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Author Topic: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.  (Read 9012 times)

MTK20

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Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
« on: September 29, 2018, 04:35:18 pm »
I have said before that I don't care for trucks. I have no need for them and I am not too knowledgeable on them. Well, it all started when I drove a family member's Tacoma, that I began to be curious about trucks. Not only this, but I have always wanted to learn how to drive a manual transmission. Preferably, I would have liked to learn on an old beat up pick up, but instead all I got was a 2000 Camaro. I guess it would have to do (I am just starting out learning it, but I feel I have the basics kind of down in between stalls, grinding, and engine shut offs :hide).

I remember when I was growing up you could always pick a manual or automatic transmission. Much to my surprise, they don't make new vehicles with manuals too often now. Sure RAM, Chevy, and GMC all have current offering in 2018 for manual transmissions, but they aren't as prolific as they once were.

Here is my question. Why would anyone get a manual transmission today vs an automatic? Is it ridiculous to even consider driving a manual in today's society?

Give me your opinions and knowledge on the subject.
Texas
Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Plebian

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #1 on: September 29, 2018, 05:38:42 pm »
    I have said before that I don't care for trucks. I have no need for them and I am not too knowledgeable on them. Well, it all started when I drove a family member's Tacoma, that I began to be curious about trucks. Not only this, but I have always wanted to learn how to drive a manual transmission. Preferably, I would have liked to learn on an old beat up pick up, but instead all I got was a 2000 Camaro. I guess it would have to do (I am just starting out learning it, but I feel I have the basics kind of down in between stalls, grinding, and engine shut offs :hide).

    I remember when I was growing up you could always pick a manual or automatic transmission. Much to my surprise, they don't make new vehicles with manuals too often now. Sure RAM, Chevy, and GMC all have current offering in 2018 for manual transmissions, but they aren't as prolific as they once were.

    Here is my question. Why would anyone get a manual transmission today vs an automatic? Is it ridiculous to even consider driving a manual in today's society?

    Give me your opinions and knowledge on the subject.

    If you are going to tow stuff manuals are still nice. The newer automatics are way better than they used to be, but manuals are still typically stronger and more efficient.

    Also the 4 low transfer and granny first gear on my Bronco allows super slow 4 wheeling if needed in rough terrain. It basically lets you crawl around at super slow speed without wearing on brake pads with oodles of torque.
    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

    coelacanth

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #2 on: September 29, 2018, 05:52:40 pm »
    Exactly.  The manual is stronger, simpler and cheaper to produce, buy, maintain, and repair if necessary.  The worst part about automatics off road is they overheat without sufficient airflow over the transmission cooler.  Usually near the end of a long difficult stretch of terrain where its really tough/dangerous/damned inconvenient to stop.   :banghead   They end up on everything now because they can be built with more speeds, programmable shift points and lower final drive ratios than a manual and they end up being slightly more fuel efficient at in normal highway driving situations. 
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    MTK20

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #3 on: September 29, 2018, 06:19:21 pm »
    Exactly.  The manual is stronger, simpler and cheaper to produce, buy, maintain, and repair if necessary.  The worst part about automatics off road is they overheat without sufficient airflow over the transmission cooler.  Usually near the end of a long difficult stretch of terrain where its really tough/dangerous/damned inconvenient to stop.   :banghead   They end up on everything now because they can be built with more speeds, programmable shift points and lower final drive ratios than a manual and they end up being slightly more fuel efficient at in normal highway driving situations.

    So if I drive on paved city roads and occasionally on rural gravel roads, I need to get an automatic?  :hmm
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #4 on: September 29, 2018, 06:43:00 pm »
    Get what ever suits you.  You can have an automatic in your holster and on your wrist and a manual in your truck - its all good bro.  :cool

    Most folks seem perfectly happy in a world where the manual transmission is an anachronism.  Both of my vehicles - including my truck - have automatic transmissions and they work fine within their limitations. 

