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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 10-25-2009, 07:30 PM   #1
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manual vs automatic transmission or Bolth!!

Hay I wanted some input before I start….ok I have a 91 4runer 3.slow 4x4 with an automatic transmission (that’s the problem) my automatic transmission is giving me more problems, I just put new shift solenoids in not long ago and now its beginning to slip… so I was thinking about doing a manual swap but I go 4x4ing a lot and I’ve never had the chance to 4x4 in a manual……which is better to 4x4in: a manual or an automatic transmission? Thank you for ur time and inputt


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Old 10-25-2009, 07:45 PM   #2
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I think if you have 31's stock and an Auto trans (as you said) then you more than likely have 3.88 diffs. So i would give a 5 speed a wack n run 33/10.5 tires. So i think you would like the Manual better.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:01 PM   #3
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thanks .......but how dose a manual handle off roading?
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
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This topic has been covered a number of times. Search, and you'll get a gazillion opinions.

Personally, I like the wheelspeed control of a manual transmission better, however, stalling can be a problem ... sooooo ....

Manual with crawler FTW
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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Red face

This all comes down to what you like better yourself.

i learned to drive on a manual transmission so using the clutch on all sorts of grades is now just muscle memory. I do like to be able to control my shift points myself

If you have little practice with a clutch it may be possible in an offroad situation you could get real frustrated real easy . I had a girl friend once who was real hard on the clutch never got to the point she could pull out without slipping the clutch real bad

I know I get frustrated with the Automatic I have to drive at work. This is just me.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
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I've wheeled with both, and I prefer the manual.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:38 AM   #7
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I've wheeled with both, and I prefer the manual.
x2

never owning another automatic toyota again
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
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I have found it easier to run a manual in the mud than a auto, plus I have also found it easier to repair a manual over an auto, but to each his own. Find a friend to ride with that has one and try it out if he will let you.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:32 AM   #9
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I think if you have 31's stock and an Auto trans (as you said) then you more than likely have 4.88 diffs. So i would give a 5 speed a wack n run 33/10.5 tires. So i think you would like the Manual better.
Fixed it for you.........


....smithy

My wife has a '92 4rnr auto. Shift it down into L1 and it has enough power and torque to wheel slowly. When the rpm's start running to high, I shift into L2..........all out of OD, of course. But, the my '86 4rnr 22re 5spd can pull just as hard through whatever despite the difference in the motor size. Point being, manuals seem (to me) to make a difference in more pulling power. The only thing to get used to is operating a clutch in stop and go offroad situations. Like TC said, stalling out can be a problem. You don't have that issue much with the auto unless you bog it out......which I've never done, but I suppose is possible.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:53 AM   #10
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2 other reasons why manuals are better. 1- fuel economy and power. auto's rob ~20% more hp than a manual does. 2- one time about a year ago I knocked a hole in the bottom of my r151 while wheeling after dark. Drove it out of the mountain and was wondering why it was starting to whine. Drove it for about 25 miles across town to a frinds house, then home, WITH NO FLUID. Didn't realize till the next morning that I punched a hole about the size of a 1/2 dollar in the bottom of it. I Cut a chunk of aluminum out of a junk tailshaft I had, JB welded the hole shut filled it up with fluid and have been driving it since. The noise went away shortly after.... IF u ever drain that auto out of fluid, just see how far u get. maybe 5 or 10 feet if ur lucky.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:24 AM   #11
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as said above

5spd gives more power, better wheel speed control
5spd gets better mpg's
5spd is easier to fix... pretty much bullet proof...the clutch is the weak link
5spd has no connection to the rad.. therefor fluids can not mix....

all that being said... I own both, and honestly...I like the 5spd offroad, however...IMO the auto gets better traction, and is easier to wheel with... my leg isnt sore at the end of the day from wortkin the clutch.... it all comes down to how u want to wheel..... sometimes i prefer to wheel the auto....othertimes I prefer the 5spd
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:28 PM   #12
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a lot of wheeling *can* be quite similar between an auto and a manual, but for me, the most noticeable difference would be on downhill descents. with a manual you will be able to stay in gear and use the engine to help control speed without having to use too much brakes. compare this to an automatic which is gonna rely on the torque converter and usually will not keep the rig going slow enough downhill, thus you'll rely more on brakes.

in the end, it might be cheaper (and easier) to find yourself another 4runner that already has a 5spd than try to convert yours. might even find one in better condition with less miles, then swap everything over and sell the auto for the same price. you also won't be without a rig to drive around for however long it would take you to do the swap.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:54 PM   #13
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I used to have serious issues driving automatics, kept trying to shift and would constantly throw myself into park or reverse while beating the crap out of my left foot. I prefer manuals simply because of the extra control and the fact that I feel that it makes me a better driver because I have to focus that little bit more on my driving instead of being distracted by other stuff in the car. I think most people would be better drivers if they drove manual instead of automatics, autos seem to promote lazier drivers who like to do everything but drive. Then again, I prefer automatics when on busy highways simply because of how much stop and go there is and I commute to work on the busiest highway in the world so manuals really give my foot a workout.

