Automatic transmission vs. stsndard transmission

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hitchiker

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Sep 16, 2006
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I am considering buying a new 1 ton Dodge 3500 Cummings Diesel with a 6 speed manual transmission instead of the automatic with tow mode feature. I will be pulling a fifth wheel, that when fully loaded probably weighs around 12,000 lbs. I know from all accounts that automatic transmissions have just as much pulling capacity, but they are still automatics, and when pulling alot in the western mountains, they can over heat and maybe a huge expense if you blow the tranny. I have no qualms about driving a 6 speed manual truck, that will in fact give me good gear ratios when climbing and also allow good compression when descending down hills. I know that i am in the minority, and that just about every RVer i meet has an  automatic truck.Am i wrong in choosing a standard and should i not worry about tranny problems, if i have an automatic that is fully rated to pull 12,000 lbs?
 

Shayne

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Forget the stick  It will never compare to the auto in any way shape or form. Also you will be replacing clutches constantly,  Sticks are a thing of the past.
 

Ned

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Get the automatic, put synthetic ATF in it, and use a transmission temperature gauge to avoid overheating.  Synthetic ATF will withstand higher temperatures than the standard ATF and give longer service intervals.  The Allison is one of the finest automatic transmissions made.

The truck may come with synthetic ATF from the factory.
 

John From Detroit

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IN days of old when folks were bold and automatics just invented.. (A favorite way for me to start a post)

Well, they were ineffecent,  Having an AUTO cost you big time in the MPG ratings and sticks delivered more power more reliably to the wheels.

However long about the 1970s they came out with the locking torque converter, this is a torque converter that, once you are up to speed, locks, like a hard clutch, and most all that MPG difference vansished. 

In addition the control computers have greatly improved from the fairly simple mehcinical controls of the 1950/60s to modern programmable digital things that are real sharp as to when they shift for maximum efficency.  Where as the early ones you might well be able to pick your shift points better than it could.  Today, It is highly unlikely you can do that.

And when it comes to backing a trailer into a thight campsite,  you are gonna be real happy with that slush box and real unhappy with a genuine clutch that wears out your left leg.

Now understand, I grew up with stick shifts and have driven everything from 3 speeds to 15 speed automobiles (Semi trucks) Heck, I've even driven an 18 speed but it's a HPV (Human powered vehicle, bicycle to be specific)

Today, the best choice is automatic, Even semis are being made that way (Though I think my brother still uses a clutch, but then like me he learned that way)
 

BernieD

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To all denigrators of the stick shift, phooey ;D

Yeah, even race cars are starting to come with automatics now, but nothing beats the enjoyment and feel of handling the stick shift yourself. It's kind of like a convertible which is noisey, ratlles more, less fuel efficient and heavier than a coupe, but oh that wind in the hair. YMMV
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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If you are happy with the stick shift, fine. Go for it.  But if you are buying it because you are concerned about towing with an automatic, there  is no need to worry about a modern automatic.

I'll grant you that the fine gear control you get with a six speed manual is both a pleasure to drive and  very efficient.
 

John From Detroit

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BernieD said:
but nothing beats the enjoyment and feel of handling the stick shift yourself.

Do not get my previous post wrong... I could not agree with the above more.

I do like the feel of a good stick shift, I like the power it gives me and I know how to use it.

That said,  I can't match the shifting pattern of my Allison auto no matter how hard I try.
 

King

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I don't know about other makes, but Ford trucks with automatics all have higher tow ratings than the same truck with a stick, across the entire line.  I would think they might know something.
Art
 

Just Lou

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I'm more than thankful that the moho has an automatic, but it sure is fun to jump in the toad and play "Mario whatz his face".
 

Shayne

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In the 60's and 70's I was salemanager for a Ford/Lincoln/\Mercury dealer in ILL  Had 3 buddies wanting to buy Ford F250s in the mid 70s,  The factory tgruck rep was there and told them get the Auto with limited slip  rear axle and forget the 4 wheel drive.  Said you are much better off and can load and haul more with them.  All 3 bought thaqt way and were happy and never went back to stick.  They're just better period no question and I never asked for the specifics, cause we had proof of such,  it fact even back then Ford would dquestion a HD 3/4 with a 4 gear.
 

lazydays

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Sep 5, 2006
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My wife drives my truck also Soooo the auto is the way I went. If the wife didn?t drive my truck I would have the stick!  :-X
 

Shayne

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Quit driving sticks in basicly in 195o when I got my 1st Mercury convertable.
 
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