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transmission question 4hp16 confusing

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transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:10 am

hey everybody
i have a suzuki reno with the 4hp16 transmission. im having a little trouble with it lately dont think its anything major, yet. anyway, i wanted to know what other transmission options i have. im looking for something stronger and without as many problems. or at least something that has performance parts readily available. right now my car is automatic and the trans is computer controlled(almost positive) an option id be happy to do away with. id like to stay auto and would rather not have to go over seas im looking for something available in the USA. id be willing to give up the computer control option. ive read so much about different transmission on the site but allot of the info isnt definite. if i need to rebuild id like to have an idea of what i need and where to get the parts before hand. thanks
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby PrecisionBoost » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:03 am

You could probably fit a 4T40-E or 4T45-E which has a good aftermarket ( high performance rebuild kits, high performance torque converters, limited slip differential )

The problems it that I don't know how the mounts compare, so you may need some custom work to make it function.

You may have to switch to a "manual gearbox" ECU because the 4T40-E or 4T45-E will look just like a manual gearbox, it will not communicate with your factory auto ecu.

Perhaps you may swap in the 4T40-E or 4T45-E and the car will be fine, but it's possible the "automatic" ECU may freak out and pull codes and or limit performance if it looses it's data connection with the ZF4HP16.


All in all, I'm not sure if it's worth the time to swap over to a different automatic transmission, it could be quite a bit of work and require a significant investment of money.

**edited to change the tranny model to the correct transverse model instead of longitudinal **
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:43 am

thanks for the help. im not sure what im going to do yet. maybe just leave it alone and hope its ok. lolol just not sure if i want to get into swapping to manual and getting a trans from Europe somewhere. for now i think ill leisurely look into what some other transmission options are.
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby PrecisionBoost » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:32 pm

You don't have to go to Europe for a gearbox, the Cruze and Sonic 1.4L turbo came mated to the Getrag M32 which is a direct fitment ( I know because I have one )

Due to the new age of the car you can find the M32 with low mileage or even new for as little as $500

Alternatively you can also look towards a 6T30 / 6T40 / 6T45 which are the newest replacements for the 4T40 series.

I don't know what would be required to make them shift correctly, as they are electronically controlled, but I have to think there are options.
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby PrecisionBoost » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:39 pm

Unfortunatly the 6T series automatics are controlled by a CAN interface, so it won't be compatible.

It's too bad because the Electronics are built into the transmission, but without the CAN interface with the factory ECU it would not function.

If one were to swap over the entire engine management system from the 1.4L turbo it would allow you to turbo stock engine. ( just need to use larger injectors )

Unfortunatly I don't know the extent of the required changes, it's possible you might have to buy a whole entire front clip of a Cruze 1.4 Turbo to swap over everything.

As well, there are probably CAN related issues such as the power steering pump, instrument cluster, drive by wire system


The 4T40-E will also need a TCM, but I'm unsure if it was a separate module or whether it was part of the factory ECU.


Manual gearboxes are so much simpler... no electronics to get in the way of swapping.
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2002 Daewoo Lanos
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:28 pm

well it would seem that the easiest swap would be the m32 from the cruze what would i need to use the m32? is it just a direct swap? is it computer controlled? cable shift or electronic? gse_turbo had mentioned an Saab auto trans from the 9-3 or 9-5, not sure which is auto. would that be a good option? what would be the best choice for a manual? something that i could possibly put a LSD in? a manual swap is probably the best idea i dont really understand the electronics involved lolol. what would i need if i went manual? trans, linkage, shifter/console, clutch pedal(maybe a pedal box is easiest), a good clutch for street :) again something strong with parts available.
i blew my head gasket a few months ago and replaced the head of the u20sed with a ported head from a x20xev that has mantzel stage 2 cams. it runs ok but havent tuned it so it doesnt run great right now. in the next couple of weeks im putting on jenvey direct to head ITB's and tuning with a dtafast ecu. i also have a header and full exhaust. should be a nice jump in power. my fear is that with the trans acting a bit off im gonna kill it. so id like to be ready :) the 4hp16 has been known to have computer problems and also shift control problems. id like to eliminate this and have no problems lolol
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby benzino » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:16 am

nice setup where abouts are you located?
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:26 am

thanks, im in long island new york.
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby benzino » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:28 am

how come you have so much tasty x20xev gear?
I'm jealous! :lol:
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby PrecisionBoost » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:52 pm

Ok, so the M32 is a 6 speed manual gearbox which requires zero electronics.

The conversion from auto to manual would be very difficult, but possible.

You would need all the "manual" components from an identical car to your own with the exception of the gear box linkage and shifter.

Mainly that is you would need the clutch pedal assembly including the master cylinder

Next, you would need the shifter and cables from the M32 ( assume from a cruze 1.4L turbo )

I would assume it would come with a clutch capable of handling the power you want but it's hard to say.

The M32 has a Quaife LSD available for it and the M32 is in all the Vauxhall Astra VXR, so an uprated clutch is easy to come by.

Next is the mount, I do not know if it would be a direct bolt in, or if you would have to modify the gearbox mount.

You did have an auto, so it might be completely different and require a new mount be welded into place.

