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Old 12-07-2004, 14:24   #1 (permalink)
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Which auto now?

With ION going into volantary administration, Ford Australia must be having heart pulpitations.

ION supply the automatic transmissions & rear ends for the BA & Territory, I wonder if Ford will weigh into this debacle with money or political clout?

If ION close the doors, what will Ford do for components?


http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...?oneclick=true

Looks like that six speed ZF auto trans just got fast tracked for installation.
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Old 12-07-2004, 14:34   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

Since ION are a major parts supplier for Ford currently and are also doing a LARGE amount of work for future Holden (I presume VE Commode) product, I'd think if it gets to that stage you may see some sort of rescue plan or buy out of the relevant parts of the company.
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Old 12-07-2004, 14:42   #3 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Re: Which auto now?

Yeah there's too much at stake here for Ford, Holden and the state government to sit on their hands. As for future Ford 5-6speed slush-boxes I believe ION were in the thick of development for those as well.

In any case not good news for alot of people and also bad for export as ION make Harley wheels and 20inch alloys for F-trucks ( although in their NZ plant, I think ).
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:09   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

ION Automotive is a group, the gearbox section formerly BTR at Albury is only a small part remember, no reason they will not continue to operate for a long time to come.

Not all parts of an organisation make money or stay profitable, look at Mayne health they almost went belly up for a while.
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

If they shut down, maybe they'll finally give us Ford AOD-E's like Mustang has. Way better transmission (from an aftermarket/modification point of view).
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:34   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

I would still prefere to see the ZF 6 speed in a falc. It has a higher torque capacity, with faster, yet smoother shifts.

Not to mention it isn't much bigger than the current box (little longer i think someone said in another thread, and a little wider (very little). Apparently the room is there). If someone has the real specs it would be handy rather than having to go by second hand information.

Not only would fuel economy improve but so would general drivability. Apparently this box is particularly well setup, having a slightly longish 1st gear, allowing for the mega short shifts from 1st to 5th (6th just cruises, if setup right, it would be only slightly longer than the current 4th gear, which would be perfect). As the shifts are about twice as fast as the current box, you would shave easily 1-2 tenths off the current auto's quarter time.

[edit] This isn't my information, but apparently this box is very efficient as well, thus you would have more power at the rear wheels with less lost through the transmission. Not 100% on this though, if someone has this sort of info, would be great to clear this up.
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:42   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dellboy999
ION Automotive is a group, the gearbox section formerly BTR at Albury is only a small part remember, no reason they will not continue to operate for a long time to come.

Not all parts of an organisation make money or stay profitable, look at Mayne health they almost went belly up for a while.
But where will Research & Development dollars come from?

Without R&D they are on borrowed time.

Everyone wants a six speed auto.
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:49   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dellboy999
ION Automotive is a group, the gearbox section formerly BTR at Albury is only a small part remember, no reason they will not continue to operate for a long time to come.

Not all parts of an organisation make money or stay profitable, look at Mayne health they almost went belly up for a while.
It's all a case of how any split up is managed. The Albury plant manufactures the transmissions but the R&D is done in a facility here in Melbourne so smooth sailing is not a given. It seems at least part of ION's problems is large R&D investments on projects that will not see returns for years in some cases.

Typically Ford and Holden farm these projects out to companies that have to make massive investments on prototypes etc. in the hope of getting ongoing contracts and even then there is no guarantees of that company winning the long term manufacturing.

There are plenty of companies in the same boat yet it seems to be the multinationals that survive in this feast or famine Aus car industry.
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:49   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

BTR did R&D and produce gearboxes without trouble before they got bought out, so why can't they do it again ?
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Old 12-07-2004, 15:53   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Which auto now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FORDV8
I would still prefere to see the ZF 6 speed in a falc. It has a higher torque capacity, with faster, yet smoother shifts.

Not to mention it isn't much bigger than the current box (little longer i think someone said in another thread, and a little wider (very little). Apparently the room is there). If someone has the real specs it would be handy rather than having to go by second hand information.

Not only would fuel economy improve but so would general drivability. Apparently this box is particularly well setup, having a slightly longish 1st gear, allowing for the mega short shifts from 1st to 5th (6th just cruises, if setup right, it would be only slightly longer than the current 4th gear, which would be perfect). As the shifts are about twice as fast as the current box, you would shave easily 1-2 tenths off the current auto's quarter time.

[edit] This isn't my information, but apparently this box is very efficient as well, thus you would have more power at the rear wheels with less lost through the transmission. Not 100% on this though, if someone has this sort of info, would be great to clear this up.
Here is some info I posted a while back, there is a link to a pitcure of the ZF. I have a pitcure of the ION box, but I don't see the point of posting it.

ZF 6 Speed ? 6HP24 (Ford 6R)
ZF use the last two digits as a code for the torque rating of the unit, I think 26 is the highest.
A "mechatronic" internal module marries electronic controls to mechanical actuators, providing the driver with both fully-automatic and button-shift modes.
Putting six forward ratios in was accomplished by mating a traditional Ravigneau planetary gear set to a newly developed Lepelletier gear set.

1st ? 4.17
2nd ? 2.34
3rd ? 1.52
4th ? 1.14
5th ? 0.87
6th ? 0.69
Reverse ? 3.40

Here is a picture; http://www.audiworld.com/news/00/zf/content.shtml


ION 6 Speed ? 575RS

1st ? 3.53
2nd ? 2.14
3rd ? 1.48
4th ? 1.16
5th ? 0.87
6th ? 0.68
Reverse ? 3.09

The ION six speed unit uses the middle to rear components of the existing four speed auto, but one less clutch pack.
The pump design has been upgraded for larger volume & more flow and uses variable pressure set up for fuel economy.
Torque convertor, bellhousing, pan & extension housing are carried over.
Clutch pistons are re-designed for increased RPM usage.
Dexron III oil will be used, to allow easy availability worldwide & cut servicing costs.
Electronic control to prevent abuse failure (neutral to reverse, etc.)
The lock-up clutch operates from second gear all the way up to sixth gear.
Limp ?home mode activates fourth gear operation (failsafe mode).
Neutral idle in drive (at stop lights the trans goes into neutral & back into gear when accelerator is depressed).

Well those are the main points of the transmissions. I prefer the ratios of the ZF box, but the cost of repairs will be very high, knowing ZF.
Having no 1:1 will mean accelerated wear of the gear train, but seeing that most transmissions are operating in overdrive 50% of the time probably does not matter.



6 speed auto for Ford
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