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  #1  
Old Posted 03-15-2005, 02:58 PM
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miniwally miniwally is offline
 
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Manual VS. Automatic

Okay now that we have 1 fewer people to hose up these threads I have this question.

I bought my truck to tow my trailer with my buggy or snowmobile on. I just happen to not be rich and need to drive it everyday. So I have the Dmax Allison combo. The truck has it's good points and it's not so good points.

If I was to buy a tow rig only I probably would have looked real hard at manual trannies. Not sure what brand of truck but manual would have become more of an option.

The old deal is that Manuals are better for towing because blah blah blah. Read I can't think of why now so blah.
I have heard a few people that are not in the truck world say they have been told that autos are what to tow with because they don't shock the drivetrain like a manual can.

So which is better and try to back up the argument with valid sources if possible.
I know that longevity of the tranny is going to get mentioned here so lets play like both trannies are going to last 250,000 miles with only normal care. So now it can not be said that the auto will die before the manual. They will die at the same time.

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  #2  
Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:05 PM in reply to miniwally's post "Manual VS. Automatic"
willyswanter willyswanter is offline
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Well heres my story, I've towed with an auto dodge, an auto chevy, and my manual dodge. I prefer the manual for towing simply because I like being able to hold a gear indefinately. When I drove the dodge auto pulling my gooseneck with my chevy on it up hills I would try and get it to hold in a lower gear to keep rpm's up but it would constantly try and shift up so it was "hunting" gears the whole time which we all know is hell for a tranny. This is why I opted for a manual because I can put the truck in 3rd gear and hold 3000 rpm up a hill for 30 minutes with no worries. With the auto I would try to hold 3rd or 2nd and I would finally get my momentum up and try to get around a semi and the truck would shift and splat, back behind the semi cause I can't accelerate.

The chevy auto was a 4l80e towing about 12,000 pounds continously every weekend with no problems but still had the hunting gears problem. I have never driven an Allison truck, just ridden in them and never on any big hills that would negate holding a lower gear. So I can't comment on the tow/haul modes and such, I know the Alli can down shift to help when descending grades which is another reason I like a manual better.

And last, I've read that alot of people have problems with there auto's when combined with an exhaust brake. The exhaust brake is only effective when the torque converter is locked and if the brake is used excessively it causes major heat in the tranny. With my manual I can down shift into 4th and leave the brake on all the way down miles upon miles of hills and the truck will stay at 55 no matter what the grade is with no service brake input at all. The dodge auto I towed with had an exhaust brake and it only worked 1/2 the time since the torque converter would unlock in certain situations.
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:14 PM in reply to miniwally's post "Manual VS. Automatic"
joez joez is offline
 
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I prefer driving and wheeling with a manual hands down. But when towing something rather large, auto's make it so much easier and are generally a lot smoother, until they start hunting that is. If i was just towing on the highway and whatnot, i would probobally end up with a manual rig. But, doing a lot of boat towing, dealing with bad launch ramps, ect, i will most likely end up with an auto. I see advantages and dissadvantages to both, and depending on whats for sale when im looking i could end up with either, but I'm leaning towards an auto.
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:27 PM in reply to willyswanter's post starting "Well heres my story, I've towed with an..."
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Jason pretty well nailed my reasoning.

Nothing that I have to say is anything other than opinion.

I've never towed with an Allison and I've heard that they're great, but for my money I can shift just as well as an Allison, maybe even better. I enjoy selecting my own gears and like the feeling of being fully in control of a vehicle, it's a machine and I am it's master (sounds like I have an ego problem! ). In a vehicle with an auto trans I always feel like I'm just sort of along for the ride, point and shoot, so to speak. The manual trans gives me control, I want it to downshift, I downshift, I don't have to push a button or blip the throttle or tap the brake or whatever, I just downshift. I want to upshift then I upshift, I want to coast and I coast.

The extra couple MPG and the $1500 savings on the window sticker are nice too.

I have to admit that I like the manual for the different factor too. Everyone has autos these days; I drove to lunch today with some co-workers and one guy that went with me couldn't beleive that I got a manual, it's like he thought just because it's a really big truck that a manual trans doesn't work like a manual trans. Sure you can't speed shift it, but it still works the same. Plus it sounds cool when the turbo spools up after each shift. Same thing when I picked it up, one sales guy said "Man, that's a sweet truck! You got everything in it! But why didn't you get an auto?" I told him I prefer the stick and he said "Oh, well, I mean, it's still a nice truck." like he was trying to convince me or something. To me one of the coolest things about it is that it's a stick.