    Knowing how to drive a manual transmission makes you part of an relatively small fraternity these days and some day may be considered dangerous, subversive knowledge so beware.    :whistle
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    Plebian

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #5 on: September 29, 2018, 07:27:54 pm »
    So if I drive on paved city roads and occasionally on rural gravel roads, I need to get an automatic?  :hmm

    You will typically have more choices in the automatic category since more of them are produced.
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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #6 on: September 29, 2018, 07:36:44 pm »
    As well, owning a manual transmission means that you will likely never have the wife trying to borrow your car when hers goes down.  :cool
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    MTK20

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 08:22:12 pm »
    Knowing how to drive a manual transmission makes you part of an relatively small fraternity these days and some day may be considered dangerous, subversive knowledge so beware.    :whistle

    Subversive?  :hmm I'm not sure I get that one, but I'm definitely a proponent of having "dangerous" knowledge  :neener . Sometimes you have to take a peek behind the curtain, what can I say? :shrug
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 08:36:14 pm »
    Knowledge and capability beyond that of typical man bun wearers is usually considered "threatening" or "triggering" in some circles as you would almost certainly use that knowledge to subvert the approved hierarchy.  Those are circles you don't want to travel in anyway so carry on.  You are, after all, reading this on an internet gun forum so you're probably already on some list somewhere.  You could even end up being labeled an intersectional terrorist.    :panic            :rotfl            Don't mind me - I've been drinking.   :cool
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    MTK20

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #9 on: September 29, 2018, 08:43:29 pm »
    Knowledge and capability beyond that of typical man bun wearers is usually considered "threatening" or "triggering" in some circles as you would almost certainly use that knowledge to subvert the approved hierarchy.  Those are circles you don't want to travel in anyway so carry on.  You are, after all, reading this on an internet gun forum so you're probably already on some list somewhere.  You could even end up being labeled an intersectional terrorist.    :panic            :rotfl            Don't mind me - I've been drinking.   :cool

    Ugh, I hate intersectional terrorists. The trans exclusionary radical terrorists (TERT) are slightly better, despite also being a threat to western society. Am I referencing feminism or terrorism? Who cares, they're both the same thing  :neener .
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #10 on: September 29, 2018, 08:46:47 pm »
     :thumbup1
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    Mikee5star

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #11 on: September 29, 2018, 10:59:28 pm »
    I have said before that I don't care for trucks. I have no need for them and I am not too knowledgeable on them. Well, it all started when I drove a family member's Tacoma, that I began to be curious about trucks. Not only this, but I have always wanted to learn how to drive a manual transmission. Preferably, I would have liked to learn on an old beat up pick up, but instead all I got was a 2000 Camaro. I guess it would have to do (I am just starting out learning it, but I feel I have the basics kind of down in between stalls, grinding, and engine shut offs :hide).

    I remember when I was growing up you could always pick a manual or automatic transmission. Much to my surprise, they don't make new vehicles with manuals too often now. Sure RAM, Chevy, and GMC all have current offering in 2018 for manual transmissions, but they aren't as prolific as they once were.

    Here is my question. Why would anyone get a manual transmission today vs an automatic? Is it ridiculous to even consider driving a manual in today's society?

    Give me your opinions and knowledge on the subject.


    I prefer manuals.  That is what I learned to drive with, and I did not drive an auto until I was 21 or 22.  Except for a car I owned for 6 months while in college, I did not own a auto until 2006.  I started driving in '88, the Grand Marquis was the third vehicle I owned, my Duramax, current auto truck was the 7th or 8th vehicle I owned.  Both mine and the wife's daily drivers are autos.  Hers simply due to the fact that nothing else was available.  We both prefer to control our vehicles, rather than have them control us.    I prefer them in snowy and icy weather conditions, and while towing.  Also for general fuel economy, and cost.

