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Someone posed this question on one of the facebook groups: If they offered a Canyon/ Colorado Duramax with a 5-6 speed manual transmission, would you buy it?

I marked MAYBE as my answer (YES, NO, MAYBE)

I know how to drive a manual and I am one of the younger generation (born in 1989), but I was raised around agriculture, so I was kind of forced to learn how to drive them later in life for work with our big trucks and some of our work trucks with manuals. I did start off with a 1990 Honda Civic with a 5 speed and then later got a 2000 Honda CR-V with a 5 speed before finally staying with automatics as of late.

In cars, I liked the manual, but driving our work trucks with them (7.3 Powerstroke Diesels btw), I just don't care for them. Especially when you have to haul something. Racing around on back roads in a car, yes. Driving one in a big lumbering truck, not so much. I know our trucks are smaller, but I still don't think I would like it.

What about you?
Absolutely!!!
 

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I would have bought the manual.
Statistics say there is only 1% of us left that would want the manual.
I hate automatic transmissions. There are times when towing you can force the truck to run up a hill while wide open without the RPM going through the ceiling. Always find automatic transmissions are to quick to down shift. At least on gas vehicles any way.
My four previous trucks were manuals.
My wife’s Outback is a 6 speed manual. Now I do understand why most want an automatic. Especially after my trip down the east coast of the USA. Where I thought for sure was going to destroy the clutch on the Outback.
You guys are at a turning point that suggests driving is coming to an end. Spending that much time in stop and go traffic is absolutely crazy.

Rob
 

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I know this is old but the colorado diesel comes with a manual in Australia. Although they derate the little duramax for it, torque goes down to 324ft lbs, I'm thinking clutch maybe. Although the little dmax makes 200hp in the land down under as well. I don't think itd be a very hard venture mechanically to make it happen. If you look under the dash you can see the exact cut out and mount for the clutch pedal on the firewall. Although autos have come along way, I believe a 6 speed manual would push a diesel ZR2 into the 30s on the highway easily.
 

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I can see the need for an automatic for those that suffer in heavy traffic
Or the lack of skill in today’s young drivers.
But
I hate automatic transmissions
They are a weak link and an added cost of ownership to the truck.
Especially once you get some miles on it.

Manual transmission for me....... pls....
 

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I would have absolutely bought a manual trans if I could have. If someday one comes available I’d even convert my auto.

I converted my Land Rover Discovery to 5 speed (and diesel), as well as other cars over many years. The 90s era Discovery was largely considered a throw away vehicle at around 150,000 miles, except the rare 5 speed stripped down models. I have a rusty 5 speed Discovery in my driveway right now I purchased just for the 5 speed parts for another conversion. I drove over 700 miles to get it.

Heck, 25 years from now when the Australian models are importable I might bring one over. I’ll be really old then, however. At 75 I might prefer an automatic.

Additionally, I have driven big trucks with manuals, even fire trucks. Those were not enjoyable experiences. For everything but very large trucks, I prefer a manual transmission.
 

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Heck Yes I would go for the manual, if it was available. I am still convinced the 6L50 will be/ is the weak link on this truck. If they offered a manual, I wouldn't have the slightest concerns in reliability. Clutches are cheap and maintenance is extremely low for manuals. Finally, the manual would be a crowd pleaser, for those of you trying to maximize fuel economy. All of my VW TDIs have been manuals because the fuel economy is 5 + MPG better and the transmission service interval is 150k miles, compared to 30k on the DSG. Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Heck Yes I would go for the manual, if it was available. I am still convinced the 6L50 will be/ is the weak link on this truck. If they offered a manual, I wouldn't have the slightest concerns in reliability. Clutches are cheap and maintenance is extremely low for manuals. Finally, the manual would be a crowd pleaser, for those of you trying to maximize fuel economy. All of my VW TDIs have been manuals because the fuel economy is 5 + MPG better and the transmission service interval is 150k miles, compared to 30k on the DSG. Just my two cents.
As far as the MPG gains go, I don't know that a modern auto would do any worse than a manual. I believe that modern automatics have advanced far enough that they outdo manual transmissions on fuel economy because the manufacturer puts a lot of research into trying to figure out what transmission pairs best with the engine to maximize mpgs, hp & torque. I believe this is the reason that Honda no longer offers a manual in the regular Civic models: the Si still comes with a manual (actually, I believe the current Si's are ONLY available in a manual for enthusiast reasons). Their automatic transmission is far more refined than a manual and can hit the right shift points each time. Ford, RAM and GM all abandoned the manual transmission in their diesel trucks because their HD auto transmissions were far superior on maximizing hp & torque coming out of the engine. Here's the article I was reading on that recently https://www.drivingline.com/articles/what-killed-off-the-manual-transmission/

Not that a manual wouldn't be nice, but I think I'll just stick with the automatic in the truck. My 2010 Civic still has a 5 speed so I still get practice with that ;)
 

