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Auto or 6 speed?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by 496 BB, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Would/Have you plowed with a manual? Is it a PITA or no? Looking to get a plow truck and want a diesel so thinking older 7.3L PS or 12 valve Cummins. Both those autos arent all that great so wanted to know how hard it is plowing with a manual is.
     
  2. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I've always plowed with a manual. Once you master running all four of your limbs independantly, its second nature. But definately not for an uncoordinated kinda person! :D On really long events the clutch leg gets a little rubbery... but its ok. I'd rather have the duarability of a stick over the convenience of an auto any day.
     
  3. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Damn I want your truck! I miss my 79 K20 everyday.
     
  4. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I've been ready to throw a match on it for a month! A string of bad luck and ridiculous coincidences coupled with a non-heated shop and steady salting days have had it sidelined for quite a while now...
     
  5. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    Ok you have a truck with an alison, and don't like the autos in either of the two trucks listed. So why not get an older duramax with the alison ?
     
  6. mossman381

    mossman381 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,410

    I had a manual trans for the last 2 years and I will never never never get a plow truck with a manual trans. Once you get it down pat it can be done, but now that I have an auto again I will never go back.
     
  7. snobgone

    snobgone Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 122

    Auto all the way...how are you gonna drink coffee and talk on the cell phone with a stick? If you had central hydraulics, I would go manual.
     
  8. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,734

    I've never tried it but want to. I'd consider a ZF6 or G56 backed truck where Reverse is right next to 2nd. Mount the plow controller on the shifter so you can run it with your fingers. The only downside is that the ZF6 trucks back up very slow (under 10mph if you don't want to redline it), I' havn't tried a G56 in reverse for more then 8ft to see what it has for reverse speed.

    I'd say LBZ dmax with a ZF6 or a Late 5.9 CR Cummins with a G56.
    The only thing I don't like about the NV 4500/5600 is that reverse is 2 miles away from 2nd/3rd. And parts can be hard to find due to New Venture going under.
     
  9. snowfighter75

    snowfighter75 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    You'll kick yourself in the ass for getting a manual, go with an auto for plowing.
     
  10. dieseld

    dieseld Senior Member
    from 90210
    Messages: 628

    I do not post much, but feel I need to throw my opinion in here. I thought it would be no big deal to have a 6-speed, so I bought my first Super Duty with one because the price was right. I look back now and realize it was possibly the dumbest thing I have ever spent money on. I snowplow and pull a trailer for a living, not drive on the highway at 55mph. I am at a loss for words in Derekbroerse's argument against reliability. Todays automatics are so reliable, especially the OP with the Allison, I do not know how anyone could put themselves through such torture of shifting and plowing and talking on the phone and taking a drink of whatever and changing the radio station and on and on. Needless to say I sold the truck and still feel my knee problem is from it. I lived and learned. Anyways how you could consider going from an Allison to a stick is beside me. Just my opinion, though. Best of luck to everyone shifting everyday, all day, glad it is not me! Peace.
     
  11. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I have no plans getting rid of the Allison. I love it by all means....I just dont want to plow with this truck. Id rather plow with a straight axle front end instead of IFS. Also I dont want to be beating on this truck by plowing. Thats why I want to get an older diesel...just not the 6.5L GM. Ive driven those and they wont get out there own way :D

    Im just worried about the older diesel autos. I havent owned one but have heard that both the mid 90s Ford and Dodge trans arent all that great. Guess I would have to wait and rebuild it. Basically my goal is to find a truck to pull dual duty....plowing but strong enough to tow my enclosed trailer too. All this without springing more than say $6-8K. I know it will be tough but I got the time to look as this is planned for next season. Im seeing the manual thing is what I thought....PITA. I was just worried the auto would overheat quick going from R to D all the time. Im not a big fan of how long it takes the Allison to shift from those two gears anyways. One clutch has to be off before the other engages from what Im told. Unlike the 4l80s and such.
     
  12. dieseld

    dieseld Senior Member
    from 90210
    Messages: 628

    You might want to have your Allison checked because I have driven one, and it is instant. Just because you plow with your truck does not mean you have to beat on it. Everything can break no matter how careful you are, but there is a reason we have technology, and that is to advance ourselves. Why not take advantage of it instead of going backwards to an older vehicle? Ever since cash for clunkers happened, there is not much left for your price range, at least in my area. It seems to have made those trucks jump up significantly in price. Best of luck to you with whatever you decide. To let your Chevy sit on the sidelines with the 8.1L/Alli combo would be criminal to me.
     
  13. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    Why ? almost all of us here with GM trucks plow with IFS, it works fine and lasts longer the SFA front ends. You can beat any truck while plowing its all in the driver, I have been plowing with my 2500HD for 8 years and with the exception of wheel barings the front end is all original

    The 6.5 will plow snow with the best of them, you don't need horsepower to plow snow, only for high speed trailer towing
     
  14. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Well hell I always thought plowing on an IFS would be bad. I stand corrected as you guys do it everyday not me. Cool though. And as for my truck.....Im not plowing with it...period. You would have to understand my luck first ;)

    Yea there isnt much in that price range anymore. Thats true. BUT I dont need it right away and deals are always to be had. Any have an older dodge or Ford and have any probs? Guess maybe this is wrong forum for that though.
     
