So my friend and I have been having a friendly debate about which type of major transmission is stronger. It has sparked my interest and made me want to learn which is stronger/more reliable/can handle abuse. Considering all the applications of both major types of transmissions and talking to a few mechanic friends of mine, the general consensus is that manual transmissions are stronger as a general rule of thumb.
Now, I have heard that the Subaru 4EAT transmission can handle more power than say, my 05 WRX manual transmission, but neither can handle what the 6spd in the STi can. Then again, I have also heard that the weaker 5spd transmissions were in the earlier 02 WRXs and that by 05 for example, the transmissions were a little stronger.
I'd like to see what everyone has to say about this. I understand that with our AWD cars, the transmission can take a brutal beating if you are always launching your car. We don't have the wheel spin that a FWD or RWD car has for example. That translates into the transmission/clutch taking the brunt of the force, right?
Now, many built drag cars have automatic transmissions (3spd or something) but I interpret this as more of a driver/reaction/speed shifting thing than a measure of strength. Touring cars, Indy cars, NASCAR, etc all use manual transmissions. I assume this is for much better control over acceleration and all the other advantages a manual transmission could have.
It has been brought up that some heavy duty automatic transmissions applications include firetrucks, dump trucks, tractors, buses, etc. But is has also been brought up that semi trucks use a manual gearbox. I assume a firetruck or other heavy duty application of an automatic transmission is more for the convenience than it is for the strength.
I understand both types of transmissions have come a long way and can both be very strong, but as a general rule of thumb it seems that automatic transmissions are more prone to failure from overheating (hence the semi truck application of a manual for example) and are much more costly to repair and time consuming.
I'm not sure what types of automatic transmission equivalents to this would be but I understand one very, very strong type of manual transmission is the dog-engagement box. Without boring everyone who doesn't know about this with a detailed explanation, I will provide a video from PPG themselves to talk about it:
And so I will open it up for discussion. I am curious what everyone here has to say. And I am sorry if this has already been discussed at length on this forum, but I couldn't find it if it had.