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I'm shopping for my first FJ.
Coming from the world of sports cars, I prefer driving a manual transmission and wondered if there's anything that I should be aware of pro or con about the 6-speeds in FJs.
Thanks!
Bill
 

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Agree with above. Just be aware that the FJ is drive-by-wire which means the computer controls throttle response. In particular when upshifting the computer controls how fast the RPMs drop and this will affect your timing for smooth shifting. I wouldn't trade mine for an automatic but it took awhile to adjust.
 

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Are there programmable ECUs (common in the sports car world) available for FJs to enable tuning the response of the DBW as well as fuel, spark, etc.?

Agree with above. Just be aware that the FJ is drive-by-wire which means the computer controls throttle response. In particular when upshifting the computer controls how fast the RPMs drop and this will affect your timing for smooth shifting.
 

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There are some things like "Pedal Commander" that plug in that address how quickly the throttle responds to pressing the accelerator pedal but none that I know of that do much for deceleration.
 

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I say manual.
but...
I was specifically buying a toy extra vehicle for an old school, nostalgic experience.
for a daily driver, some off-road advantages, etc. I can’t say don’t go automatic.
 

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There used to be 3 downsides to MT, but not any more:
- throwout bearing noise, and wear of the scroll, one or both of which occurred on some vehicles. Now Clutchmasters has the solution for it (inline hydraulic, to eliminate the noise and scroll wear issue).
- slow throttle response, but the Pedal Commander is available to change that. Some just live with it because being a big heavy truck, once gotten used to slow shifts just sort of seems right.
- 1mpg less than AT, but gas is almost free now and they are running out of places to store it due to the drop in consumption due to coronavirus, and to a price war between Saudi and Russia. So, drive your FJ as much as possible to do what you can to help (but keep social distancing).

There have always been 2 major upsides to MT:
- shift what you want, when you want it. Of course, this is universal to all MT vehicles over AT.
- Torsen center differential, which continuously adjusts torque between the front and rear axles, delivering the max torque to whichever has the most traction. It can be locked, but that's rarely called for. AT only has an open transfer case which has just two conditions: open, or locked (while locked you shouldn't turn on dry pavement, and also TRAC is turned off).
Also, it is weird to describe, but on wet pavement, sometimes you can feel the torque moving around during heavy cornering under power. I'd read professional drivers describing the sensation when testing 4WD performance cars with a Torsen center diff and this was my first time to experience it, it really is an interesting feeling (though mine is supercharged which probably helps add to the ability to feel it clearly). Its no sports car, just that its traction under power is amazing, and very engaging.

Norm "MT" Kerr
 

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If you use the throw out bearing a reason not to go with a MT you would be cheating yourself and acting foolishly . My 2 cents.


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My TOB has been chirping at me for 13yrs.....no issues. When its time to dive into a clutch job clutchmasters will be included.
 

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Coming from the world of sports cars, I prefer driving a manual transmission and wondered if there's anything that I should be aware of pro or con about the 6-speeds in FJs.
How much do you plan on offroading? The automatic is easier to offroad: push the right buttons on the center console, push the gas petal and steer. Some people prefer the challenge, but know that you will have a harder time getting over some obstacles than people with automatics. You will also be more fatigued at the end of a long day offroading.

Technical differences: Throwout bearing addressed above. Center differential means AWD on the manual, which is better for road driving in questionable weather (the rest of us have to manually engage 4H).

Cost differences: being a manual can have a +/- effect on the price. Fewer people know how to drive them so they typically stay longer in dealer inventory, meaning you can haggle them down. But they're also more rare (the commonly estimated number is 10% of all FJ's built), which means if you absolutely have to have a specific year of Trail Teams FJ in a manual, there will be 0-2 for sale nationally at any one time. And if you show up thrilled to find the only one for sale, the right car salesman will figure out how badly you want it.

For fun on-road, I drive my manual NSX. For fun off-road, I drive my automatic 4Runner (formerly FJ). But the fun for me has always been getting away from all the Subaru's and finding a beautiful spot.
 
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