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Hi guys

Regarding 5 speed V6 tranny: is it actually 5 gears + an overdrive, or is it 4 gears + overdrive and they just call that 5?

Thanks!
The 5th gear is the D on your shift lever but it will not say 5 which is the overdrive. Some cars like you said does have a button for overdrive but it does not work that way in the RAV4.
 

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The transmission has 5 true forward gears plus a lock-up torque converter.
 

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Thanks! So it acts like a 6 speed then. All I wanted to know.
In my understanding overdrive it's like half gear on each gear. I really felt that when drove from East Coast to Western Canada 2007 CR-V with 5x8" U-Haul trailer. Usually in normal driving condition it's put on higher gear, but if engine not enough - it,s go half gear down.
Same thing on semi Freightliner - 4 lower gear, 4 higher and overdrive for each higher gear.
Pretty sure Honda has overdrive on 3-5 gears
Not really feel overdrive on V6 because engine have more than enough power every time (use Rav for work commuting and grocery shopping, no pulling trailers), so transmission every time put higher gears
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In my understanding overdrive it's like half gear on each gear. I really felt that when drove from East Coast to Western Canada 2007 CR-V with 5x8" U-Haul trailer. Usually in normal driving condition it's put on higher gear, but if engine not enough - it,s go half gear down.
Same thing on semi Freightliner - 4 lower gear, 4 higher and overdrive for each higher gear.
Pretty sure Honda has overdrive on 3-5 gears
Not really feel overdrive on V6 because engine have more than enough power every time (use Rav for work commuting and grocery shopping, no pulling trailers), so transmission every time put higher gears
Right. I was told that on another forum as well...not sure if someone else here can confirm it, but my Rav feels like it does half shifts in between each gear, I think only after 2nd gear (so in between 2-3 shift, there is another small "shift"), where the tach will drop slightly, not as much as a full gear change. It's very strange, and I've never felt it in any other car I've driven. Almost seems like it would wear out the shift solenoids that much quicker.

I've also never driven another Rav, so I don't know if there's something wrong with my transmission or if that's normal. When transmission is colder I do get significant slippage on the 2nd gear shift if I'm on the power harder, which I heard is one symptom of wear on these tranny's.
 

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Probably something with transmission
How much mileage you have on your Rav?
Mine high, 215k kms but at normal driving I not feel shifting at all, like CVT, really better than wife's same age CR-V. Only feel shifting if I need quick acceleration and transmission drop from 4th to 2nd gear.
I had a bit complain how rough it's start from stop light, but my ex coworker complained about same (car jumping when he want start) and his Rav v6 was around 150-160k.
I tested other Rav when I looked for buy vehicle and that Rav had 285k and kick when start at stop sign or intersection was much stronger.
I did transmission fluid change few weeks ago and add red bottle of Lubegard, $17 at Napa. Lots good reviews about this stuff.
So not sure if it's Lubegard works or I just got more experience with throttle pedal but now in heavy traffic with lots stop and go or from red light at intersection mine Rav go pretty smooth.
If you have some extra $20 you can try this additive
 

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Thanks! So it acts like a 6 speed then. All I wanted to know.
NO. You have a 5 speed. There is NO 6th. There is no additional "overdrive" unit.

The term over drive means driving the output RPM of the transmission faster than the engine's input RPM to the trans. Direct drive would be a 1 to 1 ratio. Back in the "old" days top gear use to be a 1 to 1 ratio. Manufactures would add an overdrive gear box to the end of the transmission that would lower the ratio say 0.76 to 1; thus it was over driven. It was cheaper to add this gearbox than to redesign the entire transmission. The OD typically would only activate in the top gear. It would not shift in each gear.

Now they simple build the last gear to a higher ratio. In the 5 speed (V6) the ratio goes like this:

first- 4.235
second- 2.360
third- 1.517
fourth- 1.047
fifth- .756
Thus you can say 5th gear is "over driven".

The 4 speed found in the i4 had the following gear ratios:
first- 3.938
second- 2.194
third- 1.411
fourth- 1.019

In fourth we are not even directly driven.
 

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In my understanding overdrive it's like half gear on each gear. I really felt that when drove from East Coast to Western Canada 2007 CR-V with 5x8" U-Haul trailer. Usually in normal driving condition it's put on higher gear, but if engine not enough - it,s go half gear down.
Same thing on semi Freightliner - 4 lower gear, 4 higher and overdrive for each higher gear.
Pretty sure Honda has overdrive on 3-5 gears
Not really feel overdrive on V6 because engine have more than enough power every time (use Rav for work commuting and grocery shopping, no pulling trailers), so transmission every time put higher gears
Right. I was told that on another forum as well...not sure if someone else here can confirm it, but my Rav feels like it does half shifts in between each gear, I think only after 2nd gear (so in between 2-3 shift, there is another small "shift"), where the tach will drop slightly, not as much as a full gear change. It's very strange, and I've never felt it in any other car I've driven. Almost seems like it would wear out the shift solenoids that much quicker.

I've also never driven another Rav, so I don't know if there's something wrong with my transmission or if that's normal. When transmission is colder I do get significant slippage on the 2nd gear shift if I'm on the power harder, which I heard is one symptom of wear on these tranny's.
What you are feeling is the lock up torque converter unlocking as you need more acceleration. Once unlocked the RPM of the engine will increase but not as high as if it downshifted. This is the "half gear" sensation. The lockup feature only works in the top 2 gears (?).
 

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It's just semantics.

