Automatic Vs. Manual Transmissions
A brief overview of the Pro and Cons to each type of Transmission
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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 04:06 PM..