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

Does your 2nd gen. auto transmission please you?

Old 09-28-2005, 11:09 AM
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Does your 2nd gen. auto transmission please you?

My new 4Runner has an auto, I loved my 5 speed in the old one but you can't have everything at a moments notice.

I'm not sure what to think of it yet. Could you share you opinions and impressions of the 2nd gen automatic with me please?

How about off-roading, towing, snow/ics, mud, hills, with oversized tires etc.

Please fill me in,
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Old 09-28-2005, 11:42 AM
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im currently fighting my A340H (second gen auto).

When i bought the 4runner it was for towing my popup/road trips. wow, was i suprised, It sucked. the RPM range was never right for the 3.0. I get 2-4mph less than my truck with a 5speed. (between the auto and non manual hubs) Towing with my 94 PU is a pleasure. geared just right with 31's (4.56) to keep the motor in the power band but 5th is low enough to cruise on the highway while towing (on flat ground).

with that said, i do have quite a few upgrades on 3.0 in the PU that probibly ups the power by 20-30 hp which could be some of it.

I feel confident that with some engine upgrades, i can get the auto to be reasonable, as its current performance is pathetic.

I havent had my 4runner off road yet. dont have a locker in it yet (but have on for it) and it has 31's.
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:53 PM
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i've never driven a 5speed to compare, but i get along just fine with my auto.

5speed or no, it's still slow.

slow isn't so bad...probably saved me a handful of speeding tickets over the years.
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Old 09-28-2005, 02:06 PM
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The auto trannys are strong and reliable but they seem to suck up about 25 hp. My 3.0 V6 5-speed '94 pickup was pretty quick but the same truck with an auto is somewhat sluggish.

Prior to buying my 3rd gen 5-speed 4Runner last month I drove a couple of 183 hp (3.4L V6) automatic 4Runners and they weren't any quicker than my 150 hp (3.0 V6) 5-speed pickup. Curb weight between these vehicles are within 70 pounds.

I shopped for a long time to find a 3rd gen with a 5-speed. The performance is much better than the autos...

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Old 09-28-2005, 02:35 PM
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I have 191,xxx miles on my auto, and it runs fine for the most part. On long trips, the torque converter slips a bit and sometimes I loose 1st gear at a stop light, but I think it's just some bad seloniods. I can't complain at all though, that a good amount of miles on an auto. If I turn my CC on, my tranny won't stay in OD, even on fairly flat surfaces. I hardly use my CC now. That's my biggest complaint, but that could just be an issue with my 4runner.

I would definatly get a 5speed next time though. More pep up the hills (course my 31 inch tires and 3.90 rear don't help
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Old 09-28-2005, 04:40 PM
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I have no problems with mine and I DO wheel it. I have the 4.56 gears
from the factory and a detroit easy locker in the rear. I also have manual
hubs with 31 inch tires.

I tow my pop-up camper / 20 foot Sea Ray / motorcycle trailer etc.
It's pretty slow taking off but pulls real well once up to speed. The crazy
thing is that once up to Interstate speed - it runs better pulling a load.

The cruise control sucks with or without a load - I never use it.

Given the choice again - I'd hunt for a 5 speed but no real issues with the auto.
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Old 09-28-2005, 05:01 PM
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The cruise control sucks with or without a load - I never use it.QUOTE]

haha, I hate it too, so much i took it out when I bought a grant steering wheel.

Anyways I love the auto tranny in my runner, I do love 5 speeds, but it is so much more convinient to drive and not have to worry about shifting (which is fun for a while) and wheeling with it is even nicer, able to keep great traction, you dont break loose when shifting up a dusty hill or anything...
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:03 PM
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I like my auto now that I have it all figured out. Be sure to add a cooler and a guage if possible. On hills turn the O/D off so it doesnt shift in and out--that heats up the convertor and turns the temp light on. I also use the drain plug to change the fluid about every 15k. Allows me to put 4.5 qts of fresh fluid in, and keeps it nice and red.
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Old 09-29-2005, 01:59 AM
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After buying my 4Runner, a guy at a well known off road shop said it well...
"It's a good thing you got the 5spd because those motors (3.0) need all the help they can get." Of coarse, i agreeed.

I have always thought auto trannys are crap in every way possible (sorry to all the auto guys but it's just my "professional" opinion) so when i bought my 4Runner i made sure getting the 5spd was my single most important option.

When it comes to off roading and even daily driving, theres nothing better than being in control of what gear you want.

The "fun factor" (not to mention the realiabilty) of a 5spd has been with me for 14 years and i've driven both trannys throughout my life.

I just added 33" tires with stock gearing and the difference is horrible while trying to keep speed going up slight hills but all i have to do is drop it in 4th and my rpms are fine. If i had an auto with the same scenario, i would be one "hurting" driver.

auto trannies = IMHO
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Old 09-29-2005, 04:34 AM
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this is actually my first vehicle w/ an auto transmission, so i understand the "fun factor"

but i think the real "fun factor" is had in a crisp 5speed-equipped street machine; like my old audi a4 sport.

at the end of the day the truck is, well, a truck. i love it, but i'd never even dream of driving it the same way i did the a4.
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