    I find the selection of manual transmission vehicles available in recent years to be an inadequacy.  Base models, economy boxes, 2wd, or performance.  When you start looking for a 4X4 your choices go to almost zero.  Ford ended manuals in their heavy duty models in around 2010, GMC/Chevy ended theirs in 2005.  Chevy basically ended manuals in 1/2 ton 4x4 pickups back in the '80s.  I am half-heartedly looking for a newer truck, trying to get better mileage, but need the utility.  The options just flat out suck.  I might have to build a truck to get the options and mileage I want.

    Dodge has the best options for newer manual transmissions in their trucks, but I won't own a Dodge product. 
    Alaska

    MTK20

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #12 on: September 29, 2018, 11:32:54 pm »
    I prefer manuals.  That is what I learned to drive with, and I did not drive an auto until I was 21 or 22.  Except for a car I owned for 6 months while in college, I did not own a auto until 2006.  I started driving in '88, the Grand Marquis was the third vehicle I owned, my Duramax, current auto truck was the 7th or 8th vehicle I owned.  Both mine and the wife's daily drivers are autos.  Hers simply due to the fact that nothing else was available.  We both prefer to control our vehicles, rather than have them control us.    I prefer them in snowy and icy weather conditions, and while towing.  Also for general fuel economy, and cost.

    I find the selection of manual transmission vehicles available in recent years to be an inadequacy.  Base models, economy boxes, 2wd, or performance.  When you start looking for a 4X4 your choices go to almost zero.  Ford ended manuals in their heavy duty models in around 2010, GMC/Chevy ended theirs in 2005.  Chevy basically ended manuals in 1/2 ton 4x4 pickups back in the '80s.  I am half-heartedly looking for a newer truck, trying to get better mileage, but need the utility.  The options just flat out suck.  I might have to build a truck to get the options and mileage I want.

    Dodge has the best options for newer manual transmissions in their trucks, but I won't own a Dodge product.

    If you didn't have the ability to build a vehicle (like yours truly  :rotfl ), what would be your thought process for navigating todays limited offerings? You said Dodge has the best options, but you omitted dodge. So who is next in line then? For pick ups? And for the hell of it, daily driver sedans as well?

    BTW, I swear I saw a GMC 2018 Canyon with a manual transmission.



    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Mikee5star

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #13 on: September 30, 2018, 12:32:21 am »
    If you didn't have the ability to build a vehicle (like yours truly  :rotfl ), what would be your thought process for navigating todays limited offerings? You said Dodge has the best options, but you omitted dodge. So who is next in line then? For pick ups? And for the hell of it, daily driver sedans as well?

    BTW, I swear I saw a GMC 2018 Canyon with a manual transmission.





    Only in 2wd.  Once you select 4X4, you lose the base engine option, and that is the only one that is available with a manual.   That is not an year round option for me.  If 2wd is an option for you, then you have better choices in pickups.  For both transmissions and engines, mileage wise.  2wd trucks also generally ride nicer, and have a lower bed height which is nice if you ever have to load heavy items.

    I have not looked much at sedans or cars in general.  I have only owned one out of 15 vehicles, all the rest have been pickups or truck based SUVs .  I have owned more motorcycles than cars.  I would look at Mazda, Toyota, Nissan, or VW if I wanted a manual transmission sedan that was not a base model or a economy box.  Subaru has manuals in their all wheel drives also, but they are over priced and not as reliable as they used to be IMHO.
    Alaska

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #14 on: September 30, 2018, 09:15:14 am »
    Last I checked, both the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier are available with manuals.
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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #15 on: September 30, 2018, 03:09:35 pm »
       I like manuals.   That said I'm often pulling trailers of hay or cattle (21K or 17K pounds+trailer weight respectively), which is where a manual shines.

       That said the new automatics are awesome pullers, my dad has a '12 ford with the 6.2 gas (hate teh pickup but pulls good) and a '15 Dodge with the 6.4 gas, both pull great.

      The older 4 speed automatics of ford and dodge both sucked for pulling trailers.  I swear a Dodge 360 with a manual could outpull a cummins or V10 with a (stock) automatic.  And a ford 7.3 powerstroke with an auto would lose to a gasser with a manual.

