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Discussion Starter #1
We know that at its heart, this is a manual transmission. Single dry clutch disk and shift actuators not much different than you'd find in most any manual transmission out there. The difference being that the clutch engagement and the shifting are controlled by hydraulics managed by the computer. This doesn't make it a fast shifting demon, mostly because it still has that single clutch, not a dual clutch, setup.


Its described as feeling though someone is there, doing the shifts in a manual transmission for you. At least, if you leave it in 'Auto'.


So do you drive it as a manual transmission, with the shifter in Manual mode? Maybe a bit of a hybrid, with some manipulation of the throttle pedal to coerce a shift here and there?


How well does it handle downshifts in Automatic mode? Thinking of accelerating on the flats from a moderate speed, or hauling a load up a hill and needing to downshift. Does it go down through the gears when coming to a stop from speed? Or does it hang out in a higher gear, then just put the clutch in as you slow?




Pardon the ramblings... its probably at least a month til mine arrives, and I just really want to go drive a diesel PM again. Tempted to drive ~70 miles to a dealer that has one, just to get some time in one again.
 

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I work for Paul Sherry Conversion Vans. We built a 9 passenger EcoDiesel conversion van and I had a chance to drive it around our lot a little bit.

Granted, I have not driven a EcoDiesel ProMaster on the roads yet, but I can say that I like the transmission. It reminded me a lot of the SMG (single clutch) transmission in the old V10 BMW M6.

I wish it would creep forwards when you lift off of the brake....But I could see myself getting used to it relatively quickly.
 

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I go back and forth btwn using manual & auto. I'm a diehard stick shift fan, yet I use auto sometimes. One reason is that it seems a little smoother downshifting when coming to a stop. Yes, in either man or auto mode it downshifts when coming to a stop. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that feature, it's wearing the clutch more than necessary, but perhaps it's the only way to do it automatically. I pop it into neutral sometimes to avoid this.
It does downshift pretty smoothly when you accelerate. I use manual mode to control the downshifting & keep it in a higher gear when I don't really need the extra HP that the lower gear would give. Sometimes it will downshift on a downhill, usually unnecessarily, so I'll use manual mode to override that. Overall, I like it.
 

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I love this transmission and engine. Never owned a diesel before. The guy who drove it into the bay for my safety inspection, soon had a bunch of gear heads around the van , he even noticed the tranny getting it into the bay !


I am driving with no load in the van. Sometimes I sort of play the throttle when it shifts . It likes to rev low , but at different speeds once it has picked a gear it stays there without shifting up and down much, that is a good thing. Once into sixth on the highway it stays there.
I have played around with manual mode while looking at the instant fuel economy reading, it seems to be in the right gear for maximum fuel economy. I just leave it D it seems to be revving so low , but I am used to gas engines that make power higher in the rpm range.
 

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I'm thinking of longevity. If we drive enough we will need a rebuild on the gasser's automatic and that is going to be spendy. Lets face it, the full auto was built for a minivan that pulls a vehicle of 1/2 the weight of a loaded tradsman's van. It may have been upgraded but it is essentially a mini van transmission and I don't mean that in a bad way just a lesser stressed job. I have had several conversations with a fellow who tech supervises for freightliner and asked about robotized manuals. His observation was the clutch managed by the computer will last twice as long as a human operated one. We'll soon know. I believe clutches are not life-of-vehicle devices (like brakes) and will be replaced. Automatics can be. The M40 robotized is used in much heavier trucks so it may see very long life in the PM.

To get back on thread my test drive showed me it is a little different but works great. I felt that low was LOW and the jump to second was slow and quite a jump. Otherwise I loved it. I can't wait for mine to arrive!
 

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....cut.... The M40 robotized is used in much heavier trucks so it may see very long life in the PM. ....cut....
Like what vehicle?

I keep seeing similar references but can't follow. Isn't the PM robotized manual transmission for front wheel drive? What other vehicles are also FWD and "much heavier"?
 

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The ropotized M40 is also used in a longitudinal transmission as well in the Fuso trucks and by Iveco both building ton trucks and larger. I didn't go back and check this but am speaking from memory here so others can add.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
...the clutch managed by the computer will last twice as long as a human operated one.
I've read the similar comment in a few places.


I was thinking about it this weekend as I was driving my '99 Audi. I got the car at 110k, it now has 196k miles, and its still on the factory clutch. :D If a computer and hydraulics can do twice as good as me... 400k miles sounds good!


(yes, I know... its an apples to peanuts comparison, but still... kinda fun)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One day of driving the new van, about 100 miles in town, a bit of freeway, and some longer hills.

I've come to prepare myself for the 1-2 shift, especially when making left turns. Seems to happen right in the middle of the intersection. On the other hand, I've learned that it doesn't start off in 1st unless you come to a complete stop; even a barely moving rolling stop and it will start off again in 2nd, that's nice.

Regarding 2nd, and 3rd, it seems to like to stay in those gears for a bit, revving to 3k, even with light-moderate throttle. Seems more noticeable when the engine is still warming up.

Then once out of 3rd it likes to move right on through 4th and go to 5th. Really. It was dropping into 5th at 35-40mph, putting itself at ~1300rpm. Odd...


I wonder if it will smooth out or 'learn' a bit after awhile.


I played with manual shifting, and it works. Even got to where I had the throttle timing right to make it nice and smooth. Just seemed like it was more effort than needed since leaving it in Drive works so well.
 

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....cut....

Regarding 2nd, and 3rd, it seems to like to stay in those gears for a bit, revving to 3k, even with light-moderate throttle. Seems more noticeable when the engine is still warming up.

.....cut....
Since lower gears are typically spaced a little wider apart on most vehicles that are designed properly, I'd expect it to hold the previous gear a little longer so that RPMs don't drop too low after the shift. As you go up in gears and they become closer it isn't as much of an issue.
 

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It's definitely geared for load and yet it still has the tow setting. I wish that it had an economy setting! When traveling without load I manually shift at the first opportunity. It allows a shift as soon as you top 1500 rpm on each gear. It's silky smooth when operated properly without load. Too bad you have to do it manually.
 

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I've come to prepare myself for the 1-2 shift, especially when making left turns. Seems to happen right in the middle of the intersection. On the other hand, I've learned that it doesn't start off in 1st unless you come to a complete stop; even a barely moving rolling stop and it will start off again in 2nd, that's nice.
hear you can find lots of things,
i suggest you for your question you have to consult any other expert,
i have no knowledge about your query ,
sorry for that .

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