1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Where have all the manual transmissions gone?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Joful, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    I've tried, even took her out to a parking lot to learn a couple times before the kids where born. She actually did ok, but just doesnt like it. What we are probabyl going to do is get the new Accord V6. 280hp has a way of softening the blow of loosing the manual, and damn that thing is comfy. It would make a great reliable road trip car.

    When the kids are a bit older and my wife goes back to work I'll pick up a "dad's weekend car".... always wanted a roadster. Maybe the 2.2 S2k or a NB/early NC Miata. Something cheap, light, well balanced and stick shift.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. charly

    charly Guest

    Funny, I bought my Dodge cummins diesel in at 100,000 miles to have the valves adjusted at a friends diesel shop... When I called to pick it up he wanted top know if I wanted to sell the truck as he had someone who wanted it... He said I had bought a special ordered vehicle when I purchased it used.. 1 ton, 5 speed standard , and single wheels in the rear.. Well I have to say it took me about a year to find a standard Diesel locally... This is a late model 2004... At one point we had 3 standard vehicles, 97 dodge pickup, my diesel dodge, and a 98 VW beetle diesel... The wife could drive them all.. Now she drives an Automatic 03 Subaru:p.. She use to drive an old boyfriends standard 66 Chevelle big block.. I love the standards,, I've never had to put a clutch in anything I ever owned...97 dodge and 98 beetle both had over 150,000 miles..when we got rid of them...Dodge Cummins is getting some cancer under the door on the cab, but for what a new truck costs, I think I'll have new metal put in...
  3. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    I had to do some digging for my truck. I traded a 01 f150 (manual, but kept blowing up the front axle when I really needed it) for another ranger (my 3rd) with a manual and 4.10 gearing. Damn ranger can tow more than my 150.

    Anyhow, in my search, I was only able to find 3 manual trucks at all. I will only drive a manual in a personal vehicle. First of all, Ford autos suck. Period. Especially if you use the truck as a truck. My personal experience has been that I need a clutch after 70-100K miles. I will need an auto at 40, 80, and 120 k miles. Clutch kit is cheap, whole new auto trans isn't.

    I spoke with 3 dealers for new trucks, and was told that you can't get a manual in a Ford (truck) anymore. From a F150 to a F550. About the only one that is still offering them Is Dodge (IMHO, the ONLY good thing about their trucks is the Cummins...2 year old Dodge trucks are rotting out from road salt around here).

    I made up my mind that when this truck is gone, I'm just going to replace it with something from Government Liquidation. Bobbed deuce as a daily driver anyone?
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,965
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Must you buy a new truck? If it's not a primary vehicle and racking up less than 5000 miles per year, just buy used.
  5. higginscl

    higginscl Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Nora Springs, IA
    I am with you on this one. I just went to the Chevy website to try to build one and they dont even offer the manual trans on half tons. My thought is that people are getting lazy and want the car or truck to drive for them.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia

    It's my primary vehicle, but I work very close to home. My current truck probably has more miles on it hauling firewood and construction materials, than hauling my ass to work and back.

    After seeing the price for what I want, I may indeed go used. Or, just keep my truck for hauling stuff, and buy a new sedan for my daily driver. I don't really like having another vehicle to insure / inspect / maintain, though. Also, these Dodge's don't have a great record of holding up well, sitting outside. Most of my vintage are rusted out at the fenders and door corners.
  7. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,706
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    Why not buy a bike? ;)
    fox9988, MasterMech and charly like this.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Brilliant response to a thread about replacing a truck. If you must know, a bike is no good for dropping two kids off at school each morning. Aside from that, most of the roads from here to there are narrow windy roads with no shoulders or obeyed speed limits. I feel sorry for the few idiots I encounter on bikes, when I'm tailing some maniac in a pickup truck doing 50 mph around a blind curve. ;)

    We have a name for cyclists around here: "future paraplegics."

    That, and I can't show up at work sweaty, dirty, or late.
  9. Kids should fit fine. And you could probably haul home some wood while you are at it.

