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Old 01-08-2011, 10:57 PM   #1
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Auto to Manual tranny swap in a TJ

Hello everyone, I am new to WF and first off wanted to say its great to be here. I purchased my first wrangler about 6 months ago and I love it, but would love it even more if it were a manual. Ive seen several posts on here about people wanting an auto so if there is anyone out there that may be interested in doing some swaping..... I have a 04 X with 53K miles. Has been off the highway a couple times but only down dirt roads and a field or two. It is my daily driver.

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Old 01-08-2011, 11:02 PM   #2
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replacing your 42RLE would be quite a chore...i thought about it too, and came to the conclusion it isn't worth the trouble. and noone will want your trans, they're not desired...like you, people want to get rid of them and its not worth swapping into anything.

basically throw gears at - thats the best you can do.

4.56s for 31s, 4.88s for 33s, 5.38s for 35s.

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:12 AM   #3
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I totally understand wanting a manual. I flew to FL from WI to get my 2500HD just to get the 5-speed (and special ordered, and went to multiple other states for manual trans in other cars and trucks).

That said, Jeep Wranglers are one of the rare vehicles that still have a high % of manual trans from the factory. You will be money and agrivation ahead to sell yours and buy a factory manual.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:59 AM   #4
Knows a couple things...

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I think the more you drive it offroad and especially the more you start doing more difficult trails, the more likely you will quickly discover just how better is an automatic is for offroading on difficult trails. On easy to moderate trails, the 5-speed is fine. Once you get to the extremely difficult category of trail, then you'll see the automatic's benefits.

I was happy with my 5-speed until I got to what most would consider to be extreme-level difficulty rock crawling trails. It was then I discovered I was one of the few, and often the only one, still running a manual transmission. It wasn't long after I saw the benefits to the automatic transmission's torque converter that gives 2-3X greater low-end torque when compared to a stick shift that I converted to a 32RH automatic transmission. Those at the competition levels of rock crawling long-ago switched to automatics. The King of the Hammers race/rock-crawling vehicle I had a small part in helping to build had an automatic.

Manual transmissions may be more manly to some and in some conditions can be more fun, I realize that. But for offroading, it's very tough to beat an automatic transmission. Not because it gets rid of the clutch, but because of its 2-3X greater low-end torque and its infinitely low 1st gear ratio and infinitely high crawl ratio.

And that 2-3X greater low-end torque is very real. There is a particular trail I have been doing for years with three particular steep challenging rock crawling obstacles that I could never get up without a winch. That was with 35" tires, 4.88 gearing, and 35" MT/R tires. Then I converted from the 5-speed to the automatic with the same tires and gearing and I scooted up those obstacles without the least problem afterwards. No winch needed. I commented to the 4Wheel Drive & Sports Utility magazine photographer taking photos that day on the trail (Pumpkin Eater) that I almost felt like I had cheated with the automatic I had just finished installing weeks earlier... that it made the climb doable without the winch I had needed every year prior to that.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thanks guys I appreciate it. Guess I will just look for another jeep.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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I dont plan to wheel this jeep, its more of a dauly driver. I have a cherokee sittin on 35" boggers that I take to the trails.

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