Nissan Frontier Forum banner

41 - 60 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
2006 6spd Manuals are fine for towing

First I want to say, I LOVE my Manual 6 speed Frontier. It is great in every way EXCEPT as a Tow Vehicle!!!


I have exclusively owned Nissan (manual transmission) trucks since 1983. I have been a big fan of Nissan. My last was a 2001 Xterra. Traded it in 2014. All of them I owned until their bodies rusted away. Sadly, mechanically, they still ran fine.

Last summer I purchased a 2006 Frontier with 70,000 miles. It wis the 1st Nissan that I have been disappointed with.

THE CLUTCH SUCKS. I did finally get the clutch pedal adjusted to be at a more comfortable height but THE CLUTCH just wants to burn up backing up with any kind of load (trailer, boat, etc).

My Xterra had no such problems.

IF you plan on towing with a manual transmission Frontier - you have been warned.
I have a 4500lb loaded RV, I just put it in 4wd low and let the clutch out and it goes so slowly I never have to ride the clutch. If the trailer isn't going where I intended I just quickly push in the clutch go forward a bit and start going backwards gain. Never smelled the clutch burning smell yet. I've been driving clutch vehicles since 1990 myself. ::grin::

This is the beginning of my driveway and I back it up into the spot on the side of the garage NP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
First I want to say, I LOVE my Manual 6 speed Frontier. It is great in every way EXCEPT as a Tow Vehicle!!!


I have exclusively owned Nissan (manual transmission) trucks since 1983. I have been a big fan of Nissan. My last was a 2001 Xterra. Traded it in 2014. All of them I owned until their bodies rusted away. Sadly, mechanically, they still ran fine.

Last summer I purchased a 2006 Frontier with 70,000 miles. It wis the 1st Nissan that I have been disappointed with.

THE CLUTCH SUCKS. I did finally get the clutch pedal adjusted to be at a more comfortable height but THE CLUTCH just wants to burn up backing up with any kind of load (trailer, boat, etc).

My Xterra had no such problems.

IF you plan on towing with a manual transmission Frontier - you have been warned.
disclaimer: i did not read all of the replies...

its safe to say your previous owner didnt know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle and your clutch was excessively worn when you got the truck...

my truck has 130k on it and it still has the factory clutch, i tow all the time with my truck and even towed my car across country (from San Diego to Maryland) with no issues. only now i am starting to suspect my clutch is coming up on replacement time. just lately i have been smelling clutch, it hasn't slipped yet though.

the weight i towed across the country was a little over 6000 pounds, i didnt have any issues whatsoever other than driving up hills i couldnt get the truck above 55mph
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
In response to the OP, Yes the clutch is wonky with a VERY long pedal stroke engagement is too close to the top. But the main issue towing with the manual isn't the clutch. It's that the ratio for reverse is too high. Nissan missed this when they designed the manual. I too have driven nothing but manuals all my life and my Frontier is the first vehicle that has a reverse ratio HIGHER than first gear. Usually reverse is the lowest gear in a manual trans. Speed at idle in reverse is a 5 mph. That doesn't sound very fast on paper but that's way too fast when backing up in a crowded parking lot which means just backing out requires having to slip the clutch too much. For comparison, speed at idle in first is 3.5-4 mph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
In response to the OP, Yes the clutch is wonky with a VERY long pedal stroke engagement is too close to the top. But the main issue towing with the manual isn't the clutch. It's that the ratio for reverse is too high. Nissan missed this when they designed the manual. I too have driven nothing but manuals all my life and my Frontier is the first vehicle that has a reverse ratio HIGHER than first gear. Usually reverse is the lowest gear in a manual trans. Speed at idle in reverse is a 5 mph. That doesn't sound very fast on paper but that's way too fast when backing up in a crowded parking lot which means just backing out requires having to slip the clutch too much. For comparison, speed at idle in first is 3.5-4 mph.
This is why I use 4x4 low to reverse in tight spots, much lower gearing, don't have to ride or slip clutch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Blue Devil,
I'm tempted to try this but I don't want to risk damage. Do you ever get drive line bind?
Or do you only do this on dirt?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
Blue Devil,
I'm tempted to try this but I don't want to risk damage. Do you ever get drive line bind?
Or do you only do this on dirt?
I've been on pavement 95% of the time and no driveline bind issues, even cranking the steering wheel all the way one way then the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Not sure how you wouldn't have any binding issues. Roll your windows down and you will probably hear the tires scrapping over the pavement. Should not have the truck in 4 wheel on pavement. Its in the owners manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
Not sure how you wouldn't have any binding issues. Roll your windows down and you will probably hear the tires scrapping over the pavement. Should not have the truck in 4 wheel on pavement. Its in the owners manual.
My definition on driveline binding is the vehicle not being able to move due to the drivetrain locking up. That doesn't happen and yes the tires scrap a bit, but it makes backing up with the 6spd manual much more manageable/enjoyable. It's in the owners manual, yes there is a lot of stuff in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
With actual experience I have to agree with the OP. A 7200# tow rating and 1100# payload belies the issue. A 3000# GVWR single axle cargo trailer hitched on is very noticeable even towing empty. Carrying a 600# garden tractor with attachments it's loaded. Several times backing into my driveway with this same trailer, even empty, the clutch was slipping so badly I could smell it for days after. At one point I thought I had burnt it so badly I bought a clutch kit to have ready when the clutch went.
Just to add I have been driving a manual transmission since I learned to drive (47 years). I have never worn out a clutch in my vehicles even though they had some very high high miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
i tow with the 6 speed manual 5 days a week. about 2500lbs total. i've been doing it for 10 years now with manual trannys. so far 2 years on the frontier and it does great. much better than the 5 speed tacoma 4cyl 4x4 i used before but they both do fine towing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
I have 93k+ miles on mine, with the original clutch. I towed a light trailer between CO and FL round trip, towed when moving from CO to WA and back to CO again, and made hundreds of other shorter runs towing the trailer. There is nothing wrong with towing with the 6-speed manual.

