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Crawling: Automatic vs. Manual

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by zakk, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    After wheeling this weekend at the Hammers we had many heated debated about which is better to crawl with.

    No one can disagree with the huge advantate granny-low give a SM465. But can a auto be made to complete? A converter adding an extra " times 2" crawl muliplication is a good thing, but is slipping a clutch? Compression brakeing overrated? Is "stick-itis" a sickness or a way of life?

    I think that adding a doubler and deep gears can get an auto to crawl, but the same can be done with a manual.

    Is it really just preference or is one better than the other?
     
  2. BigOrange90Jimmy

    BigOrange90Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Oh god. Not this arguement again. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    It's all a matter of preference, build quality, proper gearing, and driver skill. If you feel you can work the stick good enough on the trail, then go for it. At the same time, if you build the auto right, it will and can handle being a performer.

    It's been used as a reference many times before, so why not bring it up again? Check out Stephen's ride. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> A stick with deep gears and a handthrottle. Ideally you'd want to add a doubler on top of that for a 100:1 - 120:1 crawl ratio. But that's just MHO. </font> /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. crwln73

    crwln73 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Zakk,
    I'll put my .02 in for manual trannies.The way I see it is manuals have two distinct advantages.They can be started in gear and you have better compression braking.Now that being said I would like to add I have never wheeled with a automatic.I know my sm 465 did pretty well at the Hammers.


    Oh yeah THE HAMMERS RULE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    i knew you'd find this thread /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    did you get my PM over at the NCBD forums?

    I see that there are advantages to both, I like the fact that there is a lot less "bouncey-ness" to the auto. no slipping off a rock when you let out the clutch and stuff like that. Coming off Sladge, i know compression braking is necessary, and a doubler helps that out for an auto.

    I guess I'll just have to slap a doubler in and find out /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  6. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know about you, but I have trouble keeping from rolling backwards on the steep &amp; nasty even with the auto and 2 feet /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif. With a stick shift, even with a hand throttle you are gonna be burning a lot of clutch to keep from rolling back (think obstacles like Dump Bump) I have pretty good compression braking with my 700/208/4.56 (although not as good as a 465) but if you were to swap in a doubler that would solve your C.B. issue.
     
  7. crwln73

    crwln73 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah just thought Id put in my .02 worth.I also believe that what ever tranny you use.Once you get used to it you make adjustments to suit that application.A doubler is a must for any application.That is if you plan for the trails which all else should be judged by."The Hammers" /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif



    I got your PM.Thinking on how much what I want for the thing.
     
  8. Waxer

    Waxer 1/2 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't know about you, but I have trouble keeping from rolling backwards on the steep &amp; nasty even with the auto and 2 feet /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif. With a stick shift, even with a hand throttle you are gonna be burning a lot of clutch to keep from rolling back (think obstacles like Dump Bump) I have pretty good compression braking with my 700/208/4.56 (although not as good as a 465) but if you were to swap in a doubler that would solve your C.B. issue.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    With the manual (sm465), you aren't touching the clutch unless you stop (which is rare). Then its just a matter of letting out the clutch and letting off the brake. You are able to just idle along w/o using any gas should you choose to. It is one of those things that you have to experience it to understand.

    I've been on both sides of the coin (th350/np205), and now (sm465/np205) and I will never go back to auto. I do NOT have to worry about an overheating tranny. I do NOT have to use pure brake to decend down a steep grade at 5mph or slower, I do NOT have to use the brake when crawling except to stop (as in someone is holding me up, or I get tipsy and get very cautious).

    My vote is for manual, all the way.
     
  9. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I personally would have to say auto. With the auto though you need deep gearing. Doubler, or low axle gears &amp; tcase gears (208, 241). After wheeling with the guys in AZ I am sold on the auto's. They run auto's with Doublers and moderate axle gears (4.10). It works very well for them. If you are running larger then 35-37" tires, then 4.56's or lower might be in order.

    My next setup is going to be a built 700R4/241/4.88 in a light rig. This is the setup I want to run in the AZ rocks. Other places it might not work so well though. You have to build it to the environment you wheel in. Also I haven't had alot of experience with manuals, especially offroad so the auto is my choice.
     
