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falstaff
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Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:29 pm

Do you drive a car/truck with a manual or automatic transmission? Here in the USA most cars are automatics and have been since the 1960s. Manual shift cars can be difficult to find, as many cars are not made available with manual transmissions and if they are many dealers do not stock very many of them. My mother runs into that problem when she gets a new car. She likes a manual, but the only manuals on the lot are usually in the bare bones models and she wants the fancier model, so she has to order it. When I visit Europe I see most of the cars are manuals and that is great, I wish we had more here.

I am not particular one way or the other. I like a small car with a manual and a truck with a manual is great too, unless you are pulling boats out of the launch.

My 08 Lincoln Town Car is obviously and Automatic, but my 1981 Ford F-100 is a three speed manual, column shift. I bet a lot of the younger members here have never driven or seen a "three on the tree" before. The truck is a a real driver's vehicle, no power steering, no power brakes, no hydraulic clutch....

For those of you that may wonder what I did with my 84 1/2 ton Chevy, well, the frame rusted and buckled so she went to the scrap yard....


Those of you not familiar with the "three on the tree" will notice that the shifter is in the same place as automatic column shift, but there is a clutch pedal, that gives away the fact that it isn't an automatic. The shift pattern is: in and down is 1st, out and up is 2nd, out and down is 3rd and in and up is reverse. Some manufacturers built four speed column shifts too.
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Goldenshield
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:35 pm

I drive a stick, and will unless I rent a car, break a leg, or they just stop making them. My pet peeve, though, is the "need" for automatic transmissions to have a tach, but not manuals.
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Sabena332
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:38 pm

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Do you drive a car/truck with a manual or automatic transmission?

I have an automatic transmission aka S-Tronic:



I'll never, ever drive a car with a manual transmission again. Why should I switch the gears by myself when a computer can do this for me?

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
pelican
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:50 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
I'll never, ever drive a car with a manual transmission again. Why should I switch the gears by myself when a computer can do this for me?

Because it's more fun?

pelican
 
idealstandard
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:52 pm

Both my cars are manuals. 6 speed in one, 5 in the other.

I do like autos though and wouldn't hesitate to consider one on a higher end diesel on a car I am considering for 2011.

IS
 
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falstaff
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:52 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 1):
My pet peeve, though, is the "need" for automatic transmissions to have a tach, but not manuals.

I don't get that either. My truck didn't have a tach, but I did install an aftermarket one, as I have done on my other old trucks. Those old Fords did offer a tachometer as an option, but you don't see it too often. The tach would be in the center of the cluster.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 1):
I drive a stick, and will unless I rent a car, break a leg, or they just stop making them.

My mom broke her hip a few years ago and one of her biggest worries was that she wouldn't be able to push in the clutch again and have to get an automatic. Fortunetly everything healed great and she continues to drive a manual without difficulty.
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Sabena332
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:54 pm

Quoting pelican (Reply 3):
Because it's more fun?

333 HP are also fun with S-Tronic, especially in the "S" mode.  

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
idealstandard
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:07 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 6):
333 HP are also fun with S-Tronic, especially in the "S" mode.

Unfortunately autos dullify the experience on anything lower end, not to mention the increase in fuel consumption (especially on diesels)
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:11 pm

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I bet a lot of the younger members here have never driven or seen a "three on the tree" before.

Hmmm I think the last European car sold with a "three on the tree" tranny was the Ford Anglia Mk 4, build from 62-67.
 
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akiss20
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:14 pm

Manual all the way. I hate autos, you never know what they are doing and when they are going to shift. I'd rather have the control.

Plus there is something intrinsically fun and powerful of double clutching on the 3 2 downshift and popping your motor up to 5.5K RPM  
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are
 
pelican
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 6):

333 HP are also fun with S-Tronic, especially in the "S" mode.

No doubt about that, but they would be more fun with a manual.

Last weekend I drove the new 530d and I really hated the auto. Not because it was a bad one, but I missed the playing with clutch and stick. To me a manual is more fun, no matter how much HP I'll have. Especially driving on hilly terrain is so much more fun with a manual. But maybe it's just me.

pelican

[Edited 2010-10-23 08:22:03]
 
ltbewr
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:24 pm

Back in the late 1970's, I had a 1966 Plymouth with '3 on the tree' and my brother had a 1970 Ford F-100 pickup with the same shifter position.

