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Noobyflyer

Veteran

Clearwater, FL

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Sports car manufacturers these days all seem hell bent on convincing us paddle shifting is the way to go. It's just not. I will never buy a sports car that is an automatic. Paddle shifting is NO replacement for a driver involved with both feet and hands. It's so rewarding to shift your own gears.

A car that is a paddle shift IS an automatic. These word games that are used to somehow spin a paddle shift into being more than just an automatic are non-sense. A paddle shifted car is one more way of losing freedom.

Every year I hear that this brand or that brand is threatening to leave a manual tranny out of their option packages. Massive mistake. The millennials may not have a clue what to do with a stick shift, but for those of us who have learned and appreciate it, the experience of driving a manual every day is so sweet!

And another thing.....when it comes to collectibility, the "forbidden fruit" of a manual transmission will ALWAYS fetch more money on resale from a true car enthusiast.

09-07-2016 11:34 AM
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GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28.49N 81.22W

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A few comments of mine.
I have owned both manual and automatic and do appreciate the nostalgia and fun of driving a manual. But here are some practical considerations of automatics.
The manual tyranny's that I remember would wear out clutch linings and throw out bearings (how soon depended on how you treated them), but I have never worn out a automatic.
This is with 60 years of driving both types, my last manual was a 4 speed Mustang and I loved the floor shift. But from a practical (wife and kids can drive) and reliability view point, automatics win for me.
.
.
Just a short comment, I remember driving my first automatic, my left foot was always thumping on the floor boards looking for that clutch pedal. Guess that's what they call 'muscle memory' reaction. I still only use my right foot for braking, left foot reserved for some future sports car with manual.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

09-07-2016 02:44 PM
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outhouse

Veteran

auburn ca

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Many sports cars still use manuals, mine did not even come with an auto option. Now they do and I would never switch.

Thing about an auto they don't need clutches, and they can make a cleaner shift then a person ever could on any level.

With that's said, I would never trade my manual.

600hp and a manual = a fun day

09-07-2016 04:12 PM
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RM3

Elite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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automatics can be prone to problems, more recalls have probably been issued with autos vs manuals, and when they fail, they can cost $100s more to fix compared to a manual and sometimes are never the same even after a repair due to complexity, sensors, solenoids, computer control etc....

I have had the same FireBird formula running the same T56 6 speed manual... and a 305hp LT-1 V8 and it now has 232,000 miles on it.

I wore out the clutch and replaced it for the 1st time and the throwout bearing time last year.

dont be fooled by automatics... yes they are convenient when they work... but when your in a jam and they are having problems... they will leave you hurting...

have a battery that wont turn the starter, but it will run the ECU? or your starter is F&*ked up?.... Ive started my car by putting it 4th...rolling to a slow jog and popping the clutch...bingo started right up (done this like 5 times)...cant do that in an autotranny.

bad clutch stack in your automatic... cant drive it... got a stripped gear in a manual?... skip over it.

new age automatics are also prone to problems if you dont use the exact automatic tranny fluid directed by the manufacturer... my manual?..any good manual tran oil works fine.

now if you have a family car..automatic all the way... easier to eat chicken nuggets while driving in traffic.

a sports car with an automatic is a newb excuse and a way for the manufacturer to cut costs (one transmission for all).

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

09-07-2016 05:36 PM
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TruckRacer

Heliman

Des Moines, Iowa

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All paddle shifted transmissions are not automatics in the traditional sense. Many of the high end sports cars and some race cars use the dual shaft, electronically shifted, manual transmissions. While there is no gear shift lever to stir and sometimes no clutch pedal, these transmissions can outshift any traditional automatic or manual with efficiency as good or better than any manual. The downside of these is their increased complexity and non traditional nature .... but times change and this isn't 1965 any more.

Yes, I grew up with manual transmissions in the 60's and loved them but I sure appreciate the automatic offerings these days.

09-07-2016 06:03 PM
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ticedoff8

Key Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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If manuals are so good, why do all the top racing leagues use paddle shifting, dual clutch, "automatics"?

Could be because you are not looking for the extra .1 second per lap that is needed to win vs, show.

My sig is not fit for public viewing.

