I prefer manuals, mainly because I like more control.
Normally much lower gearing with a granny gear 4 or 5 speed.
More control over gear range with less slippage.
Very strong and a solid mechanical connection to the drive axles.
4 speeds are cheap to replace.
Very dangerous on a failed hill climb.
Requires a bit of skill and intimate knowledge of gear range, engine RPM and wheel speed relationship to shift quickly in an off road situation.
Very heavy to take out and replace.
Not worth a damn without a hydraulic clutch.
I have always preferred a manual. I like the control it gives me. Due to back issues I have had to go to an automatic. After driving and wheeling with one for several years now I don't mind it, actually, I kind of like it.
For me it's about the same. I wheeled the 727 in my '84 Ramcharger for a long time and I got tired of the bit where you get against a rock and then give it some throttle, it starts to move, give it more throttle, the revs keep coming up and up and then you get enough torque built up to get over the rock it almost catapults you over and into whatever is on the other side. With my manual I just put it in low and granny gear and idle around at a nice crawl and only occasionally have to put it in second and give it some throttle to climb anything at any sort of speed. Sure if you get a little hung it will buck and jump around a bit which can feel pretty violent and there is always the worry of smoking the clutch but it just feels better for me personally.
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