Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

  1. Welcome to Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forums General discussion forum for Toyota Trucks

    Welcome to Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forums - a website dedicated to all things Toyota Tundra.

    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, Join Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forums today!
     
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

  1. #1
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    0

    Question Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    I am finally trading up my '94 4Runner, 174k miles, for an '07 Double Cab TRD Tacoma. The thing that's pushing my decision is the need to tow a 5000# boat/trailer.

    The question I'm now grappling with is manual vs. automatic transmission. I've always been a manual transmission die hard but realize there may be advantages to automatic when pulling that much weight.

    Any thoughts?

    Also, I've only test driven the automatic transmission, which uses the pedal style parking brake. I'm assuming the manual transmission uses a different parking brake that's easier to use on steep hill (boat ramp) starts. Is this true?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    Toyota Tundra Forum
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Junior Member demoncleaner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    UpUpstate, NY
    Posts
    459
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by mainetacoma View Post
    I am finally trading up my '94 4Runner, 174k miles, for an '07 Double Cab TRD Tacoma. The thing that's pushing my decision is the need to tow a 5000# boat/trailer.

    The question I'm now grappling with is manual vs. automatic transmission. I've always been a manual transmission die hard but realize there may be advantages to automatic when pulling that much weight.

    Any thoughts?

    Also, I've only test driven the automatic transmission, which uses the pedal style parking brake. I'm assuming the manual transmission uses a different parking brake that's easier to use on steep hill (boat ramp) starts. Is this true?

    Thanks for any advice.
    The e-brake for the manual tranny is an old school pull brake. Its on the right, above your right knee. Its close to the shifter, and easy to use for steep starts.

    I've had mine for 2 years. I love the manual. Gearing is lower than the auto (hence, why 1 mpg less in EPA rating, but I still avg 18-19 mpg on hilly country roads). She tows lighter loads very well, like my snowmobile trailer. I've towed 4500 lbs with my bed loaded with 1000 lbs too. She was feeling strained on the steep hills. I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but auto or manual its a 4200 lb small truck, not a 5-5500 lb full size. Just have to rev her out more when acclerating with a heavy load.

    Its rated to 6500 lbs auto or manual. I'd also think about the other 99% of the truck's life, where it wont have the boat behind it. Try both out and see what what fits your wants/ needs best.

  4. #3
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    0
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    Thanks - that's great info. I'm happy to hear that the e-brake is the pull-style type (at least not the pedal) - sounds like the same as I've got on my 4Runner.

    And yeah, it's the other 99% of the time that's making it difficult for me to even consider the automatic...but it's sounding more like I don't need to.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lehi, UT
    Posts
    293
    Liked
    1 times
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    I bought my 2007 taco to use as a work truck towing my trailer full of cultured marble. 99% of its use is with a trailer hooked up. I didn't even consider the automatic and have not regretted it. the manual doesn't "hunt" for the right gear, has better power transfer, will last longer, and when/if it does break will cost much less to repair/replace than the auto. I keep my cars/trucks for years and years as does the rest of my family. every auto that they have owned has eventually needed a new/rebuilt tranny. none of the manuals have ever had a single problem. that is why all 6 of my vehicles (3 motorcycles) are manuals. I tend to believe that I am more intelligent than the car, and I like the longevity. that's my opinion on the matter anyway. hope it helps.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    401
    Liked
    1 times
    Rep Power
    36

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    Get the one that you prefer to drive the most. Keep in mind though that the auto's cost more to buy, you have to have a tranny cooler with the auto which I'm pretty sure the towing package on the taco comes with, and if an auto tranny goes you're into heeps of $$$ to overhaul it. Unless you're a "can't find em, grind em" kind of guy, the only maintenance thing on a manual is the clutch which is a much cheaper maintenance item than an overhaul of an auto, and when combined with the cheaper purchase price of the manual, you'll have some money to burn on a few cool accessories for your new truck. Manual also gives you more control over what you are doing and things like that, when towing.

