Manual on the Rocks

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by Hossbaby50, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

    Sep 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Peoria, AZ
    After dealing with my auto trans lately in my 85 I was possibly thinking about putting a manual in my next truck. I have been driving my dads CJ5 around with a manual for the last 3 months and I have gotten to liking it. I want to know opinions and experience with a manual on the rocks. I imagine I would probably need a hand throttle, but that shouldn't be a hard rig up. Also how deep of gearing do I need? I know the auto guys with doublers are around 40:1 plus the torque converter (80:1).

    I am thinking about running a SM420 2wd trans (7.05 1st gear) and then running a divorced 205 case and 4.56 gears. Would this be deep enough or do I need more with a manual?

    Also anyone have any possible input on the dual Transmissions. (SM420/465, 420/420, 465,465) I think this would be rather trick. You would have so many gearing options it wouldn't be funny. Stupid low all the way to high range.

    How well will a manual do on the AZ rocks?


  2. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

    Aug 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Mesa, Arizona
    Some folks swear by a good "granny" tranny. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif And if set up w/ the proper ratios, it can have advantages over the auto - the largest being downhill control. That being said, your crawl needs to be low. I'd guess that a minimum of 100:1 crawl ratio would be desired for a rig that'll spend most of its time in the rocks...

    The way I see it, Pro's of a manual:
    - can't hardly blow it up
    - compression braking
    - can push start

    And Cons:
    - frame/body twist can hose up clutch/shifter linkage
    - can seem "jumpy/jerky" compared to an auto when crawling
    - gotta use that "third foot" when lining up on some obstacles - and an auto requires less body coordination /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif.

    About 10 years ago, I used to be a "die hard" stick-shifter. I must admit that I've converted, tho... and now I think a juice tranny is the way to go /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif.

  3. mosesburb

    mosesburb For Rent Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Apr 20, 2003
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    Phoenix AZ
    I've only run manuals on the trails. Nothing quite as whacked as Marv, Rob, Fred and the like do, but I have always been a fan of the row-your-own trans. The only thing I can advise you on is: Buy the best clutch possible--No discount auto parts store units. A factory replacement will handle the power you are making and if you know how to use one properly, will last a long time (and are actually not too terribly priced-when compared to a QUALITY aftermarket clutch). My second choice to OE would be a Luk clutch. We installed a boat-load of these at the shop and I don't recall having to do any warranty work on a recipient of a Luk clutch. I have installed the factory GM clutch in several of my personal customer's trucks (everything from stoopid drivers to one tons pulling 12-13000lb trailers) and have yet to have someone come back to me with any complaints. The cheap clutches will often times come with a good disc, but have a float-the-boat pressure plate in it which contributes to horrid(!) clutch chatter. The linkage binding issue can be rectified with a hydraulic clutch setup that was available towards the end of the K5 model run. Most of the parts are available from the aftermarket for a good savings over factory pieces.
    Good luck with your decision,
  4. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

    Apr 21, 2001
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    Escondido, CA
    im a die hard manual guy. but thats because all of my autos have died hard.
    as for on the rocks i dotn know. but in mud and forest trails and sand. ill take a manual any day.
    im building a 465 doubler combo. with 4.10 gears and 37 or 42 inch tires i should be able to put it in tripple low and just idle across most of the stuff. os so i would think anyway.

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