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Old 08-24-2014, 06:46 PM   #1
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Learning manual trans?

For those of you that have or have had manual trans: How hard is it to learn to drive on the trails?

I don't know how to drive manual and have been looking at selling my JKU and buying a TJ, LJ or YJ. There's one I really like, but it's manual.

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Old 08-24-2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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I don't have a stick Jeep, but I assume the principle is the same. Usually what people do is learn on pavement first, ie an empty parking lot. After your comfortable on pavement then you should be able to start driving on trails. The only no no I can think of for Jeep standards is to never shift when your tranmussion is submerged in mud, water, ect..

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Old 08-25-2014, 01:16 AM   #3
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Yeah, I figure street driving wouldn't be too hard to learn. Just the wheeling that I'm concerned with. Might actually be worth converting to auto if I don't like manual.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:00 AM   #4
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Learning to drive manual is a must IMO. The joy of driving is killed so much in an automatic haha. It's not hard to learn, and I think being able to control the gearing is extremely useful on the trails.

However, with less people knowing how to drive stick, in another generation or so it will be a pretty nice theft deterrent to own a manual transmission vehicle. So there is that
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:15 AM   #5
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Let your Jeep idle, and learn exactly where the clutch begins to grab by slowly releasing it. Knowing where and how the clutch grabs and what it takes to stall it is very helpful in the learning process. Next move to a parking lot, then graduate to a hill, be able to negotiate a hill in 1st as well as Reverse w/o rolling backwards or racing the engine to compensate. Learn how to use the Emergency Brake to cheat if you have problems with stalling or rolling backwards.

Find a place that has a curb and learn how to climb up the curb w/o stalling, and learn not to over-rev the engine to accomplish that. Over-revving, or riding a clutch too long is what burns them up.

That's a short list, but should help a little with the learning process.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:12 AM   #6
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For me, I off road in 4 low. Makes clutch work so easy. If you need to cruise around the park from trail to trail you can use 4th gear no problem. Its not like driving in 4 low in an automatic. So using 4 low greatly helps with clutch wear while off roading. The biggest pain in the rear is when the terrain is uneven (all the time off road, right?!) and you are tring to keep a nice steady throttle but you are bouncing, and your foot it bouncing. You end up hitting the throttle letting off hitting the throttle letting of. A bouncing effect. I haven't perfected how to avoid this. I usually let off and try and steady it back out. This usually only happens while going from trail to trail.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:52 PM   #7
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I taught myself to drive a stick many moons ago..if I could do it, you can, too.

Before you head off-road, get off the road and into a big, empty parking lot. Hopefully one with a little incline to it. Then, learn to use the clutch: using ONLY the clutch, get it rolling in first gear from a stop. No skinny pedal (gas) allowed, and no stalling. Stop. Repeat. When you can do that comfortably, start doing that on a slight incline or a steeper incline if you're confident!

And NO RIDING THE CLUTCH--get yer paw off the clutch pedal and keep it off unless you are using it. Once you're moving in 1st gear, it's easy-peasy to shift from 1st to 2nd, to 3rd...

When you are comfortable tooling around town, then head off-road. Use 4-lo, and let the engine pull you along, using just enough gas to keep moving or just enough brakes to keep from moving too fast, depending on the terrain. And I'll second what Thomas S said about bouncing around on the throttle, and toss a nod at the brakes for the same reason. Feather those pedals--little more, a little less..a low speed thrill ride. ;-)

Do you know anybody with a stick? Ask them to show you the ropes, even if it isn't a Jeep.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info guys, makes me feel more at ease. Looks like I'm going to get the LJ. It's one sweet LJ too! It's not a Rubi, but does have a Rubi Tcase, ARB front and rear, lots of other stuff.

It does also have a hand throttle, so hopefully that will make things easier. It's on 35's with 4.56 gears, so not sure how that will play into things.

Luckily my wife knows how to drive manual, so she will get to teach me which should be interesting lol.

