Manual V Auto Prado

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 00:32
ThreadID: 6453 Views:6247 Replies:6 FollowUps:13
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Hi all...I'm thinking about buying a 2001 model prado but not sure whether to go auto or manual. I would prefer a manual but they are hard to find second hand. Are there any advantages one way or another? In particular, can you still do a hill start in an auto? Any thoughts about pros and cons of both? Happy treking!
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Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 07:22

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 07:22
Having owned both manual and auto 4X4's I now prefer the auto.
I know some people may think it's not "macho" but the auto has been brilliant up in the bush and on the beach.
Where a manual may stall on a lumpy hill (depends on your level of expertise of course) with an auto you can just squirt a bit more power on to get over a rock or whatever and not need to do a stall start. Some stall starts can be pretty scary.
I know that, at times, my mates in manuals are working awfully hard pumping clutches and throttles and working levers while I just use my right foot.
That's my experience anyway, others will differ no doubt and that's OK too.
There's some good info futher down the forum on downhills in an auto.
The main point is to ask around for information (as you are doing) to find what best suits your needs.
Cheers
Oskar
AnswerID: 27232

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 07:43

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 07:43
Hi
I own a 80 series auto, and find it better in rock climbing and general 4wding than the manuals. Where they let you down fast (pun intended) is climbing down hills.
If these prados have HDC then your right :-)
The other benefit is lower engine revs at highway speeds.
Andrewwheredayathinkwer mike?
AnswerID: 27236

Reply By: john - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 08:22

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 08:22
Just me, I can only agree with the first two. I now have a TD for the first time and wouldn't consider manual or petrol by the way. However I have friends with manuals and they too are happy so it's personal choice mate - not what others think - just what suits you. Just a thought too - in 100,000kms, how many steep descents and hill starts will you do. Actually hill starts are a breeze in auto!
One more thing - not many manuals around as not many people want them - only one manual in my 4wd club.....
AnswerID: 27239

Follow Up By: Member - Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 17:08

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 17:08
what happens with a hiil stall procedure? how do you go backwards down a hill in a controlled manner in an auto?So many places to go!
So much work to do :0(
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FollowupID: 18743

Follow Up By: john - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 20:41

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 20:41
You don't stall in an auto! And there is also a brake pedal!!
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FollowupID: 18758

Follow Up By: Member - Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 21:07

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 21:07
yer John I meant the restart backwards downhill?So many places to go!
So much work to do :0(
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FollowupID: 18762

Follow Up By: john - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 23:16

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 23:16
Have you ever had to restart backwards downhill? I personally would not get into that situation. I've known many children who persistently ask "What if?" I think my original advice still stands - it's a personal choice and by far the majority choose auto. And if I was incompetent enough to stall and then had to come down backwards, and avoid the crumbling edges and the boghole at the bottom and and .... I'd control the descent with the transmission in drive (not reverse) lowrange .... and a carefully applied brake .....
But best of all, know what your vehicle can and can't do and avoid situations that are a "can't do"
Cheers
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FollowupID: 18783

Follow Up By: john - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 23:24

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 23:24
VAFWDC 4wd training course teaches driving through the brakes. Maybe you should do a course Bonz - doesn't cost a great deal and is very beneficial if you have any other areas in which you're unsure. They have experts who will be able to help you as I don't know that I explained it very well. They have practical sessions as well as theory and that would also be better than trying to help you on a forum.
Good luck!
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FollowupID: 18784

Follow Up By: Member - Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 10:17

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 10:17
John,

I have done a few training courses and I do drive thru the brakes, its like a poor mans ABS HDC whatever you want to call it. You're right, its not something that comes naturally and needs to be practised. There will always be situations where you may need to reverse down a hill and even if it doesnt happen, ever, I would want to know how to do it. The only area I was asking about was the auto gearbox, I'm not bagging an auto, in fact I think my GU would be a better bus in auto form, but wondered what to do if the auto gave out or you had to do a reverse descent. Trucksters GQ hiccoughed last weekend going up hill, hence my question. Forewarned is forearmed my good man.