  7. #6
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    0
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    Awesome - manual it is. Thanks for making this decision a no-brainer.

  8. #7
    Junior Member RedToy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    128
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    OK, let me throw something into the mix, even though you seem to have made up your mind. Now, I have the auto and I'm happy with it. I tow a 5100lb boat with it with no problems whatsoever. It has almost a granny gear for 1st gear and pulls from a stop just fine. I leave it in 4th most of the time when towing.

    As for manual trans, I prefer them but have taken a hit on resale (seems harder to find a buyer) I had a old 4Runner with the man trans and towed our old boat with it. The only thing I didn't like was it really worked hard pulling the boat out of the water. It was tough on the clutch.

    I agree with the things the others have said about the man trans, I like determining when to shift. But, I'm completely satisfied with the auto trans in my Taco. JMHO

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    401
    Liked
    1 times
    Rep Power
    36

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    This may not be the case now with Toyota's newer automatic transmissions which seem to be more efficient, but I'll give you an example.

    The 90-95 4runner & 89-95 Toyota Pickups with the 3vze V6 came with a 5 speed manual or 4 speed auto. I have seen some dyno numbers of HP/TQ at the rear wheels for each respective transmission (The at the crank numbers are 150 HP & 180 ft-lbs of torque), and the Manaul puts 122 HP and 150 ft-lbs of torque, the Auto is 104-105 HP and around 135-140 ft-lbs of torque. The Manual in this generation is more efficient, makes the engines job easier, and you riding the clutch a lot more is a symptom of towing a heavy load for the size of truck. The Manual R150F is a very stout, durable, reliable, transmission. The R150 series continued on in a modified version (different transfer case) into the Tacoma from 95.5-04. So basically the R150 series was alive in Toyota V6 trucks from 88 all the way to 04. Tough transmission. The stock clutch is great.

    If you knew what I told you now and you were going searching for this generation of truck or 4runner, do you think you as a seller would take a hit in resale? The Manual is a much more desireable transmission, at least in these trucks. Anyone who tries to low-ball you because you're selling a manual, is BSing you big time. No one wants an automatic but then finds a manual, low-balls the seller, and then buys it.

  10. #9
    Veteran Member j4x4ar3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley
    Age
    46
    Posts
    682
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    I'll throw my 2 cents in on this one. I tow a 5500# travel trailer and I defintely am glad I have the automatic. Then again I have a double cab V6 and they only came in automatic at the time. However I don't have to worry about downshifting and such when stopping that much weight behind me. I just put my foot on the brake and let my Prodigy brake controller help me out. Gives me the chance to focus on the road and not have to worry about downshifting as well. When driving manual tranny you have a tenancy to downshift to slow vs using the brakes... at least I do. When you have a brake controller that style driving is useless because the controller only works when the brake pedal is pushed. Now with a boat trailer using surge brakes it's a different story but I would hope that a 5000# boat would come with electric brakes instead as they are much more reliable IMO.
    ----------------
    Tacoma V6 Auto 4x4 Double Cab 128"
    White
    TRD Off-Road

    TRD CAT Back Exhaust, Bed Mat, Husky Floor Mats, Wildcat Flash Nerf Bars, Prodigy Brake Controller, In Dash cell phone mount, Cargo Bars w/Thule Ski & Bike Attachments, Toyo Open Country A/T Tires (Stock Size)

    26' Travel Trailer GVWR 6000# with 800# WD hitch.

  11. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    579
    Liked
    8 times
    Rep Power
    1949

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    I would say get the stick. Having control over everything is priceless.

    And to add: there is no reason to pay more if you like stick shifts. The resale value is a very moot point, as you paid a lot less to begin with.

    For me, driving is fun. To the point that I would not get an automatic, as long as somebody makes stick shifts.

