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Old 07-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
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(Soon to be) Newbie needs help picking transmision!!

Just got into a motorcycle wreck and broke my collarbone, going to lay of the bikes for a while and invest in a wrangler!

So I'm not a pipe dreamer, I have the money, I just CAN NOT decide between manual and auto. I will be on road about 90% of the time but I would enjoy the occasional trail or mud hole. I'm leaning towards an auto just because the ease of function in traffic which is typical on my morning trek to classes. But would an auto be able to hold up in off reading and mudding? Or would I burn out the tranny? I'm not looking for any hardcore offloading like mountain climbing, just trails and what not. HELP!

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Old 07-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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A lot of guys that get the auto get a better tranny cooler to help when offroading and what not. Plenty of guys on here off road with the autos. All up to you, it sounds like since its gonna be your DD and dealing with traffic and driving stick SUCKS. I have done it every day for the last couple years. We just traded our DD corolla for an automatic Kia Optima and couldnt be happier mainly because the transmission.

Driving manual is fun, for a while... LOL Good luck and glad your not hurt any worse.

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Old 07-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #3
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go with the auto..I have had great service with several jeep autos
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I'm almost sold on an auto, the only thing I'm worried about is if an when the tranny goes, is it really that much more expensive for an auto?
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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less expensive
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:16 PM   #6
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less expensive
hmm? Automatics are a lot more expensive to replace and repair. That's not going to change.

The auto should last pretty much the life of the vehicle, though. If you're talking maintenance, the manual has wear items like a throw out bearing and clutch. These will be about ~$1-1.5k thoughout the life of the vehicle. Unless you burn out more than one clutch (unlikely). The auto is more sensitive to transmission fluid changes and requires new filters, but those are small ticket items.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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hmm? Automatics are a lot more expensive to replace and repair. That's not going to change.

The auto should last pretty much the life of the vehicle, though. If you're talking maintenance, the manual has wear items like a throw out bearing and clutch. These will be about ~$1-1.5k thoughout the life of the vehicle. Unless you burn out more than one clutch (unlikely). The auto is more sensitive to transmission fluid changes and requires new filters, but those are small ticket items.
it depends on the transmission and where you are.I just had a high performance automatic and transfer case built.It cost me $1052 including removing and reinstalling..Over drive trannys and newer trannys cost more manily because of solenoids,etc..Gears,syncros,etc for manuals are high
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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it depends on the transmission and where you are.I just had a high performance automatic and transfer case built.It cost me $1052 including removing and reinstalling..Over drive trannys and newer trannys cost more manily because of solenoids,etc..Gears,syncros,etc for manuals are high
You must have really good friends. Usually a transmission replacement is billed at 4-8 hours of labor to remove/replace. Average shop rates are between 80-100/hour, so you're looking at $500 just in labor.

A transmission rebuild should be about $1500-3000 alone in P&L on top of the labor to swap it out.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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You must have really good friends. Usually a transmission replacement is billed at 4-8 hours of labor to remove/replace. Average shop rates are between 80-100/hour, so you're looking at $500 just in labor.

A transmission rebuild should be about $1500-3000 alone in P&L on top of the labor to swap it out.
I guess that when you have been doing a lot of business in a small town for nearly half a century that it does help out..pull and put was 300..build tranny was 500,the rest was the transfer case..even without the discounts that I get the prices are less here than what yours are
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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You guys are popping out great info. Well appreciated. Another concern of mine is I live in Florida (rains every day) if I have the top down and doors off and get caught in the rain, will the carpet and seat fabric get all disgusting and moldy? Should I stick to trying to find a sport with no carpet? Also, if I bought a stock wrangler, what would I need to change first to make it more off road capable?
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #11
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I am about 60 miles north of Tallahassee so we get the same weather..first thing we do is rip the carpet out and herculine it
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:58 PM   #12
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Ill google herculine, also when it comes to mudding, I see some of these tj's going deep in the mud, and I know the snorkel has a lot to do with that but can't there be more damage to the engine? What would I need to do to make sure I don't flood my jeep the first time I go mudding?
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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Ill google herculine, also when it comes to mudding, I see some of these tj's going deep in the mud, and I know the snorkel has a lot to do with that but can't there be more damage to the engine? What would I need to do to make sure I don't flood my jeep the first time I go mudding?
Cant go above your fan so a snorkel is pointless unless you install an electric fan with an off switch. If you try a deep water crossing with your jeep and water gets into the mechanical fan you can kiss your radiator and fan bye bye. The fan blades will pull themselves into the radiator core.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #14
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I run an electric fan that I can cut off but I still don't go in deep water.I go where I want to go which involves some pretty good mud but mine is not a submarine
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #15
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I think I found the jeep for me, how does $7500 sound for a 2002 wrangler 4x4 it doesn't say se or anything just 4x4 but the carfax looks clean, does that sound like a reasonable price to you guys? Odometer reads 100k
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:58 AM   #16
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So since you are looking for a TJ, there re two things id be interested in checking before I buy the Jeep.