Picking it up will be interesting. I'm meeting the owner 12 hours away, will rent a truck and flat bed to tow it back.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:21 AM   #9
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Can't just drive it back? I take my Jeeps on long highway trips often.

I like those LJ's! That should work out really well for you.

CW
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Can't just drive it back? I take my Jeeps on long highway trips often.

I like those LJ's! That should work out really well for you.

CW
Looking like I may pickup the LJ on Saturday. So I'd have to find someone to teach me between now and then + be comfortable with driving it for 12 hours. I guess it's possible, but far fetched and probably not a good idea.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by suicideking View Post
For those of you that have or have had manual trans: How hard is it to learn to drive on the trails?

I don't know how to drive manual and have been looking at selling my JKU and buying a TJ, LJ or YJ. There's one I really like, but it's manual.
In low range learning a clutch is easy. All but impossible to stall. BUT I recommend going AAA or another driving school. There are no comparisons between auto and stick. Far easier to learn the basics, get commitment with an instructor. Probably cost less than a new clutch too.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info guys, makes me feel more at ease. Looks like I'm going to get the LJ. It's one sweet LJ too! It's not a Rubi, but does have a Rubi Tcase, ARB front and rear, lots of other stuff.

It does also have a hand throttle, so hopefully that will make things easier. It's on 35's with 4.56 gears, so not sure how that will play into things.

Luckily my wife knows how to drive manual, so she will get to teach me which should be interesting lol.

Picking it up will be interesting. I'm meeting the owner 12 hours away, will rent a truck and flat bed to tow it back.
Why not let the wife drive it back?
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:56 PM   #13
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Here's how easy it is to drive a stick.

I'm 18, standing in formation and my squad gets detailed to move some concrete blocks.
I'm told to drive the 1st Sgt into town and put behind the wheel of a Jeep M151.

I could have spoke up and hauled concrete that day but I kept my mouth shut and by the time he figured out I didn't know what I was doing we were out the Gate.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:02 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the info guys, makes me feel more at ease. Looks like I'm going to get the LJ. It's one sweet LJ too! It's not a Rubi, but does have a Rubi Tcase, ARB front and rear, lots of other stuff.

It does also have a hand throttle, so hopefully that will make things easier. It's on 35's with 4.56 gears, so not sure how that will play into things.

Luckily my wife knows how to drive manual, so she will get to teach me which should be interesting lol.

Picking it up will be interesting. I'm meeting the owner 12 hours away, will rent a truck and flat bed to tow it back.
Why not let the wife drive it back?
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:35 PM   #15
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Why not let the wife drive it back?
3 kids at home, wife laughed hysterically when I asked her to come with me lol.

I have a friend that will teach me so I don't have to learn from the wife. I'm paying him to drive it back with me and teach me to drive it on the way. He needs some cash for some repairs anyway. Fraction of the cost Uhaul wanted for a truck and trailer.

Plus that way he can do the test drive for me and tell me if the clutch feels right.

Like most Jeepers, he has more time than money...
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:06 PM   #16
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In a few weeks, you'll be driving it like you've driven a stick shift for a decade.

It's easy. Don't sweat it.

Regards, Guy
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:32 AM   #17
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3 kids at home, wife laughed hysterically when I asked her to come with me lol.

I have a friend that will teach me so I don't have to learn from the wife. I'm paying him to drive it back with me and teach me to drive it on the way. He needs some cash for some repairs anyway. Fraction of the cost Uhaul wanted for a truck and trailer.

Plus that way he can do the test drive for me and tell me if the clutch feels right.

Like most Jeepers, he has more time than money...
Awesome..... I still say go to yer Auto Club. Wish I could see yer wife's reaction. I love clutches. Make it all worth while.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:40 PM   #18
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Good advice here. Threads like this are why I really like this forum.

I limited my Jeep search to manual trans and now very glad I did.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:46 PM   #19
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Here's how easy it is to drive a stick.