  10. 73k5tony510

    73k5tony510 Registered Member

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    hey zakk i think the only way youll find out is by putting it in and testing it out you r self.i know il never go back to an auto
     
  11. crwln73

    crwln73 1/2 ton status

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    SM 465,203/205,5.86=158:1 crawl ratio When I stop on a hill There is no clutch involved.Just turn the key and go. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. S-30

    S-30 Registered Member

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    this is deffinetly a matter of personal preference but I wheeled with an auto one weekend and took it out. the main thing with a stick is let the clutch out and don't touch it again untill it is time to stop. that can be hard to get used too though. my first year wheelin i had a 4" body lift and manual clutch so the linkage would fall apart all the time and i gave up on fixing it. wheelin all weekend with no clutch really gets you used to not using it too much. i also have about a 180:1 ratio so that helps a lot. just idle everywhere.
     
  13. sidslc

    sidslc Registered Member

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    Only 1 out of 10 compition vehicles has a manuel. Prob for a good reason.
     
  14. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Zakk,

    I was a Manual Tranny kind of guy a while back, but after wheeling for 2 years with a manual (without hydro) I found myself a little worn out. So, I made the switch back to an Awful matic. Haven't been out on the trails yet, but I am looking forward to having 4.0:1 gearing in the t-case and the ease of point and click. Auto tranny crawlers are like go carts Man, too fun to get out of the saddle.

    Manual's are killer though, just went for something different. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    I didn't look at many in the Modified class, but every single one of the Trophy class at the last ProRock event ran an auto. That the comp rigs only had autos says something to me.
    With deep enough gearing an auto will C.B. Talk to a trans guy, I think there are some tricks to make this happen w/o real deep gearing. The biggest issue I see with an auto is keeping it cool, especially when the converter is slipping. That builds a huge amount of heat. Keep it cool and you have a trans that is every bit as good as a manual, and to my thinking has a couple of bene's that a manual doesn't.

    If you spend some $$ on the converter you can get more like 3:1 out of it alone. Most stockers are in the 2.1:1 to 2.25:1 range. The TH425 converter out of the GMC motorhome is 2.6:1
     
  16. XtrmChevy

    XtrmChevy 1/2 ton status

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    And around here its 1 out of 10 using manual /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif.
    It is about preference most of all, but I want automatic, with the right gearing. With automatic you can crawl with the second gear and when you floor it you can really get the wheels spinning in the mud and other places too if you have the power. I dont have that. Yet /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif.

    But I still wote for automatic /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif.
     
  17. K5Redneck33

    K5Redneck33 Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]


    I guess I'll just have to slap a doubler in and find out /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    [/ QUOTE ] what exactly is a doubler?
     
  18. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I am pretty qualified to answer this now... at least with my preference! I wheeled with an auto for 12 yrs now.

    It is very easy, and very forgiving. It picks the gear it needs to be in at the particular time. Halfway up a sandy hillclimb, if you step into it, it will shift down without missing a beat and prolly take you over the top. A std, you have to pick the gear before you leave the bottom, and either stick with it, or get real good at shifting in a big hurry. On the downside of the hill, its a different story. The auto will try to shift to a higher gear... if you hold it in first, the torque converter will slip, letting you speed up anyways. Pressing harder on the brakes helps, but if you lock the fronts, there goes your steering, and you speed up. You have to release the brakes to steer, and so you speed up, so you hit the brakes again.... and so on. Trust me, in snow, I have had many scary rides down slippery hills with the auto, with all 4 wheels locked up and speeding up all the way down. With the stick, you pick 4lo 1st, a light touch on the brakes, and you are in control and steerable the whole way down, as slow as you like.
    Advantage: stick for hills...

    Another scenario- mud pit... you are halfway thru a pit, the mud gets real sticky, you step into it, the auto shifts down, you have the gear you need, you power another 3 or 4 truck lengths. The stick, you step into it, nothing happens, you try to grab another gear, the truck stops, you shift and dump the clutch, too slow... youre stuck.
    Advantage: auto for mud

    Yet another- rough terrain/ rocks... auto tranny shifts all over the place, unless you hold it in 1st... heats it up big time, drops the life of the thing by 500 miles everytime you keep it from shifting when it wants to. large bumps/ rocks, you need to overcome the torque converter slippage to get over it, then when you do, you are on the brakes to slow back down due to no compression braking, temp is still going up from the heat in the converter. Cant let it idle, gotta give it some gas unless you are ultra low geared... cost ya big bucks to get geared low enough didnt it. Add in the cost of the huge cooler, the manual valve body or shift kit, etc. Look over, theres the stick truck, idling thru, crawling, no gas, no brakes, just crawlin. Temp? Whatever... hit a large rock? tap the gas very lightly, and she climbs over, then the engine brakes the descent on the other side. Nice and slow.
    Advantage: stick for crawlin

