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Old 12-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Manual shifting an automatic.

On my 2500 Chevy on the shift selector there's a button for plus and minus. When you select manual you can now manual shift your trans using that button . Most of the time I'm towing I'm manually shifting my trans, I see this to be a great advantage towing as I can't stand the towing mode that I can select. I like shifting when I want, not when the trans decides. I even drive my wifes Audi A5 the same, get better fuel mileage and much more fun. I'm wondering how many others do the same thing?
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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I put my 2500HD Duromax into tow/haul mode and let it do its thing. The 6 speed Allison seems to me to be in the "correct" gear almost all of the time. This, despite the fact that I have owned a long line of stick shift sports cars. What is it about the tow/haul mode that you find objectionable?

Joel
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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Why would you not trust a auto mfg. to program a transmission to have the correct shifting points? And if you like to shift why didn't you just get the manual transmission and have saved a pile of money right from the start? I see that most auto's have went beyond the tow mode and most have the option to manually shift the auto. tranny. Myself I don't want to shift anything but my Harley's anymore after driving truck for quite a few years. But like always, to each thier own and what works for you might not work for others. Anything that I have ever driven with a auto transmission has been set up for and knows the differance between being loaded or towing and just driving it normal.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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I find the tow haul upshifts way to late, I also don't like how it try to presume it's downshifts. I also am not found of it keeping me out of 6 gear. Example, I can see a hill that I'm about to climb, I know the speed I'm going and if it's in 6th gear I'll know the need to down shift to fifth. I can do this earlier then the trans can thus reducing trans temps. Even in stop and go traffic many times it helps buy not using the brakes as frequently. My buddie with his 2012 Duramax complains about the same thing with his Allsion, my other buddie doesn't seem to have those complaints with his 05 gas since it's a four speed auto.
I don't know if you can purchase a stick anymore with some trucks and to be honest with you having raced many vehicles in my life and perfecting heel and toe downshifting while charging a corner on a race track I doubt I'll ever own a manual trans again except on a motorcycle. There simple a thing of the past.
The feature you see on cars auto/manual is put there for a reason. Drivers such as myself enjoy being in as much complete control of their vehicle as possible. Proper gear for proper circumstance. Descending a steep hill a simple click down I'm out of 8th into 7th or 6th, no need to keep touching the brakes like I see so many drivers. Twisty section of road? Proper gearing make it safer and so much more enjoyable. Audi in particular has done a stupendous job with their new 8 speed automatics, really stunning performance. Too bad many will never realize it!
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nplenzick View Post
I don't know if you can purchase a stick anymor!
Dodge will give you a 6 speed manual in a diesel truck.

The Jake Brake on my trucks works as a tow/haul mode. On my dodge, if you use the tow/haul mode, it shuts off the OD. With the Jake Brake on, tow/haul off, it changes the shift points. 4th gear (OD) doesn't kick in until 55 MPH.

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Old 12-22-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Yep, drove the Escalade PU that way when towing. I like driving our Ford Edge that way as well. More fun.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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I drive in T/H mode all the time because the truck "holds back" better when decelerating. I too find the transmission downshifts too late and often downshift it myself in "M" (manual) mode.

I've also have noticed that if I don't put the gear selector in "M" when descending a long grade without applying the brakes, if I start to gain speed, the transmission sometimes upshifts to the next higher gear. AND, before anyone posts this, No, it's not upshifting because the engine has reached its maximum rpm and the transmission is upshifting to prevent to engine damage due to over revving.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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I've also have noticed that if I don't put the gear selector in "M" when descending a long grade without applying the brakes, if I start to gain speed, the transmission sometimes upshifts to the next higher gear. AND, before anyone posts this, No, it's not upshifting because the engine has reached its maximum rpm and the transmission is upshifting to prevent to engine damage due to over revving.
Since you don't have the trans in manual and your descending a hill even using the tow mode the trans will upshift. That's normal. Sometimes if you start braking it'll start to downshift as I guess it thinks your trying to slow down. That's why I like using the manual mode, takes the guess work out of it and saves my brakes for when I really need them.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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Ditto on the Audi 8 speed - fine tranny in the wife's Q5....

While I too can manually control it, I rarely do except when towing thru minimally hilly terrain < 3% grades and in cruise control....

it will get into too much drama for me with downshifting to accelerate UP the hill and keep speed, then upshift as you crest, then downshift because you start carrying TOO much speed

I will put it in manual 6th and let my eyesight and turbo do the work...
If I see a bigger hill, I will accelerate a bit to compensate for the drag BEFORE I hit the grade...
otherwise I let the fine tranny figure it out
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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Ditto on the Audi 8 speed - fine tranny in the wife's Q5....

While I too can manually control it, I rarely do except when towing thru minimally hilly terrain < 3% grades and in cruise control....

it will get into too much drama for me with downshifting to accelerate UP the hill and keep speed, then upshift as you crest, then downshift because you start carrying TOO much speed

I will put it in manual 6th and let my eyesight and turbo do the work...
If I see a bigger hill, I will accelerate a bit to compensate for the drag BEFORE I hit the grade...
otherwise I let the fine tranny figure it out
I'm really surprised many don't use this feature in their trucks and cars. They put it there for a reason and for towing it's great in my truck although I seldom use it when I'm not towing unless I'm descending a hill. It's fantastic in the Audi as I must be using it 50% of the time. My neighbor who has a Mercedes refuse's to use the manual mode as he thinks he'll do damage to his car. I would suggest those posting that haven't tried it to give it a try........you just might like it.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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In my '05 Duramax/5 speed Allison I just put the trans. in T/H and let it do it's thing. I'm very pleased with how it shifts; empty or loaded past GCWR it always seems to be in the right gear. I used to own an '07 Duramax/ 6 speed Allison. I much prefer the five speed version. The 6 has to down shift twice to get into a "climbing" gear because of it's double overdrive. I did use the manual feature a few times but usually just let it shift automatically. Maybe I'm just lazy. I used to spend my days double clutching an 18 speed across the country. Now, since I've got an auto. I figure, why not let it do it's thing?
The Allison in either version is possibly the best automatic ever put in a pick-up truck. But, I do prefer the 5 speed version.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #12
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I've discovered that manually downshifting for steep downgrades works better than T/H mode on my 02 Chevy D/A dually. Yes, I do know it takes about 100 shifts for the Allison to "learn" how to shift when you change from unloaded to hauling/towing a heavy load. The GM Duramax/Allison combo is not available with a manual tranny unless you buy the cab/chassis model.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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In the mountains I use the manual and T/H mode in my 07 duramax. I want to keep the RPMs about 1600 and the EGR temp below 1300. I usually stay in 5th. I love the dynamic breaking. I seldom use the brakes to slow it except on the steepest grades. Ordinarily, the Allison needs little help figuring it out.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #14
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I was raised in the era of Hot Rods.
Therefore I believe anything can be improved over the factory.
Why?
Manufacturers build a compromised unit to sell to a wide variety of
drivers and situations. They also build to a price point and now Gov. regulations. This is very noticeable in cars. Look at the quality of engine parts in a standard motor then see the difference in their performance units.

Many aftermarket tune-up / performance Kits will reprogram shift points and pressures. You will find many on the web. They do just what you are now doing.

Depending on the situation I manually shift any automatic. I always have.
I hate to hear a motor lugging to pull a load because it does not have enough RPM to do it easily. I am careful not to over-rev the motor. My old Hot Rod days says 500 RPM max is RPM over advertised peak HP RPM for a stock motor. Usually RPM that high is not needed.

I also downshift to save the breaks when needed.
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