Midsize truck with manual transmission

phsycle

Adventurer
Currently, there are 3 options for (open bed) trucks with manual transmissions:
- Gladiator
- Tacoma
- Frontier

Wondering if anyone’s heard of others bringing back manual transmissions. I know Ford Bronco supposedly has a manual option, so I’m wondering (hoping) it may be made available for the Ranger. Yeah, highly doubtful but one can wish.

In a few years when the oldest kids are out of the house, I’d like to get a midsize truck. Ideally, something simple with a manual and factory rear locker. That’s it. Tacoma forces you to go up to TRD. Gladiator, the Rubicon.
To me, a Ranger XL, rear locker, 6/7-speed would be very ideal.

I guess if nothing comes up, I could have ARB installed on a base truck.

Just daydreaming while suffering through cabin fever.
 

plumber mike

Adventurer
I think the Colorado has a manual but only in a 2wd stripper model.
Rumors are that Nissan won’t have a manual in the new frontier either.
I may have purchased another Ram had it been an option, but the awful shifting of the auto was a strong factor in it going away. The manual Rams have appreciated tremendously in that time.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
I think the Colorado has a manual but only in a 2wd stripper model.
Rumors are that Nissan won’t have a manual in the new frontier either.
I may have purchased another Ram had it been an option, but the awful shifting of the auto was a strong factor in it going away. The manual Rams have appreciated tremendously in that time.
And that was only in HD and diesel, correct? I believe the last gas Ram w manual was back in 07 or 08.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
And that was only in HD and diesel, correct? I believe the last gas Ram w manual was back in 07 or 08.
The 2500/3500 Rams lost the manual.

I am suprised at the rumors of a manual in the Bronco. As a Ford guy the general vibe is that Ford doesn't like manuals.
 

dman93

Adventurer
After I had owned my V6 automatic 3rd gen Tacoma TRD OR for about 6 months and still wasn't too happy with the powertrain, my local dealer had about 3 or 4 new white SR AccessCab 4 cylinder 5 speed Tacomas in stock, with an upgrade package that included a few of the SR5 goodies, for about $27K. I was tempted .... I think it would have been a good investment.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
With latest generation of select shift autos, its pretty obvious why...

The autos in these new(er) fords are fabulous.
Even a lot of the older ones were not too bad. I like my old 4R70W.

It is fun to row thru the gears on a toy though. Or a work truck you plan on keeping for awhile.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
I had always had manual cars (mostly Honda’s and older (89-91) BMW’s). When I moved to trucks, I got an auto and always thought autos worked better in this platform. But after some years of only autos, got the itch again, and with the encouragement of a couple members here, went to a manual again (Tacoma). Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with my family size but I sure did love driving a truck with a manual. But I’ll be back in one some day.
 

nickw

Adventurer
I love manuals and I want to like them on newer rigs....but honestly don't see much of a benefit these days in most rigs. They were great in the older low powered rigs or when Autos had poor reliability or when a manual netted you more MPG, but since those problems have been solved, what are manuals getting us besides novelty? They have the potential to require more maintenance, get old driving in traffic and now lack performance (both on and offroad) and MPG.

Something else I personally consider is my ability to drive if I injure myself riding MTB's or moto, much easier with an Auto. I broke my collarbone pretty bad a few years back and would have been screwed if I had a manual and didn't have somebody to drive me home....
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
I love manuals and I want to like them on newer rigs....but honestly don't see much of a benefit these days in most rigs. They were great in the older low powered rigs or when Autos had poor reliability or when a manual netted you more MPG, but since those problems have been solved, what are manuals getting us besides novelty?
Ease of upkeep (which can obviously vary)

I went thru my 2004 manual transmission in my basement one winter. Really easy and simple to do not really requiring much for special tools, I had it down to a bare case. Replaced the 3-4 shift collar and input shaft (JY trans, some idiot put a gooseneck hitch in a V-6 F-150) and resealed it before I installed it in my Ranger. A clutch will last a long time if you take care of it.

