From the Publisher
November 2019 Issue
On the one hand, manual transmissions have slowly become less available as automatics, CVTs and DCTs have been adopted in response to changing customer preferences and fuel economy requirements. That said, the venerable third pedal is still available for passenger cars both domestically and on a number of import nameplates. One notable standby missing a manual shift option for 2020 is the Corvette. Wow!
For the domestic name plates, eight vehicles will be available from Ford (Mustang), FCA (Dodge Challenger and three Jeep models), and GM’s Cadillac CT4/CT5, Chevy Camaro and Chevy Spark. European imports account for another 15 models while Asian imports will offer a total of 25 models (not all available in the U.S.)
Offering manual rebuilding and/or R&R can help fill the bays and keep a retail shop profitable. Like any transmission work, consumers for manual services typically think of that work with about the same level of enthusiasm as for a root canal.
However, in addition to replacing manual clutches and work on transmissions and transfer cases, the shop offering repair of, or specializing in, manual units should be alert to a market segment that wants to spend money improving the performance of a vehicle. These folks are to manuals what the performance diesel segment is to the automatic unit. Opting for the performance and feel of a manual transmission all but pre-qualifies a consumer for a performance upgrade. This may be anything from a specialty clutch to a more robust unit. The good news is this is a chosen upgrade rather than an unexpected and unappreciated vehicle expense.
In this issue we draw on the expertise of long-time Transmission Digest manuals topic editor Mike Weinberg, who explores technical tips and repair procedures for FCA’s Magna Powertrain transfer case found on 2011 and up Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. Also find a listing of companies who are supplying units and parts to support manual transmission repair.