Shifting the auto

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Apr 19, 2009
The 62 is the first auto tranny i've driven on a regular basis, and my impression is that not being able to downshift demands alot from the brakes during city driving. My question is, how enduring are these trannies to being shifted manually? Seems like it would extend brake life substantially with the kind of driving I do.

Thanks all,



By like factors of 10

that said, just do a flush every 50-60k (search here for "Rodney flush") and you should be fine.
Luke, I don't know, but let me tell you what I do know. Although zillions of people do down-shift their stick shift to slow down on engine compression, that actually is a no-no because clutch disc's were not designed for the reverse forces, could destroy the disc. Now the question is; are the bands in your auto tranny designed the same way, or are forces in either direction not a problem---I don't know, should probably ask a tranny guy???
The drivers handbook says to downshift to avoid braking when going down a hill. Doesn't say anything about stop and go city driving. Maybe downshift from overdrive to 3rd gear, but I don't know that I would routinely go much lower that that.
I agree that brake pads are cheap.I just use the brakes for stopping.2 cents Mike
I don't have solid answer for this question. I'm not a tranny doctor, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express Hotel last night, however, I do drive a car with a "select shift" auto trans. When in manual mode I shift up & down as power is needed accordingly. I don't know how this all works, but the guts of the trans are the same whether in auto mode or manual mode. In manual mode shifts are immediate, in auto mode they are not so much. Guess all I'm tryin to say is I down shift this tranny regularly (it is a sports car after all) and @ 200,000 miles the tranny is just as good as new. I'm gettin ready to put an auto in my 60 so this is an interesting question you pose. I also would like a solid answer from a trans pro.
I manually shift mine all the time. Is it a good idea :meh:
Brakes are for braking...trannies are for motion
BTW, indiscriminant manual shifting is hard as hell on the drive line. If you have any slack, bang bang bang (but I wouldn't know about that;)).
The reason you may want to use the tranny to assist with downhill speed control is to not overheat the brakes, from my experience. After upgrading to 4runner calipers it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue.

Honestly, I did a lot of manual shifting on my A440 but most of it was getting into 3rd when I wanted to and not what my kickdown was setup to do.. situations vary.

I still think the bottom line is looking at $50 for new pads, maybe $200 or whatever for rotors vs $2000 for a possibly sketchy A440 rebuild (other than Rodney there doesn't seem to be anyone that reliably knows them), and heck if you are rebuilding you may as well spend another 2k on a billet TC and valve body... that's where I'm coming from.

Course maybe you manually shift your A440 all the time in urban settings, never flush the fluid and never have an issue.

Just going by statistics- you are more likely to have issues if with your A440 if you manually shift to slow down vs using brakes to slow down. :)

This is in the same realm of sitting at a stop light with the clutch in vs shifting into neutral as to not wear out your clutch. Just that clutches are cheaper to replace than an A440 rebuild.

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