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V6 6-Speeds, are you stock, or did you mod for more comfortable accel./shift?

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:28 AM   #1
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V6 6-Speeds, are you stock, or did you mod for more comfortable accel./shift?

So, I have my V6 6-speed on the way. Have never driven the 6-speed before, but the V6 auto felt...slow...so I decided to go with a 6-speed for more control.

However, a lot of Tacoma owners say the 6-speed feels terrible to them.

6-speeders who dislike their system, how exactly does it feel and what are you disliking?

6-speeder who absolutely love their system, are you running stock, have you felt a difference between your 6-speed and another, did you mod and THEN love your system? What does it feel like and what are you loving?

I do plan to tow about 4,500-5,000lbs at times, but for the most part this will be my highway driver to-from place of employment. I also paid the transfer fee, so I'm a little invested in this configuration but freaking out that maybe I made a mistake on a 6-speed? My only experience with a manual so far has been my husband's I4 5-speed, so is the 6-speed something I can grow to love out of my ignorance of anything better, or is it really just. that. bad.?

DISCUSS!!!
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:36 AM   #2
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Go with a short throw shifter, either URD or the TRD. That made all the difference in the world.

My biggest complaint is the ECU throttle control. When the gas is let off and the clutch depressed the ECU holds the throttle above idle which can take some getting used to, especially coming from older manuals. I guess its related to Emissions controls but I am hoping someone develops a flash to eliminate it. Some people comment on first gear being too low but I happen to like it and skip shifting quickly gets you to your cruise RPM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:43 AM   #3
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The Tacoma MT does kinda suck. That said, there are worse transmissions and a shitty manual is still better than an automatic. I've grown to love it, though I still haven't mastered clutchless downshifting yet.

I think they changed something on the tranny for the 2012 - it has a much different feel. Since it's supposed to be the same tranny, I gotta wonder if they changed some bushings or something. Or maybe it's just my truck, and the rest still stir like oatmeal. Anyway, my wife even admits is much better to drive.

But I like it. It's quirky and hard but it's still way easier than double clutching my dads old ford with three speed column shifter.

Some tips - you can start in second, most times, without issue. Upshifting without the clutch is stupid easy once you get the timing down. The throttle following means give it a half second before letting the clutch out. I routinely skip gears to get to cruising speed faster.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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x2 on the ECU BS. I went with a TRD short shifter and love it. Reverse is a little harder to get in to but well worth it.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:43 AM   #5
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Mine is stock...

and I absolutely love it. Definitely the smoothest shifting I've ever had. 6 speeds gives you lots of options depending on speed. I have had none of the issues I've heard about here. 2010 DC 4WD with 21k and no clutch problems either. Mine must have been built on a Wednesday.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
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I have the stock shifter and 6 speed and have no complaints. I don't think the clutch is mushy at all or the throw is too long but I think I'm in the minority. I think it's useful to ask people what they are comparing it to though.

My reference points;
  • 84 Yota 4x4 5 spd - nice mechanical feel but a lot more vibration than new vehicles, can't remember what the clutch felt like
  • 97 Acura Intergra GSR 5 spd - short throw, good shift feel, thought the clutch was mushy when i first got it but way better than my Mazda
  • 04 Mazda 6 5 spd - now this is a mushy clutch and mediocre shifting, I really wish I had an automatic on this car, the clutch has shuddered since it was new
  • 07 Tacoma 6 spd - the most precise clutch of my last 3 vehicles, only the 84 Yota had a better shifting feel, longest throw of all 4 but it's a truck. I do kayak a lot though so I'm used to reaching forward WAY more than most. Maybe that's why I don't think it's a long throw (lol, I just had an insight!)

My only complaint is the "rev hang" when you're shifting. I really wish someone would come up with an aftermarket flash to tone down the computer a little on this one so it feels more like a mechanical throttle. You can manage it with technique and can use it to your advantage for smooth shifting once you get used to it but it's definitely different than any other vehicle I've driven. I have worked an earlier throttle lift into my shift and it feels natural now but it bugs me sometimes.

Miscellaneous:
  • 1st is geared a little too low for street driving but works well for off-roading and towing a boat/trailer.
  • Reverse is geared a little too high. Warm up revs are high so when you're backing out of your driveway with a cold engine, partial clutch engagement is mandatory or else you'll be getting a speeding ticket in reverse. Warm is better but I'd still like to be able to take my foot off of the clutch backing up.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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No issues here either with mine all stock, definitely not a Monday or Friday vehicle
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:22 AM   #8
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No issues here with mine. When I first bought the truck it took a little getting used to because I was driving a 5spd Honda Accord before. In all seriousness...it took maybe...a day of driving it to get use to it and driving smooth again. The Tacoma gear ratios were different and had a lot more low end torque compared to the Honda which had longer gears and more top end power.

I also noticed when I switched the tranny fluid to Mobil1 synthetic from the conventional it was A LOT smoother and less "notchy."

I don't think the shift throw is bad at all. It's never going to be as short and precise as a car. I don't think the clutch is mushy at all. I also have heard people complaining the clutch is too stiff...They're pussies IMO and need to do some leg workouts. Try driving a car with a racing clutch w/ a heavier pressure plate and you will think the tacoma clutch is very easy on your leg. Ever driven a 5spd Jeep Wrangler? Now that's a HUGE throw.

One thing to keep in mind is, EVERY MANUAL TRANSMISSION DRIVES DIFFERENT.

My '97 accord 5spd drove way different than my sisters 5spd '00 civic. My other sister's '01 Civic drives way different than the '00 civic does. My buddy's 5spd '97 4runner drives way different than my '07 6spd taco.

Based on my observations, it seems most of the people who are complaining and bad-mouthing about the 6spd drive automatics and just believe everything they read on the internet.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:32 AM   #9
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Wink

Bought my truck used back in August of 11'. The truck was bone stock and I felt like the shifting was decent. ( Had a 97 Tacoma prior to my 05' and the 97 had the original clutch.) My 05 developed the squeaky TOB within a month so I just replaced it with the URD bearing upgrade and it made all the difference. When shifting before some gears were a little notchy and now everything is so smooth.
Also, a lot of people out there are talking 1st being geared low but when pulling a trailer this becomes a benefit. Hope this helps put you at ease. I for 1 am happy as hell with my Taco.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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I too like the MT in my truck. I have no complaints as of yet. I just changed the fluid to redline MT-90 and it seems to be shifting even smoother. Hope you like yours when you get it.
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