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Go Back   ClassicBroncos.com Forums > 66-77 Ford Bronco > Bronco FAQ > Transmission FAQ's

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Automatic Vs. Manual Transmissions Automatic Vs. Manual Transmissions
A brief overview of the Pro and Cons to each type of Transmission
DebosDave'72
08/02/06
This FAQ will just give an overview of some of the possible benefits and some of the weaknesses of each type of transmission. When the discussion comes up on this topic, each type has plenty of backers, suggesting that it is the best choice for a bronco or wheeling. This article is not meant to persuade you either way, just to give a pro/con list for each type.


Automatics:

Pros:

- Less pedals to worry about in a pinch, makes driving easier
- Easy to start on a hill without downhill movement
- Basically it comes down to less work driving, they can be made to do anything a manual will do at a price, but easy of driving is the benefit to an automatic
- The torque converter can act as a "doubler" in that it will allow the gearing to act like it is 1.5 to 3 times lower than the actual physical gears in the transmission. The result of the torque converter depend on each specific torque converter, with the average running out at about 2 times the physical gearing.

Cons:

- Without building one, they can be weak
- There are a lot of moving parts inside and can be somewhat complex for DIY, this problem can be more of an understanding problem or an intimidation than an actual difficulty level that is greater than a manual transmission.
- Compression braking can be difficult without a shift kit or computer
- Can generate a lot of heat due to the nature of the torque converter
- Need to watch the fluid level if you are going to do any off-camber driving


Manuals:

Pros:

- Fun to drive - requires driver participation
- Can be used as a sort of compression brake because it won't shift up without you making it do so
- Can start your engine on a slight slope (pop the clutch)
- More simple internals (without syncros)
- Generally very strong transmissions

Cons:

- Most options for a bronco have truck-like shifting, which weighs against the fun to drive in "pros"
- Can be a lot to deal with in some sticky situations, it can be tough to get started going up a hill.


This is a basic start to this discussion, if you have anything you can add to this FAQ, please post below, and I will modify or add as necessary.  

Last edited by DebosDave'72; 08/02/06 at 03:06 PM..
  #1  
SaddleUp on 08/02/06, 11:46 AM
A big Pro to an automatic is that the torque convertor provides an effecting gearing much lower than the actual gearing. The effective ratio is on the order of 1 1/2 to 3 times it with the average being about double. The actual amount is primarily dependant upon the torque convertor itself.

Complexity to work on is subjective. Most people that have rebuilt them would say they are no harder to work on than a manual tranny. They are harder to understand though which makes people leary of them.
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  #2  
muladesigns1 on 06/06/07, 07:55 AM
A manual is definately a lot more fun to drive around with, But here in Phoenix off road means lots of fun nasty rocks and boulders it almost makes it mandatory for you to have an automatic to over come crazy angles!
so... my daily driver is a stick and my Bronco is and auto
Problem solved!
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  #3  
fire768 on 08/25/11, 04:38 PM
I have a 84 bronco with a c6 transmission,when frist trying to move it I am to hold it at 2000 rpm's for 1minte befor it will move in drive,after that it runs and drives good with no trouble,untill the next morning.
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