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C4 6speed trans Quality?


Chris N

Hello everyone! I've narrowed my car search quite a bit and am almost ready to commit. I've been looking at automatic transmissions but have a couple of good options with 6 speeds. I've felt good about the autos but don't know much about the 6 spds. Can anyone give me some insight regarding quality, reliablity, etc... You folks are the experts and have actual experience, unlike my buddies.
Thanks, Chris :)
The C4 ZF 6 spd trans is one of the strongest built. It was designed with the ZR-1 in mind, and future HP/TQ potential of the Chevrolet small block engine. In fact the entire C4 drivetrain was designed with the aforementioned in mind. I won't go so far as to call it indestructible, cause I'm sure somebody has totally ruined one or more, but you probably can't hurt it during everyday driving or occasional traffic light racing passion, not that anybody here would engage in such flights of fancy.

So you're saying that the 6 speed was built to take a beating? That they had in mind that owners would increase the HP/Torque so they prepared the tranny for such an inevitable act?

I've never driven a 6 speed 'Vette so I have a question myself:

How heavy is the clutch? I've driven a truck clutch and it was a pain in the @ss! especially with me being such a small guy 5'6" 130 lbs.
The clutch in my 96 is firm but not to firm. Ive been in pretty heavy traffic at the beach and no shaking leg syndrome like in my big block 70 chevelle.
Well, I'm not sure they (the Corvette team) had thrashing and beating in mind, but they must have had the HP and TQ growth in mind.
One look under the C4 at the drivetrain will convince you they had more than 235 HP as their eventual goal.
The clutch effort is greatly reduced by use of a hydraulic master and slave cylinder to operate the clutch. My 93 was very smooth and positive. When I traded it in on my 2002 Z06, I had 146,550 miles on the car, original clutch. Replaced the brake pads at 110,000 mi. and on my 4th set of GoodYear GSCs, counting the originals. But I'm probably not the norm.
The ZF is pretty strong. It has its moments though. The stock design calls for a HEAVY dual mass flywheel that cushions the movement of the engine and reduces drive train noise when the car is just sitting there with the clutch out.

The clutch is a unique design. It works revers of a usually clutch. Very smooth action and low pedal effort needed.

The shifting is very nice, and has a good solic click into each gear.

You will notice that six speed equiped cars do not rev as easy as autos or even an older four + three trans (84-88 sticks).

I think they are pretty nice.
Yes, your quite correct on the revs especially, thanks to the heavy flywheel.
Thanks everyone.
It sounds like they are pretty good units.
I was just fishing for complaints or good words.

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