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Old 03-02-2015, 10:48 AM   #1
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Anyone out there driving a RAM with a hand-shaker?

The Ram 2500 CTD is unique in being the last 3/4 ton pickup with a manual transmission. Not surprisingly, given the shrinking number of folks who know how to drive a manual, these trucks seem to go for a discount. The specific fact I'd like to know is how much muscle is required to work the clutch, because my wife would like to be able to drive it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:42 AM   #2
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DC,

Yes, mine is manual. The better half doesn't drive any manual and that might be a massive blessing in disguise.

Depends on which transmission you are looking at but the late '05's and up with the G56 six speed are built with a very light pedal due to the clutch type used. Aftermarket systems exist that have heavier pedal effort. Also, incorrect clutch servicing can result in heavy pedal effort.

Don't have enough time for all possibilities but if you post further details, I can offer more info also.

Employed for 34 years in the automotive and light truck clutch industry.

Gary
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:42 AM   #3
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Anyone out there driving a RAM with a hand-shaker?

I have the trans offered just before the change to the G56. Clutch effort isn't heavy by any means, but a knee or leg injury would make this type of vehicle difficult to use.

The current six speed auto is so good that I fully understand why even commercial owners choose it (especially the beefy Aisin Warner option trans).

I find the man trans and straight six Cummins to be a marriage made in heaven. The auto has a slight mpg advantage on the highway, but for slow speed maneuvering and in traffic I prefer the manual. Most folks seem okay with jabbing or jamming throttle or brake. None too sensitive to the vehicles much less conditions. For those wanting close control the man trans cuts a finer path.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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I have both a manual and auto versions of the Ctd. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The Ctds have come with hydraulically actuated clutches allowing less pedal effort for the amount of clamping needed for the diesels torque. Unless you are stuck in a multi hour traffic back up anyone can work the pedal



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Old 03-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob4x4 View Post
I have both a manual and auto versions of the Ctd. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The Ctds have come with hydraulically actuated clutches allowing less pedal effort for the amount of clamping needed for the diesels torque. Unless you are stuck in a multi hour traffic back up anyone can work the pedal
For someone with bad knees "multi-hours" can be more like multi-minutes.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:54 PM   #6
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I had a ford 7.3 with a 5 speed manual, didn't do very well in traffic, went to dodge with 6 speed auto and love it,so does my wife she likes to drive part of the time on a trip...
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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I used to specifically only buy manual transmissions when they were widely available in the 80's and 90's. When we go car shopping now, we never see them. I don't think there is any such thing as a new Pathfinder, Tundra, or Avalon with a manual transmission. It is a moot point anyway. My wife flat out refuses to drive manual. The only time I get to drive manual is if I'm riding my motorcycle or driving a tractor or someone else's vehicle.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:34 PM   #8
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I'm new to AS but I've owned my 2000 Ram TD since new, at 110 K I had a new clutch, pressures plate and through out bearing installed, never had an issue with the heaviness of the clutch unless I get stuck in a huge back up. At that point I look for an exit and take a break until traffic clears. I did own a 98 Ram TD with an automatic, after 4 transmissions in one year Dodge bought it back, seems there are 3 computers in the truck and they liked to fight, it would drop into reverse while moving forward, you get close to the good Lord when it happens at 70 mph pulling a 12K 5th wheel.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:12 PM   #9
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I just traded up from a 2001 2500 with the CTD and 5 spd stk to a 2015 3500 CTD with the 6 spd stk. We put 110,000 on the old truck over the 15 years we owned it and my wife and daughters had no problem with it. I can't say for sure as I didn't measure them, but it seems like the new one has an easier pedal than the old clutch - no problems with even my bad knees. As for traffic, not really an issue; it seems I hit rush hour every time I drive through Chattanooga, so I just give myself a little "head-room" and let it idle in 1st gear - crawls right along in "stump-puller 1st" and I don't have to stop and start. Best adventure was when I had the slave cylinder blow on me up in Vermont and couldn't wait the three days for a new one - so I drove from Bennington to Vicksburg, Mississippi by pouring the fluid in the reservoir, which would give me just enough clutch before leaking out to get started and then drove clutchless all the way - good syncro-rings in the old New Process gear boxes! Luckily, I didn't have a trailer that trip! I've always had a standard tranny and just wasn't ready to become "shiftless" at this point - and the Ram CTD is the last pickup in the USA that you can still get with a stick shift. If you want one, I'd get it now before they go the way of the floor dimmer switch and rotary dial...! ;-)
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:44 AM   #10
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Even with a discount , in my opinion, I would pay extra for the automatic ,these new ones are very good and trouble free,not like the old 3 speed with overdrive which were short lived when towing a large trailer......
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:06 AM   #11
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Even with a discount , in my opinion, I would pay extra for the automatic ,these new ones are very good and trouble free,not like the old 3 speed with overdrive which were short lived when towing a large trailer......

The latest autos have two overdrive gears versus the one for the manual. Better highway FE potential. Much as I like the man trans it is almost obsolete. Give it a second OD gear and I might relent. The AW trans option is the best auto available by any manufacturer. It would be my choice if buying new.
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