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Discussion Starter #1
Project vehicle coming together - gotta decide where to go....

Will be using a 4.3L and Toy dual cases, that is for sure.

I can either go TH350 or I can go SM465.

Costs are negligable between the two options for me when I break down all the associated parts & adapters.

I have always wheeled a manual tranny... but am really considering the auto tranny.

Any thoughts on which? I know it ultimately comes down to personal preference, but I would like so opinions on how auto's work on the trail... especially with better than 5:1 tcase ratio...

I guess I am just confised by the "torque multiplication" factor everyone says the auto gives you - whereas I can do hard math numbers with the SM465 and KNOW what my real crawl ratio is.

BTW - this will be a 10% street and 90% off road vehicle if that matters to anyone.

Thanks for any suggestions <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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I will start this by saying I have only wheeled one auto and haven't had and auto apart. I have pulled many auto trans but I always take them to a local trans shop. Now a manual on the other hand I have had apart and think they are relatively simple. So saying that:
I say go with the manual. I believe in the K.I.S.S. theory. (Keep It Simple Stupid) <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> Say you destroy first in your rig. You take out the big chunks and can still get your junk off the trail. You over heat/burn up an auto and you’re stuck. I do like the easy or drivability of an auto on the trail but prefer the simplicity of a manual.


My .02 <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

[ 09-07-2001: Message edited by: Syko ]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, so help me think about the cost \factor here...

for auto:
TH350 (and rebuild kit)$250
adapter to Toy cases $300
shifter $???
cooler $???
???

for manual:
SM465 $200
bellhousing $???
clutch parts $???
adapter (OTT) $465
???


Seems like the price for either is real close, so close it is hard to decide...

I *think* I would like the manual better, maybe because I am just used to it by now...

But an auto seems kinda appealing so the wife may be more willing to drive it (although when i asked her she said she would gladly drive either one <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> )
 

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Originally posted by XTREME DRM:
<STRONG>Ok, so help me think about the cost \factor here...

for auto:
TH350 (and rebuild kit)$250
adapter to Toy cases $300
shifter $???
cooler $???
???

for manual:
SM465 $200
bellhousing $???
clutch parts $???
adapter (OTT) $465
???

</STRONG>
Bell - 465 "should" bolt up to the 4.3. You may have to drill and tap one or two, but should be close. It's all Chevy.

Clutch - About $120 new Luk. Complete.


T18 <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> T18 <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce2.gif" border="0"> T18 <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> I love mine!

ps. What's an "auto transmission"? <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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I've got the SM465 in my truck and REALLY like it....I've also driven friends rigs with similar setups and the TH300 auto. Frankly, until our snow ride this past winter, I seriously considered the automatic switch. However, after watching the auto tranny DIG it's way up the perfect swamper prints I left in the snow, then later driving back down and then up those same tracks and leaving perfect prints again (even with another truck in tow), I would never again consider the auto.

The auto/manual debate will go on forever, and I believe a properly setup auto can perform great, and will beat a manual in some conditions. However, the absolute control of a manual is hard to beat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by woody:
<STRONG>The auto/manual debate will go on forever, and I believe a properly setup auto can perform great, and will beat a manual in some conditions. However, the absolute control of a manual is hard to beat.</STRONG>
I seem to like "control" - and this is pretty much how I feel <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by Loppy:
<STRONG>
T18 <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> T18 <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce2.gif" border="0"> T18 <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> I love mine!
</STRONG>
I'll second that. I love mine to <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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DRM
I would say that it comes down to what you are willing to work on. If you know manuals then run a manual. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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For pure slow speed crawling a manual gives way more control and constant momentum at the real slow speeds. Also you get the compressin breaking and easier shifts. Auto is great if you need a little more momentum i mean you can go from a crawl to 15mph without shifting gears. I don't like auto's because at slow speed you need more throttle to keep from getting stopped at every big bump, also when you really need controlled crawling (threshhold throttle if you will) a manual is hard to beat. Now none of this may apply with your dual cases, I can't comment on how that effects things
 

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An auto won't cause you to stall your engine, but if the engine dies it won't hold you either. The auto won't kick out of gear, but again if the engine dies...You definately ride the brakes going down hill, not as much with the deep reduction but still. The torque converter acts as a hydraulic lever (without explaining hydrodynamics) which multiplies, or adds to, your engine torque, but again with your gearing, you've already multiplied it. You can't bump start an auto. The more complex something is, the more likely it is to break, and the harder it is to fix out in the dirt. You can feather into something with an auto, but you can idle down with a stick, even more with a heavier flywheel ( <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> ). Fry 1st in an auto, if you don't have a manual valve body, your screwed (guess you could back up though).

With that said, I might end up going to the auto because my left leg is messed up from my accident, which ironically was caused by a manual popping out of gear. But I'll stick to the Manual if I can. I've already got the 465 waiting.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Keep it coming guys - all good info <IMG SRC="smilies/glasses.gif" border="0">
 

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My trucks are all manual for the exact same KISS method reason. (Gotta keep it simple 'cause I'm stoooopid!) I've done a whole trip with a starter that conked out 10 minutes into a two day trail. I even bump started the truck with the winch a couple times! Try that with a slushbox! I love the reliability and the ease of repair of the manual. Think about this: you're out of fluid in either tranny. Manual can still limp home. Slush box is goin NOWHERE. Downhills, slushboxes aren't nearly as good as manuals for compression braking. Now I do have to give some credit to the slushboxes. The torque multiplication helps people to get away with less gearing. Obviously not a problem in your case. Also, like was said before, they don't have to shift to get up momentum if they need it quick. That's aweful handy if you're busy steering the rig and/or doing other things. And, some people claim they have bump started slushboxes too. Problem is you have to get it going somewhere around 30 MPH!!