The ONLY argument that an auto has over a stick in my book is that it's easier to drive and is faster in a drag race. Neither of those are valid arguments to me.
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2005 Ford F-350 PSD CC LWB DRW Lariat in Dark Stone w/ 6 speed trans, manual T-case, moonroof, Factory Reese Titan hitch and all the goodies.

Towed vehicles - Offroad-only 1978 Chevy K10 4x4 or a 1982 Marlin speedboat
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:27 PM in reply to willyswanter's post starting "Well heres my story, I've towed with an..."
Burt4x4 Burt4x4 is offline
 
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Disclaimer ~ I have never towed a load bigger than a fishing boat.

I am a manual guy when it comes to wheelin and my D-Max is the first auto I have ever bought (besides the wifes car).
I remember allways reading about how a slush box will easily over heat and if the fluid gets anykind of debris in it at all the tranny will fail or be damaged. So I've allways had this impression the autos were high maintenace and unreliable when used in extream situations. I have also heard/read about the 'hunting' situation that willyswanter is talkin about and not having controll over the tranny.

Why did I buy an auto for my towrig? Hmmm well I guess I wanted to give the Allison an opertunity to prove that things can change and evolution of the slush box has reached a new level within towrigs AND I want to drive and drive and drive until I get to Moab from Cali ya ya I'm getting old too hehehehe
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:48 PM in reply to miniwally's post "Manual VS. Automatic"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniwally
Okay now that we have 1 fewer people to hose up these threads I have this question.
Who is the "1 fewer" that we lost?
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  #7  
Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:51 PM in reply to Burt4x4's post starting "Disclaimer ~ I have never towed a load..."
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RJF's Red Cummins RJF's Red Cummins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willyswanter
When I drove the dodge auto pulling my gooseneck with my chevy on it up hills I would try and get it to hold in a lower gear to keep rpm's up but it would constantly try and shift up so it was "hunting" gears the whole time which we all know is hell for a tranny.
I take it you didn't manually keep it in a certain gear? The first thing I was taught about towing is when pulling a hill you manually pull the shifter down to the gear it is pulling the best in so it doesn't shift back and forth. If you can't pull in 3rd, pull it down to second and it shouldn't shift. The shifter that is.
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 03:54 PM in reply to FordCummins1's post starting "Who is the "1 fewer" that we..."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordCummins1
Who is the "1 fewer" that we lost?
It will be clear to you pretty soon, just look for the lack of posts by someone that generally just mucks up threads.
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2005 Ford F-350 PSD CC LWB DRW Lariat in Dark Stone w/ 6 speed trans, manual T-case, moonroof, Factory Reese Titan hitch and all the goodies.

Towed vehicles - Offroad-only 1978 Chevy K10 4x4 or a 1982 Marlin speedboat
Slide-in Camper planned for the future... *EDIT* Baby #2 on the way, Slid-In planned for WAAAYY in the future now...
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 04:19 PM in reply to RJF's Red Cummins's post starting "I take it you didn't manually keep it..."
willyswanter willyswanter is offline
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Well I had OD turned off and dropped it into 2nd but it would still upshift if the rpm's got torwards red line. Plus the 4 speed makes 2nd too low and 3rd too high...
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Old Posted 03-15-2005, 04:27 PM in reply to Shaggy's post starting "It will be clear to you pretty soon,..."
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miniwally miniwally is offline
 
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Okay on the hunting deal for autos.

I know and completly understand hunting, my Ford did it on the drive through the little tow I live in between overdrive and drive. I had to lock it out of overdrive with the button on the end of the shifter. E4OD Ford did one thing that I thought was cool with their trans. and that was to make 2nd gear sort of manual ie. with shifter in 1st only 1st as normal, with shifter in 2nd it was locked in second meaning it did not shift down to first ever. third was just like an auto and then you could lock out overdrive.
This kept hunting to a minimum.

With the Allison you have 1, 2, 3, D, and overdrive. By pushing the button and holding for a second you lock out overdrive and go to I assume 1:1 drive. from there you have to think about gears and just down shift.

I doubt that it is as good as a manual but gets you close. The above reasons about gear selection with a manual are exactly what I belive makes the manual better in towing situations.

I am just a little lazy and got tired of shifting gears with other trucks. Now I have an Auto.

I already feel that this discussion is better with the lack of certain input.
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