  15. dieseld

    dieseld Senior Member
    from 90210
    Messages: 628

    That's funny right there, Fords or Dodges with problems!
     
  16. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Well that truck you have does look very nice in your sig pic. I could understand why you wouldnt want to plow with it, that is your toy!! I gotta ask, what kind of mods are on that thing?? Or is it super secret?? LOL:D

    Look around for a decent Chevy 2500 in the 88-98 range with the 350. The 93 and newer 2500/3500's will have the 4L80E which when cared for properly will last a long time. And the 350 will have more than plenty of power to plow any snow and tow a decent trailer. Plus you could also find one with a 454. And if you needed more gogo juice, performance parts for the sbc are a dime a dozen practically. I know there are a few decent 2500's right now with plows or without plows in the 4-7k range that are in the mid to late 90's. Just depends on if you wanted to roll up this way to find them
     
  17. mossman381

    mossman381 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,410

    You can plow with your truck and not beat on it. Why spend 8K on another truck when you have a truck that can plow and pull your trailor. Plus double insurance, double registration. If you take care of your truck you should have no problem working it.
     
  18. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I appreciate all the feedback. Thanks. Ive had some sbc and after having this BBC theres no going back :D

    Thats why I want a diesel. And not a 6.5 either. Ive towed with those things and it was everything it could do to maintain 65mph. I tow alot more than that now. I also want a diesel for the gas mileage. Anything has got to be better than the damn 7-9 Im getting now. Another reason I dont want to plow with this truck. Profits would be gone! Lol. Ive driven Cummins and PS and I like both. Would only get a 7.3L PS though. Cummins would be nice to find a 12 or 24V. Easy to mod. Plus both would more than double my current mpg AND tow a trailer as well as now. I would love to get a Dmax but they hold their value and the LB7 and injectors are scary. LLY would be my choice.

    As for my mods.... just bolt ons plus EFI Live tuning...TCM and PCM. More aesthetics then anything....HIDs, LED dash, switches, color matched bumpers,mirrors,ect. These things run like raped apes with no TM.
     
  19. mossman381

    mossman381 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,410

    If you spend 8K on a truck to plow with you are already staring in the hole. When plowing the diesels do not get much better mileage than a gas truck. Your will not save that much in gas, especially if diesel goes up again.
     
  20. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377


    I should have come back on here sooner. Dieseld, I think he was pretty clear he wanted an older, separate diesel truck to plow with. In fact, mentioning a 12V Cummins means pre-97. In other words, the trucks he is talking about do not HAVE an Allison. The trucks he is talking about have older style four speed auto's, which behind diesels MAY live a happy life, and may not, break at the most inopportune time, and cost a fortune to rebuild, not to mention downtime. I stand behind my statement of a stick being more reliable for heavy duty use such as plowing... an Allison may be the exception but they didn't come around for a few more years after the trucks he is talking about.

    As for phone, radio, drink, etc.... I have no problem taking a drink, I do it once the truck is moving where I want it to go. You have absolutely NO BUSINESS yapping on a cell phone while you are plowing--your attention should never be divided like that when operating a dangerous machine... and if you do need to, use a handsfree device/Bluetooth. This just became law here, they are handing out fines for ppl using any handheld device while driving. Should be that way everywhere since so many people can't drive to begin with let alone with a phone held up to their ear. Even Mythbusters proved it... talking on a phone badly takes away people's ability to drive.

    And the third thing is something I will never understand--I NEVER listen to a radio when I am plowing--EVER. You should be listening to the sounds your trucks make, and the sound of the blade of the pavement, it changes when something is wrong, parts are failing, etc. Maybe this is why I don't tear things up the way some people do? Or why my boss V-plows are over 15 years old now and still in excellent working condition without being bent all to #$^% like so many people have here? You never see me posting about what a POS plow boss makes because I only rammed that curb at 45mph....

    Anyways, off my soapbox.

    My biggest dislike of the manual tranny is the slow reverse gear.

    496 BB, I understand your want of another truck for plowing. If I was in your shoes, and I have been, I'd set up a dedicated plow truck AND also get spare wiring and framework mounted on your good truck for WHEN you have a breakdown (plenty of used mounts available for sale if you look around). Don't say IF, its when... because all things mechanical WILL break down regardless of how new, old, or even well cared for. Every failure and breakdown I've had all season have been brand new parts that failed, or the workmanship of rebuilt parts I've bought. Point being, at least you can swap the plow and controller over to the other truck in half an hour or less and be back at plowing until the main truck is repaired.

    That is, unless you don't have enough or must-do contracts, but that is up to you to determine.

    Just my 2 cents...