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Automatic drivers rejoice! Ford has been hard at work at improving their automatic transmissions. Say buh-bye to the 4-gear ATX's of past and hello-hello to the 6-gear dual-clutch ATX's of the future!

Ford blends math, creative thinking, computing power to bring superior shift quality to Focus

2012 Ford Focus, featuring a 2.0-liter direct-injection gasoline engine and Powershift dry-clutch six-speed automatic transmission, incorporates Ford's patented Torque Hole Filling (THF) technology for smoother, more seamless shift quality

THF uses a combination of mathematical modeling and computer-aided engineering tools, along with other enabling transmission technologies to deliver smoother upshifts

Originally penned in 1986, the Ford-developed THF invention disclosure came to fruition as computing power and transmission technologies caught up with the pioneering idea

In internal evaluations, THF improved shift quality ratings by up to 2 points (out of 10) in comparison to baseline shifts with conventional controls

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 26, 2010 – The 2012 Ford Focus will offer up exceptional shift quality to drivers, powered in part by an inventive Ford transmission technology that has been waiting nearly 25 years for computing power to catch up to make it a reality.

Focus features the Ford Powershift dry-clutch six-speed automatic transmission, one of the first transmissions to benefit from Torque Hole Filling (THF), a Ford-developed and patented concept and methodology conceived a quarter-century ago. THF uses a combination of mathematical algorithms, computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools and transmission control technologies to fill what is commonly known as the torque hole – the slight hesitation drivers may feel during an upshift when there is a momentary drop in transmission torque output followed by a rise in torque.

The torque hole has been inherent to automatic transmissions since the 1940s, said Ford Research Technical Expert Chris Teslak. "Even though much work in controls and calibration has been done over the years, it has remained a major challenge," he added.

To address this challenge, Dr. Davor Hrovat, a Ford Technical Fellow in Controls Research, authored an invention disclosure in the mid '80s on how to coordinate engine and transmission controls to help eliminate the torque hole. Further analytical work and simulation revealed this pioneering concept was promising, but the technology needed to implement it wasn't fully mature yet.

"Although the team has known what was needed to create smoother shifts, the actual implementation had to wait for drive-by-wire technologies, electronic throttle control and processing power to catch up to transform this inventive idea into a reality," said Teslak, who credits THF project technical leaders Yuji Fujii and Eric Tseng, along with other core technical experts/engineers Jahan Asgari, Tom Brown, Chad Griffin, Don Levens and Brad Riedle for helping to bring THF to fruition under Hrovat's guidance.

Enabling technologies such as electronic throttle control and improved actuators and sensors, coupled with the THF methodology, gave the team of Ford engineers the tools needed to precisely sync transmission and engine to transfer and smooth out the torque during a portion of an upshift lasting a fraction of a second. Adding that little extra torque during the shift helps fill the hole, creating a smoother drive experience for the customer.

In internal engineering evaluations using a PowerShift prototype, THF improved shift quality ratings by up to 2 points on a scale of 1 to10 in comparison to baseline shifts with conventional controls.

"THF uses dynamic modeling and proprietary algorithms to command the additional engine torque that's essential for maintaining driver-desired (communicated via the gas pedal) wheel torque in a precise, coordinated way with the clutch control," said Riedle, a Ford technical expert in transmission electronics.

To pre-stage this fraction-of-a-second "conversation" between engine and transmission, a certain degree of finesse, coordination and upfront knowledge of what customers perceive as a quality shift was needed. The technology also required the Ford engineering teams from several disciplines to throw away preconceived notions about conventional engine and shift controls.

In total, the team logged approximately three years or 6,000 man hours of computer-aided mathematical modeling, simulation and analysis of engine speeds, torque and clutch capacity in only 24 months real time to prove the THF concept was production-ready.

"This methodology is the result of persistence, teamwork, creative thinking and a desire to move beyond existing shift dynamics," said Teslak, "THF enables a consistently smooth shift feel with minimum calibration effort and no incremental hardware cost.

"More importantly, it's a portable technology that can be applied across multiple powertrain/transmission powerpacks, giving us the ability to quickly deliver best-in-class shift quality across platforms."

Ford has two U.S. patents covering broad THF applications and several other related patents are pending. Further research on how to most effectively incorporate THF into more conventional planetary gear-based transmissions is ongoing.
Source
 

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Bunneh Fanatic
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Don't mean to be rude but this has been well known for a while now. It's been Ford's original goal to completely phase out all 4-speed automatics in favor of the PowerShift dual-clutch system by 2012. It all started with the 2011 Fiesta... :)
 

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GO Green
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Posted via FF Mobile Old news, but good way to remind people lol. The powershift 6spd dct is already in the Fiesta, and will be offered in the 2012 ford focus. As of now the dry system can only handle so much power, but it'll be beefed up throughout the years to handle more power. Can't wait to see if in more applications. Btw in the focus with sport package and titanium trims there is select shift, which allows you to manually shift with the push of a button.
 

