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Old 07-14-2016, 07:48 PM   #51
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Like most of the comments here, I'm also at the point in my life where I want some luxury and convenience when I travel, and I can afford to buy it. But it wasn't always that way. The first new vehicle I bought on my own with my own money was a 1992 Chevy S-10 base model. Didn't even have a radio, and the only reason why I got the color I wanted was that they just happened to have it in stock. It had the 2.5 litre 4cyl "Iron Duke" engine in it and a 5 speed manual.

I learned to drive on my dad's 1977 GMC Suburban C25 with the 350 and 4 speed. The heavy duty clutch made city driving a pain -- after a long commute, you were actually limping. Even though it was only 2WD, that darned thing never got stuck.

But that's pretty much the only time I wish I still had a manual transmission, is in deep snow. The clutch made is so much easier to rock the vehicle to get it out of the drifts. Since my last two vehicles have been 4WD, that's pretty much a moot point now.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:58 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
Cute.

Spend $60,000+ on a brand-new truck. Then another $3,000 for a manual kit. Then $2,000 in labor for somebody to gut-and-rebuild the most critical system?

I may be pig-headed, but I won't waste money that way.
But the OP wants a standard.. this is one way to get it...
I would no do it either but it is his truck and his wallet
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:21 AM   #53
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But the OP wants a standard.. this is one way to get it...
I would no do it either but it is his truck and his wallet
Uhhh...err. I (mike837go) am the OP.

Yes, I WANT a brand-new manual transmission equipped 1/2 ton 4x4 with a Diesel engine.

I am ranting over the fact that there are none to be had in the current marketplace!

A brand-new factory-fresh truck has this magical thing called "A Warrantee" if there is something obviously wrong with the truck (that the owner can successfully demonstrate to the service writer), the truck will be repaired at no charge to the owner.

Have a 3rd party swap the transmission, cut a hole in the floor for the shift handle, replace the entire brake pedal assembly, reprogram the engine's computer, etc. the warrantee goes "poof"!

My possible alternatives (in order of preference):
1) Get ahold of a custom car/truck rebuilder and have something made from a mix of junkyard recovered bits and new parts.
2) Buy in to what's available.
3) Keep abusing SWMBO's Tacoma.

None are particularly appealing.....
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:47 AM   #54
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I learned to drive on my dad's 1977 GMC Suburban C25 with the 350 and 4 speed. The heavy duty clutch made city driving a pain -- after a long commute, you were actually limping. Even though it was only 2WD, that darned thing never got stuck.

I learned to drive in a '61 Ford with a 223 and a three speed.

The first truck I owned was a '66 Chevy with a 283 and a three speed. I worked in downtown Dallas back in those days, and commuting home to one of the suburbs in rush hour traffic exhausted me every evening, with all of the gear shifting I had to do.

I also used that truck to pull my race car trailer every week. The trailer was hard on those transmissions. I went through six of those junky short tail three speeds in one year. The most common failure was the counter shaft wearing out the case. I finally put a Muncie three speed that I had in that truck. I had to get a shorter drive shaft and I had to lengthen one of the shift rods, but other than that, it was fairly straightforward swap. That put an end to the transmission failures, but the truck was still a pain in the ass to drive. Oh yeah, the shifter on that truck was very technique sensitive. If you didn't do the low to second shift in just the right way, the linkage at the bottom of the column in front of the firewall would get hung up. That meant raising the hood and manually unhanging it.

It was a wonderful day when I was finally able to swap that truck over to a Powerglide. It was an even better day when I was able to upgrade the Powerglide to a Turbo 350.

I don't care to ever mash a clutch pedal again.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:50 AM   #55
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Mike, I think I found your truck...

Chevrolet C 10 Dually | eBay
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:33 AM   #56
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So, my 2cents is this: I still love driving with a manual, but would never do it in a tow vehicle. My Jeep Wrangler is a manual, which I sought out deliberately. It's just fun to drive, and I know I'm always in the right gear because I put it there. As for the TV, I have driven a number of them over the years. By far, the two with the Allison trans are the best, by far. My 2003 Chevy crewcab S/B 4X4 was awesome. My Seneca with the Duramax/Allison is quite possibly better with loads. But like a few have said, it requires a different approach. You have to anticipate hills, and pick the gear as you begin up the hill, not wait for cruise control to shift for you.

The primary reason for ABS is that people drive like idiots, and the automakers are attempting to save the idiots from themselves. The primary reason for automatic transmissions is that they save fuel while unloaded for the average lousy driver, who is always in the wrong gear if it's left up to them. But I have to admit, they are much easier to drive when you get used to them. I drive mine by the temp gauge, which means minimal shifting and hunting, and finding a suitable gear that keeps the torque converter locked while pulling up hills or down.

