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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to make a decision about buying a 2nd generation with a 5sp or 6sp or an auto. Reliability is my main concern. I will be doing some pulling not much, I will probably put 5k to 10k on it a year in mileage, 75 percent hwy 25 off road. Opinions?
 

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Depends on what type of off roading which would be the best....
naturally an auto will be faster (drag racing....and such) but will have to be built if you do any modding... big money.
a manual is the best bet in my opinion, I went with a 5spd because you can build 3 of these for the price to rebuild one 6spd, either way though the manuals are much more reliable and tend to yield the best fuel economy (I like the off road control of a manual)
clutches are cheap compared to rebuilding an automatic to handle the rigors of a modded engine or oversized tires....
by pulling do you mean sled or towing? billet input shaft may be a good idea as well if your sledding.
 

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We need more info. What size trailers will you be towing? Do you plan on staying stock or modding the truck? The autos on these trucks are actually very reliable. I took my stocker with nothing more than a valve body up to 496hp. You just gotta be smart about driving them. Like don't floor it from a dead stop if you have a load on it or if you feel the motor lugging kick it out of over drive and let it run in 3rd. The 5spds have issues with the reverse nut backing off and you losing reverse. The 6spds are pretty good but if you break them they are pretty expensive to rebuild seeing as how they quit making them and parts are drying up.
 

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If you build the auto right you'll never go back to a manual. I've had both and for day to day driving the auto is my choice. Some like the manual's, it's a matter of drivers likes and dislikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will be leaving the truck stock no mods. I own a ranch so it will primarily be used for ranch type work and hunting. Towing will be 5 to 10k pounds of cattle/horses/hay etc. Off roading would be traveling crappy, often steep access roads to pasture and hunting areas. I want a vehicle that I dont have to baby, I want to buy it put in scheduled maintenance and not have to worry about stuff quitting on me.
Thanks
 

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Mopar1973Man.Com
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I would say MANUAL 5 SPEED!

I'm at 124K miles of hard abuse of pulling and hauling heavy loads of firewood without a transmission or clutch problem ...:w:





 

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My truck has 220k on the clock, and it just got this new tranny and clutch put in it right before i bought it (2 weeks ago). The guy i bought it from put 170k on the stock tranny & clutch pulling a 35' enclosed trailer full of sheet metal and equipment in it every day of it's life. He never had a bit of trouble with it, then he put a new built tranny and south bend con fe clutch in it because he was pulling in the mountains more. Then 500 miles after he did this, he sold it to me :D.
 

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i vote manual. i just feel like a truck has to have a clutch
 

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If you build the auto right you'll never go back to a manual. I've had both and for day to day driving the auto is my choice. Some like the manual's, it's a matter of drivers likes and dislikes.
I disagree. I hate auto's. I prefer the control of a manual as well as the better fuel economy. Even if you put $10k into an auto I would prefer a manual, but that is me.
 

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yeah...i prefer a manual...feel better control of the vehicle...had 2 special order my ford truck cuz i wanted a manual...dont keep them on the lot !!!
 

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The 5spds have issues with the reverse nut backing off and you losing reverse. .
I Didn't know the 5speeds lost reverse, I thought losing 5th was the common problem.
 

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Mopar1973Man.Com
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Some 5 speeds had the problem and some don't... I'm one of the lucky few that had no problems with his trans nor the 5th gear nut problem...:w:
 

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ya on the cummins a manual is a must but on some of the other manufactures there auto are good. BUt with what your wanting a 5 speed would be your best bet
 

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I disagree. I hate auto's. I prefer the control of a manual as well as the better fuel economy. Even if you put $10k into an auto I would prefer a manual, but that is me.
I feel the same way!!!!!!
 

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manual all the way for me. only problem i have is when i get stuck in the mud and cant change between 2nd and reverse quick enough to rock it so i stay stuck. otherwise almost every auto ive owned has givin me trouble, big big trouble. my cheapest fix was $500 though. they just dont like me i think. never had a problem with my 02 but my dad had a 91 5sp when i was young and that was crapping itself. only manual that i ran into thats done that
 

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I'd find a Ram with a blown transmission and put a Eaton FSO/6 speed in it.
For $3,500 or so you will have a truck you can use as a coffin (unless the doors have fallen of of it), and as slick a shifting transmission as can be found.
Automatic done right costs about the same but won't last as long and you won't have to worry about the New Venture (went out of business) parts (finding them and the QC) situation rebuilding the manual trans.
keep smokin'
pc
 

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T-BONE
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I've had both, now have a Manual...again...Manual trans have less moving parts inside than a Automatic. Dodges older(sry 2nd gen) are not known for there Automatics, but they have always had a great Manual. If you are goin to be doin alot of city/town driving, start and stoping w/o a load, or just arent coordinated enough to push a clutch and shift a stick(like my g/f)...then go with the Automatic all the way....If you are pulling loads like I do alot and some of these other guys do then a Manual is your trans.
 

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Manuals sound cooler when you have aftermarket exhaust and your going through the gears(big rig). I havn't had any problems out of my 6spd. I love the perfect gear splits(3rd or 4th is a little wide though). Cast iron case makes them weight a ton though.
 

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manual is the only way to go the maintenance cost over 1,000,000 miles of use is a sub fraction of the cost for a auto and at 2 mpg beater for the manual and double the brake life i would not consider a auto truck except for spare parts and that auto will pick the most inopportune time to break down i might be a little biased
 

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I Didn't know the 5speeds lost reverse, I thought losing 5th was the common problem.
That's what I meant.

And concerning the mileage, you do realize that the OD ratio of an auto is actually better than a 5spd and I think the 6spd but not sure bout that. All my buddy's with sticks get the same mileage I do.

I don't see where people are getting that these autos are so bad. Of all the dodge trucks I've been around, the auto's have been amazing. They've withstood a ton of abuse, a lot of power (mine held 496hp with just a VB and had over 100k on it), and have towed with no issues. The autos on these trucks are actually better than people give them credit for. I wouldn't have a single problem in the world towing 30k pounds in the mountains with an auto. You just gotta use some common sense.

And maintenance cost? Just change the fluid every 20k-30k and the filter and you'll be doing just fine. Other than that there shouldn't be any maintenance. Heck my stock tranny had the fluid changed on it twice in 100k miles, 80k of those were modded and doing boosted launches and burn outs, and it never had a problem.

Don't worry about getting an auto. They aren't the big scary thing that people make them out to be.

This is just my .02.

On edit, here's the ratios for the NV4500, NV5600, and 47re:

Gear Ratio-NV4500
1st 5.61
2nd 3.04
3rd 1.67
4th 1.00
5th 0.75
R 5.61* (was changed to 5.04 after 1998)

Gear Ratio-NV5600
1st 5.63
2nd 3.38
3rd 2.04
4th 1.39
5th 1.00
6th 0.73
R 5.63

47RE
1st 2.45
2nd 1.45
3rd 1.00
4th 0.69
R 2.21
 
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