For perks with a manual you don't have to worry about trans coolers, cooler lines, overheating or much of any electronics. Fluid changes are much cheaper and easier to DIY. Engine braking on trails is kinda nice too. Growing up around gear drive farm equipment I feel like I have more control with a manual in general doing finesse type stuff.

For a DD I would rather have an automatic. For a fun truck I am going to keep forever and ever... I would rather have a manual.

That is all my $.02, I am not saying anyone else is wrong and I am right, that is just what I prefer.

I think manuals are going to exist exclusively as a niche in pleasure/enthusiast vehicles from here on out... and even that is probably only going to continue for 20 years, tops. Only way that would get reversed is if suddenly a ton of people started buying brand new manual transmission vehicles. So basically no.
Even then, MPG ratings are going to drive the OEM's, and if they are getting better mpg out of an auto... they are not going to want to mess with a manual for a niche at best market. This day in age it is surprising there are as many manual options as there are.
 
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phsycle

Adventurer
I love manuals and I want to like them on newer rigs....but honestly don't see much of a benefit these days in most rigs. They were great in the older low powered rigs or when Autos had poor reliability or when a manual netted you more MPG, but since those problems have been solved, what are manuals getting us besides novelty? They have the potential to require more maintenance, get old driving in traffic and now lack performance (both on and offroad) and MPG.

Something else I personally consider is my ability to drive if I injure myself riding MTB's or moto, much easier with an Auto. I broke my collarbone pretty bad a few years back and would have been screwed if I had a manual and didn't have somebody to drive me home....
Injuries is something that made me consider the auto when I bought my first truck. Sure makes sense if you broke a leg, arm, whatever, an auto would be much easier to drive out. But maybe a manual keeps me from going too crazy on the mountain bike or trail runs 😜

Not a lot of advantages vs an auto. Modern autos are excellent for the most part. I guess I just like old school stuff. All of my bicycles are steel, no suspension, even my mountain bikes. One still has downtube friction shifters!
 

nickw

Adventurer
Ease of upkeep (which can obviously vary)

I went thru my 2004 manual transmission in my basement one winter. Really easy and simple to do not really requiring much for special tools, I had it down to a bare case. Replaced the 3-4 shift collar and input shaft (JY trans, some idiot put a gooseneck hitch in a V-6 F-150) and resealed it before I installed it in my Ranger. A clutch will last a long time if you take care of it.

For perks with a manual you don't have to worry about trans coolers, cooler lines, overheating or much of any electronics. Fluid changes are much cheaper and easier to DIY. Engine braking on trails is kinda nice too. Growing up around gear drive farm equipment I feel like I have more control with a manual in general doing finesse type stuff.

For a DD I would rather have an automatic. For a fun truck I am going to keep forever and ever... I would rather have a manual.

That is all my $.02, I am not saying anyone else is wrong and I am right, that is just what I prefer.



Even then, MPG ratings are going to drive the OEM's, and if they are getting better mpg out of an auto... they are not going to want to mess with a manual for a niche at best market. This day in age it is surprising there are as many manual options as there are.
I hear ya loud and clear - the clutch in my Tacoma and FJ40 both had around 150k+ and had a lot of life left. I loved driving manuals through the mountains, nothing better than nailing a shift, even in a truck, you feel like your actually doing something and engaged...

I still look for full size pickup from time to time on CL, I'd like a mid 90's Chevy, std. cab with NV4500 and big block....don't need one, but doesn't mean I don't really want one...
 

nickw

Adventurer
Injuries is something that made me consider the auto when I bought my first truck. Sure makes sense if you broke a leg, arm, whatever, an auto would be much easier to drive out. But maybe a manual keeps me from going too crazy on the mountain bike or trail runs 😜

Not a lot of advantages vs an auto. Modern autos are excellent for the most part. I guess I just like old school stuff. All of my bicycles are steel, no suspension, even my mountain bikes. One still has downtube friction shifters!
I have a fancy FS bike with a carbon fiber linkage fork....but still have my first MTB (restored), an old Cannondale from the early 90's. Also got gifted a late 70's high end Schwinn that is awesome....nothing wrong with any of it, but in general, do enjoy the old stuff if I am just having fun, it's got a lot more 'soul'.
 

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