Thanx for the commentsSo many places to go!
So much work to do :0(
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FollowupID: 18804

Reply By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 20:15

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 20:15
Auto's are great for touring, playing in the sand,eating up traffic and highways. Once the terrain gets serious, read potentially life threatening if make a mistake, then manuals are far safer, easier to control on down grades and can be stalled out if things get out of control.
In a nut shell, autos for going up, manuals for coming down.
AnswerID: 27277

Follow Up By: john - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 20:45

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 20:45
All of the serious accidents I've heard of have been in manuals (Training video from VAFWDC, the accident on the Widow MAker in the Wonnangatta Vally are 2 that come to mind) Both of these were as a result of a gear either jumping out or being missed. Can't happen with an auto!
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FollowupID: 18759

Follow Up By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 21:25

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 21:25
Those accidents that you quoted were from a worn transfer gear selector, which can occur in either type of gearbox. Auto's can also be knocked into angel gear or drive torque and/or foreign objects striking up under the vehicle can also knock the shifter out of gear. Auto's are not fool proof. You can't use the accepted method for stall starts and stall recovery and if you loose main brakes you have no gears in which to stall the vehicle, short of slamming it into Park. What you do after that I don't know, you still have to get it off the hill. I have seen two vehicles burned to the ground after the auto's ingested water into the filler tube whilst crossing rivers, the water boils to steam, spits flammible auto fluid over the hot manifolds and instant fire, which reduced a Rangie to a molten blob of aluminium, in 25 minutes! I know that if I'm on a very steep incline and fail to get up, I can back down, slowly in reverse, under controlled engine compression, safely and surely, unlike the auto driver that has to use his brakes with the car still driving in reverse. And don't get me started on gearing!
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FollowupID: 18766

Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 22:16

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 22:16
Steve,

Whats your preference when it comes to towing big loads. Auto
or Manual

Jason
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FollowupID: 18773

Follow Up By: john - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 23:29

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 23:29
Sorry to tell you but you're wrong Steve. I've read the full accident accounts - missed gears caused the problems combined with old drum brakes which don't give effective breaking when travelling backwards. In an auto there's no chance of missing a gear and modern brakes work well either way.
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FollowupID: 18786

Follow Up By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 21:34

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 21:34
Auto, I would think, provided it was set up with a large additional oil cooler and temp gauge.
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FollowupID: 18845

Follow Up By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 21:39

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 21:39
I know for a fact, that one of those fatalities in Wonnangatta was due to the transfer lever jumping into neutral. It is a well known and common fault with FJ45 series cruisers to do this. Assuming that the same car was converted to auto(hyothetically), the transfer going into neutral would result in exactly the same scenario. However, that is not the point of the story.
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FollowupID: 18846

Follow Up By: Mick - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:11

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:11
Steve, Toyota set their 4wds up so that no additional oil cooler is needed. Don't know about other manufacturers .... maybe you're thinking of a Commodore.
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FollowupID: 18935

Reply By: Thommo - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 10:57

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 10:57
I have owned an RV6 manual, and now I have a TD manual. If you plan to take your car into areas that require all things going for you, buy a manual.
However there are not many places you can get yourself into this type of trouble (closed tracks in winter) unless you try. The low range in the TD is very good, well ahead of the RV6. If you live where there are lots of traffic lights, get the Auto. The wife will like you more as well.
They are a very good touring 4WD, enjoy.
Thommo
AnswerID: 27330

Reply By: Member - Russell - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2003 at 11:40

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2003 at 11:40
Some interesting stuff in the thread above - almost sounds like a Nissan vs Toyota discussion. You have those who are convinced about autos (like John), who present arguments in accordance with their preference. Others (like me) remain unconvinced that an auto box (on balance) is the best in a number of 4wd situations - I also don't like them for general driving but seem to be in the minority here. Sure they seem easier to drive on sand, and they rev lower on the highway, but I've never had trouble on sand, and I'm much happier in the high country with my manual box. My two brothers both have TD Prado autos, and both think they're great, but one only has one arm (reasonable excuse for auto) and the other got auto because the missus wanted it. Neither have modified their trucks and they don't use them for off-roading. The only reason autos are in 4wds is because people are lazy - just like road cars. The manufacturers have tried to 'improve' them to get rid of their shortcomings, but will never get there! :-) Your choice - drive the car yourself with a manual box, or let the car make half the choices for you (you may not like them) with an auto! :-)Russell S
Prado RV6
AnswerID: 27567

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