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  #1  
Old 7 Jan 2007
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Automatic v Manual Transmission

I am currently looking to buy a 4x4 to do a trip through africa in. I wa wondering if anyone could give me anymore info on the pros and cons of manual v automatic transmission for such a trip.

Also would a Nissan Patrol be a close equivalent to a toyota landcruiser?
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  #2  
Old 7 Jan 2007
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Hi Patrick,
Welcome to the HUBB,

Pros of Auto:
-less stress on engine and drivetrain.

-no clutch to wear out.

-very good in sand/snow/ice/slippy mud with a smoother torque delivery and quicker gearchanges (Vs time with clutch disengeged and foot off throttle -vehicle losing momentum) = less wheelspin/bogging - especially pulling away.

-will climb hills/dunes better beceause of this.

-will always be in correct gear for the vehicles speed.

- very quick to change from D to R - to rock the vehicle out if bogged.

-The latest tiptronic (or equivilent) are excellent- best of both worlds

- great in stop start traffic !

-more relaxing but less involved driving.


Cons Of Auto:
-auto gearbox is heavier, more complicated, are generally more expensive, they are harder to field repair.

-auto boxes run hotter due to torque converter especially under heavy load - a gearbox oil cooler is a good idea if not already fitted.

- poor engine braking on steep decents -worst combo is auto/petrol engine - best combo is manual/diesel engine - not so relevant in sand as you have to use a higher gear and light throttle on the back of steep dunes - but in rock and steep muddy decents its a big disadvantage - you move a lot faster - and as you brake there is a risk of sliding. A manual/diesel gives amazing slow speed control without use of the brakes.

- increased fuel consumption, again due to losses withing the torque converter

-slower acceleration and overtaking - though with a larger engine this is negated.



A diesel auto is a good combo - the better fuel consumption of the diesel helping to minimise the losses of the auto box, I would definitley consider one for a trip.

As for TLC/Patrol - for me the TLC is hard to beat - a nice VX 4.2 diesel auto is about as good as it gets.

Im sure the guys can think of plenty more......

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Grif
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  #3  
Old 7 Jan 2007
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There is some more points worth remembering about an A/T cars

- you can't jump start an auto
- you can't stall it on ascents
- driving on sand is best done in low range, even though some engines (like 1HD-T) can cope.

Loss of engine breaking on steep descent is up to the engine/gearbox combination. Try LC HDJ80 and you will be surprised how well it can be controlled downhill.
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  #4  
Old 7 Jan 2007
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for my 2 pennies worth, as roman said, an auto won't stall, which is also useful when wading if you get stuck or hit an underwater obstruction. if you stall a manual water will hydraulic up the exhaust. (don't think that just because your in Africa you won't see water!)

An auto allows superior low speed manouverability as it won't stall, so is popular with the 'rock climbers' in america

biggest con of autos is you can't choose your gears, even if it has some selectability the 'mum' feature will over-ride this in certain circumstances, so if you want to hold a gear, for example, you can't, the auto will change. personally I find this sufficiently irritating to not use an auto.
the nissan is comparable to toyota in terms of toughness, ability and size and is pretty much as well known in many places, notably west Africa.

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  #5  
Old 7 Jan 2007
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If it had no problems, Auto.
If it did have problems, Manual.
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  #6  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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[QUOTE=Roman]There is some more points worth remembering about an A/T cars

- you can't jump start an auto
- you can't stall it on ascents


Roman, Do you mean bump start...... ???

also - you can stall an auto - just come off the gas on a steep ascent and let it roll back at tickover in D....it will stall......unless your in a New Gen Rangie which stops you rolling backwards.....though yes, autos are much easier to hold and pull away with on a hill....

Moggy - on the later Rover ZF Autos in low box - if you select 3-2-1 it will stay in that gear till the red line...(but only in low box) also the 'command shift' (tiptronic) on the New LRs means you stay in the gear you select - again and you can easily change on the fly - it does work well...just too much electrical gubbins for me..though the ZF boxes are about the most reliable thing on them !!!

Not sure about the Toyota auto boxes holding the gear though.....
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Last edited by Gipper; 8 Jan 2007 at 03:28.
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  #7  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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A/T cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
driving on sand is best done in low range, even though some engines (like 1HD-T) can cope.
Having owned both manual & automatic Patrols, I agree with nearly everything above but would not say that sand is always 'best' done in low range. It depends on the softness of the sand but almost all of my sand driving is in high range and a lot of that can be in 2WD too with correct tyre pressures.

Red one below is automatic.
Dark green is manual.
The BMW is having a rest.

Stephan
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Automatic v Manual Transmission-manual-nissan-patrol.jpg  

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  #8  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephano
...but would not say that sand is always 'best' done in low range. Stephan
Stephano,

Without getting too academic, yes perhaps you can do it always, but watch out for auto gearbox temperature. Shifting to low range allows some load to be taken off the A/T by the transfer box.
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  #9  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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in auto, select 1, 2, or D. ..

