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Discussion Starter #1
I've narrowed my 3/4 truck search down to the Ram 2500 diesel. What I can't decide on is whether to go with an automatic transmission or manual.

I love the control you have with the manual but don't like the idea of losing 140 ft lbs of torque. I'll also be pulling a 5,300 lb (dry weight) travel trailer.

I'd love to hear peoples' thoughts on which way to go. I'm leaning towards manual....lots of fun to drive and still plenty of power and torque to handle pulling my trailer. This said, am I selling myself short by losing the torque and any concerns of burning through clutches hauling my trailer?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I don't think you will be selling yourself short getting the G56. With all the torque management they use with the automatic transmissions I don't think you would ever miss it. If I remember right, you only get full torque in direct drive and maybe 3rd gear with the auto. Something you should keep in mind though on the G56 truck, if you ever add something to increase the power the clutch won't last very long. Otherwise it will be a reliable truck.
 

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I don't think you will be selling yourself short getting the G56. With all the torque management they use with the automatic transmissions I don't think you would ever miss it. If I remember right, you only get full torque in direct drive and maybe 3rd gear with the auto. Something you should keep in mind though on the G56 truck, if you ever add something to increase the power the clutch won't last very long. Otherwise it will be a reliable truck.
They actually use more torque management in the G56 trucks than the auto's because of the clutch.

While you're losing 140 ft-lbs of peak torque the usable torque with the G56 is still very good. It gets to 660 ft-lbs quite low in the rpm range and holds it for a long time. Overall both transmissions hold the 660 ft-lbs for a similar amount of time, the 68rfe just happens to peak slightly higher at 1600 rpm and then drops right off again. Here are the dyno graphs.

68rfe:


G56:
 

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I'm actually impressed with the 68RFE. Shifts fine and my tranny temps are pretty low. I like shifting, but the auto seems fine especially in rush traffic when you are creeping along.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is really good information. Thanks for sharing! Anyone out there have the manual transmission? Likes/Dislikes of the manual transmission? Any concerns with clutch wear pulling a travel trailer? I'd estimate GVWR will be around 6500 lbs.
 

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I used to pull a 5th wheel trailer with a 201 3500 with the 6.7 and G56. It was trouble free until I tried a programmer. The clutch started slipping in 5th and 6th gears. It did not take it long to ruin it once the slipping started.
 

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They actually use more torque management in the G56 trucks than the auto's because of the clutch.

While you're losing 140 ft-lbs of peak torque the usable torque with the G56 is still very good. It gets to 660 ft-lbs quite low in the rpm range and holds it for a long time. Overall both transmissions hold the 660 ft-lbs for a similar amount of time, the 68rfe just happens to peak slightly higher at 1600 rpm and then drops right off again. Here are the dyno graphs.

68rfe:


G56:
Brandon, I have seen those graphs in the past. I also read somewhere the torque curve it shows only applies in direct drive. The torque is limited to much less than that in the lower gears with the 68RFE. I don't know if the information is correct and I can't remember where I read it so I guess maybe it didn't happen.:smileup:
 

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From an availability standpoint, you will almost certainly have to order it if you want a manual. They are hard to come by.
 

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I put over 300,000 on my 2006 2500 diesel before I needed to replace the clutch. It hauled a carnival wagon around down south before I bought the truck at 200,000. I would have to say it had a good long life. I am still using the truck to haul bobcats and tractors I am hoping for 600,000 more miles:smiley_thumbs_up:
 

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Auto vs Manual

I'm actually impressed with the 68RFE. Shifts fine and my tranny temps are pretty low. I like shifting, but the auto seems fine especially in rush traffic when you are creeping along.
I have to agree with above.

Bad traffic would be terrible with a manual.

Gotten lazy over the years and am VERY happy with the auto.:wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the responses everyone. Availability is pretty good in the searches I've been doing. Hoping to be driving a 2014 2500 laramie mega cab with the G56 soon!
 

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auto vs. stick

With today's modern vehicles, there is no practical reason for choosing a manual transmission, other than "...you just like to shift". Whenever you trade that manual in, you'll get less for it. If you just sell it outright, you won't find many, if any, takers. No one can do a better job of manually selecting the best gear to be in, an auto can best you every time. All vehicle makers have long recommended an automatic for towing. Our grandfathers thought that stick saved gas, not true anymore, and maybe never was. I haven't seen a Ram with manual tranny before, but wouldn't the shifter require a pretty "long throw" to swap gears ? I will admit that there are some vehicles where m/t's seem to be the universal choice,...like jeeps, miatas, and high hp sports cars. Magazine writers for Road and Track, Motor Trend and their kin are all such baby whiners about the lack of a manual tranny....heck, they've even convinced Cadillac and Mercedes that there is a demand for m/t's. I seem to remember a Beach Boys song about "getting rubber in all four gears",....if that's your reason for wanting an m/t, then go for it.
 

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I'm not sure I agree that people aren't looking for a manual. On the older Cummins, the manuals are in high demand. Yes its a smaller market but that small market has a high demand, if that makes any sense.

Another option is to go with a one ton, single rear wheel and get the Asisn transmission. Its suppose to be very durable.
 

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I disagree Dancianne, a manual gives you more control. There are still some situations when an auto trans doesn't quite shift right, and a manual would be beneficial. Manuals are also cheaper to rebuild and maintain.
 

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There is no way I would get the manual unless all I was doing was highway towing with minimal shifting. My take is the 68RFE is optimized with the Cummins to provide fuel mileage. It's pretty impressive from my limited experience so far with it.

However, if someone like manual trannys, hey go for it. I'd rather have the torque.
 

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danicaine, guess i am one of those grandfathers and can assure you that back in the day, a manual would save gas. auto trns have come a long way. truck users, esp the HD diesel users are a different breed and a manual isn't going keep people away. i would have a manual in my 11 if it was available.
 

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manual and diesels

Yeah Huntergreen and Thunderhorse, I'll have to agree with you now that most folks who buy heavy trucks with a diesel (especially the Cummings) are going to want to swap gears themselves. A smaller but devoted group who wouldn't have it any other way.
 
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