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Old 02-21-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
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Manual transmission advise

When driving a manual transmission and coming to a stop is it better to downshift and allow the engine to help brake or to put in neutral and just use the brakes? I have a 2010 JKU Sahara 6 speed and I am concerned that using the engine to help brake will put too much stress on the transmission, just too save a little brake wear. I would rather replace brake pads then put any unnecessary strain on my transmission and/or any other parts. Any advise would be appreciated, thanks.

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Old 02-21-2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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Most of the advise I have gotten is not to engine brake unless you really need the extra help stopping. Plus brakes are less expensive than gears or a new transmission so I would either put it in neutral when coming to a stop, or just downshift with the clutch depressed like I do the majority of the time.

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Old 02-21-2011, 11:18 PM   #3
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always downshift, I always always always do in every manual. autos downshift too.
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Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

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Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


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Old 02-21-2011, 11:23 PM   #4
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Brakes are much cheaper & easier to change than clutches, trannies & u-joints. I drove a Pontiac Lemans 223.000 miles on the origanal clutch driving this very way. In fact, when exiting the freeway I'd slip it out of 5th W/O even touching the clutch. If I have a long downhill in front me, I'll certainly downshift & use the gears, but in town I generally just coast.

Just make sure you buy lifetime brakes!!!!
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhallissey
always downshift, I always always always do in every manual. autos downshift too.
Hmmm, I have downshifted before many times and it just seems like it puts too much stress on the gears. I slowly let out the clutch, and it still jerks forward no matter how gentle I do it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:33 PM   #6
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I drove a 98 dodge ram until It had 200k and I always downshifted. I made dozens of trips from arkansas to california in it and never had one transmission issue.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Look at big rigs, manual trans and they downshift why- because your brakes are not up to that task of braking from 70 to zero. You will get the hang of it to feather the clutch out. I drive a manual like most auto's feel. Then once you get the hang of it you will learn to hill toe when rock crawling. Makes life much much much easier. Ohh with manual trans made for any non-commercial truck or application ALWAYS USE THE CLUTCH or you will burn up your sycnro's.
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Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

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Originally Posted by coyote_94yj
Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


If you haven't gotten more out of the insurance company than you deserve, then you haven't screwed them nearly as much as they have been screwing you for the past xx years.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
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Downshift for sure. It also helps in emergencies when you're already in gear.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:24 AM   #9
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Downshift definatley. Not sure bout over there but coasting in neutral down here is not legal. However a blip of the throttle before letting the clutch out to match revs to transmission speed is highly recommended to reduce clutch wear and make for a smooth downchange. Drive a vehicle with shot synchro's for a while and you will get the hang of it pretty quickly!

Wearing the clutch on a JK is definately not something you want to do - check the replacement cost! Once the clutch is worn out, they generally will not machine the dual mass flywheel, replacing it is usually the only option.

Not sure what they charge you guys over there, but down here we dont get much change out of $4,000 for a clutch/flywheel replacement. There is one company at the moment building up a solid plate flywheel and matching clutch plate at around 1/3 the cost.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:38 AM   #10
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I downshift, too. IMO, any "extra" wear and tear on the drivetrain/trann'y components isn't worth the worry. I drove a Mazda B2600 to 185K on the original clutch before everything else started leaking or rotted off it. I had bought it new with 19 miles on the odo but then, too, I never towed or plowed with it...YMMV
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:42 AM   #11
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if i'm coming to a red light or stop sign, i put it in neutral and tap the brakes to stop
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMountain
if i'm coming to a red light or stop sign, i put it in neutral and tap the brakes to stop
x2.

The bottom line though is that you should do whatever you're comfortable with. I don't know that there's a "right" answer here as long as you're not being really hard on the transmission. I'd expect any reasonably modern manual transmission should be able to handle long term downshifting if you choose to do it. I don't, but that's just me.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:52 AM   #13
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I always coast when coming to a stop. Clutch in, hand stays on the shifter, shifter moves through the appropriate gears (well, most of them). That has served me perfectly well in 18 years of manual transmissions. Never had to re-engage in a hurry, but if I did I'd be ready.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:57 AM   #14
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Big rigs down shift all the time because they all use exhaust brakes on their diesels. Won't work in neutral or with clutch in.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #15
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This is interesting, a thread I read a while back was just the opposite of this one, never ever downshift it ruins the synchros and wears out the clutch. I don't have a clue which is right. I've been driving standards for 30 years, sometimes I do sometimes I don't downshift. I only replaced one clutch and it was shortly after I bought a used car.

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:06 AM   #16
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A new clutch from my store for a JK costs 228$
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:06 AM   #17
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I drive trucks for a living yes we down shit but we are dealing with way more weight and diesels are built for the abuse. In a jeep push the clutch in when slowing down and downshift u should roughly know where the top end of each gear is then then the light turns green ur in the right gear match ur rpms and away you go it takes time but soon it will all be second nature
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:07 AM   #18
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You should downshift, it is the natural way of slowing down, an automatic transmission downshifts automatically.