If anything, I would over-do it on the tow vehicle, and maybe even consider a 3/4 ton with a diesel and modern auto trans built for the diesel. Either Ford or Chevy. Dodge builds a great truck except for the auto trans. The Cummins is awesome, but Chrysler has this blind spot about transmissions.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:11 AM   #57
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In many ways, today's vehicle are better than yesteryears...
- MPG's that were unimaginable when the first energy crisis surprised us.
- Wind noise only when you open a window.
- Much more survivable when inertia exceeds available traction.
- Starts when you turn the key (who remembers having to tap the gas pedal to close the choke?)
- Quality of build is much better.
- Service intervals are MUCH longer.
- Longer lasting: 100,000 miles is just a waypoint.


However, the process of what the automakers choose to bring to market has gotten (for lack of a better word) bland.
- Test drive a comparable Chevy and Ford. Notice any striking differences? Even the Chryslers are blending in. I dare anyone to tell the difference among the nipmobiles if the logos and nameplates were removed.
- Have you seen the color palettes? White, 4 shades of grey-blue, silver and something reddish. What happened to green, yellow, copper or (gasp) brown?
- Maybe 2 engine choices per model. None on the transmission, unless they are currently experimenting with a new innovation. Who else remembers when the Tempest/Le Mans could be had with an L6 or 2 different V8's?
- What about a bench seat up front? Nope not happening! 2 Bucket seats with crummy support and a console that the driver can't use.
- Common modules across entire segments: The seats in the family sedan are the same as the ones in the SUV's and the light trucks.
- How many different radios are offered anymore? None, really, the higher-end cars get more buttons, but AM/FM/XM with Aux input and Bluetooth for your smartphone's mp3 music stream is standard. CD is obsolete.

There's the real gripe. Big Business pandering to the lowest common denominator!

Just like what happened to the food supply. Grocery store chains and pre-packaged food-like products. The organic/whole foods movement is making some headway...

I guess that's what I am after: A Certified Organic 1/2 ton truck. Free of additives, antibiotics and hormones.
How do you think "big business" got big? It wasn't hand-building one-off customs for millions of units per year. There has to be some standardization to produce that many vehicles. And personally, I like that parts are the same across product lines; makes them easier to get when they need to be fixed or replaced.

-You can get a RAM truck in a version of "brown" (blech, no thanks!)
-My RAM truck has a bench seat up front, just fold up the console. (which I will never do, but hey, the option is there except that I have a shaft for my transfer case there)
-5.7L Hemi V-8, 6.4L Hemi V-8, Cummins Turbo Diesel; 3 choices ain't too bad!
-The "Tradesman" package can be had with manual trans, and you can get it with vinyl seats and floor mats with as much "tech" as you want, including 4(?) different U-Connect radio options?

See, there are options out there in new trucks. Maybe you won't get EXACTLY what you are looking for, but still...

That being said, how fun would it be to "Frankenstein" your own truck?! Built exactly how you want it? That would be neat IMO.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:41 AM   #58
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The most fun I had was going through the gears on a buddies Z06 Corvette. I don't see the fun of going though gears on a slow moving truck pulling a trailer and i'm old and have owned a few manual vehicles through the years. hahaha
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:30 PM   #59
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Mike, I think I found your truck...

Chevrolet C 10 Dually | eBay
Almost a good starting point for a totally custom nearly-brand-new truck.

From Camperbob: "That being said, how fun would it be to "Frankenstein" your own truck?! Built exactly how you want it? That would be neat IMO. "

I have mapped out in my own mind the 'perfect' truck. The C10 in the ad is a standard cab. I'd be looking for a crew cab to start with. Preferably a Suburban. Then we have to find a solid frame. The axles, transfer case and drive shafts from either of the donor trucks. Rebuild the axles and transfer case. Repair all the rust holes in the cab. New parts for everything else: Engine, tranny, U-joints, springs, shocks, 40+ rubber bushings in the suspension and body mounts. New radiator, heater core and hoses. Add A/C, modern radio and full instrumentation.

If I had started this project in 2015, it might be ready for the 2017 camping season.

Any ideas on how to find a shop that would do a no-bling, modern, old-school resto-mod like that?

--------------------

Please, I need help accepting that an automatic transmission is somehow better when towing.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:36 PM   #60
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Any ideas on how to find a shop that would do a no-bling, modern, old-school resto-mod like that?

Dave Kindig does great custom work. Do you have a quarter million dollars?

Kindig It | Custom Cars
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