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Old 06-17-2016, 08:56 PM   #1
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Manual transmission Tacoma

So I'm in the early stages of "tire-kicking" a new tow vehicle (dangerous business, I know!), and have a question about the Tacoma.
When I replaced my old Ranger with a 2011 model, the manual Ranger was rated by Ford to tow 3,100 lbs, the automatic 5,560 lbs. So I reluctantly got the auto (I still prefer manual gears).
I note the 2016 Tacoma is rated by Toyota for 6,500 lbs towing with either the manual or automatic.
Any thoughts about the apparent discrepancy?
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:52 PM   #2
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So I'm in the early stages of "tire-kicking" a new tow vehicle (dangerous business, I know!), and have a question about the Tacoma.
When I replaced my old Ranger with a 2011 model, the manual Ranger was rated by Ford to tow 3,100 lbs, the automatic 5,560 lbs. So I reluctantly got the auto (I still prefer manual gears).
I note the 2016 Tacoma is rated by Toyota for 6,500 lbs towing with either the manual or automatic.
Any thoughts about the apparent discrepancy?
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:22 PM   #3
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The difference between the manual transmission technology in any Ranger and a 2016 Tacoma is more likely to be something like twenty or thirty years.

But seriously, the limitation relevant to trailer towing with a manual transmission is usually the clutch (not the transmission) - the clutch gets slipped a lot starting off and maneuvering. It seems likely that either Toyota just uses a relatively large clutch, or is less concerned that the driver will slip it a lot, so the limitation is something else (likely related to the engine).
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:27 PM   #4
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I still prefer manual gears
Real Drivers Use Three Pedals
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:13 AM   #5
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Manual transmission Tacoma

I learned to drive with a stick (three on the tree) and I've owned several manual transmission vehicles. Today? I prefer an automatic. I guess that means I'm either lazy or old.

If I still owned a sportscar however, the only choice would be manual.


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Old 06-18-2016, 01:57 AM   #6
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Mmmmm times have changed .... if I had sports car ... it would be a single speed ( well all right.... 2 speed so it could have reverse) with an electric motor on all four wheels.

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Old 06-18-2016, 04:07 AM   #7
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Real Drivers Use Three Pedals
I have to disagree with you Brian, when you've been shifting 18 speed transmissions for as long as I have an automatic is a real treat.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:21 AM   #8
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Real Drivers Use Three Pedals
I remember when we had 4 pedals, here was the extra one on the left for high beams...
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:29 AM   #9
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Also there was a 5th pedal on my 56 Ford, the windshield washer had a manual pump you used your left foot to pump the liquid out of a bag under the hood. But you had to be careful going up hills as the wipers were vacuum operated and would stop under a load.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:16 AM   #10
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I have to disagree with you Brian, when you've been shifting 18 speed transmissions for as long as I have an automatic is a real treat.
And now even a lot of the big trucks are going to automatic transmissions too.

I like a manual tranny for most small engine cars, as it adds to the fun factor, and gets them up and going quicker. Still, in most vehicles fuel economy is better with an automatic, maybe 'cause the computers on board are smarter than we are.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:19 PM   #11
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Although I enjoy driving with a manual transmission - so much so that I made it a required feature in my last car purchase - and I join the many who lament the impending demise of the manual, I completely understand the preference for automatics.

Decades ago, after automatics became common, manual transmissions had more gears and avoid torque converter losses, so they were preferred for efficiency and performance in working trucks, economy cars, and sports cars. Eventually both added gears (or "speeds"), until a decade ago both manuals and automatics were generally 5-speeds, and the automatics had clutches to lock up the torque converter and eliminate the major source of power loss. Since then manuals have largely moved on to six gears, but in anything but the cheapest automatic six speeds in the minimum, eight has become common, and 10-speeds are appearing. With so many gear ratios a manual transmission would need to be shifted too frequently (when accelerating at a rate typical of a car) to be practical.

Between the number of gears, the superiority of automated gear shifting logic over the typical driver, and much improved design of automatics, the days of a manually-shifted gear transmission as a functional and effective choice are almost over. The current Tacoma offers six speeds in either manual or automatic transmissions, both conventional designs. At this point, it's mostly a personal preference choice for this truck, but when the next update gets an 8-speed that automatic will probably be the better choice.

