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How to get the most performance out of an automatic

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Have tried the search to no avail. Have an auto that I would like to extract more performance from. Aware of the electric fan, underdrive pulley, light weight, etc. More specifically I need to know if my auto requires diff parts than a manual such as headers, exhaust, etc. Am completely new to the 02 and searching for some good solid advice. Need the auto because of physical condition so no conversion possible.

Thanks in advance.

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My daily driver for the past 27 yrs. has been a ' 75 2002A, and, for the past 9 yrs. my wife's been driving her ' 76 2002A. They are always going to be slower off the line than a manual equiped ' 02, but there are some things you can do. I've got a tii exhaust manifold on both of our cars, have removed all smog related garbage, run a 32/36 Weber on my wife's car, and, in my ' 75, I have a new Eric Kerman built engine w/ 9.5:1 pistons and a 38/38 Weber that together help up the horsepower. And remember, the T-shaped handle between the seats can be moved like a manually shifted car, and I find this helps in many situations. If it'll help your confidence any know that at the 1995 BMW O'Fest in Colorado I had to run against tiis in the autocross because my wheels/tires were bigger than stock and I managed to win my class. Good luck, and enjoy your automatic.

Bob Napier

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Thanks Bob! That's exactly what I'm looking for. Any kind of auto specific detail (small or big it all adds up). I prolly will be asking some fairly elementry questions so all patients will be appreciated. Anyone else like to add their 2 cents?

Morgan

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Morgan. I don't really have any special bits on my '69 automatic, but here is my experience. I put a 32/36 Weber and used C. D.s prescription (search forum) for jetting, i made sure all linkages etc, were tight and aligned (and it was tuned well) and now my car kicks it, box stock. I have never, repeat, never had an automatic and i love this car. I can drink my coffee and when i floor it, it moves. it shifts around 5200! way fun. the only other thing I did, and plan to do more of, is update the suspension - i put HD bilsteins and want to put more robust sway bars on, etc... good luck.

regards, chuck

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Thanks for the input Chuck. It's good to know that there are some other auto dudes out there. Oh and by the way Bob, congrats on your result at the autocross. Glad this place is noob friendly, many places as you all know are not.

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welcome ,, where are you in the midwest??

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Guest Anonymous

I have a 74 that ive had for about 9 years, changed transmission once in my drivway, not too complicated and great help from members on this board ( thanks CD and Greg) . you can change the kick down shift point at the cable to the trans. A good tune up goes a long way for performance. The auto still seems to put a smile on my face every time :)

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welcome ,, where are you in the midwest??

Thanks. I'm 40 miles north of St Louis MO in the metropolis otherwise known as Jerseyvill, IL. Gotta luv it. Oh and by the way Blunt, I'm looking into your question with the water hose. I am in purchasing in a blow molding plant in STL and we use a hose protector from a company called Parker. It withstands heat and 24/7 rubbing in our machines. Might be overkill for your needs but an option nonetheless.

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I do like Napes said and use the shifter. or smash down on the pedal and engage the "kickdown" that will down shift for you. I love my automatic.

Not many of them built:

Total Built 2002 Standard= 289,254

Total Built Tii = 38,703

Total Built Automatic= 36,663 That makes them special.

I am thinking of doing the 38/38 upgrade. Here is a good description of that upgrade http://www.terrysaytherauto.com/2002Weber.htm

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if the transmission can handle such power increase, the mods made on manual cars are the same and can be applied as well on a auto 02.

there is no reason to not do so...

-fresh engine

-flowed head

-headers+free flow exhaust

-proper fueling (better carb or efi/turbo)

-proper timing

-proper driving skills

i suspect that all automatic 02 came with a 3.64:1 diff...worth a try with a 3.90 ? (to help get off of the line ??)

if the car is only used for daily commute/no highway, i would even go with a 4:10 (which i have wrahh wrahh wrahhhh), with some LSD inards...

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Thanks Pat. All input is totally appreciated. What I'm looking for specifically is if the parts are diff. If the same exact part can interchange between the auto and manual or is there an auto specific part. Trying to eliminate buying parts and finding out after the fact it will not fit. Will also be looking to drop the suspension a bit and go a little bigger on the wheel and tire. What size wheel/tire can I go to without rubbing and or modding the arch? Kinda want to get rid of the tall sidewall but don't want rubberbands. Any nice in between?

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We have owned an automatic along with others since our we bought our first one in 90. Wife doesn't like to shift. I have always shifted the automatics as mentioned before. I showed her that the other day on the on ramp. She was like "oh, I don't like to mess with that. I might mess something up!" She wants an M42/44 with a 4 spd auto in her car for it's next transformation.

You need to make it down here to NWA in the fall for the True Friends Drive.

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COVER ALL THE BASICS FIRST :

is the throttle linkage working easily, smoothly, and opening

the carb against fully against it's full-open stop with the pedal

just touching the auto trans kick-down switch ?

compression

valve clearence

fuel system calibrated for optimum air/fuel mixtures

ignition system timed correctly, with firing of the 4 cylinders

even without any fluctuations (seen in the timing light image)

drive line maledies - cause power loss and loousy handling -

which add to poor 'feeling' and low performance.

To have the basics 'correct' for optimum performance requires experience

, time, money, and NEW stock components.

Then adding any 'special' parts like exhaust systems,

alternative fuel system, hot ignition system might actually improve

something.

'Tuning' for std. trans is the same as for automatic.

...like all the people installing all this big/improved/upgraded

brake parts. No gain is actually gained. By simply replacing the ancient

rubber fluid hoses with just new BMW rubber hoses, and flushing the

system - most of the improvement in braking would be evident.

But people throw all this big used caliper master strange compound pad material braided hoses and think they have found a secret.

The secret was in the constricted fluid hoses and fluid flush - maybe 50 to 90 percent of the cause for the poor braking to start with. Basics !

fluid flow.

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Thanks for everyones input, this is the place to be no doubt. Anyone close to St Louis? Any input on the wheel & tire question from above? Plan is to tackle some rust this weekend, fun, fun.

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