09-07-2016 06:04 PM
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Lotus7

Heliman

Cape Town, South Africa

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With the modern trend of 6 and 7 speed transmissions , it becomes a bit silly to have old style manual stick and clutch shift, as you will be constantly be shifting.
My Subaru Outback has a 6 sp manual but I mostly just skip 5th gear what with 4-5-6 being so closely spaced.
Having said that , I just swopped out my race car 5 speed H-pattern manual synchro box for a 6 speed sequential stick shift dog box , equipped with electronically controlled clutchless full throttle upshifts

09-07-2016 06:34 PM
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GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28.49N 81.22W

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Automatics for motorcycles ? I love my manual 6 speed motorcycle, I get to pick the shift points and throttle positions, loud or soft.
I remember when a buddy showed up with a bike that had electric start, told him that is not a true motorcycle. Well just try and buy a new Harley with a kick start now.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

09-07-2016 07:27 PM
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RM3

Elite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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If manuals are so good, why do all the top racing leagues use paddle shifting, dual clutch, "automatics"?
NASCAR does not... for them "rubbin is racing"... you so much as bump into a formula one car and its done... so a robust manual that can enable its driver (or crew) to fix a problem or circumvent an issue with the tranny on the fly is a big advantage. now granted NASCAR does not allow "electronic" technology on the engine/drivetrain nor suspension... thats their rules.

all others are using as much technology as possible in order to reduce the driver workload or increase whatever skills the driver has... so in a way NASCAR is driver vs driver... all others are technology vs technology.

now honestly, the transmission days are numbered... soon brushless electrics will run the streets... and there wont be a single steering wheel, spark plug nor gear shifter to be seen anywhere inside the car.

until then the manual will continue to die off and remain only in very special circumstances... automatics (paddle shifted too) will die off in favor of CVTs.... and then the internal combustion engine will die off in favor of an electric motor...

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

09-07-2016 07:30 PM
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ticedoff8

Key Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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As I said, "all the top racing leagues".
NASCAR isn't a top racing league.

NASCAR uses manual transmissions for the same reason they use carburetors.
NASCAR is run by hillbillies: Science and technology confuse them.

Dale Earnhardt had to die before they implemented SAFER barriers and HANS devices.

My sig is not fit for public viewing.

09-07-2016 09:19 PM
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TruckRacer

Heliman

Des Moines, Iowa

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Obviously misinformed about NASCAR and most other racing organizations.

So which organizations were so much quicker to accept the safety measures you mention?

09-07-2016 09:33 PM
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gmcullan

Key Veteran

Southbridge, MA

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NASCAR has used fuel injection for about two years now.

Gerry Cullan,
Gaui 200, 255; T-Rex 250, 450 SE & SA, Mini-Titan, Blade 450

09-07-2016 10:11 PM
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Machinehead01

Veteran

Lower Michigan

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I recently read...

Also that manual transmissions are going to start fetching the premium price if they are offered at all, from certain automobile manufacturers. Manual transmissions are more labor intensive from the production point of view. Where as in an automatic you can have multiple gears of the same tooth count(planetary ring riders), almost all the gears in a manual have different tooth counts which means more setup/production time, heat treating, more quality time spent in inspection there of. Not to mention higher costs of the material used for said gears. Most counter gear sets are produced as a single set of gears from one piece of material, bad run of production and you can scrap a lot of money real quick in time/labor and material.

Tom

"You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone."

09-07-2016 10:20 PM
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jharkin

Senior Heliman

Holliston, MA - USA

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I never owned anything but a manual until I got my truck 2 years ago and I do miss them... but the writing is on the wall. There are a number of reasons why manuals are dying out, especially in the USA.

First reason is sales: the fact is American buyers simply dont buy manuals, even when they are offered. I read a statistic somewhere that something like 80% of BMW 3ers and half of Ferrari's in this country are bought as autos . Americans just plain dont like shifting. IF they dont sell, automakers aren't going to spend the money developing them.

(Note that in the rest of the world manuals still rule. Even luxury Mercedes, etc that are auto only here are made in manual for the German domestic market).

It comes down to the same reason that American companies where developing muscle cars that only could go fast in a straight line while European companies where developing nimble sports car. The Camaro is right at home street racing on Woodward Ave but would be totally out of place driving the Mille Miglia. And vice versa for your average Italian sports car.


Second reason is performance
. As was mentioned above, dual clutch automated manuals like Porsche PDK and the Ferrari system are derivatives of F1 and LeMans racing designs that can shift far faster than any human. And having such a system lets them add other goodies like launch control (keep in mind that not every car with paddle snifters is a real dual clutch automated manual).

Sorry RM3, but ticedoff is correct - NASCAR does not make advanced technology a priority, they use strict rules to keep the cars equal and make it a drivers race (but its not "run by hilbillies" the low tech decision is very deliberate). Formula 1, LeMans, etc are generations ahead in car development, but they have suffered for it by becoming boring.

