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Gear Change Ratios On Petrol Version


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#1 sparticus5

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:29 AM

Is anyone disappointed with their gear change in the mk7 petrol?

The gear change action itself is fine, it's the ratio's I have a problem with - I can't believe Ford haven't spaced them out more or added a 6th gear.

I've only been driving my car a few weeks but I'm struggling to see what 2nd and 3rd gear is for in the Fiesta. Not only will my car quite happily run and pull away in 4th at 30mph, it'll quite happily sit in 5th at 30mph on the flat and is torquey enough to still accelerate without complaint (albeit rather slowly). Yet at 70mph the car is running around 3500 revs?

I'm no engineer but I'm always wanting to change down a gear at anything over 60mph.

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#2 james_60

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:46 AM

Hi sparticus.

I agree with you.

For motorway cruising 5th gear is too high (ie the gear ratio should be altered so that 5th does not require the engine to be turning so fast)

Jamie

#3 Jordan ZS

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:46 AM

at 6k revs in second i hit 60mph so its silly how in 5th doing 70 its 3.5k.. think of the better economy figures we'd be getting if it was 2.5 or even 2k at 70mph.

#4 fryboi

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:52 AM

if you drive at 50mph in 5th gear you will get worse MPG than if you were going 60mph. try it. I think ford know what their doing by now guys.

#5 coysht

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:49 PM

Adding a 6th gear would mean fitting a more expensive 6-speed box from another model...trying to think which cars Ford make actually have 6-speeds.....although the existing ones they have may not even fit on a Fiesta - that would mean designing a whole new gearbox. Can understand why Ford did neither of those.

Spreading the ratios out more would help keep the revs low in 5th, but could well make the gap between some of the lower gears too big, especially when accelerating hard - the last thing you want is to change up at say 5,500rpm and find that you're only doing 2k in the next gear.
For good acceleration you want the revs to stay above 3,500 or so in every gear - I don't think there is much room left in the ratios to raise 5th and still achieve that.

Changing the ratio of 5th on its own would probably just mean the gap between it and 4th would become a bit on the large size.


Can't say I've ever found a small car with a small or smallish engine which doesn't sit at 3 or 4k on the motorway. To get away from that without messing up other areas of performance you really need a bigger engine, a 6th gear or more likely .......a diesel!

#6 sparticus5

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:35 PM

if you drive at 50mph in 5th gear you will get worse MPG than if you were going 60mph. try it. I think ford know what their doing by now guys.


Not quite sure how you fathom that one out work but that's simply not true (unless you were going up a steep hill that is).

You say Ford know what they are doing by now - have you read their press release on this subject? Ford say they've fitted the 5spd because they expect the petrol Fiesta's to be used for town driving hence the bias towards higher gearing.

Well given the number of petrol Fiesta's I saw on the motorway today, I seriously doubt that's true. I'm sure the cost factor if not the lack of space is a more probable reason.

I've covered almost 500 miles today and regardless of what Ford say, a 6spd box would defo have been better for economy sitting at 70mph.

Speaking of Ford knowing what they're doing - I've only had the car for a few weeks but noticed something else that's weird. The car comes with a heated windscreen - brilliant. Yet the washer jets are exposed on top of the bonnet and neither do they look as if they're heated. Kinda defeats the purpose of a heated windscreen then if after a few minutes driving it's covered in salt and you can't do anything about it. Did anyone find their screen jets froze last winter?

#7 Early-1800

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 06:30 AM

After driving mainly Diesel cars for the last @25 years (1st one was a 5 year old 1981 VW Jetta LD....showing my age now) when I drive or I'm a passanger in petrol car on the motorway it sounds and feels like its screaming it nuts off in 2nd gear.

Modern Diesels are usually geared at @25-30mph per 1,000 rpm, some even 30+mph. This means that on the motorway the engine is spining at @2,000-2,500rpm.

Using the example above of 70mph at 3,500 rpm the gearing of that petrol is @20mph per 1,000rpm.

If anything its the Diesel that could do with the extra 6th gear as the rev range isn't as great as a petrol so the ratios need spreading out a bit more. Think this is why VW style 'DSG' dual clutch auto gearboxes with 7+ ratios are going to become the norm. More acceleration/economy but without the need for the driver to wear out his legs and arms shifting 7+ gears all the time.

#8 fryboi

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:08 AM

Not quite sure how you fathom that one out work but that's simply not true (unless you were going up a steep hill that is).

