9T50 9 speed automatic impressions.
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Thread: 9T50 9 speed automatic impressions.

  1. #1
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    9T50 9 speed automatic impressions.

    I wanted to post some impressions of the 9 speed auto now that I have a few miles under my belt on it.

    I feel like the shift logic could use some improving in that it tends to hold a lower gear longer than I think it should.

    For example it will not shift to 7th gear below 30 mph. Once you hit 30 and it goes into 7th you can slow down below 30 a bit and hold 7th. It just feels right in 7th ~30 mph and wrong in 6th at those speeds.

    Another example is 8th gear. It won't shift to 8th until you hit 40 mph. Again, once you get it into 8th you can slow down a bit to about 37th and hold it as long as you're not too heavy on the accelerator or climbing a steep grade.

    I wish it would go into 7th sooner as well as 8th. The rpms are simply too high at 25-29 mph and 35-39mph which is where we spend a lot of time cruising when in the city.

    Another annoyance is the inability to manually select a gear. You put it in L and pick say 7th and it don't mean much other than it won't shift above 7th.

    One more example is highway speeds. It will not shift to 9th until you reach 60 mph. Again, 55-59 mph keeps the rpms higher than the need to be in 8th and it cuts into your economy pretty good if you watch this and pay attention.


    When the day comes that I can either use HPTuners to play with the parameters on the 9 speed OR a tuner sells a reflash that I can customize I will be quick to do it but until then I've learned to drive around the annoyances. With the ability to customize it a bit I would change the low load parameters to shift into the next gear a few mph sooner. It would change the whole driving experience to me.

    One last thing I do not like and I don't know if this is 9 speed exclusive or not but the auto stop is WAY too fast to kill the engine. One gleaming example is when I park at home I back into my driveway. From the time I come to a stop and move the lever to reverse the car has already partially shut the engine off and quickly restarts it as I move the shift lever. Very annoying and I would either program a 1.5 second delay before auto stop or program it to consider steering wheel angle as a factor to auto stop. If the wheel is cranked to one side or the other perhaps delay the auto stop for longer than 0.00001 second?

    Anyhow that's my impressions on the unit.
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  3. #2
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    Not surprising; GM never nailed the shift points with the 6T transmissions either. The 6T35 in my 1.4 likes to hold onto 2-3 wayyyy to long on uphill stretches (well over 3000 rpm when it could easily shift to the next gear and have power available).

    The 9T also seems a little indecisive from a rolling stop about what to do (left turn, parking lots, etc).

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  4. #3
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    Most of those do not sound like an issue to me.

    Based on all the vehicle reviews I've read using the GM 9-speed, it is by far the best 9-speed on the market. Far better than the pile of **** ZF 9-speed everyone else uses (NOT just FCA - it is terrible in every application).
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  6. #4
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    really disappointed with the transmissions. GM had such great transmissions (even if mostly 4 speeds) in the past. Part of the draw to the cruze was the slushbox vs competitors CVT. These transmissions seem to have two modes "hypermile time" and "balls to the wall" and its just jarring at times. Still learning the foot pedal positions and im sure ill get better and managing when it decides to go crazy better. My old GM 4 speed all i ever wanted was another gear or two on the top end for highway cruising, it really nailed daily driving and when it needed to drop gears, i feel like that was all lost with these cars and its a confused and nervous transmission.

    Part of the issue has to be with using voodoo magic to get 2k RPM peak torque on a tiny engine, would have been much happier with 3.5K peak torque, a normal acting transmission, and living with the fact that i wont be zipping off the line with acceleration....which is something the cruze doesnt do anyway so whats the point of dealing with LSPI issues and a goofy tranny all for ridiculous low end torque on an engine that has no business peaking out so low in the rpm. I get it wouldn't be able to have such high MPG around town though, id be willing to trade that off potentially.

    Im hoping i just get use to it all, which im sure i will. It doesnt seem to matter if i dont care how slow im accelerating, seems to work just fine when im being the slow guy to 45-50.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crunch21 View Post
    really disappointed with the transmissions. GM had such great transmissions (even if mostly 4 speeds) in the past. Part of the draw to the cruze was the slushbox vs competitors CVT. These transmissions seem to have two modes "hypermile time" and "balls to the wall" and its just jarring at times. Still learning the foot pedal positions and im sure ill get better and managing when it decides to go crazy better. My old GM 4 speed all i ever wanted was another gear or two on the top end for highway cruising, it really nailed daily driving and when it needed to drop gears, i feel like that was all lost with these cars and its a confused and nervous transmission.

