6 speed vs Auto - What's the real difference?

woooody

el Jefe
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OK, I'm really having a tough time on this one.

6spd means Fulltime 4wd
Auto means part-time 4wd

Auto = better mpg

6spd = 3.91 diff
Auto = 3.72 diff

Auto = $400 more

Auto = Chain drive transfer case(?!?!)

Maybe Tacoma/4Runner owners could comment -- which is better?

Seems like Autos are more plentiful. The concensus of other threads are that the auto is better off road. But what about the chain drive xfer case? I thought those were problematic on the v6 mini/tacomas?

Any comments appreciated
 
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6-Speed is the only way to go. The differences can best be summed up as such:

Manual = Totally Awesome
Auto = Worthless pile of garbage ;)

The 6-Speed Full-Time 4WD is the only way to go. You get a locking torsen limited slip center diff in addition to the optional rear locker which is totally wicked.

I'm not sure of the mechanical details of each transfer case but I dont think durability will be a problem with either of them. I think the one in the auto is similar to the ones used in the taco, and I personally haven't heard problems about the TC in the tacos.

I wouldn't say the auto is way better off-road so much as it is way easier. But the 6-Speed is plenty easy off-road as well, most of these people just have no skillz. ;)

I'm a die hard manual fan though... so take my opinions with a grain of salt
 

powderpig

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Opinions are always taken with a grain of salt, especially when using verbage "worthless pile of garbage", "most of these people have no skill", etc.

Both t-cases are chain drive cases. Pulling trailers the FJ, the west coast team have gotten better milage with the manual transmission FJ. The west coast team can not comment on mileage with out the trailers as they have not got the chance to drive long distance without the trailers.

It still takes skill to pick a line and to work a auto on hard terrian. But what you gain is not having to replace a worn out clutch when you burn one. Left foot brakeing allows you to crawl a section and work with the torque of the engine.
I personally like a manual for expedition type of travel and for crawling stuff you can not beat a auto for it workability.
But hey, differences of styles makes the world work in a mannor that benifits us all in the grand skeem of things.
The FJ teams were given autos and I personally like them for wheeling the stuff in Moab and the mountain trail of Colorado so far(I personally think I have a little skill). Next will be New Mexico and the terrain down there and then off to the Hollister hills and what they have to offer. I can then say more to that type of terrian they have to offer. In a couple of months I can comment on the woods of Tellico and other places (which I am looking forward to).
I jsut finished a ten day stint in Moab with Easter Jeep Safari and had a wonderfull time with the Jeep Crowd and the FJ's were well recieced by the end of EJS.
Later robbie
 

woooody

el Jefe
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Thanks for the comments.

According to the FJ dealer brochure there is a difference between the Auto and the Manual xfer cases, as they specifically single out chain drive on the auto xfer case. Hence the question. They can't be identical, as one is full time, the other isn't. The gearing is the same, however.
 
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woooody said:
Thanks for the comments.

According to the FJ dealer brochure there is a difference between the Auto and the Manual xfer cases, as they specifically single out chain drive on the auto xfer case. Hence the question. They can't be identical, as one is full time, the other isn't. The gearing is the same, however.
The part time vs full-time difference is usually in the additional requirement of a center diff so front and back wheels can travel at different speeds when necessary (for a full time 4 wheel drive setup).

Both part time and full time have a Transfer case but when you disengage the tc on an auto you don't have any power going to the front wheels while on the manual the power is still routed through the center diff to both front and back wheels.

Might not be the best description of it but I'm kind of distracted right now.

Good luck,
Shawn
 
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The technical specs above should be plenty of info for you to decide which one would mechanically suite you better. Personally: I just sold my 03 Rubicon (Automatic tranny) that was plenty enough low geared (4:11) and I never had problems off roading with the auto, in fact, I was never in a position where I "wished" I had a Manual. Skills are skills - Auto or Manual.