In the end I'd have to be in manuals are superior camp, especially when you're putting the truck to work (towing, moving over obstacles), the added control really helps. My truck is 2wd and I would hate for it to be an automatic, it'd be practically useless if it was.

Also, screw all of you with your 5spd transmissions, mine is 4spd, and I learned how to drive on a 3spd. Buncha useless gears, who needs to make efficient use of their powerband anyways.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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Wow thank you all for ur help , this summer i will do the manual swap ,and maybe a 3.4l swap as well also I heard that some people pressurize there bell and distributor how dose that work (I do have a compressor on board with tanks for airing up my tires )
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:21 AM   #15
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a lot of wheeling *can* be quite similar between an auto and a manual, but for me, the most noticeable difference would be on downhill descents. with a manual you will be able to stay in gear and use the engine to help control speed without having to use too much brakes. compare this to an automatic which is gonna rely on the torque converter and usually will not keep the rig going slow enough downhill, thus you'll rely more on brakes.

in the end, it might be cheaper (and easier) to find yourself another 4runner that already has a 5spd than try to convert yours. might even find one in better condition with less miles, then swap everything over and sell the auto for the same price. you also won't be without a rig to drive around for however long it would take you to do the swap.
Last time I checked, converting to a 5spd is cheaper. And, it's not all that hard. Atleast, for a 1st 4rnr. I'd checked into this a while when considering buying an auto equipped chassis to throw my 5spd powertrain into. It looked to me there was a bolt in plate where a clutch bracket could otherwise go.

Depending on the terrain and how you wheel, with an automatic, you can shift into L2 and L1 while utilizing L4 and get very adequate descending control sans the brakes in the same way you would with the 5spd. Although, auto's are typically heavier and depends on how many passengers and the amount of gear you're hauling. Just my experience. I still like the 5spd more.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:24 AM   #16
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Also, screw all of you with your 5spd transmissions, mine is 4spd, and I learned how to drive on a 3spd. Buncha useless gears, who needs to make efficient use of their powerband anyways.
A jealous man? Who uses 5th when wheeling anyway....right?
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
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A jealous man? Who uses 5th when wheeling anyway....right?
Everyone speeds on the highways, it's a matter of survival, not law. I do a lot of towing too, wish I could make better use of my powerband.
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Somewhere in the pile of parts in my shop there is a '88 Shortbed P/U, 22R, 2wd, 4spd manual, no bed, cheap shocks, IFS w/o sway bar, rest stock. 223k km (~138k miles).

Check out my 2wd 5-lug 8" axle rebuild! (in progress)

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Old 10-29-2009, 02:17 AM   #18
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Everyone speeds on the highways, it's a matter of survival, not law. I do a lot of towing too, wish I could make better use of my powerband.
Well, don't worry about it. I do a lot of towing, as well. So, actually, I don't get around to using 5th all that often, anyway. Getting above 50mph and keeping in comfortable rpm range is kinda hard with hills and a 4cyl. On a flat highway, I don't feel terribly safe going too fast will a trailer, either. I like to be able to stop.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:27 AM   #19
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Well, don't worry about it. I do a lot of towing, as well. So, actually, I don't get around to using 5th all that often, anyway. Getting above 50mph and keeping in comfortable rpm range is kinda hard with hills and a 4cyl. On a flat highway, I don't feel terribly safe going too fast will a trailer, either. I like to be able to stop.

Stopping is WAY overrated.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:28 AM   #20
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I don't normally tow anything during my morning commute. On the highway I take even 60mph is slow enough to get you rear-ended if traffic isn't heavy enough to cause slowdowns. The most common speed is more like 120kmph, or about 75mph.
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Somewhere in the pile of parts in my shop there is a '88 Shortbed P/U, 22R, 2wd, 4spd manual, no bed, cheap shocks, IFS w/o sway bar, rest stock. 223k km (~138k miles).

Check out my 2wd 5-lug 8" axle rebuild! (in progress)

My First-ever Fab Project: Flatbed

Last edited by Magnusian; 10-29-2009 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:28 AM
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