Here is what the owner's manual says:

Moving from a high gear down to a lower gear is
recommended to preserve brakes when driving down
steep hills. In addition, downshifting at the right time
provides better acceleration when you desire to resume
speed. Downshift progressively. Do not skip gears to
avoid overspeeding the engine and clutch.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 AM   #19
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When you down shift don't just let the clutch out. Blip the throttle to where the rpm will be in this new gear. Once you get good at it its very smooth. I can down shift and rev match with no issues now and I'm only 16 :P you can do it, just takes practice.

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:12 AM   #20
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I do both...depends on the circumstance.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:13 AM   #21
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I drive a 20 ton wrecker too. I downshift there too lol. I can't not downshift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccain View Post
Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote_94yj
Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


If you haven't gotten more out of the insurance company than you deserve, then you haven't screwed them nearly as much as they have been screwing you for the past xx years.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repoman100 View Post
Here is what the owner's manual says:

Moving from a high gear down to a lower gear is
recommended to preserve brakes when driving down
steep hills
. In addition, downshifting at the right time
provides better acceleration when you desire to resume
speed. Downshift progressively. Do not skip gears to
avoid overspeeding the engine and clutch.
Going down a hill is different than day-to-day stop and go traffic on relatively flat roads. On a flat road I don't see a reason to leave it engaged.

But again, that's just me. This is another one of those things that will never have a definitive answer, because it's all opinion.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffk42 View Post
Going down a hill is different than day-to-day stop and go traffic on relatively flat roads. On a flat road I don't see a reason to leave it engaged.

But again, that's just me. This is another one of those things that will never have a definitive answer, because it's all opinion.

I respect everyone's opinion. However, the owner's manual

have a chart which indicates in which gear you should downshift according to your speed :

Manual Transmission Downshift Speeds in MPH
(KM/H)
Gear
Selection
6 to 5 5 to 4 4 to 3 3 to 2 2 to 1
Maximum
Speed
80 (129) 70 (113) 50 (81) 30 (48) 15 (24)
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=repoman100;1073463]I respect everyone's opinion. However, the owner's manual)[/QUOTE]

Dang, I threw the owners manual away shortly after modifying about 15 things it said not to. lol

Remember guys, this question was asked by a guy driving a 1/4 ton Jeep, not a fricken tractor trailer with 78,000 pounds of potatoes on it, dropping off a 13,000 foot pass, lol.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:21 AM   #25
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When my grandfather taught me to drive he told me to always downshift. It's served me well for 40+ years.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:23 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repoman100 View Post
I respect everyone's opinion. However, the owner's manual

have a chart which indicates in which gear you should downshift according to your speed :

Manual Transmission Downshift Speeds in MPH
(KM/H)
Gear
Selection
6 to 5 5 to 4 4 to 3 3 to 2 2 to 1
Maximum
Speed
80 (129) 70 (113) 50 (81) 30 (48) 15 (24)
Yes, those are the recommended downshift speeds. But it says nothing about downshift vs. coasting under normal traffic conditions. Listing the downshift speeds is an attempt to keep people from over-revving when they downshift. No one is saying there is NEVER a need to downshift. We're just saying that downshifting on normal, relatively flat roads is unnecessary.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:36 PM   #27
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Just too provide a little insight, a clutch only gets worn as it is starting to engage and the friction plate isn't fully making contact.

As for gears I am not sure they are seeing that much stress. After all it is the combustion in your engine working against you. And if there is stress, I am not sure it is more than you one accelerates to pass another car or ANY off roading. If anything down shifting would cause concern for rings or valves. but with such costly repairs possibly coming from down shifting, and no warning against it, there must be no harm.

But, my speculations could be completely off and 100% wrong, it has happened before.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:32 PM   #28
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Been downshifting with every different type of manual trans. without a problem. Although, most times on a flat road coming to a stop it's not necessary or required. Always have done it with my 89 4.2 5spd. and only had to replace the clutch once. There have been no other trans. issues; gears, synchros, etc. I drive my 10 Rubi 6 spd. the same way. Use it the way you're comfortable with; service it properly and don't abuse it and it will last. It really comes down to personal preference.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:19 AM   #29
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Downshifting is the way to go. Once you learn how, the jerking well stop. Ive downshifftted in all my vehilces that where standard from an eclipse to ford ranger and never replaced a clutch.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:48 AM   #30
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Hmmmm...
I downshift in every standard car I drive...
I was never told otherwise or had tranny/clutch issues...
Never had an issue except from being rear ended since some douche wasn't paying attention when I let off the gas and went from 4th to 3rd (3.21 gears with 32"s) to keep my distance from the guy in front of me at about 40mph.....
He found out how a Rugged Ridge rear bumper felt in his chrysler 300....

But yea I downshift with and without the clutch all the time...
Once you get the hang of standard transmissions its quite simple to do without jerking and such...

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