Automatic vs Manual trans?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2012, 04:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008
normally reverse and 1st gear are the same ratio in standard, i thought
The gearing in the transmission may be the same, but the output shaft will turn at a different speed in reverse. This is because reverse uses the same forward gear as first, but causes the output shaft to spin the opposite direction by locking the planet carrier in the planetary gear. It turns the opposite way, but at a different speed.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #16
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I tow with a 2006 Frontier 4WD CC six speed manual. Love it.

Driven properly, you will not smoke the clutch in these trucks. I routinely back one of the rather heavy horse trailers up an incline by the barn with this truck, and yes, using 4 low is a good way of doing this. I've never smelled burning clutch, but then I am indeed careful with it.

The 4WD Frontier is a better choice for towing compared to the 2WD because they equip the 4WD models with the larger, stronger Dana 44 differential ( 9.8" ring gear, and 1.625" pinion shaft ). Excellent differential.

Simply put, I prefer a manual gearbox, mostly because I like to drive them. Automatics are pretty efficient these days.

If you are buying a Frontier, get it with the tow package. Mine came with factory tow packagae, and has oil cooler, power steering cooler, and auxilary fan. The extra fan may in fact be standard even without tow, but I am not sure on that. Definitely a good thing to have. It kept it's cool just fine yesterday pulling the long grades, and it was over 100 degrees, so of course the A/C was on too.

My camper is one of the square boxes, and I am in Wyoming right now with it behind the Nissan. I get 12.5 to 13 mpg avg with this, running between 55 and 60 mph. I have seen as low as 9.8 when pushing into bad headwinds, and 15 on an easy day. Pulling the horse trailer ( lower, more rounded, much like your FG shapes ) I usually get 12 to 15 mpg.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:08 PM   #17
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I became tired of shifting and went from an 05 Tacoma 5 Sp. to an 07 Tacoma automatic.
I'm satisfied with the towing ability but the 07 Tacoma lacks a very low first gear which is useless on down grades and does not have a grade retard gear.
If the Nissan has a very low first gear or a grade retard you may enjoy not shifting.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post

The 4WD Frontier is a better choice for towing compared to the 2WD because they equip the 4WD models with the larger, stronger Dana 44 differential ( 9.8" ring gear, and 1.625" pinion shaft ). Excellent differential.
Now if they had only done the same for the FRONT end... )-:}

My Xterra does not have a towing package. Using 4 low for backing might be the best plan even on pavement..
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #19
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Now if they had only done the same for the FRONT end... )-:}

My Xterra does not have a towing package. Using 4 low for backing might be the best plan even on pavement..
Realistically though, it's pretty rare that you actually tow in 4WD. The front diff has proven to be pretty stout in the hands of the abusive youngsters that off road these things.

Regarding the auto trans, if i'm not mistaken, the Fronty uses the same trans as the bigger Titan. It too has proven to be good.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:17 PM   #20
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I don't tow in 4wheel drive, but I have used 4WD to get out a campsite on more than one occasion. Soft gravel on a slope and rear wheels started spinning. A quick flip of the switch and out we came. I had the same thing happen while trying to back the trailer into it's home port. 4WD to rescue. Don't use it very often, but it's sure nice when needed. However without I would have found another way.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:59 PM   #21
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I don't tow in 4wheel drive, but I have used 4WD to get out a campsite on more than one occasion. Soft gravel on a slope and rear wheels started spinning. A quick flip of the switch and out we came. I had the same thing happen while trying to back the trailer into it's home port. 4WD to rescue. Don't use it very often, but it's sure nice when needed. However without I would have found another way.
True enough Byron, 4WD is very handy at times. All I was trying to point out in my earlier post is that in the current Frontier line, buying. 4WD gets you not only that 4WD, but it gets you a heavier duty differential, which is better suited to towing than the Fuji differential in the 2WD drive version of the same truck.

For me personally, I need 4WD anyway, because for the business, we need to be able to move horse trailers at any time of year. So if there is snow on the ground, and a horse has to go somewhere, I "have" to be able to move it. 4WD buys us a substantial advantage, so it's a straight out business decision.

