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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2005
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Very true, Colin, and worth repeating as you did. The Torsen diff was already gone by the time I got this axle, and I believe the guy who bought it also did not get it. I'd stay away from that diff in those replaced axles for sure. Even if it had been there, I would not have used it.


Whoops, had to many posts when i slipt the thread, sorry man~Modslp

Last edited by ScottG; 04-19-2005 at 09:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2005
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Can someone explain the MANUAL transmission fetish to me?

Ford's ratings for manual vs auto tranny are VERY different...does this mean auto is stronger or what? I just don't see the value in a manual tranny in a truck of our size anymore?

In a sporty car like my old Focus SVT I do...or the new Mustang...but our trucks???
Please give me a dissertation!
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Old 04-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicRanger001
Can someone explain the MANUAL transmission fetish to me?

Ford's ratings for manual vs auto tranny are VERY different...does this mean auto is stronger or what? I just don't see the value in a manual tranny in a truck of our size anymore?

In a sporty car like my old Focus SVT I do...or the new Mustang...but our trucks???
Please give me a dissertation!
you have control over the truck not the computer. i personally cant stand auto's.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2005
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I have control just fine...if you take the time to pay attention to your RPM's you can get the auto to do just about what you want...not perfect but close...

So are there any other reasons besides that...
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Old 04-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicRanger001
Can someone explain the MANUAL transmission fetish to me?
I enjoy driving my truck. I've had plenty of trucks with automatics, they're a bore. The unavailability of a manual tranny is a big reason why I would never consider a new F150.
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Old 04-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicRanger001
I have control just fine...if you take the time to pay attention to your RPM's you can get the auto to do just about what you want...not perfect but close...

So are there any other reasons besides that...
If you know how to drive a manual transmission right, its NOT close. Not nearly. Not to mention that with a manual you're getting about 7% more power to the rear wheels.
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Old 04-19-2005
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Originally Posted by Wowak
I enjoy driving my truck. I've had plenty of trucks with automatics, they're a bore. The unavailability of a manual tranny is a big reason why I would never consider a new F150.
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Old 04-19-2005
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I miss a manual. I had a manual 4.0 now I have a auto 4.0 both were the OHV. The manual was so much quicker and stronger, not that the auto is weak. And the control is alot better. An auto has nothing on the right combination of clutch and gas offroad.
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Old 04-19-2005
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I like the automatic.

Manual vs. automatic and why they limit it: shock loads.

Many offroad trucks are going automatic (and I'm talking professionals here) because they break less with them.
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Old 04-19-2005
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I got an automatic because I got a deal on the truck plus with a 4x4 I find the autos are a lot easier to use in the snow and itz easier in the city. Which I drive a lot in Erie. I am happy. Although if I had a car it would have to be a manual.
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Old 04-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicRanger001
I have control just fine...if you take the time to pay attention to your RPM's you can get the auto to do just about what you want...not perfect but close...
Yeah, but I just grab a lever, work my feet, and presto! Instant control over RPMs and gearing, no throttle adjustments needed. Autos have their place in flat, open settings and traffic, where the trans can properly predict what's going on and save the operator from some unneeded repeditive foot action. But in rural New England, where there are twisty roads and hills, nothing is more fustrating than always having your trans in the wrong effing gear! It sure blows when the thing upshifts just as you're about to start rolling up a steep incline.. then you give it a goose hoping it'll downshift.. there's that abrupt clunk, then the engine's screaming because you've got your foot in it so you back off a little.. now it upshifts again.. suddenly you're half way up the incline, your momentum is fading and the engine is bogged down in the wrong gear! Lovely.. Now the new 5-speed autos are better, and truth be told I wish I'd given them more thought (mostly for the higher tow rating). But there really is nothing like the feel and control of actually shifting those gears!