    [​IMG]
    fox9988, Tuneighty, ScotO and 2 others like this.
  10. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    485
    I suspect this part is what you are used to more than anything else. I learned to drive in a small front wheel drive automatic without antilock brakes, so that is the kind of vehicle I was most comfortable driving in the snow. I eventually adjusted.

    Is it possible you just need to learn how to drive an auto instead of ignoring it. ;) If you take it easy on the gas it isn't going to surprise you with a downshift. If you want to downshift floor it. You do know you aren't going to hurt an automatic by shifting it on the fly, right? I've been shifting my autos for drag downhill, more control in the snow, more power before passing, more power on entrance ramps when towing, etc for decades. I've once encountered a manual driving passenger who don't know you can shift an auto to anything but D and freak out when I did it. ;lol

    If you put it in L, it is stuck in first. If you put it in 2, it is stuck in 2. If you put it in 3, then 4, 5, and 6 are locked out. If you put it in 4 then 5 and 6 are locked out. It doesn't give you quite as much flexibility as a manual, but its good enough IMO.

    If you can't find the manual you want, you might also want to try different brand autos. You might find some less offensive than others. I don't like Honda automatics. The shift points are all wrong and the lockout to keep it from upshifting when going uphill is far to aggressive for me. Lots of people love them.
    Joful likes this.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'm not ignoring your enjoyment of driving a stick. I'm the same way. However, Until they figure out how to get a wet clutch in a pickup, I will prefer the auto options for late model 1/2 thru 1 tons. Especially if that truck will do any heavy towing. Your primary objection to an auto was drivability. My point was that pickup autos have come a LONG way in that department in 10 years. As far as the money goes..... You'd save more by keeping your current truck. ;)

    You guys that love the stick in your car, I'm with you. They are fun, enhance power, and are pretty dang reliable with a skilled driver. But we're talking about 6000lb vehicles that tow/haul twice their weight or more. That's pretty rough on something like a clutch.

    When you find it, let me know.
    Joful likes this.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    There is the key. Transmissions seem setup to maximize MPG in a controlled test environment , optimized to one specific test rather than real world efficiency.

    My Canyon is case in point of manufacturer stupidity when programming/gearing an automatic transmission in a truck.

    It has the same 4L60E that GM put in every other RWD truck or SUV of with 1/2 ton capability. Fine, they already buy/manufacture the damn things by the thousands and it's a proven reliable unit. But they forgot one important detail. It usually has a small V8 (5.0 to 5.7L) or at least a big torquey V6 (4.3L) in front of it. When they put the 3.5L inline five in front of it, they left the V8 program! It continuously tries to run the motor at 1500 rpm (torque peak is 2400) and it refuses to downshift unless I pin it on the rug. It will unlock the converter quite readily but that's not the same thing. You have to exceed 70 MPH on the highway in THIRD gear (direct 1:1 output) to get it cruising anywhere near the torque peak. So long as I leave it in 3rd, it tows/hauls or drives through the twisties/hills just fine. Put it in 4th and it's mushy, unresponsive and just plain weak. Cruise is worse, set the CC and leave it in 4th, (D), and it will lug until it's losing speed quite rapidy, downshift to 2ND (<>) and race back to the set speed, settling into 4th again. WTH? The truck is screaming for a 5 or 6 speed auto gearbox (manual trans reduces the tow rating, :() or at the very least, intelligent programming.
  13. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    It is still my observation that an automatic can NEVER reach the real economy of a manual. Case in point, an automatic or CVT for that matter is hydraulically controlled (electronically valved) so there is an oil pump which needs to genarate pressure for things to work. A manual needs no parasitic oil pump and is strictly mechanical in nature, engine......clutch......greasets......axle/diff......wheels.

    Now with that said, there are Autos which get the same or better fuel economy as manuals. This is due to the higher gearing of the top gear in autos. I believe this is due to the general public's stupidity.