When I purchased my FJC, I elected for a 6-speed Manual and have no buyers remorse. I'm glad I went with the manual for the reasons below:

1.) It's just more fun to drive - with 245 HP, the manual is a blast.
2.) I believe (my opinion) that I can deliver more tourque, or at least can deliver the appropriate torque to the wheels under the appropriate circumstances, whatever they may be. I know this may be a very subjective statement, and maybe even the wrong use of "torque", but with a manual, I have more control of the ratio of RPM's to wheel rotation - i.e. it's easier for me to keep the cruiser in the same gear at higher RPMs, without the Automatic Tranny being smarter than I am and shifting gears when (it) wants to and not when (I) want to. There have been plenty of times where I wanted to keep the tranny in 2nd at high RPMs for faster throttle response and torque. You can always shift an Auto down into Low, but it's just not the same and in some instances, keeping an Auto Tranny in Low could really heat it up.

The Auto also has it's advantages - Steep inclines, etc...but I'm here to say the Manual is just fun to wheel with and gives more control to the driver - but not necessarily better off-road ability.

:beer:
 

powderpig

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1.) It's just more fun to drive - with 245 HP, the manual is a blast.

The HP is only 239 and torque 278 ftlbs, for both trannies.



2.) I believe (my opinion) that I can deliver more tourque, or at least can deliver the appropriate torque to the wheels under the appropriate circumstances, whatever they may be. I know this may be a very subjective statement, and maybe even the wrong use of "torque", but with a manual, I have more control of the ratio of RPM's to wheel rotation - i.e. it's easier for me to keep the cruiser in the same gear at higher RPMs, without the Automatic Tranny being smarter than I am and shifting gears when (it) wants to and not when (I) want to. There have been plenty of times where I wanted to keep the tranny in 2nd at high RPMs for faster throttle response and torque. You can always shift an Auto down into Low, but it's just not the same and in some instances, keeping an Auto Tranny in Low could really heat it up.

In defence of the Auto and techinques used with the auto.
You can deliever lots of torque with the left foot brake method(left foot on brake, right on throttle, raise rpm to 1k or more to get more torque, modulate the brake to move) on the flats and the down hill sections to crawl over sections very slow. The auto in the FJ will hold second if put in second( used it for many hours at a time on trails in Moab recently). I have never over heated a toyota auto (in low range on trails)in the almost 10 years of drving toyota autos on cruisers if the cooling system is working properly. I had a fj 62 that needed a external trans cooler besides the one in the radiator, for pulling loads on the highway.
Over heating a domestic tranny is more likely then a toyota auto tranny. Basing generalizations of domestic hardware vs toyota is a mistake. :grinpimp:
I was also suprized that the Fj crusier idled down the trail slower then some of the other jeep products on the trails I was on(considering the 3.72 final drive ratio's and the first gear of 3.52 in the auto), while not as slow as a real low gear ratio, but slow and in control, and only using the brakes for down hill when necessary or left braking tech when I needed to crawl down a ledge. Best of all no stalling the engine. :cool:
later robbie
 
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The 6 speed has an overall lower crawl ratio than the auto. I prefer the stick to allow me to control rpm levels and when I want to shift. Auto has an advantage not to stall, but if you're diligent, you will not stall your manual, and if you do, there is the clutch override button to start your cruiser in gear. Auto has the disadvantage of burning up under low speed travel, putting lots of heat on the whimpy auto trans fluid. If you have an auto, I suggest coolers for your transmission.
 
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Also take into account what the primary use of this vehicle is going to be used for and where. I choose the auto for the simple reason that I live in socal and had no daily use for ft4x4. The extra wear and tear due to constant use on dry pavement/concrete did not way kindly to a ft4x4 vehicle. Had I lived in lets say Utah where I might experience some real change in weather I might of opted for the manual. My usage has been 80% daily driver and 20% off roading/towing. So my choice was simple.

