Why no love for autos?

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Why no love for autos?

#1 Post by sahtuning2000 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:32 pm

I have read a few comments about owners changing there 2000 autos to manuals,why is it that there seems to be a certain amount of unloving for the autos.
My MK1 is an auto and YES i must admit i would prefer a manual,my reason being that with a manual you can of course play with the gears more and a CW sports exhaust sounds stunning in manual form,but a manual does have its issues as we know,clutch,slave,master cylinder issues etc etc,but of course autos have there problems,oil leaks,flexiplate cracking(don,t know if this is that common)lose of gears,i wanted to know what owners think of there autos and any tips they have,driving habits,servicing and do you have an auto that you believe makes the original roadtest figures seem a touch slow....think a 0-60 was about 15 secs,mine seems alot quicker....

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Re: Why no love for autos?

#2 Post by tony » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:49 am

I've got auto's on my 2 BMW's and love them. I've yet to find a BW on a Triumph that is smooth changing and not jerky.
For this reason, over the years, I've converted 3 to Manual/ Drive. The 2500 that I've had for over 20 years I've had overhauled a couple of years ago. Now like a new one . I put it in the car as I found it out of a wreck over 15 years ago. Gears and syncro's good Basically just had to replace bearings and one worn shaft.
That's why I really don't have love for Auto's. :roll:
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Re: Why no love for autos?

#3 Post by JoyOfSix » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:23 pm

Personally love autos. wouldn't have anything else for my daily driver. Why would you? No-one would consider these days buying a decent car that didn't have power steering, electric windows, central locking - electric starter motor even, so why this anachronism of manually changing gears is perpetuated is beyond belief! ;-)
The BW 35 in my Kiwi 2500 changes smoothly enough; it seems to be the lack of longer legs on motorways that is the main issue. Towards this end I have just installed a ZF 4 speed (albeit mated to a different prime mover) in the hope that relaxed cruising may be achieved.

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Re: Why no love for autos?

#4 Post by Dave B » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:09 pm

I have one of each, but unfortunately they are the wrong way round as far as I'm concerned!
My 2500 is manual overdrive, modified to give overdrive on 2nd gear as well, and I really enjoy driving it, it goes well, sounds good and looks good (imo).
The 2000, however is auto, and is a much better car condition wise, but not in the same league as the manual car performance wise, including fuel consumption. This I put down to the power-sapping characteristics of the auto box, and the fact that there's not a lot to start with from a dome top piston 2000 engine!
Ideally a change is needed, a swap to man o/d or upgrade to a 2500 engine. I think the engine change is easier and probably more likely to happen, but I'll need to find a known good unit first.
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Re: Why no love for autos?

#5 Post by johnnydog » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:00 pm

My modern cars (or daily drivers as many call them) are all (sorry, I have more than one🙄) autos.
I also have several Vauxhall Omegas - I think the V6 version is by far the best engine (in 2.6 and 3.2 form), and mated with an auto box results in effortless mile munching, combined with a high level of comfort. The manual versions (in my opinion) are hard work to drive and the gear change/ box is not suited to them at all.
We also have two diesel SUV's in our 'fleet' at home which are both autos and are a pleasure to drive. One I use to tow a heavy trailer, which it does effortlessly which may not be quite as effortless with the manual version despite the towing weights being stated as higher by the manufacturer.
An auto needs to have a few 'horses' under the bonnet to make it enjoyable to drive; small engined autos are lethargic and not a nice place to be in, in my opinion.
I have two auto Triumphs out of the six - a 2000 Mk1 and a 2.5PI. The 2000 is quite a pleasant drive - its low mileage so it drives as it was intended, but on the motorway it purrs at 70mph which initially surprised me. I need to try the 2.5 PI auto at towing before I make judgement (it's a 125bhp rather than the earlier 132bhp), but as long as any Triumph car is presentable and and in good order, I drive and enjoy them for what they are, whether manual or auto, not expecting modern day performance out of them!
The rest are manuals which I do prefer, but I wouldn't consider changing an auto to manual, especially if it is a genuine low mileage car. Yet, I can see Dave's point of view because his 2000 is so lacking in power that it takes some of the enjoyment out of driving it! The performance in comparison with my 1970 2000 is totally the opposite - it pulls well and is eager. The performance is mainly down to the engine rather than totally down to the auto box sapping the performance.
When I had my Stag, it was auto and was great to drive, but then we are getting back to the point that, in my opinion, bigger engines are generally better in an auto to help overcome some of the power loss from the auto box / torque converter.
The best ever performing car of all my Triumphs - both past and present, was my 1972 132bhp 2.5 PI manual.
But, all in all, I prefer manual Triumphs rather than autos, and autos over a manual in a 'modern'.
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Re: Why no love for autos?