The M32 is a direct bolt on with respect to the engine, all bolts will line up no problem.

As far as electronics go, you would need to switch your auto ecu with a manual ecu or you may have problems with the car stalling out at idle ( I had this problem during testing, but I can't know for a fact you would have the same issue )

The hardest thing is getting new driveshafts, you would have to get a set modified or a new set made as I belive the spline pattern is different.

I was chatting with GSE_Turbo about this a few weeks ago, I have a couple of links to aftermarket performance companies that do this kind of work.


Having said all this, the easiest "manual" swap is still the D20 as that was the factory 5 speed gearbox for these cars.

Yes, they are not as strong as the M32, but you could always import an Opel/Vauxhall F20 which has been treated to an aftermarket rebuild.

I picked up a "rally" prepared F28 a few years back, the company in the UK that did the work blueprinted the internals to ensure tolerances were exactly what they wanted, internals were hardened, parts were shotpeened.

This was done before the F28 parts became virtually impossible to find, so I would suggest sticking with either the F20/D20 series or jumping up to the M32

If you search around Migweb.co.uk you should be able to find a good gearbox that is already set up for a specific power level, and even if the owner doesn't want to ship to the USA there are plenty of guys who will take care of that for a little extra ( usually 10% of value )

Lots of options, none of them are particularly easy or cheap.

When it comes right down to it you have to figure out how much power you want to make eventually.

Personally, I would keep upgrading the engine and leave the tranny alone for now, if it dies then you will have to act quickly.

If you plan it out now then you will be ready when the times come to drop in a different transmission or gearbox.
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2002 Daewoo Lanos
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Raliart --- SOLD! :)
1989 Passport Optima GSi (Astra MK2 ) --- SOLD! :(
1990 Passport Optima GSi (Astra MK2 ) ---SCRAP! :(
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby PrecisionBoost » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:58 pm

You should talk to exist3nce from this forum about his experiences.

He is the only one to successfully swap in an F28 into a Forenza, he might be able to tell you a little about the cost factor involved with transplanting a different gearbox.

He's located in Toronto, so it might be possible that the shop he used could help you with the swap since they are already familiar with the vehicle after doing all his work.
1994 Opel Calibra 4X4 turbo ( C20LET 2.0L 16V Turbo )
2002 Daewoo Lanos
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Raliart --- SOLD! :)
1989 Passport Optima GSi (Astra MK2 ) --- SOLD! :(
1990 Passport Optima GSi (Astra MK2 ) ---SCRAP! :(
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:05 am

ha!! it took a bit of searching to find the parts. found some on mig-web and had to have them shipped over. surprisingly enough shipping wasnt so bad.
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:22 am

thanks PrecisionBoost. the f20 is supposed to be a good trans right? almost as good as the f28? do you think my drive shafts would work with an f20? im not sure that getting custom drive shafts or modifying mine is that easy. someone contacted the drive shaft shop a while back looking for a set and they said there needed to be ten or so people wanting to buy them or they wouldnt make them. with the f20 ill have to get all replacement parts from overseas, something i was trying to avoid. ah decisions decisions lol. which is the best rout which is the easiest. yeah i know exist3nce. ive also followed his build. for the f28 he needed to have custom mounts made. i think his drive shafts matched up though.
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby PrecisionBoost » Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:24 am

The reno came stock with a hydraulic version of the F20 called the D20.

As far as I am concerned, the genuine Opel/Vaxhall F20 is strong and should be good for well over 250 lbft of torque. (as that is what I've put through it with very very agressive driving including hundreds of hard launches)

The D20 is somewhat weaker based upon the problems I have seen so far.

So...you definitly would not go wrong with an F20 if your not planning to go over 300 hp as you can simply rob a wrecked Reno/Forenza for all the parts required to make the F20 work.

The F20 is "cable" driven where as the D20 uses a weak hydraulic slave cylinder.

Quite often people upgrade the clutch and it blows the slave cylinder, some companies will sell an uprated slave but most of the time they are just factory GM parts.

So it's ok to get a better clutch, just be carefull about using a stronger pressure plate.

Perhaps Garrett can tell you his experiences so far, all I know is that we have three members that blew their slave with a strong pressure plate and there are countless vauxhall guys who have had problems.

It is possible that it is the clutch design itself that causes problems, I know there were several people with problems with the cluch I was using ( I am unfortunatly one of those people )

I don't know if it would be possible to scrap the master/slave system and use a cable just like the older cars, it certainly helps with feel of the clutch and helps with allowing very strong pressure plates to be used ( so long as you don't mind the strong force required to hold the clutch in )
1994 Opel Calibra 4X4 turbo ( C20LET 2.0L 16V Turbo )
2002 Daewoo Lanos
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Raliart --- SOLD! :)
1989 Passport Optima GSi (Astra MK2 ) --- SOLD! :(
1990 Passport Optima GSi (Astra MK2 ) ---SCRAP! :(
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Re: transmission question 4hp16 confusing

Postby 7-even » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:14 am

I did say f20. I think I meant the f23 transmission. That bolts on also right. Would the oem drive shafts and everything from the Reno/forenza work.
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