Automatic or Manual transmission? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Automatic or Manual transmission?

I currently have an early 99 f350 7.3l crew cab long bed with automatic transmission and may have the opportunity to swap it for a 2000 to 2003 7.3l that has a manual transmission. I would like to get the consensus here on wether I should stick with an automatic or go for a manual tranny. My 99 has had the tranny rebuilt a few months ago and just recently the OD light started blinking when I start the truck up. I don't know that I'm really that excited about living with a manual, but if this is what having an automatic is going to be like maybe I should consider the stick. What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 11:01 AM
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If you tow alot and dont race then i would get a manual but if not then stick with the auto. I personally love a handshakers but then again thats just personal opinion and i tow often and sled pull.
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post #3 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 11:05 AM
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a real man throws the gear shift! just my .02 cents! course then again almost every vehicle i have owned has been a stick and i drove an 18 speed Pete till june.

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post #4 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 03:21 PM
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In my opinion and experience I find the following to be the best suited for.....

Towing........................................6 speed.

Heavy towing...............................6 speed w/ heavy clutch.

Daily driving and light towing...........stock auto.

Racing........................................cust om built/tuned auto.

Using any tuner for more power.......6 speed w/ heavy clutch or custom built/tuned auto.

Any two or more of the above.........6 speed w/ heavy clutch or custom built/tuned auto.

Honestly, anything above the stock power output will give these automatic transmissions an early death. These trucks will take a pounding if you keep the power output factory. Aside from the muffler delete and the Napa air filter I have settled on SUPER BONE STOCK MODE and I tow, haul, and drive it like I stole it with confidence.

I think of it this way. The power output in the medium duty F-650 trucks are less than the light duty F-250/350's. The truck is heavier and the loads are much heavier......so, why are the motors tuned down??????................drivetrain reliability.

At least that is what I told myself as I unplugged my tuner for the last time.

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post #5 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Why is it that the 6 speed manual is undesirable when it comes to racing? As I remember when I raced my Camaro, it was always an advantage to have a manual tranny on race day.

I will be using the truck as a daily driver, towing (sometimes heavy towing). and I have no plans to race it off road, but I won't hesitate to race someone at a stoplight if I'm in the right mood.

The responses here make me feel like the only good use for an automatic transmission is racing.

Last edited by cutlass; 01-08-2010 at 08:03 PM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 08:10 PM
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Every time you shift you lose all your boost... that is why... You can't beat a built auto.. .it shifts fast enough not to lose any boost. If you wanted to drag race, which it sounds like you are not interested, you can't do a boosted launch on a clutch...

Just get a built tranny JW or BTS and you won't ever have to mess with it again... Not to mention if you do lots of city driving, the shifting will get old real quick.

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You will get some axle wrap with a heavy trailer, I can feel it when towing my gooseneck with some heavy equipment. My Deavers will wrap enough to make the tires rub the front of the rear fender well if I give it too much throttle on aceleration.
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Could you help me understand what you mean by JW or BTS and what does this involve and cost?
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post #8 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 08:20 PM
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Pretty much a fully built trans. BTS or brian's truck shop, you pretty much get the same trans that a guy who drag races gets.. If you break it, he will fix it...no questions asked.. It is like 5k shipped to your door... I think that is totally worth it.

John Wood is the same way, only difference is he has different levels of trannies you can buy... I am sure it is similar 5k and below...

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You will get some axle wrap with a heavy trailer, I can feel it when towing my gooseneck with some heavy equipment. My Deavers will wrap enough to make the tires rub the front of the rear fender well if I give it too much throttle on aceleration.
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post #9 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Is the 6 speed going to be noticeably slower when I'm just racing people between stoplights?
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post #10 of 28 Old 01-08-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutlass View Post
Why is it that the 6 speed manual is undesirable when it comes to racing? As I remember when I raced my Camaro, it was always an advantage to have a manual tranny on race day.
A manual trans in a Camaro is setup more toward quick shifts and power shifts than a truck manual is setup more for towing and pulling, not quick shifts. Trans built for a sports car vs. trans built for a truck

I will be using the truck as a daily driver, towing (sometimes heavy towing). and I have no plans to race it off road, but I won't hesitate to race someone at a stoplight if I'm in the right mood. The automatics are a good trans, but the 7.3 auto, IMHO, is not THAT well suited to a diesel application with higher horsepower numbers or under a lot of towing stress, But I don;t have one personally and my last experience with a 7.3 auto was a 97 that weighted in around 10k everyday and occasionally pulled a Cat 262 skidsteer and that gutted the trans


The responses here make me feel like the only good use for an automatic transmission is racing. Me, personally, I am a fan of a manual transmission but when I went truck shopping, I couldn't pass up the deal on the auto, so i settled for that, but it sure makes life nice riding through town!
Replies in red

And before anyone burns me,
I won;t say you can't get through the gears quickly in these trucks, I have drove a 6 speed 6.0 and could get down fairly well, but it can be a learning process to speed shift a truck tranny, and that learning could come at the expense of synchros or something else inside the trans. I work with a guy that has a modded 7.3/6speed and he has beat his trans to death trying to drive it like a Mustang or Camaro

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Is the 6 speed going to be noticeably slower when I'm just racing people between stoplights? yes

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