There's just something about operating a manual transmission. To me it makes me feel more part of the process, more like a person operating a machine, rather than a guy on a bus suggesting what might happen and what might not. Modern vehicles are going auto everything, even fly-by-wire throttle control, so the vehicle does what IT thinks you meant, rather than what you actually told it to do! .. This issue is a to-each-their-own sort of thing. You either prefer to drive stick or you don't.. and well, I do!
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Many offroad trucks are going automatic (and I'm talking professionals here) because they break less with them.
Yeah, but when they DO break something it'll cost a lot more to fix!
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyluke
I got an automatic because I got a deal on the truck plus with a 4x4 I find the autos are a lot easier to use in the snow and itz easier in the city.
I'll agree w/ the first part, Rangers w/ autos are VERY common and can be found anywhere. I had a choice of like 3-4 supercab 4x4 Rangers in stock at my local dealer, which disapointed me. There were several DOZENS of similar trucks w/ autos.. And I'll agree about the city thing, although I make a point of avoiding traffic myself.

But the snow thing I can't disagree w/ more. I've argued it before and won't get into it again, but I think engine braking w/ a manual is far easier and more advantageous in low traction situations w/ a stick than w/ an auto, especially w/ 4x4. .. Although it can be more dangerous if you don't pay attention or know what you're doing and do something stuipid too!
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Old 04-19-2005
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How did a discussion of modified traction bars instantly become a discussion of manual vs. automatic transmissions??? I realize that topics often evolve but this one totally jumped the tracks.
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Old 04-19-2005
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Happens in any topic I get in. Don't know why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Yeah, but when they DO break something it'll cost a lot more to fix
Colin, I'm not talking about TRANSMISSION breakage: I'm talking u-joints, CV's, driveshafts, etc. The auto cushions the torque delivery and preserves the entire drivetrain. They use autos to save the whole drivetrain. You missed the point.

An auto also give you 2:1 speed reduction under load due to the torque converter. It's like having a "crawl box" in your drivetrain and allows slower rates. Essential for me with a 2WD without a low range, but useful for a 4WD with a low range to get slower crawl speeds up inclines.

Also, the torque converter is FAR superior to "slipping the clutch" to get a big load moving. Face it: manuals have their place but they are NOT superior to the automatic designs -- just different. The torque converter in the automatic conveys benefits and the automakers know and have measured this -- thats why towing capacity is higher with automatics.
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  #14  
Old 04-19-2005
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Thanks John now I see how I was wrong in my thinking. Although I see no difference between an auto and manual with engine braking in the snow. Half the time in Erie I drive without the overdrive on and constantly downshift on grades and such. I had a manual last year up here and I feel I am better off with an auto. Just my opinion tho.
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2005
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Well, the auto is not superior either as such. Some have a "manual is better" and I think kind of macho mindset about this. I have an engineering mindset: each design has plus and minus details and it just depends on what you're doing.

Both can get the job done. Sometimes, for some jobs, one is better than another, particularly for a particular driver and vehicle. But neither rules.
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  #16  
Old 04-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowak
If you know how to drive a manual transmission right, its NOT close. Not nearly. Not to mention that with a manual you're getting about 7% more power to the rear wheels.

I totally agree. When I had the manual, I could smoke my tires whenever I wanted to, and that was with the 3.0l (4.10's don't hurt either), but now my 4.0l has to think for a heartbeat before it decides I really want acceleration and will downshift. Manuals will just be more fun to drive, unless you're stuck doing 0 to 5 mph on the highway during rushhour.

Can't blame my computer though, I'm bi-polar when I drive. I'm either in granny mode to safe gas, or will floor it because the little voices inside tell me too.
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  #17  
Old 04-19-2005
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But that doesn't address the cases of offroading and towing. Again, it depends on the application, and the manual is still not superior -- no matter WHO is driving. For some racing, certainly -- but even then not all.
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  #18  
Old 04-19-2005
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The 7% more power fact isnt supported by any dyno of a 4.0 ranger I have seen.
Manual = fun yes..
manual = more gas mileage No.
With the new autos you can shut off overdrive.

This puts you at 3000 [email protected] I find thats enough for any hills around here.
Now if I was doing the twisties at 40mph and it was hunting .. well I suspose
I could use 2.. The torque converter will lock in all gears except 1.

