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'54-Hunter 01-11-2003 12:12 AM

Manual or Auto transmission?
Normally I wouldnt think of getting an automatic car, I really like being involved in driving, plus I think manual cars are just a lot more fun. However when it comes to older/vintage cars, it seems like most for sale are autos. Are older manual transmission cars a lot more prone to have problems?

[ January 11, 2003: Message edited by: '54-Hunter ]</p>

izzymiddleton 01-11-2003 12:37 AM

It depends on how the transmission has been treated through the years to know exactly if it's 'rougher' than a newer one.I actually think that the Turbo 350 from Chevy is one of the best autos ever made.They're tough and they take alot of beating.

As far as the choice of transmission..I would take either one,depending on what the car had in it.I prefer an auto with a shift kit myself.. :D .Kind of gives me the best of both worlds.What do you plan on doing with you car and I will see if I can help you figure what the best trans is for the application.

Izzy :D

Kevin45 01-11-2003 12:44 AM

The older cars, mainly pre-60's had problems with the trannys disengaging from the engines while driving. I would say in early '60 the Big 3 decided to try and phase out the standard transmission altogether. The Big 3 was now flooding the markets with automatics. I guess what people were doing then was about what the stock market does today. When people heard what was happening the price of the standard cars went thru the basement. When collectors heard of what was going to happen they were almost snatched up overnight. They are still highly desirable and that is why when you see a factory standard it has one heck of a price on it. After awhile the Japanese started making their cars with standards. Some of the guys that were in the military oversees got to drive a few of these. The Big 3 got wind of these new standard automobiles and had a few shipped back over and dismantled them. They learned how to keep the trannies from disengaging at high speeds. All of a sudden you start seeing standard transmissions on the market again. Now on most of the cars that you go look at (new cars) all you find are standard transmissions and the automatics are costing extra. My guess would be (if history repeats itself) hang on to that automatic because in thirty or fourty years that low mileage auto will be worth a small bundle.


Kevin45 01-11-2003 12:55 AM

stonedchihuahua 01-11-2003 02:21 AM

Seems once the 80s hit and even mid to late 70s there isn't much for standards... Seems alot of people are putting standards in automatic cars and alot of people are putting automatics in standard cars (maybe they should just trade)

Weimer 01-11-2003 02:25 AM

Nothing like slamming gears 4 spd and missing a gear and grinding 1/2 of second gear out...Holding on a 150lb clutch in middle of traffic with your leg quivering the whole time...changing clutch discs because of street racing and frying the clutch, old lady rolling backwards into the car behind you when the light turns green.
Give me an Automatic with a shift kit anyday...

dmorris1200 01-11-2003 05:34 AM

I had a M22 4-speed in my 350ci Vega.
It had a M22 that never missed a beat with a 3,200lb. pressure plate. As weimer stated, yes she was no charmer when stuck in trafic but man she was an absolute blast to drive. I used to take off and keep that car sideways all the way to fourth gear. I have always loved muscle cars with clutches and always will, that is not the same thing as a '96 Escort with a 5-speed manual trans. I'll take a little stop and go agravation anyday for the thrill of putting that gas pedal to the floor and letting go of that clutch. :D

Barz51 01-11-2003 06:23 AM

I was teaching my G/f to drive a stick two years ago. It was here first time out on the road and the FIRST stop sign we come to is on a slight incline. I figure we will be ok as long as nobody is behind us. What happens next, a brand new SUV pulls about six inches off her rear bumper. Understandably she was a bit nervous. I really did not want to get out and ask the person behind us to back up. I wound up pulling the parking break, luckily it was between us. I waited until I felt the car pull against it and then released it. I only had to do this twice total, she picked it up fast. The first day she learned to drive a stick she drove a half an hour away to work by her self.

Cory :D

Benji 01-11-2003 06:59 AM

I still remember the first time I got into a street race back in the early '70's. I had a black '70 'Cuda 340 automatic with a Lunati cam, Isky lifters and racing springs, a 780 Holley double pumper with a Tarantula manifold, Hooker headers, and a 3:91 posi rear end. The other guy a Mercury Cyclone 351 with a 4 speed. We agreed to a rolling 10 MPH start to eliminate wheel spin. When the guy dropped his arm, both of us stomped the pedal to the metal. I yanked my Slapstick into first and lurched about 1/2 a car length. He side stepped the clutch and his car lurched about one full car length which put my front bumper beside his right 1/4 panel! But wait, EVERY time he shifted I gained about 10 feet. He shifted three times, I gained 30 feet. I beat him in the 1/4 mile by about 20 feet or so. That was the first time I ever realized that when you push the clutch in to shift YOU ARE COASTING!!!


mustang66maniac 01-11-2003 12:19 PM

Cars in the late 70s to mid 80s mostly came with automatics because they actually run cleaner than the same car with a manual transmission. Those damn smog laws were making life difficult for everybody.

stonedchihuahua 01-11-2003 02:08 PM

Umm don't see how an automatic makes a car run cleaner when it drains a bit of power... Please explain

About the race with the guy... HE MUST HAVE REALLY SUCKED AT SHIFTING...

Drive with me or neil and you will see it takes no time to shift... hell I am almost able to shift without the clutch going just about full tilt...

Weimer 01-11-2003 06:24 PM

Well first of all, you are not going to wind out a stock automatic like you are in a manual and second the shifts are way smoother...kinda eases into the next gear.

dmorris1200 01-12-2003 06:17 AM

[quote]Well first of all, you are not going to wind out a stock automatic like you are in a manual <hr></blockquote>
First of all that makes no sense. You only tach out as high as you allow the engine too. If you shift the car at 4,000rpm how is that taching out? After reading everything you have written on this topic (missing gears, grinding, rolling back) I think you just don't know how to drive a stick. In over twenty years of driving manual transmissions I have never had these problems. My Vega ran consistant 13 flat quarters with average reaction times between .575 and .640 working a clutch.

Weimer 01-12-2003 06:38 AM

So everytime you get into your Vega (with a V8 correct?) you shift at around 3000rpm just like an automatic would? Or do you let it wind out to about 5000 - 5500 rpm to shift.
I am sure you just drive this car like you have a hot cup of coffee between your legs...And as a matter of fact, I took my driver's test in a 5spd car...only had to take it once, passed the first time.

[quote]In over twenty years of driving manual transmissions I have never had these problems. My Vega ran consistant 13 flat quarters with average reaction times between .575 and .640 working a clutch. <hr></blockquote>

Well aren't you just Mr. ****ing Special....
I find it hard to believe that you've never missed a gear,or rolled back at a light in over 20 years of driving. Nobody said that it was hard to drive a manual car...I believe he asked for an opinion, and the last time I checked, opinions are just like you Morris, Arsholes...

[ January 12, 2003: Message edited by: Weimer ]</p>

Jackyl 01-12-2003 07:05 AM

I am having a hard time with Benji's write-up, I have to agree that the guy did not know how to drive a stick shift. I owned 2 Camaro's one with a Muncie and the other with a 5 speed. Neither had any problems taking automatics, I would actually say in 1/4 mile if I was ever beat by an Automatic I would be shocked.
But back to the topic, the older car transmissions, mainly column shifters, are horrible for shifting. They are prone to have the linkage get stuck while shifting and sometimes not allow you to shift at all. If your going for a cruiser/Street Rod, you are not racing so why do you need to worry about shifting then? Stick with an Automatic, if plan on street racing/Sleeper then I would always go stick.

Just my two cents. That and two dollars may buy me a cup of coffee. :D :D

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