Almost all other cars I have owned have had automatic, it is the most practical way to drive in stop-and-go traffic here in the metro NY City/Northern NJ area. My current car, a 2006 Mazda 6, has a 6-speed automatic that has the option of manually up or down shifting gears, that is great when going downhill, or approaching a toll gate, etc. I think the last time I drove a stick shift vehicle for any sigifiant distance was in 2002 with a Ford Focus in the UK. WIth today's more afvanced automatic transmissions, the fuel economy benefits for many are very small.
 
Molykote
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:28 pm

Two cars with a manual transmission at the moment (3 series and Miata).

Having said that, and considering myself an enthusiast, I don't "hate" on automatics unconditionally as some people do. I had a Lexus used as a highway commuter and don't see how a manual transmission would have improved it. At some point, depending on the character of the car, it just makes little sense to bother with a manual.

Not a fan of any torque converter semi-automatic gearbox I've used. DSG/SMG/etc are fine, though I'd prefer a conventional manual as I value driving fun under seven (maybe eight) tenths road driving conditions as my highest "want" when selecting a car.
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planewasted
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:30 pm

I have automatic transmission and I hate it. The only good thing is that I drive a lot less at high rpms, because it's boring anyway with auto.
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:47 pm

I grew up driving a stick shift. I miss it sometimes...especially on those lovely snowy days where I could always use the extra control. My last car was an automatic. My current car is a CVT, and I love the feel of it and I operate my car like flying a small plane (a lot of calculations based on RPM). I still miss my stick shift, but with the way traffic is around here I would be burning through a clutch every 18 months LOL!
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
aero145
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:54 pm

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Automatic Or Manual Shift? 

The car I’m currently driving is a DSG-shift, and I think it’s pretty shitty, mainly because of it’s impossibility to allow a quick and smooth start from stop. I have three options of a start (haven’t tried it with other DSG’s though):

· The slow and smooth one: Release brake, accelerate carefully and let the transmission shift into 2nd, then 'give gas'
· The semi-quick one: Left-foot brake, while releasing accelerate with right foot. As oppsed to releasing and then accelerate
· The quick one: Push a lot with right foot right after releasing brake: Very jerky and feels like the car is giving out

So, I’d vote for the manual shift.
Last week I test drove a VW Passat coupé (officially 'CC', I called it the Passat coupé because it is clearly a Passat and the shape of the roof is coupé-like) with auto and the 2-litre turbo engine and it felt funny: I didn’t manage to feel the power and maneouvring was funny because if I release the brake, the car goes too fast - so I have to hold the brake slightly all the time. With the DSG and manual it’s not the case.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
The shift pattern is: in and down is 1st, out and up is 2nd, out and down is 3rd and in and up is reverse.

So you’re in reverse gear as photographed, right?

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
S-Tronic

If it’s as shitty while starting from a stop as its VW counterparts, I dunno what I should say. But I wouldn’t imagine it were the case - I mean, it’s an Audi after all!!
 
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falstaff
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:56 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
Hmmm I think the last European car sold with a "three on the tree" tranny was the Ford Anglia Mk 4, build from 62-67.


I don't know the last US car with a "three on the tree". As for pickups some sources say the 1986 Ford F-150 was the last. However I knew a guy with a 86 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup with a 4.3 V-6 that had a "three on the tree". So GM had them just as long.

Quoting idealstandard (Reply 7):
Unfortunately autos dullify the experience on anything lower end, not to mention the increase in fuel consumption (especially on diesels)


I had a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD (station wagon, not a turbo) and it was VERY slow. It would have been much better with a manual trans, but 300Ds didn't have a manual in the USA. I also had a 1972 220D with a four speed. It was slow too, but much more fun to drive.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:12 pm

Manual all the way for me. The worst manual transmission I've ever used has still been by far better than even a relatively good (if there's such a thing) auto tranny. My last car, a crummy Dodge Neon, was an auto (couldn't find any decent ones with stick so I had to settle). Holy crap I hated that tranny.    The ratios were ridiculously long and it was sloooow to shift (top end speed though was good, if you ever reached it). And predictably like every other Chrysler product I had the tranny literally exploded at 55K miles. So I had to cough up close to $3grand to fix it. I sold it promptly afterwards, luckily at a surprisingly good price.

Anyways, now I got a SEAT Ibiza with 5 speed manual and I'm totally in love. The gear ratios are very closely spaced (RPM drop is low between gears). My only minor complaint is that the top end speed is a bit low for my taste (110ishMPH) but thanks to the short gear ratios the acceleration is excellent and it fits the engine torque range really well so that makes up for it.