Dog
 
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Also take into account what the primary use of this vehicle is going to be used for and where. I choose the auto for the simple reason that I live in socal and had no daily use for ft4x4. The extra wear and tear due to constant use on dry pavement/concrete did not way kindly to a ft4x4 vehicle. Had I lived in lets say Utah where I might experience some real change in weather I might of opted for the manual. My usage has been 80% daily driver and 20% off roading/towing. So my choice was simple.

Dog
Many people bring up the wear and tear, the 'extra maintenance' etc. But do tell me, wouldn't you prefer 4 wheels pulling rather than 2 in a torrential downpour when you're picking up your kids from school? Just an example, but to me the added security is well worth it. When driving my full time 4wd on the highway in the rain, I experience perfect control of the vehicle, which didn't happen in part time vehicles I had also owned before. As well, when in 4hi unlocked position, there is no binding because none of the differentials are locked.

:cheers:
 
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OK, I'm really having a tough time on this one.

6spd means Fulltime 4wd
Auto means part-time 4wd

Auto = better mpg

6spd = 3.91 diff
Auto = 3.72 diff

Auto = $400 more

Auto = Chain drive transfer case(?!?!)

Maybe Tacoma/4Runner owners could comment -- which is better?

Seems like Autos are more plentiful. The concensus of other threads are that the auto is better off road. But what about the chain drive xfer case? I thought those were problematic on the v6 mini/tacomas?

Any comments appreciated
Both transfer cases are chain driven, I can't remember the last transfer case from the Toy factory that was gear driven. I believe the 80s and 100s have cahins as well, not sure on the older LCs.

As said above the auto's transfer case is part time with no center diff, while the MT gets the transfer case from the 4Runner with a center torsen diff (splits orque ratios as needed). Unfortunately Toyota didn't think it necassary to make the center diff lock a seperate function from 4H and 4L, so it is locked in 4Lo. The torsen diff does make a big difference when driving at speed on gravel roads, you can push it pretty hard till VSC stops the fun. The rear stays much more planted than with a part time transfer case.

I think people underestimate the autos capability for offroad. With 5speeds and a torqueconverter it actually has good crawling capability, it also locks up in gear when going downhill providing a lot of engine braking.

I really would prefer if Toyota would bring out the auto with the torsen transfer case. Till then it is up to the user to figure out what works best for their needs. If the auto is released with torsen xcase there would be no debate. For the MT it would be really useful to get a crawler fitted. Maybe I'm just lazy, but the auto makes things so much easier than a MT offroad.
 
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Both transfer cases are chain driven, I can't remember the last transfer case from the Toy factory that was gear driven. I believe the 80s and 100s have cahins as well, not sure on the older LCs...
Not sure on the 100, but 80 series and older LC's are all gear driven.:D
 

brew8

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I have always used manual trannys in my personal vehicles while my work trucks use autos, I wheel a lot getting to remote location comm sites, on steep rocky terrain I like the manual, in mud or snow, the exception being frozen springtime snow drifts, I prefer the auto any time, so i bought the auto in the FJ cruiser but the FJ40 will always be a manual, Larry
 
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My biggest tip on the Auto vs. Manual is simple:
Be honest with how you intend to drive the vehicle.

My FJC is a 6MT- but I had years of 5spd manual experience with my '77 FJ40- RPM/wheelspin control, etc.- all the cake. The Honest portion of my advice is answered by the following: My on-road (more daily) vehicle is a 2000 Tundra. Fully automated right down to the coffee maker. If you aspire to be a rockstar- and are told by friends (without the "r") that anybody who uses an Auto off-road is a wannabe- I'd see if the percentage of off-road use warrants the sacrifice of lovely daily convenience (and better mileage).

Incidentally, the remarks stating the Auto is only $600 or so more are shadowed by the fact that you cannot obtain a rear locker without spending a heap of money in package costs (around 2k in Boise). Sincerely, BD
 
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