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Captain TMI
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Btw in the focus with sport package and titanium trims there is select shift, which allows you to manually shift with the push of a button.
Really?? That's almost a paddle shifter.....
 

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Dont worry man not everyone knew about this. It was a good read. It doesn't sound like it is a true Dual Clutch transmition though. I don't know i need to do somemore reading about it.
 

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GO Green
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Really?? That's almost a paddle shifter.....
LOL almost...I suspect that they will come in a year or so. It better.....

Dont worry man not everyone knew about this. It was a good read. It doesn't sound like it is a true Dual Clutch transmition though. I don't know i need to do somemore reading about it.
Why? Because it is one. One clutch does 1 3 5 R and one does 2 4 6.
 

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Dont worry man not everyone knew about this. It was a good read. It doesn't sound like it is a true Dual Clutch transmition though. I don't know i need to do somemore reading about it.
The new Dual-clutch automatic has two clutches, one for odd gears and one for even. It really is a dual clutch system, and gets better fuel economy and shifts faster than a human could due to the implementation.

With SelectShift, you also have more control over what gear the car is in, so it would be hard to say that the manual is a BETTER choice. It has gone from being a clear case of which is better to being a matter of personal preference. Acceleration is at least as good as what the manual has, you get better fuel economy, you can switch gears faster with the SelectShift automatic, etc.
 

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Captain TMI
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It is true dual clutch transmission. What is different about the Ford as compared to all the other DCTs I've read about, is that the new Ford is a dry clutch system. All the others are wet clutch which is similar to torque converters using centrifugal force of fluid to engage clutches. The Ford design is more compact as well, removing the extra unwanted weight of wet clutch DCTs or torque converter ATs. When this transmission design is beefed up for higher power engines, we'll see it replacing all the traditional ATs in vehicles like the Mustang and F series.
 

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It doesn't sound like it is a true Dual Clutch transmition though.
You did not really write this did you??

Did you know that the dry-clutch PowerShift transmission can weigh nearly 30 pounds less than, for example, the four-speed automatic transmission featured on today’s North American Ford Focus.

PowerShift six-speed automatic
Gear ratios (2012 Ford Focus)
1st 3.917
2nd 2.429
3rd 1.436
4th 1.021
5th 0.867
6th 0.702
Reverse 3.507
Final drive 3.850 for gears 1, 2, 5 and 6; 4.278 for gears 3, 4 and R

Lots of details here http://www.at.ford.com/news/cn/Pages/FordtoIntroduceFuel-EfficientDual-ClutchPowershiftTransmissioninNorthAmericanin2010.aspx

and here
http://www.dctfacts.com/emerging-technology/ford-fiesta-dct.aspx
 

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Bunneh Fanatic
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Just to clarify Ford didn't invent the dry dual clutch system. They've been around for a while now. They just haven't been offered here in America. It's one of my biggest gripes with VW, since they never offered the Polo here (which comes with a 7-speed dry dual clutch option). Ford earns extra points for actually bringing something like that to the American market.
 

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I think what through me off was the Torque hole filling thing. I had never heard this in anything else i have read about Dual Clutch transmisions. I have also never read about these having buttons. it has always been the paddle shifters. The other thing is that these clutches are being used it very high end cars. That also through me off. Car like ferrari and lambo and audi are useing the dual clutch transmision. They use the wet ones but it is the same thing. I didn't think they would put the same thing in a 20,000$ economy car. Sorry if you all thought i was an idiot it just didn't sit right when i read about it.
 

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GO Green
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Posted via FF Mobile What's great about the dry clutch efts is that they don't have to be serviced. The wet ones have to be like every 30k or so.
 

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Bunneh Fanatic
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Posted via FF Mobile What's great about the dry clutch efts is that they don't have to be serviced. The wet ones have to be like every 30k or so.
It's my understanding that the PowerShift transmission still uses some form of fluid/lubrication. The 2011 Fiesta manual still recommends a 30k mile "automatic" transmission flush. It's mentioned in the Scheduled Maintenance section in the back of the manual. Granted it'll still be much cheaper to maintain than a wet dual-clutch setup (as an example, VW charges about $400). Just don't be mislead by the "dry" term in its name. It doesn't literally mean that the transmission is bone dry and requires zero maintenance. Every mechanical part needs some form of lubrication (that's what she said). It just means the clutches themselves aren't enclosed in a pool of fluid.