There's been very few auto trannys I've liked. The 6 speed auto in my dad's BMW 325i is surprisingly good. The 6 speed tiptronic (non-DSG) in my mom's Jetta isn't too bad either.

The only automatic that has truly blown me away is a dual clutch gearbox. But in reality they are more akin to robotic manuals. I drove a VW R32 with the DSG tranny. The shifting speed is ridiculously fast and amazingly smooth. But they still kill the fun somewhat because of the missing 3rd pedal. But if I HAD to get an "auto" it would have to be a dual clutch box.

Anything with a torque converter and planetary gears though, I avoid like the plague (for the most part).

Quoting pelican (Reply 3):
Because it's more fun?

And more efficient (IF you know how to use it) and more durable, usually faster, makes you a better driver, etc etc
 
aero145
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:22 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 17):
makes you a better driver

Sorry mate, as much as I like manual shift and usually agree with you, I won’t be able to believe this. Or agree with it.
The worst driver I know drives stick. He handles driving a stick well, but is nevertheless a horrible driver.
The best driver I know prefers automatic. He finds stick unnecessarily inconvenient.
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:28 pm

The only thing I don't like about my truck is that because it's a stick, its towing capacity is reduced. Not a problem for me, though. Plus, the low gearing helps out a lot (except for reverse.)
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LTU932
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:36 pm

I don't have a car myself, but when I have one, it MUST have a shift stick and therefore a manual transmission. I want to be in control, not the car. The car should do what I say, not what it wants. Plus, it IS more fun.

Only problem: If the car has a six speed transmission, I would need quite some time to figure out the proper speed for the sixth gear (even on the Autobahn), because the last cars I've driven had all five speeds.
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:09 pm

Stick shifts are definately the way to go. The reasons have been regurgitated many times, and overall they're just better.


CanadianNorth
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aerobalance
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:17 pm

Learned on a stick, raced with a stick. Love my slushboxes nowadays in the So-Cal area - can't avoid traffic, love that 405.
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
aero145
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:23 pm

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Here in the USA most cars are automatics and have been since the 1960s.

One thing I forgot: I was in the USA this week and last week and I must say I saw/heard/found quite a few cars with stick shift. Miami metropolitan and ERAU @ DAB.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:37 pm

My first car was an automatic, but my second car was a manual. Unfortunately, every car I've owned since has been an automatic. US manufacturers don't make manuals anymore except for in a few models. It's a real pity.

If those hyper-efficient diesels ever do come to the U.S. you can bet I'll be ordering a manual.

However, I don't think I could enjoy a column shifter. Too awkward and also I can imagine a number of ways in which during a need for some maneuvering where your hands could get in the way of each-other.
-Doc Lightning-

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David L
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:56 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
Why should I switch the gears by myself when a computer can do this for me?

After changing gear manually for over twenty years, I have to agree. Been there, done that, nothing more to prove. I just don't get a thrill out of manual changes anymore, especially in town. Yes, there are some crappy engine/gearbox combinations out there but the ones I've driven have been "more than adequate".

A couple of my friends have said they get bored if they don't have to change gear manually. I gave them each a piece of paper with "P.T.O." written on both sides. It kept them occupied for hours.  

For those who think manual gearboxes put you "more in control", what do you think of ABS, fuel injection, electronic engine management, self-adjusting timing, power steering, self-cancelling indicators (turn signals), automatic lights/wipers, etc? You know what I mean - the things much older drivers thought were removing the "skill" from driving.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:44 pm

Quoting aero145 (Reply 18):
Sorry mate, as much as I like manual shift and usually agree with you, I won’t be able to believe this. Or agree with it.

Hmmm, maybe I should've been more specific. Instead of all around better I guess I should've said "more attentive". The worse driver I know also drives stick. However, I've seen this person drive an automatic and it just seemed way worse. I've known a couple of people like this. Mediocre or bad drivers seem to be worse in automatics from my experience. My theory is that manuals necessitate more attention and care when driving, regardless if shifting has become nearly involuntary.

Or maybe it's because the worse drivers I know are all women          
 
ajd1992
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:44 pm

I've only ever driven manual and I can only ever imagine using manual. I don't understand how people can not like being completely in control of their vehicle, which manual shift gives you. You can't engine brake with an auto.  
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:45 pm

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 27):
You can't engine brake with an auto.

