manual or automatic

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by travis91, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. travis91

    travis91 Formerly 4animals.

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    does a manual or automatic transmision get the best gas milage? thanks
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    If you know when to shift and do a lot of city driving, a manual gets better mileage (i assume you're asking about cars, not tow vehicles). On the highway, they'll get about the same.
     

  3. travis91

    travis91 Formerly 4animals.

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    well im talking about a ford ranger(2.3L 4) it might tow a small load now and then and carry loads.
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't own anything with a manual transmission anymore. The days of manual transmissions is over as most are of no advantage and very expensive to repair if there is any problem. Clutches are also very expensive to replace and the hydraulics of the clutch cause problems of their own. Add to that the resale value of a manual trans is usually poor compared to an automatic.
     
  5. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Some vehicles can be spec'd out at very different fuel efficiencies for manual vs. automatic, even on the highway. For example, some cheaper vehicles came with 5 speed manual transmissions but only 3 speed automatic transmissions. With these, you may lose 20% with an automatic.

    www.fueleconomy.gov is an excellent website regarding the fuel efficiencies of almost all vehicles (including manual vs. automatic).

    cheers,
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I prefer the STANDARD Shift transmissions ,They hold the tourqe better,And Clutch replacement is cheaper than A tourque converter. But thats just the way I feel on this. My last 5 P?U's have ALL been standard shifts, ALL 100% of My Semis were too. I won't Own A Automatic.
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Your feelings are what keep people buying manual transmissions. Go to a parts store and price a clutch for a truck newer than 2000. Also check the labor manual for labor times for the clutch replacement. When I ran my shop clutch jobs turned into the biggest nightmare. The owners all remembered the days of $35 rebuilt clutch kits and a 2hr. installation. The manufacturers unfortunately progressed past that to where clutch jobs gave sticker shock and took large amounts of labor. Check with most pickup truck manufacturers and they don't recommend a manual transmission for towing. It's in small print but it's usually there. Todays vehicles use aluminium trans cases and loads place large amounts of stress on the case.
     
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I assume you are aware that one doesnt just buy a $200 rebuilt Chev TH350 automatic and stick in their truck anymore either. Automatics are pretty high dollar for all the fancy electronics and overdrives.

    As to manual trannies, real shame they cheapen them on some applications to point they dont holdup like heavy duty manual trannies of yesteryear. I'd still go with a heavy duty manual tranny over any automatic. And yep real shame about car companies combining throwout bearing with slave cylinder. Makes it lot more expensive and inconvenient to change out. Means pulling engine or tranny to just replace leaky slave cylinder. What genius got that bright idea? And I've heard of the incredible prices charged to do a clutch job anymore. I do my own work and even if it took me 3 or 4 days, I dont mind working for equivalent of $200-$300 a day. If I had to hire car repairs done, when something expensive came up, just junk it and find a replacement car. Lot cheaper than paying thru the nose. It truly is a disposable society anymore. Quite sad actually.

    I cant speak to what Ford is doing with Rangers this century, but the five speeds that came with four cylinder engines in 90s held up just fine. And if yours didnt for some reason, you dont repair it (big bucks), you go and pay $300 for used one at junkyard. Some badly designed manual trannies but most problem other than people slamming them into gear is leaks. Nobody checks fluid level in manual tranny. Keep them full and dont abuse them and they last well enough.
     
  9. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I'm quite aware of the fact that auto trans aren't $200 anymore.
    I have been a auto mechanic for 30 years and made my living solely as a mechanic both in dealerships and with my own shop.
    I don't think there is a heavy duty manual transmission made for anything in a pickup today. All of the manufacturers have put all of their technology into heavy duty automatic transmissions like Allisons for their HD applications.
    I had many problems with manual transmissions in worn out 80's small trucks and Ford used a few different ones in Rangers and Broncos. Some are extremely hard to find in salvage yards and parts to rebuild them are either very expensive or non existent.
    As far as labor goes a Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup comes to mind that I installed a clutch in. Removal of the transmission requires lifting the cab off of the chassis. Most cannot work on their own vehicles and even those that can it now requires special equipment and the patience of a saint. And fluid level is only part of it, most manual transmissions in any vehicle from the 80's on up require different and special fluids some costing $15 per qt. They are very unforgiving if the wrong fluid is used.
    I just called the cheap parts store, a clutch for a Ford F350 is only $400 without the slave cylinder. On diesels they recommend flywheel replacement, that kit is $700.
     
  10. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    As I mention, its a throw away world. I wouldnt even try to repair anything that required a $700 new flywheel cause apparently the original wasnt designed to be turned?? Course if you have time and patience there is always a workaround. Not practical for shop trying to make a living and do R&R of assemblies in shortest amount of time without reengineering anything, but challenge for some crazy out in boonies with lot time on his hands. Not to worry though as I have no interest in electronic controlled diesels.

