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Old 11-24-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 11
Year: 2000
Transmission? Auto or Manual

I personally LOVE a straight drive / manual transmission - in a regular truck or car.

Advise?? What are the pros and cons?

My only concern is how stiff is the clutch? Would I be fatigued with a bit of stop and start travel??


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Old 11-24-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Transmission? Auto or Manual

The clutch pedal in my International is fairly stiff at first, but once you get it down it isn't difficult to hold. I can't say it's ever bothered me, even through rush hour traffic in downtown Chicago. Heck, I haven't even thought about it until you asked the question! When the option exists, I won't even consider an automatic transmission. With larger passenger vehicles (I'm thinking pick-ups and full size vans) I often get frustrated at their shift points, especially when dealing with hills or towing.
I don't have experience with automatic transmissions in buses, but people seem to like the MT643.
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:35 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 11
Year: 2000
Re: Transmission? Auto or Manual

TY Jazty - you answered my question perfectly!
That was my line of thinking ... more control with the manual shift.
Buses are hard to find with a straight drive so I may have to just deal with the automatic.
The just right bus is very difficult to find!
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:31 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Re: Transmission? Auto or Manual

Ive used both and prefer the Alison. my choice because no clutch and can be manually shifted if so desired. In fact most operator manuals infor drivers of how to do it. JM2SW.

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Old 12-20-2014, 01:52 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 170
Personally I'd never choose automatic over stick if the choice is there. I have a 7.3l powerstroke with a zf6 in my f250 pickup. The clutch is pretty stiff, but it grabs well even when towing horses, boats, etc. The low gear in 4x4 low will damn near rip a house off its foundation.

If you can put up with the hassle (second nature to me now) of driving a stick, there are so many benefits:

Longevity - treat her well and you'll get way more life out of a manual. Auto trannys rely on belts/bands which create a lot of heat and friction, just a matter of time til something gives.

Service - manual trannys are easier to work on, lots of full time mechanics wont touch the inside of an auto tranny, they send them out, which tells you something

Control - being able to control shift points and clutch release rate is great for towing or driving in the snow/down steep grades. If an automatic decides to shift on you harshly at the wrong time in the snow it can initiate a spin. I also just feel more connected to the road when driving a manual.

Get you home factor - even with a broken manual tranny, theres a good chance you can still limp it home, also allows the option of pop starting it if you find yourself with a dead battery(s)

Unless you are talking about something under warranty, I'd get a stick. Biggest favor you can do for yourself if you buy an auto tho is install an external tranny cooler and a tranny temp gauge. Make sure to check your transmission fluid regularly both for level and odor, heat equals death to these things.
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