Of course you can. It's just not nearly as cool sounding or effective.
 
ajd1992
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:53 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 28):
Of course you can. It's just not nearly as cool sounding or effective.

OK, it's just more pointless  

I will never, ever be a convert to an auto unless my clutch foot can't physically push the pedal down. I think automatics for the most part are pointless and for the lazy, but that's coming from a guy who lives in a country where 98%+ of the cars are manual.
 
aero145
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:55 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 26):
Hmmm, maybe I should've been more specific. Instead of all around better I guess I should've said "more attentive". The worse driver I know also drives stick. However, I've seen this person drive an automatic and it just seemed way worse. I've known a couple of people like this. Mediocre or bad drivers seem to be worse in automatics from my experience. My theory is that manuals necessitate more attention and care when driving, regardless if shifting has become nearly involuntary.

Or maybe it's because the worse drivers I know are all women          

Well you’ve got some point there. But about attention: I usually use the cruise control wherever I can. People say, that it could be dangerous because I don’t pay as much attention to the road than otherwise. But I disagree - I can place my foot over the brake and brake even faster, if I need.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 27):
I've only ever driven manual and I can only ever imagine using manual. I don't understand how people can not like being completely in control of their vehicle, which manual shift gives you. You can't engine brake with an auto.

Wait a few years, you might change your opinion. Yes, might, some never do.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 28):
It's just not nearly as cool sounding or effective.

I find the sound from downshifting a racecar with a dual-clutch gearbox much cooler. And are you sure it’s not as effective? I mean, really sure.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:00 pm

Quoting idealstandard (Reply 7):
not to mention the increase in fuel consumption (especially on diesels)

VW's DSG or Audi's S-Tronic are switching the gears more economical than every human could do.

Quoting AKiss20 (Reply 9):
I'd rather have the control.

You can switch the gears by yourself with DSG or S-Tronic.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 20):
Plus, it IS more fun.

I don't find a manual transmissions fun at all, it annoys me that I have a clutch and a stick to operate.

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
After changing gear manually for over twenty years, I have to agree. Been there, done that, nothing more to prove. I just don't get a thrill out of manual changes anymore, especially in town.

I can't agree more. I drove cars with manual trasmission for 12 years and I am sick and tired of it, manual trasmissions are a thing from the past, useless and annoying. I love my automatic when driving in town with a lot of stop-and-go traffic and also in traffic jams.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
David L
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:22 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 28):
You can't engine brake with an auto.
Of course you can.

   At least on every automatic I've driven and with no clutch it's got to be easier.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 27):
I don't understand how people can not like being completely in control of their vehicle, which manual shift gives you

I felt the same as you do for the first few years I was driving. As I said before, there were those who thought the loss of manual timing and fuel-mixture adjustments and anti-lock brakes meant drivers were no longer "in control" of their car and that synchromesh gearboxes were taking the "skill" out of changing gear.

Of course, a manual gearbox always gives you the ability to be in the wrong gear whenever you want. I can quite easily live without that type of "control".  
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:26 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
For those who think manual gearboxes put you "more in control", what do you think of ABS, fuel injection, electronic engine management, self-adjusting timing, power steering, self-cancelling indicators (turn signals), automatic lights/wipers, etc? You know what I mean - the things much older drivers thought were removing the "skill" from driving.

Not in my vehicle (which, according to a South african colleague doesn´t qualify to be called a car, he says that it should be called agricultural machinery. He is not wrong, the first series of this vehicle have been designed to do field work as well). The vehicle I drive is quite rustical and has very simple systems (though it has servo steering and a hydraulic clutch. I picked this version, because my Missus, who is a petite Asian woman, needs to be able to drive it as well and she doesn´t have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Oh, by the way, the vehicle was practically handmade in 1986 in Solihull, England.
It is a Land Rover 110.  

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Springbok747
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:45 pm

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Do you drive a car/truck with a manual or automatic transmission?

My car is a manual. I've only owned manual cars...but do get to drive my dad's automatic cars (with 7-g tronic or some such crap)... Manuals are so much fun to drive. My car also has a cruise control but it can only be used in top gear at speeds above 60km/h..so I mainly use it when I'm not driving in the city.
אני תומך בישראל
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:14 pm

Auto for me. The way I see it, an automobile is a machine designed to do work on my behalf, why should I have to do part of its job?