    Part of the issue has to be with using voodoo magic to get 2k RPM peak torque on a tiny engine, would have been much happier with 3.5K peak torque, a normal acting transmission, and living with the fact that i wont be zipping off the line with acceleration....which is something the cruze doesnt do anyway so whats the point of dealing with LSPI issues and a goofy tranny all for ridiculous low end torque on an engine that has no business peaking out so low in the rpm. I get it wouldn't be able to have such high MPG around town though, id be willing to trade that off potentially.

    Im hoping i just get use to it all, which im sure i will. It doesnt seem to matter if i dont care how slow im accelerating, seems to work just fine when im being the slow guy to 45-50.
    Isn't your vehicle a 1.4T? If so, your car has the 6-speed, not the much-better 9-speed.

    I do agree with the 4-speed comment. My tuned 4T45E in my Cobalt is **** near perfect at almost every point.
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP81 View Post
    Isn't your vehicle a 1.4T? If so, your car has the 6-speed, not the much-better 9-speed.

    I do agree with the 4-speed comment. My tuned 4T45E in my Cobalt is **** near perfect at almost every point.
    Yes i have the *sigh* lesser 1.4T gas engine lol. God i loved that buttery smooth 2.2L in the cobalt. Wasnt a speed demon but the thing would sing through the gears. Shame everything around the powertrain was falling apart. Dont even know how the AC stayed so cold in that thing for so long without a single service done on it.

    I couldnt even find a diesel in my area, and probably wouldnt have been cool paying the premium on it.

  9. #7
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    Yes, the 2.2L was a spunky little thing, even in stock form. With the M62 on it, it fixes the speed part.
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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP81 View Post
    Most of those do not sound like an issue to me.

    Based on all the vehicle reviews I've read using the GM 9-speed, it is by far the best 9-speed on the market. Far better than the pile of **** ZF 9-speed everyone else uses (NOT just FCA - it is terrible in every application).

    I have read all the same glowing reviews you did.

    Have you driven one? What i'm describing is how they behave in my car.

    It could easily upshift another gear and be right in the delicious torque band but instead it insists on hanging onto the lower gear until you hit hard programmed MPH parameter. Speed up a bit, pass that set speed then slow down a bit and you're right where I would have wanted it to shift in the first place.

    Nothing in the world will change my mind on the behavior of the auto stop / start in this car.

    It sucks ESPECIALLY when parking.

    He!! another example.

    Just pull into a parking spot forward. Stop. Car dies. Shove shifter in park. VROOM car starts back up only to have me reach over and turn it off.

    If I don't do the work around and shift from drive to park too quickly after stopping the car will do a big ol' CHUG CHUG SHUDDER as it partially stops then immediately restarts. Feels like garbage.

    My work around is turn the car off before shifting to park.

    Very poorly executed.
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    My MIL has a Terrain Denali, so I have enough experience (not driving, but I always pay attention to how a car is driving - I am an engineer) with the 9-speed to make a valid statement about it. Freeway driving to and from Savannah, GA, then driving around in Savannah, as well as driving around Atlanta, and up into more hilly/backwoods driving in Dahlonega. Basically every kind of driving there is. That transmission was **** near flawless.

    The Auto-stop is not unique to the 9-speed. And I have plenty of experience with that as well, in multiple GM vehicles, none of it negative, aside from it occasionally being a little quick to turn off if I'm at a stop sign or something like that, but I never had a problem with it. No shudder, nothing. Easily one of the best systems on the market. Which is why that is what all the reviews say, as well.
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  12. #10
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    I've been very happy with the transmission.. I still have a 2015 that had the 6 speed, in every way the 9 speed is better at shifting. The only minor annoyance is it will hold the lower gear for perceived engine braking longer than needed going down hill after a gentle acceleration. Not a big deal. The auto stop when parking.. then start shifting to park is a bit stupid, but that is not a feature unique to this transmission. I do like your idea of shutting off before shifting to park.

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