I find that auto enthusiasts typically find any reason to bash 5 speeds.
Having towed the same trailer, same equipment with the same truck as an auto, and now a manual, this thing pulls way better.
If you keep the HP levels reasonable, and use it as designed, how often does anyone really have problems? After 5th gear is fixed, your usually all set.
Thats my feelings on the matter.
I chose an automatic because I have an issue clutching. I learned to drive using manual transmissions. Except for stop and go driving a stick is more precise and gives more control in most situations. However, in stop and go driving a stick sucks. I was caught in 4th of July traffic outside of Bar Harbor. It took me at least 1/2 hour to drive less than 5 miles perhaps it was 2 or less. I was seriously wondering if I was going to wear my clutch out that trip.
A friend of mine has a 460 ford 3/4 ton stick. Backing up a heavy trailer he smoked his clutch some trying to get the trailer into position. He never smokes his clutch normally but in tight quarters with a heavy trailer and a manual transmission it can happen.
Taking off with a heavy load in an automatic should use less clutch material compared to taking off with a manual. The automatic only slips its clutches when going into different gears. Using torque multiplication an automatic can take off when a stick would still be burning the clutch trying to take off.
GAmes has broken more NV4500 transmissions than most people will ever own. How about listening to a NV4500 breaker?
Other than gear ratios, no. I removed my NV4500 for repairs 12 times in a 665k mile period and have put 300k on my G56 without a hiccup. Spending $3k for the conversion was worth it to me.
The strongest transmission that Dodge hooks to a Cummins is the Aisin. The G56 is standard equipment in medium duty trucks in South America. The NV5600 to the best of my knowledge is only installed in Dodge 2500s and 3500s, both considered light duty trucks.
(Note: The aisin is the automatic)
Making the switch to nv4500(my auto is for sale)
All this talk about the NV4500 led me to chart out all the failures I had with mine. In 665,536 miles it was repaired or replaced 12 times. I had lost count, but I thought it was 7 or 8. The 5th gear nut fell off at 93,588. All the theories about the nut didn't apply to me either. I never lugged the engine and the biggest trailer I had ever hooked up weighed about 9000 pounds.
While having the fully splined shaft installed they also replaced some worn parts and the next failure (not a 5th gear nut, BTW)
was 147,701 miles later. It was the longest period I ever achieved.
Definitely sick of being broken down far from home I upgraded to the G56 when I had 65,000 miles on the last one
. The upside is, I am positive that if the trans was an automatic, it would have failed more often and cost me more money.
(end GAmes quotes)
Although GAmes thinks an automatic would have broken more often and cost him more there is no evidence to support this idea I could find. Perhaps a built automatic would have lasted him 175,000 miles or more between rebuilds and been cheaper to rebuild compared to a NV4500. Sadly, we may never know unless we come across someone who has towed as GAmes does with a built automatic instead of a manual transmission.
Having said all of the above I honestly would have looked for a bought a 5 speed truck if my clutching was still smooth. However, a relatively minor physical issue can demand a change in what you need. Plus I was thinking about still driving the diesel I bought at age 70 or later. If I have bad shoulders or arm problems I can drive a lot easier without having to reach for a shifter all the time.