Quoting AKiss20 (Reply 9):
I hate autos, you never know what they are doing and when they are going to shift

Hmm..I've never had this issue. I know exactly when my car is going to shift, just by listening.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
BMI727
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I bet a lot of the younger members here have never driven or seen a "three on the tree" before

I've never driven any manual transmission before, though I know fairly well how to do it. I wouldn't let it put me off from buying a car with one anyway. But, I'm not one of the misguided purists though. If a computer can do the job better than me, I'll let it. SMGs are one of the best advances in cars in a while.

Given the choice, I'll take an SMG without all the software buffoonery that allows me to decide when I want to shift.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
StarAC17
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:41 pm

Stick for me, it's become so second nature that I don't really think when I shift anymore. The only place a stick shift sucks is in traffic.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):

I'll never, ever drive a car with a manual transmission again. Why should I switch the gears by myself when a computer can do this for me?

It's real driving, in an auto all you are doing is steering essentially.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 1):
I drive a stick, and will unless I rent a car, break a leg, or they just stop making them. My pet peeve, though, is the "need" for automatic transmissions to have a tach, but not manuals.

A real stick driver doesn't need a tach   
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
Sabena332
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 37):
It's real driving, in an auto all you are doing is steering essentially.

And I really hope that a computer will also do the steering for me in a few years. My car can almost do it, I have a lane-assistent.  

The less I have to do myself the better! I drive many kilometers every year so I like it as comfortbale as possible.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:50 pm

Two of our cars are manuals (the Porsches), two are automatics (the CLK and the Highlander). The stick shifts are more fun, but there are times when it's really nice to have the automatic and to not have to worry about stop-and-go traffic or hills.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:27 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 37):
A real stick driver doesn't need a tach   

True, the sound should give it away, but it's useful for towing.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
MD-90
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:39 pm

On a truck or van, automatic.
In lots of stop and go traffic, automatic.

Everything else, manual.

When my sister and I were driving in New Orleans last May I remember remarking that I was glad we had an automatic and not a stick thanks to all of the stop and go driving (we were in her husband's Grand Cherokee). She drives a Mini Cooper S and I drive a Mazda 3, both with 6-speeds, so we both enjoy manual transmissions, but in a dense city I'd rather have a manual. Or if it's something not fun to drive, like a truck or minivan, it might as well be an automatic for the convenience.
 
IH8BY
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:45 pm

The car I drive, when I drive, has a 5-speed manual gearbox. I don't have any particular love for the gearbox in the Fabia - it's sometimes quite difficult to convince it to go all the way into first - but it sure beats the system on my old Austin Metro, which would shudder whenever put into any gear, particularly reverse. Sometimes the car would decide that none of the gears should be used, and I would have to stop the car and work out what was wrong... however, as quite an 'organic' driving experience (no airbags, no power steering, no power brakes, etc) most problems were solved with little more than slamming the car's bonnet (hood) down and a couple of harsh words.

I've driven automatic cars twice in my life. The first was a Ford Edge which I hired at SFO. When I first started driving it I had both feet on pedals and kept forgetting the brake wasn't the clutch, which made for some 'interesting' driving around the airport area, but once I'd figured that out I really started to enjoy it. I was pleasantly surprised by the Edge overall, actually.
The only other auto I've driven is a Peugeot 3008 a few weeks ago (with the semi-automatic gearbox). I could easily get used to it, but I imagine it'll be a while until I really need a car at all. I live in the city and rarely, if ever, need one.

[Edited 2010-10-23 15:54:04]
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aerorobnz
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:03 pm

manual ftw.
automatics are killing the environment with their extra weight/fuel consumption over the equivalent manuals...  If everyone drove manuals the world would be a better brighter place... 
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:12 pm

Quoting aero145 (Reply 30):

I find the sound from downshifting a racecar with a dual-clutch gearbox much cooler. And are you sure it’s not as effective? I mean, really sure.

Let me be more specific: engine braking is not as effective in traditional automatics (those with hydraulic torque converters and planetary gears). Depends on the car of course, but regular automatics tend to coast waaaay more when you force them to downshift and do compression braking than compared to the same car with a manual tranny. The usually larger gear ratio spread and nature of the torque converter are the culprit.

But in a dual clutch tranny it's even more effective than a regular manual for compression (engine) braking due to the nearly instant power transfer.
 
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cpd
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:30 pm

Quoting pelican (Reply 10):

No doubt about that, but they would be more fun with a manual.

