Go Back   EcoModder Forum > Introductions
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-04-2021, 10:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 41

Matt Foley's worst nightmare - '09 Chevrolet Express 2500
Thanks: 12
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Just remember there were different versions of the Vortec 4800, so I'm not sure if the one fitted to your van had ever featured a manual even in Mexico....

...For me it's quite surprising to see so many Americans actually enjoying the manuals, while automatics have been prevalent there.
Yeah, I have the LY2 - I'll have to check if what was used in Mexico during those model-years.

--------

I think dealerships, (who are automakers' real customers), did a really good job selling Americans on automatics in the 20th century. More reasons for the car owner to come back to the dealer for services.

A less cynical explanation may be with our 'lazy liters'/large displacement motors, it's flatter power-band meant it's less critical if you're in the optimal gear. Also, since they're generally revving lower, with deeper/lower-pitched intake and exhaust noise, I think it's less unpleasant. That's completely subjective, but my old Firebird sounded fantastic humming along at 1800 rpm on the highway. Driving smaller displacements engines at similar engine and road speeds, I appreciate good sound deadening lol.

Another explanation may have to do with American car enthusiasts' preference for drag racing. Once you begin to modify a large V8, you're likely going to exceed the transmission's torque capacity. Once you get some good and bitey tires, you're probably going to ruin your rear differential. That gets expensive quickly - I think it's generally easier to find/build a beefy automatic.

Nonetheless, I always try to get a manual transmission in my cars when I can.

__________________


Last edited by livewire516; 04-04-2021 at 11:01 AM..
  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 04-04-2021, 12:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
JSH
AKA - Jason
 
JSH's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 2,069

Adventure Seeker - '04 Chevy Astro - Campervan
90 day: 17.3 mpg (US)

Dieselgate - '14 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI
90 day: 38.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 143
Thanked 1,193 Times in 810 Posts
Well don't do what I did. In my campervan conversion I lifted my Astro 2 inches, installed oversized tires, and put a rack on top to hold solar panels and carry a raft. (Picture below from yesterday while I was lifting the rear another inch)

I ended up lighter after the conversion than at start. My Astro was a passenger van and the rear bench seats, carpet, and pad are heavy. I pulled the interior, insulated with double-bubble foil insulation, and put in a plywood floor as a base. I don't have a toilet or grey water tank in mine. For the next campervan which will be for full-time RVing I going to use a Nature's Head composting toilet so I don't need a black water tank.

The biggest thing you can so is slow down. Even with the modifications for off-road use my Astro will still do 20 mpg on the highway at 65 mph. Increase that to 70 or 75 mph and the fuel economy plummets. I did a lot of research on expediter forums and there are people with your van getting 19 mpg fully loaded with 3 pallets running @ 65 mph.

Run your tire pressures on the high side - that is an easy 1-2 mpg. (I air down to 30 psi when I go offroad to reduce punctures and that drops my mileage on the return trip)

As to manuals - I'm a fan but not too sad that they are dying out. A reason for their demise you didn't mention is fuel economy. 5 to 6 speed manuals get lower fuel economy on the EPA tests than the 6 - 10 speed automatics.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6268.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	94.8 KB
ID:	30360
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to JSH For This Useful Post:
livewire516 (04-04-2021)
Old 04-04-2021, 12:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
freebeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: northwest of normal
Posts: 19,685
Thanks: 5,522
Thanked 6,472 Times in 5,203 Posts
Quote:
Another explanation may have to do with American car enthusiasts' preference for drag racing. Once you begin to modify a large V8, you're likely going to exceed the transmission's torque capacity.
Drag racers used to skip gears, because the drop-out in power during the shift became too large a fraction of the elapsed time.
__________________
.
Conclussion: a realization that smacks you upside the head
_________________

"Anything is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough" --AvE
_________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2021, 03:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
cRiPpLe_rOoStEr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Posts: 9,582
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1,137 Times in 999 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire516 View Post
I think dealerships, (who are automakers' real customers), did a really good job selling Americans on automatics in the 20th century. More reasons for the car owner to come back to the dealer for services.
Sure they're less dumbproof than manuals when it comes to maintenance procedures. I see many people claiming to prefer manuals because they can service it with fewer resources, and recently I even saw a man changing the clutch disc of a Peugeot 306 with improvised tools to lift the engine instead of jacking to lower the transmission.


Quote:
A less cynical explanation may be with our 'lazy liters'/large displacement motors
Just look at how longer it took for automatics to become closer to mainstream in other regions, not only due to the inherent cost and technical complexity of an automatic but also due to the fuel costs and tax structures which favored smaller engines.


Quote:
Another explanation may have to do with American car enthusiasts' preference for drag racing.
No wonder it's still quite usual to see the 2-speed PowerGlide retaining some cult-following among drag racers, even in other countries.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2021, 04:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 41

Matt Foley's worst nightmare - '09 Chevrolet Express 2500
Thanks: 12
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Well don't do what I did. In my campervan conversion I lifted my Astro 2 inches, installed oversized tires, and put a rack on top to hold solar panels and carry a raft. ....
....
For the next campervan which will be for full-time RVing I going to use a Nature's Head composting toilet so I don't need a black water tank.

5 to 6 speed manuals get lower fuel economy on the EPA tests than the 6 - 10 speed automatics.

Attachment 30360
Another Vandweller! Yeah, having never off-roaded, I don't know what I'm missing but if I do any suspension mods, it would all but certainly involve lowering the van, not raising it. One of the first things I plan to do is remove the commercial roof rack - I'll hold onto it, at least for a little while, but I don't haul much gear so right now it's just an aero penalty.