Third reason is efficency For a long time a good driver could eek out better mpg from a manual box but lock up torque converters and lots of gears (9 is starting to pop up a lot now) have tipped that balance in favor of autos now. Manufacturers can use an auto box with a lot of ratios and creative shift point programming to make better numbers on the tests and meet their CAFE targets. Then give the driver a "sport" mode to make us think we didn't give up the actual driving experience.

Eventually CVTs will kill off even traditional autos, and then as RM3 mentions electric motors will kill off them all. We already have hybrids (Honda Accord) that dont have a a transmission at all in the traditional sense - just a gas engine and electric motor each with a fixed ratio.

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

09-07-2016 11:47 PM
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RM3

Elite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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Manual transmissions are more labor intensive from the production point of view.
very true.
for the manufacturer its all about material and labor cost... cheaper and faster is the name of the game... quality/durability comes second. people who keep cars for more than 5 years are rare (unless they are broke to begin with)... the idea is to keep people buying, and if it breaks down after the warranty... the more the likely that the customer will buy another...

the same can be said for machinists... they are disappearing, its all going CNC... its faster and less mechanically complex to build and run a CNC... you no longer have machinists... you now have machine operators. the helical gears I cut for my heli are done on a mechanically simple 4 axis CNC controlled by a $200 computer... the same setup on a 100% mechanical machine would be mechanically complex, expensive and time consuming to make duplicates... now the next thing on the horizon is 3D printing which is nothing more than CNC machining in reverse (applying material vs removing material)

the only thing we are loosing here in reference to autos vs manuals is the fun factor and skill needed to drive one... we are taking away the control from the driver... nothing more.

hell its going to get to the point that your car wont run unless you've paid the monthly fee.
Sorry RM3, but ticedoff is correct - NASCAR does not make advanced technology a priority
didnt say they did... was trying to say that they place the skill of the driver as priority... not the technology.

eventually they will get rid of the driver too.

Watch at YouTube

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

09-07-2016 11:52 PM
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jharkin

Senior Heliman

Holliston, MA - USA

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the same can be said for machinists... they are disappearing, its all going CNC... its faster and less mechanically complex to build and run a CNC... you no longer have machinists... you now have machine operators. the helical gears I cut for my heli are done on a mechanically simple 4 axis CNC controlled by a $200 computer... the same setup on a 100% mechanical machine would be mechanically complex, expensive and time consuming to make duplicates..
Yeah, but the death of traditional machinists is not all about making simple prismatic parts and gears. 3/4/5 axis CNC machines can cut complex 3D shapes full of complex curves that are completely impossible to cut on a manual machine.

For an example relevant to this talk - just imagine trying to machine the casting template for a complex modern cylinder head with all the intake and exhaust runners, etc. Not possible on manual equipment.

And 3D printing has a long way to go before its going to replace machining altogether. The materials we can print with are still limited....

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

09-07-2016 11:57 PM
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RM3

Elite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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And 3D printing has a long way to go before its going to replace machining altogether. The materials we can print with are still limited....
not anymore... its now just a matter of scale and proliferation of the technology

Watch at YouTube

I fully expect our cars and the transmissions (if they exist in the future) to be built this way too.

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

09-08-2016 12:14 AM
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ant_mb

Elite Veteran

Delran NJ

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It's more a demand issue. The demand is not there! I have a old school corvette with a 6 speed manual I wouldn't trade for anything, but it is the exception in my family. If the demand was there they would make them forever, but it's simply not there anymore. The modern autos have caught have taken any advantage we user to have in shift speed, and offered a convince and stupid factor the manual never can.

It's a modern thing, kind of like the FBL units, and HH gyros. The young bucks know no better.

I will never let go of my manual vette, but I'm old school!

Thanks
Anthony

09-08-2016 01:55 AM
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BJames111

Elite Veteran

San Diego, California

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subaru still embraces the manual transmission in the wrx and sti. I have an 08 sti, and enjoy my 6 speed manual.

That being said, the wrx is also available with an automatic. :/

09-08-2016 05:40 PM
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old nitroman

Senior Heliman

Naples florida

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I have a 68 goat, auto with his and hers shifter, like paddles but floor shifter, I belong to a car club we cruse a lot. now with the guys that shift love it on the highway, til there stuck in traffic for few hrs.

E5s and E7se Building Roban bell 222 800 superscale

09-08-2016 06:48 PM
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