Ultimately, it's personal opinion, do you want easier to drive or easier to fix? I know lots of people that wheel slushboxes and have never had a failure. But I haven't broken my manuals either. Many of the competition guys are going to slushboxes because if they break either one they're out anyway. In that case, take the easier one to drive.

Good luck! sounds like it's gonna be a sweet rig! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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For pure ease and relaxation - I like a slush box. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> I am currently pulling that nasty 4 spd out to put in an auto just to keep it easy to drive. Of course mine will be a daily driver too. <IMG SRC="smilies/smokin.gif" border="0">
 

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I love my auto tranny. The only manual trannies I've ever driven were other peoples cars. The auto tranny doesn't stall and you can power brake it ensuring that you're not going to roll back at all when it comes time to start moving again.

From what I've seen, the ease of driving with the auto makes it so much easier to "massage" your truck over obstacles instead of having to power over it. Just my thoughts.
 

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With dual cases, the "massage" deal is taken care of. You already have plenty of torque multiplication avaialble and the subsequent control.
I would go manual for simplicity, downhill engine braking, and ability to start in gear, if you do stall out.
 

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Originally posted by XTREME DRM:
<STRONG>Project vehicle coming together - gotta decide where to go....

Will be using a 4.3L and Toy dual cases, that is for sure.

I can either go TH350 or I can go SM465.
</STRONG>
What about a TH700 instead? Lower 1st gear, plus overdrive. You may find a 4spd auto advantageous with a 5:1 t'case.. more overlap.

<STRONG>
Engine Braking

Major help with a manual.

I'd never try steep downward hills with an auto.
</STRONG>
I've never had any compression braking problems with my autos. Full manual valve bodies and governor overrides!

For a while, on my previous semi-man valve body I had the kickdown hard-wired (mostly a closed-course race rig) and when I would pull up to a stoplight (hey, it's still street-legal - BARELY) in "D" as the trans would downshift it'd chirp the rear tires.

My slow wheelin' experience with auto vs. stick is in two different rigs, unfortunately.

My "trail rig" runs a wide ratio T19, lockers, lift, etc. It gets around pretty well in our snow, and I'm used to it.

OTOH, last year I took my "car" - an IH Travelall (think- Suburban) with open diffs and a slushbox wheelin'.

Did great, too! Requires a different driving technique b/c of the auto, but the end result is the same. You just need to be careful of when you "stall out" the converter. STOP. Back up, and build your track some more.

With my stick in the Scout it'll just lug down and creep along - when it won't "go" it just sits and slowly spins. With the slushbox in the T'all it'll go along great, then slow up and just STOP with the converter loaded up. More gas results in big holes.

For being an open diff'd LWB (119") full size rig.. no one went any farther up the trail than I did.
 

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The one questions that will never have an answer. I have wheeled both, and I still can't make up my mind. Though I will throw out a few points before I tell you what I would run....

-A manual is simple, they work no matter what, you can even run them without a clutch. If you loose one gear you have 3-4 others to choose from. They are also more compact generally, giving you a better driveline angle.

-An auto shifts without loosing speed. I have not seen too many autos fail outside of a demo derby! They can put up without a lot of abuse. They also allow you to crawl and STOP.

-Personally I have to think that it is all about your driving skill, not what tranny you have. I think you can do anything with an auto you can with a stick off road. Driving with an auto is way different than driving a stick.

-There is a science to automatics. I have talked with a few of the great tranny shops. They all say that to set up a auto right you pretty much need a dyno sheet of the motor, tire weights, gearing figures, and even what axles you are running makes a difference. Setting up a manual tranny is a lot easier in my opinion.

-You don't have to run a cooler on a manual tranny. Finding room for a BIG cooler for the auto can be a challange. Plus it is one more part to break.

-blah blah blah <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">

So what would I do.....Automatic. I would install a mild stall converter, around 1400 rpm. Similar in feel to a new TJ or chevy truck. Don't install a LOWER stall converter. Most of the time your motor will bog more because it has not built up enough RPM to run at that RPM with the converter locked. I would also suggest running fuel injection, a stalling motor with an auto isn't that fun. The bonus to the auto is that your motor never should stall, that saves a lot of wear on the motor. So....install what you want and learn to drive it....thats about it

later <IMG SRC="smilies/jeep1.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by Scout Dude:
<STRONG>Also, A stick will work upside down...</STRONG>
Man, I must be the least hard-core member on here <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/laughing.gif" border="0">

I have both of those trannies, and both are great.

The two main things I don't like about my 465 are:

1. that 1st(3.58) and second(1.57) are so far apart. You really need a gear in between there for my type of wheelin

2. The way this trans shifts, there is no hope of maintaining movement while shifting in mud or sand.

If built right, the 350 is plenty stroong, and you can get lower planetaries for them (3:1 first) to help with the braking and crawl.

Kinda sounds like I favor the TH 350, don't it? Would I trade my 465? No way.

I do think that if you have a manual already, you should build an auto. Real wheelers are at home driving anything <IMG SRC="smilies/cool.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #20
BTW - a 700R4 is not an option because I can't get a deal on the Tcase adapter like I can the TH350 <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Man, so much good info on both, it is soooo hard to decide <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">

But I just called the wife, and she said she would actually prefer an auto... so I believe an auto may just be the choice <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">
 
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