American cars call the automatic transmission's last gear "Overdrive" because it's ratio is less than 1. It's a historical thing, based on the fact that the first automatic transmissions had rear wheel drive, and differential was outside the transmission. They had only three speeds and an "Overdrive" module (sometimes OE, sometimes aftermarket) could be added later on the transmission shaft, before the differential, for better gas mileage. It even had a separated lever to activate.

Asian and European cars had, at that time, only manual transmissions, front wheel drive. When they eventually adopted automatic transmissions for US market, all their cars had small engines, and so the gearing was all greater than 1. So they just numbered their gears normally, because they thought no "OD" gear was present and there was no way to add one aftermarket (differential inside transmission housing).
Later, when they had engines that could handle a gear less than unitary, they continued without "OD" because... they lacked the American tradition.

So a Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, transmission with 5 gears, will use them all when in "D", and it can be "limited" to "4" when needed (towing, long inclines). On RAV4 that is done by moving the shifter to the left (while in "D"). The dash will say "4". On Korean cars, that shifter movement goes to right... I guess because they design their cars to be driven on left side of the road as opposed to Japan designed cars?

An equivalent Ford or GM transmission with 5 gears, will use them all when in "OD", and it can be limited to "D" (4th gear) when needed. Sometimes that is done with a small button on top of the shifter, labeled "OD off". Sometimes it goes one click down, from "OD" to "D".

Toyota's U151E/F transmissions have 5 gears, with last one having a less than 1.0 ratio. There are no "in-between" gears, those are possible only for CVT's.
The torque converter "slips" constantly, like you would slip the dry clutch on a manual transmission during shifts - that way engine's RPM would be slightly higher because of the slippage.
Of course there is the standard locking of the torque converter for constant loads, for fuel economy. When that happens, the engine's RPMs lowers with the amount of slippage that got eliminated.

See the gear ratios here:
 

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The OD typically would only activate in the top gear. It would not shift in each gear.
Not correct for all. I had a '58 Ford 2 door station wagon V-8 with three on the tree manual trans. It had a manual overdrive that worked both in 2nd and 3rd gear. It made it essentially a 5 speed. You engaged it by pulling a handle:

150100
 

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Right. I was told that on another forum as well...not sure if someone else here can confirm it, but my Rav feels like it does half shifts in between each gear, I think only after 2nd gear (so in between 2-3 shift, there is another small "shift"), where the tach will drop slightly, not as much as a full gear change. It's very strange, and I've never felt it in any other car I've driven. Almost seems like it would wear out the shift solenoids that much quicker.
Yep, as others have said the "half-shifts" are the TC unlocking between actual gear shifts. Noticed it right away when we got our V6 RAV4 with its 5-speed automatic. Especially noticeable on hills on cruise control. On a steep uphill it goes from 5-lock to 5-unlock to 4-lock to 4-unlock and then does the opposite as the road levels out.
In fact what we've heard on the forum is folks questioning "What's all the shifting about?" It's the car's attempt to maintain the speed you set.
Since the TC is unlocked during shifts it's actually easier on the shift solenoids, bands and clutches. And the lockup clutch in the TC must be pretty stout.
 

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Same experience as RTexasF with Ford 3-speed plus overdrive gearboxes. Had two Fords with that configuration - 3-speed column-mounted shift plus push-in/pull-out handle-actuated OD which actually would work in any gear above something like 30 mph.
 

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That was because, like I said, on RWD the OD was on the output shaft. So it could be applied to any speed. Not really useful IMO, not on those cars with monster torque ?
 

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FWIW, My RWD Volvo 1800S has an electrically operated OD option that bolts to the back of the transmission. I actually don't know if it works yet since I haven't gotten it on the road.
But the OD did work on the one I had 40+ years ago. You'd shift up thru the gears to 4th then touch a stalk that worked similar to a headlight flasher to engage OD. The next touch cancelled it.
It was interlocked to a switch on 4th gear but I bypassed that so I could use it in any gear. While getting ready to pass someone I'd run in 3rd OD which gave about the same engine speed as 4th and use the stalk as a passing gear dropping to 3rd w/o moving the shift lever. Was really fun back when a 2000 LB car had 100 HP.
 

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Not correct for all. I had a '58 Ford 2 door station wagon V-8 with three on the tree manual trans. It had a manual overdrive that worked both in 2nd and 3rd gear. It made it essentially a 5 speed. You engaged it by pulling a handle:

View attachment 150100
Wouldn't think that a 1958 with a manual cable operated OD is considered typical.
 

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Wouldn't think that a 1958 with a manual cable operated OD is considered typical.
It was typical for the time. Believe that GM had a similar system for Chevrolet - Borg-Warner overdrive was unlocked or locked by cable operation but the actual overdrive was actuated by an electrical solenoid beginning at a specific road speed.
 

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Wouldn't think that a 1958 with a manual cable operated OD is considered typical.
As Blogson said it was back then. Ford had it starting in 1949. By the way I never said it was typical, you did.
 

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As Blogson said it was back then. Ford had it starting in 1949. By the way I never said it was typical, you did.
Yes I said TYPICALLY, explaining to the OP how ODs work in today's setting. The word "typically" would allow for atypical configurations or ones irrelevant to the current trends, such as ODs found in cars produced over 50 years ago.

To keep this thread going, because I actually do like talking about old mechanical systems. AND enjoyed learning about @RTexasF 58 Fords OD system. Has anyone driven a dodge colt from the 80s. I think it was a mitsubishi system that had a power and Eco mode. A friend of mine had one in high school, use to drive it like a big rig. Going to high and low in each gear. Essentially it was an 8 speed. RTex's 58 reminded me of this blast from my past.

 
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