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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 07-13-2005
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manual or automatic?

which is the better of the two for doing some off roading, the manual or the automatic transmission?

Any pros and cons wouild be apreciated.

I am about to purchase a a 2002 xlt with the 4.0L engine,4.10 gears, factory off road package,auto tranny, also has the towing pack oh and it is a 4x4 as well.

Is this a good vehicle to do some off roadign with?

Thanks in advance
Matt
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Old 07-13-2005
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Yep I have a 2001 just like it and it peforms very well off road, and is a damn good truck. Welcome to the site BTW.
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Old 07-13-2005
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manual is better for offroading, but it can be a personal prefrence... ,manual gives you full control over your truck, but if your jsut starting with manual, offroadings going to be tough
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Old 07-13-2005
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I woud have to disagree. Around here, automatics are preferred for rock crawling by all the pro's. As well, mudding can be dangerous in a manual, it wears them out really quick. Now if I were to buy a new 2wd truck it would be a manual no doubt, but any 4x4 that I might consider beefing up into a trail rig I would go automatic.
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Old 07-13-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4X4XLT
manual is better for offroading, but it can be a personal prefrence... ,manual gives you full control over your truck, but if your jsut starting with manual, offroadings going to be tough
Definitely true, I started out with my manual transmission having never offroaded before, and it was definitely tough the first few times. Ah the smell of clutch in the morning...
I don't know about mudding really wearing down the transmission, but as so far as rock crawling, an automatic would be the best way to go.
For trail riding, either or is good to have, but I believe a manual is better suited for the hills.
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Old 07-13-2005
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automatic is the way more folks are going now but i would go with a manual
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Old 07-13-2005
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Going off roading its manual all the way.
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Old 07-13-2005
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do u want the general publics opinion or someone who does this often?

which type of wheelin do u plan on doing?

a maunal is better for rock crawling and aids in compression braking. general trail riding it would be my choice.

an auto is better for higher speed/high rpm situations. like mud/sand/hill climbs. with a manual u loose momentum when u shift, with an auto the shift is instant and the revs stay up.

dont forget that in mud a manual will get clogged up with mud between the clutch and fly wheel and ur screw from then on out. on an auto u need to keep it cool or it'll over heat. if u do get the auto, pick up a large trans cooler, possibly with a fan. if u plan on doing high speed/high rpm wheelin might wanna look into a shift kit. plus a transmission drain plug is nice, becuase ur bound to get water in the fluid.
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Old 07-13-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winks
Definitely true, I started out with my manual transmission having never offroaded before, and it was definitely tough the first few times. Ah the smell of clutch in the morning...
I don't know about mudding really wearing down the transmission, but as so far as rock crawling, an automatic would be the best way to go.
For trail riding, either or is good to have, but I believe a manual is better suited for the hills.
Agree, its only tough the first few time out. Hills a manual is way better. Anything where you have the need for low range a manual is better. I have used my low range and just keep it in first and let it craw up or down. Anytime you off-road and you don't want to mess with the clutch you can use low range.

low range + manual = a good thing
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Old 07-13-2005
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I prefer a manual for off-roading, but it is true an automatic can be better in some situations. I do primarily mudding and sand, but I'm hoping to get into some more trail-riding soon now that I'm lifted. What kind of wheeling do you plan on doing?
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Old 07-13-2005
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Thanks everyone for all the replies.

Actually, this vehicle is going to my 18yr old son. It is his highschool graduation/starting college present. He really needs a vehicle to get to and from school/new job(Best Buy) on his own now. This will be his first car.

He wanted a mustang, but I don't think he is 'mature' enough to keep from getting into trouble with racing that thing around town. I may be to blame for that as I own a (6 speed manual) corvette, and as far as racing 'that' thing around town, I have not set a good example. I talked him into the 4x4 ranger I listed above in my starting thread instead. With this truck, the temptation for thrill riding on public streets is significantly diminished. Let him get his thrills "off road" so to speak. He agrees with me, therefore, this 4x4 ranger purchase. And yes, it would be nice for me to have access to a truck too.

We live in Indianapolis right now but due to my job I am switching bases and soon making the move to pehonix. My son and this truck are going with me.
There is a lot of off roading to be done when we get there. We plan on doing from light to moderate off roading of all types.

Do you still think an automatic will be just fine or better than the manual in pehonix for light to moderate stuff?

Thanks again
Matt

Last edited by BoeingMan; 07-13-2005 at 07:00 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2005
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Personally I think it comes down to preference... Either can/will work well in most situations.
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2005
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It is really preferance, but also depends on what he would rather drive. Question is, would he be more comfortable behind an auto or a stick???

As for offroading. I have been in trucks with an auto tranny and a manual tranny. I prefer the manual just for the fact that power is always there. If you have it in first, it will stay there.


Vic
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2005
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Weather it be a Mustang or a Ranger, he's still gonna drive it fast.

As for Manual vs. Automatic... it is really up to personal prefrence. I enjoy my 5 speed.
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Old 07-13-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoeingMan
Thanks everyone for all the replies.

Actually, this vehicle is going to my 18yr old son. It is his highschool graduation/starting college present. He really needs a vehicle to get to and from school/new job(Best Buy) on his own now. This will be his first car.

He wanted a mustang, but I don't think he is 'mature' enough to keep from getting into trouble with racing that thing around town. I may be to blame for that as I own a (6 speed manual) corvette, and as far as racing 'that' thing around town, I have not set a good example. I talked him into the 4x4 ranger I listed above in my starting thread instead. With this truck, the temptation for thrill riding on public streets is significantly diminished. Let him get his thrills "off road" so to speak. He agrees with me, therefore, this 4x4 ranger purchase. And yes, it would be nice for me to have access to a truck too.

We live in Indianapolis right now but due to my job I am switching bases and soon making the move to pehonix. My son and this truck are going with me.
There is a lot of off roading to be done when we get there. We plan on doing from light to moderate off roading of all types.

Do you still think an automatic will be just fine or better than the manual in pehonix for light to moderate stuff?

Thanks again
Matt
Wow, thats weird.....I was going to get a GT stang' for my 1st vehicle last year also.....But parents thought i would be racing, and plus its not going to get me anywhere in Michigan winters......But i love my ranger to death, along with my 4.0 Auto....Dont offroad, but a manual seems it would be alot better.
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