I'm 18, standing in formation and my squad gets detailed to move some concrete blocks.
I'm told to drive the 1st Sgt into town and put behind the wheel of a Jeep M151.

I could have spoke up and hauled concrete that day but I kept my mouth shut and by the time he figured out I didn't know what I was doing we were out the Gate.
BWAHAHAHAHA! Love it!

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3 kids at home, wife laughed hysterically when I asked her to come with me lol.

I have a friend that will teach me so I don't have to learn from the wife. I'm paying him to drive it back with me and teach me to drive it on the way. He needs some cash for some repairs anyway. Fraction of the cost Uhaul wanted for a truck and trailer.

Plus that way he can do the test drive for me and tell me if the clutch feels right.

Like most Jeepers, he has more time than money...
Bought mine from a guy 12 hours away too! In my case the wife WANTED to come. I politely declined because I wanted this to be my adventure only. Yeah, a little selfish, but after all the time I spent looking for this ride, I felt I earned this! One way ticket plane ride and a glorious drive back home. It was a great ride!
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:11 PM   #20
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You won't have to worry about anyone stealing it. Criminals are too stupid and lazy to learn to drive one. Seriously, manual trans anything is rarely stolen.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:10 PM   #21
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BWAHAHAHAHA! Love it!


Bought mine from a guy 12 hours away too! In my case the wife WANTED to come. I politely declined because I wanted this to be my adventure only. Yeah, a little selfish, but after all the time I spent looking for this ride, I felt I earned this! One way ticket plane ride and a glorious drive back home. It was a great ride!
I got home last night. I can't say I enjoyed the trip because I was a bit stressed out about driving it. I was fine on the deserted streets learning, but had some anxiety driving on the highway. I got off and back on again a few times to take a breather. By the time I dropped off my friend, I was able to make it home the last hour. I was glad there was no traffic.

Wife offered to drive out an hour and drive it home for me, but I refused and was determined to drive it home. I took it out for a bit this morning which eased my nerves a bit.

I'm going to stick to side streets going to work the first few days (only 15 minute commute). Then by the end of the week, I'll start taking the freeway again.

I already setup my first wheeling trip for 2 weeks. I'm sure that will be interesting. I did choose a trail that is pretty easy and I'm very familiar with. I'll keep the friend close that taught me how to drive.

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You won't have to worry about anyone stealing it. Criminals are too stupid and lazy to learn to drive one. Seriously, manual trans anything is rarely stolen.
I thought about that. It would be fun to watch if I turn on both lockers and then they try to drive it away.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #22
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Congrats!
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:25 PM   #23
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This thread reminded me of when I learned to drive stick, literally from the sales guy who sold me my first Jeep, a YJ many years ago. The guy was young, cool, and patient and the experience went so well that I bought the vehicle. The day that I sealed the deal and picked it up I would be lying if I didn't admit I was stressed the f out. It was then that I realized I was about 35 minutes from my house, in an area I didn't know all that well, with several sets of train tracks to cross and tons of intersections. From what I remember about that drive I stalled a couple times and then regrouped and just tried to stay cool and focused. I pulled over a couple times to take a break but I eventually got home in one piece about an hour later. Even with the stress I experienced stalling or mis-shifting that first time out, it was all good and a ton of fun. It didn't take long for me to train my body to do the right thing in different driving scenarios. Decades later, I am seriously happy to report that even today, in my new manual Jeep I feel a thrill to driving it and am always looking for excuses to go out with it with or without friends and family. I think that's what Jeeps are all about.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:48 PM   #24
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It's beyond my comprehension. I learned to drive a stick when I was eight years old. Dad's new Datsun pick-up was just about the right size. (Well, I actually have a picture of me driving the tractor when I was two, but Great-GrandDad was "helping.") The idea of trying to finesse anything with an automatic seems... really hard.

