Why drive a manual?


Nothing beats a manual for having fun but nothing beats an automatic for a city commute. One thing I didn’t see mentioned and one of the primary reasons I prefer a manual in a high powered, performance car- I love to use the engine braking and hear the rumble of a big block (large displacement) something that is sorely missed in an automatic IMO. Yes, semi automatics come close but much harder to skip gears if I want…


Not to mention Shoulder (rotator cuff surgery, twice!) issues when shifting. Auto Transmissions for me…


How about a cast iron GM generation VII 8.1 liter big block, in front of a cast iron Eaton Fuller FS5206A . . . ?!

You won’t find that combination in a car, though :smirk:


I’m down to my last two project/fun cars :disappointed_relieved:
One I recently resurrected to life after quite a few years of neglect. I originally built it to drag race for fun and then converted it to use on the street. It still has the trans I custom built for racing purposes. Set up as a semi-automatic and free-wheels in all gears except final. I really miss the ability to downshift and have the engine bark. Instead, it coasts almost silently if you let off the gas. I have an old Muncie M22 lying around and leaning towards putting in this car. Quite a bit of work to retrofit and may still have issues with the amount of horsepower going in but I think I can control my foot better now than in the past. When I first put it together, I was a repeat member of the broken hub club until I installed billet steel hubs and haven’t cracked one since. Then again, I had some trouble controlling myself once it was back up and running so perhaps the jury is still out on that one… :wink:


The newest semi trucks at work are automatics. Had to drive one for a contract hauler. I don’t remember why, he couldn’t get on the scale for some reason. He’s a truck driver and I am not, but I digress. I just remember the auto trans in that truck being weird to me. I think it was a Mack, but I don’t remember for sure.


No offense, but are you absolutely sure . . . ?

I’m saying that because Eaton-Fuller’s latest thing seems to be “automated manuals” . . . these are essentially manual transmissions with automated controls

And Eaton-Fuller is a major supplier of transmissions for class 8 trucks . . .


I’m not entirely sure of anything other than they have no clutch and you do not HAVE to manually shift gears. It may be recommended that you shift. I did not. All I know is I got in a semi truck with no clutch. I was kinda lost.


If there is no clutch pedal and the transmission can shift itself I would consider it an automatic.


I still believe it’s technically referred to as an “automated manual”

Mind you, I’m ONLY talking about the automated manuals found on class 8 trucks

But this brings up many previous discussions . . .

Where one person states that he believes the correct term, expression, etc. is such and such

And then he promptly and vehemently gets slammed

just saying



Did the Ford Model T have a “manual automatic” transmission?


I’ll second that. An automated manual is essentially the same workings as a manual but the clutch is computer operated. No need for pedal.

The lines become more blurry everyday. Automated manual, semi automatic, combination semi and automatic, fully automatic…


Of course back in the day, all of these things were options at extra cost. Power steering, power brakes, automatic, air conditioning, and even back-up lights. So you chose manual unless you decided to pay $400 more for an automatic. Then they started packaging cars with all these options included so it was a lot harder to get a manual, then of course by now it’s who wants one?

Speaking of the model T (I don’t know how to do multiple answers-I’m just not a techie) if you look at what it took to shift it and get under way, it was very complicated as far as I can determine. Not like today’s manuals at all. So they had some kind of a device to transfer motion from the engine to the wheels, but I’m not sure it would qualify as a transmission as we know them. If I ever had thoughts of wanting one, they left after a demonstration of the shifting.


As I understand it from my dad’s description of the Model T which he drove as his family’s car, there was a transmission that was foot controlled. There were three foot pedals. The left pedal controlled the forward speeds. All the way down was LOW, all the way up was HIGH. The halfway position was NEUTRAL. The center pedal was for REVERSE. The left pedal was pushed halfway down for NEUTRAL, and then the center pedal was depressed. The rightmost pedal was the brake.
This was a transmission. I think it was a planetary gear transmission. I have heard stories where a person working on the transmission got something in wrong and the Model T had two speeds in reverse and one speed forward.


Yep, the T had a planetary transmission, just like most all automatics today (except CVTs). But not ‘automatic’ in any way.


Back in the 60’s VW Bug had what’s known as an Automatic Clutch or Automatic Stick Shift.


If you want to see a stink stirred up call a Colt Model 1911A1 an Automatic on a forum visited by gun fans. Despite the word AUTOMATIC being carved into the breach of most .32, .38, and .45 caliber magazine fed pistols designed by Browning today’s gun owners are intent on welding over that error that Browning made. But like Alfred E Newman, I don’t worry much about such things even though I may voice my opinion.


No. It was fully manual with only 2 speeds - pedal shifted. Planetary gears LIKE an automatic but all manual operation.


Well, if we are going to call commercial truck automatic transmissions “automated manual” transmissions, then it just stands to reason the Model T and the Lenco planetary transmissions used in drag racing should be called “manual automatics”.

Actually, the word “manual” comes from the Latin word “manibus” which means hands so the Model T transmission is really a pedal transmission, “pedibus” meaning feet in Latin. Motorcycles have manual throttles and pedal gear boxes.

I actually think the British have it right in calling them “gearboxes”, the word “transmission” being reserved for the entire drive train.


I told you guys before I was talking about VERY specific transmissions, the ones made by Eaton-fuller for class 8 trucks

Allison makes automatic transmissions, not automated manual transmissions

There is a huge difference

In my book, there is much more than just automatic and manual

But I have a hunch the one in that Mack truck . . . the semi, which pretty much guarantees it’s a class 8 truck . . . is an Eaton-fuller automated manual, not an Allison automatic


My folks used to tell stories about people learning to drive in a Model T and one was the guy made sure both barn doors were open so he could just make another pass if he failed the first time. With three pedals and only two feet, I can see where it was a problem. Luckily I believe the throttle was on the steering column.

So the Colt 1911 was actually a semi-automatic? At one point I was trying to remember the three positions on an M16. I know one was full auto and one was semi auto but anything else doesn’t make sense so it must have been “safe”. Yeah automatics are really semi automatics where you need to pull the trigger for each shot. Can you imagine pheasant hunting with a full automatic shotgun? You’d spend most of the time sitting on your rear. Never understood the value of full automatic. No control, wasting ammo, unless you are just laying down fire. Of course the anti-gunners go bonkers over the term automatic. So I asked my wife what she thought the difference was between automatic and semi-automatic and she didn’t know. Case closed.