View Poll Results: Auto or manual
3 or 4 spd Auto 7 15.91%
5 spd+ Auto 30 68.18%
3 or 4 spd Stick 0 0%
5 spd+ Stick 7 15.91%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-28-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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Two pedals or Three

As I look for a new TV I am starting to lean towards getting a manual trans and started to wonder how many others are on the dark side.
The way I see it a man trans offers:
Less stress on the vehicle
Better fuel economy
Lower maintenance
Poll for as it is TV today
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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sreddy, with the poll, does that mean what people have now, or what they think is best ?? I haven't voted yet.....I want to make sure what is the intention.

I currently have an F150 with a 4 speed automatic. A 6 speed auto would probably do better. But I am a standard transmission type of guy.....my truck is the only automatic in my fleet of 3. Even my wife uses a manual in her Honda Accord. Regretfully, Ford does not offer a manual transmission in the F150s.

If I were to order a new super duty, I am not exactly sure what I would do. I like shifting gears when I want to, not when a computer thinks it should. With the manual transmission, you don't have to worry about a transmission cooler, and things getting too hot. On the down side, automatic transmission would allow me to still drive with 1 foot, in case I have a leg or ankle injury on a trip.....I still hike and moutain bike. That was brought to my attention during a recent knee operation.....my truck was the only vehicle I could drive back to the doctor for my followup exam.

For those that choose a manual, I would recommend getting a really low final drive ratio. The clutch is the weak point in the drivetrain. Starting up hills while towing a trailer is going to be the test on the clutch. The plus side of that is that you can replace a bunch of clutch/pressure plate units for the price of 1 automatic transmission fix.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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Maybe in the old days a manual tranny offered some of those values. But with modern 5+ speed auto boxs most of that stuff is no more. And if you are considering a 1/2 ton type TV manual tranny trucks seem to offer less tow rating. Proper gearing is what provides less stress on the drive train. Getting a TV with 4:10 gears and a 5 or 6 speed auto is the best of both worlds. Sure manual gear boxs are fun but IMO would get old real quick on a 5 or 6 thousand mile trip going through hilly areas. Where as you would just put the auto in tow/haul and get er done. And if looking at new you can't even get a manual tranny in the new F250 superduty and I believe the GM as well.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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I think a big part of my thinking is impacted with our recent snow - driving both a friends auto and my daily driver stick - I found it so much less stressful with the stick, less reliance on the brakes, easier starts etc. Just wondering what others think (knowing it is near impossible to get a good TV these days with a stick) as I have found a few good manual 3/4 tons available in my area at decent prices
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:35 AM   #5
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Personally I like my 2500 4x4 Megacab with the 5sp auto. It is one of the best trucks I have ever driven in the winter. Around here once the first snow flies our roads are all ice and snow till spring and all the ruts etc that go with it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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Our current F150 is the only automatic that we have owned in the last 35 years. My previous F150 was a 5-speed manual. Regretfully, I realized that, if you tow, an automatic is almost a necessity.

Reasons:
* Backing into a site with a trailer can be very tough on a clutch
* Reverse was ridiculously fast on our last F150; faster than 1st, lots of slipping when backing the trailer
* Towing through rolling hills was a pain in the butt; 5th gear downhill, 4th gear uphill; ad nauseum; and no way to use the cruise control under these conditions (yes, i use cruise while towing; mostly . . . )
* Needed a V-8 to pull the trailer; no manual available

I enjoy the involvement of a manual. It makes you a better driver; forces you to stay involved with your drive. I like the control rather than relinquishing it to some black box. Lastly, it just kills me to hear the inefficiency of an unlocked torque converter; hate it.

Alas, I driving an auto. At least the Audi is a 6 speed !!!
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreddy View Post
I think a big part of my thinking is impacted with our recent snow - driving both a friends auto and my daily driver stick - I found it so much less stressful with the stick, less reliance on the brakes, easier starts etc. Just wondering what others think (knowing it is near impossible to get a good TV these days with a stick) as I have found a few good manual 3/4 tons available in my area at decent prices
I find that if on slick roads I leave the transmission in gear when coming to a stop I get a lot of sliding. So my solution is to pop it into neutral and then there is no more pushing. I leave it in neutral until time to move again, at which cast I drop it back into gear and let the vehicle idle up to a couple of MPH before I apply and throttle.
Towing, I sure like my auto/stick. Newer automatics have a manual feature that allows the driver to manually hold the vehicle in a certain gear longer to increase the available power. Sure like that feature when towing.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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When she had do drive our old Chevette (4-speed stick) my wife's comment was "It's like painting the Forth Bridge - you just get finished and you have to start again." It didn't help that she's short of stature and when she was close enough to the pedals she was almost against the steering wheel.

An auto with the ability to let the driver hold any ratio would probably be the best of both worlds, but beware of the paddle-shifter types. I don't think they've appeared in US-built trucks, but cars fitted with them (known as "twin-clutch" systems) have a horrible reliability reputation in Europe. They're really a stick-shift transmission with an automated way of shifting with hydraulic actuators.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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I prefer the auto to a stick, and mines a 4L80E.

If I need a lower gear, I just shift it.

I'm and old "clutch guy", but I'll never go back from my auto's....
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #10
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Well I have been out voted - she won't drive if its not an auto
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:39 PM   #11
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LOL - You can still order a manual transmission?
I realize that you can, but with the improvements in today's automatics, the reasons for manual diminish every year. If I had to go back to towing with a standard, I probably wouldn't tow!
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:36 AM   #12
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We just ordered a 2011 F350 diesel for our 292RL Sandpiper. The transmission has a switch on the gear selector to use as a FULL manual transmission.
Check it it out, pretty cool
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #13
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lol get one of them fancy automatic shifting manual transmissions

or go for broke and get a twin stick manual

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Old 12-20-2010, 06:30 PM   #14
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oh now you done it - if she sees that video we'll never be able to upgrade to a diesel
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:59 PM   #15
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With only one leg, I don't have a choice (JUST KIDDING!), but DW is less than 5' tall and has real problems with the pedal forces invloved in a stick-shift transmission.

It's probably not an issue on the high-torque rigs we RVers have, but might be on your choice of toad. Experience of family members in Europe says be very leery of the "paddle shift" type transmissions. They are really stick-shift boxes with complex dual clutches and hydraulic actuators doing the shifting.

My sister had a small Vauxhall (UK General Motors) with a system like that and the damn thing was always in the shop for transmission problems, fortunately under warranty. I think in 12 months it spent about 6 weels in the shop. After 18 months she got fed up with it and went for a Honda Fit (called the "Jazz" in England) which has a conventional torque converter tranny. It has some clever computer controls on it to maximize gas mileage, but she's had it 4 years and never been back to the dealer, except for the service under the extended warranty provisions.

If the "Fit" is flat towable, that's going to be my first choice for a toad.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #16
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looks like we are ending with an '03 f-250 Extcab 4spd 4r100 auto
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