And much slower! No doubt about it, the twin-clutch transmissions are the very best system these days. Shame it took so long for them to appear in normal cars after the first appearance in the 1985 Porsche 962C PDK.

In the 962C, you'd brake hard for a corner, and then ask for a downshift and it'd downshift to the right gear for you, at the right engine speed. So it'd do like a 5th to 2nd downshift at the right point. Although initially fragile, the system became very effective - and the PDK 962C sponsored by Blaupunkt was a weapon in the Interserie in Germany. Sadly for the WSC, the 962C was becoming an old design aerodynamically when compared with Tony Southgate's innovative carbon-fibre chassis Jaguar sportscars.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 31):
VW's DSG or Audi's S-Tronic are switching the gears more economical than every human could do.

Indeed - and have you seen what a 997 911 Turbo PDK is capable of?  Wow! Not much noise, no wheelspin - just instant bullet like acceleration.  Wow! Insanely scary - and fantastic.   Even with 3 passengers!

[Edited 2010-10-23 16:33:15]
 
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LTU932
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:52 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 31):
Quoting LTU932 (Reply 20):
Plus, it IS more fun.

I don't find a manual transmissions fun at all, it annoys me that I have a clutch and a stick to operate.

But for me that's the real challenge, and that's where the fun begins (especially in a hairpin in the middle of the Alps   ). I want to improve on that, and since last year I haven't been behind the wheel at all anymore, but when I go to driving school again to make my EU licence and in the future get my own car, I want it to be manual (though it may have powersteering, even my father, who drove cars with non-powered steering for years, has come to like using powersteering).

Call me oldfashioned, but indirectly, that's how I was raised in terms of motorised vehicles. I did drive an automatic car once, but I never really got the hang of it. I just didn't know how to measure the gas in order to get a halfway decent acceleration, while with a manual transmission, I know which gear I'm driving and subsequently, how I should accelerate or maintain speed.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:24 am

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 46):
Call me oldfashioned, but indirectly, that's how I was raised in terms of motorised vehicles

Same here, but then came:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 31):
VW's DSG
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 31):
Audi's S-Tronic
Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 34):
7-g tronic or some such crap



 

Patrick
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aero145
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:52 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 44):
Let me be more specific: engine braking is not as effective in traditional automatics (those with hydraulic torque converters and planetary gears). Depends on the car of course, but regular automatics tend to coast waaaay more when you force them to downshift and do compression braking than compared to the same car with a manual tranny. The usually larger gear ratio spread and nature of the torque converter are the culprit.

But in a dual clutch tranny it's even more effective than a regular manual for compression (engine) braking due to the nearly instant power transfer.

Ok, agreed.  

--

Patrick, I’m not sure if you would like the 7G very much, it’s still an auto box with a Wandler.
 
KevinL1011
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RE: Automatic Or Manual Shift?

Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:04 am

Quoting aero145 (Reply 18):
Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 17):
makes you a better driver

Sorry mate, as much as I like manual shift and usually agree with you, I won’t be able to believe this. Or agree with it.
The worst driver I know drives stick. He handles driving a stick well, but is nevertheless a horrible driver.
The best driver I know prefers automatic. He finds stick unnecessarily inconvenient.

I agree with Fly2HMO on this one. Driving a stick requires the driver to think about driving conditions and anticipate the next move or gear selection. Essentially, the driver has to think ahead and pay attention to what the engine is doing. An automatic is like the 'ol Cannon AE-1 commercial, "All you do is point and shoot". It's a no brainer.

I've always thought the same about driving a diesel however diesel technology has advanced enough to possibly make this a moot point. Older diesels didn't have immediate throttle response and the driver had to anticipate a lag between throttle application and engine response. Diesels traditionally required a few beats to spool up. Again, the driver had to pre-plan for this especially when making a left turn in traffic. Also, the diesel motorist has to consider where and when the next fuel stop will be. Not every station sells diesel.

Quoting aerobalance (Reply 22):
Learned on a stick, raced with a stick. Love my slushboxes nowadays in the So-Cal area - can't avoid traffic, love that 405.

As you get older, accumulate debt and work 15hrs a day trying to get ahead, the automatic trans becomes a motorist best friend.

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 43):
automatics are killing the environment with their extra weight/fuel consumption over the equivalent manuals... If everyone drove manuals the world would be a better brighter place...

It would encourage better driving among the public however the difference in weight and efficiency has less impact than ones driving style does.

[Edited 2010-10-23 18:14:42]
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