base and S isn't the 6th gear. Re-read that last sentence ten more times. Now go look at your own ratios that you posted.

S' 6th gear = Base's 5th gear.
S' 5th gear = Base's 4th gear.

The problem with the Base is the big gap between 3rd gear and 4th gear. Especially with the Base lacking the S' torque.

You see, the paragraph above is NOT subjective. The physics prove it out. There IS NO DEBATE.

There are no facts in your idols John Brown and CFG's comments that support the Base is better geared than the S.

Riddle me this:
Tell me why a Base car with significantly less torque is better off having taller gears than a car with more torque and shorter gears? Is it so that you can go slower? Bwahaha.
Go back and look at my numbers and look at the percentage differences between the S and base gearing and compare the deltas in difference in HP between the base, S, and 996. . The problem with your data is you're not looking at the percentage difference, only raw numbers. Then read what John Brown said. That's why the base is better off than the S. I wish I had CFG's discussion on the matter because he had more data. I only quoted his summary, but he did have some interesting data. I trust him and his data. It makes sense. None of your arguments have many any sense whatsoever and I want you stop repeating your arguments and not post any more irrational arguments unless it's something I haven't heard.

I answered your question, now answer me this, why did JLR say this:

"I've just concluded -- agreeing with many -- that the 6 speed transmission in the S is just not that smooth. "
-JLR

I'm sure you read it last week on ppbb.com. I have quotes from at least 20 S owners and previous S owners all bemoaning the 6 speed. Those are just the ones I bothered to copy. I've come across many more negative statements about the S 996 tranny from the various boards I visit. Why have so many people complained about the 6 speed? You can start by asking Meredith on ppbb.com why she prefers the 5 speed over the 6 speed.

hehehe

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