Author Topic: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........  (Read 343 times)

Bluesky

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Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« on: October 02, 2018, 01:50:28 AM »

I know to most car guys the answer is immediately the W72  400 4 speed.  Its way rarer and more valuable. But from a everyday driving perspective......Man did I do the wrong thing getting the 4 speed?

It can be a PITA , just putting it in the garage I need to slam it into Reverse or the key wont even come out. I'm not a speed demon......Sometimes I just want to start the car and cruise.
Can would have been way cheaper with the 403 Auto........did I make a mistake? ( I know I'm getting old)............ :-?

firebirdparts

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 02:55:06 PM »
Personally I never get tired of changing gears on any machine, but lots of people say they do.  The requirement of putting it in reverse to remove the key can be corrected.  Giving it a good reliable parking brake is not so easy.
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

Box

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 07:51:42 PM »
If you're not enjoying it then there are plenty of people that want the 4-speed.  If your biggest complaint is having to go into reverse to remove the key that can be remedied as mentioned, but I'd still put it in first or reverse depending on the angle of the parking surface.  So that's something I'd want to remove as well, since if I'm parked facing up an incline I sure as Hell don't want it in reverse in that case but rather first.  It's up to you and is a personal choice, but I refuse to own an automatic for a variety of reasons BUT I can understand where some don't feel that way.  As far as cruising goes you should just be able to leave it in third or fourth most of the time outside of stopping and going, and you can skip shift and be more nonchalant with your driving.  You don't have to go all out just because it's a manual, can granny shift and enjoy yourself in a relaxed state as well.

1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed

winks79

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 06:23:46 AM »
I do understand where you are coming from. I've owned several of both over the years in 2nd gens. I truly can not say I prefer one over the other. Yeah, I hear all of the crap about the 400/4 speed cars being worth more, but I did not own any of mine for money purposes, only for my enjoyment. For short drives, I can see your point, but I always enjoyed rowing the gears myself. Although, my favorite 2nd gen I ever owned was a 79' Nocturne Blue 403 car.
Chad

kingwil

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 03:51:49 PM »
          I've got a 79 Nocturne Blue TA with 403/Auto.  Nice car for cruising.  And, basically anyone can drive it.  I'm actually looking to obtain a 79 400/4-Speed in the future.  But, not from the standpoint of it being better, or more valuable or anything along those lines, I just want one.  Resale value never came into mind because I just like the car and do not plan to sell. 
          It really comes down to preference, if you like to drive your car a lot and don't mind shifting gears.  I know some people that will never consider a manual transmission because other people in the family don't want to drive a stick shift, and to many, it is a pain in the butt shifting gears all the time in stop and go traffic, plus issues with hills.  But think of all that free exercise you will get with your left leg/foot pushing in that clutch!  On the other hand, I know people who do not consider it to be a muscle car or sports car unless it has a manual transmission and would never own an automatic in a muscle car or pony car.
         With age comes a preference for more convenience (like AC, Cruise Control, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Auto, etc,....).  I know each year it seems like the seats in the TA get lower and it takes a bit more to climb out of the car.  If you mostly drive on country roads or the highway and don't need to shift all that much, then the 4-speed is okay.  But, if you have hills, or constant stop and go traffic, and potential parking woos, that 4-Speed may not be for you.  I guess you have to look at it from a standpoint of how long you plan to keep the car.  If you plan to keep the car and drive it when you are in your 80's and right now you don't care all that much for a 4-speed from a drive-ability and parking aspect, then look into a 403/Auto and sell the 400/4-speed to someone who would absolutely love it.  You need to realistically look at where you want to be in 10 or 20 years from now, and if a 4-Speed would become more cumbersome many years down the road.     
79 Nocturne Blue 403 Firebird TA
72 Viking Blue 455 Cutlass Convertible

Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 03:51:49 PM »

DD78TA

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2018, 08:45:11 PM »
Definately personal preference as stated before. I've had both and prefer automatic. But I grew up on a farm and have had plenty of machine shifting time ( 5 speed manual grain truck with a hi/lo rear axle shift is actually kinda cool to drive). The TA I had with a 4 speed had a 3.42 rear gear and it just didn't seem like 1st gear had much use. And the next 3 were a very close ratio. I think I would have enjoyed the 4 speed more in something like a 3.08 rear gear.

My current TA has a pontiac 400, turbo 350 auto, with 3.08 rear gear. Has a nice burn out and a little second gear chirp. I could maybe see a 3.23 rear gear but I really like this set up for comfortable cruising in town and on the hwy.. This also allows you to have a cold beverage in one hand.

If I went back to a manual TA it would probably be a 2002 or something like that. I don't race, and I'm kind of an old fart.

Bluesky

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 11:34:24 AM »
Yeah. I think I'm gonna e putting her up for sale. Looks like I'll be getting shoulder surgery in February. Driving the 4 speed monster is just aggravating it. Such a beautiful car. But sometimes when you relive your teen years you dont want to go back............lol.

jonathonar89

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Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 12:30:59 PM »
1979 Trans Am 400 T-top - Platinum Silver, Carmine Interior
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61460.0

Re: Pontiac 400 4 speed Vs. Olds 403 auto..........
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 12:30:59 PM »
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