First check the engine. There are three types, the 2.4L/2.5L i4 and the 4.0 i6. Perferably you want the 4.0 i6, it has more way more power then the other two and it will make your life a lot better on your commuting and general offroading.

Next thing id check for is the rear axle. There are two types of rear axles that the TJ wrangler comes with stock. The Dana 35 and Dana 44. Perferably(Highly Recommend) you want the Dana 44. The Dana 35 is a very weak axle when it comes to offroading, and people generaly refer to it as a bomb waiting to explode, if you ever plan on going above 33" tires. Dana 44 is a great axle!

Here are some info on the different trim types:

SE: 1997-2006 came standard with the 2.5 L from 1997-2002, and the 2.4 L from 2003-2006. The 4.0 L optional for 2005-2006.

X: 2002-2006 came standard with 4.0 L but with no Dana 44 rear axle option.

Sport: 1997-2006 came standard with 4.0 L and the Dana 35 rear axle. The Dana 44 rear axle, 3.73 axle ratio, and 30" wheel and tire group are optional. The Dana 44 could also be upgraded with a Trac-Lok limited slip differential case.

Sahara: 1997-2004 came standard with 4.0 L, wider body colored fender flares, body colored rocker sills, optional 30" wheel and tire group and full steel doors. The Sahara also features exclusive decals, seats and trim. For 2000-2004 they had 16" rims instead of the standard 15". Once again, the Dana 44 rear axle and 3.73 axle ratio were optional.

Rubicon: The Wrangler Rubicon (named for the famed Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) was introduced in 2003. It featured front and rear Dana 44 axles with the Rock-Trac four-wheel drive system, diamond plate rocker panels, 16-inch alloy wheels, and Goodyear MTR P245/75-R16 tires. 2003 to 2004 featured a standard NV3550 five-speed manual transmission, which changed in 2005 to the NSG370, a Mercedes-sourced six-speed. The optional 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission was available from 2003 to 2006


There are many more trims, like special edition TJs, however the ones I listed were the main ones you will come across. Good luck on your jeep hunt!


EDIT: One thing I forgot to add. Ive been hearing people say that the automatic is better for offroading. Ive seen many manual jeeps constantly stalling and shutting off in the middle of obstacles. IMO automatic is way easier.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:30 AM   #17
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take your time...what part of Florida are you located ??
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:44 AM   #18
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Wow tkfx, thanks a lot! Ill definitely be keeping my eye out for that Dana 44. And the part of Florida I live in is the Tampa Bay Area, right off the gulf
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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automatic is easier to offroad but manual is way more fun to drive...i drive manual and offroad quite often.

that being said...if you're going to be doing mainly "on road" driving...then you'd be fine with any vehicle trim in terms of axle (d35/d44) since you really wouldnt need to go above a 33" tire. D44 would be the better choice, yes, but if you find a rig that super clean with a d35 then great.

Plus, when you go to a 35" tire...rear axles arent the only thing you'll need to worry about. You should change or get chromoly shafts in the front, you'll need a regear, you'll need upgraded steering, and you'll need upgraded braking (especially with an auto since you wont be able to engine brake).

I currently have 35's on my 2.5L and on the 19th i'll be dropping it off at the shop for a new 8.8 rear axle, chromoly front axle shafts, 4.88 gears, and a new steering system. I'm getting out the door lucky only spending 2500 for parts and labor but most people will spend around the 4-5k range to throw that stuff on there.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:23 PM   #20
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if you want big tires,etc. then you can probably buy one that someone else has already built cheaper than you can buy a stock one and then do all the mods...just something to think about

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