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Old 03-03-2016, 09:34 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by jump View Post
I like driving stick shifts ... 'Cept I keep dropping my donuts & spilling the coffee
Been there. It's what makes life worth living.

- Steve
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:05 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
I use to hang the doughnuts from the shifter. With 3-on-the tree its easy to grab a bite on the up-shift from 1st to 2nd gear. This does not work so well with floor shifters though.
If you can't drive a stick one handed, while doing at least two other real important things (like eating donuts and drinking coffee, but there are others) then you really need to practice. TFIC Pat

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Old 03-03-2016, 10:13 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by sdnet01 View Post
So the primary reason why you prefer the automatic over the manual is driving in traffic, yes? Was the truck your daily driver? What made you select the manual transmission to begin with?

Different market, different time. Besides, that's the asking price and in no way represents the final sale price - if a sale happens in my case.
I bought the ford with 5 speed manual it was priced right and it looked good, it did a good job, daily driver, it had 4.11 gears, was driven 60-65 , it had an ATS turbo, was good for its time, but the newer diesels are so much are the automatic transmissions.......
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:42 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by sdnet01 View Post
I bought a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500HD 4WD, 6-speed. Awesome truck.

It came with an air ride system and brake controller and full towing package, which of course I will need to pull the Airstream.

And yes, I definitely start in 2nd gear and sometimes do a 2nd, 4th, 6th as I'm driving normally. You really don't need every gear when you're not pulling a heavy rig with a truck like this.

Thanks again for all of your help. Much appreciated.

Dodge recommends "every gear, every time", the practice I follow. For the OP, one sets a rhythm by so doing AND the established habit is great in challenging situations.

I'm at 210k on the OEM clutch. Have also used these trucks in commercial service. The CTD Dodge with a manual to quote another contributor) is"ponderous" in acceleration. Get used to that while solo and in towing there are no surprises.

Otherwise, (and with a majority of suburban house daddies) one starts to add tuners which increase wear and decrease reliability.

Give it what it wants. Let the gears work for you. Don't push the engine, let it run freely and easily. Skipping gears is not good practice.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:41 AM   #47
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I know a guy who tows a fifth wheel with a '99 Ford F350 1 ton dually crew cab 7.3 diesel with a standard transmission.
I don't ordinarily skip gears, but we once had a 1977 Ford F250 4x4 with a standard transmission.
1st was so low that as soon as you got out of the clutch you were clutching again for second gear.
The same scenario with a 1999 Ford F350 flat bed we had up until a couple of years ago.
Towing or under load in those trucks I would use every gear.
Just driving with no trailer I would start in 2nd gear.
In most modern 4, 5, or 6 speed transmissions I use every gear if I can at least get to 10 mph in 1st gear.
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Old 04-08-2016, 08:23 PM   #48
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Manual transmission truck for 30' Airstream

The V8 diesels sucked with the manual transmissions. The straight six is a natural.

These one tons are heavy. Using first gets it rolling. It isn't a car, and one doesn't shift as if it were a car. So, get it rolling. The throttle is only for moving between gears. Smooth rate acceleration despite the slow shifting nature of a medium duty truck trans in a light duty pickup takes some getting used to. Going thru the gears with the same load on the engine and turbo takes time to learn.


Using the same method solo or loaded is what works best, long term. Same for braking.

For those interested, research "progressive shifting" as used in big trucks. It isn't perfectly applicable, but it opens a window to what works best.

If your passengers can barely tell you're shifting when solo, you're on the right path.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:32 PM   #49
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Although Ram does have a few modern (2016) diesels with manual trannys with towing capacities... the auto trannys are heavier duty transmissions. It's not like the old days anymore.
My preference for pulling heavy loads is automatics, but it sounds like you're just not gonna be happy with that and need to grind gears to enjoy the ride!
Each to his own...but those injuneers know what they're talkin' about when they specify automatics for the heavy towing pkgs...
Despite that, if you've found a truck you're crazy about with the powertrain you want at a price you like and it drives good.... what's my opinion worth anyway..??? Not much. Get what you want. Life is short.

(Here's a fairly complete analysis of such decision-making)
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:55 PM   #50
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If you're referring to my comments, yes, the manual gives me control the automatic doesn't. At the time of production it was far and away the better choice. Today's six speed autos behind the diesels are probably as good, and highway fuel mileage may be somewhat better, if the poorly documented stories I read and hear are correct as to the latest DEF trucks.

As diesels don't begin to pay for themselves until nearly 200k miles, it is then the cost of rebuilding one if those autos that comes into play. I'm well past 200k on the original clutch.

If the operator has that motivation (lowest ownership cost) then the CTD with manual is still ahead.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:56 PM   #51
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Each to his or her own choosing. All based on personal choice...what you have and can afford or like. I have an 02 7.3 powerstroke 4x4 with 6 speed manual. It's slick and smooth with wonderful fuel mileage. It's what is mine and works. Chose the 6 speed manual because the automatics were not so good then. They are much better now though. As much as new trucks cost, many of us hope what we have will last a long time. More money for travel.

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