Moggy said: biggest con of autos is you can't choose your gears, even if it has some selectability the 'mum' feature will over-ride this in certain circumstances, so if you want to hold a gear, for example, you can't, the auto will change. personally I find this sufficiently irritating to not use an auto.

You can of course just leave the box in 1H or 1L, 2H or 2L or 3H or 3L, with overdrive in or out in 3rd so there is a fair amnount of selectivity available. With practice and the help of a passenger you can change between H and L pretty quickly. If you find the box keeps chan ging up a gear, just set it back one notch.

Moggy also said:the nissan is comparable to toyota in terms of toughness, ability and size and is pretty much as well known in many places, notably west Africa.

Would like this confirmed. Not sure I'd swap my TLC 80 for a Patrol.
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  #10  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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thats what I mean about the mum feature, even if you try and over-ride the gearbox, on many the box will over-ride your overide if it doesn't like it, although there are the caveats on certain vehicles as discussed above by gipper, although he does say you can only do this in low box.

my knowledge of the use of nissan patrols is based on travelling in that area (I don't generally pluck my advice out of thin air, although am always willing to be corrected of course if someone knows different!). the question wasn't would you swap your TLC for a Patrol, but does the patrol make a viable alternative, which it does in areas where it is well known. It is not as extensively known as the 'cruiser, so no, I wouldn't swap my H60 for a patrol either, but I did seriously consider buying one before I got the 'cruise for a trip through West Africa as they are considerably cheaper to buy and in the UK more prevalent than pre VX landcruisers.

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Last edited by moggy 1968; 8 Jan 2007 at 23:25.
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  #11  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Thanks for al the replies, looks like I may be going with the auto nissan then.
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  #12  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickL
Thanks for al the replies, looks like I may be going with the auto nissan then.
Great choice! SWB or LWB? The SWB automatic is fantastic in dunes. Amazingly tough and agile.
Stephan
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  #13  
Old 11 Jan 2007
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swap shop

By saying I wouldn't swap my 80 for a Patrol, I was endorsing the 80. Better car in every department by a long way and plenty around in the Uk if you look. Also Japanese imports available with auto box and front and rear diff locks as well as centre.

And no, I didn't just pluck this out of the sky - it comes from 20 years ++ living in east africa.
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Old 14 Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jljones
By saying I wouldn't swap my 80 for a Patrol, I was endorsing the 80. Better car in every department by a long way and plenty around in the Uk if you look. Also Japanese imports available with auto box and front and rear diff locks as well as centre.

And no, I didn't just pluck this out of the sky - it comes from 20 years ++ living in east africa.
I don't wish to get into a spat about this but I wasn't suggesting that you did pluck your advice out of the sky, this was a reference to the statement you made that you wanted what I had said verified by someone else, which frankly is pretty offensive. I am sure that you are indeed an expert on east africa, but as I made clear in my post, I was refering to west africa as this is where I have travelled. I wouldn't pass comment on other areas unless I knew.

Likewise the question wasn't 'would you swap your landcruiser for a patrol', it was 'does it make a viable alternative', which it does given the caveats I mentioned. It can be a much more cost effective option than a landcruiser in many areas due to the inflated prices landcruisers achieve. we don't have that issue in GB, the differential isn't that great. if it had been maybe I would have gone down the nissan route.
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  #15  
Old 14 Jan 2007
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by jljones
I was endorsing the 80. Better car in every department by a long way.
JL I also wanted to comment on your post. With due respect, ‘better car in every department by a long way’ is not that helpful for someone seeking specific advice. Is it lighter? Faster? Cheaper to buy or maintain? Can it carry more passengers or a greater payload? Is it more economical? Can it tow more? Does it have a more comfortable or quieter cab? Or a better A/C?

Undoubtedly, you have an affinity with your Toyota, as I do with my Patrol but I’m happy to second Moggy’s point that a Patrol is a viable alternative to a Land Cruiser.

An owner of a SWB automatic Patrol in the UAE will regularly find phone numbers of potential (local) buyers stuck under the wiper blade. Crossing between the UAE and Oman recently, the border guard inquired about buying the LWB. This is far from the first time. This level of interest in older Patrols is because of their ruggedness and ability in deserts and punishing terrain. It just does not exist here for older Land Cruisers, as excellent as they are too.

Having said that, my friend’s Land Cruiser is outstanding in the sand and the cab is much more refined than mine. [Think: car interior versus truck interior.] All the tour operators in Dubai use Land Cruisers. That level of comfort exists in the newer model Patrols but not mine.

Can anyone confirm what the UN is using in Africa these days?

Stephan

Last edited by Stephano; 15 Jan 2007 at 04:12.
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