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Old 04-29-2015, 03:48 PM   #51
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A couple of years ago, wife and I decided we wanted to drive a stick for the fun of it. We had a Scion XB automatic, and liked the body style (very practical and roomy), so we bought a new XB with a stick. What a mistake.

Comparing the 2 side-to-side, it was obvious the Toyota engineers could care less about the manual model. They just threw an in-stock close ratio box with a first gear that was too high, and a fifth gear that had less overdrive than the 4 speed automatic. As a result, getting the manual started from a light on an uphill (plenty of those in Colorado) was guaranteed to stall about 5-10% of the attempts, no matter how careful you were. And driving on the interstate meant worse mileage and higher RPMs than the automatic.

After a couple of months, we gave it back to the dealer. Spotted the same car a month later, stalling at a stop sign with a frustrated driver at the wheel.

It appears that manual transmissions in many cars that still have them are after-thoughts, and driveability suffers. Only the enthusiast cars have any effort put into engineering a decent manual transmission. And many of those are now getting the automatic electronic double clutches - no clutch petal at all - just shift and go.

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Old 04-30-2015, 03:11 PM   #52
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Last year, I sold my 1999 Ram 2500 diesel with a six speed manual tranny. Great on gas mileage, great on pulling a log out of a ditch, but not what I want pulling a fiver on a hill. Sure, the torque is great, but miss or delay a high rpm shift on a steep hill and you're toast...lost speed and lost momentum I'm sure all the old timers are going to jump on this statement, but so be it. I traded it in on a 2014 Ram 3500 Cummins diesel with an automatic transmission. What a dream especially in the mountains! Even better, select the "tow/haul" mode and the computer will delay the upshift shift on a hill to take advantage of the extra torque. Makes mountain driving a whole lot less intense.

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Old 04-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #53
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I learned how to drive in a stick and my first car was a 1986 Dodge D50 (Mitsubishi built) with a manual trans, no power steering and 33 inch tires - talk about a work out! I don't own a manual now but would love to teach DW to drive one. Maybe when DS gets to that age I'll buy a little stick car for him and teach them both!

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Old 04-30-2015, 06:48 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by clr View Post
what I have not seen anyone say her yet is that the automatic trans of today is not remotely like the automatic trans of the prior to compute control of the vehicle days. Old automatic trans were very complex machines. New auto trans are almost manual trans with computer control of the shifting. The new auto trans is really very simple inside much like a manual trans. That being said the new auto trans is almost like having a robot shifting for you.
But if the guts of the auto tranny are like a manual then why do they breakdown so easily. After about 150K these things just begin to start breaking. I remember manuals lasting forever.

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Old 04-30-2015, 11:22 PM   #55
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The modern auto trans isn't like a manual at all. It's still a torque converter, feeding packs of fiber clutches and steel plates, splined to planetary gears, controlled by a valve body.

What has changed.

The clutch packs and planetaries are huge by comparison to even a few years ago. They also got rid of bands and shells such as what's in the 4L60E.

Electronic shift control, they can very quickly raise and lower the shift pressure to give a pleasing shift, but get the pressure up high enough to lock the clutch pack up preventing slippage.

Something else that most don't know about, they derate the engine during shifts. During the shift event power is reduced at the engine, greatly reducing the abuse on the trans during the shift giving it a chance to get the gear fully engaged. It's imperceptible, but is there.

Modern autos are marvels. I didn't have any mechanical issues with Allisons during my tenure at GM.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:44 AM   #56
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You are right about manual trannies. Both boys drove my manual chevette as their first car. When my youngest became a fireman he was one of the few in the dept that could drive the brush truck. The only manual I have now is my tractors and my son is teaching his son to drive a manual by using the tractor not quite the same as a car but the concept is there. That said except I a sporty car I wouldn't want a manual especially as a TV.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:02 AM   #57
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My two Miatas are stick shifts and so much fun to drive. But even they are hard to find, now that the autos have paddle shifters. Take a stick into a service center today and they have to search for an attendant who knows how to drive it. I wouldn't have a stick in my F-150. But for pure enjoyment on a twisty curvy road in the mountains, nothing compares to a sports car with a stick.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:04 AM   #58
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Our 1973 W-900 kenworth MH had an Allison MT-40 automatic in it behind the 6 V-53 Detroit.6 speeds + converter lock up,by split shifting it you could have 12 gears available,or just leave it in the highest gear you wanted and let it shift itself.We were hauling the raceboat all over the country at the time and it was really nice on some of the steep,crappy ramps the wife had to deal with.Being able to lock up the brakes (air) with the trailer apply lever on the colume was a plus also while she was waiting for me to get things in position.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:35 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
A stick shift car can be towed with a tow bar- all wheels rolling. Right???
So can many automatics.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:59 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by vinmaker View Post
But if the guts of the auto tranny are like a manual then why do they breakdown so easily. After about 150K these things just begin to start breaking. I remember manuals lasting forever.
The old manuals required new clutch plates, throw out bearings and pressure plates quite regularly. They certainly were not bullet proof, especially if you ever went drag racing.

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