It literally never occurs to me that everyone can't do this. One time I was on a field project and had to ride in the Director's vehicle for a conference while we moved to another site 80 miles away or so. An assistant was going to drive my 4-Runner. Hours went by, and the guy just didn't show up. This was way before cell phones. Well, I actually had one of those corded car phones built into the console. But the Director's van didn't have one. Finally, we drove to a town to place a call to my car, on the off-chance that there was a cell-phone tower within range (they were still rare.) The assistant was still sitting out there in the middle of the desert, trying to figure out how to start the engine! (i.e. push the clutch in.)
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:36 PM   #25
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This thread reminded me of when I learned to drive stick, literally from the sales guy who sold me my first Jeep, a YJ many years ago. The guy was young, cool, and patient and the experience went so well that I bought the vehicle. The day that I sealed the deal and picked it up I would be lying if I didn't admit I was stressed the f out. It was then that I realized I was about 35 minutes from my house, in an area I didn't know all that well, with several sets of train tracks to cross and tons of intersections. From what I remember about that drive I stalled a couple times and then regrouped and just tried to stay cool and focused. I pulled over a couple times to take a break but I eventually got home in one piece about an hour later. Even with the stress I experienced stalling or mis-shifting that first time out, it was all good and a ton of fun. It didn't take long for me to train my body to do the right thing in different driving scenarios. Decades later, I am seriously happy to report that even today, in my new manual Jeep I feel a thrill to driving it and am always looking for excuses to go out with it with or without friends and family. I think that's what Jeeps are all about.
That sums up my first experience. I was fine practising on the empty street, but freaked out when I got on the highway. I got off and practised a few times on the street, then got back on. Took a few more breaks, and then was able to continue.

Last week I did stall a few times, so at red lights would try to focus on starting in first without stalling.

I've now had 2 days without stalling. Today I was in bumper to bumper traffic on the streets on my way home. Still didn't stall.

I'm going wheeling for the first time on Sunday. Looking forward to trying out my new Jeep!
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:18 AM   #26
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Went wheeling for the first time yesterday. Still not perfect with the manual, but only stalled a few times. The Rubi TC was my favorite mod yesterday.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:47 AM   #27
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It's beyond my comprehension. I learned to drive a stick when I was eight years old. Dad's new Datsun pick-up was just about the right size. (Well, I actually have a picture of me driving the tractor when I was two, but Great-GrandDad was "helping.") The idea of trying to finesse anything with an automatic seems... really hard.

It literally never occurs to me that everyone can't do this. One time I was on a field project and had to ride in the Director's vehicle for a conference while we moved to another site 80 miles away or so. An assistant was going to drive my 4-Runner. Hours went by, and the guy just didn't show up. This was way before cell phones. Well, I actually had one of those corded car phones built into the console. But the Director's van didn't have one. Finally, we drove to a town to place a call to my car, on the off-chance that there was a cell-phone tower within range (they were still rare.) The assistant was still sitting out there in the middle of the desert, trying to figure out how to start the engine! (i.e. push the clutch in.)
Back in the days you didn't push the clutch in to start a manual. My first two manuals didn't have that feature and then I went to drive the boss's car one day and couldn't start it and for the life of me couldn't figure it out and it was the fact I had to push the clutch in to start it. My response was "when did they start this crap?"
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:50 AM   #28
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Glad you made it home ok. I figured the highway driving would have been easier for you as you put it in the highest gear (assuming traffic is moving) and just cruise along. But then again I tend to forget about congested highways (Dallas area) where it is stop and go the entire way home and yes....that can be nerve wracking for sure.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:23 AM   #29
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i bought my manual jeep without even knowing how. Paid my cash for it and my dad had to drive it home but now, my next jeep will be a manual too. My truck is an auto bc the jeep is manual but i couldnt image driving the jeep with an automatic.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:42 PM   #30
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This is why I bought a manual:


Houston-area police say carjacking thwarted when teens didn't know how to drive stick shift


Houston-area police say carjacking thwarted when teens didn't know how to drive stick shift | Fox News


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