      City or long distance highway driving?  I like automatics, one reason I prefer cars for town or highway driving. 
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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #16 on: September 30, 2018, 03:34:13 pm »
    My Chevy Colorado (twin to the Canyon) is a crew cab, and came with the six speed automatic.  Yes, I can drive a manual transmission, and have had more manuals than automatics, but this truck is more of a daily driver to and from the office than can do weekend hauling duty when needed.  So for us, the automatic works.  Plus, it has a manual mode where you can choose the shift points, and can go up or down as needed.  Coming down a long hill with a trailer I was able to use both the trailering feature and the manual shifting feature of the transmission to keep it from going too fast.  Barely needed to use the breaks. 

    It works well for what the vehicle is intended for, a heavy half-ton / light 3/4 ton, but for anything that will be truly hauling heavy weights, there should be the option to have a manual transmission.
    Oregon

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #17 on: September 30, 2018, 03:37:46 pm »
       I like manuals.   That said I'm often pulling trailers of hay or cattle (21K or 17K pounds+trailer weight respectively), which is where a manual shines.

       That said the new automatics are awesome pullers, my dad has a '12 ford with the 6.2 gas (hate teh pickup but pulls good) and a '15 Dodge with the 6.4 gas, both pull great.

      The older 4 speed automatics of ford and dodge both sucked for pulling trailers.  I swear a Dodge 360 with a manual could outpull a cummins or V10 with a (stock) automatic.  And a ford 7.3 powerstroke with an auto would lose to a gasser with a manual.

      City or long distance highway driving?  I like automatics, one reason I prefer cars for town or highway driving. 


    Agreed on all counts.  Our farm trucks were all manual transmissions and they were both capable and bulletproof.  Once I arrived in Arizona I quickly found that most stock automatic transmissions of the day were ill suited to any off-highway adventures without considerable modification.

    One of the absolute best pick-up trucks I ever drove was an old F-250 with a 300 c.i. six cylinder and a manual transmission with a granny low and a 9" rear pumpkin and 4.11 gears.   It was even fast enough on the road to make 265 air conditioning work OK.    :thumbup1
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    MTK20

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #18 on: September 30, 2018, 04:57:41 pm »
    Agreed on all counts.  Our farm trucks were all manual transmissions and they were both capable and bulletproof.  Once I arrived in Arizona I quickly found that most stock automatic transmissions of the day were ill suited to any off-highway adventures without considerable modification.

    One of the absolute best pick-up trucks I ever drove was an old F-250 with a 300 c.i. six cylinder and a manual transmission with a granny low and a 9" rear pumpkin and 4.11 gears.   It was even fast enough on the road to make 265 air conditioning work OK.    :thumbup1

    Okay, I'm going to need some explanation. I think I know what the 300 cubic inch 6 cylinder is. It's what's I  our Bronco and I've heard dad refer to it as a "straight six". What is a pumpkin and 4.11 gears?

    My Chevy Colorado (twin to the Canyon) is a crew cab, and came with the six speed automatic.  Yes, I can drive a manual transmission, and have had more manuals than automatics, but this truck is more of a daily driver to and from the office than can do weekend hauling duty when needed.  So for us, the automatic works.  Plus, it has a manual mode where you can choose the shift points, and can go up or down as needed.  Coming down a long hill with a trailer I was able to use both the trailering feature and the manual shifting feature of the transmission to keep it from going too fast.  Barely needed to use the breaks. 

    It works well for what the vehicle is intended for, a heavy half-ton / light 3/4 ton, but for anything that will be truly hauling heavy weights, there should be the option to have a manual transmission.