    Yep '80s Rangers didnt have greatest rep. (Yet I just bought one) And they indeed used a variety of trannies. They did just basically use two bolt patterns. One for 4 cyl and one for the 6. Just learned that most of the 6's are related with same bolt pattern from the 2.8 to the 4.0. Thus one doesnt need an exact replacement just one that bolts to the engine assuming one can swap out driveshaft or modify driveshaft. On an 80's truck, dont think I'd worry about some small difference in gear ratio, long as I could make everything bolt up. I am probably way behind the times, but only fluids I've heard of being used in manual tranny is regular old gear oil, ATF, or in some cases motor oil. The only other gearbox specialty stuff was that used in transfer case of old 70's AMC Wagoneers with full time 4wd. Remember it was pricey as I owned couple of them. However I wouldnt be surprised if car companies would use some proprietary liquid in tranny if it allowed them to make it cheaper. Sure you'd know better than me if they are indeed doing this. Heads up to avoid such wonders when they get to my price level.

    Remove the cab to replace the tranny? Well, wouldnt surprise me. I thought it odd back in 60's and 70s to see desins that required jacking up engine to change sparkplugs. And many of modern cars are designed with such minimal clearances that either you have to be a double jointed midget to work on them or you have to remove the engine/transaxle as a unit from the bottom in order to work on it. Just poor design that nobody wants to ever work on though I suppose it saves during assembly at the factory. Again makes repair so expensive that it makes the vehicle a throwaway.
     
  11. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    My nephew has a late model Camaro. To replace the fuel pump required removing the gas tank, removing the tank required removing the rear axle, etc., etc. The cost of a new pump was over $300, and the labour would have been over $500. I cannot imagine paying close to $1000 with tax to have a fuel pump replaced, nor spending days trying to do-it-yourself (which would be very difficult and time consuming without a hoist).

    Personally, I think the whole auto-manufacturers game is a scam. The new cars are so complicated and so expensive to repair that few people want a vehicle which is out of warranty. I know many people who get a new car every three years (or lease). With the way vehicles depreciate, I don't know how they afford it. One in particular purchased a new Chrysler $35k something-or-other, less than three years later got $9k for it on a trade-in! How does someone justify $26k for less than three years of driving?

    People like me drive older/simpler vehicles... but it makes ya wonder - where are we gonna find simple vehicles in 10 years?

    cheers,
     
  12. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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  13. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends on driving habits. My '87 Camry has over 200k on it. Original clutch, original brakes, all working just fine.
    Manufacturers cannot design anything that the consumer cannot destroy.
     
  14. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have been told that an automatic will last longer, and is cheaper in the long run due to clutch costs for a manual. I don't believe it. All of our manual transmission vehicles have over 100k miles, some over 200k, and I haven't had to replace the clutch in anything that we are currently driving. Did replace the clutch in a 84 zVW Jetta, but that was almost right away when I got it, and the previous owner had an incompetent mechanic work on it, and he left the retaining clips in the clutch that he had installed, and on top of that, had put in the wrong clutch and then the owner thought that the timing inspection hole was the filler for gear oil for the tranny, so he had filled the clutch with gear oil.

    I do, however, have a friend that makes a good living repairing nothing but automatic transmissions, and does most of his work on Chrysler corporation cars and trucks due to their poor transmissions.
     
  15. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    I'm not sure its just/only the electronic controls that makes the cars more complex. Although newer vehicles appear to have more electronics and more complex electronics, they also appear to be built without regard to future repair or service. Who knows... I've never actually owned a newer vehicle, so perhaps they're not as daunting as they initially appear.

    My 93 Geo Metro is about as complex as I wanna get :)

    cheers,
     
  16. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I totally and 100% disagree with you 180 degrees on this.

    So does our independent auto mechanic, who drive manual transmission trucks himself. Repairs to our mid 1990's vehicles agrees.

    No argument, we can all have an opinion, that is fine.

    No matter how little I think of yours - ;) . (That last line is just good-natured kidding.)

    For most vehicles, the manual lasts longer, runs cheaper, & is cheaper to maintain/ repair. In my experience.

    --->Paul
     
  17. travis91

    travis91 Formerly 4animals.

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    see te thing is with the 2.3L 4 cilinder in the ranger if you have the manual you can have a 3.55,3.73,or a 4.10 rearend but with an auto you can only get the 4.10
     
  18. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I dont understand why some think an automaitc is more heavy duty than a manual. Some will argue that opinion all day while never giving any substantiation. granted automatics have one clutch pack for every gear, while manuals only have one clutch so the clutch for the manual tranny might wear out sooner, but that can be avoided too. Why are most semi trucks manual? Because a manual is stronger than an autmatic. Mabey the modern light duty trucks, and cars have weak manual trannies, but semis have a manual tranny for a reason. gears on gears can move anything the engine can move. A hydrolic pump is the weak link in a drive train, and will stall with enough load. Sure an auto might save some wear on some parts, but whats the point if the pump stalls, and you cant get the power to the ground?
    Modern automatics may be very good, but nothing beats an old T-19 4 speed, an NV4500 5 speed, or that new process 4 speed in the old chevies, and an NP205 gear driven transferr case. When I say old I mean pre 80's. There are lots of companies who specialise in replacement parts for old pick up trucks, and drivelines. The old manual trannies can be shifted without the use of the clutch just like the semis do, and someone who knows how to do it can greatly extend the life of their clutch by not using it except for stopping, and reversing. I wouldnt own an auto in a work truck.
     
  19. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Bulldozers, large earthmoving dumptrucks, firetrucks, and tractor trailers are using automatics. Pre 80's was 25+ years ago, technology has come a long way since then.
     
  20. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Nope. Because they couldn't get the gear reduction necessary out of an automatic until receintly and still have a decient highway speed.