    And it's less maintenance. And less repair costs. I drove a total of over 1,000,000 miles in my lifetime so far. All on sticks. I never had to replace a clutch, ever (and no, no transmission, either). And, I never paid for any maintenance (like transmission fluid changes). I have towed heavy loads for years.

    I'd go with the stick if you like them. Automatics are for people who really like automatics (for whatever reason --- like having a coffee while shaving on the way to work), and are willing to pay the extra cost, or for handicapped people .

    Good luck!

  12. #11
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    Another point to consider is getting a heavy (near vehicle capacity) load moving from a dead stop or stop-and-go on a steep incline. The torque converters in modern automatics provide 2.0 - 2.5 times torque multiplication to the wheels from a dead stop. This is significant for towing. However, as speed increaces torque multiplication tapers off until it no longer occures above aprox 40mph.

    Thankfully, Toyota given manual buyers a good steep first gear in the six speed which should give slillful drivers all the tourque they need.

    I tow my jetski's 25-30 times per year. Short hall to the local lakes here. My guess is the two skis, trailer, fuel and supplies weigh in at about 2000lbs. My comparison here is apples to oranges but does get my point across. We have two Toyotas at home. 1997 Tacoma X-cab 4-cyl 5-speed manual (190K flawless miles) & 2005 4Runner V6 Auto (wife's). While the Runner is far more powerful in all regards and the auto is very good I STILL prefer towing with my tacoma simply because I can have more precise control in most situations. Especially once I'm rolling down the road. The BIG advantage that the Runner has with the AUTO transmission is that it will effortlessly pull the skis out of the water on the steepest of ramps. It almost idles up the ramp. This is the torque multiplication of an automatic working for you in these kind of situations.

    In the manual, it comes down to skill and control. The both have their distinct advantages and neither has significant disadvantages except cost of repair.

  13. #12
    Veteran Member tundrainorange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    orange, ca
    Posts
    919
    Liked
    0 times
    Images
    9
    Rep Power
    1157

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    i have owned both stick & manual...stick is def better offroading or just normal driving, but as for towing i have an 05tundra v8 & tow a 18' toyhauler, i couldnt imagine doing it with a manual trans.

  14. #13
    Junior Member rpmspeedyblue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    51
    Liked
    0 times
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    If you are going to do a lot of steep inclines Automatic trans would be the way to go.
    05 Speedwayblue X-Runner

  15. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    401
    Liked
    1 times
    Rep Power
    36

    Default Re: Towing: Manual vs. Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by tundrainorange View Post
    i have owned both stick & manual...stick is def better offroading or just normal driving, but as for towing i have an 05tundra v8 & tow a 18' toyhauler, i couldnt imagine doing it with a manual trans.
    Why couldn't you imagine doing it with a manual trans? Mind you I guess you didn't have that option.

    But I can imagine it!

    Mind you I guess on a bigger truck it's nice to have the automatic just simpy because you have one less thing to worry about when you're towing i.e. shifting. But I still say it comes down to preference, and if you prefer the manual, and you don't mind having a little change left over to buy some toys/accessories for your truck because of the thousand dollars or so savings you get from buying the manual, all the power to you.

    There is torque muitiplication on Tacoma manuals too...it's called the stump pulling 4.2 to 1 first gear. If that's not torque multiplication I don't know what is.


Similar Threads

  1. Manual or Automatic
    By MR7853 in forum Tacoma
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-09-2006, 11:54 PM
  2. Toyota announces 2006 4Runner Changes
    By 4runner007 in forum 4Runner
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-07-2005, 07:36 PM
  3. Toyota Announces 2006 Prices For Nine Vehicles
    By Truck Champion in forum Pricing and Dealers
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-01-2005, 08:08 AM
  4. Toyota announces 2006 Sienna Changes
    By 4runner007 in forum Sienna
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-30-2005, 01:53 AM
  5. Service Manual Request: Automatic Trans Pressure Port?
    By TowingCivic in forum Transmission
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-02-2005, 01:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •