stick or auto in the desert


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What about a diesel? J/k had to throw that in the mix.(auto for the turbo lag)

hit it hard


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Get the best of both worlds.....sequential shift six speed all the way. ;-)


"I started out with nothing and still have most of it left"


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Would a 400hp. small block mated to a TH400 and 4.88 gears be ok w/ 37's.

Hemet Off-Road Enthusiasts


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I think tommy used to run 6.50 with the 35's on the short truck, but that had way more power, you will need something bigger, bfg should have a chart on it web I think.

Do we have a rule book? A rule book, sir?
You know, a book with rules in it.


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if your refering to bradley, everybody in CORR is running 5.83 or greater. most Pro2 and sporty2 are 6.20 to 6.50 depending on track, and engine config.

if not, now you know anyway.

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Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.


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Gaa who in their right mind would want to use an auto in racing?! WTF! I love my manual 5 speed over any auto. Any time of the week. But nooo us lazy Americans don't want to use the manual it is too hard. But oh look we have an auto transmission for all of you pouch moneys. All those auto transmission's make me sick.



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Aparently lots of people do. Find a manual that can handle over 800hp and be reliable. Look in any trophy truck- almost all autos, and besides you can manually shift them. I sure as hell wouldn't want to take my hand off the wheel to shift going 120+ in baja, but thats just me.

97 Ranger 4x4
02 CR125


Active Member
Find a manual that can handle over 800hp and be reliable

How many automatics can do this??? with that much hp either trannie would have to be beefed up. i would think the heat and constant rpms would cook an auto in the desert.

and what gear do you shift into at 120 MPH?


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Tell you what. You come up with a stick that I can shift and start without a clutch (I can't move anything below my chest) and I'll run it. Oh, yeah, and it has to be less than a junkyard C4.



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manny esquerras v-6 ranger in class 7 had to go to an automatic transmission because they could not keep clutches in the manual trans which was a t-5.
it was the 4.5 v-6 @410 hp.


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hey! that truck says jack johnson lol !

my question is ... why not use an automatic ? the only reason i can come up with is "power robbing" .

i saw an in car video of Robby G back in the "rough riders" era and hes doing 100 + over huge crowded jumps in mexico and was constantly shifting from 2nd to 3rd(blasting through mudholes as well) . automatics hold up fairly well in the desert , id say the broken transmission ratio is about the same between autos and manuals , although i remember Herbst going through something like 14 trannies in either 99 or 2000 .


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If your not running with the big dogs the automatic will work just fine. The bottom line is if your running a TT that is "in the hunt" the automatics are border line and every TT team is fighting transmission woes. We have done everything we can for the Herbst T-400 in the truggy and it just isn't enough. Were just out of design options for it. Every other TT team I know of constantly has transmission problems with the automatics. The "automatic scene" has kind of maxed itself out with the TT's.


"I started out with nothing and still have most of it left"


Dave_G and anyone else that wants to chime in...

I'm curious to know if the AT guys are having problems in all areas or specific ones. Are the engines just capable of too much power or is it the shock loads from all the jumps/wheelspin/landings? I know a drag race transmission doesn't see nearly the same amount of use before they are rebuilt but the loads they face are just as great. Just curious as to what the weakest link is. How about you get them to go on a diet and run less power? Would having 100 less HP or LB FT mean the difference between life and death for these transmissions? Or... would more torque and less RPM's be your goal? In otherwords, if you were turning these things at a slower rate would they stay together any longer?

Last but not least... what do you think will happen if and when teams start running the larger tires? Is that going to require mucho $$$ to beef up the current vehicles?



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Re:". Are the engines just capable of too much power or is it the shock loads from all the jumps/wheelspin/landings? "

Both. Ask any racer if he'd like more horse power and the answer will always be yes. In any kind of racing that's the name of the game. As the cars are getting faster and the suspension better the drive trains are seeing more abuse. Putting a car on a diet would be great except it may not work. The reason the cars get heavy is that they don't work and parts have to be made larger and stronger to become more reliable.

Take bypass shocks for example. Put a set of King 4.0's on your car instead of some small little Rancho 6000 and tell me the difference. The Kings weigh a lot more than the Ranchos and will increase the vehicle weight but I'll bet the car handles better and is faster which in turn is harder on the drive train. Another issue has more to do with the drivers than the vehicle. Some drivers have the tallent to dance a car across the desert with almost no abuse on the vehicle and some just mash the pedal to the floor and run into everything in front of them.

Re: "what do you think will happen if and when teams start running the larger tires?"

You'll probably see a lot more failures of front spindles and ball joints and if they don't run the new Chrisman ring and pinion their probably doomed. Unsprung weight will also increase so some re-tuning of the shocks will probably be in order also.

Whoops, there goes the trucks getting heavier. ;-)


"I started out with nothing and still have most of it left"


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Amen Brother,I currently learning this the hard way.Parts that would never fail for years on my buggy go maybe one or two races on the TT.The only thing that makes it worth it is driving one,the ride quality,performance,and fun factor a buggy will never match.I was done racing til I got a ride in Damen Jefferies truck and that all it took.Also I know of one person who's working on a full race 4 speed auto tramsmission for trucks that should be much stronger and won't cost 6 digits to buy and won't need a computer system to make it go.With all the factory money mostly gone their's really only one,maybe two teams that are willing to spend large dollars to R&D something.I hope this new transmission works,it will allow many of us to take the egg off our right foot.