I would have no problem towing with a manual transmission, but I don't expect to do that, or to buy any more manual transmission vehicles unless I put together a sports car.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:27 PM   #12
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Real Drivers Use Three Pedals
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Originally Posted by sunrisetrucker View Post
I have to disagree with you Brian, when you've been shifting 18 speed transmissions for as long as I have an automatic is a real treat.
My comment was intended to be humourous, of course, although it does address the ever-decreasing expectation of driver ability. Long ago one really needed to know how a car worked to drive it; now they are treated as appliances. When everything is working that's fine, but when anything goes wrong many drivers are at a complete loss to understand what to do.

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And now even a lot of the big trucks are going to automatic transmissions too.
Big trucks (really big trucks, not pickups) have gone through a stage almost never seen in cars, which is a conventional gear transmission design with a powered shift mechanism. These trucks needs more ratios (such as that 18-speed) to keep the engine close to the optimum speed, and efficiency is very important; that makes the transmission design even more challenging. I think it's inevitable that these all go to some automatic system.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:01 PM   #13
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Long ago one really needed to know how a car worked to drive it; now they are treated as appliances.
This may change back-- with the advent of driverless cars, at some point in the future a license to drive your own car might require more rigorous training and a difficult driver's test, like in Germany today. Otherwise you'll only be able to use an automobile that will drive itself.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:19 PM   #14
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Mmmmm times have changed .... if I had sports car ... it would be a single speed ( well all right.... 2 speed so it could have reverse) with an electric motor on all four wheels.
There's no need for a reverse gear - the controllers just run the motors in reverse. Electric drives do need a transmission to let the motors run at a much higher rotation speed than the wheels, but as you say just a single ratio can be used.

A multi-speed transmission is actually beneficial with an electric motor, for the same reason as with any engine, to run the motor at a desirable speed despite changing road speed. Most production electric vehicles settle for one ratio for simplicity, but the Brammo (now sold by Polaris as the Victory Empulse TT) has a six-speed transmission, and Formula E uses a typical racing sequential-shift gearbox. Separate drive motors for each driven wheel have substantial benefits in control, and conflict with the idea of a multi-speed transmission, so there isn't one really clear right answer... although one motor per axle with a differential and brake-based traction and stability control just seems stupidly complex and ineffective (and yes, that's what Tesla does).
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:50 PM   #15
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I have a 2015 4cyl AT Tacoma and love it. However as I went with the 4cyl my tow capacity is only 3500 pounds.

Here are a few thoughts on the 2016 Tacoma:

1) remember to get the tow package - for $650 it's a bargain for all of the extra you get.

2) several Tacoma owners are having issues with their 2016 automatic transmissions. Check out the Tacomaworld forum to read about the issues. Reportedly Toyota is working on a fix. Some of the reported issues are: constant shifting of gears, hard shifting into reverse, low transmission fluid (not filled st the factory correctly) and a few others. My salesman admitted there are a few issues with the current model - I am glad I ended up with a 2015.

Good luck on your quest for a new TV.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:23 PM   #16
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Real Drivers Use Three Pedals
Model T drivers use 3 pedals and two hand levers!
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:00 AM   #17
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Model T drivers use 3 pedals and two hand levers!
I remember reading about vehicles going up Monarch Pass (CO) in reverse to assure fuel
made it to the engine over the long grade. Guess times have changed. No autos back then.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:31 AM   #18
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Yes, they had gravity feed carb's,no fuel pump, but those old cars were very durable and the roads were horrible then, see here
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:14 AM   #19
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2) several Tacoma owners are having issues with their 2016 automatic transmissions. Check out the Tacomaworld forum to read about the issues. Reportedly Toyota is working on a fix. Some of the reported issues are: constant shifting of gears.....
To have a trans always up shifting to the highest gear is annoying & tedious. Had that issue with a 6-speed on a 2008 Buick Enclave and I resorted to paddle shifting. Otherwise it was just lugging around in city driving.

Hopefully it is a programming issue for Toyota, similar to what FCA had to correct on some of their 8-speed autos.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:48 AM   #20
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When I ordered my '99 F150 I had originally ordered a '98 F150 with a 5 speed and when I changed my order I noticed the 5 speed had a 3500 lb tow rating and the auto had a 6500 lb tow rating. I asked them at the dealership why the big difference and they said the 5 speeds had higher gears for mileage, if you wanted a manual tranny for towing you needed to get a Super Duty. This was a mom and pop dealer so I'm more inclined to believe they knew what they were talking about than the dealers today that will tell anything to get your business if you can even get an answer.
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