You say Ford know what they are doing by now - have you read their press release on this subject? Ford say they've fitted the 5spd because they expect the petrol Fiesta's to be used for town driving hence the bias towards higher gearing.

Well given the number of petrol Fiesta's I saw on the motorway today, I seriously doubt that's true. I'm sure the cost factor if not the lack of space is a more probable reason.

I've covered almost 500 miles today and regardless of what Ford say, a 6spd box would defo have been better for economy sitting at 70mph.

Speaking of Ford knowing what they're doing - I've only had the car for a few weeks but noticed something else that's weird. The car comes with a heated windscreen - brilliant. Yet the washer jets are exposed on top of the bonnet and neither do they look as if they're heated. Kinda defeats the purpose of a heated windscreen then if after a few minutes driving it's covered in salt and you can't do anything about it. Did anyone find their screen jets froze last winter?


50 mph in 5th is out of the power band for the engine so it has to work harder than if it was at 60 mph. do a practical test and you will see its true :)

#9 andy64

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 12:56 PM

Yes - mine definitely needs a 6th gear (I believe that the American manual Fiestas all have a six speed 'box...). 5th is ridiculously under-geared; as you say, can easily pootle around town all day at 30mph... in 5th! I do a fair bit of motorway driving & the fuel economy at 70mph is disappointing - around 44mpg - no better than my old 1.6 Astra was - but far better at 60mph, I'm convinced that a higher top gear ratio would really improve matters here.

Incidentally, by driving at 50mph on derestricted "A" roads & 60mph on the motorway I can get an (actual) 53mpg out of mine on a 250 mile trip on a mixture of motorways & "A" roads, which I think's quite good but sure this would be even better with another gear.

Do wish that the fuel computer was more accurate though - always indicates an average mpg of between 4 & 7 mpg more than the car's actually managed to do!

Suspect that Ford fit the same gearbox to all petrol Fiestas - hence 5th is undergeared to help the less powerful variants cope with motorways; cheaper than producing a different gearbox for the 1.6...?

#10 poshpawsfiesta

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 03:23 PM

[quote name='sparticus5' date='17 September 2010 - 09:35 PM' timestamp='1284758742' post='97653']
Not quite sure how you fathom that one out work but that's simply not true (unless you were going up a steep hill that is).

. i can belive this is true because , when i was driving dads 2.0 tdci focus , at 70 mph it was doing some thing like 1950 revs in 6th gear but at 80 mph it was doing something like 2300 rpm , and we found over hundreds of moterway miles it did around 8 mpg more at 80 mph rather than 70 mph , as we guessed at 70 mph the engine was layboring < think thats how u spell it lol :)

#11 gogopogo

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

50 mph in 5th is out of the power band for the engine so it has to work harder than if it was at 60 mph. do a practical test and you will see its true Posted Image

i agree. i get slightly better mpg at 70 mph than at 50 mph - even with higher revs... now let's try 100 mph lol.

#12 Mathrin

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:10 PM

I must admit, I've found lower gearing far too close together. The speed that you need to shift 1st to 2nd to 3rd is too fast for me to do without over revving. I admit I'm trying to make a swift departure from the mark, but I'm not talking boy racer wheelspin here.

I agree with the need for a 6th gear too, 3-3.5k in 5th doing 70 doesn't sound fantastic when driving :/

#13 b1g_dav3

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 11:32 PM

I feel even the diesel could do with a 6th, so it's not just petrol's :P

#14 scotthunter

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 04:01 PM

Yet at 70mph the car is running around 3500 revs?


Are you sure? Mine runs at 3,000 rpm at 70mph and I have the same car as you!

#15 Nay ZS

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

I quite like how close the ratios are in the first few gears. It makes the car feel very responsive when you give it some down a motorway sliproad for example.

In my Zetec S petrol I find 5th great in town at 30mph is great as it doesnt labour the engine on flattish roads. On the motorway I do think a 6th gear would have been useful as engine noise and tyre noise together mean I end up turning the stereo up loud.

I did a 400 mile run to Somerset and back a few weeks back and got 49 mpg on the trip computer. ( I did 225 miles on half a tank :o) Best of all this was acheived doing normal motorway speeds. I've always been amazed at how efficient the 1.6 petrol is on really long journeys. I bet the new ST with it's 6 gears will do over 50 mpg on the same journey if its kept off high boost.

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