    Then you get the other stuff... what happens if ya stall while winchin. The batterys dead, you are alone, or your buddy doesnt have cables. Or the starter packs in due to the motor being too hot (you know the awesome starter GM solenoid location)... there ya are, cooling it down to restart. Look over, theres your buddy with the stick, rolling it and bump starting his. Then you look under... uh oh, a puddle of red fluid... must be tranny fluid from the ruptured cooler line. Better head for the road. As the shifts get more and more intermittant, fewer between, eventually not moving at all... you look to the buddy with the stick. He pulls ya back to town.

    Im sure there is more, but these are my actual experiences that happened with the auto. I am very happy with the stick now, I have soo much more control and less worries. I can finally remove the tranny temp guage that I was always watching on the hot days!
    I think you can tell my preference... maybe! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Mike
     
  19. crwln73

    crwln73 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Well, I am pretty qualified to answer this now... at least with my preference! I wheeled with an auto for 12 yrs now.

    It is very easy, and very forgiving. It picks the gear it needs to be in at the particular time. Halfway up a sandy hillclimb, if you step into it, it will shift down without missing a beat and prolly take you over the top. A std, you have to pick the gear before you leave the bottom, and either stick with it, or get real good at shifting in a big hurry. On the downside of the hill, its a different story. The auto will try to shift to a higher gear... if you hold it in first, the torque converter will slip, letting you speed up anyways. Pressing harder on the brakes helps, but if you lock the fronts, there goes your steering, and you speed up. You have to release the brakes to steer, and so you speed up, so you hit the brakes again.... and so on. Trust me, in snow, I have had many scary rides down slippery hills with the auto, with all 4 wheels locked up and speeding up all the way down. With the stick, you pick 4lo 1st, a light touch on the brakes, and you are in control and steerable the whole way down, as slow as you like.
    Advantage: stick for hills...

    Another scenario- mud pit... you are halfway thru a pit, the mud gets real sticky, you step into it, the auto shifts down, you have the gear you need, you power another 3 or 4 truck lengths. The stick, you step into it, nothing happens, you try to grab another gear, the truck stops, you shift and dump the clutch, too slow... youre stuck.
    Advantage: auto for mud

    Yet another- rough terrain/ rocks... auto tranny shifts all over the place, unless you hold it in 1st... heats it up big time, drops the life of the thing by 500 miles everytime you keep it from shifting when it wants to. large bumps/ rocks, you need to overcome the torque converter slippage to get over it, then when you do, you are on the brakes to slow back down due to no compression braking, temp is still going up from the heat in the converter. Cant let it idle, gotta give it some gas unless you are ultra low geared... cost ya big bucks to get geared low enough didnt it. Add in the cost of the huge cooler, the manual valve body or shift kit, etc. Look over, theres the stick truck, idling thru, crawling, no gas, no brakes, just crawlin. Temp? Whatever... hit a large rock? tap the gas very lightly, and she climbs over, then the engine brakes the descent on the other side. Nice and slow.
    Advantage: stick for crawlin

    Then you get the other stuff... what happens if ya stall while winchin. The batterys dead, you are alone, or your buddy doesnt have cables. Or the starter packs in due to the motor being too hot (you know the awesome starter GM solenoid location)... there ya are, cooling it down to restart. Look over, theres your buddy with the stick, rolling it and bump starting his. Then you look under... uh oh, a puddle of red fluid... must be tranny fluid from the ruptured cooler line. Better head for the road. As the shifts get more and more intermittant, fewer between, eventually not moving at all... you look to the buddy with the stick. He pulls ya back to town.

    Im sure there is more, but these are my actual experiences that happened with the auto. I am very happy with the stick now, I have soo much more control and less worries. I can finally remove the tranny temp guage that I was always watching on the hot days!
    I think you can tell my preference... maybe! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Mike


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Very well said! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  20. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Oh ya, I should mention... I swapped to a 465 last week and took it wheelin for the first time yesterday! I loved it!

    Mike
     

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