[;)]

Essentially it's being treated the same way as a regular manual transmission flush. The very fact that Ford's PowerShift transmission has a drain plug is a godsend. A lot of manufacturers are now switching over to "maintenance free" transmissions that run on a closed system, where the fluid is circulated throughout the vehicle's lifetime. It's one of the things I don't like about my car. Although there haven't been any reported transmission failures as a result of this design change, I'd feel more comfortable if that fluid was routinely flushed out. Especially when there's tons of gunk and metal shavings after the car's break-in period, which is completely unavoidable.
 

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Captain TMI
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Non-serviceable fluid--- Ford will go for that eventually, it's right up their alley. 30k miles is ridiculous for AT flushes. These new transmissions can go for a much longer time without a filter. I don't mess with them unless there's overheating, the fluid color is bad, or smells bad. Yay synthetic fluids and better transmission designs.
 

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GO Green
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It's my understanding that the PowerShift transmission still uses some form of fluid/lubrication. The 2011 Fiesta manual still recommends a 30k mile "automatic" transmission flush. It's mentioned in the Scheduled Maintenance section in the back of the manual. Granted it'll still be much cheaper to maintain than a wet dual-clutch setup (as an example, VW charges about $400). Just don't be mislead by the "dry" term in its name. It doesn't literally mean that the transmission is bone dry and requires zero maintenance. Every mechanical part needs some form of lubrication (that's what she said). It just means the clutches themselves aren't enclosed in a pool of fluid.

[;)]

Essentially it's being treated the same way as a regular manual transmission flush. The very fact that Ford's PowerShift transmission has a drain plug is a godsend. A lot of manufacturers are now switching over to "maintenance free" transmissions that run on a closed system, where the fluid is circulated throughout the vehicle's lifetime. It's one of the things I don't like about my car. Although there haven't been any reported transmission failures as a result of this design change, I'd feel more comfortable if that fluid was routinely flushed out. Especially when there's tons of gunk and metal shavings after the car's break-in period, which is completely unavoidable.


Posted via FF Mobile I know it's not completely dry. What I heard is that you actually HAVE to take the VW wet systems in for service around then or close to that recommendation. Btw, the focus says you have to have a flush too, but like most of the stuff onthe service list, you don't really need to do them and your probably wasting your money.
 

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former focus owner, now happy finally with mazda 3

I just gave up on my shuddering, shaking indecisive dual clutch transmission on my 2012 focus. The ford memo is garbage wherein they say all these sypmtoms are normal. Ask any VW GTI owner, same type transmission, no such problems.

The mazda 3 skyactive engine and tranny are great, nice smooth shifts and down shifts, same great mileage-38, solid firm sporty suspension, solid feel to entire car.

you can read hundreds of consumer reviews on the mazda 3 and never see ANY complaints about engine and/or transmission.

whereas, sadly, you can read hundreds of focus transmission complaints here and also at edmunds.com and also at lemon law blog. not to mention focus owners are vocing their complaints

http://www.lemonlaw.com/wordpress/fo...ssion-problem/

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0f7ced/

plus goto any car web site like cars.com, choose a 2012-2013 focus then click into customer reviews

try any dealer website, customer reviews.

I respect and admire the ford customer reps here at at the ford focus facebook page, they are sincerely trying to help.

but this is a recall waiting to happen that often times requires tearing apart the transmission.

try the mazda 3, you'll never regret it.
 

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I just gave up on my shuddering, shaking indecisive dual clutch transmission on my 2012 focus. The ford memo is garbage wherein they say all these sypmtoms are normal. Ask any VW GTI owner, same type transmission, no such problems.

The mazda 3 skyactive engine and tranny are great, nice smooth shifts and down shifts, same great mileage-38, solid firm sporty suspension, solid feel to entire car.

you can read hundreds of consumer reviews on the mazda 3 and never see ANY complaints about engine and/or transmission.

whereas, sadly, you can read hundreds of focus transmission complaints here and also at edmunds.com and also at lemon law blog. not to mention focus owners are vocing their complaints

http://www.lemonlaw.com/wordpress/fo...ssion-problem/

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0f7ced/

plus goto any car web site like cars.com, choose a 2012-2013 focus then click into customer reviews

try any dealer website, customer reviews.

I respect and admire the ford customer reps here at at the ford focus facebook page, they are sincerely trying to help.

but this is a recall waiting to happen that often times requires tearing apart the transmission.

try the mazda 3, you'll never regret it.
You dug up a 3 year old thread to tell us that DCT has issues sometimes? [scratch]
 

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no, just to offer a happy ending

best wishes on yours. I was a great fan when I started.
 
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