#6 Post by sahtuning2000 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:28 pm

Good comments,i do think a manual 2000 is a nicer car to drive and has more potential to take more aggressive driving,BUT an auto which drives well and the mechanics of the engine etc are in good tune is a nice cruiser,i love driving mine along the seafront enjoying the sun(when we have some!)and not worrying about changing up/down the gears,it goes well aswell when asked,yes of course no modern day auto with say 6 gears,but it can hold gears well in auto form and keeps up with the speed limits,its been an auto for 52 years soon so why change it now?John of course has many correct points he makes,i used to own 3.0/3.5 V6 Renaults and they were all autos,but not all very reliable in auto form....

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Re: Why no love for autos?

#7 Post by Mike Stevens » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:05 am

I've only ever had 1 Triumph auto - a late 'S' estate although I did put a PI camshaft in it. With just the 3 gears (and no torque converter lockup) it always seemed a bit breathless at higher speeds to me. I ran an auto 4.0l Jaguar for some years and that was a delight to drive. 'Grace, Pace and Space' was certainly true but of course the modern electronic autobox was well suited to the engine being a 4 speed with torque converter lock-up. I've also had auto Volvos, but again they were bigger engine cars.

My preference in a Triumph would be a manual overdrive box over a standard auto, but the fitting of a modern (mechanical) ZF box, as is becoming quite common in Stag circles, seems to transform the car. But there again, you have the torque converter lock-up.

My current 'manual' car is a Discovery 2 with manual 5-speed box. That 'box is nothing like as smooth as a Triumph one, so maybe an auto would have been a better bet. That car is likely to change soon for possibly a Range Rover or maybe another Jaguar - definitely with an autobox!

So, maybe the possible dislike of the standard (BW) autoboxes in a Triumph is more to do with the box than the car.

Just my thoughts.

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Re: Why no love for autos?

#8 Post by Charles H » Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:30 pm

Agree with all the above. The Jag auto is a very good place to be, but I find the BW auto in the Triumph means that the revs on long trips are just too high! Travelling the Stewart Highway at 85mph was quite loud! (in the days of no limit in the NT).
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Re: Why no love for autos?

#9 Post by Jonathan Lewis » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:59 pm

As an aside, the first Borg-Warner box in common use in the UK (the DG of 1948) actually did start life (for Studebaker in the US) with a top-gear lock-up feature. It was apparently chosen for adoption by Jaguar in preference to the contemporary Cadillac Hydramatic - as then used by Rolls-Royce - largely due to this facility which, in association with BW's use of a torque converter rather than a fluid coupling, gave performance and economy comparable with the four-speed Hydramatic but with arguably better operating refinement. In the event, however, BW dropped the lock-up feature very soon after (quite possibly before UK production started)...

IMHO, the BW35/65 were fairly good for their time, but having only three forward gears to play with is something of a limitation under modern traffic conditions. Contemporary road tests of BW-fitted Triumphs in both 2000 and 2.5PI form were pretty complimentary, but I'd imagine that the need for combining rapid off-the line acceleration and relaxed high-speed cruising was considerably less than it is today. For some years I ran an XJ6 with a BW66 (the uprated version of the 65 used on late-model Triumphs) and found it a delight, but that was with 4.2 litres and a 3.07 rear axle ratio, which resulted in similar top-gear performance to that of a manual/overdrive 2.5PI...

As with others, my personal preference remains with the manual/overdrive setup, but I don't think that I'd reject (or necessarily convert) a good automatic Triumph. Also, in a long, slow-moving tailback on a dark wet night, the more relaxed driving style of an autobox can have a certain attraction!

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Re: Why no love for autos?

#10 Post by Clifford Pope » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:00 am

JoyOfSix wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:23 pm
No-one would consider these days buying a decent car that didn't have power steering, electric windows, central locking - electric starter motor even, so why this anachronism of manually changing gears is perpetuated is beyond belief! ;-)
Actually I'd willingly dispense with most of those features (apart from electric starter motor, obviously. :) )

Power steering nowadays is too invasive, and for me takes the relaxation out of driving a small car. The self-centring effect is too strong but not very precise, over-correcting too easily. A good test is to let go of the wheel when straightening up from a turn - the steering should centre progressively and smoothly, and then stop when straight, not do an oversteer.

Electric windows are OK, but the modern kind that wind all the way up or down at one touch are irritating. It's also frustrating that the window will only wind if the ignition is on, needing the driver to be present. Why can't passengers be trusted to use the windows?

Central locking is useful, until it goes wrong, but remote locking is to me pointless and simply increases vulnerability to theft.

Anyway, manual gearboxes are automatic, aren't they? No experienced driver ever has to "think" about changing gear - the process is automatic.
It's like a healthy person breathing - you have complete freedom to stop or time your breathing, if you really want to, but normally you just let your brain control it automatically (ie manually). :)

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