Chrysler 5 Speed Manual Transmissions

A number of Chrysler five-speed transmissions were used in EEK cars. Some were assembled by Getrag, but designed by Chrysler (though they are commonly called "Getrag" transmissions); these were generally used in more demanding applications.

Manual transmissions for the four cylinder cars started with the A-460 four-speed manual, a light duty transmission with first at 3.29:1 and fourth at 0.88:1. It lasted until 1986.

1983 A-465 five speed manual

Starting just two years after the A-460 was the A-465, which was essentially the same transmission with a fifth gear on the end of the input/output shafts, cast iron forks, an oil slinger, and a stamped steel cover. It was only used in 1983 and 1984.

All the five-speed transmissions used by Chrysler with its front wheel drive cars (except Neon) through 1995 had a first gear of 3.00 to 3.31 (most were 3.29), and a fifth gear of 0.71 or 0.72.

The A-525 was far more common; debuting in 1984 and lasting through 1990, the A-525 was based on the A-465, but had closer gear ratios and better synchronizers and other upgrades. Starting in 1987, it was used solely on the lightweight Horizon based L-bodies (Omni, Charger, Turismo, and of course Horizon). There were three sets of internal components matched to the power of the engines — standard carburetor, fuel injected, and Shelby — but the basic design of all was the same. Chrysler added webbing to the weak case as time went on.

getrag transaxleThe confusingly named A-520 succeeded the A-525 on non-L-bodies starting in 1987; it used a different differential and ring gear, with two pinions, and was both quieter and more durable, with high strength steel used inside. The housing was cast steel, with an aluminum differential cover. A new synchronizer setup improved the feel.

The A-523 and A-543 were basically similar; both had better shift quality, with urethane cable ends, and a four-rail gearshift along with a stronger case. Reverse was moved, however, from “left of first” to “phantom sixth.” The 543 used the Mitsubishi V6 bell housing bolt pattern.

The A-555 was the first of the manual transmissions built by Getrag, designed for the intercooled-turbocharger cars. It had a four-pinion differential, coarser pitch gears, and an aluminum case, and was used from 1987 to 1989, when it was replaced by the A-568. The A-568, created for the powerful Turbo III and Turbo IV cars, had better synchronizers, a larger input shaft, and four-plane shift rail with Teflon-coated bushings. The Turbo III cars had a larger spline than the Turbo IV cars.

Dan Stern wrote (this is paraphrased from his original message), based on his experience with the A-568 transmission in his 1991 Spirit R/T:

One common source of odd noises is the throwout bearing ("clutch release bearing").  They can whine, they can rattle, and they can do like mine did, which was to sound like an old-fashioned locomotive.  They can be noisy with the clutch released, engaged, or both.

He also pointed out that fluid choice is very important, and recommended Mobil 1 10W30 (the factory recommends 5W30 for these transmissions.)

Allpar forum member Spyro’s 1986 Aries went into first gear when he tried to reverse; with the engine off, he could shift to all the gears without a problem. Bob Lincoln suggested one of the shift cables had popped off the transmission. “There is a ball-and-socket joint at the end of the shift cables. It should press on with firm effort. If it won't stay on, you can buy metal retaining clips to hold it.” 

Article: Inexpensive repair for transmission cable ends.

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