    Two identically engined trucks, one auto, one manual, both 5 speed for our illistration. Auto truck in 5th with torque converter locked up tachs 2,000 RPM at 65mph. Manual truck tachs 2,300 RPM in 5th at 65. Why? People say while towing a 10,000 lb. trailer "this dang truck won't take a good hill in 5th" in thir manual so the manufacturer makes 5th with a little lower overall gear ratio (engine: wheel overall). The auto equiped truch can simple downshift effortlessly while taking the same hill with the same trailer and the torque multiplication of the converter adds to the hill climb.

    Basically the majority of people who drive a manual get it up in 5th (or top gear) and leave it there as long as they can matt it and it will climb a hill. This is DUMB! If we all drove correctly and had gearing that was matched for the conditions and were not too lazy to downshift when we needed to a manual, we'd have manuals with higher top gears and we'd get better mileage than autos with the same gearing.

    Most of my friends have manual trucks and lug the heck out of them, 4th or 5th in town and leave it taching 1,200 RPM up a hill to get a nice note out of the exhaust :confused:. Oh and they take off in 2nd most of the time in their 3/4 and 1ton trucks " 'cause 1st is too low". It is made to tow and 1st won't slip the clutch as much from starting out. But alas, I drive "my way" and they theirs....

    TS
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Operative word being "real". An auto can be programmed with better habits than the average driver.

    When I got into drag racing for a period, and was building Camaro's and Mustang's with my buddies, I started getting into the habit of having cars tuned up on the dyno. It always amazed me how much power an automatic transmission consumes, versus a manual. However, as MasterMech already stated, it was hard to put a manual trans with a clutch behind most big blocks turning 500+ hp and torque.
  15. Blazin

    Blazin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Northern Plains, Montana
    With only 60k miles on your current truck, I'd suggest keeping it and repairing anything that's wrong with it.

    The Chevy 1 Ton van I drive for work has a 6.0L engine with a 4L60 auto trans. The van has over 400k miles, with a new engine at 250k and trans at 245k miles. I typically have the GVW right up to the 10k limit and my average on road speed is 75mph. It also just recently required the entire steering setup to be rebuilt, at almost 400k miles! :eek: Other than that and normal wear and tear nothing else major has had to be replaced.

    If you absolutely want a new truck, from what I've read here, you probably need a 3/4 ton. The only one I have experience with is a 2002 Chevy Duramax with the Allison trans. There was an issue with the injectors needing replaced, but the Allison never failed to perform. It's nicest feature, IMHO, is the trans brake to control your speed on downhill grades. Just tap the brake when you reach the speed you want to descend at, and it stays there until you either brake or accelerate.
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia

    Wow... didn't know any auto trucks had such features. That's one of the things I'd miss most about losing the manual, as I'm always using it to control my speed when descending hills in bad weather. Actually, come to think of it, I pretty much use the manual gear selection to control my speed all of the time, selecting my top gear based on the speed limit (or my interpretation thereof...).

    Yes, I know you can manually shift an auto. I used to race manual valve body transmission cars, which are automatic transmissions with the valve body re-arranged to not shift automatically. The trouble is the user interface, a stick control without proper gating, such that it's too easy to over-shoot your desired gear setting. This is why KarlP's passenger freaked out, not because someone isn't aware that you can manually shift an auto trans. When I drove manual valve bodies, I always had a Pro Stick or Quarter Stick with reverse lock-out, or at least a ratchet shifter.

    The manual valve body cars were fun to drive on the road, but not as fun as having a clutch. They could be scary in bad weather, but that had more to do with how they were set up (felt like a swift kick in the a$$ each time you'd grab the next gear), than anything else. ::-)
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    The new fords have a rocker switch on the gear selector + and - to change gears. Pretty sweet for towing.
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Okay, guys... I'm coming around a bit on the auto trans. I won't be taking the plunge until 2015, when my truck officially hits 10 years old, but I like to do a little research and shopping around each time. I have been getting into the idea of stepping up to 3/4 ton. I am so frequently limited by the 1/2 ton limit on my truck.