    Very good info  :thumbup2 . It looks like for a daily driver a 2 wheel drive (maybe 4wd), automatic transmission would be fine.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #19 on: September 30, 2018, 05:21:13 pm »
    OK - here goes .  .  .  "pumpkin" is slang for a differential housing, owing to it's rounded shape similar to well, a pumpkin.  The 9" Ford rear differential is recognized as a very strong, capable piece of machinery that can take a lot of punishment and still deliver the goods.   The "4.11 gears" reference refers to the axle ratio ( actually 4.11 to 1 is more technically correct ) where the numerically higher number refers to the number of times the drive shaft has to rotate through 360 degrees to equal one turn of the wheels.   The axle ratio is determined by the number of teeth on the pinion gear and the ring gear respectively. 

    That particular engine, transmission and driveshaft combination was favored by heavy duty end users that wanted a workhorse rig and a real torque monster. It was usually put in a no frills truck with crank windows and rubber floormats and if you were lucky it had power steering and an AM radio.  With four wheel drive, a two speed transfer case, a little weight in the bed and a driver who wasn't an idiot, trucks like that were nearly unstoppable off road.  Ask me how I know.   :cool
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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #20 on: September 30, 2018, 06:18:50 pm »
    OK - here goes .  .  .  "pumpkin" is slang for a differential housing, owing to it's rounded shape similar to well, a pumpkin.  The 9" Ford rear differential is recognized as a very strong, capable piece of machinery that can take a lot of punishment and still deliver the goods.   The "4.11 gears" reference refers to the axle ratio ( actually 4.11 to 1 is more technically correct ) where the numerically higher number refers to the number of times the drive shaft has to rotate through 360 degrees to equal one turn of the wheels.   The axle ratio is determined by the number of teeth on the pinion gear and the ring gear respectively. 

    That particular engine, transmission and driveshaft combination was favored by heavy duty end users that wanted a workhorse rig and a real torque monster. It was usually put in a no frills truck with crank windows and rubber floormats and if you were lucky it had power steering and an AM radio.  With four wheel drive, a two speed transfer case, a little weight in the bed and a driver who wasn't an idiot, trucks like that were nearly unstoppable off road.  Ask me how I know.   :cool

    My 78 Bronco runs 4.11s in the rear with air lockers front and back. That particular model has the the granny gear 4 speed with a solid gear transfer case. I went thru the 400 motor in it. The dyno read a bit over 350 horses with just a touch over 440 ft-lbs of torque. You lock it up, put it in 4lo  granny 1st it will pull out a stuck tractor. I dug two 15 inch trenches about 20 feet long and a foot deep, but it got the tractor out. You tie onto something with that setup it moves or something/s break. It is a great bullet-proof off-road setup, and it can go about anywhere but past a gas station. 
    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #21 on: September 30, 2018, 09:30:03 pm »
    My main vehicle when I was in high school was dad's '72 chevy K20.  He had swapped out the stock 305 v6 for a 350 with a Holley eco-mister carburetor, I think the best mileage I ever got was 9mpg.  With the 4speed and we think 510-1 gears you could shift into 4th at 25 mph, in 2wd high.  In 4wd low top speed was about 25mph.  We drug the tool trailer, about 5000lbs, off a job through 2' deep mud for about 1/8th of a mile.  I never got that truck stuck.  I got it stopped a few times, but was always able to back out, or work through.

    My first truck was a '78 F-150 2wd 300 6 with a three on the tree.  With a load of firewood in the bed, and studded tires I only got stuck once, but had to be real careful where I went in the winter.  I never took the keys out of the ignition as most people thought it was an auto until it would not start when they turned the key.
    Alaska

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #22 on: September 30, 2018, 09:38:10 pm »
     :cool 
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    RMc

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #23 on: October 01, 2018, 05:42:30 am »
    I remember when "standard transmissions" really were standard transmissions!
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    Chief45

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    Re: Pick Ups and the Manual vs Automatic Transmission.
    « Reply #24 on: October 01, 2018, 10:00:38 am »
    I learned to drive on a manual.   had several over the years and drove more (farm trucks, grain trucks, semi's, etc).

    with that said,  My left knee will no longer reliably operate the clutch for extended periods.   I can still drive a manual,  it's just . . . . painful.   :banghead

     
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