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@Burgess159 I will agree with you that modern Automatics have come a long way from the days of the old Hydramatics and turboglides. I would be in complete agreeance, if our trucks had any version similar to the Allison 1000. However, we don't get an allison. Instead, we get a re-purposed camaro transmission slapped into a truck that boasts big towing capabilities in a small package. Add-in a worse than usual trans tune from factory, and you have a slipping slopping mess, that has burned up more than a few of the 8L series torque converters (and presumably 6L50s as well). I added a GDE trans tune two years ago, which eliminated most all of my complaints with the 6L50. However, after roughly 10K miles towing 5000-6000 lbs trailer, I already feel her starting to go. This coupled with needing several transmissions rebuilt over the years (other trucks), I will take the manual over any 6L or 8L Hydramatic transmission, any day of the week. The only caveat, other than an Allison, the vote is still out on the new Ford/ GM 10 speeds but time will tell. My assumption, the torque converter is likely to have some of the same issues as we have seen with the 8L series.

I do appreciate the article you linked, it was a good read and I recommend it to everyone. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
@Dmax Dan I totally agree about the Allison option. Wish they had something made by Allison in our trucks :(

For your truck transmission issues though: have you changed the transmission fluid and how many miles are on your truck? I don't tow much; our 6 x 12 utility trailer is all I tow when I do and it never gets loaded down very heavy at all. I do went with hACKman Customs tunes right at a year ago and at the same time (46k miles) went and changed out the transmission fluid and rear diff fluid with AMSOIL fluids. Didn't have any issues with the transmission before that I recall, but I felt it was time to change fluid. I now have almost 78k miles and still have no issues with either. I plan to change the trans fluid again at 90k (and do the front diff).

Might be worth changing fluid if you haven't, and maybe use a quality fluid too.
 

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@Burgess159 yeah I stick to the severe service maintenance schedule, did all fluids at 45k (or close to). I am at 80K now and I have been considering a two times transmission fluid change. I was going to stick with the synthetic Dexron VI but do one change for around 1k and then do a second, with filter and possibly a deep sump trans pan...... I am still trying to decide though. I am going to create a separate thread on a side topic, but I have found a crack in my transfer case while doing normal maintenance :(. More to follow on that though.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
@Dmax Dan I did the 2 method fluid change on my 2004 LLY Duramax with the Allison. I wanted to make sure I got the most old fluid out, so I did a double drain. I drained both the same day. Just drove it around for a while at operating temp and then changed it again. I thought about doing it with the Canyon, but I haven't had issues with the AMSOIL fluid, so I'll probably just do a single drain (and possibly filter change) again here at 90k.
 

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@Burgess159 I know the Amsoil was decades ahead of the Dexron III, and earlier, that essentially broke many of transmissions. Do you feel it is still ahead of Dexron VI? I was thinking about trying Amsoil from all of the good reviews I have heard, but I also know that a lot of their hype is from being the first synthetic fluid back when Dexron and Mercon ATF would start burning up at 200 degrees or below.

Not to change the topic, just curious.
 

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@Dmax Dan I don't know enough about the fluids to tell if it is better than the Dexron VI. I do know that others who have changed out their fluids because they have had transmission issues have changed their fluid with Dexron VI again and have ended up having shuttering issues again a few thousand miles (maybe more like 20k miles or so) later. There is one individual on here who has changed his fluid 2-3 times and still has issues I believe. It has alleviated the shutter issue temporarily with the trans, or torque converter (not sure which exactly is giving him issues) but the problem comes back. I changed mine the one time at 46k with AMSOIL OE Fuel-Efficient ATF (found here https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/transmission-fluid/automatic/oe-fuel-efficient-synthetic-automatic-transmission-fluid/?code=OTLQT-EA) and haven't had any issues and our truck is at 78k miles now.

I will add, I did tune the truck with ECM and TCM tunes at the same time, so my transmission shifting has been updated. However, I believe that individual I mentioned above also is tuned (by another provider). So, maybe it's a combination of both. But, again, I can't say we have had any issues so far with AMSOIL.

If you do decide to go with AMSOIL, and you don't have a local dealer to get you the stuff, you can order it online. If you have any interest in their other products, then it would greatly benefit you to just become one of their Preferred Customers. I did the 6-month option for $10 originally and then I went ahead with the 1 year for $20 when it expired. One time fee, gets you 25% off all products, earns you points/ $ to use in the future and free shipping if you order is over $100 (which is easy to do o_O )
 

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This is my first auto trans since I started driving (~25 years), and while I love my truck I miss driving a manual trans. If there was anyone that offered a conversion option I would totally consider it.
 

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A nice slick operating 6 speed manual with the diesel would be awesome. Our trucks are already different with the diesel anyway. A diesel with a stick in a mid size truck? I would do it in a minute. Bonus - less chance of theft, as most people are by definition worthless and weak, as they are unable to drive a stick.

While I am dreaming here, would also love to have an actual God fearing testosterone filled transfer case lever to engage 4x4, instead of the lame bump it with your knee dial on the dash. If we gotta have a dial, at least make it look manlier, and stick it in the center console ;)
 
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