    For those who know the biz better than me... when's the best time of year to buy? I purchased the current truck in October, since they were running some pretty aggressive sales to clear out the prior model year. It seemed like a good time to get the lowest quoted price, but then I think they just offer less on your trade-in at that time of year, to compensate for the lower prices.

    Current truck is 8 years old at 61k miles. At time of trade will be 10 years old with 71k miles. Edmunds puts an '03 Dodge 1500 SLT 4x4 with 71k miles at $9.5k trade-in, and I usually pay cash for my new vehicles, unless there's some huge incentive to finance part of it.

    Yep... I could just keep the current truck longer, but ten years is long enough to rely on one vehicle, IMO...
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,409
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    The allison autos in the chevys have had this for several years as well. The +/- gear selector might be on the steering wheel, can't remember.
  20. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana

    Yes, the GM's have had this for a while, but Ford is the only one, to my knowledge, that has this in a half-ton package.

  21. Don't do it! When you go around a corner and push the gas and nothing happens because something just let go in your auto you can kiss 1500 goodbye.

    Personally I would never give up the simplicity and reliability of a 60k manual truck. People can claim the new automatic trucks are reliable but until they have a proven history of going 150k+ mile of being used as a truck and not a fancy station wagon I won't believe any of the claims.

    My 1 ton truck is proof they aren't reliable. I've yet to go 60k miles without a major failure. The only reason I keep it is everything else has been bullet proof. When it caught on fire (from trans fluid spraying onto the cat) my first thought was to get the kid out of the back seat. Then I was thinking well at least I'll be able to get a new truck. And then the guy in the tractor at the land fill came running with the biggest fire extinguisher I ever saw. Took the whole can to put the fire out.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It's absolutely amazing the first few times you go to decelerate for say, a freeway exit and the truck starts downshifting and engine braking all by itself. And it's a much more firm braking than what you'd expect from an auto. Got any buddies with a 3/4 ton diesel? Load it up or hook it up and go for a ride.

    If you do whip out the birthday money and spring for diesel power, an exhaust brake will just be one more toy that makes you smile. Usually it's an aftermarket item but some 1 ton duallys were offering them from the factory not too long ago.

    My first exposure to diesel capability was a reg cab '97 F350 4x4 SRW 7.3L (edit: Yes, it was a stick!) with a Gale Banks kit and an exhaust brake. Those of you that know, ..... know. ::-)
    Dairyman likes this.
  23. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    733
    You are not alone in this quest. I believe the market is what is dictating the the disappearance of the manual transmission. That and computer controls taking over for driver input.

    I have always bought my trucks used. standard 3/4 tons and up are easily fixed used and then flipped for cash. now its hard to find most are automatics with bad transmissions or lack of records to verify the use. Mileage has never been a factor for me as long as frame and cab where solid.
    If you pay to have your work performed economics of your trade value is a critical concern. Your truck will go many more miles but what will it be worth at the end? It is my understanding that a standard transmission can be special ordered from Ford but with a price tag. sort of like trying to get a truck with crank up windows. you pay more for less convenience now.
    Im with Mike on this one though I would hold tight to the one you have and drive it till it cant be driven any more. Im at 230,000 on an expedition auto trans@200,000 , 250000 on a chevy original 5.3l an 4l60e,220,000 on a firebird original engine and transmission700r4. but sure would rather have my 4 gear 79 chevy or my 75 f250 4 gear back.

    I also figure in my insurance savings in my own economics. save bundles with older cars and trucks.
  24. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,022
    Loc:
    NNJ
    I would venture to say that 95% of drivers under the age of 40 can not, and have no interest in learning to drive a clutch.
  25. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,409
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I am under 40 and pretty much agree, at least the trend is strong enough to recognize and be sure that you know it is less likely that your manual trans truck will be stolen by some punk kids. Also, those same kids won't be buying your used truck so resale value is lower.

    Parking brakes are important on a manual trans truck. When I'm towing heavy and I need to stop, I like to know that the "park" setting will keep my truck from rolling away instead of depending on an often non-functional parking brake.

Share This Page