The owner’s manual does say that the vehicle is NOT INTENDED PRIMARILY as a towing or hauling rig. Did you read that in your manual? It is in the one for my ‘05. My cargo and trailer are light enough that I don’t worry about it.

I also strongly agree with the poster who considers Reverse gear too high. This has been true for every truck I’ve owned (Mazda, Toyota, Nissan). The only exception was an old borrowed Toyota diesel truck. That thing was fantastic for controlling at very low speeds in either 1st or Reverse! The clutch was super easy to use in such situations. My Frontier requires more finesse. Occasionally I shift into 4WD Low Range just for the lower gearing in 1st or Reverse, but normally I avoid backing a trailer uphill anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
This is why I use 4x4 low to reverse in tight spots, much lower gearing, don't have to ride or slip clutch.
I used to do that for the upper driveway at our former home. The lower driveway was already steep, and accessing the upper “landing” involved a 90 deg turn in a narrow place. I would back up the driveway in 4Low, hitch up the trailer there, and then descend in 4Low also. Upon returning home from that trip, I would climb in 4Low, unhitch, and then back down in 4Low Reverse. Much easier and less dangerous than using the High range. All of it was graveled dirt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
I used to do that for the upper driveway at our former home. The lower driveway was already steep, and accessing the upper “landing” involved a 90 deg turn in a narrow place. I would back up the driveway in 4Low, hitch up the trailer there, and then descend in 4Low also. Upon returning home from that trip, I would climb in 4Low, unhitch, and then back down in 4Low Reverse. Much easier and less dangerous than using the High range. All of it was graveled dirt.
midnightsun thanks for quoting me how are things going over here? I'd like to say you have to be smart about using 4WD LO when backing on pavement. You have to be feeling your truck if it starting even feel like it's starting to bind you push in the clutch, straighten out the wheel, go forward just a bit and then go back to your backing operation. I private sale, sold my 2006 for $9k, still had the original clutch with 147k miles. Towed the 4700lb TT on 20ish trips IIRC. I hate the auto trans in my new Titan but it handles to towing so much better I had to get a bigger TT.

>:D
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
BlueDevil, I don’t use 4Low on paved surfaces. Theoretically, it’d be OK if going strictly straight. I just haven’t needed to do it except in poor traction when slow speed was needed.

Congrats on the Titan!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Blue Devil - Apologies for hijacking this OLD thread, but I LOVE your Titan KC! The KC are not found in Utah for some reason. I looked for a used one for 6 months before I finally pulled the trigger on my Fronty.
Carry on :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
First I want to say, I LOVE my Manual 6 speed Frontier. It is great in every way EXCEPT as a Tow Vehicle!!!


I have exclusively owned Nissan (manual transmission) trucks since 1983. I have been a big fan of Nissan. My last was a 2001 Xterra. Traded it in 2014. All of them I owned until their bodies rusted away. Sadly, mechanically, they still ran fine.

Last summer I purchased a 2006 Frontier with 70,000 miles. It wis the 1st Nissan that I have been disappointed with.

THE CLUTCH SUCKS. I did finally get the clutch pedal adjusted to be at a more comfortable height but THE CLUTCH just wants to burn up backing up with any kind of load (trailer, boat, etc).

My Xterra had no such problems.

IF you plan on towing with a manual transmission Frontier - you have been warned.
Is it possible you have an engine or transmission seal leaking and allowing lubricant to get on the clutch plate or disk?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
Blue Devil - Apologies for hijacking this OLD thread, but I LOVE your Titan KC! The KC are not found in Utah for some reason. I looked for a used one for 6 months before I finally pulled the trigger on my Fronty.
Carry on :)
Thanks uteman. Yeah there isn't too many KC Titans around, especially a fully loaded Pro4X, heated/cooled seats and surround view parking camera. I had to order mine in December of 2017 and took delivery in March of '18. Thanks again, here's a couple more pic for you.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
PLEASE PEOPLE - If you have no personal experience with this particular issue - let it go.

You do no good to others speaking only your opinion.

If you read what I originally wrote, you would realize that I have owned nothing but Nissan manual transmissions for 30 years - with NO PROBLEMS. I KNOW how to drive a "stick shift".

The clutch in this 2006 (already been replaced once by me - don't know about previous owner) burns (you can smell it) up backing up even lighter weight utility trailers.

BEWARE if you are looking for a tow vehicle!!!!!!
Clutch should only smell if it is engaged some how I have only had clutch smell only once or twice when relearning my manual skills

Only way it should smell if you still have your foot on it if it has a odor and your foot is not on it some how it is not doing it's job or is getting stuck between shifts

This is only a Opinion nothing against you
 
41 - 60 of 63 Posts
Top