Haha, I bought a composting toilet before I even bought the van! It's a Separett, roughly comparable to the offering by Nature's Head in design and price.

I agree that for more mixed use vehicles, it's smarter to have more gears like the late model 8 and 10 speed autos. But since I really won't tow/haul much, I'm thinking I'll have the most to gain from a manual because of fewer driveline/parasitic losses, and the ease of being able to P&G. But at the end of the day, if I do it it'll just be because I like a having a manual transmission.
__________________

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2021, 04:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 41

Matt Foley's worst nightmare - '09 Chevrolet Express 2500
Thanks: 12
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
S
Just look at how longer it took for automatics to become closer to mainstream in other regions, not only due to the inherent cost and technical complexity of an automatic but also due to the fuel costs and tax structures which favored smaller engines.
Right, policy played a huge role.
__________________

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2021, 08:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
JSH
AKA - Jason
 
JSH's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 2,069

Adventure Seeker - '04 Chevy Astro - Campervan
90 day: 17.3 mpg (US)

Dieselgate - '14 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI
90 day: 38.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 143
Thanked 1,193 Times in 810 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire516 View Post
Another Vandweller! Yeah, having never off-roaded, I don't know what I'm missing but if I do any suspension mods, it would all but certainly involve lowering the van, not raising it. One of the first things I plan to do is remove the commercial roof rack - I'll hold onto it, at least for a little while, but I don't haul much gear so right now it's just an aero penalty.

Haha, I bought a composting toilet before I even bought the van! It's a Separett, roughly comparable to the offering by Nature's Head in design and price.

I agree that for more mixed use vehicles, it's smarter to have more gears like the late model 8 and 10 speed autos. But since I really won't tow/haul much, I'm thinking I'll have the most to gain from a manual because of fewer driveline/parasitic losses, and the ease of being able to P&G. But at the end of the day, if I do it it'll just be because I like a having a manual transmission.
Lifting or lowering an Express is difficult. The rear is simple - swap the axle over the leaf spring instead over it or use custom shackles. The front in the difficult part. All the lift kits use custom spindles - I suspect that is the only way to drop the front and keep the geometry. You could go with lower profile tires. That would drop the van but also raise RPMs which might require new gearing.

One of the reason I went with the Astro is because it is easy to lift. The front suspension, engine, and transmission in on a subframe that you can lift with just simple blocks. My lift kit was $225 and the same amount of lift on a full size van is about $2500. Before I lifted my Astro I was bottoming out the front bumper quite a bit offroad.

Those commercial ladder racks do catch a lot of air. I suspect you would have no trouble finding someone willing to buy it if you decided to get rid of it permanently. I decided to make my own low-profile rack with aluminum 80/20. I'll be adding a 3rd solar panel for a total of 300 watts shortly and shortening my 80/20 to fit. After that it will get a front spoiler. If I didn't need to carry rafts and boats I would have just mounted the panels to the roof directly.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2021, 07:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 41

Matt Foley's worst nightmare - '09 Chevrolet Express 2500
Thanks: 12
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Lifting or lowering an Express is difficult. The rear is simple - swap the axle over the leaf spring instead over it or use custom shackles. The front in the difficult part. All the lift kits use custom spindles - I suspect that is the only way to drop the front and keep the geometry. You could go with lower profile tires. That would drop the van but also raise RPMs which might require new gearing.

... the same amount of lift on a full size van is about $2500.

Those commercial ladder racks do catch a lot of air. I suspect you would have no trouble finding someone willing to buy it if you decided to get rid of it permanently. I decided to make my own low-profile rack with aluminum 80/20. I'll be adding a 3rd solar panel for a total of 300 watts shortly and shortening my 80/20 to fit. After that it will get a front spoiler. If I didn't need to carry rafts and boats I would have just mounted the panels to the roof directly.
Wow! Yeah, I hadn't looking into modifying the suspension yet. I doubt it'll ever become a priority.

I really don't know how I'm going to use the above roof space yet. Until then, it's coming off. But I can't lie: I'm seeing those roof rack mounted decks and I'm tempted!!
__________________

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2021, 08:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
cRiPpLe_rOoStEr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Posts: 9,582
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1,137 Times in 999 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire516 View Post
Right, policy played a huge role.
That's what most markets are all about. On a sidenote, I guess you might know automatic clutches used to be relatively popular in Europe, with systems such as the Saxomat being even available as a factory option on some models, while other systems entirely vacuum-operated (with a rudimentary electronic control) remained common among disabled drivers until some years ago. It's also worth to mention those single-clutch automated-manual transmissions, which in the U.S. are better known for their fitment to heavy-duty trucks while in Europe they used to be quite common on cars until at least 10 years ago instead of a conventional automatic or a dual-clutch AMT.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 09:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 41

Matt Foley's worst nightmare - '09 Chevrolet Express 2500
Thanks: 12
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
That's what most markets are all about. On a sidenote, I guess you might know automatic clutches used to be relatively popular in Europe, with systems such as the Saxomat being even available as a factory option on some models, while other systems entirely vacuum-operated (with a rudimentary electronic control) remained common among disabled drivers until some years ago. It's also worth to mention those single-clutch automated-manual transmissions, which in the U.S. are better known for their fitment to heavy-duty trucks while in Europe they used to be quite common on cars until at least 10 years ago instead of a conventional automatic or a dual-clutch AMT.
I did not know that! That's all very interesting.

I do know Ford brought over the AMT for their Focus starting around 2013. I've heard they've had to replace many while under warranty. I am curious if it said more about the manufacturing quality, or the way US residents tend to drive cars. All I know is that people I talk to here that have them really dislike the transmission.

__________________

  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Tags
camper, chevrolet, chevy, gmc, van

Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com