I wish I had a manual everytime I drive the truck on a sunny day.
I'm glad of the automatic when I'm driving home from work at 2am and its 5 degrees out... or when I'm stuck in cleveland rush hour... or when I'm climbing a rockpile...towing a 4000lb u-haul trailer with bad wheel bearings... etc

If I could have Both in a truck that would just be perfect :)

Rand
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Old 04-19-2005
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They keep trying to design that kind of thing -- manually shifted autos that feel like a manual. They just have never gotten it right I don't think.
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  #20  
Old 04-19-2005
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i like my manual tranny... and im really confused about the first post on this topic... it didnt have anything to do with trannys it was axles... ok im going to shut up now
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  #21  
Old 04-19-2005
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I used to use the electronic shift functions all the time in my dads Mercades ML 500 and his E 430. That was always fun. The thing I didn't like about em was there was no clutch so when you would shift it took a min before the tranny actually shifted. I remember the first time I tried it I took it almost to reline and tapped it and it went to redline before it shifted. Was scary at first now I just know to compensate for that. I never meant to take it that far but I did. Oh well, only happened once so we won't tell him.
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Old 04-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicRanger001
Can someone explain the MANUAL transmission fetish to me?

Ford's ratings for manual vs auto tranny are VERY different...does this mean auto is stronger or what? I just don't see the value in a manual tranny in a truck of our size anymore?

In a sporty car like my old Focus SVT I do...or the new Mustang...but our trucks???
Please give me a dissertation!
It doesn't matter to me whether I'm driving a car or a truck, I prefer a manual. Ford offers manuals and automatics for the same reason that they offer cab and box variations and different color choices - because the customer base wants it. If there were few or no manual Ranger customers, there would be no manual Ranger transmissions. Most vans, minivans and SUVs are available in automatic only for this reason. But for Ranger sales in 2005, Ford projects a 20% take rate on manual transmissions. There's no way they will ignore that large of a percentage of sales.

The reason that Ford downrates the towing capacity of the manual is because of uphill launches from a dead stop. A manual throws power away to heat while slipping the clutch on initial launch but the torque converter in an automatic doubles the available torque when starting from rest. This is a tremendous advantage for the automatic. Ford has a very severe test that requires a fully loaded truck/trailer combo to be launched from rest on a very steep incline (20%, I believe.) All else being equal, an automatic can walk away on the same hill that will fry a clutch into oblivion. That's the ONLY reason the manual is rated for a lower GCVW.




Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Colin, I'm not talking about TRANSMISSION breakage: I'm talking u-joints, CV's, driveshafts, etc. The auto cushions the torque delivery and preserves the entire drivetrain. They use autos to save the whole drivetrain. You missed the point.

An auto also give you 2:1 speed reduction under load due to the torque converter. It's like having a "crawl box" in your drivetrain and allows slower rates. Essential for me with a 2WD without a low range, but useful for a 4WD with a low range to get slower crawl speeds up inclines.

Also, the torque converter is FAR superior to "slipping the clutch" to get a big load moving. Face it: manuals have their place but they are NOT superior to the automatic designs -- just different. The torque converter in the automatic conveys benefits and the automakers know and have measured this -- thats why towing capacity is higher with automatics.
Excellent points, John.

My personal preference is for manuals. They have their limitations but I enjoy driving them. Also, I do my own repairs and plan to keep my truck for several years. The 5RXXE section in my shop manual is 375 pages long. The M5OD section is 64 pages long. Every automatic transmission my family has owned has either failed outright or exhibited some type of questionable behavior.

Last edited by V8 Level II; 04-19-2005 at 10:31 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-19-2005
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Ha ha! I enjoy driving them also, but with all the radios and electronics in my vehicle, and all, the automatic makes sense for me. I have nothing against manuals, I just bristle when I hear automatics "automatically" relegated to the clase of "inferior" without regard to application or all capabilities.

And you know what? Ford's automatics in particular have a bad record matched probably only by some Mitubishi designs. But that's not true for all automatics necessarily. So from a Ford perspective, one might have a good reason to get a manual.
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  #24  
Old 04-19-2005
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What is the Auto Tranny in the Ranger anyway...is it a E4OD like in my 1996 Bronco...it really seems like it???
OK OK You can tell me what the manual tranny is too for reference purposes :)
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  #25  
Old 04-19-2005
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I think its quite the contrary...IMO GM's transmissions on a lot of their Front drive trannys are AWFUL

I've known a lot of people have to rebuild their trannys on their Pontiac Grand Prixs and Buick LeSabres and the like
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