Back on topic, the Frontier in it's current configuration has proven to be a very good truck for it's class. Good reliability, sturdy, usable, a pretty good safety rating in a crash situation, and it's still a reasonably priced truck. And it rides well, is quiet, and gets 19 to 22 mpg when not towing. The only failure mine has suffered in 60K miles is a front wheel bearing got noisy. $334 for the dealer to fix that. I've also just gone thru the first set of front brake pads ( 60K miles ), and replaced the tires at 55K miles.
I'll say this: it's been far less expensive to run than our 06 F-350 PSTD SD.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #22
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Maybe Alf S. will pipe in, he posted "I wouldn't give up the 5th. wheel and the Nissan Frontier combo. It's all in the hitch installation."
New Escapers

He has suggested to others to research on Escape Travel Trailer Forum - Index
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:08 PM   #23
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Smile manual vs automatic transmission

I just purchased a 2012 Frontier crew cab/automatic transmission. I prefer a manual transmission but my local dealer couldn't find one in the three western states. Sooooooooo, I settled for the automatic. It took some time to get used to after driving manual trannies all my life, but I find it is handy especially when petting the dog, or doing other things which would take me away from shifting One thing I really like is that when going up or down hill there is a button under your right thumb that takes the transmission out of overdrive. That fourth speed is very good and is the same as shifting from sixth into fifth. As I live in the mts. I really appreciate this feature. Happy trails. I drove into Nevada last week, the first time with the new Frontier and my 13 foot Scamp and was very satisfied with it. My mileage ran from 15 mpg to 17.5 mpg depending on speed. Marg in NW California
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #24
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Hi: All...After 10 yrs. of stiring the 5spd. in my New Beetle the auto 5spd. is welcome in my 4X4 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab V6. It tows great and has one other toy. That's hill control assist. It holds the brakes for a split second to give you time to ease on to the throttle. I find this good for towing. The tow cap. is 6100lbs.and 6300lbs. for the 4X2. The 4X4 has beefy springs and helpers too, so no extra suspension add ons required!!!
The tow pkg. would have given us a hitch we couldn't use and a wire harness to connect the front wireing to the rear. My hitch installer got an after mkt. plugin unit for $85. The tow pkg. was over $250. and I'm sure they wouldn't have found a white truck at year end discount $$$$'s
This combo is ideal as the trailer was designed with this size truck in mind. Having the long bed 4 dr. means we can take the grands with us when they get a little older, or our 30 something daughter who doesn't drive.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #25
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Shifting in and out of 4WD? You mean they can't make a pickup truck that's all-wheel-drive all the time like my Subaru? :-P

I have to agree about the hill-hold feature. My Subaru has it, and it was nice today when I had to back up a hill and into a driveway.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #26
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Marg,
I had the same difficulty in 2006 trying to find a manual trans Frontier. I was being very specific, such as it had to have 4WD, it had to be a crew cab, tow pkg, etc, and I would only accept either black or gray. I ended up buying it from a dealer 600 miles away. I bought a plane ticket there, and drove it home that day.
Most people want automatics, so of course the car companies meet that demand by making most of the production with slushboxes. Honestly, I would have considered a Titan if they would make it with a hand shaker, but no such luck.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:32 AM   #27
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We too were unable to find a Frontier with a manual back in 2009. We bought the automatic and we are kind of glad we did. There are reports of premature clutch failures. People going through several clutches under 100k. Since the clutch is a wear item, it is only covered under warranty for 12k. I ran across it while researching the purchase of an Xterra which has the same drive train. They sell a lot of these so a few complaints might not mean much.

The Frontier is a very nice truck. The engine has plenty of power and works well with the automatic. Unfortunately, being our only vehicle, the mileage and $4/gallon gas has us moving on. Raz
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:18 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
normally reverse and 1st gear are the same ratio in standard, i thought
Often it is but not always. To my surprise I found out our Infiniti reverse gear ratio is the same as our 2nd gear ratio. Thought it would be a problem with our 4,500lb trailer but not so far (200 hrs of towing). Our rear end ratio is 3:32.

My buddy has a Volvo sedan and tows his larger TT with a manual. Works good for him.

I was serious about buying a Lincoln LS which had a manual tranny. A well known towing specialist once told me that it would work but backing up a few times to get into a campsite is when you usually heat up the clutch.
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